Personal profile

Research interests

I joined Northumbria in 2012 and was made Professor of History in 2020 and have published five books and thirty articles/chapters on a wide range of topics. In particular, I have written extensively on the history of medieval and early modern France, from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries. My first book (Brill, 2016) examined the ceremonial entries of French monarchs in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, and argues that they provided moments of negoiation between the king and urban elites who sought to win new privileges in return for staging these ceremonies. My second book (Palgrave, 2016) focused on the court of John II (the Good) during his period of captivity following his capture at the battle of Poitiers in 1356 and showed how he used display to assert his status as king of France during a period of great adversity. My most recent book (CUP, 2024) examines the emergence of comprehensive plague management systems in early modern France and argues that the French developed a polycentric system of plague care which drew on the input of numerous actors combat the disease. My most recent research focused on plague in early modern France is in part related to my ongoing wider interest in the urban history of pre-modern France. My next book on France with focus on the French defeat at Pavia in 1525 and the capture of Francis I, which despite being one of the most important moments in the history of Europe in the early sixteenth century has attracted relatively little attention.


Beyond my work on France, much of my recent research has focused on Henry VIII and his wars. My Tudor Occupation of Boulogne (CUP, 2019) examined Henry VIII's final war in France in the 1540s. This book investigates the consequences of this action by examining the devastating impact of warfare on the native population, the methods the English used to impose their rule on the region (from the use of cartography to the construction of fortifications) and the development of English colonial rule in France. I have also written widely about Henry's campaigns and the nature of Tudor violence in a range of articles. I have recently published a book (Boydell, 2023) on Henry VIII's war with Scotland in the 1520s, which looks at this richly documented conflict from both the English and Scottish perspectives both to understand how each country acted to defend the frontier, and consider the political issues which drove the Anglo-Scottish wars of the sixteenth century. This has led me to develop an interest in the sixteenth-century Scottish history and most recently the career of Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus (1489-1557). I am currently finishing books on Henry VIII's European ambitions and a study of spying during his reign.


Finally, my most recent research focuses on animals and particularly epizootics/panzootics, with the aim of moving non-human animal population to the centre of historical studies of disease. I am finishing a study of cattle plague in early modern focusing on how early modern populations thought about the intespecies transmission of disease.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD

30 Sept 200831 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Sept 2008


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