John Philipps Kenyon

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John Philipps Kenyon (18 June 1927 – 6 January 1996) was an English historian and Fellow of the British Academy.[1] His area of expertise was 17th-century England.[2]


Kenyon was born in Sheffield where he attended King Edward VII School and then Sheffield University[2] where he obtained a first class degree in History in 1948[3] before going to Cambridge to take a doctorate as a pupil of J. H. Plumb. He obtained his doctorate in 1954 and was appointed a fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge,[4] before going on to become Hull's history professor for 19 years, followed by six years at St Andrews. From 1987 to 1994 he was Distinguished Professor of early modern British history at the University of Kansas. For many years he was a regular reviewer for The Observer.[2]

Certainly some of his summary imaginations or ideas on historical events or people, would today be considered simplistic and ignorant and definitively racist, for example describing Richard_Talbot,_1st_Earl_of_Tyrconnell J. P. Kenyon, writing in 1958, described him as a "bogtrotter" who spoke for the "rapacious, ignorant, anarchic forces of Irish Catholicism, at the lowest stage of civilisation in western Europe".[5]


  • Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland (1958)
  • The Stuarts (1958)
  • The Stuart Constitution, 1603-1688 (1966)
  • The Popish Plot (1972)
  • Revolution Principles: The Politics of Party 1689-1720 (1977)
  • Stuart England (1978)
  • The History Men (1983)
  • The Civil Wars of England (1988)


  1. ^ Miller, John (15 January 1996). "Obituary of John Philipps Kenyon". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b c McKendrick, Neil (10 January 1996). "Obituary: Professor John Kenyon". The Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  3. ^ "KES SPEECH DAY JUNE 23rd, 1949". Old Edwardians. 23 June 1949. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  4. ^ "School Notes". KES Magazine. Old Edwardians. Spring 1954. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  5. ^ * Lenihan, Padraig (28 November 2014), "In defence of Fighting, Lying, Mad Richard Talbot", The Irish Times