ILCR 2018 Comparative Legal History Workshop

This blog has previously been published on the ILCR website

ilcrOn 11 and 12 May 2018, the St Andrews Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research held a workshop on the theme of comparative legal history. The aim was to explore the ways in which comparative legal history could be approached, and to hear examples of these approaches from the variety of papers delivered throughout the workshop.

The first day began with a keynote paper delivered by Alice Rio (King’s College London) which explored comparative approaches to studying early medieval legal culture. Papers were then given by Susanne Brand (vice-administrator of the Anglo-American Legal Tradition project) on the early history of bills of privilege in the Common Law, and Felicity Hill (Cambridge) on the use of general excommunication of unknown malefactors. This allowed a comparison to be made between the creative use and development of legal process within secular and ecclesiastical spheres.

The afternoon sessions began with papers from Danica Summerlin (Sheffield) and Ashley Hannay (Cambridge) on a panel discussing the nature and emergence of sources of legal authority, from the impetus behind the Statute of Richard III (Hannay) to the emergence of decretal collections in the twelfth century (Summerlin). This was followed by a panel discussing lordship and law in twelfth and thirteenth-century England and Normandy. Hannah Boston (Oxford) gave a paper on private charters and seigneurial courts in twelfth-century England, and Cory Hitt (St Andrews) discussed the nature of twelfth and thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman and Old French legal texts, and what we can learn about their authors through a close reading of the texts.

Next was a panel featuring the postdoctoral researchers on the Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law project. Each researcher outlined their research and the directions they intend to take during the course of the project. Andrew Cecchinato spoke about Blackstone, English law and Roman law; Sarah White discussed the potential influence of Roman Law on English Common Law through the medium of procedural treatises used in the English church courts; Will Eves spoke about the Roman Law concepts of possession and proprietas in Roman law, and their potential influence on the early English Common Law; Attilio Stella discussed feudal law in twelfth and thirteenth-century Italy and the way in which feudal practices were framed in reference to Roman legal categories.

The day concluded with a roundtable which offered thoughts on comparative methodology and issues emerging from the preceding papers. The panelists were: John Hudson (St Andrews); Thomas Gallanis (Iowa); Jacqueline Rose (St Andrews); and Danica Summerlin (Cambridge). This was then followed by a wine reception at the University of St Andrews Department of Medieval History.

The second day began with a panel discussing various aspects of community involvement in legal process. Anna Peterson (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto) discussed procedures concerning corruption in hospitals in Narbonne, 1240-1309. Gwen Seaborne (Bristol) then discussed the role of women as witnesses in medieval English law, with reference to the evidential problems raised by claims to tenancy by curtesy if an infant died shortly after birth.

The second panel of the day compared different types of legal literature in early modern England. Jacqueline Rose (St Andrews) discussed the writing of the English lawyer Bulstrode Whitelocke and his attitude to legal change in seventeenth-century England. Mary Dodd (St Andrews) then discussed pamphlet literature and constituent power in the English Civil Wars.

Following the lunch break, delegates had the opportunity to take a walking tour of St Andrews, kindly offered by medieval historian and expert of the medieval history of the town, Alex Woolf (St Andrews).

There followed two keynote lectures. George Garnett (Oxford) discussed the great English legal historian F. W. Maitland’s approach to legal history, and the nature of legal history as practiced by historians and as practiced by lawyers. The second keynote lecture was given by Magnus Ryan (Cambridge) on the Libri Feodorum and the practice of medieval lawyers in the later middle ages.

The workshop concluded with an interview forming part of the St Andrews Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research’s ‘Law’s Two Bodies’ project. This project investigates the question of ‘what is law’ from the perspective of legal practitioners. As befitting the workshop’s focus on legal history, William I. Miller (Michigan) was interviewed by John Hudson about the nature of law and legal practice in medieval Iceland. The answers were given from the imagined perspective of Njáll Þorgeirsson, a tenth and eleventh-century Icelandic legal expert featured in the eponymous thirteenth-century Njáls Saga.

The workshop organisers are grateful to the European Research Council, whose funding of the Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law project (Grant agreement number: 740611 CLCLCL) provided the genesis of this workshop. They are also grateful to the St Andrews Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research for the financial support it provided.

The next workshop, Legal History, Legal Historiography, will take place 12 and 13 June, 2020 in St Andrews.

