Oxford in History

Historical Events

  • 1153-11-06 Treaty of Wallingford (Oxfordshire) signed between King Stephen and the Empress Maude (aka Matilda)
  • 1154-12-04 Adrian IV elected Pope. The only Englishman to become pontiff, Nicholas Breakspear was a member of the family which until recent years brewed beer in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
  • 1214-06-20 The University of Oxford receives its charter
  • 1355-02-10 The St. Scholastica's Day riot breaks out in Oxford, England, leaving 62 scholars and perhaps 30 locals dead in two days.
  • 1555-09-30 Bishop of Oxford Nicholas Ridley sentenced to death as a heretic
  • 1602-11-08 The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1642-01-10 King Charles I & family flee London for Oxford

King of England Charles I
King of England
Charles I

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1673-07-24 Edmund Halley enters The Queen's College, Oxford, as an undergraduate

Astronomer, Mathematician and Physicist Edmond Halley
Astronomer, Mathematician and Physicist
Edmond Halley
  • 1678-12-03 Edmond Halley receives MA from The Queen's College, Oxford
  • 1683-06-06 The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, opens as the world's first university museum
  • 1811-03-25 Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from the University of Oxford for his publication of the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism
  • 1829-06-10 The first Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race takes place
  • 1836-12-10 Emory College (now Emory University) is chartered in Oxford, Georgia.
  • 1854-01-01 Lincoln University, a black college, chartered (Oxford, Pennsylvania)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1860-06-30 Famous debate on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution held at the Oxford University Museum and dominated by arguments between Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862-07-04 Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) creates Alice in Wonderland for Alice Liddell on a family boat trip on the river Isis (Thames) in Oxford

Author and Mathematician Lewis Carroll
Author and Mathematician
Lewis Carroll
  • 1864-03-05 1st track meet between Oxford & Cambridge
  • 1869-08-17 1st international boat race (River Thames, Oxford beats Harvard)
  • 1871-06-16 The University Tests Act allows students to enter the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham without religious tests, except for courses in theology
  • 1871-06-20 Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi
  • 1877-03-24 University boat race between Oxford & Cambridge ends in a dead heat
  • 1878-03-13 Oxford University defeats Cambridge University in their 1st golf match
  • 1880-04-24 Amateur Athletic Association, governing body for men's athletics in England & Wales, is founded in Oxford, England
  • 1884-02-01 1st volume of the Oxford English Dictionary, A-Ant, published
  • 1894-08-14 Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge demonstrates wireless telegraphy (radio) using Morse code at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University
  • 1895-03-30 British inventor Birt Acres films Oxford and Cambridge boat race
  • 1912-07-08 G E V Crutchley (Oxford) 99 retired measles v Cambridge
  • 1928-04-19 The 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
  • 1951-04-03 Christopher Fry's "Sleep of Prisoners" premieres in Oxford

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954-05-06 Roger Bannister of the UK becomes the 1st person to run a 4 minute mile, recording 3:59:4 at Iffley Road, Oxford

Middle-Distance Runner Roger Bannister
Middle-Distance Runner
Roger Bannister

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985-01-29 Oxford University refuses to award Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher an honorary degree

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
British Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher
  • 2012-04-12 Bodleian, Oxford University and Vatican libraries announce over 1.5 million pages of ancient texts will be made available across the internet
  • 2015-09-16 700 million malaria cases prevented in Africa since 2000 in report by University of Oxford in "Nature" journal

Famous Birthdays

Person of interestRichard the Lionheart

1157-09-08 Richard I [Richard the Lion Hearted], King of England (1189-99), born in Oxford, England (d. 1199)

  • 1330-06-15 Edward, the Black Prince, born in Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire (d. 1376)
  • 1550-04-12 Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, born in Hedingham Castle, Essex, England (d. 1604)
  • 1602-10-12 William Chillingworth, English religious leader, born in Oxford, England (d. 1644)
  • 1661-12-05 Robert Haley, earl of Oxford/English premier (Whig, 1710-14)
  • 1792-04-25 John Keble, Anglican priest and founder (Oxford Movement), born in Fairford, Gloucestershire, England (d. 1886)
  • 1824-09-28 Francis Turner Palgrave, England, poet (Golden Treasury)/prof (Oxford)
  • 1825-06-21 William Stubbs, English historian and Anglican bishop of Oxford, born in High Street, Knaresborough, England (d. 1901)
  • 1863-11-21 Arthur Quiller-Couch, [Q], editor (Oxford Book of English Verse)
  • 1866-01-31 Henry Forster, cricketer (Oxford blue 1887-89, later Aust Gov-General)
  • 1867-07-02 Herbert Prior, British actor (Caught Short, Slave of Desire), born in Oxfordshire, England (d. 1954)

