Jenny Wormald

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Jenny Wormald
Born Jennifer Mary Tannahill
18 January 1942
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 9 December 2015(2015-12-09) (aged 73)
Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Children Three sons
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Academic background
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Academic work
Discipline Historian
Sub discipline

Jenny Wormald, FRSA, FRHistS HonFSA Scot (18 January 1942 – 9 December 2015) was a Scottish historian who studied late medieval and early modern Scotland.

Early life and education[edit]

Jennifer Tannahill was born in Glasgow in 1942, the daughter of the well loved General Practitioner Dr. Thomas Tannahill, and his wife Margaret, (née Dunlop). Wormald read history at the University of Glasgow, where she completed a PhD thesis on the history of the late medieval Scottish nobility through analysis of a kind of document known as a bond of manrent.

Academic career[edit]

Wormald taught at the University of Glasgow between 1966 and 1985, and then St Hilda's College, University of Oxford, between 1985 and 2005. She held a variety of other posts in this time, including Fellow Librarian and Senior Tutor at St Hilda's.[1]

Her most important research was on bloodfeud in early modern Scotland, particularly in her article "Bloodfeud, Kindred and Government in Early Modern Scotland", which was highly influential.[2] Wormald also produced a study of the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. She was most recently an Honorary Fellow in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Wormald was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on 30 November 2015.

Personal life[edit]

In 1964, Wormald married A. L. Brown. As Brown was a devout Roman Catholic, she converted to Catholicism upon their marriage. They had one son and later divorced.[3] She was then married to the historian Patrick Wormald from 1974 to 2001. Together, they had two sons. The marriage ended in divorce.[4]

Select bibliography[edit]

  • 'Bloodfeud, Kindred and Government in Early Modern Scotland', Past and Present, 87 (1980).
  • Court, Kirk and Community: Scotland 1470-1625. Edward Arnold. 1981
    • reprinted Edinburgh University Press. 1991
  • 'James VI and I: Two Kings or One?', History, 68 (1983).
  • 'Gunpowder, Treason and Scots', Journal of British Studies, 24 (1985).
  • Lords and Men in Scotland: Bonds of Manrent, 1442-1603. John Donald. 1985
  • Mary Queen of Scots: a Study in Failure. George Philip. 1988
    • 2nd edition, as Mary Queen of Scots: Politics, Passion and a Kingdom Lost. George Philip. 2001
  • (editor) Scotland revisited. Collins & Brown. 1991
  • (Editor & contributor), The Oxford Illustrated History of Scotland. Oxford University Press. 2005



  1. ^ "Jenny Wormald, former Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at St Hilda's, has died.". Retrieved 29 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Davison, Phil. "Dr Jenny Wormald". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 29 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Heal, Felicity (29 January 2016). "Jenny Wormald obituary". Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Jack, Sybil. "Jenny Wormald Obituary". Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Retrieved 29 December 2015.