The Stenton Lecture and Symposium 2018

Thursday 22nd November marks the date of this year’s Stenton Lecture which is preceded by the Stenton Symposium. Both events take place on the Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading.

What is the Stenton Lecture?

The Stenton lecture is an annual lecture by an eminent historian, hosted by the Department and held in honour of its founders, Sir Frank and Lady Stenton, both of whom were responsible for building the reputation of the University of Reading as a centre for historical excellence.

Stenton Lecture 1 (3)

The Stenton Lecture

‘The Letters of England’s Kings and Queens 1154-1215: A Vast New Resource?’, Professor Nicholas Vincent (University of East Anglia).

6.30pm, Henley Business School G11.

Oxford University Press is about to publish the largest corpus of charter materials (essentially the letters and title deeds) preserved for any twelfth-century king. The 4,600 such instruments issued in the name of King Henry II not only outnumber those preserved for the kings of France and Germany combined, but demonstrate the extent to which Henry II of England towered over his contemporaries and rivals. Ruler of the largest collection of lands assembled in the west since the fall of the empire of Charlemagne, Henry II was also a patron of literature and intellectuals. At the same time, he was notorious both as an unfaithful husband to his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and as the reputed author of the murder of Thomas Becket, his archbishop of Canterbury. What does our new collection of materials, many of them previously unknown or unpublished, tell us that we did not previously know? What do the charters reveal, both of the extent of Henry’s grip on power, in England, France and Ireland, and of his more personal relations, not only with Becket but with a wider circle of courtiers? The result of more than forty years of scholarly endeavour, the publication of this vast new resource is likely to alter for ever our image of one of medieval Europe’s most fascinating kings.

Professor Nicholas Vincent has published a dozen books and some hundred academic articles on various aspects of English and European history in the 12th and 13th centuries, having arrived at the University of East Anglia in Norwich via Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and Canterbury. He is currently finishing an edition of the charters of the Plantagenet kings and queens from Henry II to King John, and leads a major project researching the background to Magna Carta. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Vincent teaches courses in medieval European History and the Crusades, and a 3rd year special subject on the Norman Conquest of England. He also supervises graduate students in most subjects relating to English and European history 1000-1300AD.

Attendance is free but please book your place for the lecture.

The Stenton Symposium

‘English Royal Charters, 1066-1215: Discoveries, Gaps, and Opportunities’.

1pm-5pm, Palmer Building room 102.

1.00: David Bates (UEA), (Symposium Chair), ‘Introduction’

1.30: Richard Sharpe (Oxford), ‘Editing the Writs and Charters of William II and Henry I’

2.00: John Gillingham (LSE), ‘Post-1066 Royal Letters’

2.30: Judith Everard (Birmingham and Victoria County History, Shropshire), ‘The History of the Angevin Acta Project’

3.00: Guy Baxter (Reading), ‘Making Use of the Archive’

3.30: Ned Holt (Private Scholar), ‘My Father Jim Holt’

4.00: Nicholas Vincent (UEA), ‘Summary of the Papers’

4.30: Coffee

Papers are 20 minutes; there will be questions after each paper.

Attendance is free but please book your place for the symposium. For further information or queries, please contact Dr Rebecca Rist or the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies.

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