James Campbell (historian)

James Campbell, FBA, FSA (26 January 1935 – 31 May 2016) was a British historian, specialising in the medieval period and the Anglo-Saxons. He was a Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, from 1957 until his retirement in 2002, and Professor of Medieval History at the University of Oxford from 1996 to 2002.

James Campbell

Bӓrbel Brodt
(m. 2006; died 2015)
Academic background
EducationLowestoft Grammar School
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford
Academic work

Early life and educationEdit

Campbell was born on 26 January 1935 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.[1][2] His birth father, John Henry Mogg was a teacher and his mother Barbara Hilda Brown was also a teacher and member of the Communist Party. After a period in foster care he was adopted by his maternal grandparents in 1938.[3] He studied at Lowestoft Grammar School, where he found an interest in history. He took early entry to Magdalen College, Oxford, at the age of 17 and graduated with a first in 1955.[3]

Academic careerEdit

In 1956, Campbell took up a junior research fellowship at Merton College, Oxford.[4] In 1957, at the age of 22, he was elected a Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford.[5] He held additional college appointments, including Fellow Librarian (1977–2002) and senior tutor (1989–1993),[6] and also served as the University of Oxford's Senior Proctor for the 1973/74 academic year.[2] At university level teaching, he was a lecturer in modern history (as opposed to ancient history) from 1958 to 1990, Reader in Medieval History from 1990 to 1996, and Professor of Medieval History from 1996 to 2002.[6] He delivered the Ford Lectures in the 1995/96 academic year.[6] He remained at Worcester College until his retirement in 2002.[3]

Campbell's particular historical interest was in the Medieval period and Anglo-Saxon studies.[7] He was also interested in agriculture in Britain and Ireland from the 13th to 19th centuries.[8] Two collections of his essays were published as Essays in Anglo-Saxon History in 1986 and The Anglo-Saxon State in 2000.[3] He was the editor of The Anglo-Saxons (1982), a collection of essays on Anglo-Saxon England, for which he wrote the section on the period from AD 350 to 660.[9]

He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 1984.[8][10] He had been elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA) in 1971.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

In the 1980s, Campbell moved out of college accommodation and settled in Witney, a village near Oxford. At the age of 71, he married Dr Bӓrbel Brodt on 7 October 2006. They did not have any children, and he was devastated by her death in October 2015.[3]

He died at his home on 31 May 2016.[3]

Selected worksEdit

  • Campbell, James, ed. (1982). The Anglo-Saxons. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801414824.
  • Campbell, James (1986). Essays in Anglo-Saxon history. London: Hambledon Press. ISBN 9780826425737.
  • Campbell, James (2000). The Anglo-Saxon State. London: Hambledon. ISBN 978-1852851767.


  1. ^ CAMPBELL, James. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc; online edn. November 2015, Oxford University Press. 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Professor James Campbell passed away yesterday". Worcester College, Oxford. Archived from the original on 16 April 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Maddicott, J. R. (9 January 2020). Campbell, James (1935–2016). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.112085. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  4. ^ Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 474.
  5. ^ "James Campbell". Oxford, England: University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Campbell, James, (26 Jan. 1935–31 May 2016), Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford, 1996–2002; Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, since 1957". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Interview with James Campbell". Cambridge, England: University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Professor James Campbell FBA". The British Academy. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  9. ^ Gillingham, John (17 November 1983). "John Gillingham reviews 'The Anglo-Saxons' edited by James Campbell, 'Anglo-Saxon Art' by C.R. Dodwell, 'Anglo-Saxon Poetry' edited by S.A.J. Bradley, 'The Anglo-Saxon World' edited by Kevin Crossley-Holland and 'The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles' by Anne Savage". London Review of Books. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Directory of Fellows - C". The British Academy. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.

External linksEdit