Dr Radcliffe's Funeral

John Radcliffe was buried in Oxford with great ceremony on 1 December 1714. His fine elm coffin arrived in Oxford on a hearse drawn by six grey horses and decorated with assorted plumes, escutcheons, banners, streamers and shields.

On its journey from the doctor's estate at Carshalton in Surrey the hearse had been attended by ten pages in mourning; twenty men had ridden before it on white horses, and after it had followed six coaches, each drawn by six horses. Over 300 Masters of Arts paid their respects to Radcliffe's corpse while it lay in the Divinity School.

As the funeral procession followed the coffin to the University Church of St Mary's a bell was tolled at every one of the University's colleges and halls. The church was arrayed in numerous hangings and coverings and the area around the grave filled with trophies.

Everything was done on the grandest scale: altogether, the Vice-Chancellor's expenses and the bills of the parish, the funeral director, the carpenter, the mason and the goldsmiths came to over £700.

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Sketch of the Radcliffe Camera
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