Friday, February 10, 2012

The St. Scholastica Day Riots

On this day in 1355, an altercation between two students from Oxford University and a local from town turned into a three day riot - resulting in 63 students and 30 locals dead, much of the town and University destroyed and a riff that lasts to this day.

On day one of the riot the Mayor and several bailiffs went to the University to meet with the Chancellor, arrest the two students and have amends made to the local.  However, the student body became involved in the confrontation and violence ensued.  The mayor and the bailiffs were attacked and left the University.

On the morning of day two the students took the fight to the town, raiding, pillaging and burning houses and attacking the townsfolk.   By midday the students returned to the University while several townspeople lay dead.  By dinnertime the townsfolk were retaliating, firing arrows over the walls of the university, killing several students.

The next day, residents of the surrounding countryside, hearing the news of what had happened, traveled to the town to offer help and arms against the students.  This band of townsfolk and country folk attacked Oxford University.  Many of the teachers and students were killed, or scalped.  Friars - who started a procession to end the violence were attacked.  Halls were destroyed, books and clothing were burned, and religious artifacts were removed.  At the end of the day, almost all of the University members not dead or injured fled, never to return.

Ok, here is what started the riot (from Wiki)
The seed of the riot was an altercation in the Swindlestock Tavern between two students of the University of Oxford, Walter Spryngeheuse and Roger de Chesterfield, and the taverner, John Croidon. The students complained about the quality of drinks, which led to an exchange of rude words that ended with the students throwing their drinks at the taverner's face and beating him up.  Retaliation for this incident led to armed clashes between locals and students.


The Historical Inebriant:  Sinners and Saints

Sinners & Saints
1 Bottle English Ale
1 Shot Spiced Rum
Pour beer into Pint glass and
drop in the shot as you would a Boilermaker

As an aside:
The idea for Oxford University originated in 1167, when English students attending the Sorbonne in Paris were expelled.  I don’t know if that was a drink related incident or not.

St. Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 547) is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church and is the patron saint of nuns. She is the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia who is the patron saint of students. (as a good friend used to say..."You can't make this stuff up")

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