Prof. Patrick Collinson

The late Patrick Collinson was admitted to his fellowship at Trinity College in 1988, the year in which he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge. He was Regius Professor Emeritus from 1996 until his death. Patrick was educated at the King’s School Ely and Pembroke College Cambridge, where he read History between 1949 and 1952. He went on to postgraduate work in Elizabethan History in the University of London, where he was supervised by Professor Sir John Neale. In 1957 he was awarded his Ph.D. for a thesis on Elizabethan Puritanism. By then he was lecturing in the University of Khartoum, where he spent five years, and where he met and married his wife, Elizabeth Selwyn. In 1961 he became a Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at King’s College London.

In 1969 he was appointed to his first chair, in the University of Sydney. He and his family spent six years in Australia before returning to England. He was Professor of History at the University of Kent at Canterbury and Professor of Modern History at the University of Sheffield, before coming back to Cambridge in 1988. Patrick Collinson was awarded the C.B.E. and was a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Essex, Kent at Canterbury, Oxford, Sheffield, Warwick and York, and by Trinity College Dublin; and he was the recipient of three festschrifts. He died in September 2011.

Patrick Collinson’s books include The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (1967), The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559-1625: the Ford Lectures 1979 (1982) and The Reformation (2003). He is the author of the life of Elizabeth I in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Possibly his most influential publication has been a lecture published as The Monarchical Republic of Elizabeth I which in 2007 inspired a collection called The Monarchical Republic of Early Modern England: Essays in Response to Patrick Collinson, ed. John F. McDiarmid.

The Memoir which follows on the Trinity College website, History of a History Man, consists of a preface and seventeen more or less chronological and illustrated chapters. These can be accessed as a whole or individually below, or purchased as a printed book (see foot of page).

Patrick Collinson's memoirs have now been published in print by Boydell and Brewer as a volume in the Church of England Record Society series under the title The History of a History Man: Or, the Twentieth Century Viewed from a Safe Distance. The Memoirs of Patrick Collinson (Woodbridge, 2011) [ISBN: 9781843836278]