Tuesday, December 29, 2015

HERALDRY: Oriel~ (Updated May 15, 2018)

Oriel College, Oxford

Blazon: Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or a bordure engrailed Argent. (A lion is passant if viewed from the side with his head facing the viewer. A lion is guardant or gardant if his front right leg is raised, although the passant lions tend to have only three feet on the ground. In pale means the lions are lined up in a column, one above the other.)

Authority: These Royal Arms of England were used by the Plantagenet kings, from Richard I ("Lionheart") to Henry III and Edwards I, II and III. We could find no evidence that the college's differencing by a bordure engrailed argent has been granted, but the arms have been used for so long that they are now "ancient".

Nominee: The College was founded in 1324 by Adam de Brome during the reign of Edward II (ruled 1307-1377). Edward is the titular founder of the college, which is why the Royal Arms are used.  The Bordure may have been informed by de Brome's coat of arms, which includes the rare bordure engrailed argent.

College History. The College was once known as King's Hall and has absorbed both St. Mary's Hall and Bedel Hall Soon after the foundation in 1326 as the College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it was given a property called La Oriole, on the site of the present Front Quadrangle, and gradually the college came to be called by that name. Oriel was Oxford's fifth college, and the first to be royally founded. It began with a Provost and 10 Fellows. Students could pursue Theology, Law and Medicine. Three Provosts went on to become Bishops. It was the college of Walter Raleigh and Thomas More. In the early 1500s the first undergraduates arrived. Oriel survived the turbulence of the religious Reformation. By the end of the century more space was needed. Between 1620 and 1642 the medieval buildings were replaced by the present front quadrangle, which housed some of the court of King Charles I while Oxford was briefly his capital before he was defeated and beheaded by Cromwell. In the 1700s Oriel attracted its first transatlantic students, sons of planters in Virginia, one of whom later regretted employing a young surveyor, George Washington. Oriel expanded into a second quadrangle and built its Senior Library to house a large gift of books. Oriel in the 18th century  produced famed parson-naturalist Gilbert White. From 1780 to 1830 Oriel led the way in reforming academic standards, the brilliant Noetic era and then the Oxford Movement to revitalize the Church of England. The Oriel Fellowships were opened up to competitive examination and many of those who arrived, like Dr Thomas Arnold and John Henry Newman, made their mark.

Recent History. From the 1980s on Oriel College has grown rapidly, like the rest of Oxford, as graduate professional and specialty studies flourished and women were admitted in 1985. Oriel now has about 50 Fellows, 300 undergraduates and 200 graduate students. In recent weeks Ntokozo Qwabe, a 24-year-old Rhodes scholar from South Africa, has led a campaign to remove an Oriel College plaque to Cecil Rhodes and also a statue of Rhodes. Oriel College has started a process for removing the plaque. Qwabe was reported two days ago by the British Daily Telegraph as claiming that:
  • Students at Oxford endure “systemic racism, patriarchy and other oppressions” on a daily basis.
  • The university’s admissions and staff recruitment systems systematically exclude certain groups of people.
  • Oxford’s architecture is laid out in a “racist and violent” way. 
  • The British media treat him and his supporters like “terrorists” for challenging the establishment.
Other Posts on Heraldry at Oxford etc.:  HERALDRY SUPERLINK.

Friday, December 25, 2015

BLOG READS: 100K, Dec. 2015–Top 16

Thank you for reading.
We have passed the 100K page view mark.
Here are the top 16 posts in December:

WW2: Why Didn't Hitler Bomb Oxford? (Updated Dec. ...
Jun 8, 2013, 2 comments
HERALDRY: Beer, Branding and Paul Walton (Updated ...
Nov 29, 2015
HERALDRY: Oxford Stars (Updated Dec. 17, 2015)
Nov 21, 2014
HERALDRY: St Cross College, Oxford (Updated Dec. 1...
Dec 3, 2015
BOAT RACE: Dinners, 2016 (Updated Dec. 7)
Dec 4, 2015
HERALDRY: Trinity College, Oxford
Dec 7, 2015
HERALDRY: Oxford's Rapid Expansion (Updated Dec. 1...
Dec 15, 2015
HERALDRY: Regent's Park College, an Oxford PPH
Dec 8, 2015
HERALDRY: St Benet's Hall, Oxford (Updated Dec. 7)...
Dec 5, 2015
HERALDRY: St Catherine's College, Oxford (Updated ...
Dec 16, 2015
RHODES: Monument-Trashing at Oxford (Comment)
Dec 25, 2015
YOUNG AMERICA: Dec. 20–Virginia Cedes Land to Feds...
Dec 20, 2015
HERALDRY: Douglas, Moray and de Vere Coats of Arms...
Nov 23, 2014
AMERICAN OXONIAN: 2014, Spring–Swan Song (Updated ...
Oct 22, 2014
HERALDRY: The College of Arms and Windsor Herald
Aug 15, 2015
HERALDRY: Links to Heraldry, Oxford, Geo Wash
Nov 22, 2015

RHODES: Oxford Monument-Trashing (Comment)

Plaque that Oriel is planning to remove, under pressure from
the "Rhodes Must Fall" campaign. It was placed by Alfred
Mosely, whose bio is in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906).
Dec. 25, 2015–Earlier this year, in April, a statue of Cecil Rhodes was removed from the University of Capetown in South Africa.

Rhodes is the man after whom were named Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford and Rhodes University in South Africa.

Rhodes built the British African empire "from Capetown to Cairo". He was described by his contemporaries at the peak of his power in 1895 as the "Colossus" of Africa and the "King of Diamonds". (The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the wonders of the ancient Greek world, is ironically being rebuilt as the latter-day Rhodes monuments are moved and threatened with obliteration.)

Based on quotes from his writing, Rhodes could be described fairly as a racist. At the end of 1895 he helped start the Second Boer War (1899-1902) by supporting the disastrous attack by Sir Leander Starr Jameson on the Dutch-speaking Boers in the Transvaal. African tribespeople were killed in large numbers in the process of the creation of Rhodes' empire.

The campaign against Rhodes' memory has spread from Capetown to Britain and the United States. A petition to Oriel College has a goal of 2,500 signatures and is about 80 percent there.

The petition quotes Rhodes using bitter language that should offend anyone. So do some of the advocates for the petition. Jack Renshaw of Cambridge, for example, calls Rhodes a "racist shit".

The New York Times today notes that Oriel College is responding to this campaign, called "Rhodes Must Fall". The College has reportedly started a process with the Oxford City authorities to remove a plaque honoring Rhodes and has opened discussion on the fate of a statue of Rhodes (see below).

