Axel Martin Fredrik Munthe was a Swedish-born medical doctor and psychiatrist, best known as the author of The Story of San Michele, an autobiographical account of his life and work. He spoke several languages, grew up in Sweden, attended medical school there, opened his first practice in France, he was spent most of his adult life in Italy. His philanthropic nature led him to treat the poor without charge, he risked his life on several occasions to offer medical help in times of war, disaster, or plague; as an advocate of animal rights, he purchased land to create a bird sanctuary near his home in Italy, argued for bans on painful traps, himself kept pets as diverse as an owl and a baboon, as well as many types of dog. His writing is light-hearted, being memoirs drawn from his real-life experiences, but it is tinged with sadness or tragedy, uses dramatic licence, he wrote about people and their idiosyncrasies, portraying the foibles of both the rich and the poor, but about animals. Axel Munthe was born in Oskarshamn, his family's home.
His family was of Flemish descent, settled in Sweden during the 16th century. Munthe began college in 1874 at Uppsala University. While travelling in Italy in 1875, Munthe sailed in a small boat from Sorrento to the island of Capri. Climbing the Phoenician stairs to the village of Anacapri, he came upon a peasant's house and the adjacent ruin of a chapel dedicated to San Michele, was captivated by the idea of rebuilding the ruin and turning it into a home. Munthe studied medicine in Uppsala and Paris, graduated as M. D. in 1880 at the age of 23. Though his thesis was on the subjects of gynaecology and obstetrics, Munthe was impressed by Professor Jean-Martin Charcot's pioneering work in neurology, having attended his lectures at the Salpêtrière hospital, he had a falling out with Charcot, left the Salpêtrière denouncing his former teacher's work on hypnotism as fraudulent and scientifically unsound. Parents and siblings He was the youngest of three siblings born to sickly, violin playing, chemist father Martin Arnold Fredrick Munthe and his second wife Louisa Aurora Ugarsky.
The eldest was Anna. At 21 she married the painter Reinhold Norstedt during which times her flower paintings were exhibited in the National Galleries and other galleries. After Reinhold Norstedt's death she married Frans Siberg; the second child was Arnold a future Artist, Author and Retired Swedish Naval Captain who served with the French Imperial Fleet produced and wrote several renown plays Magnus Stenbok, Magdalena Rudenskiold and The March over the Belt. Arnold wrote the several Naval books including Charles XII and the Russian Navy and the textbooks Swedish Naval Heroes series. After graduation, Munthe opened a medical practice in Paris catering to the members of the Scandinavian art colony there. In 1884 he travelled to Naples to offer medical assistance in a cholera epidemic. In 1887, he moved to Capri, bought the Villa San Michele and began restoration, doing much of the work himself, but employing local residents, including three brothers and their father. In 1890, running low on money for the project, he opened a practice in Rome which catered to foreign dignitaries as well as the local population.
From this point onwards he divided his time between Capri. In 1892, Munthe was appointed physician to the Swedish royal family. In particular, he served as personal physician of the Crown Princess, Victoria of Baden, continuing to do so when she became Queen consort, until the time of her death in 1930, although this did not mean that he was in constant attendance. Victoria suffered from severe bronchitis and also tuberculosis. Munthe recommended. While hesitant, in the autumn of 1910 she travelled to Capri, from onwards, except during the First World War and for a few years towards the end of her life, she spent several months each year there. While in residence the Queen visited the Villa San Michele to join Munthe for morning walks around the island. Munthe and the Queen arranged evening concerts at San Michele, at which the Queen played the piano; the Queen shared Munthe's love of animals, owning a pet dog herself, helped support his efforts to purchase Mount Barbarossa to establish it as a bird sanctuary.
