Education: Subtle Scheme?

Generation after generation with but minor variations, the drama was repeated in Oxford's pubs. Students bending the elbow in a taproom would hear a sudden whispered warning, scuttle for the back exits. The slow were overtaken by hard-breathing "bullers" (bowler-hatted, black-coated Oxford cops) who tipped their hats and inquired "Are you a member of the university, sir?" After the inevitable admission, the guilty were led to a solemn and unhurried figure standing nearby in cap & gown—a university proctor—who demanded "Name and college, sir?"

Next day, in dark suits, white bow ties and black gowns, the culprits would present themselves at the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!