Teddy Hall Alumnus and Monty Python Star Terry Jones 1942-2020

22 Jan 2020

Terry Jones, Alumnus and Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall

St Edmund Hall is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Monty Python star, actor and writer Terry Jones.

Terry matriculated in 1961 to read English Language and Literature at the Hall and was taught by the inspirational Graham Midgley, Bruce Mitchell and Reggie Alton. He was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 1999. In 2012 he generously donated over 700 books to the college library many of which reflected the extent of his research and studies as a medieval scholar and Chaucerian expert. They have been a great value for students, academics and our library.

In recent times, Terry was the keynote speaker at the Hall’s Research Expo event in 2015 where he gave a lecture about his research on the Ellesmere Manuscript, a famous fifteenth-century illuminated manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

 “Terry enriched all of our lives and I was privileged to spend three glorious years studying with him at Oxford in the early sixties. Terry had the extraordinary ability to embrace all that life offered him. Of course Terry is famous for his roles in revues, but he also took on major roles in a number of drama productions. Remarkably he didn’t allow his acting and writing to detract from his studies which he took seriously, demonstrating genuine academic talent, later manifest in his many published books. Like many who knew him, I remain in awe of what Terry managed to pack-in to an extraordinary life. He will be missed.” David Aukin (1961, BA Jurisprudence)

“Terry Jones talents were many, but were worn lightly.  He is best known for the many Python-related productions but was also a writer who excelled as a children’s author and a renowned Chaucerian scholar. He was the best of company, witty, charming, generous and engaging… Terry wore his intellect, talents and achievements lightly. On that first visit to his home he encouraged me to look around his study whilst he started cooking lunch.  It had a superb view over London, but what was noticeable was its intimacy; hardly any examples of honours or awards, very much a personal working space with a few old, obviously much valued, photos of the Python team, family and others.” Professor Keith Gull (Principal 2009-2018)

Our sincere condolences go to Terry’s family and he will be sorely missed by the Teddy Hall community.

Terry Jones at Research Expo in 2015
Terry Jones giving keynote lecture on the Ellesmere Manuscript in 2015.

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