Dr Helen Killick

  • Medieval revolt
  • Late medieval parliament and petitioning
  • The medieval property market

My research examines late medieval British political, social and economic history, with an explicit focus on the documents produced by the central government administration. Specific research interests include: Thomas Hoccleve and the office of the Privy Seal; scribes and book production; parliamentary petitions; multilingualism in late medieval documentary culture; and late medieval finance, in particular the market in freehold property. I am currently working on a major new research project on the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, which aims to provide the most comprehensive overview to date of the revolt and its participants. I have a keen interest in digital humanities, in particular the use of relational databases as a means of storing and analysing historical information.

‘The People of 1381’ project website: https://1381.online/

‘The first real estate bubble? Land prices and rents in medieval England c. 1200-1550’ project website: https://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/research/projects/land-prices-rents-medieval-england

Featured Publication
Petitions and Strategies of Persuasion in the Middle Ages

Petitions and Strategies of Persuasion in the Middle Ages: The English Crown and the Church, c.1200-c.1550 (Boydell and Brewer, 2018)

Late medieval petitions, providing unique insights into medieval social and legal history, have attracted increasing scholarly attention in recent years. This wide-ranging collection brings two approaches into dialogue with each other: the study of royal justice and secular petitions presented to the English crown, and the study of papal justice, canon law and ecclesiastical petitions (emphasising the international dimension of petitioning as a legal device exercising authority across Latin Christendom). In so doing, it crosses the traditional demarcation lines between secular and ecclesiastical systems of justice, of particular importance, given the participation by many litigants and legislators in both of those legal spheres.
A major focus is the mechanics of petitioning - who were the intermediaries in this process, and what were the "strategies of persuasion" they employed? The essays also re-examine the relationship between petitioners and their advisors, and the specific legal, rhetorical and linguistic choices they made in the composition of these texts. In so doing, the volume makes an important new contribution to the emerging field of late medieval supplicatory cultures. 



I currently teach:

Prelims: FHS:
History of the British Isles II and III History of the British Isles II and III