F. M. Powicke

F. M. Powicke
Maurice Powicke
Born Frederick Maurice Powicke
16 June 1879(1879-06-16)
Alnwick, England
Died 19 May 1963(1963-05-19) (aged 83)
Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
Nationality British
Occupation Historian
Known for Works on English medieval history
Title Regius Professor of Modern History
Term 1928-1947
Predecessor Henry William Carless Davis
Successor Vivian Hunter Galbraith

Sir Frederick Maurice Powicke (16 June 1879 - 19 May 1963) was an English medieval historian. He was a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, delivered the Ford Lectures in 1927, and from 1929 was Regius Professor of History at Oxford. He was knighted in 1946.

Character and historical writings

He was a tough, difficult man, small of build and with something of a Napoleon complex[citation needed]. Having succeeded as a student at Oxford (receiving First Class Honours there and at Manchester, his undergraduate college) he was determined to reinvigorate history there. That being said, he unquestionably made Oxford the leading centre in the country for historical study. On the other hand, his small size and poor abilities as an athlete may have led him to romanticize such characters as Edward I, who comes across as a nearly-perfect physical specimen in Powicke's work[original research?].

His daughter Janet married esteemed Oxford historian Richard Pares. Powicke wrote the volume The Thirteenth Century in the Oxford History of England.


  • The Loss of Normandy 1189-1204: Studies in the History of the Angevin Empire (1913)
  • Bismarck and the Origin of the German Empire (1914)
  • Ailred of Rievaulx and his biographer Walter Daniel (1922)
  • Essays in Medieval History Presented to Thomas Frederick Tout (1925) editor with A. G. Little
  • Stephen Langton (1927) Ford Lectures
  • Gerald of Wales (1928)
  • Historical Study at Oxford (1929) Inaugural lecture
  • Robert Grosseteste and the Nicomachean Ethics (1930)
  • Sir Henry Spelman and the 'Concilia' (1930) Raleigh Lecture on History
  • The Medieval Books of Merton College (1931) A catalogue
  • Oxford Essays in Medieval History. Presented to Herbert Edward Salter (1934) editor
  • The Christian Life in the Middle Ages (1935) essays
  • International Bibliography of Historical Sciences. Twelfth year (1937) editor
  • History, Freedom and Religion (1938) Riddell Memorial Lectures
  • Handbook of British Chronology (1939) editor
  • The Administration of the Honor of Leicester in the Fourteenth Century (1940) with L. Fox
  • Three Lectures (1947)
  • King Henry III and the Lord Edward: the Community of the Realm in the Thirteenth Century (1947) 2 volumes
  • Mediaeval England, 1066-1485 (1948)
  • Ways of Medieval Life and Thought: Essays and Addresses (1949)
  • Walteri Danielis: Vita Ailredi Abbatis Rievall: The Life of Ailred of Rievaulx by Walter Daniel (1950) editor
  • Oxford History of England - Thirteenth Century 1216 - 1307 (1953)
  • The Reformation in England (1953)
  • Modern Historians and the Study of History: Essays and Papers (1955)
  • The Battle of Lewes 1264 (1964) with R. F. Treharne and Charles Lemmon
  • The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages (3 vols) by Hastings Rashdall, editor with A. B. Emden


  • Oxford DNB article
  • Liber Memorialis Sir Maurice Powicke, Dublin 1963
  • Studies in Mediaeval History Presented to Frederick Maurice Powicke. (1969) edited by R. W. Hunt, W. A. Pantin and R. W. Southern
  • Inventing the Middle Ages - Norman F. Cantor
  • W. A. Pantin, "Frederick Maurice Powicke," The English Historical Review, 80, No. 314 (Jan., 1965): pp.1-9.

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