I am a historian of Britain in the high middle ages, with a range of interests spanning ecclesiastical, military, and urban history, and medieval concepts of identity and authority. I am particularly interested in the question of how religious culture and church politics were involved in medieval military culture and practice, and how medieval people understood the role of cities in their society. My first monograph, The Church at War: The Military Activities of Bishops, Abbots and Other Clergy was published by Routledge in 2017.
I read Mediaeval History and English for my undergraduate degree at St Andrews (M.A. 2005), where I also completed an M.Litt in Mediaeval History (2006), before moving on to the University of Glasgow, where I wrote my doctoral thesis. After that, I served for several years as a college lecturer in Medieval History at St Peter’s College and Merton College. I have also held positions as a Study Skills Lecturer (Oxford Brookes), a Contributing Editor of the Victoria County History, and Course Lead in Social Sciences and Humanities on the International Foundation Programme of the University of Warwick. I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In conjunction with my role at Regent’s, I am also Director of Greene’s Institute.
My Role in the College
As Lecturer in Medieval History, I have responsibility for teaching a wide range of papers, mostly covering the early and high medieval period at Prelims level and in the Final Honour School. I am very much concerned with questions of access and outreach, and am keen to support projects that will help to spread the remarkable benefits of an Oxford education to as many students as possible.
“It has ever been my delight to learn, or to teach, or to write. ” Bede
- The Church at War: The Military Activities of Bishops, Abbots and Other Clergy in England, c. 900-1200 (Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West, Routledge, 2017)
- The Normans: How William the Conqueror Changed Britain Forever (Connell, 2020)
- Anglo-Norman England: 1035-1187 (Connell, 2017)
- ‘Why Study Fighting Clergy?’ in (eds) R. Kotecki and J. Maciejewski Between Sword and Prayer: Warfare and Medieval Clergy in Cultural Perspective (Brill, 2017)
- ‘William of Malmesbury and Civic Virtue’ in (eds) E. Winkler, E. Dolmans, R. Thomson, Discovering William of Malmesbury (Boydell and Brewer, 2016)
- ‘Ermenfroi de Sion, l’archevêque Lanfranc et le problème des ecclésiastiques rebelles’ in (eds) V. Gazeau, J. Barrow and F. Delivré, Autour de Lanfranc : Réforme et Réformateurs dans l’Europe de l’Ouest (University of Caen, 2015)
- ‘Chivalry, War and Clerical Identity: England, 1056-1200’ in (eds) Radoslaw Kotecki and Jacek Maciejewski Ecclesia et Violentia (Cambridge Scholars, 2014)
- ‘Jocelin of Brakelond and the Power of Abbot Samson’ in Journal of Medieval History 40: 1 (February 2014)
- ‘Fighting Clergy, Church Councils and the Contexts of Law: The Cutting Edge of Orthodoxy or the Ambiguous Limits of Legitimacy?’ in (eds) A. Roach, J. Simpson, Heresy and the Making of European Culture: medieval and modern perspectives (Ashgate, 2013)