William Stubbs

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Stubbs, William,

1825–1901, English historian, educated at Oxford. Ordained in 1850, he was a professor of modern history at Oxford until in 1884 he was made bishop of Chester. Stubbs's critical studies of source materials transformed the study of medieval history. His Constitutional History of England (3 vol., 1874–78) and Select Charters (1870, 9th ed. rev. by H. W. Davis, 1913) remain standard textbooks. Stubbs also edited many texts for the "Rolls Series" of medieval English chronicles.
William Stubbs
BirthplaceHigh Street, Knaresborough, England
Historian and Bishop
EducationRipon Grammar School

Stubbs, William


Born June 21, 1825, in Knaresborough, Yorkshire; died Apr. 22, 1901, in Cuddesdon, near Oxford. British medieval historian; bishop of Oxford (from 1888).

Stubbs was a conservative in his political views, while close to positivism in his methodology. His works are devoted to English constitutional history and the history of the English church. His main historical concern was to demonstrate the ancient traditions and exceptional virtues of the British parliamentary system, which, according to Stubbs, took form in the struggle between the ancient democratic institutions of the Anglo-Saxons and the strong Norman state. Stubbs also took an active part in publishing a series of primary sources—the Rolls Series—which came to comprise 19 volumes of English chronicles of the 11th through 15th centuries.


The Constitutional History of England, vols. 1–3. Oxford, 1874–78.
Registrum sacrum anglkanum. Oxford, 1858.
Select Charters and Other Illustrations of English Constitutional History, 2nd ed. Oxford, 1874.


Gutnova, E. V. Istoriografiia istorii srednikh vekov. Moscow, 1974. (See Index of Names.)