Exeter Medieval Studies Blog

In category: Research Postcards


Mothers and daughters: a snapshot from early Tudor England

The relationship between a mother and a teenage daughter is often represented as inherently volatile. It has a long history as a trope in drama and fiction and in spite of a heightened awareness of, and suspicion towards facile stereotype it still surfaces today. For the historian of more-or-less any time period and place before […]


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Research Postcard: Saint Urith and the survival of Saxon saints in late medieval Somerset

The Douce manuscripts and printed books, held in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, are one of the most remarkable medieval collections to have been put together by a single bibliophile. In the first place the collection is striking simply because of its date: Francis Douce (1757-1834) found these 420 medieval books on the open market in the […]


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Research Postcard: Rebel Canons in the Lincoln Registers

On 1 October 1536 a crowd of worshippers which had just spilled out from the parish church of St James at Louth (Lincs.) was stirred into shouts of angry protest at the Westminster government’s interference in their lives. Their cries included some of the familiar complaints of the pre-modern commons: that evil counsellors held the […]


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A New Charter from the Fourth Crusade

Almost ten years ago, during my doctoral research, I was rifling through boxes at the Archives nationales in Paris for the first time. Guided by preliminary references I had found in notes kindly provided by Prof. Nicholas Vincent, I was mining a very rich seam through the Ordre de Malte section of the S series. […]


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Thietmar of Merseburg – Archforger or Anachronist?

One of the most striking discoveries of modern scholarship on medieval European documentary traditions has been just how widespread forgery was. Almost every major religious house was involved in falsifying documents at some point; and many witnessed multiple waves of forgery. Those responsible were not backstreet rogues, but leading members of the ecclesiastical establishment – […]


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Starting an Inquisition Database Project

I’m at the beginning of a new project on ‘Popular Healing: Christian and Islamic Practices and the Roman Inquisition in Early Modern Malta’ (not medieval, but you can’t have everything), funded by a British Academy Small Grant.  It’s a joint project, conducted by me and Dionisius Agius, in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies […]


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Movement and Mobility in the Medieval Mediterranean (6th-15th centuries): Society for the Medieval Mediterranean 6th Biennial Conference in Memory of Simon Barton

Alun Williams reports on the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean conference, held in the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC), Barcelona. The 2019 Conference of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean took place in the historic centre of Barcelona between 8 and 11 July in the beautiful and (mostly) neo-classical surroundings of the Casa de Convalescència, a […]


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Research Postcard: An Exeter Life of Thomas Becket

John Grandisson, the bishop who presided at Exeter in the turbulent middle years of the fourteenth century – the age of the papacy’s Avignon exile, the Black Death and the bloodiest battles of the Hundred Years War – has long been celebrated as a man of learning whose love of books brought some of the […]


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Research Postcard: Erasing the Past in Medieval Worms?

As a part of my AHRC-funded project on forgery, I had the singular pleasure of visiting the Hessisches Staatsarchiv in leafy Darmstadt last term. There are many reasons why archival visits are important. Some manuscripts have yet to be transcribed or digitised, while important features of those that have – ink colour, dry-point glosses, lineation […]


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Research Postcard: Erasing the Past in Medieval Worms?

As a part of my AHRC-funded project on forgery, I had the singular pleasure of visiting the Hessisches Staatsarchiv in leafy Darmstadt last term. There are many reasons why archival visits are important. Some manuscripts have yet to be transcribed or digitised, while important features of those that have – ink colour, dry-point glosses, lineation […]


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