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Anne Josephine Duggan

Professor Anne Josephine Duggan

Emeritus Professor of Medieval History


Having lectured at Queen Mary College from 1963, Anne Duggan joined the King’s History Department in 1988 and formally retired in 2004, with the title of Emeritus, although she has a standing commitment to deliver the undergraduate lecture on the political ideas of Thomas Aquinas every year and her research output on a wide range of topics continues apace. She became a fellow of King’s in 2000, was elected a Corresponding Member of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in 2002 and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2012. She is also a founder member of the Ecclesiastical History Society and a General Editor of the Ashgate Series, ‘Church, Faith and Culture in the Middle Ages’ (now published by Amsterdam University Press). She organized three international conferences at King’s (on Kings and Kingship [1992], Queens and Queenship [1995], and Nobles and Nobility [1998]), from whose proceedings she edited three very successful books, two of which (Queens and Nobles) were reprinted in paperback and issued online.

Research interests

Although Anne is the world expert on Thomas Becket (having edited and translated his ‘Correspondence’ for Oxford Medieval Texts [2000] and written an acclaimed biography [2004] and numerous other studies), her interests and expertise include intellectual and legal history, especially the context and impact of the revival of Roman and canon law in the twelfth century and the creation of the ius commune. Her published work ranges from nobility and queenship to canon and Roman law, from manuscripts and diplomatic to marriage, liturgy and the cult of saints, including a special emphasis on Scandinavian lands. In recent years, she has focused especially on the legal activity of five twelfth-century popes (Innocent II, Adrian IV, Eugenius III [in press], Alexander III, Celestine III), and studies on the four short pontificates of Lucius III, Urban III, Gregory VIII, and Clement III are in progress. 

Public and International Engagement

Anne has contributed to radio and television programmes on Thomas Becket, Dover Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Joan of Arc, and the Carmina Burana; she wrote the programme notes for the world premiere of Stephen Barlow’s King in Canterbury Cathedral (2006); she gave the annual oration to the Medical Society of London in 2012 on ‘The Medical Miracles of St Thomas’ and presented Thomas Becket as the first of the ’32 Londoners on the London Eye’ in 2014. She has given interviews on topical subjects such as the return of the Stone of Scone to Scotland, the concept of ‘Millennium’, and the ‘pilgrimage’ of the Hungarian relic of St Thomas Becket to Westminster and Canterbury. Apart from the UK, Anne has given invited lectures on a range of subjects in twelve countries (Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United States) and published in thirteen (Austria, Belgium, Città del Vaticano, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and the United States). Reviewing her Thomas Becket, a French reviewer (2005) spoke of ‘her faultless erudition’, which ‘introduces the reader to the subtleties of canon law, the richness of theology in the schools of Paris and Laon, the novelties of the government and administration of Henry II, the technical knowledge and manner of life of the clerks of the court and many other aspects of the life … of the twelfth century’.