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Joseph Robson Tanner (28 July 1860 – 15 Jan. 1931) was an English historian, an expert on Samuel Pepys, author of numerous publications and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge.[1][2][3]



Tanner was born in Frome, Somerset, the eldest son of Joseph Tanner. He was educated at Mill Hill School, London, and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he took a First in the Historical Tripos in 1882. He was President of the Cambridge Union Society in Easter Term, 1883. He was a lecturer in History at St John's, from 1883 to 1921, and lecturer on Indian History to Indian Civil Service students, from 1885 to 1893.

In 1883 Tanner became a Fellow of St John's and was an Assistant Tutor from 1895 to 1900, a Tutor from 1900 to 1912, and Tutorial Bursar, 1900–21. He served as a deputy to the Regius Professor of Modern History, 1926–27.[4]

In 1888 Tanner married Charlotte Maria, second daughter of George J. Larkman of Belton. After living in Cambridge for forty-two years he moved to Woodside, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge.

Select publicationsEdit

  • Hollond's Discourses of the Navy, 1896
  • Pepys' Memoirs of the Royal Navy, ed., 1906
  • An Historical Register of the University of Cambridge, 1917
  • Samuel Pepys and the Royal Navy [Lees Knowles Lectures, 1919], 1920
  • Tudor Constitutional Documents, 1485–1603, 1922
  • Mr Pepys, An Introduction to the Diary, 1925
  • Pepy's Naval Minutes, 1926
  • Private Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1679–1703, 1926
  • English Constitutional Conflicts, 1603–1689, 1928
  • Further Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1662–1679, 1929
  • Constitutional Documents of the Reign of James I, 1930
Student reading Tanner's English Constitutional Conflicts at Shimer College in 1973.


  1. ^ Dr. J. R. Tanner A Cambridge Historian (Obituaries) The Times Saturday, Jan 17, 1931; pg. 12; Issue 45723; col C
  2. ^ 'TANNER, Joseph Robson', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 29 March 2013
  3. ^ Venn, J.A., ed. (1954). "Tanner, Joseph Robson". Alumni Cantabrigienses (Part 2). 6. Cambridge University Press. p. 109 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ Who Was Who, III, 1929–40, London : A. & C. Black, 2nd ed., 1967, 1324–25.

External linksEdit