Melvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg, is an English broadcaster and parliamentarian. He is best known for his work with ITV as editor and presenter of The South Bank Show, for the Radio 4 discussion series In Our Time. Earlier in his career, Bragg worked for the BBC in various roles including presenter, a connection that resumed in 1988 when he began to host Start the Week on Radio 4. After his ennoblement in 1998, he switched to presenting the new In Our Time, an academic discussion radio programme, which has run to over 800 broadcast editions, is a popular podcast, he was Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1999 until 2017. Bragg was born on 6 October 1939 in Carlisle, the son of Mary Ethel, a tailor, Stanley Bragg, a stock keeper turned mechanic, he was given the name Melvyn by his mother. He was raised in the small town of Wigton, where he attended the Wigton primary school and The Nelson Thomlinson School, where he was Head Boy, he was an only child, born a year. His father was away from home serving with the Royal Air Force for four years during the war.
His upbringing and childhood experiences were typical of the working class environment of that era. As a child, the woman he was led to believe was his maternal grandmother was in reality the foster parent of his own mother. From the age of 8 until he left for university, his family home was above a pub in Wigton, the Black-A-Moor Hotel, of which his father had become the landlord. Into his teens he played rugby in his school's first team. Encouraged by a teacher who had recognised his work ethic, Bragg was one of an increasing number of working class teenagers of the era being given a path to university through the grammar school system. At university he read Modern History at Oxford, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Throughout his working life, Bragg has combined a career in broadcasting with one in writing. Bragg began his career in 1961 as a general trainee at the BBC, he was the recipient of one of only three traineeships awarded that year. He spent his first two years in radio at the BBC World Service at the BBC Third Programme and BBC Home Service.
He joined the production team of Huw Wheldon's Monitor arts series on BBC Television. He presented the BBC books programme Read The Lively Arts, a BBC Two arts series, he edited and presented the London Weekend Television arts programme The South Bank Show from 1978 to 2010. His interview with playwright Dennis Potter shortly before his death is cited as one of the most moving and memorable television moments ever. By being just as interested in popular as well as classical genres, he is credited with making the arts more accessible and less elitist, he was Head of Arts at LWT from 1982 to 1990 and Controller of Arts at LWT from 1990. He is known for his many programmes on BBC Radio 4, including Start the Week, The Routes of English, In Our Time, which in March 2011 broadcast its 500th programme. Bragg's pending departure from the South Bank Show was portrayed by The Guardian as the last of the ITV grandees, speculating that the next generation of ITV broadcasters would not have the same longevity or influence as Bragg or his ITV contemporaries John Birt, Greg Dyke, Michael Grade and Christopher Bland.
In 2012 he brought The South Bank Show back to Sky Arts 1. In December 2012, he began The Value of Culture, a five-part series on BBC Radio 4 examining the meaning of culture, expanding on Matthew Arnold's landmark collection of essays Culture and Anarchy. In June 2013 Bragg wrote and presented The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England, broadcast by the BBC; this told the dramatic story of William Tyndale's mission to translate the Bible from the original languages to English. In February 2012, he began Melvyn Bragg on Class and Culture, a three-part series on BBC2 examining popular media culture, with an analysis of the British social class system. Bragg appeared on the Front Row "Cultural Exchange" on May Day 2013, he nominated a self-portrait by Rembrandt as a piece of art which he had found interesting. In 2015, Bragg was appointed as a Vice President of the Royal Television Society. Having produced unpublished short stories since age 19, Bragg had decided to become a writer after university.