Given the small local population and their close friendship, it was rumoured that Munthe and the Queen were lovers, but this has never been substantiated. Young Princess Maria, who by request of King Gustaf V of Sweden twice stayed with the Queen and Munthe at Capri, found his influence damaging and his powers hypnotic. Years she asserted that he wanted her to be his patient at age 23 and made physical advances toward her, that the horror she felt toward the Swedish royal family, because of their unlimited support of Munthe, was the main reason she fled them and filed for divorce from Prince Wilhelm. Munthe has been described as less interested in the health of his patients than in his own convenience and fame, his having Victoria travel to Capri, stay there for months in that particular climate, has been considered more detrimental than beneficial to her health. Other indication of his passionate nature concerns an affair he is believed to have had with the English socialite Lady Ottoline Morrell, beginning when they first met in July or August 1898.
Ottoline was an unmarried 25-year-old member o
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, was a British philosopher, mathematician, writer, social critic, political activist, Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he confessed that his skeptical nature had led him to feel that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense." Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom. In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism", he is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein, he is held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics, the quintessential work of classical logic, his philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy".
His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, set theory, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science and philosophy the philosophy of language and metaphysics. Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and "welcomed with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Russell concluded that war against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought". Bertrand Russell was born on 18 May 1872 at Ravenscroft, Monmouthshire, into an influential and liberal family of the British aristocracy.
His parents and Viscountess Amberley, were radical for their times. Lord Amberley consented to his wife's affair with their children's tutor, the biologist Douglas Spalding. Both were early advocates of birth control at a time. Lord Amberley was an atheist and his atheism was evident when he asked the philosopher John Stuart Mill to act as Russell's secular godfather. Mill died the year after Russell's birth, his paternal grandfather, the Earl Russell, had been asked twice by Queen Victoria to form a government, serving her as Prime Minister in the 1840s and 1860s. The Russells had been prominent in England for several centuries before this, coming to power and the peerage with the rise of the Tudor dynasty, they established themselves as one of the leading British Whig families, participated in every great political event from the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536–1540 to the Glorious Revolution in 1688–1689 and the Great Reform Act in 1832. Lady Amberley was Lady Stanley of Alderley. Russell feared the ridicule of his maternal grandmother, one of the campaigners for education of women.
Russell had two siblings: brother Frank, sister Rachel. In June 1874 Russell's mother died followed shortly by Rachel's death. In January 1876, his father died of bronchitis following a long period of depression. Frank and Bertrand were placed in the care of their staunchly Victorian paternal grandparents, who lived at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, his grandfather, former Prime Minister Earl Russell, died in 1878, was remembered by Russell as a kindly old man in a wheelchair. His grandmother, the Countess Russell, was the dominant family figure for the rest of Russell's childhood and youth; the countess was from a Scottish Presbyterian family, petitioned the Court of Chancery to set aside a provision in Amberley's will requiring the children to be raised as agnostics. Despite her religious conservatism, she held progressive views in other areas, her influence on Bertrand Russell's outlook on social justice and standing up for principle remained with him throughout his life, her favourite Bible verse, became his motto.
The atmosphere at Pembroke Lodge was one of frequent prayer, emotional repression, formality. Russell's adolescence was lonely, he contemplated suicide, he remarked in his autobiography that his keenest interests were in religion and mathematics, that only his wish to know more mathematics kept him from suicide. He was educated at home by a series of tutors; when Russell was eleven years old, his brother Frank introduced him to the work of Euclid, which he described in his autobiography as "one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love."During these formative years he discovered the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Russell wrote: "I spent all my spare time reading him, learning him by heart, knowing no one to whom I could speak of what I thought or felt, I used to reflect how wonderful it would have been to know Shelley, to wonder whether
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a duty or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning. In contrast, unauthorized absence or absence without leave refers to a temporary absence. In the United States Army, United States Air Force, British Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, military personnel will become "AWOL" or "AWL" if absent from their post without a valid pass, liberty or leave; the United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Coast Guard refer to this as "unauthorized absence" or "UA". Personnel are dropped from their unit rolls after thirty days and listed as deserters. S. military law, desertion is not measured by time away from the unit, but rather: by leaving or remaining absent from their unit, organization, or place of duty, where there has been a determined intent to not return. People who are away for more than thirty days but return voluntarily or indicate a credible intent to return may still be considered AWOL.
