Life and career
Pollard was born in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. He was educated at Felsted School and Jesus College, Oxford where he achieved a first class honours in Modern History in 1891. He became Assistant Editor of and a contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography in 1893. He was Professor of Constitutional History at University College London from 1903 to 1931. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, and founder of the Historical Association, 1906. He was Editor of History, 1916-1922, and of the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 1923-1939. He published 500 articles in the Dictionary of National Biography, and many other books and papers concerning history. Later in his career, he was a major force in establishing history as an academic subject in Britain. One of his most influential textbooks became The Evolution of Parliament published in 1920.
Albert Pollard studied and wrote about the history of the Tudors from a political viewpoint. Pollard's arguments are nowadays generally discredited by the revisionist school of history led by academics such as Christopher Haigh. For example, he put forward the thesis that English foreign policy from 1514 to 1529 was motivated by Thomas Wolsey's desire to become Pope. This was attacked by modern historians, and today he is identified with the traditionalist school of history, along with his student, J. E. Neale, who put forward the thesis of the Puritan choir in Elizabeth's parliament, which seems ungrounded in any real evidence.
In retirement Pollard lived at Milford-on-Sea. He was the father of the bibliographer and bookseller Graham Pollard and father-in-law to pioneering Communist and women's rights campaigner Kay Beauchamp.
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Albert Frederick Pollard
- Albert Pollard papers at Senate House Library, University of London
- Correspondence between Albert Pollard and Josiah Clement Wedgwood
- Works by Albert Pollard at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Albert Frederick Pollard at Internet Archive
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