Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
History Part of Humanities

Professor Anne Curry BA, MA, PhD, FRHistS, FSA, FHA

Emeritus Professor of Medieval History

Professor Anne Curry's photo

Professor Anne Curry is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History

My special interest is the Hundred Years War, especially the battle of Agincourt, English armies and Joan of Arc. I was principal investigator on a major AHRC project which led to the creation of an on-line database of soldiers serving between 1369 and 1453 ( ). On that website you can also find an Agincourt 600 section where I have put the results of my researches on English and French armies at the battle.

2015 – the 600th anniversary of Agincourt – was amazing for me. I was heavily involved in the commemorations and, as chair of Trustees of the Agincourt 600 charity, in making grants from the £1m received from HM Government. The greatest honour was being invited to speak in English and French on the day itself (25 October) at the inauguration of a new monument on the battlefield. To read more visit .

I was heavily involved in the creation of a new museum at Azincourt, which opened in September 2019. At the Historial of Joan of Arc at Rouen you can see me as a hologram and ask me questions! I have also worked with French historians  on an exhibition in Troyes to commemorate the treaty sealed there on 21 May 1420 which made Henry V heir to the French throne.

My current research focus is the English army in Normandy between 1415 and 1450. I have been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship to produce an on-line calendar of the Norman rolls of Henry V. I completed a project to put online all of the Gascon rolls from 1317 to 1467 ( ). I am also working with colleagues from the Universities of Reading, Oxford and Glasgow on an AHRC project on the Peasants’ Revolt (‘The People of 1381’).

I was a Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society, President of the Historical Association (2006-9), and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton (2010-18). I have been a Trustee of the Royal Armouries and am currently Chair of The Battlefields Trust (, and Upper Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers (

I am always keen to give talks and academic papers on my research, and happy to receive any Agincourt-related and Hundred Years War queries . Please contact me on

Great Battles

Great Battles - Agincourt

One of the most famous and enduring battles in English history, immortalized in Shakespeare's Henry V.

Find out more
Henry V

Henry V

Agincourt was a battle that Henry should not have won - but he did, and the rest is history...

Find out more
The Battle of Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt

This comprehensive, illustrated volume provides a defining reassessment of England’s legendary victory on the fields of Agincourt on October 25, 1415.

Find out more
Great Battles, Agincourt
Great Battles, Agincourt
Henry V
Henry V
The Battle of Agincourt
The Battle of Agincourt

I was President of the Historical Association 2006-9, and am now a Trustee of the Royal Armouries. Please contact me if would like me to give a talk, or if you are interested in postgraduate research in my field, or have any Agincourt-related queries and news.

Research interests

My research focuses on war, politics and society in the later middle ages. In recent years my main work has been on the battle of Agincourt and on the soldiers of English armies. I am also very interested in civil-military relations (especially on the place of women - not just Joan of Arc - in warfare), in Henry V, and in the armies of the Wars of the Roses. I have also directed a project on English Gascony - ‘Old Wine in New Bottles' (a reminder that this area was a major source of wine for medieval England). Read on for more details of how I became interested in this exciting period of history.

How it began

My historical journey began with my BA dissertation at the University of Manchester on the treaty of Troyes, an amazing peace settlement of May 1420 which made Henry V heir to the throne of France. Had it proved longer lasting, we would have had a double monarchy of England and France, and the history of Europe could have been much different.

My MA by research (also at Manchester, where I was inspired by Ian Kershaw before he moved on to Hitler) was on Cheshire in the reigns of Henry IV and V. This might seem to be a move away from things military, but I discovered that the war to put down Glendower's rebellion was partly funded from the revenues of the earldom of Chester, which was of course part of the lands of Henry V as prince.

In 1976 I was appointed to a post at Teesside Polytechnic where I also studied for my PhD, ‘Military Organization in Lancastrian Normandy 1422-50' (available on-line in ETHOS). I was lucky to find such a rewarding topic and such excellent supervisors in Christopher Allmand and Tony Pollard. After being appointed to a lectureship at the University of Reading in 1978, I continued to research the English occupation, from the impact of war on towns to the sexual activities of the English soldiers. I even dabbled in the history of accountancy in examining how the English moved from English to French methods of financial administration.


I then began to look in more detail at the conquest of Normandy by Henry V, which brought me to Agincourt. Everyone knows about this because of Shakespeare, but I wanted to strip away the hyperbole of later centuries. This meant working through the mass of surviving financial records in The National Archives at Kew and in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris to reconstruct the sizes of the English and French armies.

My conclusions, to be found in Agincourt: A New History (2005, new end 2015), are dramatic. The English were undoubtedly 'happy' but by no means 'few'. They had between 8,500 and 9,000 at the battle whilst the French had only a few thousand more at most. The chronicle accounts of the battle are what we would today call 'spin'. I have analysed this in detail in my The Battle of Agincourt: Sources and Interpretations (2000, 2009, now e book), which also includes translations of all the key texts. I have also looked at why the battle has meant so much over the six centuries since it occurred (Great Battles. Agincourt, OUP, 2015).