The plaque, shown above right, was erected in 1906 by Alfred Mosely on property that the College owns. Mosely's bio appears in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906) as follows:
English financier; born at Clifton 1855. He was educated at the Bristol Grammar School, and afterward went to South Africa, where he became one of the earliest settlers in Kimberley [capital of the Northern Cape Province in central South Africa]. He equipped at his own expense the Princess Christian Base Hospital near Cape Town for the relief of the sick and wounded during the South-African war. In 1902 he conducted an industrial commission from England to the United States to study the cause of American trade prosperity, and in 1903 he headed a similar commission to study American methods of education. He was made a C.M.G. in 1900. Written by: Joseph Jacobs, Victor Rousseau Emanuel.
Rhodes attended Oriel College in 1873, for one term. It took him eight more years of study and multiple return visits to Oxford before he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in 1881. Meanwhile he founded the De Beers diamond company and then became Premier of the Cape Colony, as it then was called, in 1890-96. His term was ended by his support of an ill-fated attack on the Transvaal (the "Jameson Raid") that in subsequent years led to the Second Boer War. He initiated the practice of apartheid ("apartness" in the Dutch language of the Colony) that was continued in 1934 when South Africa became independent of Britain (i.e., when the Boers essentially took over), and ended in 1994 when South Africa became independent of minority rule by Europeans.

Daily Mail: Oriel College Engaged in "Craven Surrender"

The challenge to monuments of Rhodes may be summarized by a statement by doctoral student Brian Kwoba:
Cecil Rhodes is the Hitler of southern Africa. Would anyone countenance a statue to Hitler?
Rhodes has also been called the George Washington of southern Africa, which should give Americans pause. On December 24, Tony Abbott, former prime minister of Australia and one-time Rhodes Scholar, responded, in line with many other published comments:
Oxford would damage its standing as a great university if it were to substitute moral vanity for fair-minded inquiry.
Statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College.
Its future is being debated.
Oriel's dons, however, have responded to student protests at Rhodes' racist words and actions and have posted a statement disclaiming Rhodes' views and giving notice that the college plans to remove the plaque. Removal of the statue is a more complex issue, and Oriel says it will initiate a "listening exercise" to gather views, because the statue
can be seen as an uncritical celebration of a controversial figure, and the colonialism and the oppression of black communities he represents.
The American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, Elliot Gerson, expressed a hope that the statue not be removed:
Our values today are opposed to the views of the world held by Rhodes, and much of his generation, but his bequest is forever deserving of respect.
Meanwhile, Oriel College is described today by the Daily Mail as engaged in “craven surrender” to a "PC Mob".

Sir Michael Howard, an Honorary Fellow of Oriel and former Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford calls the campaign an "attempt to rewrite the history of the college and the university" and "fanatical iconoclasm", comparable to the destruction of historical sites by ISIS in Syria.


An alumnus of Oriel College, Jonathan Craven, wrote to me about this early on and I have obtained his permission to quote him, since he seems to speak for others:
Horrified. If political correctness is a prerequisite for being a donor to the college they can count me out of the 1326 Society. I've started writing a fuller explanation of why I feel this way which I'll be sending the college as part of their listening process; I'll probably post it in the blog as well since I'm interested to hear what my classmates think about it. I'm happy to see already though that a lot of people much more eloquent and influential than me have already begun making these arguments, so I am fairly confident that the statue will remain in the end. Erasing all traces of anyone we disagree with is a tactic more worthy of the Islamic State.
My own reactions to all this are:
  • The idea of a "listening period" appeals to me, even though at Oriel it applies primarily to the statue, not the plaque. The question is whether it is just buying time and whether the issue is in danger of festering rather than being discussed.
  • The plaque erected by Alfred Mosely seems to have some merit, reminding us at very least of Mr. Mosely, who seems to have done some important humanitarian work in South Africa and England.
  • Destroying monuments should not be a form of speech, although it seems sometimes to be perceived as such. In the 1950s I lived for three years in Dublin. The central monument was Nelson's Pillar, a tall Doric column topped by a statue of a great Englishman, Admiral Lord (Horatio) Nelson. It was the terminus for the green CIE buses that I used to take from Blackrock and then Dalkey. Irish Nationalists never liked having an English naval hero at the center of Dublin and in 1966–nearly 50 years ago, and 50 years after the Easter Rising–the Irish Republicans blew it up. I can fully understand Irish sentiment against the Pillar, but condoning extra-legal violence on the basis of one's sympathy for the objective is dangerous. I am glad that the monument-toppling at Oxford is proceeding within a framework of law.
  • When the statues of Kwame Nkrumah and Vladimir Ulyanov Lenin were toppled, on the other hand, few tears were shed. These were rarely of any artistic or historical merit, although I am told some Lenin statues are now worth real money because of their scarcity.
  • The Islamic State (aka ISIS) is doing something much worse than blowing up propaganda statues. It is destroying ancient monuments of great artistic and historical importance, like the Palmyra Temple, in the name of their ideology. One hopes that if the Rhodes monuments are indeed removed from Oriel, they will find a home in a museum.
  • At Harvard Law School, students are proposing something much more cautious than at Oxford. They are asking their officials to remove the wheatsheafs from the Law School shield, on the basis that the arms are derived from a donor to the Law School who was a slaveholder.  
  • If Americans were to go all the way down that road, we would endanger the future of the Jefferson and Washington monuments and even the name of the nation's capital, since our Virginia forebears were slaveholders.
  • But I wouldn't mind replacing a few of the long-forgotten men on horseback who grace some Washington, D.C. parks and replacing them with fresher candidates. For example, why not put a statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Stanton Park on Capitol Hill? 
Morality-based trashing of national heroes can be based on ignorance of the importance of their positive contributions, anachronistic application of modern standards, and failure to appreciate deep flaws in alternative heroes who are suggested as new icons. Above all, we should be cautious about destroying any monuments of artistic merit or historical significance. To these ends, Oriel College's proposed "listening period" makes some sense.


Oriel College has heard enough. The statue will stay. Oriel's decision has been tied to the Yale University free speech incidents. University administrations are sorting out where the lines should be drawn. If free speech becomes a license for A to bully B, what has happened to the free-speech rights of B?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

GW: Dec. 20–Virginia Cedes Vast Area to Feds

State Land Claims Ceded, 1783-1802.
(Those who think that the United States of America cannot face the grave problems facing it today may not appreciate the huge obstacles it overcame in getting itself started.)

On this day in 1783, Virginia ceded territory north of the Ohio river to the new U.S. government.

Before that, it had strenuously claimed rights to the land dating back to a colonial charter from the Crown.

It was a crucial time for young America. The trading New Englanders, who derived their intellectual leadership from Cambridge dissidents, rebelled first against the Crown over taxes and monopolies.

The southern states, who were established mostly through grants from the Crown and tended to be more loyal to King George, joined in the rebellion largely over issues relating to land ownership in the West.

Americans at that time regarded the West as the lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. Beyond the Mississippi was unexplored and fought over by the European powers – Britain, France and Spain.

Britain and France had struggled for control of Western lands during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Then-Colonel George Washington attempted to secure Virginia’s Ohio Valley outposts in 1754.

