One Man’s Legacy

Dr John RadcliffeNicola here, talking today about the influence of Dr John Radcliffe on the beautiful city of Oxford. I’m fortunate enough to live only 20 miles from the “City of the dreaming spires” and I visit it as often as I can. The sense of history in Oxford is all pervasive and very inspiring and last month I had an extra-special treat; a tour of two of Oxford’s most iconic buildings, The Radcliffe Infirmary and the Radcliffe Observatory.

Dr John Radcliffe was an English physician, politician and academic. He was born in 1652 in Yorkshire and educated at Oxford University from the age of 13. He rose to become court physician to William and Mary and is buried in Oxford. When he died he left £40k in his will, which was used to endow a library and other academic projects in the city. Amongst the buildings constructed with funds from his estate was a new quadrangle for University College, and also the Radcliffe Camera, which housed the university’s science library.

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