Vikings were the Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western Europe and its islands and then turned from raiding into settlers. This is the history of their exodus.
Francis Fortescue Urquhart was an English academic. He was born near Geneva in Switzerland, the son of David Urquhart and Harriet Angelina Fortescue. His father died in 1877, and his uncle Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue, 1st Baron Carlingford played an important role in bringing him up; his middle name Fortescue was added in recognition. He was educated at Beaumont College, Old Windsor, and Stonyhurst College, before becoming a student at Balliol College, Oxford.
He acquired the nickname "Sligger" as an undergraduate, around 1892. He was lecturer in history (from 1895) and Fellow (from 1896), at Balliol, later becoming Dean. He settled into a life as a "college man", spending much of his time entertaining students, whom he would also take on "reading parties" to his chalet at Chamonix in the vacation. Undergraduates who were in some way in his circle included Harold Macmillan, Evelyn Waugh, Cyril Connolly, Anthony Powell, Harold Nicolson, Quintin Hogg and many others. He is often taken as having influenced the fictional characters of Mr Samgrass in Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and, more closely, Sillery in Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time, as well as a character of Walter Pater.