Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Revd Canon Dr Judith Maltby

Judith Maltby

haplain, Fellow & Dean of Welfare 
Reader in Church History


Judith Maltby has been Chaplain and Fellow of Corpus since 1993. Born and raised in the United States, she attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a double major in English and history. She went on to do doctoral studies in early modern British history at the University of Cambridge, first at Wolfson College and then as a Junior Research Fellow at Newnham College. Dr Maltby taught church history for a number of years in an Anglican theological college in Salisbury, preparing men and women for ordination in the Church of England.  She was among one of the first cohorts of women ordained priest in the Church of England in 1994.  She has held visiting fellowships at Trinity College, Melbourne, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Virginia Theological Seminary, and the Huntington Library in California.  Made Reader in Church History in the University’s Distinction Exercise in 2004, she was Junior Proctor of the University in 2004-5.  Dr Maltby is also Canon Theologian (honorary) of Leicester and Winchester Cathedrals as well as an honorary canon of Christ Church, Oxford.  She is a member of the Church of England’s General Synod, representing Universities and Theological Education Institutes.  She has served on the Ministry Council of Church of England and is serving a second term on the Crown Nominations Commissions, which nominates individuals as diocesan bishops to the Prime Minister.   

In addition to her academic publications, Dr Maltby occasionally comments on contemporary religious issues on Radio 4 and for about ten years wrote regularly for the The Guardian.

For more information on her role as College Chaplain, please see the Chapel and welfare pages.


Dr Maltby's primary research interests are in the English church in the century following the Reformation, but her first academic publication was in the field of Parliamentary history. In the course of researching support for the Book of Common Prayer in early Stuart Cheshire, she discovered the hitherto unknown diary of The Short Parliament (1640) Diary of Sir Thomas Aston (edited by her and published by the Royal Historical Society) in the private family papers of his descendants. This turned out to be the fullest account of the first parliament called by Charles I after the eleven years of the Personal Rule, and therefore of considerable historical importance in understanding the period immediately before the outbreak of the Civil War. Most of her academic work has been on the interplay between formal religious change and its reception at the grassroots. She published Prayer Book and People in 1998 which explores popular support for the lawful liturgy in the provinces up to outbreak of the Civil War. More recently her work has moved into the 1640-1650s, exploring the impact of the suppression of the Church of England by Parliament on religious conservatives, both laity and clergy.  She has also written on the subject of church/state relations in England as well as the area of religion and literature.  She is near completion of a co-edited volume with Prof Alison Shell (UCL) entitled Anglican Women Novelists for Bloomsbury.  Her own chapter is on the author of The Towers of Trebizond, Dame Rose Macaulay (d. 1958).  She is returning to the early modern period to work on the idea of ‘sacrilege’ in the English civil wars but keeping her interest in Anglican woman and literature with a new project on the Pulitzer nominated poet and disability activist, Vassar Miller.

Teaching and graduate supervision

Dr Maltby has taught extensively for the History of British Isles 1500-1700 paper and the History and Theology of the Reformation paper for theology students from other colleges.  In recent years, her teaching has concentrated on post-graduate supervision, including numerous MSts in Ecclesiastical History and a number of DPhils on topics as diverse as the concept of royal priesthood in the English Reformation; women's religious writing in late Stuart England; the Jacobean divine Richard Field; Jansenist influences on mid-seventeenth century English theology; and epistolary spiritual counsel in seventeenth-century England.

Selected Publications

‘"Extravagencies and Impertinencies": Set Forms, Conceived and Extempore Prayer in Revolutionary England', in Worship and the Parish Church in Early Modern Britain, eds Natalie Mears and Alec Ryrie, Ashgate, 2013.

‘"Oh dear, if only the Reformation had happened differently": Anglicanism, the Reformation, and Dame Rose Macaulay', in The Church and Literature, eds Peter Clarke and Charlotte Methuen, Studies in Church History 48 (2012).

‘Gender and Establishment: Parliament, ‘Erastianism' and the Ordination of Women 1993-2010' in The Established Church: Past, Present, Future. Eds Mark Chapman, Judith Maltby, William Whyte. Continuum, 2011.

‘"Neither too mean/nor yet too gay"?: the Historians, Anglicanism and George Herbert's Church' in George Herbert's Travels: International Print and Cultural Legacies. Ed Christopher Hodgkins, University of Delaware Press, 2011.

‘Anglicanism, the Reformation and the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission's Agreed Statement Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ', Theology CX:855 (2007).

Religion in Revolutionary England. Eds Christopher Durston and Judith Maltby. Manchester University Press, 2006. ‘Introduction' (with C. Durston) and ‘Suffering and Surviving: the civil wars, the Commonwealth and the formation of "Anglicanism"'.

‘The Prayer Book and the Parish Church: from the Elizabethan Settlement to the Restoration' in The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer Worldwide, eds Charles Hefling and Cynthia Shattuck, Oxford University Press, 2006.

‘From Temple to Synagogue: "Old" Conformity, the Commonwealth and the case of Christopher Harvey' in Conformity and Orthodoxy in early modern England, eds. Peter Lake and Michael Questier, Boydell and Brewer, 2000.

Prayer Book and People in Elizabethan and early Stuart England. Cambridge University Press, 1998. Paperback edition, 2000.

The Short Parliament (1640) Diary of Sir Thomas Aston. Royal Historical Society, Camden Series, 35, 1988.



Updated 20/06/2018

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