Thursday, May 11, 2017

ARMS: Jesus College, Oxford

Jesus College Coat of Arms
Blazon: Vert three stags trippant argent attired or. The JCR website has the arms displayed correctly according to this blazon, except for one thing. "Attired" refers to the antlers only. The golden hooves are not in the blazon, which for that should include the words "and unguled" (hooved) before the last word, or.

Nominee. The coat of arms, in some form, belongs to Bishop Thomas Rotherham. It matches the arms in Rotherham's dining-hall portrait in neighboring Lincoln College, which he is credited with founding.  The Lincoln College coat of arms includes the three stags in the sinister section of its tripartite-in-pale shield. In the absence of evidence that Rotherham founded Jesus College, Oxford, the puzzle is: What are Rotherham's three attired stags doing up there adorning Jesus College?

Founder. Jesus College was in fact founded in 1571 by Elizabeth I, who issued a royal charter to that effect. It was the first Protestant college founded at Oxford, and the only one dating  from Elizabeth's reign. Its full name is: "Jesus College in the University of Oxford of Queen Elizabeth's Foundation."

Origin of the Jesus Arms.  The earliest depiction of the Jesus arms is believed to be about 1590, in a document held by the College of Arms, referring to the stags as having a blue (azure) field, but Peter Donoghue, Bluemantle Pursuivant, reports the arms were more likely added 90 years later, on John Speed’s 1605 Map of Oxfordshire, with a blue field. The green field first appeared in 1619 in an armorial quarry painted by one of the Van Linge brothers, and was generally used by 1730, although horizontal hatchings (indicating azure) were still used on college bookplates as late as 1761. Here are the theories:
  • It has been claimed that Jesus "stole" the three stags from Lincoln, much as a series of Trinity men from the Eldon family have feasted on deer from the Magdalen College deer park. The counter-argument is that the origins of the two Rotherham arms are distinct. Former Lincoln College Rector Paul Langford has suggested that Jesus College continued the arms adopted by a theological college founded by Rotherham in his home town – Jesus College, Rotherham – which had been suppressed in the time of Edward VI. This does not explain what Rotherham contributed to the founding of Jesus College, Oxford other than leasing out a building to the College for a fee. 
  • Another theory is that the stags derive from the arms of Maud Green, Lady Parr, mother of Catherine Parr, last of the six wives of Henry VIII and stepmother to Elizabeth I, the Founder. 
  • The most likely story is that the arms of the College are indeed those of Bishop Rotherham, and were assigned to Jesus College by mistake, when John Speed prepared his famed map of Oxford. Speed must have seen the arms on Lawrence Hall, Ship Street, which was given to Rotherham in 1476 and was leased to Jesus College in 1572. Speed must have taken the landlord's arms to be those of the College when drawing his map in 1605, a quarter-century after the arms of Lincoln College were confirmed by Lee, Portcullis Pursuivant.
Anecdotes. Lincoln and Jesus are neighbors on Turl Street ("the Turl"), of which the joke is often told: "Q. How is the Church of England like the Turl?" "A. It runs from the High to the Broad and it has Jesus." An American tourist is said to have entered Jesus College after the Civil War and asked the porter: "Say, is this Lincoln?" To which the porter replied: "You aren't the first person, sir, to confuse Lincoln with Jesus."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SUMMER VIIIS: Oxford College Boat Club Dinners

I received the following note from the President of the Trinity College Boat Club, as an alumnus of the college.

Other college boat clubs have dinners that night. Your college link is probably located here. What to wear to a Boat Club Dinner?

Dear All,

The Annual Boat Club Dinner is on the Saturday of Summer VIIIs, 27 May. The deadline for responses is Friday, 19 May.

If you would like to attend, please reply to the Club’s secretary, Emily Davenport ( A booking form can be found here.

I very much hope to see you then.

Best wishes,

Rob Jones 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

BIRTH | May 4, Horace Mann, Advocate for Public Education

May 4, 2017—This day was born in 1796 Horace Mann, is called the father of American public education. He said:
"Education is our only political safety. Outside of this ark, all is deluge." 
Born in Franklin, Massachusetts, in 1796, he grew up poor, but he made full use of the local library founded by his town's namesake, Benjamin Franklin. 

Brown University accepted him as a sophomore at 20 years of age. He graduated in three years and was named  class valedictorian.

Elected to the state legislature in 1827, he was appointed secretary of the State's Board of Education when Massachusetts created it in 1837. He used the position, which had little budget attached, to inspect every school in the state and publish annual reports advocating a common school education,  i.e., a basic tax-funded education for all children. He established the concept of a "normal" state school, taking on those who believed all schools should have a religious orientation.

Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1848, after the death of John Quincy Adams, he spoke out in Congress against slavery, and wrote in a letter:
"I think the country is to experience serious times. Interference with slavery will excite civil commotion in the South. But it is best to interfere. Now is the time to see whether the Union is a rope of sand or a band of steel."
When he left politics, he moved to Ohio to become president of Antioch College. He told a graduating class, two years before his death:
"I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words. Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

WW2: Baedeker Raids Start, Apr 23, 1942

Target Handbook for
 the Baedeker Raids, 1942.
Apr 23, 2017—This day in 1942 Germans began their “Baedeker Raids” on England, bombing several medieval cities. Almost 1,000 English civilians were killed in the bombing attacks.

Unlike the earlier bombings of English cities in 1940-41, which were strategic, to kill civilians and destroy buildings to weaken  the English public's will to fight with Germany, the April-June 1942 bombings of cities were targeted at historic cities. They were a retaliation for the RAF raid on the German port of Lübeck on March 28, when 234 British bombers destroyed 2,000 buildings, killed 312 civilians and left 15,000 Lübeck residents homeless.

In reprisal, the Luftwaffe attacked English cathedral cities. The Germans called their air attacks “Baedeker Raids” for the German publisher of its famed tourist guidebooks. Exeter was the first city to be attacked. Much of the city was damaged and 70 people were killed. Baron Gustav Braun von Sturm of the Luftwaffe said: “’We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide." The task was given to Luftflotte 3.

Exeter was bombed again twice in the next fortnight. Bath was attacked April 25 and 26, York on April 28 resulting in the destruction of 15th-century Guildhall, and Norwich on April 27 and 29. The RAF then launched a "1000 Bomber" raid on Cologne (Köln). The Luftwaffe responded by targeting Canterbury, which was bombed on May 31, June 2 and June 6. It was reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi's statement: "An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind."

Despite the tit-for-tat vandalism, Oxford and Cambridge were spared. Oxford is on any three-star list in England. Dr Malcolm Graham, Head of Oxfordshire Studies at Westgate Library, in his book Oxfordshire At War, says that Oxford's escape from Baedeker raids "has never been satisfactorily explained."

Oxford had been one of the cities included in the invasion plans for 1940, which included only central Oxford, not the farther-out Morris Radiators factory on Woodstock Road or the Cowley works. A squadron of Heinkel III bombers was reportedly on its way to obliterate Morris Radiators and probably Cowley on August 30, 1940. It was attacked by RAF fighters and turned back, and no second attempt to bomb Cowley was tried.

See also: Why didn't Hitler bomb Oxford?

Friday, April 21, 2017

NEW YORK: 2017 Boat Race Dinner

The New York City Boat Race Dinner was held for the first time ever at the Cosmopolitan Club on East 66th Street in NYC. The venue and food and wine (esp. the La Petite Perrière Sauvignon Blanc) were highly appreciated.
Below the program are the versions of their speeches by speakers who have sent them to me.

Toast to the Queen

Introduction by John Tepper Marlin (Trinity, Oxford):  Bennett Freeman earned a summa cum laude degree in history from Berkeley, following which he was awarded a Churchill Scholarship from the English-Speaking Union to read history at Balliol.

After Oxford, Bennett worked for Walter Mondale and from there spent eight years as manager of corporate affairs for General Electric. Bill Clinton swept him into the State Department where for four years he worked on human rights, developing a standard for oil and mining industries, and helping to recover millions of dollars for the families of Holocaust victims.

In the next nine years of his life he was senior vice president of Calvert Investments, the largest source of socially responsible mutual funds. Ladies and gentlemen, Bennett Freeman.

Bennett Freeman (Balliol, Oxford): Thanks to my friend John Tepper Marlin for that generous introduction. I’ve known John — and his wife Alice Tepper Marlin — for three decades and have had the privilege of learning from them over the years as a fellow traveler in the world of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Our remarks this evening can’t be political and mine certainly won’t be.  But I can’t resist noting that the General Election has just been called and wondering if the Prime Minister is taking a risk by asking the British electorate to vote for May… in June.

Our two great ancient universities have instilled in us a respect for tradition as well as for innovation in a time of disruption.  And our time in Great Britain — whether it is our country or not — has instilled in us a respect for the institutions and the individuals that anchor that tradition.

Since Victoria queens and kings have reigned rather than ruled. But this Queen commands our singular respect.  Walter Bagehot famously observed of the monarchy that “Its mystery is its life” and advised that “we must not let in daylight upon magic.”

Yet Queen Elizabeth has let in the daylight to reveal that her magic is not mysterious but almost comprehensible — even though her durability is nothing less than supernatural.

