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Medieval Records Workshops: Warfare and Diplomacy

May 6, 2015
The National Archives

Talks Room
The National Archives
Kew TW9 4DU
United Kingdom

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The ability to use archives and original documents is one of the core research skills across a broad range of academic disciplines. The National Archives is delighted to offer postgraduate students a programme of training to enhance their skills in this area.

Records workshops provide detailed research guidance on key document collections and topics. During each session students will receive in-depth information on a range of record series, context and administrative background, and document interpretation. Sessions will include lectures, practical exercises, and extensive hands on-document work. There will also be the opportunity to consult with specialists on specific research questions.

These sessions are aimed at current PhD students, although other researchers are welcome to attend. Each workshop is 3 hours long, including a 15 minute break.


Medieval records: warfare and diplomacy

Medieval rulers established their status and authority in relation to other European states. A rich culture of international diplomacy underpinned the formal relationships between monarchs and their representatives as alliances, treaties and agreements were arranged. When circumstances changed and quarrels between nations did escalate, rulers were quick to defend their interests through military force. Preparation for war and the conduct of campaigns was a vital aspect of medieval power. It was through personal valour and the expression of chivalric conduct (as well as the prospect of ransom or loot) that the fortunes and reputations of individuals could be made. However, precision in organisation, logistics and supply was much more likely to determine the success of a campaign.

This workshop will explore the relationship between diplomacy and war through analysis of TNA’s collections in series including diplomatic documents (E 30), diplomatic and military material combined into books (E 36), various accounts for military payments (E 101), and correspondence and narratives (SC 1). Practical sessions in relevant palaeography, language and the structure of key documents will help to build confidence with these sources.

Please note that this session is part of a six module programme of Medieval Records Workshops. For the full programme, please see The National Archives website:

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May 6, 2015, 12:00am BST

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