Mrs Charlotte Gauthier

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English involvement in crusading has frequently been written off as having been a spent force by the fifteenth century – a curious holdover from the more active thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, honoured after the cessation of the Baltic crusades more in the breach than in the observance, at least until the reign of Henry VII. While scholars have noted the continued flourishing of crusades-related literature in England, some surviving records of people taking the cross, and the modest receipts of papal fundraising campaigns, these have not been considered to betoken any wider role played by crusading in fifteenth-century English society.

My thesis argues that the concept (and, to a lesser extent, the practice) of crusading remained near the centre of English ecclesiology, diplomacy, literature, and personal piety during the long fifteenth century (1396-1542). Crusading was the currency of English international and occasionally domestic diplomacy, it provided the themes for much of the most popular English literature, and it motivated people at all levels of society to contribute money for the cause and join crusade-related confraternities. Crusading was also the backdrop against which the English Church formed its conception of independence from papal financial and legal authority in the decades before the Statute in Restraint of Appeals (1532) established the legal foundations of the Reformation in England.

Research interests

Fifteenth-century crusading, especially in England, Burgundy, and the Balkans

Diplomatic, administrative and legal history of the Latin East

Modern uses of crusading imagery and memory

Digital humanities, especially for palaeography, textual editing, and network analysis


HS1107 Republics, Kings, & People: The Foundations of European Political Thought from Plato to Rousseau

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