Her decency and probity are the virtues that will sustain us in this era of uncertainty and insecurity. Her wisdom and her discretion give her a quiet authority to which we can all aspire whatever our cause, our work or our walk of life.

Please join me in being upstanding…

The Queen!

Other 2017 Boat Race News . College VIIIs . Summer VIIIs Dinners 2017

ALUMNI RACES: Philadelphia, Apr 2017

REPORT SENT BY JOHN V. QUINN, Oxford & Cambridge Society of Philadelphia.
Vesper Boat Club

It's been over 30 years since The Alumni Boat Races were last held in Philadelphia and that streak almost continued.

Sunday, April 2nd was a gorgeous spring day filled with blue skies, sunshine and a pleasant breeze. Unfortunately, it was not as tranquil and picturesque on the Schuylkill River as high water, floating logs and flood conditions concerned our race officials.  

Christopher Blackwall masterfully rearranged the schedule of races to accommodate Mother Nature.  In the end, prudence dictated that the college boat races be cancelled so we were able to run only 2 of the 5 scheduled races with only the most experienced rowers participating. Our races proved to be a foreshadowing of the results to come in The Boat Races. The Vesper ladies eight (Cambridge designee) crew prevailed and in the men’s race the Oxford Varsity (alumni blue) boat was victorious. 

Here’s how Gardner Cadwalader, the captain of the Cambridge crew, recounted the Varsity Race:
“The Varsity Race became a three boat race between Oxford and Cambridge and the University Barge Club's experienced Master's eight whose race had been cancelled. Floating starts in very fast waters were made for debate at the pub afterwards and the unique start that day guaranteed a few subsequent verbal thrusts and parries among the friends. We shall say no more about that. However, the gentlemen and lady of Cambridge raced brilliantly and did set a new record. The gentleman of Oxford raced much more brilliantly we admit, and came in a solid first place, showing the fine focus and fitness which the other boats have had on days a while ago. The gentlemen of the University Barge Club split their UK loyalties with the diplomacy and hospitality for which UBC is renown by coming in second. This strategy allowed the dark blue guest crew to win first place and the light blue guest crew to set a new record. The record is a first in Oxford Cambridge races by Cambridge having coming in a solid third. Never done before and will never be done again.” 
To our knowledge, we were the only alumni society in the world that held alumni races on the day of The Boat Races – quite a distinction.  I'm pleased to say that two of the founders of that race were instrumental in the races resurgence, namely, Christopher Blackwall (Oxford) and Gardner Cadwalader (Cambridge).  

After the races, everyone retired to Vesper Boat Club for the viewing party of the 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races in London. Rich in history and tradition, Vesper is one of the most celebrated boat clubs in the country and the world and was an ideal venue to watch The Boat Races. Attendees watched on two TVs, one in the large bar area and the other on a giant projector screen.  We had a wide variety of alumni and guests, from recent graduates to, let me say, not so recent and many in between with families and lots of children running about.  The capacity crowd enjoyed the festive environment and had a fun time cheering on their favorite blue.

I think I speak for everyone involved when I say the event exceeded our expectations.  We thought we might have 30 to 40 rowers register to row for our races and we actually had over 70.  There was a wide range of ages and sizes with experience ranging from former college rowers to Blues to World Champions to Olympians.  In fact, we had 8 Blues race-5 from Oxford and 3 from Cambridge (see crew listings below).  We were planning on 75 to 100 people attending the viewing party when in fact we sold over 150 tickets and that didn’t include all the children.  It was quite a gathering.

Putting together a regatta, no matter the size, is no small accomplishment and fortunately, we had a very experienced Steering Committee who handled it brilliantly as well as wonderful sponsors.  I want to thank the Committee for its time, effort and dedication, it was a true team effort.  I would like to extend a special thank you to the following individuals (in no particular order): 

Christopher Blackwall (Oxford) and James Hill (Cambridge) who did a superb job of planning, scheduling, logistics, recruiting linesman, referees and coxes, procuring equipment etc.;  the captains, Gardner Cadwalader, 1972 Cambridge Blue, and Mike Wherley, 2008 Oxford Blue, who both did a great job recruiting, organizing and selecting the crews; John-David Franklin (Oxford) who helped form the committee, was involved in many of the facets mentioned above and sponsored us at Vesper Boat Club; Bonnie Mueller (Oxford) Secretary of the Schuylkill Navy whose assistance was invaluable; and to Josh Mooney (Cambridge) whose efforts and guidance were much appreciated.  

Also thanks to:  University Barge Club, Undine  Barge Club, Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association and the University of Pennsylvania.

Other 2017 Boat Race Events in USA and Canada