Rivalry between Jesus and Exeter Colleges has been revived after the crown was stolen off the bust of Jesus College founder Queen Elizabeth I in their College hall. The crown has not been returned, nor have the perpetrators been identified, but students have theorised that the thieves attend Exeter College.
“The Exeter pranksters who have stolen the crown and who moved benches and threw towels around second quad in the last couple of weeks are being slowly honed in on through CCTV footage,” said a member of the JCR Health and Safety committee in an email to the JCR.
However, the JCR President has denied that there is any CCTV footage and has emphasised that despite allegations, “there has been no evidence to suggest that a student from that college is to blame for the missing crown”.
“We have a long-standing ‘banterous’ rivalry with Exeter,” explained JCR President Danielle Zigner.
It is believed that the theft took place in connection with the “Turl Street Dash”, an annual tradition in which Exeter and Jesus students race around the streets of Oxford on bicycles and consume copious amounts of alcohol. The event was banned in 2010, but still took place this year.
Students have speculated that the theft was premeditated, due to the assumed use of a screwdriver to remove the crown.
“These rapscallions probably thought they were carrying out the crime of the century, but it was hardly the Great Train Robbery – they could have gone for anything but made off with a rather perfunctory piece of wood covered in gold-leaf,” said Jim Waterson, a finalist reading History at Jesus.
“The crown was never my favourite anyway. If nothing else, ordering a replacement will allow us to modernise what is otherwise a rather dour piece of carving. Add a bit more bling to it, that sort of thing. Frankly, they can keep it.”
Some Jesus students, however, are less forgiving. “Maybe they should be put in their place with a spot of retribution, a giant flaming Jesus crest burning on first quad perhaps,” suggested Declan Clowry.