Postgraduate Skills Seminar: Nick Blackbourn, content strategist

Blog written by PhD student Konstantin Wertelecki

15082833932_cbba692490_o.jpg

Photo attrib. Neil Williamson, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

On Thursday April 12, former St Andrews Modern History PhD student Dr Nick Blackbourn, who currently serves as content strategist at FULL CREATIVE, addressed postgraduates on pursuing non-academic careers. This event was hosted under the sponsorship of the University’s Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD) under the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland (QAA) thematic initiative ‘Transitions’. He discussed his own professional path to a non-academic career and offered advice to those unsure whether to remain in academia, or to seek a profession outside their doctoral training.  The central theme of his talk focused on the adoption of preparatory measures to successfully transition to non-academic careers.

Dr Blackbourn opened his talk with an exposition on the job problem, explaining that professional academic applicants grossly outnumber the available research positions. He offered a solution: in order to increase job opportunities for professional academic applicants, jobseekers need to widen the range of industries to which they apply and possess a strong understanding of their skillset and abilities. The discovery of his own skillset enabled Dr Blackbourn to smoothly transition into the non-academic industry. As a doctoral student, he was frequently pressured to raise his profile as a historian, so Dr Blackbourn began an online blog in which he could express much of his unused thesis ideas. As his thesis dealt with historical aspects of the Cold War, this website eventually morphed into a public history blog on the Cold War itself. Since this period was such a popular topic, the blog raised his profile so much that Dr Blackbourn was published on other high-traffic websites. In addition, the BBC found his blog and interviewed him on issues regarding the Brexit.

During this time, Dr Blackbourn also found himself interested in marketing analytics. He began to experiment and learn about how websites attracted specific readers and what variables influenced audience traffic. In addition, he began to outsource his skills to individuals and institutions who wished to create and successfully market their own blog. His growing work experience and marketing proficiency eventually granted him a position as a content strategist at the FULL CREATIVE software company.  He described his role as a liaison between the company and customers, ensuring that FULL CREATIVE understood the audiences’ demands, and never to overpromise the product’s ability . Though the fields of business and academia are vastly different, Dr Blackbourn expressed his enthusiasm for business due to its fast-paced work style. Describing business as pragmatic, Dr Blackbourn noted that he appreciated how business projects took no longer than necessary to complete, and that there was quick turnover time between projects. The contrast with the meticulous research of academia, conducted over long periods of time could not be greater. Dr Blackbourn asserted that holding a doctorate enhanced his position as a businessman, as it projected company credibility.

To PhD students considering a non-academic career, Dr Blackbourn offered three pieces of advice. First, he suggested that students should participate in non-academic events, so that they would begin to recognise outside interests that could potentially be used as a springboard into a different career. Second, he recommended that PhD students apply to all the CV-building opportunities possible, to show off a rich and diverse set of skills. Adding to this, he lastly stressed that PhD students should be thoroughly aware of their own skillset. He explained that companies will hire candidates who can demonstrate how their collected experience and skills that they possess will suit the specific demands of the company role. Despite this rigidity, he also noted that general doctoral skills, like the ability to read extensive amounts of text quickly, to understand and analyse complex ideas, and to produce high volumes of written reports, were valuable as well. Closing his talk, Dr Blackbourn stated that his transition from academia to business was highly rewarding, as it granted appreciation and respect.

Postgraduate Skills seminar: Kate Hammond, Acquisitions Editor, Brill

Blog written by PhD student Konstantin Wertelecki

9509537097_c4bf64637b_o.jpg

Photo attrib. James Stringer, CC-BY-ND-ND 2.0

On Thursday April 19, former PhD student Dr Kate Hammond, who currently serves as publishing editor at Brill Publishing, addressed history postgraduates on pursuing a non-academic career in the publishing industry. This event was sponsored by the Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD) under the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland (QAA) theme ‘Transitions’.  She discussed her own career path and offered valuable insights into the scholarly publishing industry regarding its structure, positions, products, and career opportunities.

