G. O. Sayles

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George Osborne Sayles (21 April 1901 – 28 February 1994), better known as G. O. Sayles, was an English historian best known for his work on the medieval English law courts and the early English Parliaments.

Early life[edit]

He attended Ilkeston Grammar School. He studied at the University of Glasgow and then University College London.


During his lifetime he held the following positions: Assistant in History, Glasgow University 1924-25, Lecturer 1925-34, Senior Lecturer 1934-45; Professor of Modern History, Queen's University Belfast 1945-53; Burnett-Fletcher Professor of History, University of Aberdeen 1953-62; Vice-President, Selden Society 1954-86; FBA 1962; Kenan Professor of History, New York University 1967-68.

His most important works were The King's Parliament of England and his work on the translation of the Fleta.

His longtime writing partner was Henry Gerald Richardson.

Personal life[edit]

In 1936 he married Agnes Sutherland, from Glasgow. They had a son (Michael) and daughter (Hilary).

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • The Medieval Foundations of England (Second edition 1950)
  • The King's Parliament of England (1974)
  • The functions of the medieval parliament of England (1987)

in collaboration with H.G. Richardson

  • The Irish Parliament in the Middle Ages (1952)
  • Fleta translation (1954–84)
  • The Administration of Ireland, 1172-1377 (1963)
  • The English parliament in the Middle Ages (1981)


External links[edit]