T. F. Tout

T. F. Tout books and biography


Thomas Frederick Tout

Thomas Frederick Tout (1855–1929) was an important 19th- and 20th-century historian.

A graduate of Balliol College and a fellow of Pembroke, his first academic post was at St David's University College, Lampeter (Now the University of Wales, Lampeter), where his job title was 'Professor of English and Modern Languages'.

While at Lampeter, Tout wrote a number of articles for the Dictionary of National Biography, including the entry on Rowland Williams. It seems that the historical importance of the priceless Lampeter Tract Collection, held in that institution's Founders' Library, was not fully recognised at Lampeter until T. F. Tout arrived at the college. With his friend, C. H. Firth, who was an external examiner for St David's for a number of years, Tout rescued the collection from neglect, arranging for seventy-two volumes to be rebound, rearranging the contents of some, and bringing together, for example, all the Civil War and Commonwealth newspapers scattered throughout the collection, into four volumes arranged in chronological order. Tout was the most distinguished member of the Lampeter staff at this time, and was soon styled professor of History.

In 1890, Tout left Lampeter and become professor of History at the University of Manchester, where he stayed until 1925. Tout was, with James Tait, one of the two leading figures of the `Manchester History School' and is best known for his Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England (6 volumes, published 1920–1931), The Political History of England, 1216–1377 (1905), and The Place of the Reign of Edward II in English History (1914). He was actively involved in the life and running of the University and his papers, now housed in the special collections at the University of Manchester, contain a wealth of information on general academic affairs as well as his own historical research. He died in 1929.

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