Dr Hammond opened her talk with a general overview of the academic publishing industry and its structure. Brill operates with three central divisions: Finance and Operations, Sales and Marketing, and Editorial. In the industry, Finance and Operations not only maintain daily business operations, but also retain sustainable fiscal flow. Employees who work in this department include accountants, finance analysts, IT Support officers, record managers, production editors, and distributors. Sales and Marketing sells the books published. Jobs in this department include marketers, sales representatives, and sales and marketing managers. Dr Hammond noted that academic publishing marketing differ from trade publishing marketing because of the concentrated industry of scholarly publishing. Academic marketers must possess skills to not only to understand the subject of the product they sell, but they must also be able to present these academic books to international customers. The Editorial division lies at the heart of the academic press. Within this department, publishing directors develop company strategies, and project managers, acquisition editors, and assistant editors review incoming proposals to determine if they are appropriate for publication.

Serving as a publishing editor in the Editorial division for Brill Academic Publishing, Dr Hammond, further detailed the diverse duties of her job. Projects are developed based on the demand of the academic market, in accordance with the latest research trends. From this framework, a certain number of books, journals, and other products are published per year, in agreement with expected revenue. Dr Hammond explained that a typical work week consisted of soliciting book submissions, reading and assessing book proposals, maintaining and expanding a published book or journal series, researching topics in her chosen genre of academic publishing, conducting market research, and creating fiscal projections for proposed books and series.

Dr Hammond expressed that despite the seemingly strong differences between the academic publishing business and academia itself, she found her doctoral training extraordinarily useful for her role as an academic publishing editor. As a publishing editor, one maintains their project, just as a scholar maintains their thesis. An editor must understand the market, just like a PhD student must understand a field of research. A publisher must network and market to grow projects, just as an academic must engage with others to further their own project. Both the editor and the academic must have strong organisational skills to balance multiple projects, be they professional duties or research, teaching, and conferences. Furthermore, Dr Hammond explained that her experience in academia serves as an advantage in the academic publishing industry, as she is familiar with the university hierarchy, methods of researchers, and even such matters as the academic calendar, which differ from business culture.

Dr Hammond obtained her position as publishing editor after receiving experience at Brill Publishers through a Marie Curie Initial Training Network,  Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom. She asserted that for her, and other PhDs, doctorates may permit quicker ascension through the ranks of the academic industry publishing industry. Though she stressed that such companies are looking for business-minded editors, academic experience is always welcome, as are freelance publishing experience and related internships.

April and May Round Up

30396943472_8c3d998607_o.jpg

Photo attrib. to Dunnock, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Staff Activity

On 24th May Justine Firnhaber-Baker gave a keynote lecture, ‘Seigneurial War and Peasant Revolts, or What’s in a Name?’ at the Medieval Culture and War Conference in Brussels

New Publications

Margaret Connolly, ‘The Representation of King Conred’s Kight in The Miroir and The Mirror’.  In Catherine Batt and Rene Tixier (eds.), Booldly bot meekly: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Translation in the Middle Ages in Honour of Roger Ellis (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018): 51-68.

Rab Houston, ‘The composition and distribution of the legal profession, and the use of law in early modern Britain and Ireland’. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis (April 2018).

 

Tomasz Kamusella‘Jak chronić śląszczyznę’ (Translated: How to protect the Silesian
language?). Tygodnik Powszechny (March 2018)

Colin Kidd, ‘Global Turns: Other States, Other Civilizations’, New England Quarterly 91,
no. 1 (March 2018): 172-199.

Colin Kidd, ‘The Scottish Enlightenment and the Matter of Troy’. Journal of the British
Academy 6 (March 2018): 97-130.

Simon MacLean. ‘”Waltharius”: Treasure, Revenge and Kingship in the Ottonian Wild West’. In Kate Gilbert and Stephen White (eds.), Emotion, Violence, Vengeance and Law in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, 2018): 225-251.

Jacqueline Rose. ‘Roman Imperium and the Restoration Church’. Studies in Church History 54: The Church and Empire (June 2018): 159-75.

Guy Rowlands, ‘Keep Right on to the End of the Road: the Stamina of the French Army
in the War of the Spanish Succession’. In Matthias Pohlig and Michael Schaich (eds.), The
War of the Spanish Succession: New Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press and the German Historical Institute London, 2018): 323-341.

MO4806 Britain and the Thirty Years’ War Class Trip

received_10159932845395136.jpegBlog written by Rachel Beattie

During Spring break, the class of MO4806 ‘Britain and the Thirty Years’ War’ ventured to Stockholm to visit a wide array of historical museums and archives. Over three days we visited five contrasting archives and museums, each giving a slightly different perspective on the Thirty Years’ War.