He recognised that writing would not at least, earn him a living, he took the opportunity at the BBC that arose after he had applied for posts in a variety of industries. While at the BBC, he continued writing. Publishing his first novel in 1965, he decided to leave the BBC to concentrate full-time on writing. Although he published several works, he was unable to make a living, forcing a return to television by the mid-1970s. A novelist and writer of non-fiction, Bragg has written a number of television and film screenplays; some of his early television work was in collaboration with Ken Russell, for whom he wrote the biographical dramas The Debussy Film and Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World, as well as Russell's film about Tchaikovsky, The Music Lovers. Most of his novels are autobiographical fictions, set in an around the town of Wigton during his childhood. By the 1990s, having received a range of reviews for his work, from outstanding to lazy, some critics were suggesting that splitting his time between writing and broadcasting was detrimental to the quality, that his media profile and his known sensitivity to criticism made him an eas
Whigs (British political party)
The Whigs were a political faction and a political party in the parliaments of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with the Tories; the Whigs' origin lay in constitutional opposition to absolute monarchy. The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were the standing enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic; the Whigs took full control of the government in 1715 and remained dominant until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in. The Whig Supremacy was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 by Tory rebels; the Whigs purged the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local offices. The Party's hold on power was so strong and durable, historians call the period from 1714 to 1783 the age of the Whig Oligarchy; the first great leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government through the period 1721–1742 and whose protégé Henry Pelham led from 1743 to 1754.
Both parties began as loose groupings or tendencies, but became quite formal by 1784 with the ascension of Charles James Fox as the leader of a reconstituted Whig Party, arrayed against the governing party of the new Tories under William Pitt the Younger. Both parties were founded on rich politicians more than on popular votes, there were elections to the House of Commons, but a small number of men controlled most of the voters; the Whig Party evolved during the 18th century. The Whig tendency supported the great aristocratic families, the Protestant Hanoverian succession and toleration for nonconformist Protestants, while some Tories supported the exiled Stuart royal family's claim to the throne and all Tories supported the established Church of England and the gentry. On, the Whigs drew support from the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants, while the Tories drew support from the landed interests and the royal family. However, by the first half of the 19th century the Whig political programme came to encompass not only the supremacy of parliament over the monarch and support for free trade, but Catholic emancipation, the abolition of slavery and expansion of the franchise.
The 19th century Whig support for Catholic emancipation was a complete reversal of the party's historic anti-Catholic position at its late 17th century origin. The term "Whig" was short for "whiggamor", a term meaning "cattle driver" used to describe western Scots who came to Leith for corn. In the reign of Charles I the term was used during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms to refer derisively to a radical faction of the Scottish Covenanters who called themselves the "Kirk Party", it was applied to Scottish Presbyterian rebels who were against the King's Episcopalian order in Scotland. The term "Whig" entered English political discourse during the Exclusion Bill crisis of 1678–1681 when there was controversy about whether or not King Charles II's brother, should be allowed to succeed to the throne on Charles's death. "Whig" was a term of abuse applied to those who wanted to exclude James on the grounds that he was a Roman Catholic. The fervent Tory Samuel Johnson joked that "the first Whig was the Devil".
Under Lord Shaftesbury's leadership, the Whigs in the Parliament of England wished to exclude the Duke of York from the throne due to his Roman Catholicism, his favouring of monarchical absolutism, his connections to France. They believed the heir presumptive, if allowed to inherit the throne, would endanger the Protestant religion and property; the first Exclusion Bill was supported by a substantial majority on its second reading in May 1679. In response, King Charles prorogued Parliament and dissolved it, but the subsequent elections in August and September saw the Whigs' strength increase; this new parliament did not meet for thirteen months, because Charles wanted to give passions a chance to die down. When it met in October 1680, an Exclusion Bill was introduced and passed in the Commons without major resistance, but was rejected in the Lords. Charles dissolved Parliament in January 1681, but the Whigs did not suffer serious losses in the ensuing election; the next Parliament first met in March at Oxford, but Charles dissolved it after only a few days, when he made an appeal to the country against the Whigs and determined to rule without Parliament.
