I came to Keele in 1993 when the University entered a partnership with Staffordshire County Council to continue the work of the Victoria County History in Staffordshire, where I had been based since 1979. Before that I was at St Andrews University as a research assistant, helping to produce an edition of a medieval Scottish chronicle, having gained a PhD at Aberdeen University on an edition of medieval records at York Minster. Besides continuing to write VCH volumes at Keele, I also teach and direct the Latin and Palaeography Summer School. For many years I have edited the transactions of Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society, and also now of the Staffordshire Record Society, as well as sitting on the Boards of both Midland History and Staffordshire Studies, and I am on the Council and Management Committee of the British Association for Local History

Research and scholarship

Editor, Staffordshire Archaeological and Historical Society

Editor, Staffordshire Record Society

Council Member, British Association for Local History

Research Interests:

  • History of Staffordshire
  • Medieval ecclesiastical history, especially secular cathedrals
  • Editing medieval documents

I am at present completing an edition of the 1298 survey of the estates of the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and working on volume III of the multi-volume edition of the medieval documents of the vicars choral of York Minster.



  • Certificate in Local History

  • HIS-00004: Anglo-Saxon England (Foundation Year)

  • HIS-10033: Anglo-Saxon England 

  • HIS-10035: Modern Local History (part I) 

  • HIS-10036: Modern Local History (part II) 

  • HIS-10037: Medieval and Early Modern Local History (part I)

  • HIS-10038: Medieval and Early Modern Local History (part II)

  • HIS-20082: Work Experience for Historians



 I supervise both MRes and PhD students with interests especially in the north-west Midlands. At present I have students working on:

  •  Family Networks of the earls of Chester from the late 11th to early 13th centuries   
  •  Female entrepreneurs in late Georgian Derbyshire
  •  Children in 19th-century Shropshire
  •  Landed estates in 19th-century Staffordshire



Victoria County History

I started to work for the Victoria County History ( in 1979, as an assistant for the Staffordshire volumes, and became County Editor in 1995. I now research and write the volumes single-handedly, although I am able to call up the knowledge of many local people especially for the more recent history of places.  Volumes on Burton-upon-Trent and Needwood Forest appeared in 2003 and 2007 respectively, and in 2013 a volume covering part of the north-west of the county. Work is now proceeding on Tamworth and its hinterland.

School of Humanities
Chancellor's Building
Keele University
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733109

Head of School
Dr Nick Seager
Room: CBB1.038 (Chancellor's Building, 'B' Extension)
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733142

School and college outreach
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734009