On the 16 September 2017, thirty-three people gathered in the Huntingdon Room at the Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of York. Thirty-two of those people knew that the workshop entitled Political Culture in Late Medieval England was a celebration of the sixtieth birthday of Professor Mark Ormrod, the culmination of years of secret planning to bring together his doctoral students and the researchers who had assisted him on an array of funded projects. Nine of those individuals presented scholarly papers at the workshop, and then, once the academic portion of the day was complete, the audience viewed a series of congratulatory video messages from a number of Mark's friends and colleagues, before enjoying a grand celebratory feast.
This volume serves as a record of that event, bringing together papers presented at that workshop with additional pieces, all written by Mark Ormrod’s students and former research assistants. Since our primary aim in putting together this volume is to celebrate Mark's birthday and to highlight his outstanding contribution to the field through PhD supervision and research projects, we have chosen not to include a list of his extensive publications in this book: we anticipate that such a list will be forthcoming when Mark’s contribution to the discipline is further celebrated and recognised.
The volume reflects the vibrancy and range of the honorand's own illustrious research on the structures, personalities and culture of rulership of late medieval England. It encompasses political, administrative, Church and social history, focussing upon three main themes: monarchy, state and political culture. For the first, it explores the history of emotion by considering Edward III's reactions to the deaths of his kinfolk and close associates, emphasising the practicality of the king's responses. It also investigates cases of political defamation in the fourteenth century, highlighting how non-elite subjects engaged in discourse about kingship and monarchy. The workings of the ‘state’ are examined through studies of a Yorkshire tax collector caught in the act of defrauding the exchequer, of the function and jurisdiction of the Court of Chivalry in the late fourteenth century, of the power dynamics underpinning statute-making in the early fifteenth-century parliament, and of the working practices of the privy seal clerk, Thomas Hoccleve.