C. R. Cheney
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C. R. Cheney

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

Christopher Robert Cheney (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.


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 in 1937 as reader in diplomatic and fellow of Magdalen College in 1937.[4] 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]


  • Episcopal Visitation of Monasteries in the Thirteenth Century. Publications of the University of Manchester, Historical Series. 58. Manchester. 1931. [revised edition 1983]
  • English Synodalia of the Thirteenth Century. 1941.
  • Handbook of Dates for Students of English History. Royal Historical Society, Guides and Handbooks. 4. London: Royal Historical Society. 1945. [and many later editions]
  • English Bishops' Chanceries, 1100-1250. University of Manchester Faculty of Arts Publications. 3. Manchester. 1950.
  • with W. H. Semple (eds) Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III concerning England (1198-1216). Medieval Texts series. London: Nelson. 1953.
  • The Records of Medieval England: an inaugural lecture. Cambridge. 1956.
  • From Becket to Langton: English church government, 1170-1213. Ford Lectures, Hilary Term 1955. Manchester. 1956.
  • with F. M. Powicke (eds) Councils and Synods with other Documents Relating to the English Church, Vol. 2: pt. 1, 1205-1265; pt. 2, 1265-1313. Oxford. 1964.
  • Hubert Walter. London: Nelson. 1967.
  • Notaries Public in England in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972.
  • Pope Innocent III and England. Päpste und Papsttum. 9. Stuttgart: Anton Hiersmann. 1976.
  • The Papacy and England, 12th to 14th Centuries: historical and legal studies. London: Variorum Reprints. 1982. ISBN 0860780996.
  • The English Church and its Laws, 12th-14th centuries. London: Variorum Reprints. 1982. ISBN 0860781089.
  • with B. E. A. Jones (eds) English Episcopal Acta II: Canterbury 1162-1190. English Episcopal Acta. 2. Oxford. 1986.
  • with Eric John (eds) English Episcopal Acta III: Canterbury 1193-1205. English Episcopal Acta. 3. Oxford. 1986.


  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 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d 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 2017.
  6. ^ Brooke 1987, p. 437.

Works cited

Academic offices
Preceded by
David Knowles
Professor of Medieval History
at the University of Cambridge

Succeeded by
Walter Ullmann
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Ernest Fraser Jacob
President of the Lancashire Parish Register Society
Succeeded by
John Michael Wallace-Hadrill

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