Professor Richard Sharpe (1954-2020)

23rd March 2020


Wadham College is saddened and shocked to report the death of Professorial Fellow, Richard Sharpe.

  • Richard Sharpe

In a statement to the College community, the Warden Ken Macdonald QC said; “Richard was a hugely valued member of our community, a scholar of the highest standing and a man of the very best human qualities. The College held him in deep affection. I join with all of you in mourning a good friend and a towering intellect. We shall, of course, pay proper tribute to Richard in due course.”

Richard Sharpe (1954–2020) was Professor of Diplomatic at the University of Oxford, based at Wadham College.

His research interests included medieval books and libraries over an extended period; medieval Latin texts; medieval charters and deeds; various aspects of medieval English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh history; antiquarian learning in England in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries; Irish manuscripts.

He was the general editor of the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, and editor of a forthcoming edition of the charters of King Henry I of England.

An undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, he read Classics followed by Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic. His Phd thesis was submitted in the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic. It dealt with Latin Lives of Irish saints and their manuscript transmission from the seventh century to the seventeenth century. The resulting book was called Medieval Irish Saints' Lives. An Introduction to Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae (Oxford, 1991). Richard is a Fellow of the British Academy.