Walter Ullmann, FBA


1910-83.  Walter UllmannLawyer and Professor of Medieval History.

Ullmann was born in Lower Austria, and at the age of four accompanied his parents as they served at the Serbian front. He studied in Vienna and Innsbruck, and began to practise as a criminal lawyer until he was forced to escape to Britain in 1938, as a result of his vigorous prosecution of Nazi criminals, and of the discovery of Jewish blood in his ancestry.

He was welcomed to Cambridge, thanks to a Cambridge committee for the support of refugee scholars, and found rich material for his studies in the Wren Library.  He taught at Ratcliffe College in Leicestershire before briefly taking up a lecturership at the University of Leeds, and subsequently at Cambridge.  He published the first of his many books in 1946.

Ullmann became a recognised authority on medieval political thought, and in particular legal theory.  He was awarded a readership in 1957, the degree of LittD in 1958, a fellowship of Trinity in 1959, an ad hominem chair in 1966, fellowship of the British Academy in 1968, and the chair of medieval history in 1972.


Memorial inscription Translation


Avstria relicta vtrivsqve ivris iam peritvs hvc exvl venit hic libenter mansit ivsqve romanvm qvo ipse tamqvam ecclesia vixit ad totvm medivm aevvm et praecipve longas inter caesarem et papam rixas illvstrandvm felicissime addvxit.
Fidei propositiqve tenax a discipvlis maxime dilectvs vniversitatis professor insignis sociis collegii socivs gratissimvs.
Obiit a.s. mcmlxxxiii aetatis svae lxxiii.

When Walter Ullmann came here as a refugee from Austria and willingly stayed, he was already qualified in civil and canon law; like the Church itself, he lived by Roman law, and brilliantly deployed it so as to illuminate the whole of the Middle Ages, and especially the Investiture Dispute.  Steadfast in faith and purpose, he was greatly loved by his pupils; as Professor in the University he was widely appreciated and as Fellow of the College very dear to his colleagues.  He died in 1983 at the age of seventy-two.

Walter Ullmann

Brass located on the north wall of the Ante-Chapel.
Inscription text by Tony Weir.



Ullmann brass



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Coutts Trotter





Ralph Vaughan Williams

Brasses A-B Brasses C-G Brasses H-K Brasses L-P Brasses R-S Brasses T-W