Loyalty, obligation, and governance: the integration of East Anglia into the English kingdom, c. 900-1066
Supervisor: Sarah Foot
I work on the late Anglo-Saxon period, when one kingdom came to cover most of what is now England. Its eventual form has often been termed the ‘Anglo-Saxon state’. I seek to understand the processes by which this kingdom expanded and the forces that held it together: conquest and administration, submission and lordship, or even default and inertia?
My thesis focuses on East Anglia, taking two gaps in existing scholarship as points of departure. One is the comparative neglect of East Anglia in accounts of the English kingdom’s creation. The second is a tendency to take for granted the power of institutions which only become fully visible in the eleventh century, and to seek their origins in unrecorded administrative acts. A unique constellation of sources for East Anglia and the East Midlands makes it possible to reconstruct the social relationships that underpinned royal claims, institutions, and offices. This approach questions the national and bureaucratic terms in which the kingdom is usually cast and offers alternative explanations for how it developed.