Oxford City Police
Shortly after its founding, in 1870, Oxford Police moved into the splendind half-timbered Kemp Hall, where they stayed until 1897, moving into purpose-built premises in Blue Boar Street. The alleyway to Kemp Hall continued to be known as Blue Lamp Alley long after the police had moved out. Kemp Hall is now better known as the lovely Chiang Mai Thai restaurant. It's a strange mix to eat Thai food in a 1637 English building, imagining the tramp of Victorian Coppers' boots.
Oxford has long been a favourite setting for fictional crime stories. But a glance at the city’s history reveals real-life events every bit as gory as anything Morse and Lewis may have encountered, dating back to the very earliest days of a settlement here. Oxford was in an important strategic position in Saxon Britain; by AD 1000 it had grown into a kind of Saxon conference centre. After repeated sackings by Danes, in 1002 and again in 1009, the towns inhabitants decided to take their revenge: they captured some of the invaders, including the King of Mercia, and burnt them alive in the streets.
Fair Rosamund, mistress of Henry II, fled in penitence to Godstow Nunnery, whose ruins till stand by the Thames just North of Oxford. Reputedly, however, Henry’s wife Eleanor would not let the matter rest. In her jealous rage she followed the girl to the nunnery, where she poisoned her. Though she was originally buried inside the building, the Bishop of Lincoln later ordered her to be reburied outside in unconsecrated ground, on account of her impure life.
The last man to be hanged publicly in Oxford was a Mr Codrington, who was executed for murder in 1791. His skeleton can still be found in the University Museum.
Oxford and Medicine
An atmospheric description of a very early Oxford blood transfusion is given in Iain Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost, where he describes activities by Robert Boyle and Richard Lower in 1663.
The Radcliffe Infirmary is no longer a hospital. It is now part of the Radcliffe Obersavtory Quarter, a new development by Oxford University housing many different faculties, though not the Medical Sciences which are variously housed in the Science Area and up at the JR Hospital.
Oxford Brookes University has a very good department of Nursing and Midwifery, placing many students at the JR.