At the end of the war, the British Proclamation line of 1763 banned further European settlement west of Appalachia. This was a major irritant for the colonies and extended the momentum for rebellion against the Crown from New England to the southern colonies.

By the early 1780s, after the War of Independence was won, seven states of the original 13 were claiming areas in the West. The Ohio Valley territory was claimed by four of them – Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Claims to the lands were usually rooted in vague wording of old colonial charters that were not based on precise land surveys.

The "landed" states assumed they would be enriched by future sale of western lands. The landless states feared that they would lose residents and dwindle into insignificance. Meanwhile, thousands of settlers were crossing the Appalachians into the new areas.

Congress gained a great victory in inducing the states over 20 years to surrender control of their claims to the central government. Congress and the states had both promised their soldiers land in payment for their service during the War for Independence. The new and fragile union remained at risk of dissolution until the land-claims issue was resolved.

The under-appreciated Pennsylvanian John Dickinson, a great settler of disputes during the Revolutionary era, first suggested in 1776 that the states cede their lands to the Continental Congress. Virginia argued against the idea at first, noting that their western claims were the oldest and therefore  trumped those of all the other states. But Virginia in the end had the foresight to see that the only possible way of resolving the claims swiftly was to throw the problem into the lap of the new Federal Government.

Four of the seven landed states were in the south–Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Two were in New England – Massachusetts and Connecticut. The remaining state was New York.

Virginia asserted its right to a huge tract that fanned out to the west and north, which encompassing  the Old Northwest (the Ohio country). But Virginia's business leaders preferred a viable confederation than the claims to western lands. Virginia surrendered its claim to land north of the Ohio, but held on to the area south of the Ohio until the new federal government made it the new state of Kentucky in 1792.

Connecticut land from its western boundary to the Mississippi. Connecticut and New York claimed lands in the Old Northwest, but New York gave up its claims in 1785 and Connecticut in 1786. Connecticut's claim to the Western Reserve was maintained until 1795, when it was purchased by the Connecticut Land Company.

Massachusetts claimed some of what is now Michigan and Wisconsin until 1785, and a weaker claim to an area in western New York until 1786. East of the Appalachians, Massachusetts vied with New Hampshire and New York to claim Vermont, which achieved statehood in 1791.

New York in 1782 ceded its frail claim to a tract that included much of present-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and portions of central Tennessee and western Virginia.

North Carolina surrendered claims in 1784 to what would later become Tennessee, particularly along the Watauga River. In 1790 the central government accepted North Carolina's cession.

South Carolina in 1787 gave up its claim to a strip of land running from its western boundary to the Mississippi River. Some of this was added to northern Georgia and the rest went to the central government.

Georgia, the weakest claimant, held out longest. The area that later was Alabama and Mississippi were given up in 1802.

So the event remembered today was important in keeping the newly formed union together. Virginia was the first state to cede significant holdings to the national government. Other states soon followed by giving up their smaller claims. In this way western expansion became a federal project that culminated in Jefferson’s inspired Northwest Ordinance.

See also other posts about George Washington or Young America: Dec. 18, John Wesley (birthday), Oxonian Colonizer of Georgia . The First Catholic Bishop (Baltimore) . Two Oxonians Create the Mason-Dixon Line

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

HERALDRY: St Catherine's (Updated May 14, 2018)

Arms of St Catherine's
College, Oxford.

Blazon: Sable a Saltire Ermine between four Catherine Wheels Or.  

Authority: The arms, according to St Catz officials, were granted by the College of Arms in 1964, two years after St Catz opened. The Letter Patent, usually signed and sealed by all the three Kings of Arms on behalf of the College of Arms, is reportedly in a secure location at St Catz. A printed source (below left) confirms the granting of arms for St Catz, with the date of the grant June 10, 1963, which could mean that there was a six-month delay from the internal grant to the preparation and signing of the Letter Patent.

This source confirms the St Catherine's Grant as of 1963.
Full Achievement: Below the shield is a motto: Nova et Vetera – "The new and the old." The grant of arms normally shows the full achievement with a crest as well and a mantle. This would be to the left of the Blazon on the grant.

Meaning: The name of the college and the "Catherine wheels" in the four fields created by the ermine saltire refer to St Catherine of Alexandria, Egypt, then a great center of learning. A saltire is associated with martyrdom. St Catherine's badge is a wheel.

Nominee of Arms: A virgin martyr, St Catherine was the daughter of non-believing parents but became a Christian at 18. She is one of the two saints that Joan of Arc a millennium later said talked with her. Emperor Maxentius (ruled 306-312) wanted her to marry one of his sons if she would give up her Christian beliefs. He brought her to Rome, but she publicly protested to the emperor against worshipping of idols. Confronted by 50 philosophers, she refuted them and they were burned alive for being unable to rebut her arguments. She refused to deny her faith and marry the emperor, who then had her beaten for two hours on end and imprisoned. Continuing to refuse Maxentius' proposals, she was sentenced to be broken on a spiked wheel. However, it fell to pieces at her touch. Maxentius had her beheaded instead. Maxentius was defeated by Constantine in 312. Catherine is today a revered Catholic and especially Eastern Orthodox saint, whose feast day is November 25 (24 in some Eastern Orthodox churches). A few crusty historians question whether she existed or was the product of centuries-later legend-creators. She is nonetheless embraced as their patron saint by female students, young women in the workplace, nuns, philosophers, preachers and, naturally, wheelwrights.

Similar Arms: St Hugh's also has a sable field with a saltire ermine. Where St Catz has a Catherine wheel or, St Hugh's has a fleur-de-lys or.

Institutional History: The College was originally formed as the Delegacy of Non-Collegiate Students, founded in 1868 to offer a university education without the costs of college membership. The social role of a college was created by the Delegacy's students, who met in a meeting room in a hall on Catte Street under the unofficial name of St Catherine's Club. The Club was officially recognized by the University in 1931 as St Catherine's Society. In 1956 the University Delegates formalized the change, offering the Society a path to college status. By 1960 Sir Alan Bullock matched some University funding with £1 million from Sir Alan Wilson and Sir Hugh Beaver. Having raised a total of £2.5 million, the college opened in 1962, while still under construction, as a men's college. It was the year that I came up to Oxford and I remember the tentative nature of the opening. By 1974 St Catz was in full operation and was one of the first five men's colleges to admit women as full members, the other four being Brasenose, Hertford, Jesus and Wadham.

