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Coinage and royal administration in early twelfth-century England, c1135-1154 (CHURCHHIS20AHRC)

Project Description

In collaboration with the British Museum, UEA seeks a suitably qualified person to undertake research in the coinage of early twelfth-century England, treating the material very much as a source for English political history in the period.

Although the study of coinage has been integrated with some success into mainstream Anglo-Saxon and early Norman history, there has been no sustained attempt to integrate the twelfth-century coinage into the historical narrative. This studentship aims to address that lacuna by examining the evidence of the coinage and historical texts in parallel. Using new historical thinking, and a novel, interdisciplinary approach which incorporates numismatic evidence in a way not yet done, the project seeks to challenge the accepted orthodoxy concerning the changes to the coinage in this period.

The reign of King Stephen (1135-54) has been represented as one where royal authority broke down, and evidence from the coinage used to bolster that argument. But the change to the coinage in Stephen’s reign could, in fact, represent the importation of continental norms of coin production rather than the ’breakdown’ of English society. This interpretation would fit with work showing that this main debt-collecting agency of the crown did not simply cease to work, but that its records were deliberately destroyed after 1154. We can thus begin to understand that our interpretation of the reign of Stephen is conditioned by the survival of written sources. With coins, however, new caches of ’documents’ have been found to challenge a picture created by what the successors of Stephen chose to record, which provides this opportunity for an imaginative rethinking of the historical evidence.

Interested candidates should note that a second studentship is offered, dealing with late twelfth- century English and Continental coinage.

For further information, please contact Prof Stephen Church () or Dr Gareth Williams ().

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is 1 October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time. The studentship length is 3 years. Please note, 3-year studentships have a (non-funded) 1-year ‘registration only’ period.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in history or archaeology (with focus on Middle Ages), with a willingness to undertake training in numismatics and/or Latin, as required.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1. A Masters degree is required.

Funding Notes

This studentship project has been selected for funding by the British Museum through the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership ( Eligible candidates will be considered for an AHRC PhD studentship. Usually, UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award, which pays tuition fees and research/development costs as well as a stipend. The stipend will be paid at standard UKRI rates as a minimum.

Funding and application enquiries should be sent to in the first instance.

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