Map of Oxford
An interactive map of Oxford
In 1209, an Oxford "clerk" (university student) accidentally killed a woman and fled the scene. The enraged townspeople, unable to find the perpetrator, dragged his three roommates to prison and then, upon the order of King John (who was in a dispute at the time with the Pope, and therefore the University), hanged all three clerks. Rioting ensued, and a large number of masters and students left, some to nearby Reading, others to Paris, but most of them to Cambridge, where they started a new university.