In Memory of Clive Holmes

Dr Clive Holmes

Colleagues in the History Faculty will be saddened to hear of the death of Clive Holmes, who held a post in the Faculty and at Lady Margaret Hall from 1987 to his retirement in 2011.  Clive read history at Cambridge and taught there for a number of years before moving to Cornell in 1969. While there he published two major books -- The Eastern Association in the English Civil War (1974) and Seventeenth-century Lincolnshire (1980) -- both of which made his reputation as an expert on early modern English politics and law. Clive viewed himself as predominantly an historian of English law, and his mastery of English legal history informed all his major writings.

At Oxford Clive published a number of significant articles on a wide range of subjects. These included the various local and national legal and political conflicts that accompanied fenland drainage projects, and the history of witchcraft in England, his interest in which was piqued by the great collection of witchcraft pamphlets at Cornell created by Andrew Dickson White. In addition to his articles he published (with Felicity Heal) The Gentry in England and Wales (1994) and Why was Charles I executed? (2006).

Clive performed a number of vital administrative roles in the Faculty, notably in running Admissions and chairing both Mods and FHS. He was a keen supporter of outreach activities, and more broadly, he served on the Council of the Royal Historical Society. For many years he co-taught an Optional Subject on the history of witchcraft and he also offered a popular Special Subject on the Commonwealth and Protectorate. Clive’s commitment to teaching was paramount, and he will be remembered fondly by hundreds of students.