In Hargreaves-Mawdsley’s history of academic dress, there is a short paragraph on the attempt to abolish academic dress at Oxford during the Commonwealth in Britain. Hargreaves-Mawdsley noted that John Evelyn saw academic dress still in use in Oxford in 1654 but also indicated that, by 1658, there was a serious attempt by the Puritan authorities in the University to abolish academic robes. Hargreaves-Mawdsley mentioned that it was the proctor, Walter Pope, who averted the abolition. However he fails to give the account which lies behind the failed attempt at abolition. The purpose of this brief article is to recount Walter Pope’s own colourful narrative of the resistance to the attempt to abolish academic dress at Oxford. [Excerpt].

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