Image of honorary doctor Professor Clive Emsley
Honorary Doctor Professor Clive Emsley

Tributes have poured in for Edge Hill University Honorary Doctor of Philosophy and Emeritus Professor Clive Emsley who has sadly passed away.

Professor Emsley, who has made numerous appearances in the media, will be remembered for his enormous contribution to criminal justice history.

From authoring the BBC History online pages on crime and policing, appearances on Who Do You Think You Are, to being instrumental in the emergence of the history of crime and policing as a significant field of academic study since the 1970s, his work has inspired many generations.

Close associate Professor Alyson Brown, Associate Head of English, History and Creative Writing at Edge Hill, has spoken of how Professor Emsley was a great scholar and an example of such a great historian.

She said: “He was an outstanding academic, a pioneer in his field and a generous and collegiate man. He always made time to support younger academics coming through for which many of us were grateful.”

During his academic career Professor Emsley had written 14 single-authored texts, 18 edited or co-edited collections and over 50 articles and book chapters. His tenure at the Open University continued until his retirement in 2009 where he then held an emeritus and senior research associate position.

Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater said:

“We are all deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our honorary doctor and friend of Edge Hill, Professor Clive Emsley, who I know was such an inspiration to colleagues, students and alumni of the University. His work has been an important part of teaching and research by members of the History department and I know he will be missed by so many. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and those who admired his work at this very sad time.”

Edge Hill was among the first History programmes in the country to introduce modules on crime, so as a recognised authority about crime and policing, Professor Emsley’s publications have been on History reading lists at the University for several decades, and he delivered guest lectures at the University in 2010 and 2017. He also attended the British Crime Historians Conference hosted by Edge Hill in 2018.

Professor Emsley was a co-founder and co-director of the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research at the Open University from 2003 until 2009. He was also President of the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice for twelve years and a co-editor of the Old Bailey Proceedings Online. Professor Emsley also held visiting posts in universities in Australia, Canada, France and New Zealand.