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Margaret Bowker is a historian who specializes in late-medieval and early modern English ecclesiastical history. Educated at Somerville College, Oxford, she took
first-class honors in history and was awarded the Bryce Research Studentship. She went on to Girton College, Cambridge, as a research fellow. After receiving her M.A. and B.Litt. in history from Oxford in 1962, she was appointed a fellow of Girton and an assistant lecturer in Cambridge's Faculty of History. She became a lecturer and director of studies at Girton in 1965. Dr. Bowker was the first woman to be appointed secretary to the Faculty of History at Cambridge, and in 1972, she became a senior research fellow at Girton, where she pursued research on the English Church before and after the break with Rome under grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy. Appointed a lecturer in social history at Lancaster University in 1975, she was named a reader in 1975 with joint appointments in the departments of history and educational research. Returning to Cambridge 1985, she was appointed a senior research scholar at Corpus Christi College, and Cambridge awarded her a Litt.D. In 1986 she was invited to become a tutor in prayer and spirituality at Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge, a post that was created for her and which she held until her retirement. Dr. Bowker has had visiting appointments at the University of British Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she has been active in community and ecclesiastical organizations as vice chair of the Board of Prison Visitors in Lancaster, an elected member of the General Synod of the Church of England, and a member of the Church of England's Board of Education. Her articles have been published in historical, theological, and education journals, and she is a recipient of the Alexander Prize Medal given by the Royal Historical Society. In addition to contributing to volumes on the English reformation, Dr. Bowker edited An Episcopal Court Book for the Diocese of Lincoln, 1514-1520 (1967) and is the author of two other books, The Secular Clergy in the Diocese of Lincoln 1495-1520 (1968) and The Henrician Reformation: The Diocese of Lincoln under John Longland,
1521-1547
, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 1981. She is a major contributor to A History of Lincoln Minister (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and also contributed to the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004).