John Smith Roskell 1913–1998

Gerald Harriss

in Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 130, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IV

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263501
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734212 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

John Smith Roskell 1913–1998

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John Smith Roskell (1913–1998), a Fellow of the British Academy, defended a broadly neo-Stubbsian view of the British Parliament against the revisionists, while making a more critical and balanced assessment of the role of the Commons in what his mentor, J. G. Edwards, termed ‘The Second Century’ of its history, after 1377. Roskell brought to his work an unrivalled familiarity with the text of the parliament rolls in Britain, carefully scrutinising language and context to establish the development of the procedures and powers of the House of Commons. He steered to successful completion the official history of The House of Commons, 1386–1421, which bears the imprint of his approach. While at the University of Nottingham, he began to compile and publish in the relevant local history journals a series of biographies of speakers. During his retirement, Roskell wrote The History of Parliament covering the period 1386–1421.

Keywords: John Smith Roskell; Parliament; House of Commons; history; University of Nottingham; Britain

Chapter.  7708 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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