Author Archives: Brasenose College Archives

Crocodiles in College

Brasenose College has a long history of student societies. The Crocodile Club was founded in 1896 for the reading and discussion of lighter literature, and was so named in honour of a stuffed crocodile on the wall of a College … Continue reading

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Sir (Joseph) Herbert Thompson

The College Archives are an irreplaceable repository for letters from old members of the College, many of whom have lived extraordinary lives. Sir Herbert Thompson CIE, photo reproduced by kind permission of the National Portrait Gallery, London. One such member … Continue reading

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A tribute to the physicist Nicholas Kurti (1908‒1998)

Nicholas Kurti was elected a Fellow of Brasenose in 1947. Born and educated in Budapest, and then at Paris and Berlin, Kurti arrived in Oxford in 1933 to work at the Clarendon Laboratory. In 1956 he became famous for an … Continue reading

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Smoking Concerts at Brasenose

Smoking concerts were popular events during the Victorian era. At Brasenose they were held in two parts with a 30 minute interval, possibly in Hall. Below are a few examples from the College Archives of smoking concert programmes, which date … Continue reading

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Brasenose Ale Revisited

On Shrove Tuesday each year the College observes its ancient custom of reciting verses in honour of Brasenose Ale. The origin of the Brasenose Ale Verses is unknown and only two survive from before the 19th century, both in secondary … Continue reading

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Brasenose College Turkey Work Chapel Cushions

Until quite recently there were nine embroidered cushions in the Brasenose College Chapel. At the beginning of this year they were removed for analysis, and were subsequently identified by an expert at the V&A as important examples of 17th century … Continue reading

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Brasenose College’s map of Whitechapel

In 1708 Brasenose College, Oxford, purchased the advowson or patronage of the parish of St Mary Matfelon, Whitechapel, from the parish of Stepney. This was confirmed by Act of Parliament in 1710 and gave the College the right to appoint … Continue reading

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Brasenose and the Ashmolean

The Ashmolean, the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology, was officially founded in 1683. It is perhaps most famous for being the earliest public museum in England. Named after Elias Ashmole, it was originally founded as a scientific … Continue reading

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A biography of John Idowu Conrad Taylor

John Idowu Conrad Taylor the renowned Nigerian lawyer is a seminal figure in Lagos. During his time practicing at the Nigerian Bar he was a commanding lawyer, well remembered for several high profile cases. In tributes paid to him after … Continue reading

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Joyce Frankland

Since its foundation in 1509 several benefactions have been bestowed upon the College, which have allowed the academic community here to grow and prosper. These benefactions started with the endowments of the founders, William Smyth (Bishop of Lincoln) and Sir … Continue reading

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