The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

II. Historians, Biographers and Political Orators

§ 14. Stubbs

William Stubbs, successively bishop of Chester and of Oxford, was Freeman’s junior by two years only, but made his mark as a historical writer nearly a decade later than his friend. For some years, however, before the publication of his chief contribution to English constitutional history, Stubbs, who, from 1850, lived a life of tranquillity in his Essex rectory Navestock, enjoyed a high reputation with those interested in the progress of the Rolls series. To this collection, begun in 1857, he contributed, in 1858, Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, an endeavour to exhibit the course of episcopal succession in England. By inclination and habit, he was an antiquary, who came to interest himself more especially in chronology and genealogy; but he edited perhaps the most important of the publications undertaken for the series, the Itinerarium and the Epistolae Cantuarienses of the reign of Richard I, besides many others, including the Gesta Regis Henrici of Benedict of Peterborough (1867) and Memorials of St. Dunstan (1874), for which he wrote luminous prefaces, displaying both independence of judgment and high literary quality. In 1866, having previously held the librarianship at Lambeth, Stubbs was appointed by the earl of Derby to the modern history chair at Oxford; and having, as he said, been for seventeen years a country parson, he now became for eighteen years an Oxford professor. In neither capacity did he allow himself any respite in his historical labours, steadily pursuing those lines of study to which he was attracted by the highest motives, never concealed by him. His principal achievement in the department of ecclesiastical history was The Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents of Great Britain and Ireland, edited by him in conjunction with A. W. Haddan (1871–8); in the same connection may be mentioned, though they were of later date, his five Appendices to the Report of the Commission on Ecclesiastical Courts, drawn up in 1883 after attendance on seventy-five meetings of the commission.