Charles Lethbridge Kingsford

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Charles Lethbridge Kingsford (25 December 1862 – 29 November 1926) was known as a scholarly English historian and author.


The third son of the Rev. Sampson Kingsford, formerly Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and vicar of St. Hilary, Cornwall, he was born at Ludlow, Shropshire, where his father was then headmaster at its grammar school, on December 25 (Christmas Day), 1862.[1]

He was sent to Rossall School, and went up to St John's College, Oxford, as a scholar, and obtained honours in the classical schools and in modern history. In 1888 he was awarded the Arnold prize for an essay on "The Reformation in France," and in the following year he joined the editorial staff of the Dictionary of National Biography. In 1890 he was appointed an examiner in the Education Department, and was an assistant secretary from 1905 to 1912, when he resigned after internal reorganization made work less congenial.[1]

During the First World War, he served as a special constable in London,[2] and was later employed as private secretary to Sir Arthur Boscawen at the Ministry of Pensions from 1917 to 1918.[1]

For His Service as a Special Constable in World War I He Received the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal with Clasp The Great War 1914 - 1918.

Kingsford was vice-president of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 1920-3, Ford Lecturer on English History at Oxford, 1923-4, and a vice-president of the Royal Historical Society and the London Topographical Society. In 1924 he was elected a fellow of the British Academy.[3]

Kingsford became recognized at time of his death "as our greatest modern authority on the history of the late 15th century".[3] With Thomas Andrew Archer he published in 1894 a book on the Crusades, which was welcomed by serious students. His edition of John Stow's Survey in 1908 increased his reputation, which was established by his English Historical Literature in the Fifteenth Century and his "Prejudice and Promise in Fifteenth Century England." For the Royal Historical Society he wrote on Sir Otho de Grandison, and for the British Society of Franciscan Studies a volume on the Grey Friars of London. His last work, which appeared at the beginning of 1926, was The Early History of Piccadilly, Leicester-square, Soho, and their Neighbourhood, which was based on a plan drawn in 1585 and published by the London Topographical Society. To the Heroes of the Nations series he contributed the volume on Henry V of England.; he wrote the histories of the Royal Warwickshire and the Middlesex Regiments; and he edited the first volume on the manuscripts of Lord De L'isle and Dudley in the publications of the Historical MSS. commission. To these and other works he added over 400 articles to the Dictionary of National Biography, and over 30[2] to the Encyclopædia Britannica, besides the Camden Miscellany, the English Historical Review, Archæologia, the Cambridge Medieval History, and the London Topographical Record. Mr. Kingsford's interests thus covered a fairly wide range. His obituary in The Times concluded: "To all his work he brought the scholarship of the true researcher, and by his patient ingenuity and insight he added materially to the sum of historical knowledge."[3]

Kingsford died after a sudden seizure at his home, 15 Argyll Road, Kensington, London, on Saturday, 29 November 1926, at the age of 63. He was buried at South Tawton, Devon.[4]


Kingsford married Alys, daughter of C. T. Hudson, LL.D., F.R.S.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 31. Oxford University Press. 2004. p. 701. ISBN 0-19-861356-3. Article by Keith Dockray.
  2. ^ a b Dictionary of National Biography, 1922-1930. Oxford University Press. 1931. p. 471. Article by J. Tait.
  3. ^ a b c d Times staff 1926.
  4. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 31. p. 702. 

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