18. “Town vs Gown” Beefs Were Around For Centuries
Town and Gown, the distinct populations of university towns with the former being the locals and the latter the academic community, have often been at odds. One of the earliest examples of the two communities beefing occurred on February 10th, 1355, St. Scholastica Day. Two Oxford University students, Roger de Chesterfield and Walter Spryngheuse were having drinks at the Swindlestock Tavern in Oxford. At some point, they complained to the taverner, John Croidon, about the quality of the drinks, and he did not take kindly to their complaints.
One thing led to another, heated words were exchanged, and the students ended up throwing the drinks in the taverner’s face, as a prelude to beating the daylights out of him. Oxford’s mayor asked the university to arrest the thuggish students, but his request was ignored. Instead, 200 students sided with Springheuse and Chesterfield, and went on a rampage during which they assaulted the mayor and other Townies. Then it got ugly.