Department of History

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Matthew Hefferan

Assistant Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I have been a full-time member of staff at the University of Nottingham since September 2018, when I was appointed as a Teaching Associate in Medieval and Early Modern History. In January 2022 I was promoted to Assistant Professor. I had already been at Nottingham for some time before 2018, however, having completed my MA (2014) and PhD (2018) here. I completed my BA at Nottingham Trent University in 2013. I have also taught at the University of Lincoln.

I am currently the School Director of Postgraduate Research for Humanities.

Office Hours (Autumn 2022): (Teams or in person)

Tuesday - 13:00-14:00

Thursday - 11:00-12:00

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1716-5878

Teaching Summary

For the 2022-23 academic year, I am teaching the following modules:

  • Making the Middle Ages, 500-1500 (Year 1)
  • Themes in Early Modern History, c.1500-1789 (Year 1)
  • Learning History (Year 1)
  • Rethinking the Tudors (Year 2)
  • Dissertation (Year 3 and MA)
  • Medieval Palaeography (MA)
  • Power and Authority in the Medieval World (MA)

Previously, I have also taught:

  • Kingship in Crisis, 1215-1485 (Year 2)
  • Henry VIII (Year 3)
  • The Wars of the Roses (Year 3)
  • Mastering the Arts (MA)

In 2018 I was awarded the prestigious University of Nottingham Teaching Assistant Award.

Research Summary

Main Research Expertise:

I am principally a political, social and military historian of late medieval Europe. Within this, I am particularly interested in how royal/noble power and authority was understood, imposed and resisted in later medieval England. Initially, this led me to study the royal household knights of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. The household knights were a group of hardened soldiers (usually about 30 in number at any one time) privately employed by the monarchy so that they could circumvent the traditional hierarchy of society. These loyal followers permeated almost all aspects of a medieval monarch's reign: they assisted in the raising and equipping of royal armies; they offered leadership for these armies once on campaign; they acted as trusted councillors and administrators at the centre of government; and they maintained the king's authority and landed interests throughout his kingdom. Studying this group thus took me to the heart of key question about the ways in which wars were fought and kingdoms ruled in late medieval Europe and enabled me to provide a more nuanced picture of late medieval kingship than was previously possible.

My research into the late medieval household knight resulted in my first monograph, entitled The Household Knights of Edward III: Warfare, Politics and Kingship in Fourteenth-Century England, published by Boydell and Brewer in Feb 2021.

The Household Knights of Edward III - Warfare, Politics and Kingship in Fourteenth-Century England: VOLUME 50 (Warfare in History): Amazon.co.uk: Hefferan, Matthew: 9781783275649: Books

More recently, my research has moved on to examine a number of pertinent themes that I came across as part of writing my book on household knights, but which I had too little space to explore at the time. The first of these has been the concept of loyalty in late medieval and early modern England. This research resulted in an article in Fourteenth Century England on the loyalty of household knights, a major international conference that I co-organised in January 2018, and an edited collection entitled Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020.

Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c.1400-1688 | Matthew Ward | Palgrave Macmillan

Following on from this, I am now exploring how contemporary understandings of masculinity (or, more accurately, 'manhood') impacted on Edward III's successes and failures as king, among various other things.

Other Research-related Activities:

  • I am currently the reviews editor for Nottingham Medieval Studies.
  • I am also on the editorial board of the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.

Recent Publications

  • HEFFERAN, M., 2022. Royal Household Knights on Military Campaign, 1334-1360: A Dataset (FORTHCOMING) Medieval Soldier Database. (In Press.)
  • HEFFERAN, M., 2021. The Household Knights of Edward III: Warfare, Politics and Kingship in Fourteenth-Century England Boydell and Brewer.
  • HEFFERAN, M. and WARD, M., 2020. 'Introduction'. In: HEFFERAN, M. and WARD, M., eds., Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c. 1400-1688 Palgrave Macmillan. 1-11
  • HEFFERAN, M. and WARD, M., eds., 2020. Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c. 1400-1688 Palgrave Macmillan.
  • HEFFERAN, M., 2022. Royal Household Knights on Military Campaign, 1334-1360: A Dataset (FORTHCOMING) Medieval Soldier Database. (In Press.)
  • HEFFERAN, M., 2021. The Household Knights of Edward III: Warfare, Politics and Kingship in Fourteenth-Century England Boydell and Brewer.
  • HEFFERAN, M. and WARD, M., 2020. 'Introduction'. In: HEFFERAN, M. and WARD, M., eds., Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c. 1400-1688 Palgrave Macmillan. 1-11
  • HEFFERAN, M. and WARD, M., eds., 2020. Loyalty to the Monarchy in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain, c. 1400-1688 Palgrave Macmillan.
  • HEFFERAN, M., 2019. Edward III’s Household Knights and the Crécy Campaign of 1346 Historical Research. 92(255), 24-49
  • HEFFERAN, M., 2019. The Brass of Thomas Staple (d. 1372), Sergeant-at-arms to Edward III: A Monument to a career in Household Service Transactions of the Monumental Brass Society. 20(1), 2-15
  • HEFFERAN, M., 2019. Family, Loyalty and the Royal Household in Fourteenth-Century England. In: C. GIVEN WILSON & D. GREEN, ed., Fourteenth Century England XI Boydell and Brewer.

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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