Tracing medieval soldiers

When studying for my PhD I began to collect the names of soldiers. They were on file cards in those days, but thanks to an award from the British Academy in 1988 I started to create a computer database. This proved extremely useful in preparing my entries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and I was also able to supply information on military careers to the History of Parliament Trust, other 15th-century historians, and genealogists. But I had not collected the names of the archers because there were so many. My research student, now Prof Adrian Bell at the University of Reading, was able to look at both men-at-arms as well as archers for his doctorate on the armies of 1387 and 1388, and showed just how valuable a computer-based study could be.

We won three-year research grant (2006-9) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to investigate The Soldier in the Later Middle Ages, 1369-1453. The Research Assistants on the project were Dr Andy King, a specialist on the Anglo-French border wars, and Dr David Simpkin, who has worked on the armies of Edward I and Edward II. The project student, Adam Chapman, studied for a PhD on the contribution of the Welsh to 'English' armies and his book The Welsh Soldier came out in 2015 (Boydell).

Our aim was to create a database of all known soldiers, not simply those serving in France, and to use it to examine whether we could speak of professional soldiers in this period. There has been a tendency to say that this was something which began in the early modern period but our book (The Soldier in Later Medieval England, OUP 2013. This is also available as an e-book) reveals how well developed it was in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries/

We have a searchable website.

Visit The Soldier in Late Medieval England site

I am also continuing to publish on the English in Normandy and have extended my interest into Gascony with an on-line project on the Gascon rolls .

I am also researching Henry V before his accession (21 March 1413) looking at his finances and at the origins of the stories of his youthful misbehaviour. You can read some of my conclusions in my Henry V in the Penguin Monarchs series (2015).

I also worked on the battle of Bosworth in connection with the HLF project which identified its new location. The book of the project (Bosworth: A Battlefield Rediscovered, by Glenn Foard and Anne Curry, was published by Oxbow books in 2013).

I was also one of the editors of the Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, being responsible for the 1422-53 section. This is now available on British History on-line (by subscription). I have also worked on the military experience of the Speakers of the Commons.

Soldier in Later Medieval England
Soldier in Later Medieval England
Bosworth:A Battlefield Rediscovered
Bosworth:A Battlefield Rediscovered

Sort via: Type or Year

Internet publications
Website of AHRC project (2006-9) on the Soldier in Later Medieval England. Over 250K names of soldiers put on line in a searchable database.

Soldier of the month, August 2008: Archers at the battle of Shrewsbury

Soldier of the month, November 2008: Sir John Cressy

Other materials on, on the sources for the English and French armies at Agincourt, and the English occupation of Normandy

Online calendar of the Gascon Rolls (The National Archives C 61).

Areas of postgraduate supervision

I am very keen to attract students interested in medieval military history, and on any aspect of the Hundred Years War. I can also supervise dissertations on medieval English and French political history, the role of women, and in English local history. I have supervised many students on topics as diverse as: English diplomats 1376-1422; technological change in warfare in the early 14th century; logistics under Edward I; the New Forest; Guildford Castle; markets in medieval Berkshire; Isabeau of Bavaria, queen of France; the study of arms and armour in the post-medieval period; the cost of arms and armour in the middle ages.

My recent and current postgraduates are:

Adam Chapman - The Welsh Soldier (awarded 2009). Supported by the AHRC

Randall Moffett (joint with archaeology)- The Defences of Southampton (awarded 2009). Supported by the Burgess Studentship

Lynda Pidgeon - The Woodville family (awarded 2012)

Gemma Watson (joint with English and Southampton City Council)- Roger Machado and early Tudor Southampton (awarded 2013). Supported by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Aleksandr Lobanov - Anglo-Burgundian Military Co-operation 1420-1435 (awarded 2014)

Rebecca Holdorph - Marriage and the women of the house of Lancaster, late 13th-early 15th centuries (awarded 2016)

Dan Spencer – The development of gunpowder weapons in late medieval England (awarded 2016)

Drew Martinez – Disciplinary ordinances and military change 1385-1585: a comparative analysis of English army ordinances (awarded 2018)

James Hester – to adorn the great light of Mars. Armed fighting techniques of the late middle ages (awarded 2018). Supported by the Arms and Armour Heritage Trust.

Michael Warner – The army of 1415: the retinues of Thomas, duke of Clarence and Humphrey, duke of Gloucester (awarded 2018). Supported by The Gosling Foundation.

Robert Blackmore – The political economy of the Anglo-Gascon wine trade c. 1348-c. 1453 (awarded 2018). Supported by the Gascon Studentship

Chloe Mackenzie - The ladies of the Garter and their robes, Edward III to Henry V. Supported by the Wolfson Trust.

Kate Bicknell - The Stanley family and the Stanley ballads

Emily Mitchell (joint with Archaeology)– Trauma and rehealing: a study of wounds and their treatment

Professor Anne Curry
Student Office, Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Southampton. SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings