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Prof Neil Murphy

Head of Department

Department: Humanities

My main interests lie in the history of later medieval and early modern France, especially the period 1300 to 1600, as well as war and foreign relations during the reign of Henry VIII. I work principally from archival materials and I am also the reviews editor of the journal Archives.

I joined Northumbria in 2012, after four years at the University of Winchester, and was made Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History in 2020. My PhD and my first two books were focused on the history of late medieval and early modern France. While retaining a key interest in the history of France between 1300 and 1700, I have developed interests in other areas particularly the reign of Henry VIII and especially his wars. My third monograph examined his conquest of France in the 1540s and I am currently finishing a book the Anglo-Scottish war of 1522-4. This research has also led me into Scottish history and I am particularly interested in the political and military history of the kingdom in decades following the battle of Flodden (1513) and I plan to produce a study career of Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus (1489-1557).


Before I can get to this project, I am completing three books. The first of these studies (under contrast with Cambridge University Press) focuses on the mechanisms used to combat plague in absolutist France. The second (under contract with Reaktion) focuses on Henry VIII’s European ambitions, while the third focuses on espionage during the reign of Henry VIII.


I have supervised doctoral students working on a range of late medieval and early modern topics in both English and French history – and I warmly welcome enquires from prospective students.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Plague Hospitals and Poor Relief in Late Medieval and Early Modern France, Murphy, N. 2 Oct 2022, In: Social History
  • Plague Hospitals, Poverty and the Provision of Medical Care in France, c. 1450–c.1650, Murphy, N. 1 Jun 2022, In: Journal of Social History
  • Refugees, Forced Migration and Henry VIII’s Conquest of France, 1544–46, Murphy, N. 22 Dec 2022, Shadow Agents of Renaissance War, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press
  • A ‘very fowle warre’: Scorched earth, violence, and Thomas Howard’s French and Scottish campaigns of 1522-1523, Murphy, N. 1 Nov 2021, In: War in History
  • La campaña de Enrique VIII en Gascuña, Murphy, N. Aug 2021
  • Conquest, Cartography and the Development of Linear Frontiers during Henry VIII's Invasion of France in 1544-1546, Murphy, N. 21 Dec 2020, Constructing and Representing Territory in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Amsterdam University Press
  • Spies, informers and Thomas Howard’s defence of England’s northern frontier in 1523, Murphy, N. May 2020, In: Historical Research
  • The Duke of Albany's Invasion of England in 1523 and Military Mobilisation in Sixteenth-Century Scotland, Murphy, N. 1 Apr 2020, In: Scottish Historical Review
  • The Tudor Occupation of Boulogne: Conquest, Colonisation and Imperial Monarchy, 1544-1550, Murphy, N. 31 Jan 2019

  • Adam Drake War, State and Society: Edward I, the Anglo-French War and the Relief of Gascony, 1294-98 Start Date: 01/10/2018 End Date: 11/03/2022
  • Adam Curry An Icon of British Imperium: King Arthur in Tudor England Start Date: 18/01/2021

History PhD September 30 2008

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