Lawrence of Jesus (Oxon.)

Just been listening to an absorbing Radio 4 programme by John Simpson about T.E. Lawrence, and was catapulted back to a sunny Saturday afternoon in September 1967, when I made my first visit to Oxford. I wandered into Jesus College (then open to the public) and vividly recall standing contemplating this plaque. (It’s strange how memory plays tricks on one: I’m convinced that I’d seen it in the college chapel, but various online sources concur that it’s in the entrance to the college by the Porters’ Lodge. Must have a look when I’m next in Oxford.)


Three years were spent here by Thomas Edward Lawrence who fearlessly championed the cause of Arabia when it was prostrate. This bronze is erected by the young men of Jesus College to preserve his name.

“Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars”.

The quotation is from Proverbs 9.1, and is obviously where he got the title of his account of the Arab Revolt during the 1914-18 War and of the part that he played in it.