We began by visiting the old town of Riddarhomkyrkan and Riddarhuset (The House of Nobility) where we were lucky enough to be given a tour. In addition, we heard about how the House functions, as well as being shown the specific plaque for each person ennobled, a great many of which were Scots. In the afternoon, a few of us went to the National Archives of Sweden and under the guidance of several PhD students, we learnt how to engage with archival sources and how to beneficially use them within our studies.

received_10159932845440136The following day we ventured out to the Armemuseum (The Army Museum) which brought the class into contact with a wide array of artifacts. The group went around the different rooms, such as the one on camp life, the trophy exhibition, as well as the presentation of several flags and banners. Each exhibit brought the war to life in different ways, but it was only a taste of what was to come in the afternoon. The class ventured out to the museum vaults, where we had the incredible opportunity to see and interact with artifacts from the period. Ranging from flags, to war drums, and from muskets to swords, we were able to see first-hand see these objects which undoubtedly brought the war into our hands and history to life. It was an unforgettable and beneficial experience for understanding the Thirty Years’ War.

received_1653608204674447.jpeg

We began our last day by visiting the Krigsarkivet (the Military Archives). During our visit the archivists brought out different documents, from Swedish Muster Rolls full of British regiments, to maps and orders of battles. Following this, we headed to the spectacular Vasa museum, which houses a ship from the Thirty Years’ War. The Vasa had sunk on its first voyage, and subsequently it has been reconstructed and a museum built around it. To walk around a ship of its stature and grandeur was an incredible way to finish off the trip, leaving us speechless.

The opportunity to engage with historical artifacts and interact with documents within archives brought the history of the Thirty Years’ War to life. The ability to walk round Stockholm and see the history in the buildings, as well as Brits intertwined within the museums was an unforgettable experience, and a great way to further study and understand the period of the Thirty Years War. In total contrast, a few of us even took the time to further enhance our museum experience in Stockholm by visiting the Abba Museum.

Celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Andrews Cathedral

 

St_Andrews_Cathedral_Real_and_Virtual_Combined (1).png

Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Seven hundred years ago, on July 5th, 1318, St Andrews Cathedral was formally consecrated. The cathedral had been under construction for 150 years and was already home to its Augustinian community, but a great storm in 1272 had blown down the west front of the building and greatly delayed its dedication. The consecration in 1318 was thus long-awaited, and also came at a significant point in Scotland’s history: only four years after Robert the Bruce’s victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, the opulent consecration of one of the largest cathedrals in the British Isles, and the largest building in Scotland (a title it retained until the construction of Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station in the nineteenth century), stated clearly that the Church in Scotland was not subservient to English prelates, and advertised the strong links between Scotland’s political and religious elite. The lavish ceremony was attended by King Robert I, and was one in a continuing line of momentous religious and political events that marked out St Andrews as one of medieval Scotland’s principal burghs.

 

 

DJI_0007.jpg

Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

This summer, the celebrations commemorating this important anniversary aim to recreate some of the pageantry and significance of the original event. A range of institutions, societies, and research initiatives have combined efforts to create an exciting line-up of public lectures on the history of the cathedral, historical tours of the burgh, and viewing opportunities with extant manuscripts and objects, to take place throughout June and early July. A free exhibition at the Museum of the University of St Andrews, throughout April and June, will showcase more of the extant material related to the cathedral, and tell the story of the consecration. On Saturday, 30 June, a theatrical pageant will bring to life the cathedral’s long history and its central role in the development of the burgh of St Andrews and of Scotland as a whole. In addition, digital reconstructions of the cathedral and its environs, created by Smart History and made available by Historic Environment Scotland, will be presented as an opportunity to view the cathedral as it might have looked in its glory days: a soaring, atmospheric, busy, and vital centre of religious life, pilgrimage, and lay devotion.

The event schedule includes:

 

The Story of St Andrews Cathedral – 700th Anniversary Historical Pageant

Saturday 30 June at 14:00 in St Andrews Cathedral.

University of St Andrews Service of Thanksgiving – Including Commemoration of the 700th Anniversary of St Andrews Cathedral

Sunday 1 July at 11:00 in St Salvator’s Chapel.

An Exceptional and Prestigious Church – A Walk Celebrating 700 Years of St Andrews Cathedral in Collaboration with Fife Pilgrim Way

Sunday 1 July at 14:00, starts outside St Andrews Museum, Kinburn Park.

