Sir John Clifford Mortimer, Barrister and Author 1923-2009

John Mortimer came up to Brasenose in 1940, where he studied Jurisprudence and was awarded his degree in 1943. He had been classified as medically unfit for active service, so was one of the many Brasenose students accommodated at Christ Church College during the Second World War. Brasenose had at this time been requisitioned by the military authorities.

Mortimer was called to the Bar (the Inner Temple) in 1948, taking silk in 1966. After a career in which he represented many high profile cases he retired in 1984.

As a writer he is most well-known for the television series Rumpole of the Bailey, which aired between 1975 and 1992. He also wrote several other TV, film and play scripts.

In 1986 he was awarded a CBE and in 1988 he was knighted. John Mortimer died in January 2009. Many of his novels have been published by Penguin.

Traditions and legends

From Ale Verses to a visit from the Devil, browse some of our quirky traditions and legends

College history

A concise history, with detail on our coat of arms and our name

Famous Brasenose Names

More information on historical figures connected to Brasenose

College buildings

An architectural history of our buildings


Click here for more information about the Archives