Jane, as a mature post-grad researcher, has followed a multi-faceted career path prior to becoming involved in academic history. A frontline Police Officer in Kent, spanning nearly 9 years before leaving to raise a small family; 20 years as a soft furnisher & small business owner before returning to a crime reduction role with a local authority for 7 years. Skills developed from the workplace have transferred easily to methodical, evidence-based research, blended with the appreciation of the material world of the past. Jane achieved a BA (Hons) First Class in Local History at the University of Kent (2012), followed by an MA with Distinction in Medieval & Early Modern Studies at the same university (2014). She began her PhD research in 2018, building upon research on Medieval Tonbridge undertaken in the intervening years.
The purpose of this research is to determine the contemporary factors which may have influenced Cardinal Wolsey to choose Tonbridge, Bayham and Lesnes for suppression, whilst ignoring others in Kent. The development of each house from its foundation to dissolution is of particular importance in ascertaining their strengths and weaknesses which affected this choice. This will be achieved by using a thematic approach, looking at the founders, patrons and patronage during the span of their existence. Of special interest will be the relationship between the early founders with their foundations, such as the early de Clare family in the twelfth and thirteenth century with Tonbridge Priory and how this potentially changed with the subsequent absenteeism of the lords toward the end of the fifteenth century into the early sixteenth, such as the Staffords, again at Tonbridge. It will also examine the spiritual and material economies at each location, and how the foundations worked within its locality and community over the same span of time. The thesis will culminate with the Little Dissolution, engaging with the mechanics of this event, its purpose and selection processes, and the aftereffects on the community post suppressions.
Recipient of the Ian Coulson Memorial Award in 2018 & 2019
- Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh (First Supervisor)
- Dr Paul Dalton (Second Supervisor)
- Professor Thomas Hennessey (Chair)