Person of interestWinston Churchill

1874-11-30 Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (Conservative: 1940-45, 1951-55) during World War II and winner of the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature, born in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England (d. 1965)

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • 1890-12-28 Frank Butler, actor/sreenwriter (Road to Bali, China), born in Oxford, England
  • 1904-05-08 John Snagge, British newsreader and commentator for the BBC (Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race), born in London (d. 1996)
  • 1906-08-01 William Hayter, British diplomat and Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1953-57), born in Oxford, England (d. 1995)
  • 1908-11-22 Michael Balfour, English historian, born in Oxford (d. 1995)
  • 1909-02-09 Heather Angel, British actress (Informer, Last of Mohicans), born in Oxford, England (d. 1986)
  • 1911-01-31 A G Ogston, president (Trinity College-Oxford)
  • 1913-06-10 Van Carlyle Wilton-Davies, archdeacon Emeritus (Oxford)
  • 1913-07-03 William Deakin, British historian and warden (St Anthony's College Oxford), born in London (d. 2005)
  • 1913-10-02 Vivian Ridler, printer (Oxford University)
  • 1915-05-13 John Habakkuk, principal (Jesus College in Oxford)
  • 1916-04-22 Earl of Oxford & Asquith, governor (Seychelles)
  • 1917-06-10 William Barr, rector (Exeter College, Oxford)
  • 1917-09-24 Colin Cowe, senior bursar (Magdalen College Oxford)
  • 1918-02-10 Gordon Pirie, English Group Captain and politician, born in Oxford (d. 2003)
  • 1919-04-11 Sir Raymond Carr, English historian and warden (St Antony's College Oxford), born in Bath, Somerset
  • 1920-08-03 P D [Phyllis Dorothy] James, Baroness James of Holland Park, English crime writer (Cover Her Face), born in Oxford
  • 1922-08-01 Frank Hauser, British theatrical director (Oxford Playhouse), born in Cardiff (d. 2007)
  • 1923-03-06 Raymond "Bill" Hoffenberg, college president (Wolfson at Oxford)
  • 1923-08-31 Larry Grayson, British comedian (Generation Game), born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England (d. 1995)
  • 1924-07-15 David Cox, warden (Nuffield College, Oxford)
  • 1926-02-25 Harvey McGregor, QC/warden (New College-Oxford)
  • 1927-01-28 J D Hughes, Principal (Ruskin College-Oxford)
  • 1928-04-12 Uwe Kitzinger, President (Templeton College, Oxford), born in Nuremberg, Germany
  • 1929-04-22 Geoffrey Marshall, Provost (Queen's College, Oxford)
  • 1930-02-14 Duncan Montgomery Stewart, principal (Lady Margaret Hall-Oxford)
  • 1930-04-08 Mary Moore, principal (St Hilda's College, Oxford)
  • 1930-04-26 Justin Gosling, principal (St Edmund Hall Oxford)
  • 1931-06-20 Richard Southwood, zoologist/chancellor (Oxford University)
  • 1933-06-08 Dr Robert Stevens, British lawyer and Master (Pembroke College, Oxford)
  • 1933-09-24 Catherine Pestell, principal (Somerville College Oxford)
  • 1934-01-28 BR White, principal (Regent's Park College-Oxford)
  • 1935-04-22 Christopher Ball, British linguist and Warden of Keble College, Oxford (1980-88)
  • 1936-01-08 Robert May, Baron May of Oxford, Australian-born British scientist
  • 1936-04-05 John Albert, professor (Master of University College Oxford)
  • 1936-04-15 Maurice Shock, rector (Lincoln College in Oxford)
  • 1937-02-11 Marilyn Butler, Rector (Exeter College-Oxford)
  • 1937-06-21 Anna Davies, prof of Comparative Philology (Oxford U)
  • 1939-07-27 James McGee, pathologist/professor (Morbid Anatomy at Oxford)
  • 1941-05-18 Miriam Margolyes, English actress (Babe, Romeo and Juliet), born in Oxford

