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  The Soldier in later Medieval England > The Team

Team Publications

This is a selection of important recent works by the team, for more publications by each author, please see the individual profiles.

Adrian R. Bell, War and the Soldier in the Fourteenth Century (Boydell, 2004)

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Little is known about the soldiers who fought in the Hundred Years War, though much about tactics and weapons. Adrian Bell's book redresses the balance: he explores the 'military community' through focusing on the records of the two royal expeditions led by Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, in 1387 and 1388, where the extensive surviving evidence makes it possible to identify those who served on these expeditions, and to follow their careers. These campaigns are not only interesting for the wealth and concentration of materials surviving on military organisation, but also because of the political background against which the expeditions were undertaken, which included the attack upon the favourites of the King in Parliament by the Lords Appellant and the possible temporary deposition of Richard II. Advances made in historical computing techniques have made possible for the first time such detailed analysis of the personnel of a royal army.

Anne Curry, Agincourt: A New History (Tempus, 2005)

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As night fell in Picardy on Thursday 24 October 1415, Henry V and his English troops, worn down by their long march after the taking of Harfleur and diminished by the dysentery they had suffered there, can little have dreamt that the battle of the next day would provide them with one of the most complete victories ever won. Anne Curry's startling new history recreates the campaign and battle from the perspectives of the English and the French. Only now, through an in-depth investigation of the contemporary narrative sources as well as the administrative records, and through a new look at the terrain where the battle was fought, can we come to firmer conclusions on what exactly happened, and why. This book, based on years of painstaking research and reflection, makes clear the genius of Henry V as a military leader, and the strengths and capabilities of the English army which he commanded. There can be no doubt of the desire of the French to resist him and to protect their homeland from his invasion. The French fought bravely and to the death. So what went wrong for the French? This question, and many more, are answered in this lively new history.

 

Andy King, Sir Thomas Gray: Scalacronica (1272-1363) (Boydell, 2007)

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In 1355, Sir Thomas Gray, a Northumbrian knight and constable of Norham castle, was ambushed and captured by the Scots. Imprisoned in Edinburgh castle, he whiled away the hours by writing a chronicle charting the history of Britain from the Creation. The bulk of the work, written in Anglo-Norman French, is based on existing sources. However, for the section from the reign of Edward I onwards - the portion edited here - Gray relied partly on his own memories, and the stories told him by his father [constable of Norham before him], relating their experiences in the Scottish and French wars. The first known historical work to have been written in England by a member of the lay nobility since the Conquest, the Scalacronica provides a unique perspective on the course of English politics in the fourteenth century, and an insight into the worldview of a militarily active member of England's governing class. It is a vital source for all those interested in the history of the period.
The text, with facing-page translation, has been newly edited from the sole surviving manuscript of the Scalacronica; the volume includes extensive historical notes; and an introduction describing the careers of Thomas Gray and his father, and the written sources used in the compilation of this part of the work.

 

David Simpkin , The English Aristocracy at War: From the Welsh Wars of Edward I to the Battle of Bannockburn (Boydell, Forthcoming, 2008)

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In 1277, the recently-crowned king of England, Edward I, invaded Wales with a small army. Most of his countrymen had not been on active service outside of the realm for twenty years and more, if at all; yet, over the course of the following four decades, up to the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, they would be called upon to fight in four different theatres of war: in Wales, Gascony, Flanders and Scotland. Although the names of many of the men who fought in these wars will never be known, particularly those of the thousands of peasants who served in the infantry, the names of a large proportion of the cavalrymen can still be located in the records of chancery and exchequer. This book utilises these sources [the pay rolls, horse inventories, wardrobe books and others] to examine the military careers and activities of the said soldiers, drawn from the elite families of medieval England. It does so by focussing on five main themes: mobilisation; military command; service patterns among the gentry; retinues and their composition; and 'feudal' service and the pre-contract army.

 

 




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