Charles Grant Robertson

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Sir Charles Grant Robertson CVO (1869 – 29 February 1948) was a British academic historian. He was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Vice-chancellor of the University of Birmingham.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

All Souls College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

All Souls College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England.

A chancellor is a leader of a college or university, usually either the executive or ceremonial head of the university or of a university campus within a university system.



Grant Robertson was born in 1869 and educated at Highgate School and Hertford College, Oxford. [1] He was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford in 1893. At Oxford he became a distinguished and influential historian. He was one-time tutor to Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, and had many academic publications to his name. He also published a light work called "Voces academicae, short scenes of student life in Oxford" in 1898 and produced a series of romantic novels under the pseudonym Wymond Carey between 1902 and 1907.

Highgate School

Highgate School, formally Sir Roger Cholmeley's School at Highgate, is a British co-educational independent day school, founded in 1565 in Highgate, London, England. It educates over 1,400 pupils in three sections – Highgate Pre-Preparatory School, Highgate Junior School and the Senior School (11+) – which together comprise the Highgate Foundation. As part of its wider work the charity was from 2010 a founding partner of the London Academy of Excellence and it is now also the principal education sponsor of an associated Academy, the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, which opened in September 2017. The principal business sponsor is Tottenham Hotspur FC. The charity also funds the Chrysalis Partnership, a scheme supporting 26 state schools in six London boroughs.

Hertford College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Hertford College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. It is located on Catte Street in the centre of Oxford, directly opposite the main gate to the Bodleian Library. The College is known for its iconic bridge, the Bridge of Sighs. There are around 600 students at the College at any one time, comprising undergraduates, graduates and visiting students from overseas. As of 2015, the college had a financial endowment of £56m.

In 1920 Grant Robertson became Vice Chancellor of Birmingham University. [2] He is credited with doing much to raise the profile of the young university, with strong support for the new medical school, the library and the Barber Institute and one of his first tasks was to set up a Joint Standing Committee on Research [3] With regard to the library, he declared "A library is not a luxury, nor an ornamental appendage,but an absolute necessity…". [4] The Charles Grant Robertson Scholarship at Birmingham University is awarded for research in the Department of English, and is open only to existing students of the university.

Grant Robertson was Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom (CVCP), later Universities UK from 1929 to 1935. [5] He was president of the Johnson Society at Lichfield from 1939 to 1944 [6]

Universities UK advocacy organisation for universities in the United Kingdom

Universities UK is an advocacy organisation for universities in the United Kingdom. It began life as the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom (CVCP) in the nineteenth century when there were informal meetings involving vice-chancellors of a number of universities and principals of university colleges. The current president is Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool. The current Chief Executive is Alistair Jarvis, who took up this role in August 2017. Now a registered charity, the organisation has an annual income of £11.6 million.

Samuel Johnson English poet, biographer, essayist, and lexicographer

Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. He was a devout Anglican and a generous philanthropist. Politically, he was a committed Tory. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes Johnson as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is the subject of James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, described by Walter Jackson Bate as "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature".

Lichfield cathedral city in Staffordshire, England

Lichfield is a cathedral city and civil parish in Staffordshire, England. One of eight civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield is situated roughly 16 mi (26 km) north of Birmingham, 9 miles (14 km) from Walsall and 13 miles (21 km) from Burton Upon Trent. At the time of the 2011 Census the population was estimated at 32,219 and the wider Lichfield District at 100,700.

In spite of his racy early writings, Grant Robertson was a rather aloof and prudish bachelor. He was particularly recalled as wordy, one commentator observing that he "never used a single word to express himself, if a paragraph could more gracefully define his meaning". Staff and students recalled incidents such as when his opening speech at a charity function was so long it dramatically reduced the takings, or when students we invited to tea but never had the chance to eat it. [4] Harry Hodson recalled he was "a teacher by nature, and would lecture copiously among his contemporaries and juniors, little heeding if their attention wandered, raising the question, 'Can an interesting man be a bore?' But he was well worth listening to, for his mind was sharp, his opinions vigorous and his knowledge vast." [7]

Henry Vincent "Harry" Hodson was a British economist and editor.


Academic works

As Wymond Carey

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  1. Obituary Nature 161, 510 (3 April 1948)
  2. University of Birmingham Charter of Incorporation
  3. Eric Glasgow Library Review 2002 Volume: 51 Issue: 7
  4. 1 2 403 Forbidden
  5. Chairmen/Presidents of CVCP and Universities UK Archived June 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine .
  6. The Johnson Society (Lichfield)
  7. Autobiography Harry Hodson Archived December 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  8. "Review of England under the Hanoverians by C. Grant Robertson". The Athenaeum (No. 4354): 384–386. 8 April 1911.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Oliver Lodge
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham
Succeeded by
Raymond Priestley