In Memoriam: Professor J.M. Beattie

July 13, 2017 by Department of History Staff

Dear Colleagues,

We are saddened to share the news that Professor John M. Beattie has passed away. Professor Beattie earned his PhD from King’s College, Cambridge and in 1961, he was appointed to the Department of History, University of Toronto. He was a member of our Department for 35 years, during which time he earned the rank of University Professor and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. He served as Acting Chair of the Department, and two terms as Director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. Over the course of his career, Professor Beattie published five books including Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800 which was considered a foundational book for any student of the history of crime and law. As noted in the Globe and Mail what was so meaningful to Professor Beattie in regards to his career, were his teaching and students:

“Yet as important as research and writing were for him, John's great love was teaching. He believed this was a university's most essential mission and the truest test of what its core values should be: openness, curiosity and rigour. John always took immense pleasure in the work of his graduate students and joy in all their successes, academic and otherwise.” 

The family has asked that any donations be sent to Interval House, a home for women in need based in Toronto.

You can read Professor Beattie's full obituary in the Globe and Mail.

There will be a celebration of his life in the fall academic term, details to be announced.



Nicholas Terpstra, FRSC
Professor & Chair
Department of History
University of Toronto