These days Oxford is often called the heart of England, but it began life as a border town. Frideswide's convent was founded while the Saxon kingdoms were still young, but due to its location on the natural barrier of the Thames the small settlement was redesigned in the 10th century as a fortified burh to defend against the Danes, and its ownership soon became disputed. Its rebuilding had been ordered by Alfred, king of Wessex, but carried out by his daughter Aethelflaede, the Lady of Mercia, and it remained in Mercia's care only until she died, when it was reclaimed by her brother Edward, who, having succeeded to the throne of Wessex, was beginning to expand northwards.

Vampiric Oxford has been on the border with Sabbat Mercia for two centuries now, since the last of Wessex's northern territories, Gloucester, fell to Mercia, and is once again its most northern outpost and first line of defence. Fortunately, outright conflict is rare, but encounters with the Sabbat are frequent enough that Oxford's Brujah Prince needs to keep one careful eye on the frontier at all times.

For most Oxford kindred, however, the most significant feature of the city is the university. The Brujah played a large part in its founding, but other clans were quick to see its potential, and soon all seven clans were jostling to get as many fingers in the pie as possible. This has resulted in the complicated and jumbled structure of colleges, councils and committees that make up the university today and make it so difficult to get anything changed.

The Brujah are still strong in Oxford. The Tremere have seen fit to locate their main Chantry here, and the Ventrue are their main rivals for control of the university administration. However, all the clans have some representatives struggling to keep and expand their influence, which they exert largely through the colleges. Despite the consistent interest of all the clans, the residents of the southern cities often accuse Oxford of being a dangerous and uncivilised frontier town, and consider it so far from the capital as to be politically irrelevant. This reputation is not entirely deserved, but the feeling in the south is that anyone who matters lives in Portsmouth or Southampton.

The Prince, Marion, enforces the rules regarding admission to Oxford strictly. as a matter of Oxford security, given its position on the border. Those wishing to visit Oxford should apply in advance by writing or by phone to a certain ghoul of hers, who has a phone line specially for this purpose. He then passes the request onto her, and the applicant will be contacted later to be informed whether they may visit. She is very strict with those who turn up without permission. Granting her permission for someone to visit should be considered a favour (i.e. she may well expect something in return).

A general page, with a time line and a lovely section on former residents and organisations.
Some history.
More history.

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