Image of Samuel Rawson Gardiner


Lifetime: 1829 - 1902 Passed: ≈ 122 years ago


English Historian


United Kingdom

Samuel Rawson Gardiner

Samuel Rawson Gardiner was an eminent English historian known for his meticulous research, principled approach, and extensive contributions to the study of English history. This comprehensive essay delves into the life, principles, notable works, philosophy, and lasting legacy of Samuel Rawson Gardiner.

Who Was Samuel Rawson Gardiner?

Samuel Rawson Gardiner (1829-1902) was a renowned English historian born in Ropley, Hampshire. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of historical knowledge, becoming one of the leading authorities on the history of 17th-century England. Gardiner's commitment to historical accuracy and rigorous methodology set him apart as a distinguished scholar.

Principles and Approach:

Gardiner firmly believed in the importance of objectivity and impartiality in historical research. He sought to present an unbiased account of events, relying on primary sources and scrutinizing them meticulously. His commitment to examining original documents and firsthand testimonies allowed him to present a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of historical events.

Famous for:

Samuel Rawson Gardiner gained fame for his magnum opus, "History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War," a monumental work comprising ten volumes. This detailed account of the Stuart era solidified Gardiner's reputation as a preeminent historian and remains a seminal resource for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Notable Works:

Apart from his seminal ten-volume series, Gardiner produced numerous other significant works. These include "Oliver Cromwell," an authoritative biography of the English statesman and military leader, and "The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution," a comprehensive analysis of the political and religious dynamics leading up to the English Civil War. Gardiner's works were characterized by their meticulous research, eloquent prose, and deep insights into the complexities of English history.


Gardiner's philosophy revolved around the belief that a thorough understanding of history is essential for comprehending the present and shaping the future. He emphasized the need for historians to adhere to rigorous scholarly standards, employing a critical mindset and unbiased analysis of historical evidence. Gardiner saw history as a means to educate and enlighten, allowing individuals and societies to learn from past mistakes and achievements.

Legacy and Rememberance:

Samuel Rawson Gardiner's contributions to the field of historical research are highly regarded to this day. His meticulous scholarship, commitment to objectivity, and comprehensive understanding of 17th-century England continue to influence historians and shape our understanding of the period. Gardiner's works remain essential reading for anyone interested in English history and are widely studied and referenced in academic circles.

Samuel Rawson Gardiner passed away on February 24, 1902, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the realm of historical scholarship. His dedication to historical accuracy, meticulous research, and eloquent writing ensure that his contributions to the field of history endure.


Samuel Rawson Gardiner's life and work exemplify the virtues of a dedicated historian committed to unraveling the complexities of England's past. His principles of objectivity, rigorous research, and impartiality set the standard for historical scholarship. Through his notable works, Gardiner continues to inspire generations of historians, preserving England's history and enriching our understanding of the past. His enduring legacy ensures that his name remains firmly etched in the annals of historical research.

Books by Samuel Rawson Gardiner

The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution 1603-1660 Cover image

The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution 1603-1660

Religion War
Power Struggle Religious tradition Civil and Political Rights political Civil War Puritans Parliament Religious Freedom Monarchy Historical

Dive into the tumultuous era of the first two Stuart monarchs and the seismic Puritan Revolution that shook England to its core in "The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution 1603-1660" by Samuel Rawson Gardiner. Samuel Rawson Gardiner's captiv...