Ives, Eric William, OBE

Tudor historian, academic and writer, born on 12 July 1931 at Romford, Essex and educated at Brentwood School and Queen Mary College, London. In 1957 he became a fellow of the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford on Avon. From 1962 to 1969 he lectured at Liverpool University, and then until retirement at Birmingham University, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1987-1989), pro-Vice Chancellor (1989-1993) and head of modern history (1994-1997). He was awarded an OBE in 2001. His publications include God in History (1979), studies of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, and (his last book) The Reformation Experience. Other interests included the history of law and of higher education in Britain.

Born into a Plymouth Brethren family in Romford, he became a Methodist, but on his marriage in 1961 joined the Baptists, from 1982 at Castle Hill, Warwick. He continued to preach both at his Baptist church in Warwick and in the Methodist circuit. 'Religion was crucial to him both in his private and academic life.' A colleague described him as 'an exceptionally warm, kind, generous and courteous man'. He retired in 1997 and died on 25 September 2012.


'He always recognised that research and teaching went hand in hand and that creative and innovative work depended on giving colleagues the time and space to develop their ideas. In all this he retained his own enthusiasm for teaching. He was an inventive designer of new courses, including a remarkable seminar on Shakespeare built around solving a series of whodunnits connected with the life of the bard. Generations of Birmingham students recall his booming delivery at lectures and the clarity with which he could make complex issues intelligible.'

Guardian, 30 October 2012

  • Telegraph, 22 October 2012
  • Guardian, 30 October 2012
  • Times, 2 November 2012


Category: Person
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