In February, Charles had made a deal with the French King Louis XIV, who promised to support him against the Whigs. Without Parliament, the Whigs crumbled due to government repression following the discovery of the Rye House Plot; the Whig peers, the Earl of Melville, the Earl of Leven, Lord Shaftesbury, Charles II's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth, being implicated, fled to and regrouped in the United Provinces. Algernon Sidney, Sir Thomas Armstrong and William Russell, Lord Russell, were executed for treason; the Earl of Essex committed suicide in the Tower of London over his arrest for treason, whilst Lord Grey of Werke escaped from the Tower. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Queen Mary II and King William III governed with both Whigs and Tories, despite the fact that many of the Tories still supported the deposed Roman Catholic James II. William saw that the Tories were friendlier to royal authority than the Whigs and he employed both groups in his government, his early ministry was Tory, but the government came to be dominated by the so-called Junto Whig
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation, it grew from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge; the two'ancient universities' are jointly called'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world; the university is made up of 38 constituent colleges, a range of academic departments, which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities, it does not have a main campus, its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre.
Undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly tutorials at the colleges and halls, supported by classes, lectures and laboratory work provided by university faculties and departments. It operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, the university had a total income of £2.237 billion, of which £579.1 million was from research grants and contracts. The university is ranked first globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as of 2019 and is ranked as among the world's top ten universities, it is ranked second in all major national league tables, behind Cambridge. Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 27 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world; as of 2019, 69 Nobel Prize winners, 3 Fields Medalists, 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals.
Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes. The University of Oxford has no known foundation date. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form as early as 1096, but it is unclear when a university came into being, it grew from 1167 when English students returned from the University of Paris. The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188 and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190; the head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231. The university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled from the violence to Cambridge forming the University of Cambridge; the students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two'nations', representing the North and the South.
In centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students' affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. In addition, members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence and maintained houses or halls for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities. Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, John Balliol, father of a future King of Scots. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a Lord Chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life. Thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses. In 1333–34, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III.
Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England in London. The new learning of the Renaissance influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, John Colet, the noted biblical scholar. With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling at the University of Douai; the method of teaching at Oxford was transformed from the medieval scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered losses of land and revenues. As a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxford's reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment. In 1636 William Laud, the chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university's statutes. These, to a large extent, remained its gove
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox, styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned 38 years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and, the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger. His father Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, a leading Whig of his day, had been the great rival of Pitt's famous father William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, he rose to prominence in the House of Commons as a forceful and eloquent speaker with a notorious and colourful private life, though his opinions were rather conservative and conventional. However, with the coming of the American War of Independence and the influence of the Whig Edmund Burke, Fox's opinions evolved into some of the most radical to be aired in the Parliament of his era. Fox became a staunch opponent of George III, whom he regarded as an aspiring tyrant. Serving as Britain's first Foreign Secretary in the ministry of the Marquess of Rockingham in 1782, he returned to the post in a coalition government with his old enemy Lord North in 1783.
However, the King forced Fox and North out of government before the end of the year, replacing them with the twenty-four-year-old Pitt the Younger, Fox spent the following twenty-two years facing Pitt and the government benches from across the Commons. Though Fox had little interest in the actual exercise of power and spent the entirety of his political career in opposition, he became noted as an anti-slavery campaigner, a supporter of the French Revolution, a leading parliamentary advocate of religious tolerance and individual liberty, his friendship with his mentor Burke and his parliamentary credibility were both casualties of Fox's support for France during the Revolutionary Wars, but he went on to attack Pitt's wartime legislation and to defend the liberty of religious minorities and political radicals. After Pitt's death in January 1806, Fox served as Foreign Secretary in the'Ministry of All the Talents' of William Grenville, before he died on 13 September 1806, aged 57. Fox was born at 9 Conduit Street, the second surviving son of Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, Lady Caroline Lennox, a daughter of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond.
Henry Fox was rival of Pitt the Elder. He had amassed a considerable fortune by exploiting his position as Paymaster General of the forces. Fox's elder brother, Stephen became 2nd Baron Holland, his younger brother, had a distinguished military career. Fox was the darling of his father, who found Charles "infinitely engaging & clever & pretty" and, from the time that his son was three years old preferred his company at meals to that of anyone else; the stories of Charles's over-indulgence by his doting father are legendary. It was said that Charles once expressed a great desire to break his father's watch and was not restrained or punished when he duly smashed it on the floor. On another occasion, when Henry had promised his son that he could watch the demolition of a wall on his estate and found that it had been destroyed, he ordered the workmen to rebuild the wall and demolish it again, with Charles watching. Given carte blanche to choose his own education, in 1758 Fox attended a fashionable Wandsworth school run by a Monsieur Pampellonne, followed by Eton College, where he began to develop his lifelong love of classical literature.
