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Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: The St. Scholastica Day Riot

Posted by Gilbert Stack on February 10, 2018 at 6:40 AM

On this day (February 10) in 1355 the St. Scholastica Day Riot broke out when rude words were exchanged between a tavern owner and two students of Oxford University over the weak drinks he was selling. The students threw the drinks in his face and then assaulted him. The Mayor of Oxford demanded the University arrest the students and was driven off by 200 students. This led to large numbers of people coming in from the countryside to attack the students. 63 scholars and 30 locals were dead before the university supporters were routed. Eventually the king decided that the town, and not the university, was at fault. Each year thereafter on St. Scholastica Day the mayor and town counselors had to march bare-headed through town, attend Mass, and pay a fine to Oxford of one pence per scholar killed. This practice continued until 1825 (470 years) when the Mayor of Oxford flat out refused to participate anymore.

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