I joined the department in September 2011 as a Lecturer in Medieval British History. I did my undergraduate and masters degrees in Oxford (2004, 2005) and completed my doctorate there in 2009 under the supervision of Professor Richard Sharpe and Dr John Maddicott. I then held a research fellowship at King’s College Cambridge until 2011.
Between 2014 and 2017, I was Co-Investigator on the AHRC project ‘Models of Authority: Scottish Charters and the Emergence of Government, 1100-1250’, and, between 2017 and 2020, am Principal Investigator of the AHRC project ‘The community of the realm in Scotland, 1249-1424: history, law and charters in a recreated kingdom’. I have been a member of the editorial board of Past & Present since 2017, won the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize for my first book (published in 2016), and am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- Medieval states and government (Europe, 11-13th centuries)
- Law and legal norms
- Feudalism and lordship
- Medieval Scotland, 11-15th centuries, particularly its law.
I am currently researching and writing a comparative history of European states and governments in the long twelfth century. My previous research focussed on the form of the medieval state in Scotland, particularly on uncovering its early legal tradition from its later medieval manuscript tradition.
I would be interested in PhD proposals from students wishing to work in any of the above areas. I am currently or have previously supervised students on medieval cartularies, communal law enforcement, universal chronicles and the letters of medieval queens.
I teach modules at levels of the undergraduate course, from survey lectures on aspects of medieval British history, to the cultural and social history of the aristocracy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, to a module which uses anthropological and sociological work to understand the medieval past.
Expertise and public engagement
I co-convene the Earlier Middle Ages seminar and the European History Seminar, 1150-1500 seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London. I also co-host the podcast Medieval History for Fun and Profit with my colleague, Alice Rio, a fortnightly show where we attempt to answer questions from members of the public on anything they would like to know about the Middle Ages. I also have contributed to the Times Literary Supplement and have appeared on BBC Radio 4’s History of Ideas Series and the long-running radio programme, Making History.
Formalising aristocratic power in royal acta in late twelfth- and early thirteenth-century France and Scotland
01 September 2018
Review of N.F. Shead ed., Scottish Episcopal Acta 1: the twelfth century
02 April 2017
Review of J.C. Holt, Magna Carta
26 January 2017
Review of 'Neville, C.J. and Simpson, G.G., eds, Regesta Regum Scottorum, vol. 4, part 1: The Acts of Alexander III, 1249-1286 (Edinburgh 2013)
01 January 2015
Review of Cynthia J. Neville and Grant G. Simpson (eds), Regesta Regum Scottorum IV, Part 1, The acts of Alexander III, 1249-1286 (Edinburgh University Press 2013)
01 January 2015
Review of T.N. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship and the Origins of European Government
01 January 2010
Review of Cynthia J. Neville, Land, law and people in Medieval Scotland (Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
01 January 2011
Review of: Saints' Cults in the Celtic World, ed. S. Boardman, J.R. Davies and E. Williamson (Woodbridge 2009)
01 January 2011
Review of: The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland
01 February 2016
The Scottish clause in Magna Carta in context: Homage, overlordship and the consequences of peace in the early thirteenth century
01 January 2018