North American Scholar

MICHELL, Humfrey

  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1883-02-21
  • Born City: London
  • Born State/Country: England
  • Parents: George Dalton & Mary Gunning Babington
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1970-05-05
  • Death City: Hatley
  • Death State/Country: PQ
  • Married: Dorothea Edwards, 1910.
  • Education:

    B.A. Oxford (Queen's Coll.), 1905; study at Heidelberg; M.A. U. Manitoba, 1912.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tchr. St. John's Coll. (Winnipeg), 1910-3; asst. Queen's U., correspondence courses, banking, 1913-4; lctr. pol. econ. Queen's U., 1913-9; lctr., 1919; prof. & head dept. pol. econ. McMaster U., 1920-48; fell. RSC, 1942; prof. pol. econ. Bishop's Coll., 1948-53.

  • Publications:

    [Classical, historical] "Herr Spengler and Mr. Toynbee," TRSC ser. 3, 43 (1949) 103-13; The Economics of Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 1940; 2d ed. 1963); Sparta (Cambridge, 1952).

  • Notes:

    Michell's career was devoted to the teaching and interpretation of economic literature. Schooling at Dulwich brought him to respect Greek and Roman literature and history. During almost three decades at McMaster his durable interest in the ancient world resulted in his economic history of ancient Greece, translated into Spanish and Modern Greek. After retirement from McMaster, while resident in Lennoxville, Que., he produced a history of Sparta. His lifelong addiction to documentary research and higher criticism, manifest in his dedication to Canadian economic history, had an engaging by-product: study and analysis of the times of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie, and of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Michell's stern demeanor and precise manner, stimulating conversation, energetic teaching, and deep concern for the welfare of his students made him an adornment to McMaster's Faculty of Arts.

  • Sources:

    CanWW 1955-7; W. A. Mackintosh, PRSC, ser. 4, 8 (1970) 115-9; K. W. Taylor, McMaster Alumni News 18:3 (1948) 11; MacmDCB 78:575-6,

  • Author: Alexander G. McKay