THE greatness of the city of Oxford, a contraction of Oxenford, as quaintly depicted on the armorial shield by an ill-drawn ox making tentative efforts to cross a ford represented by horizontal zigzag waves, consists in its magnificent colleges, not huddled together, but dotted in all directions. Some authorities derive the name from Ouseford, from the river Ouse, now the Isis, and that the wealthy abbey, erected on an island in this river, was named Ouseney, or Osney, from the same source.
Didanus, an early Saxon prince, is credited with a monastic establishment, about the year 730, dedicated to St. Mary and All Saints, and founded for twelve sisters of noble birth. His daughter Frideswide was first abbess, and was after death canonised and buried in the abbey dedicated to St. Frideswide.
The origin of the city is attributed by some historians to the establishment of schools by Alfred