Charles Thomas (historian)
|Born||Antony Charles Thomas
26 April 1928
|Occupation||Archaeologist, Historian, Author|
|Title||Professor of Cornish Studies at Exeter University|
Antony Charles Thomas, CBE, FSA (born 26 April 1928) is a British historian and archaeologist who was Professor of Cornish Studies at Exeter University, and the first Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies, from 1971 until his retirement in 1991. He was recognised as a Bard of the Cornish Gorseth with the name Gwas Godhyan in 1953.
Birth and education
He was born 26 April 1928, the son of Donald Woodroffe Thomas and Viva Warrington Thomas, his wife.
He was educated at Winchester College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, receiving a BA Honours degree in Jurisprudence. He received a Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of London and was appointed a Fellow of University College, London in 1993. He received a Doctor of Literature degree from Oxford University in 1983.
He was Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh from 1957 to 1967. From 1967 to 1971, he was Professor of Archaeology, University of Leicester. During this period, he became a FSA in 1960 and was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship for 1965 to 1967.
"the study of all aspects of man and his handiwork in the regional setting (Cornwall and Scilly), past, present and future. The development of society, industry and the landscape in our fast changing world is as much of concern … as the history of those vast topics in the recent and remote past."
In 1983, he was awarded a Doctorate of Literature by the University of Oxford. He was Sir John Rhys Fellow of the University of Oxford and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College from 1985 to 1986.
He retired as Director of the Institute in 1991; became an Emeritus Professor of the University of Exeter in 1993; and was awarded an Emeritus Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust (1993–95).
Roles in organizations
- Learned societies
He was a Board Member of the Royal Institution of Cornwall and Honorary Librarian of its Courtney Library until 2011, having previously served as its president in 1970-1971. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and was President of the Council for British Archaeology 1970-1973.
He has been President of the Society for Landscape Studies since 1993. He was president of the Cornish Methodist Historical Association in 1993. He was Chairman of the Society for Church Archaeology, 1995–98.
He has been Chairman of the BBC South West Regional Advisory Council, 1975–80; of the Department of the Environment Area Archaeology Committee, Cornwall and Devon, 1975–79; and of the Cornwall Committee for Rescue Archaeology 1976–88.
- Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1958.
- Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 1960.
- Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy, 1973.
- Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1975.
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, 1982.
- Fellow of the British Academy, 1989.
- Honorary Fellow of St David’s University College, Lampeter, 1992.
- Fellow of University College London, 1992.
- Honorary Doctor of Literature National University of Ireland, 1996.
- Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2000.
- William Frend Medal, Society of Antiquaries of London, 1982.
- Jenner Medal, Royal Institution of Cornwall, 2008.
- DL (Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall), 1988.
- CBE (Commander of the British Empire), 1991.
See full Biography in Gathering the Fragments, 2012, pp.177-183.
Key publications (in date order)
- 1967: Christian Antiquities of Camborne
- 1971: The Early Christian Archaeology of North Britain ISBN 0-19-214102-3
- 1971: Britain and Ireland in Early Christian Times ISBN 0-500-57002-7
- 1973: St Ninian’s Isle and its Treasure (with A. Small and D. Wilson). ISBN 0-19-714101-3
- 1974: Military Insignia of Cornwall (with D. Ivall). ISBN 0-903686-07-4
- 1981: Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500 ISBN 0-7134-1442-1
- 1985: Exploration of a Drowned Landscape ISBN 0-7134-4853-9
- 1986: Celtic Britain ISBN 0-500-02107-4
- 1988: Views and Likenesses: photographers in Cornwall and Scilly 1839–70 ISBN 1-871294-00-2
- 1993: Tintagel, Arthur and Archaeology ISBN 0-7134-6690-1
- 1994: And Shall These Mute Stones Speak?: post-Roman inscriptions in Western Britain ISBN 0-7083-1160-1
- 1998: Christian Celts, Messages and Images ISBN 0-7524-2849-7
- 1999: Silent in the Shroud ISBN 1-874012-21-0
- 1999: The Penzance Market Cross
- 2002: Whispering Reeds (with D. R. Howlett). ISBN 1-84217-085-6
- 2003: Vita Sancti Paterni ISBN 0-905285-73-5
- 2012: Gathering the Fragments ISBN 1-908878-03-7
Alphabetical list of publications (incomplete)
References & notes
- Who's Who
- List of new Bards during the 1950s -Gorseth Kernow official website.
- Antony Charles, son of Donald Woodroffe & Viva Warrington Thomas. Born 26 April 1928 and baptized (presumably at Camborne Wesley Chapel) 10 June 1928 (Cornwall Record Office: MR/CB/902, No 41, page 15).
- Leverhulme Trust website, giving current terms for research fellowships
- ISC homepage.
- Gwithian, Cornwall: Excavations 1949 - 1963, project summary on English Heritage website.
- This position is now held by Bernard Deacon. Pers. comm. with Charles Thomas, 4 Jan 2012.
- University of Wales press description of author. and Who's Who
- Cornwall Archaeological Society website
- Society for Medieval Archaeology
- Society for Landscape Studies website.
- Society for Church Archaeology website
- This body is now called Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England and is generally known as "English Heritage".
- Now a constituent college of the University of Wales, at Lampeter
- "The Frend Medal, named after its donor, our Fellow William Frend. It is awarded for contributions to knowledge of the archaeological and material remains of the early Christian Church." SAL website
- First awarded in 1936, the Jenner Medal is presented to individuals in recognition of a serious body of work with Cornish history. It was named after Henry Jenner (1848-1934), first Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorseth. 
- "Jessica Mann biography (official website)". Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- This is the publication of a recently re-discovered typescript, originally written in 1951. Not available for purchase. Distributed only to family and selected friends.
- This is the publication of a recently re-discovered typescript, originally written in 1945. Not available for purchase. Distributed only to family and selected friends.