Cynthia Neville | College of Arts

Cynthia Neville

photo of Cynthia Neville
MCKN 1018


Ph.D.  University of Aberdeen, 1983
MA  Carleton University, 1980
BA (Hons)  Carleton University, 1979


Mount Saint Vincent University, Department of History, 1984-1990
Dalhousie University, Department of History, 1986-2018
    - George Munro Chair of History and Political Economy, 2010-2018
    - Professor Emeritus, 2018-
University of Guelph, Adjunct Professor, 2019-12-04


Associate Editor, Journal of British Studies
Member, editorial board, Journal of Medieval History
Member, editorial board, Florilegium
Member, editorial board, Later Medieval Europe Series, Brill Publishers


Honouree, festschrift entitled Crossing Borders: Boundaries and Margins om Medieval and Early Modern Britain, ed. Sarah Butler and Krista Kesselring (Leiden: Brill, 2018)
Article ‘The Beginnings of Royal Pardon’ identified as one of the most influential articles in the field of history in the English language, English Historical Review, January 2018
Visiting Fellowship, Humanities Research Centre, National University of Australia, 2016
Visiting Research Fellowship, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, UK, 2013
Visiting Research Fellowship, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; subsequently elected Life Member of Clare Hall, 2013
Father Lenard Boyle annual lecture, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, 2012
Special research leave award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie University, 2011
Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2010
Shortlisted, Saltire Society/National Library of Scotland, Research Book of the Year (Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland), 2010
George Munro Chair in History, Office of the President, Dalhousie University, 2010
Donald Bullough Fellowship, Institute of Mediaeval Studies University of St Andrews, UK, 2009
Leonard Slater Visiting Research Fellowship, University College, Durham University, UK, 2007
Agnes Mure Mackenzie Scottish History Book of Year, Saltire Society, UK, 2006, for Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland
Margaret Wade Labarge Book Prize, Canadian Society of Medievalists, for Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland
Mayers Research Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2006
Research Award, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2006
Dalhousie Student Union, Award for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 2006
Burgess Research Award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie University, 2003
Research Associate, International Social Sciences Institute, University of Edinburgh, 1999
Visiting Research Fellowship, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, 1999 (declined)
Walter D. Love Prize, North American Conference on British Studies (for best article in British history by a North American author), 1997
Fellow, Royal Historical Society, UK, 1996
Visiting Research Fellowship, Grey College, University of Durham, UK, 1995
Canada Research Fellowship, Department of History, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1990-1992
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1986-1988
Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1981-1983
Overseas Students' Award, Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities and Colleges of the United Kingdom, 1980-1983


medieval Scotland: legal, social
medieval Anglo-Scottish border region: legal
Areas of research for graduate supervision

Scottish legal history, 1000-1600
social, political and cultural history of Scotland, 1000-1600
English legal history, 1250-1500
 social, political and cultural history of England, 1000-1500

Current Research

I am currently working on a critical edition (with commentary) of the Scottish medieval legal treatise known as the Leges Marchiarum



Regesta Regum Scottorum, Vol. IV, Part 1: The Acts of King Alexander III of Scotland, 1249-
1286 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013), with Grant G. Simpson
Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010;
reissued 2012; paperback edn 2013.
    University Press. Reissued in paper, 2012. Paperback edition, 2013
Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland: The Earldoms of Strathearn and Lennox, c.1140-1365
(Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005)
Violence, Custom and Law: The Anglo-Scottish Border Lands in the Later Middle Ages (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 1998).


"A Plea Roll of Edward I's Army in Scotland, 1296", Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vol. 11. Scottish History Society, 1990, 7-133.


