I am a medieval historian with special interests in mililitary history, and in Anglo-French relations. I have published extensively on the Hundred Years War, Henry V, the battle of Agincourt, and Normandy under English rule 1417-1450. I have co-directed the following on-line projects: The Soldier in Later Medieval England; The Gascon Rolls; The People of 1381; and am currently creating an on-line calendar of Henry V's Norman Rolls.
- The Hundred Years War
- The reign of Henry V
- The battle of Agincourt 1415
- English armies in the later middle ages
- Joan of Arc
My current research is focused on the Norman rolls of Henry V, supported by a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. This will lead to an online calendar of this amazing source for the conquest and rule of Normandy by the English 1417-22. I am also continuing my research on the treaty of Troyes of May 1420, by which Henry V became heir to the crown of France. Last year I was involved in the creation of a major exhibition at Troyes. I am also returning to my first postgraduate topic and producing a book on Henry's Cheshire for the Chetham Society.
I remain fascinated by Joan of Arc and am preparing a book on her for OUP's Very Short Introduction series. My work on the English army in Normandy 1415-1450 continues, towards a monograph.
I retired in September 2019, having over my career taught the whole of the Middle Ages from the collapse of Rome to the Reformation.
Until I retired in September 2019, I was Professor of Medieval History at the University of Southampton where I also served as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities between 2010 and 2018.
I took my BA in History at the University of Manchester in 1975, and then studied for a one-year MA by research on the County Palatine of Chester when in the hands of Henry V as both Prince of Wales and King (1399-1422). I was fortunate to gain a post in 1976 at what was then Teesside Polytechnic which combined teaching experience with doctoral study on Military Organization in Lancastrian Normandy 1422-1450 (1985). From 1978 I was in the Department of History at the University of Reading, subsequently serving as Head of Department and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, until my appointment as Professor of Medieval History at Southampton.
Between 2008 and 2011 I was President of the Historical Association. I have also been a Vice President of the Royal Historical Society and Trustee of the Royal Armouries as well as Chair of the Battlefields Trust. I have served on two REF History sub panels. Currently I am Master of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers (2021-2) in its 650th anniversary year.
I have published widely on late medieval history, and given many invited papers across Europe as well as in the USA and Australia. I also edited the Journal of Medieval History from 2001 to 2008 and am now editor of the Berkshire Record Society as well as of the Boydell series War in History. I have worked closely for many years with the Centre Historique at Azincourt, and was chair of the Agincourt 600 charity linked to the 600th anniversary of the battle.
I was elected a member of the Société de l’Histoire de France in 1980, and am also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Historical Association, and a membre titulaire of the Société des Antiquaires de Normandie.