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Charles Sanford Terry

Charles Sanford Terry (24 October 1864, Newport Pagnell – 5 November 1936, Aberdeen) was an English historian and musicologist who published extensively on Scottish and European history as well as the life and works of J. S. Bach.



Terry was the eldest son of Charles Terry, a physician, and Ellen Octavia Prichard. After attending St Paul's Cathedral School, King's College School, and Lancing College, he was an undergraduate at Clare College, Cambridge, where he obtained a B.A. in history (2nd class) in 1886 and an M.A. in 1891.[1] He held lectureships in history at Durham College of Science (now part of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne), the University of Aberdeen and the University of Cambridge. He married Edith Allfrey of Newport Pagnell in 1901; the marriage was childless. He was Professor of History at the University of Aberdeen from 1903 until his retirement in 1930. He served as president of the Association of Scottish History. Terry was also known as a composer and in 1908 founded the North East of Scotland Music Festival.

Terry had a close professional and personal association with Edward Elgar; Terry arranged for Elgar to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in 1906 and four years later helped with the proofreading of the original manuscript of the violin concerto, which Elgar later bequeathed to him.[2]

He died on 5 November 1936 at his home, "Westerton of Pitfodels" in Cults, a suburb of Aberdeen.[3][4][5]


Terry published extensively on several aspects of Scottish history, and wrote a "Short History of Europe" (1806-1915). He published many books on the life and works of J. S. Bach between 1915 and 1932 and became known as an authority on Bach; his works have become classics in Bach scholarship.



  1. ^ Terry, Charles Sanford in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ Adams 2007, pp. 173-178
  3. ^ Encyclopedia Americana, 26, Americana Corp., 1966, p. 449 
  4. ^ Weber 2004, p. 51
  5. ^ Blom 2008, p. 600


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