E. F. Jacob

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Description:
Ernest Fraser Jacob (12 September 1894 – 7 October 1971) was a British medievalist and scholar.

Education

He was educated at Twyford School, Winchester College, and then for a period at New College, Oxford - broken by service in World War I. He won a fellowship to All Souls College, Oxford, and taught there and at Christ Church where his pupils included A. L. Rowse.

Professor

He was then Professor of History at Manchester University from 1929 to 1944 before returning to Oxford as Chichele Professor of Modern History at All Souls from 1950 until 1961. He was an able academic politician, and is said to have recruited Sir Lewis Namier to Manchester by reading in his newspaper that Namier had no position, making a phone-call to invite him to take a chair, and only then walking over to tell the Vice-Chancellor of the recruitment.

Controversy

Initially, he studied the thirteenth century, with perceptive 'Studies' in the period of baronial reform, but, disliking the powerful hold of Sir Maurice Powicke, he switched to the unresearched 1350-1500 period. His most important works were a four-volume edition of the register of Archbishop Henry Chichele of Canterbury, 1414-1443, founder of All Souls' and a volume in the magisterial Oxford History of England series, England in the Fifteenth Century. The first of these publications secured his reputation as a historian (although in fact his co-editor had actually transcribed the manuscript), but the latter caused considerable...
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