August 11th 1762
I thought I would go somewhere more relaxing after the last trip so I tried 1762, when Oxford was a polite and civilised town! Hardly any fighting between townspeople and students, the students don’t want to get their lovely gowns and wigs dirty. They are quite a sight to be honest, dressed up each and every day like peacocks, from the noblemen with long brightly coloured gowns and caps with gold tassels all the way down to the serviteurs, who still get a gown but not much else! The students do have another problem with the townspeople though., I walked into one coffee shop and two students saw me and literally hurtled out of the back door! Turns out they though I was a ‘dun’ – a shop owner come to collect a debt. Shop and pub owners keep tabs for students – some even refuse to take cash and of course by the end of the term the students usually get a nasty shock when they see how much they have spent. Bit like students loans I guess except repayment is slightly more urgent!
I got chatting to a serviteur, who are generally more approachable, and got invited to lunch at Exeter. Turned up at 1.00 and the lunch was over! It appears lunch is genuinely a movable feast in the 1700s and varies between college to college – and year to year – from 10.00 to 4.00. I had to pop back to Mortons in 2014 for a sandwich.