Those who are away for fewer than thirty days but can credibly be shown to have no intent to return may be tried for desertion. On rare occasions, they may be tried for treason. Missing movement is another term used to describe when members of the armed forces fail to arrive at the appointed time to deploy with their assigned unit, ship, or aircraft. In the United States Armed Forces, this is a violation of the Article 87 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice; the offense may draw more severe punishment. Failure to repair consists of missing a formation or failing to appear at an assigned place and time when so ordered, it is a lesser offense within article 86 of the UCMJ. During World War I, the Australian Government refused to allow members of the First Australian Imperial Force to be executed for desertion, despite pressure from the British Government and military to do so; the AIF had the highest rate of soldiers going absent without leave of any of the national contingents in the British Expeditionary Force, the proportion of soldiers who deserted was higher than that of other forces on the Western Front in France.
In 2011, Vienna decided to honour Austrian Wehrmacht deserters. In 2014, on October, 24th a Memorial for the Victims of Nazi Military Justice was inaugurated on Vienna's Ballhausplatz by Austria's President Heinz Fischer; the monument was created by German artist Olaf Nicolai and is located opposite the President's office and the Austrian Chancellery. The inscription on top of the three step sculpture features a poem by Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay with just two words: all alone. During WWI 600 French soldiers were executed for desertion. During the First World War, only 18 Germans who deserted were executed. In contrast of the Germans who deserted the Wehrmacht, 15,000 men were executed. In June 1988 the Initiative for the Creation of a Memorial to Deserters came to life in Ulm. A central idea was, "Desertion is not reprehensible, war is". During WWI a total of 28 New Zealand soldiers were sentenced to death for desertion; these soldiers were posthumously pardoned in 2000 through the Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Act.
Those who deserted before reaching the front were imprisoned in what were claimed to be harsh conditions. Order No. 270, dated August 16, 1941, was issued by Joseph Stalin. The order required superiors to shoot deserters on the spot, their family members were subjected to arrest. Order No. 227, dated July 28, 1942, directed that each Army must create "blocking detachments" which would shoot "cowards" and fleeing panicked troops at the rear. Many Soviet soldier deserters of the Soviet War in Afghanistan explain their reasons for desertion as political and in response to internal disorganization and disillusionment regarding their position in the war. Analyses of desertion rates argue that motivations were far less ideological than individual accounts claim. Desertion rates increased prior to announcements of upcoming operations, were highest during the summer and winter. Seasonal desertions were a response to the harsh weather conditions of the winter and immense field work required in the summer.
A significant jump in desertion in 1989 when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan may suggest a higher concern regarding returning home, rather than an overall opposition towards the war itself. In the beginning of the Soviet invasion, the majority of Soviet forces were soldiers of Central Asian republics; the Soviets believed that shared ideologies between Muslim Central Asians and Afghan soldiers would build trust and morale within the army. However, Central Asians' longstanding historical frustrations with Moscow degraded soldiers' willingness to fight for the Red Army; as Afghan desertion grew and Soviet opposition was strengthened within Afghanistan, the Soviet plan overtly backfired. The personal histories of Central Asian ethnic groups – between Pashtuns and Tajiks, caused tension within the Soviet military. Non-Russian ethnic groups related the situation in Afghanistan to Communist takeover of their own states' forced induction into the USSR
Lady Charles Bentinck
Lady Charles Bentinck, known between 1806 and 1816 as Lady Abdy, was a British aristocrat and a great-great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a daughter of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, his mistress, Hyacinthe-Gabrielle Roland, an actress at the Palais Royal, her paternal grandparents were Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington, Anne Hill, daughter of Arthur Hill-Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon. Her paternal uncles included Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington, Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley, her parents were married six years after her birth, on 29 March 1794, at which point she was legitimized. On 3 July 1806, she married Sir William Abdy, 7th Baronet, their marriage remained childless. Abdy had introduced her to his friend Lord Charles Bentinck, a younger son of former British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland. At some point during her first marriage and Lord Charles became lovers, they eloped on 5 September 1815, following which Abdy brought a suit for criminal conversation for 30,000 pounds, but won only 7,000 pounds in damages.