St Catz Boat Club: The Catz Boats are housed in the Long Bridges Boat House. The blades of the college oars are decorated with Catherine Wheels. On the excellent Catz Boat Club website, the Boat Club historian Don Barton reports that six years after the University established a society for non-Collegiate students in 1868, members founded St Catharine’s Club, using the incorrect Cambridge spelling of the word. The following year, St Catharine’s Boat Club was created. The spelling was corrected to St Catherine's in 1919. At this time the society was given the name of the Boat Club. The Boat Club thus gave the name to both the original society and the College that it grew into. The Boat Club first took part in Torpids and Summer Eights in 1876, and produced the first crew to make seven bumps in the then six days of Summer Eights. Three crews made six bumps in Eights in 1949). The Women’s 1st Eight won Head of the River in Torpids in 2007. St Catz achieved its first Blue in 1967 and first women's Blues in 1976. International representation of St Catz began with the Commonwealth Games in 1958; since 1986 men and women rowers from the Boat Club have regularly filled places in national crews. Matthew Pinsent was the first St Catz Olympic Gold in 1992.

Physical History: Once offered the opportunity for college status, St Catz staked out and purchased from Merton College eight acres on part of Holywell Great Meadow, on the eastern side of Oxford looking over the Cherwell. Its glass-and-concrete buildings by the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen in 1993 received a Grade I listing as a "Building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest". The buildings combined modern construction materials with the traditional quadrangle layout, and the architect has followed through on his design to the furniture, lampshades and cutlery. The dining hall is distinctive for its Cumberland slate floor and its 350 seats, the largest capacity of any Oxford college. Jacobsen's plans for the college did not include a chapel; the college's December Christmas carol concert is held in Harris Manchester College's chapel. However, the college does have a prominent bell tower, rising above the other college structures, which top out at three stories because of a concern that the foundations are dug into marshland. St Catz has lecture theatres and seminar rooms, spacious common rooms, a music house, two student computer rooms, a small gym, squash courts and a punt house on the Cherwell.

Sources: St Catz: Web siteMaxentius: "A Topography of Death: The Buildings of the Emperor Maxentius on the Via Appia, Rome," in M. Carruthers et al. (eds) Eleventh Annual Proceedings of the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, 24-33, Oxford: Oxbow. St Catherine: Encyclopedia Britannica. Mateus Soares de Azevedo, Ye Shall Know the Truth: Christianity and the Perennial Philosophy, World Wisdom, 324.  Harold Thayer Davis, Alexandria: The Golden City, Principia Press of Illinois, 1957, 441.  Donald Attwater and Catherine Rachel John, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, 3rd ed, London: Penguin, 1995, p. 77.

Other Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . HERALDRY SUPERLINK . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

HERALDRY: Oxford's Rapid Expansion (Updated Dec. 19, 2015)

Is There Any More Room to Expand?
An Oxford college dean was tasked with breaking the news to the parents of a young man that did not make the cut:
We think he would be better suited for a smaller college... or, indeed, a larger one.
Oxford has been trying to refuse fewer applicants by admitting more of them.

The result? More and larger colleges.

This was the subject of letters to the editor of Oxford Today about my article on the coats of arms of the new post-WW2 Oxford colleges. One person wrote:
John Tepper Marlin’s informative article about recent Oxford coats of arms tells us that of Oxford’s 38 colleges, thirteen were created in the last century, almost all in the past seventy years. How many colleges does the university expect to have by the end of the present century? I shudder to think.
In an informal followup with him by email, he added that it's not just the growth in the number of colleges that upsets him. It is the size of the colleges themselves. (Also, growth is occurring in Oxford independent of the University!) He is concerned that Oxford University is becoming "impersonal, particularly now that the administration has so much power and such incentives to expand for financial rather than educational reasons".  He points to the "spoliation of Port Meadow" as an example of the consequences, and to Cambridge, where he says much of its beauty has been sacrificed to growth.

The Numbers

The numbers do show an explosive growth in number of university students in the 30 years between the Franks Report covering the Academic Year 1966 and the [Sir Peter] North Report covering  Academic Year 1996. During that period, five Oxford colleges were added along with one Permanent Private Hall. In addition, the median number of students in each college grew from 340 to 449. The median number of postgraduates per college grew from 75 to 107.

Yet the growth in Oxford students of 70 percent does not look so huge during a period when the total number of British university students more than tripled – from about 325,000 students in 1966 to more than 1 million in 1996. Clearly, the Oxford problem was part of something larger. What was going on? Is it over? I don't claim to be a certified expert or a divine prophet on this subject, but I have given it a little thought and I have looked at some data.

Expanded Secondary Education. The 20th century saw a huge expansion of Britain's commitment to educating children through secondary school. The numbers of primary school students did not change so much, but between 1905 and 1985 the number of secondary school students grew from 113,000 to 4.2 million.

This created far more applicants for positions at Oxford and Cambridge, as well as many new universities, and they have all grown to meet the greater demand.

More Government Support. World War II took many young people out of the civilian workforce workforce and out of universities to join the military. After the war, it was public policy in the United States to keep down unemployment by financing returning veterans and the universities that took them in. When the Labour Party under Clement Attlee came to power it did much more, creating the modern welfare state including the National Health Service.  Free education at all levels was part of the plan and added to the long-term growth of universities.

New specialties had meanwhile emerged through wartime research that were extended after the war. Professional and graduate studies flourished. University-wide teaching and research programs expanded at Oxford because of both government and private-sector support of students and new teaching and research options.

More Female Students. During the two wars the number of women in the workforce grew sharply because of the need for workers. Once peace returned, some of them went back to school. In 1920 there were 4,357 students pursuing a first university degree, and they were three males to every female. By 2011 the number had grown to 350,800 and the ratio was four women to every three men. Among graduate students the ratio was three men to every woman in 1920, and equal numbers in 2011.

At Oxford in 1974 all of the colleges were single-sex. By 1985, only two holdouts were. Now even St. Benet's Hall, the last all-male bastion, will be coeducational in 2016.

The Entitlement Problem for Fellows. Anthony Weale, former Secretary of Faculties and Academic Registrar, wrote in to argue that any discussion of the growth of colleges in the 20th century needs to talk about entitlement. That is what explains the University logic behind pushing to increase the number of colleges as well as expanding the size of existing colleges:
The new colleges were created to provide for the growing number of graduate students and, of particular importance, to provide college fellowships for the growing number of "entitled" academics who were without such fellowships. The need to tackle the entitlement problem was – although an esoteric subject in some ways (a very "Oxford" issue, one might say) – a very important matter in the history of the University in the second half of the twentieth century.
In a subsequent email, Weale elaborated on the specifics of the entitlement problem. Undergraduate education is provided entirely by the colleges. From the undergraduate tutorial point of view, the distinction between a tutor who is a fellow and a graduate student may be less important than how good a teacher the person is. But from the perspective of graduate students, their college status places them in the Middle Common Room (MCR) and they are still treated as students. They have access through the colleges to social and sporting facilities, accommodation sometimes and academic support in addition to what is provided by the department or faculty. But they lack the close connection that fellows have with the Senior Common Room.
Under long-standing University legislation, tenured academics are "entitled" to college fellowships. A fellowship is in part academic (with major teaching responsibilities if one is a tutorial fellow), in part social and, most important, carries trustee responsibilities for the governance of the college. As academic staff numbers grew, there were not enough fellowships to meet this obligation. This is why colleges such as St Cross were founded. 
The entitlement problem did not go away, but seems to have been resolved in the 1990s, at least temporarily, by an agreement between the colleges and the University.

