PhD Student Profile

Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell

PhD Student

School: School of Humanities

Campus: Canterbury

Biographical note

Andrew Connell is a full-time PhD scholarship student in History. His previous academic studies consisted of an MA by Research in History, where his thesis focused on the early life and rebellions of Richard, earl of Cornwall 1225-1247. He also holds an upper second class BA (Hons) in English and History. Andrew’s research interests include twelfth and thirteenth century England, medieval aristocracy, lordship and patronage.

Project title

The de Lacy constables of Chester and earls of Lincoln: the transformation of an honour 1190-1311

Research outline

The de Lacy constables of Chester and earls of Lincoln represent the opportunity to chart a baronial family’s rise from local magnates to one of the richest tenants-in-chief of the crown, controlling vast swathes of land and income. Existing scholarship on members of the family is remarkably scarce and no work has yet sought to establish how the family, as a whole, was able to take advantage of the opportunities arising over four generations and one hundred years, to develop and maintain its powerbase to such an extent. Nor what mechanisms they used or were able to take advantage of, during such a vibrant period of history, which included tumultuous civil wars and dynamic political change. By the end of this period, the de Lacy family held one of the richest earldoms in the country.

The aim of the research is to establish what strategies the de Lacys employed to expand and manage their estates. To examine the involvement of the de Lacy family in royal government and what their experiences suggest about the impact of Magna Carta and Plantagenet rule on noble families during this period. The de Lacys came to control vast stretches of land. Assessed at over 100 knights’ fees when John inherited from his father Roger in 1213, they included the northern baronies of Pontefract, Halton, Widnes, Penwortham, Clitheroe and the lands and office of the constable of Chester. These were increased further when John succeeded to the earldom of Lincoln in 1232 in addition to other portions of the Chester estate, including land in Leeds. His grandson, Henry de Lacy would increase the family lands even more. The annual revenues from Henry de Lacy’s estates have been estimated to be at least 10,000 marks, making him one of the wealthiest, and most influential, English earls by the time of his death in 1311.

Supervisory Team

  • Professor Louise Wilkinson (First Supervisor)
  • Dr Lesley Hardy (Second Supervisor)
  • Professor Thomas Hennessey (Chair)

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Last edited: 13/12/2018 20:57:00