During the discussion of the divorce bill, the customary provision against remarriage was struck out in the House of Lords. Sir William Abdy was granted a divorce by royal consent to a special Act of Parliament on 25 June 1816. Anne and Lord William were married on 23 July 1816, enabling their first child to be born legitimate three weeks later, they had four children: Anne Hyacinthe Cavendish-Bentinck Emily Cavendish-Bentinck, who married the Rev. Henry Hopwood and had children; the Reverend Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck: Father to Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck, maternal grandfather to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and great-grandfather to Queen Elizabeth II. Lt.-Gen. Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck: He married firstly Elizabeth Sophia Hawkins-Whitshed, he married secondly Augusta 1st Baroness Bolsover. Her profile at Worldroots.com A Right Royal Scandal: Two marriages that changed history
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief. In an narrower sense, atheism is the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists; the etymological root for the word atheism originated before the 5th century BCE from the ancient Greek ἄθεος, meaning "without god". In antiquity it had multiple uses as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshiped by the larger society, those who were forsaken by the gods, or those who had no commitment to belief in the gods; the term denoted a social category created by orthodox religionists into which those who did not share their religious beliefs were placed. The actual term atheism emerged first in the 16th century. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope.
The first individuals to identify themselves using the word atheist lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution, noted for its "unprecedented atheism," witnessed the first major political movement in history to advocate for the supremacy of human reason; the French Revolution can be described as the first period where atheism became implemented politically. Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include arguments that there is a lack of empirical evidence, the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified, the argument from nonbelief. Nonbelievers contend that atheism is a more parsimonious position than theism and that everyone is born without beliefs in deities. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. Since conceptions of atheism vary, accurate estimations of current numbers of atheists are difficult.
According to global Win-Gallup International studies, 13% of respondents were "convinced atheists" in 2012, 11% were "convinced atheists" in 2015, in 2017, 9% were "convinced atheists". However, other researchers have advised caution with WIN/Gallup figures since other surveys which have used the same wording for decades and have a bigger sample size have reached lower figures. An older survey by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2004 recorded atheists as comprising 8% of the world's population. Other older estimates have indicated that atheists comprise 2% of the world's population, while the irreligious add a further 12%. According to these polls and East Asia are the regions with the highest rates of atheism. In 2015, 61 % of people in China reported; the figures for a 2010 Eurobarometer survey in the European Union reported that 20% of the EU population claimed not to believe in "any sort of spirit, God or life force". Writers disagree on how best to define and classify atheism, contesting what supernatural entities are considered gods, whether it is a philosophic position in its own right or the absence of one, whether it requires a conscious, explicit rejection.
Atheism has been regarded as compatible with agnosticism, has been contrasted with it. A variety of categories have been used to distinguish the different forms of atheism; some of the ambiguity and controversy involved in defining atheism arises from difficulty in reaching a consensus for the definitions of words like deity and god. The plurality of wildly different conceptions of God and deities leads to differing ideas regarding atheism's applicability; the ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. This view fell into disfavor as theism came to be understood as encompassing belief in any divinity. With respect to the range of phenomena being rejected, atheism may counter anything from the existence of a deity, to the existence of any spiritual, supernatural, or transcendental concepts, such as those of Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. Definitions of atheism vary in the degree of consideration a person must put to the idea of gods to be considered an atheist.
Atheism has sometimes been defined to include the simple absence of belief. This broad definition would include newborns and other people who have not been exposed to theistic ideas; as far back as 1772, Baron d'Holbach said. George H. Smith suggested that: "The man, unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god; this category would include the child with the conceptual capacity to grasp the issues involved, but, still unaware of those issues. The fact that this child does not believe in god qualifies him as an atheist." Implicit atheism is "the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it" and explicit atheism is the conscious rejection of belief. For the purposes of his paper on "philosophical atheism", Ernest Nagel contested including mere absence of theistic belief as a type of atheism. Graham Oppy classifies as innocents those who never considered the question because they lack any understanding of what a god is. According to Oppy, these could be one-month-old babies, humans with severe traumatic brain injuries, or patients with advanced dementia.