What Is the Outlook for the 21st Century? 

The good news for those worried about the costs of growth is that in the 20 years since the North Report, the number of Oxford University colleges has shrunk by one (from 39 to 38) while the number of PPHs has remained the same, six. In other words, on the basis of the first decade and a half, the 20th century growth rate in Britain is unlikely to be equalled in the 21st.

Prices alone suggest that any increase in the demand for student places is likely to be channeled to other universities than Oxford. Competition for space means that Oxford's housing has become more expensive than London's. Meanwhile Oxford area governments are scrambling to plan ahead for renewal of housing and other infrastructure.

A late-2014 study by the British Council shows an expected tapering off growth in students in Britain, from 4.1 percent average annual growth in 2007-2012 to an expected 3.5 percent annual growth in students in 2012-2024. Even so, Britain is expected to take more than its share of additional students from overseas, to nearly half as many as will go to the United States.

The worldwide supply of students seeking higher education is expected to surge in the next decade or two, with the greatest demand in India, China, Nigeria and Indonesia. At present India has nearly 20 million undergraduates. China has nearly 13 million. The United States has more than 10 million.

Bottom line, higher education is expected to keep growing rapidly in Britain, but at a slower rate than it did in the second half of the 20th century. The cost and scarcity of space in Oxford will encourage growth to occur elsewhere. Oxford planners have long recommended to those seeking to create new office space that they seriously consider nearby cities like Milton Keynes.


Education statistics: Paul Bolton, Library, House of Commons, 2012.
Higher education statistics: British Council, 2014.

Other Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HERALDRY: Regent's Park College, an Oxford PPH

Shield of Regent's Park
College, a Permanent
Private Hall (PPH).
Blazon: Argent on a cross gules an open Bible proper irradiated or the pages inscribed with the words DOMINUS JESUS in letters sable on a chief wavy azure fish or.

Authority: The arms appear to be of no authority and are therefore unofficial. They appear to date to 1927, when the College moved to Oxford.

Full Achievement: The arms have a motto – Omnia probate quod bonus tenet. This is from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians 5:21 and is translated: "Test all things; hold fast to that which is good." The achievement includes a crest that appears to be the facade of a building where the college was located in London.

Meaning:  The cross of St George identifies the institution as English.  The Bible and the fish (as symbol of Jesus, from the Greek word for fish ΙΧΘΥΣ, ICHTHUS – an acronym for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ, Jesus Christ Son of God Savior – identify the institution as Christian. The wavy blue water line in chief suggests the Baptist Church.

Full achievement of the coat of
 arms. The building in the
crest is unidentified.
Institutional History: The Regent’s Park College web site includes a link to the official College site. The College describes itself as having originated as  "an Education Society", called the Baptist Education Society in 1752. In 1810 it evolved into the Stepney Academy in East London. As it pioneered in assisting Baptist students in applying to Oxford, the number of Baptist-affiliated students at Oxford grew nearly nine-fold, from three in 1827 to 26 in 1850. In 1856 it moved seven miles across London to Regent’s Park, and adopted the name of the Park that it still carries. 

Intellectual and Religious History: The College's original mission was to provide a place to study for Nonconformists, followers of religions other than the Church of England. It offered a University-level education in the Arts and Law and trained future Baptist clergy as well as people like classical scholar W. H. D. Rouse. In 1841, Regent’s Park College was affiliated with the newly formed University of London. In 1927, the College moved to its third, current, site in Oxford. In 1957 it became a Permanent Private Hall (PPH) of the University of Oxford.

Other Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . Alphabetized List of Posts

Monday, December 7, 2015

HERALDRY: Trinity College, Oxford (Updated Apr. 15, 2016)

Shield of Trinity Coat of Arms, granted
 by Sir Christopher Barker, Garter King of
Arms, to Sir Thomas Pope.
Blazon: Per pale or and azure on a chevron between three griffins' heads erased four fleurs-de-lys all counter-changed. ("Counter-changed" is a translation of the Latin transmutatus and the French de l'un en l'autre.)

Authority: Patent granted from Sir Christopher Barker, Garter King of Arms, June 26, 1535: Party per pale or and azure on a cheveron between three gryphons heads eraſed four fleur de lys all countercharged. The following year, October 15, 1536, "he [Thomas Pope] was knighted by Henry eighth, amid the ſolemnities attending the creations of the earl of Southampton, and the gallant Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, afterwards the famous duke of Somerſet." (Warton, 1753, 16-17.)

Full Achievement: The full achievement of arms includes two griffins azure and or as a crest on a crown. See arms at right from the collection of Oxford college coats of arms that John P. Brooke-Little (1927-2006) published in 1951 under the auspices of the Heraldry Society. He rose to become Clarenceux King of Arms, second-highest-ranking officer at the College of Arms.

Full Achievement of Trinity
College Coat of Arms. Source:
Brooke-Little (1951).

Nominee of Arms: Sir Thomas Pope, Founder, was a Hertfordshire man who shared his family arms with the college at its foundation in 1555 and asked for daily prayers in perpetuity, a request that has reportedly been honored ever since. The arms are on his tomb in the College Chapel. The Pope family griffins appear to survive only through the College.

Institutional History: Durham College was founded in about 1286 for the Benedictine monks of Durham and was a cell of that monastery. In 1544 it was suppressed as part of Edward VI's extension of Henry VIII's acquisition of the property of the Roman Catholic monasteries. Eleven years later, almost immediately upon the accession of Mary Tudor, Sir Thomas purchased the old Durham property and founded on it Trinity College. Sir Thomas, who was a Roman Catholic, made a founder's plea to future generations of students to pray for his soul. He and his wife may have been concerned about his possible punishment in the next life for having enriched himself as a manager of the sale of monastic properties on behalf of  Henry VIII and his successors.

Physical History Highlights: Trinity used the old buildings of Durham College, especially those clustered now around what is called Durham Quad. For example, the Old Library at Trinity has windows from the Durham College Chapel, including one showing the coat of arms of an ancestor of George Washington. The current Trinity College Chapel was built in 1691 in the presidency of Dr. Bathurst; the carvings by Grinling Gibbons have recently been restored using the highest standards of care and the chapel will reopen soon.

