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See ! Oxford lifts her Head fublime,
Collingwood and Co. Oxford.
57 Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, &c. List of
124 Chrift-Church, Cathedral, and College
107 Library, and Collection of Pictures Clarendon Printing-House
89 Lincoln College
Colleges, Professors, &c.
Nuneham, the Seat of Earl Harcourt
OXFORD, as we read in our Chronicles, was, even in the British age, consecrated to the Muses. It was called by the Romans Bellositum. When the place was first fortified does not appear; but the walls, of which some parts are still remaining, were raised upon former foundations, about the time of the Conquest, by Robert D'Oiley, who erected the Castle at the command of the Conqueror in 1071; a work of great strength, and considerable extent, of which one solitary Tower is the only part remaining: the old building being much decayed, on its site, and at the expence of the county, a large and commodioơs Gaol has lately been erected, which, for strength and convenience, will hardly be surpassed by any in the kingdom. King Henry I. built a Royal Palace on a spot called Beaumont, on the west side of the city, few remains of which are now visible, but the site may be traced in some gardens. King Richard I. called Cour de Lion, was born in this palace.
The University of Oxford has many fabulous accounts relating to the time of its origin. It most probably was instituted soon after the propagation of Christianity in this kingdom. Alfred is supposed by some to have been its founder; but others think that he only restored it, in an age of confusion and ignorance, and was the father of that establishment and security, which, notwithstanding some temporary shocks and interruptions, it has maintained ever since. The first College of the University, incorporated by royal charter, was that of Walter de Merton, A. D. 1274; about which time 15,000 scholars are reported to have been resident here: but in the reign of Henry III. the University is said to have consisted of double that number.
In the city and its environs were several Monasteries, the principal of which were St. Frideswide's and Oseney Abbey, and the Dominican, Augustine, and Franciscan convents. The bishopric, which was heretofore part of Lincoln diocese, was erected by King Henry VIII, in 1542.
The situation is on an eminence, rising gradually from its extremities to the centre. It is encompassed by meadows and corn-fields. The meadows, which are chiefly to the south and