In life he was said always to have carried a copy of Horace in his coat pocket. He was taken out of school by his father in 1761 to attend the coronation of George III, who would become one of his most bitter enemies, once more in 1763 to visit the Continent. On this trip, Charles was given a substantial amount of money with which to learn to gamble by his father, who arranged for him to lose his virginity, aged fourteen, to a Madame de Quallens. Fox returned to Eton that year, "attired in red-heeled shoes and Paris cut-velvet, adorned with a pigeon-wing hair style tinted with blue powder, a newly acquired French accent", was duly flogged by Dr. Barnard, the headmaster; these three pursuits – gambling and the love of things and fashions foreign – would become, once inculcated in his adolescence, notorious habits of Fox’s life. Fox entered Hertford College, Oxford, in October 1764, but left without graduating, being rather contemptuous of its "nonsenses", he went on several further expeditions to Europe, becoming well known in the great Parisian salons, meeting influential figures such as Voltaire, Edward Gibbon, the duc d'Orléans and the marquis de Lafayette, becoming the co-owner of a number of racehorses with the duc de Lauzun.
For the 1768 general election, Henry Fox bought his son a seat in Parliament for the West Sussex constituency of Midhurst, though Charles was still nineteen and technically ineligible for Parliament. Fox was to address the House of Commons some 254 times between 1768 and 1774 and gathered a reputation as a superb orator, but he had not yet developed the radical opinions for which he would become famous, thus he spent much of his early years unwittingly manufacturing ammunition for his critics and their accusations of hypocrisy. A supporter of the Grafton and North ministries, Fox was prominent in the campaign to punish the radical John Wilkes for challenging the Commons. "He thus opened his career by speaking in behalf of the Commons against the people and their elected representative." Both Fox and his brother, were insulted and pelted with mud in the street by the pro-Wilkes London crowds. However, between 1770 and 1774, Fox's promising career
University College, Oxford
University College, is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. It has a claim to being the oldest college of the university, having been founded in 1249 by William of Durham; as of 2018, the college had an estimated financial endowment of £132.7m. The college is associated with a number of influential people. Notable alumni include Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, Bill Clinton, Neil Gorsuch, Stephen Hawking, C. S. Lewis, V. S. Naipaul and Percy Bysshe Shelley. A legend arose in the 14th century that the college was founded by King Alfred in 872; this explains why the college arms are those attributed to King Alfred, why the Visitor is always the reigning monarch, why the college celebrated its millennium in 1872. Most agree, he bequeathed money to support ten or twelve masters of arts studying divinity, a property which became known as Aula Universitatis was bought in 1253. This date still allows the claim that Univ is the oldest of the Oxford colleges, although this is contested by Balliol College and Merton College.
Univ was only open to fellows studying theology until the 16th century. The college acquired four properties on its current site south of the High Street in 1332 and 1336 and built a quadrangle in the 15th century; as it grew in size and wealth, its medieval buildings were replaced with the current Main Quadrangle in the 17th century. Although the foundation stone was placed on 17 April 1634, the disruption of the English Civil War meant it was not completed until sometime in 1676. Radcliffe Quad followed more by 1719, the library was built in 1861. Like many of Oxford's colleges, University College accepted its first mixed-sex cohort in 1979, having been an institution for men only; the main entrance to the college is on the High Street and its grounds are bounded by Merton Street and Magpie Lane. The college is divided by Logic Lane, owned by the college and runs through the centre; the western side of the college is occupied by the library, the hall, the chapel and the two quadrangles which house both student accommodation and college offices.