Intellectual and Religious History: Because of its Catholic founder, Trinity College has continued to have an allegiance among Roman Catholics, although its chapel has Church of England services. It has consistently over the years attracted students from Ampleforth College, for example. It also seems to have had a way of pushing high-church Anglicans toward Rome. John Henry (later Cardinal) Newman was a student at Trinity College and later converted to Roman Catholicism. Ronald Knox was appointed Trinity's (Anglican) Chaplain during the administration of Herbert Blakiston. When students went to war, enrollment plummeted, Knox resigned for lack of meaningful work, and eventually converted to Rome. He returned to Oxford as its Catholic Chaplain at the Newman Center; Trinity's Fellows elected him a member of the common room and he ate at the college regularly. Other famed Trinity Alumni leaders include: the first and second Lords Baltimore (George Calvert, founder of what became the State of Maryland, and his two son Cecil; another son  Leonard was Governor; all three were alumni); Lord Wilmington, Prime Minister; William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, PM; Lord North, PM under George III; Lord Stanhope, Whig Leader. Famed Trinity Alumni writers include: Viscount Bryce (The American Commonwealth), Lord Clark (Civilization), James Elroy Flecker, Walter Savage Landor, and Q (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch).

Related Heraldic Highlights: As mentioned, both of the first two Lord Baltimore were alumni of Trinity College. The City of Baltimore, Md., is named after Cecil. The name of the Baltimore Orioles came from the black (sable) and red (gules) colors in the coat of arms granted to the second Lord Baltimore. Trinity College's former Senior Tutor, Michael Maclagan, was also Richmond Herald of the College of Arms in 1980-89. The immediate past President of Trinity, Sir Ivor Roberts, is a Welshman and was H.M. Ambassador to Italy. His granted coat of arms uses a Welsh motto Bid ben, bid bond, translated into Latin as Fiat princeps, fiat pons–"Be a leader, be a bridge."

Barnard, Francis Pierrepont and Shepard, Major T. Arms & Blazons of the Colleges of Oxford. London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Brooke-Little, John P., "The Arms of Oxford University and Its Colleges," The Heraldry Society, 1951.

Clerehugh, R. H. A. A Concise Guide to Colleges of Oxford University. Oxford: The Chapter House, Christ Church, 10th ed., 1992.

Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles. Armorial Families. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1929.

Warton, Thomas, B.D., Fellow of Trinity College and F.S.A., The Life of Sir Thomas Pope: Founder of Trinity College Oxford. London: Thomas Cadell in the Strand, 1753, 2nd ed., 16-17.

Thanks to Paul Walton for showing me his copies of the Barnard & Shepard and Clerehugh books and to Clare Hopkins for directing me to useful sources,

Other Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . Lincoln CollegeSt Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

HERALDRY: St Benet's (Updated May 13, 2018)

Shield of Ampleforth Abbey and
College, and of St Benet's Hall,
Blazon: Per fesse dancetté Or and Azure a chief per pale Gules and of the second charged on the dexter with two keys in saltire Or and Argent and on the sinister with a Cross Flory between five martlets of the first.

Authority: Granted to the Abbey by the College of Arms in 1922 [seeking confirmation and date]. The Abbey applied to the College of Arms for the grant to conform to proper authority and thus secure its place among other post-Reformation bodies bearing variants of the Westminster arms. The Abbey arms in their full achievement include the abbot’s crozier and his valero (ecclesiastical hat with tassels). The Ampleforth College and St. Benet's arms include only the shield. In Ampleforth and Its Origins (p. 261), then-Guestmaster Fr James Forbes writes that "In medieval times this coat [of arms] was used with a crozier dexter and a mitre sinister in the chief, both gules, as "on the [Abbey] tombs of Abbot Fascet and Cardinal Langham." (Thanks to my brother Randal Marlin for this reference.)

Nominees of Arms: The name St Benet is an abbreviation of St. Benedict, referring to St Benedict of Nursia, born in A.D. 480 in what is today called Norcia, near Perugia in Umbria, Italy. He died in 547 in Monte Cassino. He is recognized as a saint by both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches and is the patron saint of students and of Europe; he is the person after whom the 16 popes called Benedict are named. The arms  refer not to St Benedict but, using the terminology of my Oxford Today article, they reference two revered persons (saints) and a revered group of people (abbots):
  • St Peter, the apostle of Jesus who is considered the first leader of the Christian Church after the death of Jesus, is signified, as he is in the pre-Reformation arms of the City of Westminster, by his keys at top left (i.e., dexter in heraldic terminology, from the perspective of the person carrying the shield). He is the person to whom Westminster Abbey is dedicated.
  • St Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England (1042-1066) is signified at top right (sinister) by the gold cross flory and the five martlets (arms attributed to Edward) for being the chief patron and founder of Westminster Abbey. Since 1066 all of England kings have been crowned in Westminster Abbey. Westminster is so called to distinguish it from St Paul's Cathedral, which is the East Minster.
  • The Pre-Reformation Benedictine Abbots of Westminster, signified by the gold and blue divided dancetté (the zigzag line), which were the base of the arms of the pre-Reformation Abbots of Westminster, who placed their personal coat of arms in the chief. The last Benedictine Abbot of Westminster to use this coat of arms was John Feckenham (c. 1515-1584), whose abbey was suppressed finally by Elizabeth I in 1560; minus the abbey, the abbey church became officially known as the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster.
Institutional History: Ampleforth Abbey claims direct succession from the monks of Westminster Abbey because of the dies mirabilis when the last surviving monk of Westminster ordained a priest who continued the English Benedictine tradition first in France and then at Ampleforth Abbey. The English Benedictines were dissolved by Henry VIII in the 1530s, but a monastery was re-established in Westminster Abbey by the Catholic Mary Tudor, 20 years later. After a few years, her half-sister Queen Elizabeth dissolved this monastery and by 1607 only one of the Westminster monks was left alive – Fr Sigebert Buckley. On the dies mirabilis he professed a group of English monks (described to me multiple times by monks over the last 63 years as an event that seems to have occurred either in an English prison or in France) before he died, and so passed onto them the rights and privileges of the English Benedictine Congregation. In 1615, these monks established themselves in an abandoned church of St Lawrence at Dieulouard, near Nancy, the one-time capital of the Duchy of Lorraine in France. Catholic priests were illegal in England, but many of the monks were allowed to leave their monasteries in France to work secretly in England as priests. One such monk was St Alban Roe, executed in 1642.  In 1792 the monks were expelled from France by leaders of post-Revolutionary France and they moved to Ampleforth, in 1803 opening a monastery school. English Catholics had sent their boys to France to be educated during penal times, and many of these boys became monks and priests. During the next century the monks worked both in Ampleforth College (which started with about 70 boys), and on missions to town parishes. In 1900 the major monastic houses became independent, with their own elected abbots. Ampleforth Abbey was by then a community of nearly 100 monks. The first Abbot was Fr Oswald Smith, who died in office in 1924. He was succeeded as Abbot by Fr Edmund Matthews, who appointed Fr Paul Nevill as the college's Headmaster. These two men together made the college a great public school. At its height in the mid-1960s the community had 169 monks; the number at the Abbey has since fallen to about 60. The eighth Abbot of Ampleforth, Fr Cuthbert Madden, OSB was elected in 2005. St. Benet's Hall, administered by the St. Benet's Trust, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ampleforth Abbey. The Chairman of the Trust is Abbot Cuthbert. I have had the privilege of getting to know Professor Werner Jeanrond, since as an alumnus of Ampleforth College (1952-55), I have met with incumbent St. Benet's Hall and Ampleforth College officials when they come to New York to renew their contacts with alumni and to seek contributions.

