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G. R. Elton (Geoffrey Rudolph Elton) Biography

(1921–94), (Geoffrey Rudolph Elton), The Tudor Revolution in Government, England under the Tudors, Policy and Police

university government reform england

British historian, born at Tübingen, Germany. After his family moved to Britain in the late 1930s he was educated at Rydal School, Colwyn Bay, and the University of London. Originally surnamed ‘Ehrenberg’, he adopted ‘Elton’ as his name in 1944 while serving with British military intelligence. From 1949 onward he taught at Cambridge University, where he became Regius Professor of Modern History in 1983. Among the works which established his reputation as a leading authority on the constitutional history of the English Reformation are The Tudor Revolution in Government (1953), England under the Tudors (1955), Policy and Police (1972), and Reform and Reformation: England 1509–1558 (1977). His conservative and humanist philosophy as a historian is stated in the debate with R. W. Fogel in Which Road to the Past? (1983) and the lectures of Return to Essentials (1991). His other publications of note include Reform and Renewal (1973) and the collected essays of Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government (three volumes, 197482).

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