Margerie Venables Taylor

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Margerie Venables Taylor

Born20 January 1881
Died24 December 1963(1963-12-24) (aged 82)[1]
Alma materSomerville College, Oxford
Occupation(s)Archaeologist and historian

Margerie Venables Taylor, CBE, FSA (20 January 1881 – 24 December 1963) was an archaeologist and editor of the Journal of Roman Studies, and held posts including Secretary for the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. She was particularly instrumental in recording excavations in Roman Britain.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Margerie Venables Taylor was born in 1881. She was a native of Chester in Cheshire.[2] Her parents were Henry Taylor, a historian and antiquarian,[3] and his wife, Agnes née Venables.[4] She was educated at Queen's School, Chester and Somerville College, Oxford, where she took the examinations but, as a woman, at that date could not be awarded a degree.[2]


She wrote a large number of articles for various archaeological journals, and for many years edited the Journal of Roman Studies. She contributed material on Roman Britain to the Victoria County Histories.[6] She edited the medieval manuscript, De laude Cestrie, an urban eulogy praising Chester.[7]

She also excavated in North Wales with Mortimer Wheeler, who had co-signed her election proposal to the Society of Antiquaries.[8][5] Venables Taylor was Honorary Secretary of the Oxford branch of the English Folk Dance Society in 1915.[5]

Journal of Roman Studies[edit]

Taylor had worked as an assistant to Francis Haverfield for several years, and following his death took up the editorship of the Journal of Roman Studies for a further four decades. Although not herself an administrator, she worked and travelled widely on behalf of the Haverfield Bequest, which was to be applied to the promotion of the study of Roman Britain.[9]

As joint secretary of the Society of Promotion of Roman Studies and editor of the journal, she made the decision to focus resources on the journal at the cost of other projects, and to publish the annual account of excavation in Roman Britain. She also created the Congress of Classical Studies, held jointly with the Hellenic Society and the Classical Association, which became a triennial event.[2]


  1. ^ a b Obituary, The Times, 27 December 1963.
  2. ^ a b c d Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 50, Parts 1 and 2 (1960), p. xi, "To Miss MV Taylor CBE, MA, FSA, A Tribute".
  3. ^ "TAYLOR, HENRY (1845 - 1927), historian and antiquary | Dictionary of Welsh Biography".
  4. ^ "Census of England and Wales". 1891.
  5. ^ a b c "Margerie Venables Taylor". Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  6. ^ Historical Manuscripts Commission, summary report of papers from the Ashmolean Library Oxford, (reference: GB-0479-Taylor).
  7. ^ Mark Faulkner (2008), "Lucian's De laude Cestrie", Mapping Medieval Chester, Mapping Medieval Chester Project, retrieved 6 September 2016
  8. ^ Wheeler, M. (1925) Prehistoric and Roman Wales, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  9. ^ Britannia Vol 34, pp. 35-40, "The Haverfield Request 1921-2000, and the Study of Roman Britain," Malcolm Todd.