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Knowles : items found loose in the copy of Knowles' 'The Monastic Order in England' (Cambridge University Press, 1940) (Pet.569.14) presented by him to his father, Harry Herbert Knowles, inscribed 'To my dear Father from his son, 5 July, 1940'.

 Management Group
Reference Code: GBR/0273/KNOWLES

Scope and Contents

On his father's death in 1944 Knowles clearly reclaimed the book and in due course bequeathed it to Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke (1927-2015) and it was subsequently sold by G. David.
The book, which has been many times reprinted, has sparse annotations, mostly to the index, and, inside the back cover notes of corrections (which found their way into the second edtion of 1963) to seven pages.


  • 1940-07-05 - 1964-04-02

Biographical / Historical

Generally known by his name in religion, Dom David Knowles, O.S.B., F.R.Hist.S., was born on 28 September 1896 to parents in the course of conversion to Roman Catholicism. From 1906 to 1910 he attended West House School at Edgbaston and in 1910 he entered at Downside, where he joined the novitiate in 1914. He remained at Downside until 1933, when, after pressing, with some others, for more attention to the contemplative side, he was transferred to Ealing (1933-39). Meanwhile he had been admitted in 1919 to Christ's College, Cambridge, living at Benet House, the Downside house then in Park Terrace, where he took a first class degree in both parts of the Classical Tripos with a distinction in philosophy in Part II proceeding simultaneously through the orders of the church, being priested in 1922, and returning to Downside as a teacher. A failed attempt to establish an alternative foundation at Worth and his controversial relationship with Dr Elizabeth Kornerup resulted in his exclaustration. From 1939 he pursued research in London and in 1944 he was elected to a Fellowship at Peterhouse. On appointment to the Professorship of Medieval History in 1945 this became a Professorial Fellowship. From 1954 to 1963 he was the Regius Professor of Modern History, and in 1969 he was awarded an Honorary D.D. Among his other distinctions Knowles was F.S.A. (1944), F.B.A. (1947 (Vice-President 1954 and 1958)), Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy (1955) and President of the Royal Historical Society (1956-60). He died on 21 November 1974. For further details see Christopher Brooke, Roger Lovatt, David Luscombe and Aelred Sillem, 'David Knowles remembered' (Cambridge University Press, 1991) and Evelyn Ansell, 'Admissions to Peterhouse . . . January 1931 - December 1950' (Peterhouse, 1971).


1 envelope(s) : Paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MS 978

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The volume was donated to the Ward Library by John Sonley Anthony Adamson in October 2016.


Knowles, Michael Clive (1896-1974) Benedictine monk and historian of monasticism

2016-10-24 12:08:46+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Peterhouse (Ward) Library Repository

Ward Library
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RD United Kingdom
+441223 338218