Physical History:  Ampleforth Abbey is located where it is because of a gift just before she died from Lady Anne Fairfax of Gilling Castle to her chaplain, Fr Anselm Bolton, of a lodge at Ampleforth. The local pub in Gilling is the Fairfax Arms. Gilling is now the home of Ampleforth's prep school; I was a resident there for one year, and then was two more years at what was then called The Junior House. In 1802 Fr Anselm gave the lodge to his fellow monks to be their new monastery. and school. St Benet's Hall was founded in Oxford in 1897 as a place for the monks of Ampleforth and other monasteries to live while they read for Oxford degrees.

Intellectual and Religious History:  Abbot Cuthbert says:

Our journeys diverge, but we [Ampleforth and St. Benet's] walk in the same direction. (Source: St. Benet's Hall capital campaign "Joining Our Journey", p. 2.) 
 Prof. Jeanrond says:
In the twelfth century, students at Oxford gathered around a Master to grow in knowledge and wisdom. [...] Nine hundred years later, St Benet's Hall is an echo, perhaps the closest there is, of that way of life. [...] Today we are unique in Oxford – a vibrant Catholic Christian community that provides a Benedictine context for graduate and undergraduate study, yet welcomes students of all faiths and none. (Emphasis added. Source: St. Benet's Hall capital campaign "Joining Our Journey", p. 6.)
Until 2015, St Benet’s Hall admitted only male undergraduates. It now accepts applications from both male and female applicants – of any age – for entry in 2016 or deferred entry in 2017. (In autumn 2016 Alice and I attended the first brunch of the coeducational era  at St Benet's – JTM.) Ampleforth College has been coeducational for many years.

The Six PPHs. The physical or institutional origins of almost all of the 38 Oxford colleges are partly religious. Today the colleges are independent of religious control other than the Church of England. The six Permanent Private Halls (PPHs) maintain a current or historic religious affiliation. A number of Oxford colleges and all of the PPHs originated in a desire to support Oxford students of a particular religious belief, as did many universities in Britain and the United States. Some were created to prepare new ministers, priests or monks to participate in the intellectual life of their congregations, parishes or monasteries.

Unlike the colleges, which have evolved into institutions that are largely independent of their religious affiliation, the six PPHs have a strong religious origin and some degree of external control by, or affiliation with, a religious institution. In order to attract a strong pool of applications, all six of the PPHs make clear to prospective students that a particular religious affiliation is not required either for entrance or for full participation in college life.

The PPHs may therefore include a core of students who are there because their religious beliefs match the PPH's affiliation, but given the secular orientation of most of the Oxford student body the majority of students at the PPHs are not religious.

The existing six PPHs are all controlled by or affiliated with, as many colleges once were, a religious denomination:

1. St Benet's - Roman Catholic (Benedictine)
2. Regent's Park College - Baptist
3. Blackfriars - mature (21+) students, Roman Catholic (Dominican)
4. St Stephen’s House - mature students, Church of England (Anglo-Catholic)
5. Wycliffe Hall - mature students, Church of England (Evangelical)
6. Campion Hall - postgraduate students only, Roman Catholic (Jesuit) 

Sadly, a seventh PPH has recently fallen by the wayside – Greyfriars, with its important Roman Catholic Franciscan heritage. Ironically, if it had held on a few more years perhaps it might have survived under Pope Francis, who has made clear he named himself not for the Francis who founded his Jesuit order but for the man of Assisi. However, a commitment to poverty may not be a brand that competes well among current Oxford students.

Other Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . 

Friday, December 4, 2015

BOAT RACE: Dinners, 2016 (Updated Apr. 5, 2016)

The Boat Race (now Boat Races, as women's race
on the same course, same day).
Boat Races Winner, Sunday, Mar. 27, 2016
The Newton Women's Boat Race (OXFORD)
Osiris-Blondie Race
Isis-Goldie Race  
The BNY Mellon Boat Race (CAMBRIDGE)

Events by City, USA and Canada

Boston |
Sunday, Mar. 27, 9:45 a.m.  Race Viewing (no charge, but please reserve here) Tavern in the Square, 730 Mass. Ave., Central Square, Cambridge. Women's Race at 10:10 a.m., Men's Race at 11:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Chicago | 77th Annual BRD | Friday, April 15. 6 p.m. Drinks. 7 p.m. Dinner: 7:00 p.m. Black Tie Optional. Dr. Frances Lannon Hon. Fellow and Former Principal,  LMH, Oxford.  Prof. Gillian Peele Fellow and Tutor in Politics, LMH,  Oxford.  James C. Dunlop, LMH will preside. Michael J. Dickenson, Christ’s College, Cambridge, will report on the Boat Races. Buy tickets here.

Denver | April 12. The Denver dinner is probably the least expensive BRD in North America because it is subsidized by loyal alumni. Contact: Chris.Hansen@ihs.com.

NY City | 5th BR Brunch | Mar. 27. Book your place / At the viewing of the race.

NY City | 83rd BRD | Apr. 12. Toast to the Universities by Nick Kristof (Oxford) of the NY Times. Response on behalf of the Universities by Anna Watkins (Cambridge), Olympic gold medalist in double sculls. To register, go here.

Ottawa | BRD |

San Francisco | BR Breakfast | Mar. 27 |  Live Viewing of Boat Races.  8:50 a.m., OUS Northern California. Last year was at Kezar Pub.

San Francisco | 81st BRD |

Seattle | Sunday, Mar. 27 (8 am-10 am) Hosted by The Oxford and Cambridge Society of Seattle at The Market Arms. Live viewing of the 2016 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.

Toronto |

Vancouver | 86th BRD |
Vancouver | 5th BR Breakfast |

Victoria | BRD |

Washington, D.C. | 69th BRD | April 7, 2016  National Press Club. Registration is Open. See April 7 date below.

Washington, D.C. | Biennial North America Oxford Reunion | April 8-9, 2016. To order tickets for April 9, go here. The dinner on Friday evening April 8 at the Library of Congress was sold out one month before the event. Contact events@oxfordna.org for further information.

*Link to Oxford Alumni Boat Race Events World-Wide (Europe and Asia included)

Events by Date, 2016
Send updates here. |  History, photos etc. of Prior US-Canadian Boat Race alumni events.

March 27, 2016 (Sunday) | New York City, Boat Races Brunch. Viewing of the BBC record of the races, organized in recent years by the Oxford Business Alumni. 11 am: Viewing Party & Brunch – Manhattan. Location will be emailed to ticket holders. Book here. Note: The women's boats compete on the same day and course as the men's boats. The men's blue boats compete at 4:50 pm GMT and the women's ("Newton") boats one hour later. In New York City the BBC should start showing the race at 11:50 am. For later information, check the official site for the BNY Mellon Boat Races.