Philosophers such as Antony Flew and Michael Martin have contrasted positive (st
Dora de Houghton Carrington, known as Carrington, was an English painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group the writer Lytton Strachey. The daughter of a Liverpool merchant, Carrington was born in Hereford and attended the all-girls' Bedford High School which emphasized art, her parents paid for her to receive extra lessons in drawing. In 1910, she went to the Slade School of Art at University College, London where she subsequently won a scholarship. All at one time or another were in love with her, as was Nash's younger brother John Nash, who hoped to marry her. Gertler pursued Carrington for a number of years, they had a brief sexual relationship during the years of the First World War. From her time at the Slade onwards, she was known by her surname, she was not well known as a painter during her lifetime, as she exhibited and did not sign her work. She worked for a while at the Omega Workshops, for the Hogarth Press, designing woodcuts.
Carrington was not a member of the Bloomsbury Group, though she was associated with Bloomsbury and, more with "Bohemian" attitudes, through her long relationship with the homosexual writer Lytton Strachey, whom she first met in 1916. Distinguished by her cropped pageboy hair style and somewhat androgynous appearance, she was troubled by her sexuality, she had a significant relationship with the writer Gerald Brenan. In his first novel Crome Yellow, Aldous Huxley based the character of Mary Bracegirdle on Carrington, described how she and he slept on the roof of "Lollipop Hall", based on Lady Ottoline Morrell's home, he chose the name "Bracegirdle" because of Dora's chastity. In June 1918, Virginia Woolf wrote of Carrington in her diary: "She is odd from her mixture of impulse & self consciousness. I wonder sometimes what she’s at: so eager to please, restless, & active.... Ut she is such a bustling eager creature, so red & solid, & at the same time inquisitive, that one can’t help liking her."
Carrington first set up house with Lytton Strachey in November 1917, when they moved together to Tidmarsh Mill House, near Pangbourne, Berkshire. Carrington met Ralph Partridge, an Oxford friend of her younger brother Noel, in 1918. Partridge fell in love with Carrington and in 1921, Carrington agreed to marry him, not for love but to hold the ménage à trois together. Strachey paid for the wedding, accompanied the couple on their honeymoon in Venice; the three moved to Ham Spray House in Wiltshire in 1924. In 1926, Ralph Partridge began an affair with Frances Marshall, left to live with her in London, his marriage to Carrington was over, but he continued to visit her most weekends. In 1928 Carrington met Bernard ‘Beakus’ Penrose, a friend of Partridge’s and the younger brother of the artist Roland Penrose, began an affair with him; the affair energized Carrington's artistic creativity, she collaborated with Penrose on the making of three films. However, Penrose wanted Carrington for himself, a commitment she refused to make because of her love for Strachey.
The affair, her last with a man, ended when Carrington had an abortion. During her lifetime, Carrington's work received no critical attention; the lack of encouragement may have kept her from displaying her artwork. Carrington's work can be described as progressive, because it did not fit into the mainstream of art in England at the time. In fact, her work was not considered art at all, it featured Victorian-style pictures which were made from coloured paper. Carrington included pen sketches in letters with the intention of entertaining them, she created woodblock prints, which were regarded. Her lesser-known work included painted pub signs and murals, ceramics and tin trunks. Carrington was better known for her landscape paintings, her landscapes blend the facts of visual perception with interior fantasies. One work of art, Mountain Ranges from Yegen, Andalusia, 1924, shows the split in perspectives. There is an intimate foreground, there is in the distance a view of the mountains; the main focus, on the middle mountains, exhibit the texture of human skin.
