Dr Andrew Watkins

Professor of American HistoryAndrew Watkins

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Andrew Watkins read Medieval and Modern History at the University of Birmingham and as a postgraduate studied under Christopher Dyer. In 1989 he completed his Ph.D. on society and economy in the late medieval forest of Arden, Warwickshire. He retired as Head of Sixth Form at Lichfield Cathedral School in 2016 after thirty years of school teaching. As an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for English Local History, he has supported the Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust in their work on the late medieval town of Lutterworth, whilst continuing his exploration of society and economy in the Arden. His edition of The Early Record of Coleshill c1120-1549 has recently been published by the Dugdale Society. He is editor of Warwickshire History.

Research Interests

His research is primarily focused on the later medieval forest of Arden, where his interests include the evolution of settlement and all aspects of the development of society and the economy. Important themes include animal husbandry, with particular reference to dairying and beef production, the development and function of village markets and small boroughs, and the nature of élites in small-town society. The scope of his research has recently extended to explore similar themes in Lutterworth and other parts of southern Leicestershire. A longer term project is to produce an edition of the Maxstoke Priory Cartulary for the Dugdale Society.

Select Publications

‘The development of Coleshill in the later middle ages’, Warwickshire History, v, 1983-4, pp. 167-84

'Cattle Grazing in the forest of Arden in the later middle ages’, Agricultural History Review, xxxvii, 1989, pp. 12-25

‘William de Kellingworth and The George; an early reference to a Warwickshire rural inn’, Warwickshire History, vii, 1989, pp. 130-5

'The woodland economy of the forest of Arden in the later middle ages', Midland History, xviii, 1993, 19-36

‘Merevale Abbey in the late 1490s’, Warwickshire History, ix, 1994, pp. 87-104

‘Maxstoke Priory in the fifteenth century: the development of an estate economy in the forest of Arden’, Warwickshire History, x, 1996, pp. 3-18

‘Landowners and their estates in the forest of Arden in the fifteenth century’, Agricultural History Review, xlv, 1997, pp.18-33 ‘Peasants in Arden’, in Daily Life in the Late Middle Ages, ed R.H. Britnell, (Stroud, 1998), pp. 83-102

Small Towns in the forest of Arden in the fifteenth century, Dugdale Society Occasional Paper, xxviii, 1998

‘The Medieval Abbey: its lands and its tenants’, in Stoneleigh Abbey: the house, its owners, its lands, ed R. Bearman, (Stratford-upon-Avon, 2003), pp. 198-214

‘Standing in the great highway: Atherstone, medieval market town’, in eds N. Alcock and M. Hughes, Atherstone A Pleasantly placed town (Chichester, 2008), pp. 37-48.

‘Hawkeswell in Coleshill – a deserted settlement in the Arden ?’, Warwickshire History, xiv, 2009, pp. 58-73.

‘A seventeenth-century Warwickshire Estate Map’, Landscape History, xxxiii, 2012, pp. 29-48 (with Colin. Hayfield).

‘Humphrey Ryddell and the Swan: a sixteenth-century small-town Innkeeper and his Inn,’ The Local Historian, xlvi, 2016, pp. 284-301

‘The Town of Lutterworth in the Later Middle Ages’, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, xcii, 2018, pp. 115-45.

The Early Records of Coleshill c1120-1549, Dugdale Society Main Record Series, 51, 2018

‘John Fenton: a sixteenth-century vicar of Coleshill’, Midland History, xliv, 2019, pp. 1-18 (with Kirsteen Harvey).

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