St. Scholastica Day Riot: When English People Killed Dozens Over The Taste Of Wine

By Grace Taylor
St. Scholastica Day riot. (Howard Davies/Wikimedia Commons)

Don't you hate it when you get all gussied up and head out to a restaurant for a nice evening only to receive poor-quality food and bad service? Maybe you would send the food back, complain to the manager, or even leave a lousy tip. But have you ever thought about taking your glass and smashing it into the server's face? Hopefully not, but if you were an overly entitled Oxford student during the 14th century, you might do just that.

On February 10, 1335, a few Oxford students went to the popular Swindlestock Tavern, where they ordered a round of drinks. However, they were none too impressed with the wine they were served and hurled insults at the owner, John de Croydon, who took offense and insulted the students right back. In a tale as old as alcohol, things escalated quickly, and only moments later, the students began throwing their wine glasses at the owner. Soon, everyone in the bar joined in, and just like that, the drunk and angry mob were scuffling in the streets. This seemingly minor incident would rapidly devolve into a massive outbreak of violence that would leave hundreds injured and more than 90 people dead in an episode known now as the infamous St. Scholastica Day Riot.