Forthcoming “The Growth of Royal Pardon in Fourteenth-Century Scotland”, in Land, Law and People, eds David Ditchburn and Steve Boardman (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)
In Press  ‘“No Remission without Satisfaction”: Canonical Influences on Secular Lawmaking in High Medieval Scotland’, in Prophecy, Fate and Memory in the Early and Medieval Celtic World, ed. J. Wooding and L. Olson, Sydney Series in Celtic Studies 18 (Sydney University Press).
“Making a Manly Impression: The Image of Kingship on Scottish Royal Seals of the High Middle Ages”, in Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Ewan, eds., Nine Centuries of Man: Manhood and Masculinity in Scottish History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), 101-21
“Preparing for Kingship: Prince Alexander of Scotland, 1264-1284’, in Children and Youth in Pre-Modern Scotland, ed. E Ewan and J. Nugent (Woodbridge: St Andrews Studies in Scottish History/Boydell Press, 2015), 155-172
“Neighbours, the Neighbourhood and the Visnet in Scotland, 1125-1300”,    in M. Hammond, ed.,
New Perspectives on Medieval Scotland: 1093-1286 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013), 161-73
“Finding the Family in the Charters of Medieval Scotland, 1150-1350”, in E. Ewan and J. Nugent, eds., Finding the Family in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2008), 11-21
“Arbitration and Border Law in the Later Middle Ages”, in M. Prestwich, ed., Liberties and Identities in Later Medieval Britain (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2008), 37-55
Remembering the Legal Past: Anglo-Scottish Border Law and Practice in the Later Middle Ages”, in R. H. Britnell and C. D. Liddy, eds., North-East England in the Later Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005), 43-55
“Information juridique et mémoire de droit: la frontière anglo-écossaise à la fin du Moyen Âge”, dans Information et société en Occident à la fin de Moyen Âge, ed. C. Boudreau, K. Fianu, C. Gauvard et M. Hébert (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2004), 361-372.
“Scotland, the Percies and the Law in 1400”, in D. Biggs and G. Dodd, eds., The Reign of Henry IV: Establishment and Consolidation, 1399-1406 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2003), 92-118.
“Charter Writing and the Exercise of Lordship in Thirteenth-Century Celtic Scotland”, in A.Musson, ed., Expectations of the Law in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2001), 67-89.
“Homicide in the Ecclesiastical Court of Fourteenth-Century Durham”, in Nigel Saul, ed. Fourteenth Century England I (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2000), 103-114
"A Celtic Enclave in Norman Scotland: Earl Gilbert and the Earldom of Strathearn, 1171-1223",
in Terry Brotherstone and David Ditchburn, eds., Freedom and Authority: Historical and Historiographical Essays presented to Grant G. Simpson (Edinburgh: Tuckwell Press, 2000), 75-92
"War, Women and Crime in the Northern English Border Lands in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries", in D. Kagay, ed., The Final Argument: The Imprint of Violence on Society in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1998), 163-175
"Local Perspectives and Functions of the English Chancery's Legal Instruments in the Later Middle Ages: The Anglo- Scottish Borders", in K. Fianu and D.J. Guth, eds., “Écrit et pouvoir dans les chancelleries médiévales: espace français, espace anglais (Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d'Études Médiévales, 1997), 269-279                     
"War, Crime and Local Communities in the North of England in the Later Middle Ages", in J. Drendel, ed., La Société rurale et les institutions gouvernementales au Moyen Âge (Montréal: CERES Press, 1996), 189-201
"Widows of War: Edward I and the Women of Scotland during the War of Independence", in S. Sheridan Walker, ed., Wife and Widow in Medieval England (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1993), 109-139


“The Beginnings of Royal Pardon in Scotland”, Journal of     Medieval History 42 (2016):  559-587
“Royal Mercy in Later Medieval Scotland”, Florilegium 29 (2014), 1-31
“Knights and Knighthood in Gaelic Scotland, c. 1050 – 1300”, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 3rd ser. 4 (2007), 57-106 (with R. Andrew McDonald)
“Women, Charters, and Land Ownership in Scotland, 1150-1350”, Journal of Legal History, 26 (2005): 21-45.
“Native Lords and the Church in Thirteenth-Century Strathearn, Scotland”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 53 (2002): 454-75
“Scottish Influences on the Medieval Laws of the Anglo-Scottish Marches”, Scottish Historical Review 81 (2002): 161-85
“The Bishop’s Ministers: The Office of Coroner in Late Medieval Durham”, Florilegium 18 (2002): 47-60
“The Courts of the Prior and the Bishop of Durham in the Later Middle Ages’, History 85 (2000): 216-31
“The Origins of the Speculum Regis Edwardi III of William of Pagula”, with C.J. Nederman, Studi Medievali, 3rd ser., 38 (1996): 317-29
"Local Sentiment and the 'National' Enemy: Northern English Communities in the Later Middle Ages", Journal of British Studies 35 (1996): 419-37
"Common Knowledge of the Common Law in Later Medieval England", Canadian Journal of History 28 (1994): 1-18
"Keeping the Peace on the Northern Marches in the Later Middle Ages", English Historical Review 109 (1994): 1-25
"The Law of Treason in the English Border Counties in the Later Middle Ages," Law and History Review 9 (1991): 1-30
“Border Law in Late Medieval England", The Journal of Legal History 9 (1988): 335-356
"The Political Allegiance of the Earls of Strathearn during the War of Independence", Scottish Historical Review 65 (1986): 133-153
"Gaol Delivery in the Border Counties, 1439-1459; some preliminary observations", Northern History 19 (1983): 45-60.


Numerous entries in:
Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. E. Ewan, Sue Innes, Siân Reynolds and Rose Pipes
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. Robert E. Bjork
Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing, ed. D. Woolf
Book Reviews (85+) in American Historical Review, Speculum, Scottish Historical Review, Albion, Law and History Review, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, American Political Science Review, Canadian Journal of History, Renaissance and Reformation, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, Northern Scotland, Scottish Tradition, Epilogue, Modern Philology, Atlantis, International Review of Scottish Studies, The Medieval Review (online)

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