Penny universities

Penny universities. If you google * these words, you’ll find a lot of websites about coffeehouses. How come? *

The first coffeehouses in England were opened in Oxford in* the 1650s. They were known as penny universities and blossomed * in* the 17th and 18th centuries. People were charged one penny to enter these places and drink coffee.

Since it only cost * a penny to enter, they attracted people from all social and economic classes (from businessmen and merchants to students and seamen), which was unusual at the time. They also had access to pamphlets and newspapers, and talked about politics, economics, business, fashion, etc. while drinking coffee, not alcohol. It created a unique environment that encouraged the exchange of ideas and led * to intellectual discovery.


According to Wikipedia, the word “coffee” entered the English language in* 1582 via the Dutch koffie borrowed from the Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from the Arabic qahwah. The word qahwah originally referred to a type of wine.

* Prepositions of time: at, on, in

  • at + clock time, midday/noon, midnight: at 3 o’clock, at 7.45, at noon
  • on + days: on Monday, on Saturday
    on + dates: on December 23, on July 17
  • in + months: in May, in January
    in + seasons: in winter, in fall
    in + years: in 1879, in 2006
    in + decades: in the 1920s, in the 1680s
    in + centuries: in the 20th century
    in + longer periods of time: in the Middle Ages
    in + moments of the day: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening BUT at night