- (1825-1901)Historian, s. of a solicitor, b. at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and ed. there and at the Grammar School of Ripon, and Oxf. In 1848 he became a Fellow of Trinity Coll., and in the same year took orders and was appointed to the coll. living of Navestock in Essex, where he remained for 16 years, during which he began his historical researches, and pub. his earlier works. His first publication was Hymnale Secundum Usum Sarum. In 1858 appeared Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, a calendar of English bishops from Augustine; and then followed ed. of several Chronicles in the Rolls Series. The learning and critical insight displayed in these works commanded the attention and admiration of historical scholars both at home and on the Continent. In 1862 he was appointed librarian of Lambeth Palace, and in 1866 Prof. of Modern History at Oxf. There he pub. in 1870 his Select Charters, and his chief work, The Constitutional History of England (3 vols., 1874-78), which at once became the standard authority on its subject. It deals with the period preceding that with which the great work of Hallam begins. In 1879 he was appointed a Canon of St. Paul's, and in 1884 Bishop of Chester, whence he was translated five years later to Oxf. As an active prelate he was necessarily largely withdrawn from his historical researches; but at Chester he ed. two vols. of William of Malmesbury. S. was greater as a historian than as a writer, but he brought to his work sound judgment, insight, accuracy, and impartiality. He was a member of the French and Prussian Academies, and had the Prussian Order "Pour le Mérite" conferred upon him. Since his death his prefaces to the Rolls Series have been pub. separately.
Short biographical dictionary of English literature . John W. Cousin. 2011.
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