Duncan Probert

It is more than two months since I have been able to post here, and though the blog is recently now a full ten years old it is also fair to ask what kind of health it is in. I may now have an answer to that question and time to frame it, but today is not the day where that happens, because news reached me by e-mail today of the unexpected death of fellow medievalist and stalwart member of the black-clad and long-haired, Duncan Probert, a couple of weeks after suffering a stroke. Duncan, who had come to medieval studies as a second or even third career, I met when he was at Birmingham and I was at the Fitzwilliam, and over our occasional meetings at conferences and seminars over the next few years he developed into a respected and highly productive scholar of medieval English names, place- and personal, who could make that work comprehensible to outsiders despite handling large datasets by preference. He worked on many projects, most recently at Kings College London, and managed to combine the hard-headedness of real-world employment experience with an irrepressible belief in the power of human ingenuity to solve problems. He also drew good maps. He will be missed by many; with this post I count myself among them. Rest well, Duncan.

8 responses to “Duncan Probert

  1. Prof. Anderson

    Dear Jonathan,

    So sorry to hear about Probert. I had not heard of him, but your praise makes me want to look into his work.

    As for you, young man, I have only two words: DON’T STOP! (OK, technically, it’s three words, but the sentiment is still valid) I love your posts. As an investigator of all things Medieval Theatre, it compels me to stricter scholarship. Thanks!

    Dick Anderson Theatre Dept. USC Union

  2. Sorry to hear also, Jonathan. I did not know him, but realise, on downloading his paper on Aldhelm’s Letter to Gerent, that I should have. Another loss for 2016.

  3. I want to adhere to Prof. Anderson words. Your work is much appreciated. Ups and downs exists in everything but the quest for truth and excellence is a life long objective. I didn’t know about Mr. Duncan Probert, but I guess he already won that course. Al cel sigui.

  4. I hope you’ll keep something going, even if you release yourself from the slavegang labour of reporting on all those seminars.

  5. Thanks all, much appreciated. I will hope to be able to post more in a few days once the marking backlog is definitively dealt with (in the aftermath of a house move now completed)…

  6. I am sorry for your loss, tho I know it is not too late to express condolences when someone meaningful dies. I take this particularly to heart as I too am a late (in life) joiner of the melange of the medieval. Also, DO keep at it although at times discouraged. We read you and we need you.

  7. Pingback: Duncan Probert – wiki |

  8. Pingback: Two More Greats Gone: Simon Barton and Mark Whittow | A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

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