Education: For Whom the Bells Tolled

It was the feast day of St. Scholastica the Virgin, and a bunch of the boys from Oxford University were out on the town. At the tavern called Swyndlestock, they ordered wine, but when John de Croydon brought it to them, they decided that it was no good. De Croydon said it was; the scholars said it wasn't. To emphasize their point, they threw it in the tavern keeper's face. With that gesture—just 600 years ago—began the bloodiest town-and-gown riot in the history of Oxford.

On hearing of the affront to their neighbor, the vintner's friends decided to arouse the town by...

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