The eastern side of the college is devoted to student accommodation in rooms above the High Street shops, on Merton Street or in the separate Goodhart Building. This building is named after former master of the college Arthur Lehman Goodhart. A specially constructed building in the college, the Shelley Memorial, houses a statue by Edward Onslow Ford of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley — a former member of the college, sent down for writing The Necessity of Atheism, along with his friend T. J. Hogg. Shelley is depicted lying dead on the Italian seashore; the college annexe on Staverton Road in North Oxford houses students after their second year. The college owns the University College Boathouse and a sports ground, located nearby on Abingdon Road; the Alternative Prospectus is produced by current students for prospective applicants. The publication was awarded a HELOA Innovation and Best Practice Award in 2011; the Univ Alternative Prospectus offers student written advice and guidance to potential Oxford applicants.
The award recognises the engagement of the college community, unique newspaper format, forward-thinking use of social media and the collaborative working between staff and students. University has the longest grace of any Oxford college, it is read before every Formal Hall, held Tuesday and Sunday at Univ. The reading is performed by a Scholar of the college and whoever is sitting at the head of High Table; the Scholar does not need to know it by heart, it is unusual for people to do so. Gratiarum actio in collegio magnae aulae universitatis quotidie ante mensam dicenda. SCHOLAR — Benedictus sit Deus in donis suis. RESPONSE — Et sanctus in omnibus operibus suis. SCHOLAR — Adiutorium nostrum in Nomine Domini. RESPONSE — Qui fecit coelum et terram. SCHOLAR — Sit Nomen Domini benedictum. RESPONSE — Ab hoc tempore usque in saecula. SCHOLAR — Domine Deus, Resurrectio et Vita credentium, Qui semper es laudandus tam in viventibus quam in defunctis, gratias Tibi agimus pro omnibus Fundatoribus caeterisque Benefactoribus nostris, quorum beneficiis hic ad pietatem et ad studia literarum alimur: Te rogantes ut nos, hisce Tuis donis ad Tuam gloriam recte utentes, una cum iis ad vitam immortalem perducamur.
Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. SCHOLAR — Deus det vivis gratiam, defunctis requiem: Ecclesiae, Regnoque nostro, pacem et concordiam: et nobis peccatoribus vitam aeternam. Amen; the Grace that must be said every day before dinner in University College. SCHOLAR — Blessed be God in his gifts. RESPONSE — And holy in all his works. SCHOLAR — Our help is in the name of the Lord. RESPONSE — Who has made heaven and earth. SCHOLAR — May the name of the Lord be blessed. RESPONSE — From this time and for evermore. SCHOLAR — Lord God, the Resurrection and Life of those who believe, You are always to be praised as much among the living as among the departed. We give You thanks for all our founders and our other benefactors, by whose benefactions we are nourished here for piety and for the study of letters, and we ask you that we, rightly using these Your gifts to Your glory, may be brought with them to immortal life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. SCHOLAR — May God give grace to the living, rest to the departed.
Amen.. Many influential politicians are associ
Faculty of History, University of Oxford
The Faculty of History at the University of Oxford organises that institution's teaching and research in modern history. Medieval and Modern History has been taught at Oxford for longer than at any other University, the first Regius Professor of Modern History was appointed in 1724; the Faculty is part of the Humanities Division, has been based at the former City of Oxford High School for Boys on George Street, Oxford since the summer of 2007, while the department's Library was removed from the former Indian Institute on Catte Street to the main Bodleian buildings at the start of 2013. Britain and Europe Group Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History Centre for the History of Childhood Late Antique & Byzantine Studies Modern European History Research Centre OxCRUSH: Oxford Centre for Research in United States History Oxford Centre for Medieval History Research Cluster in History of Science and Technology Wellcome Unit for History of Medicine, Oxford Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Matthew d'Ancona, former Editor of the Spectator Norman Davies Niall Ferguson John Gorton, Prime Minister of Australia Graham Greene Dominic Grieve, Attorney General of the United Kingdom Harald V of Norway, King of Norway T. E. Lawrence George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer Michael Palin Lester B.
Pearson, Prime Minister of Canada John Redwood, former Secretary of State for Wales Evelyn Waugh Andrew Lloyd Webber Eric Williams, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom