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Senior Lecturer, Keele University

I did my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at University College London, and submitted a doctoral thesis on warfare in medieval Cheshire, supervised by the late Professor Sir Rees Davies. Whilst at UCL I also worked as an assistant editor, first with the late Dr John Morris and then with the late Professor John McN Dodgson on the Phillimore Domesday project. I held a temporary lectureship at Queen Mary College, University of London and taught in a secondary school in Chippenham (Wiltshire) for six years before being appointed as a lecturer in local history in the department of adult education at Keele University in 1984. I was assimilated by the department of history in the early 1990s. Whilst at Keele I have taught as a visiting lecturer at Liverpool University on the M.A. in archive administration, and have held honorary research fellowships there, and have held two Fulbright visiting professorships, at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1990-91 and at Westminster College Missouri in 2000-01.

Old Wine in New Bottles: English Gascon (1360-1453y) for the Digital Future. I am currently leading a Leverhulme Trust award of £250,000 for a two year project from 1 May 2013 with Professor Anne Curry (Southampton) and Paul Spence (King’s College London). It also involves the active collaboration of the Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux 3 and UMR Ausonius in France. At Keele the team will include myself, Dr Simon Harris (a Keele graduate) and Dr Paul Booth, an Hon. Senior Research Fellow at Keele.

In addition to this I work on the following areas:
The gentry. The character and formation of the medieval English gentry, especially their cultural identities and attitudes to family and lineage.
Medieval warfare. The battle of Shrewsbury, 1403 is a current book project which reflects interests in the social context of war.
Chronicles. An edition of the chronicle of the Cistercian abbey at Croxden, Staffordshire.
Water. The cultural history of water across a long chronology from prehistory to the modern world, including ritual landscapes and practices.

Some recent scholarship can be found on my webpage at


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer, Keele University