March 27 | San Francisco, Live Viewing of Boat Races.  8:50 a.m., OUS Northern California. Was at Kezar Pub.

March 27 | Vancouver, 5th Annual Boat Races Breakfast. Contact: StuartCBowyer@gmail.com. The men's race starts at 4:50 pm GMT - or 8:50 a.m. in Vancouver. 10 am: Vancouver Oxford & Cambridge Society Annual Boat Race Breakfast Venue: Manchester Public House, 1941 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6J 1Z3, Canada.

March 27 | Portland, Ore., 9 am-12 noon local time - Oxbridge Cascades Alumni Society Viewing of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race last year was at Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97204, USA. According to Vancouver branch, Portland invented the Boat Race Breakfast, in which alumni gather at a local pub, many with old college or university gear, to watch the race live on TV. Always early morning in Oregon. Contact: Christopher Gondek, cgondek@ heronandcrane.com.

April ? | Kingston, Ont., Boat Race Dinner, venue to be determined. Contact: Robert Darymple kingston@ousoc.oxon.org.

April ? | Victoria - Annual VIOCS Boat Race Party Saturday, 6:30-9:30 pm, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (exhibits will be open) 1040 Moss Street, Victoria $36.00 p.p. Send your cheque to: Dr. Brian Scarfe (personally) Suite 416, 21 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC, V8V 4Z9 VIOCS. Silent auction to help offset the cost of our splendid venue. Bring cheque book. For further information contact admin@VIOCS.ca or call Dr. Dorothy Kennedy at 250-384-4544. 

April ? | Los Angeles, Brunch. Held every year since at least 2005 (University Club, Pasadena). Last year was at 12 noon at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey–enjoy dazzling conversation, a luxurious champagne brunch, and a gorgeous view of the yachts while rooting on the dark and light blues while watching from a week-old DVD. Oxonians, Cantabrigians, friends and supporters are all welcome. In the anxious words of a late 1800s Oxford poet: “The Cambridge eight / have muscle and weight, / but the dark blue blades / fall sharp and straight.” The group assembles at 11:30 am, has brunch and then watches the Boat Races at 1:30 pm (since they are viewing from a DVD, the group is not bound to the Tidewater schedule). Contact: Ray Dean Mize raydean.mize@gmail.com.

April ? | San Francisco, 81st BRD. Presidio Golf Club, 8 Presidio Terrace. Contact: Leena.Bengani@oxfordalumni.org or Matthew Kaser, m.kaser@comcast.net.

April 7 | Washington, DC BRD.  Top Floor, National Press Club, 14th and F Streets, NW. The 69th Annual Oxford and Cambridge Dinner. Cocktails at 7 p.m., Dinner at 8 p.m. All members of Oxford or Cambridge and their guests are cordially invited to attend this renowned event, the largest such gathering to take place on a continuing basis anywhere in the world. Originally linked to The Boat Race, it promises an evening of fine wine and cuisine and exceptional speakers from both Universities. William W. Chip (Clare, Cambridge), Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling will Preside. Professor Angela E. Stent (Girton, Cambridge), Professor of Government and Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown University, will give the Toast to the Universities. Professor Sir Drummond Bone, MA, FRSA, FRSE, Hon, Litt.D., Master of Balliol College and an expert of the poetry of Byron and President of the Scottish Byron Society will give the Response from the Universities. The price of the dinner is $130 per person ($110 for those who came down in the past five years), wine included. Dress is black tie (preferred), college blazer, evening kilt, or equivalent. Please send your acceptance and check without delay, using the acceptance form which follows. Checks should be made out to the Oxford and Cambridge Committee and mailed to David B. Law, Hon. Treas., c/o Curtin Law Roberson Dunigan & Salans, 1900 M Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20036, for receipt on or before April 5, 2016. No tickets will be issued; you will be recognized at the door.

April 8-9 | Washington, D.C.  Biennial North American Oxford Reunion. 

April 12 | New York City, 83rd BRD, since 1933. The toasts are to the President and Queen and the Universities, with a Response from the Universities. The Toast to the Universities this year will be given by Nick Kristof of the New York Times. Contact: Hervé Gouraige (Merton), dinner chairman; hgouraige [at] comcast.net.

April ? | Ottawa BRD.  The Cambridge Society of Ottawa hosts an annual BRD that some Oxonians attend. This year's BRD is at the Britannia Yacht Club. Contact: Neil Bliss, nwbliss@magma.ca or (613) 745-5179; or Oxford Secretary Harry Corrin, ous.ottawa@gmail.com.

April ? | Vancouver BRD. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Contact: Dr. Dorothy Kennedy, admin@viocs.ca. Website: www.vocs.ca.

April ? | Boston (New England Society) BRD. Contact: Dona Cady is President of OCSNE, president@oxcamne.org; David Manns is Secretary, secretary@oxcamne.org; Belinda Wilkes is Treasurer, treasurer@oxcamne.org. For dinner details, sign up here (you will need to input your university/college of matriculation).

Cities for Which Dates Not Reported

(To add an event - contact JTMarlin@post.harvard.edu)
Calgary, Alberta. Contact: Geoffrey Cowling, gcowling@iridiumrisk.com; jonathan.d.connell@ gmail.com. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Contact: EnriqueBargioni@msn.com Houston, Tex. Contact: Kevin Bradford, houston@ousoc.oxon.org Indianapolis, Ind.  Contact Stephen Smith,  SKSmith1@msn.com Kansas City, Mo. Contact: BartholomewDean at gmail.com. Little Rock, Ark. Contact: frank.thurmond@gmail.com. Montreal, Que.  Contact: Catherine.Gillbert@videotron.ca. New Orleans, La.  Contact: David Campbell, davidc1010@ att.net. Phoenix, Ariz. Contact: jonathan.rose@asu.edu. Portland, Maine Contact: TracieJeanReed @gmail.com. Raleigh, N.C. Contact: Steven Wilson, scrwilson@gmail.com Richmond, Va. Contact: Matthias Hild, n@hild.org Salt Lake City, Utah.  Contact: Russell Fisher, utah.oxford@ gmail.com. San Diego, Calif. Contact: caio@handsupincentives.com.
Contact: Ean.Hernandez@ eanh.net St. Louis, Mo.  Contact: David Pollack, missouri@ousoc.oxon.org Toronto, Ont.  Contact: oxfordsocietytoronto@gmail.com. Vero Beach, Fla. Contact: john@cityeconomist.com. Winnipeg, Manitoba. Contact: Robert Dawson, dawson at dawsonlaw.com.

Read here about the long History of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race and the Boat Race Dinners in 2015.

Or read about the meanings of the Arms of Oxford Colleges (and PPHs): Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Crest :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall .