Gardiner, Atkinson

Vol (),

Samuel Rawson Gardiner was born on 4 March 1829 at Alresford, Hampshire, educated at Winchester College and Christchurch College, Oxford where he obtained a first in Literae Humaniores. He was then elected to fellowships at All Souls (1884) and Merton (1892). He was professor of history at King’s College, London and in 1896 gave the first series of Ford Lectures at Oxford. He specialised in 17th century English history, and is regarded as one of the foremost historians of the Puritan revolution and the English Civil War.

His main works are three series of volumes

  • The History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 1603 – 1642 10 volumes, 1883-4.
  • The History of the Great Civil War, 1642-1649 5 volumes, 1893.
  • The History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649 – 1660 4 volumes, 1903.

His treatment of the period is exhaustive and philosophical, taking in political and constitutional history, the changes in religion, thought and sentiment, their causes and their tendencies. Of his original sources many only existed in manuscript, and his researches in public and private collections of manuscripts at home and also abroad in the archives of Simancas, Venice, Rome, Brussels and Paris were tireless and productive. His work is a worthy result of a life of unremitting labour, a splendid monument of historical scholarship. His position as an historian was formally recognised in 1882 when he was awarded a civil list pension of £150 p.a. “in recognition of his valuable contributions to the history of England”. In 1894 he declined the position of Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford lest its duties should interfere with the accomplishment of his history. He died on 24 February 1902.

His publications, other than those listed above, include

  • Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage, 1617 – 1623 (1869).
  • The Thirty Years War, 1618 – 1648 (1874)
  • The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1628 – 1660 (1889).
  • A Student’s History of England from the earliest Times to 1885 2 volumes (1890-1891).
  • The Hanoverian Period (1891).
  • What the Gunpowder Plot was (1897).
  • Oliver Cromwell (1899).
  • Letters and Papers relating to the First Dutch War, 1652-54 the first 3 volumes out of 6 (Navy Records Society, 1898, 1899, 1906).
  • Prince Rupert at Lisbon (1902).

See also

  • Mark Nixon Samuel Rawson Gardiner and the Idea of History (Boydell Press, 2010).


C.T. Atkinson born in 1874. He was Dean of Magdalen College, Oxford and from 1898 Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He was a Captain at the War Office, 1914-1919. He was a lecturer in Modern History. He vacated his fellowship in 1941, becoming Emeritus Fellow. He died in 1964

He took over from SR Gardiner, on his death in 1902, editing the papers relating to the First Dutch War, 1652-1654.

His publications include

  • A History of Germany, 1715-1815 (Methuen, 1908).
  • The Peninsula War (Quarterly Review, 1913).
  • Marlborough and the Rise of the British Army (Putnams, 1921).
  • Letters and Papers relating to the First Dutch War, 1652-1654, 4 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1906, 1910, 1912 and 1930).




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