Ernest Scott

Ernest Scott

"This article is about the Australian historian. For the pseudonymous author of the book "The People of the Secret", see Ernest Scott (pseudonym)."

Sir Ernest Scott KB (21 June 18676 December 1939) was an Australian historian.

Scott was born and educated in Northampton England and worked as a journalist on the London "Globe" before migrating to Australia in 1892, where he joined the staff of The Herald newspaper in Melbourne. From 1895 to 1901 he was a member of the Victorian Hansard staff, and from 1901 to 1914 was on the Commonwealth Hansard staff.

After the publication of "Terre Napoleon" (1910) and "Laperouse" (1912) his reputation as a historian was established.

In 1913 Scott was appointed Professor of History at the University of Melbourne, even though Scott had never attended a university. He had, however, shown ability both in research and as a lecturer, and the experiment proved a great success.

Scott's other works included "Life of Matthew Flinders" (1914), "A Short History of Australia" (1916), "Men and Thought in Modern History" (1916), "History and Historical Problems" (1925), "Australian Discovery" (1929) and in 1933 appeared volume VII of "The Cambridge History of the British Empire", edited and partly written by Scott. "Australia During the War", being volume XI of "The Official History of Australia in the War", appeared in 1936.

He retired in 1936, was knighted in June 1939 and died on 6 December 1939.

Scott's widow Emily Scott donated money to the university to establish the Ernest Scott Prize for History, which is awarded annually for the most distinguished contribution to the history of Australia or New Zealand. [ [ Statute R6.61 - Ernest Scott Prize] at the University of Melbourne] [ [ Ernest Scott Prize page] at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts]

Scott was above medium height, bluff and open in manner, sincere and kindly in character. He was much interested in music, the drama and poetry, in which he had read widely. He had a sound knowledge of his own subject, and was an industrious and fast worker. He did much to bring Australian history to life. He did not always carry out his urgent advice to his students that they should "verify their references" and consequently errors will be found in some of his books. Generally, however, they are in comparatively unessential things and were caused by trusting to a usually reliable memory. As a rule his work is excellent and was always based on conscientious research. As a teacher he was interesting, vivid and inspiring, exacting hard work from his students and insisting on the value of original documents, while also pointing out that even they cannot be blindly accepted. He had a human interest in his students and no trouble was too great for him if it would help them in their work. Among his students were Professors W. K. Hancock of Oxford, S. H. Roberts of Sydney and A. G. B. Fisher of Dunedin.


*Dictionary of Australian Biography|First=Ernest|Last=Scott|Link=

External links

* [ Pictures of Ernest Scott] at Picture Australia
* [ Works by Ernest Scott] at [ Project Gutenberg Australia]

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