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Matthew Ward

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts

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Teaching Summary

I currently teach on the Year 2 module, 'Kingship in Crisis: Politics, People and Power in Late Medieval England'. I also give lectures on the Year 1 module, 'Introduction to the Medieval World'.

Research Summary

I am currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, researching 'The Culture of Loyalty in Fifteenth-Century England'. The project constitutes the first major attempt to define and… read more

Selected Publications

  • 2017. The Wars of the Roses. In: Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature Wiley-Blackwell.
  • 2016. The Livery Collar in Late Medieval England and Wales: Politics, Identity and Affinity Boydell & Brewer.
  • 2016. Livery Collars. In: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles Brill.
  • 2014. The Livery Collar: Politics and Identity during the Fifteenth Century. In: Exploring the Evidence: Commemoration, Administration and the Economy, The Fifteenth Century XIII. Boydell & Brewer.

Current Research

I am currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, researching 'The Culture of Loyalty in Fifteenth-Century England'. The project constitutes the first major attempt to define and understand political loyalty to the crown and secular lords in England, 1400-1500: how it was manifested; how it developed and how it was discussed in political and social discourse. It focuses on a significant period in the evolution of the concept of loyalty: the end of the Hundred Years War, the instability of the Wars of the Roses, and attempts by the Yorkist and early Tudor regimes to increase the crown's authority in the localities. An interdisciplinary approach utilises and tests the applicability of theoretical models developed by philosophers and political scientists on the nature of loyalty. Alongside documentary and literary sources, there is a strong emphasis on material and visual culture. The project aims to revise a largely negative historiographical tradition by conceptualising loyalty as a sincere, voluntary expression.

Past Research

My doctoral thesis examined the cultural and political meaning of the livery collar during the fifteenth century, and the inclusion of the item on memorials to express political conviction and links with the crown. The thesis explored the motives behind the king distributing collars, and those behind recipients depicting them on cultural artefacts, proposing that its interpretation as a symbol of political or dynastic conviction should be reappraised.

The interdisciplinary research methodology utilised art-historical analyses of cultural media on which the collar was depicted, in particular church monuments, stained glass and manuscript illustration, prosopography and theories developed by other disciplines such as social network analysis and semiotics. My book, The Livery Collar in Late Medieval England and Wales: Politics, Identity and Affinity was published by Boydell & Brewer in 2016.

More generally my research centres on the political, material and visual culture of the fifteenth century, particularly the Wars of the Roses.

  • 2018. Badges and other Paraheraldry. In: NIGEL RAMSAY, ed., Heralds and Heraldry in Medieval England Shaun Tyas. (In Press.)
  • 2017. The Wars of the Roses. In: Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature Wiley-Blackwell.
  • 2016. The Livery Collar in Late Medieval England and Wales: Politics, Identity and Affinity Boydell & Brewer.
  • 2016. Livery Collars. In: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles Brill.
  • 2014. The Livery Collar: Politics and Identity during the Fifteenth Century. In: Exploring the Evidence: Commemoration, Administration and the Economy, The Fifteenth Century XIII. Boydell & Brewer.
  • 2014. Loyalty and Locality in Tudor Derbyshire: the brass of Nicholas Kniveton, 1500 Bulletin of the Monumental Brass Society. 125, 492-4
  • 2012. The Tomb of “the Butcher”? The Tiptoft Monument in the Presbytery of Ely Cathedral Church Monuments. 27, 22-37
  • 2010. The Life and Death of Sir Henry Pierrepont, 1430-99: A Search for Identity and Memorial The Ricardian. 20, 80-93

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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