Friday, March 12, 2010

Thomas G. Barnes has died

I'm sorry to report the death of legal historian Thomas G. Barnes of the University of California, Berkeley. The author or editor of eight books, Professor Barnes was a member of the American Society for Legal History, the Royal Historical Society of England and the Selden Society. He was also the editor of the Gryphon Legal Classics Library. He served as co-chair of UC Berkeley's Canadian Studies Program, and he served as the director for the ABA Anglo-American Legal History Project from 1965 to 1986.
From the Daily Californian:

UC Berkeley history and law professor emeritus Thomas Garden Barnes, who was known as an erudite academe of English, French, American and Canadian law and history, died Tuesday. He was 80.

Born April 29, 1930, Barnes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1952, and went on to receive his doctorate in history at Oxford University three years later.

Barnes began teaching history and law at UC Berkeley in 1960 and retired in 2005 after 45 years of service. He was named a professor of history and law emeritus in January 2006, and is considered one of the leading historians of legal history in the 17th century, according to Roger Hahn, a campus history professor emeritus and long-time colleague of Barnes...

Sheldon Rothblatt, a professor emeritus of history and long-time colleague, said Barnes was devoted to the campus and students...

In 1982, Barnes co-founded the campus Canadian Studies Program, serving as co-director of the program from 2006 until his death....

Due to his support and dedication to the program, the Thomas Garden Barnes Endowed Chair was created in his honor in 2005.

Professor Barnes is remembered warmly by his former student, Dean C. Rowan, Director, Reference & Research Services, University of California, Berkeley, Law Library:
Prof. Barnes was a warm, gregarious, funny man, whose enthusiasm for legal history was catching. I took his English Legal History seminar in 2003 or '04. It was attended by both law students and assorted specialists from elsewhere on campus. I remember a couple of medievalists, for instance, who didn't want to miss his lectures. During class, he was instructive but eager to promote discussion. Before and after class we'd chat about hedonic values, say, beverages. We learned that he liked a particular brand of dark rum and a particular variety of soda pop. So we presented him with both at the end of the semester. He made that sort of personal connection with the entire class. I wish I had spoken with him more often about his beloved Nova Scotia, where he will be interred. He was a lovely, happy person.
Barnes' publications include The emergence of the European world, with Jerome Blum and Rondo E. Cameron, and Shaping the Common Law: From Glanvill to Hale, 1188-1688, Essays by Thomas Garden Barnes, edited and with an Introduction by Allen D. Boyer.

A tribute to Barnes is Law and authority in early modern England: essays presented to Thomas Garden Barnes (2007).