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Christopher Robert Cheney CBE FBA (20 December 1906 – 19 June 1987) was a medieval historian, noted for his work on the medieval English church and the relations of the papacy with England, particularly in the age of Pope Innocent III.

C. R. Cheney

Christopher Robert Cheney

(1906-12-20)20 December 1906
Banbury, England
Died19 June 1987(1987-06-19) (aged 80)
Cambridge, England
Mary Hall (m. 1940)
Academic background
Alma materWadham College, Oxford
InfluencesF. M. Powicke[1]
Academic work
Sub-disciplineMedieval English ecclesiastical history


Cheney was born on 20 December 1906 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, to parents George Gardner Cheney and Christina Stapleton Bateman.[2][3] He was educated at Banbury County School and Wadham College, Oxford, where he graduated with first-class honours in 1928.[4]

He lectured at the University of Cairo, University College, London (1931–1933), and the University of Manchester (1933–1937) before returning to the Oxford as reader and fellow of Magdalen College in 1937.[citation needed] He married Mary Hall on 24 August 1940.[3][5]

After war service with MI5, he took the chair in Medieval History at Manchester in 1945 until his election as the Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge in 1955. He remained at Cambridge as a fellow of Corpus Christi College until his retirement in 1972.[4]

Cheney was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1951 and appointed CBE in 1984.[6] He died in Cambridge on 19 June 1987.[4]



  1. ^ Brooke 1987, p. 428.
  2. ^ Brooke 1987, pp. 425–426.
  3. ^ a b Pease, Charles E. G. (2015). "The Descendants of William Wilson" (PDF). p. 54. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Chibnall 2004.
  5. ^ Brett, Martin; Davies, Karen; Duggan, Anne (2008). "Mary Gwendolen Cheney (1917–2007)" (PDF). Novellae: News of Medieval Canon Law. No. 2. Munich: Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  6. ^ Brooke 1987, p. 437.

Works citedEdit

Brooke, C. N. L. (1987). "Christopher Robert Cheney: 1906–1987" (PDF). Proceedings of the British Academy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 73: 425–446. ISSN 0068-1202. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
Chibnall, Marjorie (2004). "Cheney, Christopher Robert (1906–1987)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39802.
Academic offices
Preceded by
David Knowles
Professor of Medieval History,
University of Cambridge

Succeeded by
Walter Ullmann