This merges the notion of the personal being made public. Lytton Strachey died of stomach cancer at Ham Spray in January 1932. Carrington, who saw no purpose in a life without Strachey, committed suicide two months after his death by shooting herself with a gun borrowed from her friend, Hon. Bryan Guinness, her body was cremated and the ashes buried under the laurels in the garden of Ham Spray House. An accomplished painter of both portraits and landscape, she worked in applied and decorative arts, painting on any type of surface she had at hand including inn signs and furniture, she decorated pottery and designed the library at Ham Spray. In 1970 David Garnett published a selection of letters and extracts from her diary, since which time critical and popular appreciation of her work has risen sharply. In 1978, Sir John Rothenstein, for nearly thirty years Director of the Tate Gallery, called Dora Carrington "the most neglected serious painter of her time." "That is no longer the case. In 1995 she was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London."
Two of her works are in the Tate London. Carrington's life with Strachey wa
Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county; the city is 51 miles from London, 61 miles from Bristol, 59 miles from Southampton, 57 miles from Birmingham and 24 miles from Reading. The city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate notable examples of every English architectural period since the late Saxon period. Oxford is known as a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold. Oxford has a broad economic base, its industries include motor manufacturing, publishing and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses, some being academic offshoots. Oxford was first settled in Anglo-Saxon times and was known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "ford of the oxen".
It began with the establishment of a river crossing for oxen around AD 900. In the 10th century, Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes. In 1002, many Danes were killed in Oxford during the England-wide St. Brice's Day massacre, a killing of Danes ordered by King Æthelred the Unready; the skeletons of more than 30 suspected victims were unearthed in 2008 during the course of building work at St John's College. The ‘massacre’ was a contributing factor to King Sweyn I of Denmark’s invasion of England in 1003 and the sacking of Oxford by the Danes in 1004. Oxford was damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066. Following the conquest, the town was assigned to a governor, Robert D'Oyly, who ordered the construction of Oxford Castle to confirm Norman authority over the area; the castle has never been used for military purposes and its remains survive to this day. D'Oyly set up a monastic community in the castle consisting of a chapel and living quarters for monks.
The community never grew large but it earned its place in history as one of Britain's oldest places of formal education. It was there that in 1139 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his History of the Kings of Britain, a compilation of Arthurian legends. Additionally, there is evidence of Jews living in the city as early as 1141, during the 12th century the Jewish community is estimated to have numbered about 80–100; the city was besieged during The Anarchy in 1142. In 1191, a city charter stated in Latin, "Be it known to all those present and future that we, the citizens of Oxford of the Commune of the City and of the Merchant Guild have given, by this, our present charter, confirm the donation of the island of Midney with all those things pertaining to it, to the Church of St. Mary at Oseney and to the canons serving God in that place. Since, every year, at Michaelmas the said canons render half a mark of silver for their tenure at the time when we have ordered it as witnesses the legal deed of our ancestors which they made concerning the gift of this same island.
We have made this concession and confirmation in the Common council of the City and we have confirmed it with our common seal. These are those who have made this confirmation. Oxford's prestige was enhanced by its charter granted by King Henry II, granting its citizens the same privileges and exemptions as those enjoyed by the capital of the kingdom. Oxford's status as a liberty obtained from this period until the 19th century. A grandson of King John established Rewley Abbey for the Cistercian Order. Parliaments were held in the city during the 13th century; the Provisions of Oxford were instigated by a group of barons led by Simon de Montfort. Richard I of England and John, King of England the sons of Henry II of England, were both born at Beaumont Palace in Oxford, on 8 September 1157 and 24 December 1166 respectively. A plaque in Beaumont Street commemorates these events; the University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th-century records. Of the hundreds of Aularian houses that sprang up across the city, only St Edmund Hall remains.
What put an end to the halls was the emergence of colleges. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College and Merton; these colleges were established at a time when Europeans were starting to translate the writings of Greek philosophers. These writings challenged European ideology, inspiring scientific discoveries and advancements in the arts, as society began to see itself in a new way; these colleges at Oxf