Research papers of L.V.D. Owen (1888-1952), Professor of History at University CollegeNottingham, concerning Sir Roger Williams (c.1540-1595), c.1928

Scope and Content

The research papers in this collection relate to the work undertaken by Professor Owen into thelife of Sir Roger Williams, his involvement in the Spanish Netherlands and Williams' book, 'A BriefDiscourse of War', originally published in 1590. The collection contains the following series:

  • Owen's draft of an introduction to a new edition, entitled 'Sir Roger Williams and the SpanishPower in the Netherlands'. (PLO 1/1);
  • Owen's typescript draft of a new edition of Williams's original text. (PLO 1/2);
  • Extracts from literary and historical sources about Williams and the war in the Netherlands,apparently from a variety of different sources, but subsequently numbered up by Owen in a singlepagination sequence. (PLO 1/3);
  • Research notes, cuttings and illustrations, including newspaper cuttings about the allegedinfluence of Sir Roger Williams on Shakespeare and referring to the work of Professor Owen(1928)(PLO 1/4).

Administrative / Biographical History

Leonard Victor Davies Owen was educated at Llandovery School and Keeble College Oxford, where hegained a first class honours degree in Modern History in 1911. During the First World War, he servedas captain in the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light infantry. He lectured at Bangor andSheffield University before joining University College Nottingham (now the University of Nottingham)in 1920 to become Professor of History. He was honorary president of University College's HistorySociety, a member of the Council of the Pipe Roll Society and a member of the Lincoln RecordSociety. Professor Owen retired from the University of Nottingham in 1951 and died in February1952.

Professor Owen published extensively, and was particularly active in the editing of originalhistorical sources. He had an interest in local history, was joint editor of the Thoroton Society ofNottinghamshire, and wrote articles on a number of the manuscript sources being collected by theUniversity Library during his time at Nottingham. His published monographs include 'The connectionbetween England and Burgundy during the first half of the fifteenth century' (Oxford; 1909), and(with R.L. Archer and A.E. Chapman) 'The teaching of history in elementary schools' (London;1916).

The present collection concerns Owen's research into the 16th-centry soldier Sir Roger Williams(1540?-1595). Williams was a page in the household of Sir William Herbert, first Earl of Pembroke.He spent much of his later life engaged in the continental wars, particularly in the Netherlandsagainst the Spanish and in France. Williams was knighted in 1586 and died in London in 1595. In 'ABrief Discourse of War' (London: Thomas Orwin, 1590), he published his opinions concerning martialdiscipline in the context of his own personal reminiscences. Owen apparently planned a modernedition of Williams' work.


The collection has been divided by document type into series.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts inNovember 1979.