Show and Tell of Manuscripts Associated with St Andrews Cathedral – Public Event by the University of St Andrews Library’s Special Collections Division

Wednesday 4 July at 14:00 in the Special Collections Napier Reading Room, Martyr’s Kirk.

Pilgrimage in Honour of Our Lady and St Andrew, Commemorating the 700th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Andrews Cathedral – Organised by New Dawn Conference

Thursday 5 July, begins at 9.30 at St James’s Church, Open Air Mass at 11.30 at St Andrews Cathedral.

Service to Commemorate the 700th Anniversary of St Andrews Cathedral – Organised by All Saints Church

Thursday 5 July at 15:00 in St Andrews Cathedral.

Act of Remembrance and Sung Eucharist – Organised by All Saints Church

Sunday 8 July, remembrance begins at 9.40 in St Andrews Cathedral, and is followed by a sung service at 10 in All Saints Church.

For more information and an updated list of events, see: https://www.openvirtualworlds.org/st-andrews-cathedral-1318-to-2018/

Contact: cathedral700@gmail.com

Thanks go to all the contributing groups including: University of St Andrews, Smart History, Historic Environment Scotland, Kate Kennedy Trust, Fife Pilgrim Way, New Dawn Conference, All Saints Church, BID St Andrews, and Tourism St Andrews.

St_Andrews_Cathedral_West_Front_1318

Image attrib. Smart History, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Postgraduate Class Trip: Aberdeen

 

Blog written by Dr Margaret Connolly

 

IMG_2899Students taking palaeography as part of the MLitt programmes in Medieval History and Medieval Studies headed up to Aberdeen last week to see manuscripts at the University Library and to visit the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project.

The St Andrews group led by Dr Margaret Connolly and Mrs Rachel Hart were welcomed to the Special Collections at the Sir Duncan Rice Library by Andrew Macgregor, Deputy Archivist. We spent about an hour browsing a selection of fifteenth-century manuscripts chosen to reflect the wide range of reading material available in the British Isles at the end of the Middle Ages.

These included the first volume of the unique devotional text The Myrrour of Oure Lady which belonged to a nun at Syon Abbey in London (volume two is in Oxford), and a volume of Latin sermons that belonged to Hinton Charterhouse in Somerset; also the popular collection of saints’ lives, Legenda Aurea, and three books of hours – one so tiny it fits into the palm of the hand. By contrast, the copy of John Trevisa’s vernacular translation of Higden’s Polychronicon was a huge volume. Some of the texts, such as the De Cosmographia of Pomponius Mela, and a medical textbook were the type of books that would have been read in universities – the commentary on Aristotle’s Physica that we saw, which was written at Louvain in 1467, was owned in the next century by a member of St Andrews University. Other books, such as the collection of medical recipes, and the miscellany of practical and other texts, were probably used in individual medieval households.

Here are some reactions to what we saw:

IMG_2902.JPG

The ‘twirly thing’: the MS123 volvelle – a rare example with all of its fragile paper pointers intact

‘The manuscripts we looked at in the first half were so amazing, I completely lost track of time when we were looking at them. My favourite was the collection of miscellaneous works, with the clairvoyant dice, the zodiac man, and the twirly thing.’

Before leaving Special Collections we got to see behind the scenes with a tour of the stores where we enjoyed rummaging amongst the early printed books – and of their state-of-the-art conservation suite.

Then in the afternoon we visited Humanity Manse to see the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project, where we were hosted by St Andrews graduate Dr Claire Hawes and Dr William Hepburn. William is a graduate of Glasgow, and had tutored two of our current MLitt students whilst they were undergraduates there – a nice connection. Claire and William explained the work of the project, and demonstrated how joint work with computer scientists had created a programme that supports the transcription of this massive series of records.

They also provided insight into the practical uses of palaeography, and showed what a job that involved palaeography was like, which was arguably the most useful part of the day. It was also great to get to see some of the original records – these have World Heritage Status – thanks to Phil Astley of Aberdeen City Council who brought them along specially for our visit.

Some final thoughts:

‘The trip was so much fun, I really enjoyed how laid back it was. After the busiest two weeks of the whole degree, I found it so relaxing to spend time with some fantastic material just for interest’s sake.’

‘Getting to see all this, without having to worry about how this would relate to your next deadline, was refreshing and has got me thinking about the opportunities for working in this area in the future.’IMG_2912.JPG