Courtney Stanhope Kenny papers

Scope and Content

Includes: Commonplace books (notebooks including cuttings and later correspondence), 1863-1907; Academic papers (Manuscripts, published articles and lectures, correspondence, collected newspapers cuttings, publications and notes, tutorial papers and papers concerning College and University business and academic activity), 1708-1930; Political papers (diary, scrapbooks and correspondence relating to time as Liberal MP for Barnsley, elected in 1885 and 1996), 1884-1892; family papers and photographs, including correspondence with (and about) Downing Professor of the Laws of England, F. W. Maitland (1880-1907), 1812-1926.

Administrative / Biographical History

Courtney Stanhope Kenny was born in 1847, the son of William Fenton Kenny and Agnes (nee Ralph, the daughter of John Rhodes Ralph), both of Halifax. He was admitted as an undergraduate to Downing College in 1871 after several years' work with a firm of solicitors. He won a scholarship in 1872 and was senior in the History and Law Tripos in 1874. He was elected President of the Union and, in 1875, won the Chancellor's medal for legal studies. He was elected as a Fellow of Downing College in 1875 and appointed to a lectureship in law and moral science. He won three successive Yorke Prizes, 1877-79, writing essays on the history of the law of primogeniture, the law relating to married women's property and the law of charities. In 1881, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn. In the 1885 and 1886 general elections, he was elected as Liberal MP for Barnsley and introduced bills for the abolition of primogeniture and for the amendment of the law relating to blasphemy. He supported Irish Home Rule. He resigned as an MP in 1888 following his appointment as University Reader in English Law at Cambridge University. Following the death of F. W. Maitland in 1906, Kenny was elected as Downing Professor of the Laws of England, a position he held from 1907 until his retirement in 1918. He died in 1930 following an accident in Tennis Court Road after leaving the College. The Kenny Gates were erected in his memory, paid for by his daughters, and officially unveiled at the opening of the Baker Buildings.

Access Information


Related Material

HW Pettit Stevens papers, DCPP/STE; Agnes Kenny donation of family papers, 1554-1964, DCPP/KEN2; DCPH/1/22; DCPP/FREN/1/3/3 for Stanley French research papers on Kenny; DCPP/WOR/2 for Kenny's Worsley publications. DCPP/BIR/3 for connected Birkbeck papers; DCAR/1/6/11/1/38-43 for bequest files; DCPP/MUN for Crawford Munro papers.