My friend and colleague Muriel Chamberlain, who died at the age of 89, was the first female dean at the University of Swansea, and she became a professor of history and head of the department.
He was born in Leicester, the only child of Arthur Chamberlain, a railway station officer and Gladys (Nee Shortland), a teacher and artist. His father was posted to Bristol and Preston, and ended his career as a stationmaster in Leeds; He went to school in all three cities.
Muriel graduated from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford in 1951 and achieved first place in history, then defiled in European diplomatic history in the 19th century. After lecturing at the Royal Hallway College, he moved to Swansea in 1959. Three years later he bought a semi and his parents came to live with him after his father retired.
He became dean of Swansea in 1975 and became a professor in 1987. In 1989 he was elected head of the department at an irresistible interval, and later served a second term before retiring in 1997, although he continued. To write essays and revise his books.
Muriel was prudent and fairly fair, and as a result was often asked to sit on panels and committees, to audit other universities, and to act as an external examiner. His published work was primarily on the history of the empire and the Commonwealth, but he also wrote an outstanding biography of Prime Minister Lord Aberdeen at the beginning of the Crimean War. He was vice-chairman of the Historical Association and editor of the Historian for many years.
He had many interests outside the academy – chairman of the trustees of the National Trust, the Historic Garden Trust, the Victorian Society, the Glamorgan History Society, and for a long time the Cambrian Archaeological Society.
Muriel was a great traveler and traveled to almost every country in the world, often traveling alone. He enjoyed opera and was a prominent member of the Liberal Democrats. Later, her health deteriorated and she had to go to a care home.
He is survived by many cousins.