According to the memoirs of the Reverend Mervyn S. Ultimately he never served as one. From 1812 Tolkien's great-great-grandfather William Suffield had a book and stationery shop there; from 1826 Tolkien's great-grandfather also named John Suffield had a drapery and hosiery business there.
He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College Oxford from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College Oxford from 1945 to 1959. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.