MORE ABOUT OXFORDSHIRE
 OXFORDSHIRE is a farming county, with broad meadows and
pasture-fields in the river valleys. It has hill ranges
in the north-west, and also in the south-east; those of
the north-west are the Edge Hills of Warwick, and at
the foot of this range there are wide heaths.
Copredy is in this part of the county; the town is
interesting because, during the Civil War, a fight took
place upon Copredy Bridge in which the king's side was
Banbury, too, is near here, a fact which you know when
you steam into the station, for "Banbury cakes !
Banbury cakes!" are brought to the carriage windows for
sale. It has some quaint old - inns, and is a town with
a history, having stood two long sieges for the king
during the Civil War.
In the old town of Woodstock there was, until quite
lately, a royal palace, where many of our kings dwelt.
Henry II. had a bower made in a maze near the palace,
to be the secret abode of the Fair Bosamond. Here the
Black Prince was born; and in a house close by the park
gate it is thought that Chaucer, the first of our great
English poets, was born, and
"Dwelt for many a cheerful day."
Near Woodstock is the splendid palace and park of
Blenheim, a present from the nation to the Duke of
Marlborough, in memory of the famous victory he gained
over the French near the village of Blenheim
 on the Danube, in the reign of Queen Anne. Woodstock
is famous for its doe-skin gloves.
Witney, farther south, has a Blanket Hall in its High
Street; but "Witney blankets" are no longer made here,
but in Wales and in Yorkshire.
The interest of the shire centres in the ancient city
of Oxford. Here perhaps Great Alfred dwelt, and the
University may have been founded by him, though there
are no records to prove the fact. The castle, whose
grey walls are still to be seen, was held by Queen
Maude against Stephen. When the fortress could hold out
no longer, the queen and her attendants, olad in white
sheets, escaped in the snow, unchallenged by the
Far more interesting is the Martyrs' Memorial, which
has been lately erected. The martyrs were: Eidley,
Bishop of London; Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester,
whose hearty ways, plain speech, and love for the truth
made him dear to the people of England; and Cranmer,
the Archbishop, who gathered together the beautiful
prayers and services in the Book of Common Prayer.
These three, like Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester, and Dr.
Taylor, of Hadleigh, were burned at the stake in the
persecution under Queen Mary.
Latimer and Ridley perished together; while the flames
shot up around him, the old preacher cried to his
comrade, "Hay the man, Master Ridley: we shall this
day light such a candle by God's grace in England as I
trust shall never be put out."
The horrible agony of a death by burning filled
Cranmer, who was not a strong man, with fear. In a
moment of dread, he had signed a paper, denying the
truth he held. But when the awful hour came his fear
departed. He thrust the hand that had offended into the
fire the first, saying, "This was the hand that wrote.
 it, therefore it shall suffer first punishment;" and
holding it still in the flame, he never stirred nor
cried till life was gone.
Of the University, little need be added to what has
already been said of that of Cambridge. The early
history of both is very much the same. Oxford claims to
be the elder sister. This University owes a great deal
to Wolsey, who built and endowed Christ Church, one of
the largest and most beautiful of the colleges, and who
caused Henry VIII. to benefit the University in various
Oxford has twenty colleges altogether; perhaps the
finest are in the High Street, a street of palaces, in
which are Magdalen and Queen's and All Souls'. Balliol
and Trinity are in Broad Street. Keble College Has
been founded lately in memory of the author of the *
Great Tom, the famous bell of Christ Church, is one of
the shows of Oxford—a huge bell, more than seven feet
across, which tolls 101 times every night at ten
minutes past nine.
We should see, before we quit Oxford, the Cathedral,
the great printing-works of the Clarendon Press, and
the Radcliffe Library.
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