Frank Stenton

Sir Frank Merry Stenton (17 May 1880 – 15 September 1967) was a 20th-century historian of Anglo-Saxon England, and president of the Royal Historical Society (1937–1945).[1]

Frank Merry Stenton
Born(1880-05-17)17 May 1880
Manchester, England
Died15 September 1967(1967-09-15) (aged 87)
Spouse(s)Doris Mary Stenton

The son of Henry Stenton of Southwell, Nottinghamshire,[2] he was educated at Keble College, Oxford, and was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1947.[3]

He was the author of Anglo-Saxon England, a volume of the Oxford History of England, first published in 1943 and widely considered a classic history of the period. He delivered the Ford Lectures at Oxford University in 1929.

Stenton was a professor of history at the University of Reading (1926–1946), and subsequently the university's vice-chancellor (1946–1950). During his period as vice-chancellor at Reading, he presided over the university's purchase of Whiteknights Park, creating the new campus that allowed for the expansion of the university in later decades. In November 2008, it was announced that a new hall of residence to be constructed on that campus would be named Stenton Hall, in his honour.[4] The annual Stenton Lecture, given by an eminent historian, was inaugurated at Reading University in 1967.[5]

He was knighted in the 1948 New Year Honours,[6] and received the accolade from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on 10 February 1948.[7]

His wife, Doris Mary Stenton, wrote a preface to the third edition of Anglo-Saxon England, published after his death, and edited Preparatory to Anglo-Saxon England: Being the Collected Papers of Frank Merry Stenton, published in 1970. She was an historian in her own right, producing English Society in the Early Middle Ages for the Pelican History of England, and The English Woman in History (1957).[5]

Stenton's papers, together with those of his wife Lady Doris Stenton, their library and his coin collection are part of the special collections at Reading University.


  1. Institute of Historical Research, Summary; Royal Historical Society, 'About Us' Archived 2010-02-09 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  2. Northamptonshire Past and Present. 3–4. Northamptonshire Record Society. 1960. p. 181.
  3. Drennan, Basil St G., ed. (1970). The Keble College Centenary Register 1870–1970. Keble College, Oxford. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-85033-048-9.
  4. "University of Reading Bulletin (20 November 2008)" (PDF). University of Reading. p. 3. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  5. "Stenton Lecture". University of Reading, Dept. of History. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  6. "No. 38161". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1947. p. 2.
  7. "No. 38207". The London Gazette. 13 February 1948. pp. 1035–1036.
Academic offices
Preceded by
F.M. Powicke
President of the Royal Historical Society
Succeeded by
Robert William Seton-Watson
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