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0X FOR D.
XFORD appears from ancient Records to have been a considerable Place even in the
Time of the Romans; and to have been called Bellofitum. We learn also, that before their Conquests, the Britains consecrated it to the Mufes, whom they transplanted hither, as to a more fertile Nursery, from Creeklade in Wiltshire. Before?King Alfred's Time, whose Reign began A.D. 1872. Thomas Rudburn, Bishop of Chester, calls it can University in his Chronicon Hydense; So that Alfred was only the Restorer of Learning. Before the Conquest, there was a College built, where Robert D'Oylie afterwards built the Castle in 1071. in which was a 'Prior or Dean, and some Secular, who became afterwards Regular, Canons. In 1129, the said College was translated to Olney Abby, by Robert D'Oylie, Nephew to the former, 'till Henry VIII. erected' ir into a Bishop's See, called the "Bishoprick of Oxford, translated A. D. 1546, to St.
Fridesmide's Monastery, now called Chrift-Church. "King Henry I. built a Royal Palace in Beaumont, near Gloucester-Green; the Ruins of which are still visible. King Richard I. furnamed Caur de Lion, was born here. Archbifhop Uber affirms, that in
King Henry the Third's Time, 30,000 Students refided here; and Rifhanger (who lived in the same Reign) says, that notwithitanding the Civil Wars had so much disturbed the Peace and Quiet of this venerable Seat of Learning, yet, in his Time, there were remaining 15,000 Students, whose Names were entered in the Matriculation Book. About which Time, Fohn Balliol (Father of Balliol, King of Scots) built a College, now called by his Name, A. D. 1263: And Walter de Merton Bishop of Rochester, that which is now called Merton College; both of them beautified with Buildings, and enriched with Lands, which were the first endowed Colleges in Christendom. King Alfred built three Colleges in it; one for Divinity, another for Philosophy, and a third for Grammar. Soon afterwards the Danes burnt it, and Harold Harefoot, who reign’d in 1036, to revenge the Death of fome of his Followers flain here, so violently treated the Inhabitants of the Place, that the Scholars left it, and it lay waste till about the Norman Conquest. In the Time of King John the Students being badly used by the Townsmen, went part to Reading and part to Cambridge. After these Matters were again settled, the Students divided into two Factions, the North and the South ; in Discontent the latter left Oxford, and went to Stamford in Lincolnshire, where they began to erect an University ; but when this Quarrel was adjusted, they returned, and have continued here ever since.
Oxford is situated on a small Eminence, rising gradually from its Extremities to the Center. It is encompassed by Meadows and Corn Fields. The Meadows, which are chiefly to the South and West, are about a Mile over; beyond which are Hills of a moderate Height, bounding the Profpect.
The Eastern Prospect is likewise bounded by Hills at a moderate Distance; the Valley growing considerably narrower towards the South : But the North is open to Çorn-fields and Enclosures for