Stephen Church

Stephen Church


  • 4.05 Arts

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Personal profile


King John; The Angevins and their lands; Robin Hood; The Normans; Kingship 600-1300; Magna Carta; Henry III

Teaching Interests

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate medieval history focusing on English history and the history of western Frankia from the seventh century through to the fourteenth century.

Areas Of Expertise


External Activities

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Allen Brown Memorial Trust (which organises the annual Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies)


I joined the School of History in 1995 after completing undergraduate and postgraduate work in London. Between leaving school and becoming an academic historian, I was a bank clerk, a buyer of cardboard boxes and plastic bottles, a labourer, and a housing liaison officer for Camden Council. I am currently director of the Battle conference for Anglo-Norman Studies and edit the annual publication, Anglo-Norman Studies. I am also an associate editor of the journal History. In 2019, I held a visiting professorship at the Sorbonne.

Below is a select list of my publications:

Henry III: A Simple and God-Fearing King, Allen Lane, Penguin Books, 2017

King John: England, Magna Carta, and the Making of a Tyrant, Macmillan (UK), 2015, and King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Basic Books (USA), 2015

Dialogus de Scaccario and Constitutio Domus Regis, with E. Amt, Oxford: Oxford Medieval Texts, 2007

The Pakenham Cartulary for the Manor of Ixworth Thorpe, Suffolk, c.1250-c.1320, Suffolk Records Society, Charter Series, vol 17, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2001

King John: New Interpretations, ed. and ‘Introduction’, pp. xix-xxvi, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1999, 2003

The Household Knights of King John, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, 2006

Medieval Knighthood V, ed. with R. Harvey, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1995

Key Research Interests and Expertise

My research is primarily focused on the twelfth century, concentrating on issues surrounding kingship and the exercise of royal power. My main publications have been in this area, though, like all medievalists, this focus does not provide the only outlet for my research interests. I have published on subjects as diverse as Anglo-Saxon paganism, twelfth-century administrative records, fourteenth-century landholding, and on the preservation of sepulchral monuments in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I have recently published a major new biography of King John (Pan Macmillan and Basic Books 2015) which was listed as one of the Financial Times's Books of the Year for 2015, and I directed a Leverhulme-funded International Research Network on the Lands of the Angevins (2014-17).