Dr Rowena E Archer

Lecturer in Medieval History at Christ Church and Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford


B.A. Hons (Bristol), M.A., D.Phil Oxon., F.R.Hist.S

Academic Background

I did my first degree at Bristol University, 1974-77 and then came to Oxford (St Anne's, 1978-80 and Lincoln, as Senior Scholar, 1980-84) and had my first appointment as Lecturer at Balliol in 1986-7. I was then successively, Lecturer, Fellow and Senior History Fellow, at Harris Manchester College between 1987-2003. I became a lecturer at Brasenose College in 2003 and a Fellow there in 2010, and have taught at Christ Church since 2004.

Undergraduate Teaching

British Medieval History 1042-1550. Specialist papers on English Chivalry and the French War, c.1330-1400; the Crusades, 1095-1271; the Wars of the Roses,1450-1509; Joan of Arc and her Age, 1419-1435

Research Interests

Late Medieval English History, particularly the nobility and noblewomen and the gentry. Interests in wills and funeral practices. Currently working on a biography of Alice Chaucer, duchess of Suffolk (d.1475).

Publications include:

'Rich Old Ladies: The Problem of Late Medieval Dowagers', in Property and Politics: Essays in Later Medieval English History, ed. A.J.Pollard (Gloucester, 1984)
'"How ladies....who live on their manors ought to manage their households and estates". Women as landholders and administrators in the Later Middle Ages', in Woman is a Worthy Wight: Women in Medieval English Society, c.1200-1500, ed. P.J.Goldberg (Stroud, 1992, reprinted 1997)
'Piety in Question: Noblewomen and Religion in the Later Middle Ages', in Women and Religion in Medieval England, ed. Diana Wood (Oxford, 2003)

Rulers and Ruled in Later Medieval England: Essays for G.L.Harriss on his Seventieth Birthday, eds. Rowena E Archer and Simon Walker (1995)

'Piety, Chivalry and Family. The Cartulary and Psalter of Sir Edmund Rede of Boarstall (d.1489), in Soldiers, Nobles and Gentlemen. Essays in Honour of Maurice Keen, ed. P. Coss & C. Tyreman (Woodbridge, 2009)

‘Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk (d.1475) and her East Anglian Estates’ in Wingfield College and its Patrons. Piety and Prestige in Medieval Suffolk, ed Peter Bloore and Edward Martin (Woodbridge, 2016)


Garden restoration and trees; Burgundy; music.