Person of interestStephen Hawking

1942-01-08 Stephen Hawking, English physicist (Black Holes & Baby Universes), born in Oxford, England (d. 2018)

Physicist Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking
  • 1942-03-08 Ann Packer, Moulsford, Oxfordshire, British 400m/800m runner (Olympic gold 1964)
  • 1944-04-12 Lisa Jardine, British historian and writer, born in Oxford, England (d. 2015)
  • 1945-06-23 K B Wilson, methodist Preacher/Principal (Westminster College Oxford)
  • 1946-09-16 Lord Walton of Detchant, physician (Warden of Green College Oxford)
  • 1949-08-27 Edmund Weiner, English lexicographer (Oxford English Dictionary), born in Oxford, England
  • 1950-01-09 Alec Jeffreys, British geneticist (developed techniques for DNA fingerprinting), born in Oxford, England
  • 1958-07-11 Mark Lester, actor (Oliver!, Prince & Pauper), born in Oxford, England

Person of interestHugh Laurie

1959-06-11 Hugh Laurie, English actor (Strapless, Dr Gregory House-House), born in Oxford, England

  • 1968-04-15 Ed O'Brien, English musician and songwriter (Radiohead), born in Oxford
  • 1970-06-04 Richie Hawtin, Canadian musician, born in Banbury, Oxfordshire
  • 1976-06-02 Tim Rice-Oxley, English musician (Keane), born in Oxford, England
  • 1984-12-16 Theo James (Taptiklis), British actor (Divergent, Insurgent), born in Oxford, England

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1940-01-01 68th Prime Minister of UK Harold Wilson (23) weds poet Mary Baldwin (23) in the chapel of Mansfield College, Oxford

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson
British Prime Minister
Harold Wilson

HeartWedding of Interest

1956-04-23 Novelist C. S. Lewis (57) weds poet Joy Davidman (41) at the register office in Oxford, England

Author and Theologian C. S. Lewis
Author and Theologian
C. S. Lewis

HeartWedding of Interest

1980-09-06 81st Prime Minister of UK Theresa May (23) weds investment banker Philip May at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Wheatley, Oxfordshire

British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister
Theresa May

HeartWedding of Interest

1996-06-01 81st UK Prime Minister David Cameron (29) weds businesswoman Samantha Sheffield (25) at the Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury in East Hendred, Oxfordshire

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister
David Cameron
  • 2005-09-10 Camilla Parker-Bowles's son Tom Parker Bowles (30) weds "Harpers & Queen" fashion features editor Sara Buys at St. Nicholas' Church in Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, England

HeartWedding of Interest

2007-09-03 Oscar winning actor Ben Kingsley (63) weds Brazilian actress Daniela Lavender (33) in North Leigh, Oxfordshire

  • 2012-06-30 Mick Jagger's daughter Jade Jagger (41) weds longtime boyfriend Adrian Fillary at the Aynhoe Park Hotel in Oxfordshire, England

Famous Deaths

  • 0727-10-19 Saint Frideswide, patron saint of Oxford, England
  • 1272-11-16 Henry III, King of England (1216-72, Provisions of Oxford), dies
  • 1513-03-10 John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, English commander (b. 1443)
  • 1555-10-16 Hugh Latimer, English bishop and royal chaplain, burned at the stake as one of the Oxford Martyrs at 80
  • 1555-10-16 Nicholas Ridley, English theologist/bishop of Rochester, burned at the stake as an Oxford martyr
  • 1604-06-24 Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, dies at 54
  • 1713-07-07 Henry Compton, Bishop of Oxford and privy councillor (b. 1632)
  • 1725-05-21 Robert Haley earl of Oxford, English Whig-premier (1710-4), dies at 63
  • 1936-01-15 Henry Forster, cricket (Hants & Oxford U, Gov-Gen of Australia), dies
  • 1996-03-25 John Snagge, British newsreader and commentator for the BBC (Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race), dies at 91
  • 2007-10-14 Frank Hauser, British theatrical director (Oxford Playhouse), dies at 85
  • 2015-04-20 Sir Raymond Carr, English historian and warden (St Antony's College Oxford), dies at 96