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Oxford Inscriptions: Botanic Garden


Danby Gate

The above inscription over the Danby Gate at the Botanic Garden reads:

GLORIAE DEI OPT. MAX.       HONORI CAROLI REGIS       IN USUM ACAD. & REIPUB.
HENRICUS       COMES      DANBY       D.D. MDCXXXII

D.D.

This translates as “To the Glory of God, the greatest and best, and in honour of King Charles, Henry Earl of Danby [gave this garden] in 1632 for the use of the University and the community”.

D.D. MDCXXXII presumably stands for “DONAVIT DEDICAVIT”, and Wood, City of Oxford, Vol. I, p. 292 duly gives D.D.

Although A.D. MDCXXXII is shown in a painting by Pugin dated 1816, and in this engraving, it appears that the inscription was wrongly restored as A.D. and then corrected. It is obvious that the two letters (left) were not carved at the same time or by the same hand, and the first one is on a different block of stone. Similarly those two images have another alteration that has been corrected: CAROLI I REGIS instead of CAROLI REGIS

On the inside of the Danby Gate (so not visible from the road) the top line of the above inscription is repeatEd in a slightly different order: HONORI CAROLI REGIS / GLORIAE DEI OPT. MAX / IN USUM ACAD. & REPUB.


Jewish Cemetery

 

 

This plaque is on the right-hand wall next to the outside of the Danby Gate. It was unveiled by the Revd H. E. Salter in 1931.

 

THIS STONE MARKS THE PLACE
OF THE JEWISH CEMETERY
UNTIL 1290

The small arrows above some of the characters form a cryptogram of the year 1290, when the Jews were expelled from England.

This is one of three plaques installed by Oxford City Council in 1931 to mark events connected with the medieval Jewish presence in Oxford (see report in Oxford Mail here). The other two commemorate:

A second, newer plaque about the medieval Jewish Cemetery

The plaque shown below is in the Rose Garden at the front of the Botanic Garden and also remembers the medieval Jewish Cemetery that was on this site. The slab was laid into the ground in July 2012 and soon became faded. It has since been propped up and the lettering recoloured.

Jewish Cemetery

Beneath this garden lies a medieval cemetery.

Around 1190 the Jews of Oxford purchased a water meadow outside the city walls to establish a burial ground.
In 1231 that land, now occupied by Magdalen College, was appropriated for the Hospital of St John and a small section of wasteland, where this memorial lies, was given to the Jews for a new cemetery.

An ancient footpath linked this cemetery with the medieval Jewish quarter quarter along Great Jewry Street, now St Aldates. / For over 800 years this path has been called ‘Deadman’s Walk’, a name that bears witness
to a community that / contributed to the growth of this City and and early University throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.

In 1290 all the Jews were expelled from England by King Edward I. They were not permitted to return for over 350 years.

May their memory be blessed


Discovery of penicillin

Inscription at Botanic Garden

 

THIS ROSE GARDEN WAS GIVEN
IN HONOUR OF THE RESEARCH
WORKERS IN THIS UNIVERSITY WHO
DISCOVERED THE CLINICAL
IMPORTANCE OF PENICILLIN.

FOR SAVING OF LIFE, RELIEF OF
SUFFERING AND INSPIRATION
TO FURTHER RESEARCH ALL
MANKIND IS IN THEIR DEBT.

THOSE WHO DID THIS WORK WERE

E P ABRAHAM     E CHAIN
C M FLETCHER     H W FLOREY
M E FLOREY    A D GARDNER
N G HEATLEY    M A JENNINGS
J ORR-EWING    A G SANDERS

——————

Presented by the
ALBERT and MARY LASKER FOUNDATION
New York   June 1953

This stone block is in the Rose Garden of the Oxford Botanic Garden and celebrates the discovery of penicillin.

Since this photograph was taken in 2012, J. ORR-EWING has been wrongly recarved as L. ORR-EWING. Jean Orr-Ewing (1898–1944) was Tutor in Medicine at Lady Margaret Hall.

The Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation was set up in New York in 1942. It recognizes the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of human disease.


Bacon quotation

 

This quotation, from Roger Bacon, Opus Majus (1267–8) is to the right of the entrance to the Daubeny building:

SINE EXPERI-
ENTIA NIHIL
SUFFICIENTER
SCIRI POTEST

[Without experiment, nothing
can be known sufficiently]

Date in Botanic Garden

 

[Three university crests}

1 7 8 0

 

This water collector is inside the Botanic Garden

Stephanie Jenkins