Vinogradoff, Paul, 1854-1925

Alternative names
Birth 1854-12-01
Death 1925-12-19

Biographical notes:

Professor of law and history, educator, legal scholar and medievalist. Born 1854 in Kostroma, Russia. Educated at Moscow University, Faculty of History. Degree of Magister, 1880; Doctorate, Moscow, 1884. Professor of history at Moscow University, 1887-1901. President of the School Commission of the Moscow City Duma, 1898-1901; Hon. Secretary of the British Prisoners Relief Fund during WWI. Emigrated to England, 1902. Corpus Christi chair of jurisprudence at Oxford, 1903. Knighted in 1917, became British subject in 1918. Author: Villainage in England, 1887, Growth of the Manor, 1905, Constitutional history and the Year Books, 1913, Outlines of historical jurisprudence, v. 1, 1920, v. 2, 1922, etc.

From the description of Papers, 1881-1925. (Harvard Law School Library). WorldCat record id: 235952308

Sir Paul Gavrilovitch Vinogradoff (Pavel Gavrilovich Vinogradov) was born on December 1, 1854, in Kostroma, Russia. He was the eldest son of Gavril Kiprianovich Vinogradov, a schoolmaster, and Elena Pavlovna, daughter of General Kobeloff. A year after Paul's birth, his father was transferred to a boys' school in Moscow, where Paul attended a gymnasium, and after graduating from it at the age of sixteen, entered the Faculty of History of the Moscow University. After the University, he continued his education in Berlin under Theodor Mommsen and Heinrich Brunner. His special field of study, in which he later became the world's leading authority, was the history of medieval Europe. In 1878-1881 Vinogradoff published four works on feudalism in Italy, for one of which, " The Origin of Feudal Relations in Lombard Italy " (1880), he was awarded the degree of Magister.

In 1883 Vinogradoff came to London to study medieval English documents in the Public Records Office. One of his major fields of study were the feudal laws and customs of England. " Villain Age in England " gained him a doctorate in Moscow in 1884 and was published in Russian in 1887 and in English in 1892. Among his numerous works on medieval England are also " The Growth of the Manor " (1905, 3rd ed. published in 1920), " English Society in the Eleventh Century " (1908), " Constitutional History and the Year Books " (1913), " Year Books of Edward II, 1312-1313 ", Selden Society, vol. xiii (1917) and vol. xiv (1921), edited by Vinogradoff and Ehrlich, " Ralph of IIengham as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas " (1925), etc.

In 1887 Vinogradoff was appointed full professor of history at the Moscow University. As elected councillor of the Moscow municipal Duma, Vinogradoff was very active in Russian educational reform. He promoted universal primary education, wrote a series of elementary textbooks in history, and in 1896 founded a pedagogical society in Moscow. However, liberal educational reforms that he promoted were hindered by the growing reactionary tendency of the government. In 1901 Vinogradoff resigned his professorship as a protest against the suppression of free speech at the University.

In 1897, Vinogradoff married Louise Stang, daughter of Judge August Stang, of Arendal, Norway. A daughter was born to them in 1898, and a son, Igor, in 1901. Vinogradoff left Russia for England, and in 1903 was elected to the Corpus Christi chair of jurisprudence at Oxford. He remained professor at Oxford to the end of his life. He taught a number of legal courses and introduced to Oxford the new method of seminar teaching, that resulted in the series " Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History ". Vinogradoff wrote several books, as well as innumerable articles and reviews on a variety of legal and historical subjects. His works on ancient and tribal law, medieval law and history, modern and historical jurisprudence, German law, modern history and politics, and other subjects were published all over the world. His scholarly erudition and knowledge of modern and classical languages were astounding.

Besides teaching at Oxford, Vinogradoff lectured in France, Belgium, Norway, Russia and other European countries, in the United States (University of Michigan Law School, University of California, Yale University and others), and in India. He contributed several articles to Encyclopedia Britannica and to the Cambridge Medieval History, and served as director of publications for the Selden Society. Vinogradoff's main work, that brought together his legal, social and historical ideas, was " The Outlines of Historical Jurisprudence ". The work was to be in six volumes, but it was never completed. Volume I " Introduction and Tribal Law " was published in 1920, volume II " The Jurisprudence of the Greek City " appeared in 1922. Vinogradoff was knighted in 1917, and became a British subject in 1918. However, he remained deeply interested in the affairs of Russia, visited it annually and lectured in Russia in 1908, 1909 and 1911.

During World War I, he firmly believed in a permanent democratic transformation of his native country. The victory of bolshevism and the "red terror" were a blow from which he never recovered. In 1918 Vinogradoff renounced his Russian nationality. From now on, writing and teaching became his only refuge. He died of pneumonia in Paris on December 19, 1925. In 1928 Vinogradoff's " Collected Papers " were published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, with a memoir by H.A.L. Fisher.

Sources: The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. c1993 Dictionary of National Biography H.A.L. Fisher, Paul Vinogradoff: a memoir, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927.

From the guide to the Papers, 1881-1925, (Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University)


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