February 10, 1355

On February 10, 1355, the St Scholastica Day riot broke out in Oxford, England. It all started when two students from the University of Oxford complained about the quality of wine they were served at the Swindlestock Tavern. Come on, they should have known something was up from the name of the tavern. But they complained to the owner. He didn’t care, so then insults were exchanged, a momma was insulted and a fight broke out. The inn’s customers joined in and it turned into a melee. Then other people saw what was happening and it turned into a riot. Over the next three days 63 scholars and students were killed and about 30 locals, give or take a suspiciously looking pig. King Edward had to get involved and judges were sent, along with armed men, to determine who was at fault. It wasn’t the scholars and students. The town’s mayor and bailiffs were sent to prison, a 500-mark fine was assessed and an annual penance was forced on the town. On St Scholastica’s Day, the mayor, bailiff, and sixty townspeople were required to attend a Mass at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin for those killed. Also, the town had to pay the university a penny for each of the scholars killed, which is why we know there were 63. The penance was finally dropped in 1825, 470 years after it all started, and in 1955, 600 years after it all started, the University decided to forgive the town of Oxford.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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