John Le Patourel

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Prof Le Patourel in his study

John Herbert Le Patourel FBA (29 July 1909 – 22 July 1981) was a historian from Guernsey.


John Le Patourel was born on 29 July 1909 in Guernsey, where his father was HM Procureur. He was educated at Elizabeth College and Jesus College, Oxford where he obtained a BA in Modern History in 1931 followed by a Doctor of Philosophy. His academic career began at University College, London, where he was assistant lecturer (1933) then lecturer (1936) before becoming Reader in Medieval History at the University of London in 1943. In 1945, he moved to the University of Leeds, where he became Professor of Medieval History, a post he held until 1970 when he became Research Professor until 1974. He was also Director of the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies from 1967 to 1970. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1972 and became Professor Emeritus on his retirement in 1974. He died on 22 July 1981.

His brother, Herbert Wallace Le Patourel, was awarded the Victoria Cross in World War II.


Much of Le Patourel's academic writing concerned the history of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands. He was Archivist to the Royal Court of Guernsey from 1946 onwards. His first book, The Medieval Administration of the Channel Islands, was published in 1937, based on his Oxford doctoral thesis.

Pickering, Oliver, Channel Islands Collection in Leeds University Library, Jersey Law Review, February 2007

His papers and personal collection of books and materials relating to the Channel Islands was donated to the University of Leeds by his widow.

He was a founder member of the Guernsey Society, which was established in 1943 to represent the interests of the Nazi-occupied island to the British Authorities.

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