F. G. Emmison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

F. G. Emmison MBE
F. G. Emmison.jpg
Born(1907-05-28)28 May 1907
Bedford, England
Died9 November 1995(1995-11-09) (aged 88)
EducationBedford Modern School

Frederick George "Derick" Emmison MBE FSA FRHistS (28 May 1907 – 9 November 1995) was a British archivist, author and historian.[1][2][3] He was County Archivist for Bedfordshire between 1925 and 1938, County Archivist for Essex between 1938 and 1969, a founder member of the British Records Association and the Society of Archivists, and a winner of the John Bickersteth Medal in 1974 and the Medlicott Medal in 1987.[1][4][5] He was also a prolific author who made a significant contribution to our understanding of the Elizabethan era through close analysis of the minutiae of local records of that age in Essex.[1][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Frederick George Emmison was born in Bedford on 28 May 1907.[1] He was educated at Bedford Modern School where he excelled academically but was forced to abandon hopes of a University education when his father mistakenly thought a family investment had failed.[4][5]


At the age of 16, Emmison joined the Bedfordshire Record Office in Bedford under the directorship of Dr G. H. Fowler, then Chairman of the Bedfordshire Records Committee.[1][5] He was quick to master the work and earn the respect of the county with many important documents being deposited at the record office during his tenure by local churches in particular.[5]

Emmison was County Archivist for Bedfordshire between 1925 and 1938; and County Archivist at Essex Record Office in Chelmsford between 1938 and 1969.[1][4] His "energetic and imaginative approach impressed many", and Essex was considered to have the leading record system in the country.[1] In time the Essex Record Office became a publishing house for local history and Emmison became a prolific author.[1] His Tudor Secretary: Sir William Petre at Court and Home was a "significant contribution to Tudor studies".[5] His Elizabethan Life series "demonstrated the richness of sources for the period and his ability to relate local material to the wider canvas".[5]

Emmison was a founder member of the British Records Association in 1932 and the Society of Local Archivists in 1947.[1]


In 1935 he married fellow archivist Margaret Moorhead Langwill, daughter of pioneering physician Alice Moorhead and her husband, Dr Hamilton Graham Langwill. Her maternal aunt was Ethel Moorhead and grandfather was Brigadier Surgeon George Alexander Moorhead.[6]

Awards and honours[edit]

Emmison was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Scriveners and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Genealogists.[5] He was President or Vice-President of the Historical Association, the British Records Association, the Society of Archivists and the Society of Genealogists.[5]

Emmison was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1966 for his work as County Archivist of Essex.[2] He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Essex in 1970 and was winner of the John Bickersteth Medal in 1974 and the Medlicott Medal in 1987.[1][5]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Serjeant, Bill (2004). "Emmison, Frederick George [Derick] (1907–1995)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/60381. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b "No. 43854". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1966. p. 16.
  3. ^ a b "Results for 'au:Emmison, Frederick George.' [WorldCat.org]". worldcat.org. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Godber, Joyce (1973). The Harpur Trust, 1552–1973. Bedford: Harpur Trust. ISBN 0950291706.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lawrence, Martin (February 1996). "F. G. Emmison 1907–1995: a Bedfordshire Perspective" (PDF). History in Bedfordshire. 2 (1): 2.
  6. ^ Henderson, Mary. "Chapter 9: Last Unhappy Years". Ethel Moorhead: Dundee's Rowdiest Suffragette. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  7. ^ Tudor secretary; Sir William Petre at court and home. worldcat.org. OCLC 776869. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  8. ^ Introduction to Archives. [With illustrations.]. worldcat.org. OCLC 811585537. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  9. ^ Tudor food and pastimes. worldcat.org. OCLC 680239. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  10. ^ How to read local archives 1550–1700. worldcat.org. OCLC 461750. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  11. ^ Elizabethan life. Disorder : mainly from Essex sessions and assize records. worldcat.org. OCLC 565098. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  12. ^ Elizabethan life: morals & the church courts. worldcat.org. OCLC 814789. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  13. ^ Elizabethan life : home, work & land : from Essex wills and Sessions and Manorial records. worldcat.org. OCLC 2627904. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  14. ^ Elizabethan life. Wills of Essex gentry & merchants proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. worldcat.org. OCLC 4993654. Retrieved 29 May 2015.

External links[edit]