Oxford History: University of Oxford oddments

Davis's Cartoons relating to the University of Oxford


George Davis opened a fancy-goods shop at 2 Cornmarket in 1890. He died in 1891 and his wife Matilda in 1904, but the business continued until 1911. The firm produced many cartoon postcards of the University.

Black coat edict

This postcard shows undergraduates entering the Examination Schools wearing jackets, commoners’ gowns, and mortar boards, but no trousers. At the Encaenia of 22 June 1904 the Public Orator (Dr Merry) referred in his Oration to the “black coat” edict issued by the Examiners in the academic year just coming to an end. Presumably either this edict or the Orator in his Latin speech inerted “only” in the wrong place, saying something like “Members of the University must wear only black coats when entering the Examination Schools.”

Under construction: more postcards to be added

© Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 7 May, 2022

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