Former Academy President Owen Chadwick dies aged 99

20 Jul 2015

Revd Professor William Owen Chadwick OM KBE, President of the British Academy between 1981 and 1985, has died at the age of 99.

As President, he oversaw the British Academy’s move in 1982 to a new home at 20-21 Cornwall Terrace, overlooking Regent’s Park – premises which were formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1983.

During his Presidency, the British Academy’s first research posts schemes evolved.

The new Research Readerships became established, and the Academy participated in a ‘New Blood’ programme which was the precursor of the current British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme. And in 1984 the British Academy assumed responsibility for administering the scheme of Postgraduate Studentships in the Humanities (a major function which it would fulfil until the establishment of the Arts and Humanities Research Board in 1998).

Born on 20 May 1916 in Bromley, Kent, Professor Chadwick died on 17 July 2015.

He held Cambridge University’s chairs of Ecclesiastical and of Modern History successively, and was Master of Selwyn College for 27 years, from 1956, and University Vice-Chancellor from 1969 to 1971.

He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1962, and was knighted in 1982.

Perhaps his most significant publication was the two-volume history of the Victorian church (1971-72). Other notable publications included The Secularisation of the European Mind in the 19th Century(1976), The Popes and European Revolution (1981), and his biography of Hensley Henson (1983).

His wife, Ruth, died earlier this year.

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