Sponsored by The Richard III Society

Our report on the 2022 Schools Conference is appended.

Schools which did not participate this year are invited to send an expression of interest to Iain Farrell

with an indication of a preferred time of the school year when your sixth form historians can be taken off timetable for a day.

Timings and notes on speakers in June 2022.

9.00 am

John Watts (Richard, Duke of York)

John Watts is Professor of Later Medieval History at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Tutor at Corpus Christi College.  He studied at Cambridge, and taught at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth before arriving at Corpus in 1997.  His main books are Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (1996) and The Making of Polities: Europe, 1300-1500 (2008), but he has published widely on politics and political culture in later medieval Britain and Europe.  He is currently working on a book for the New Oxford History of England series, to be called Renaissance England, 1461-1547.  More information can be found here:

James Ross (Henry VI)

Dr. James Ross is Reader in Late Medieval History at the University of Winchester, having previously worked as senior medieval records specialist at the National Archives. He has written on fifteenth century law, society and politics, including on John de Vere, Thirteenth Earl of Oxford, 1442-1513 (2011) and Henry VI. A Good, Simple and Innocent Man (2016). More information on his academic interests, publications and research can be found at

Rachel Delman (Margaret of Anjou)

Dr. Rachel Delman is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of History and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Prior to this, she was the 2018-19 Susan Manning Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Rachel holds degrees from the universities of Nottingham, Cambridge and Oxford, where she completed her doctorate in 2017. Her work explores the relationship between gender, power and the built environment in late medieval and early Tudor Britain, with a specific focus on women’s architectural patronage. Rachel has published in the Royal Studies JournalThe Journal of Medieval HistoryUrban History and Viator on topics relating to women in the time of the Wars of the Roses. More information about Rachel’s research can be found here:

She also regularly Tweets about her work using the handle @rachel_delman 

10.30 break/ optional plenary Q&A with first three speakers.

11.00 am

Rachel Moss (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick)

Dr. Rachel Moss studied at the University of York. After research fellowships in Paris and Oxford, she joined the University of Northampton, where she is now Senior Lecturer in History. She has taught on the topic of the Wars of the Roses for many years for both the University of Oxford and the University of Northampton. A specialist in late medieval gender, family and literary culture, she is the author of the monograph Fatherhood and its Representations in Middle English Texts (D.S. Brewer, 2013), and her university research profile is here:

Hannes Kleineke (Edward IV)

Dr. Hannes Kleineke is the Editor of the 1461-1504 section of the History of Parliament (a biographical dictionary of MPs and peers since the Middle Ages published by the two Houses of Parliament). As well as working on the history of the medieval Parliament, he has published a book-length biography of King Edward IV, and, more recently, edited Edward IV’s Pardon Rolls for the List and Index Society.

Joanna Laynesmith (The Woodvilles)

Dr. Joanna Laynesmith is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Reading and has taught at the universities of Oxford, York and Huddersfield. She has written two prize winning monographs – The Last Medieval Queens (OUP 2004) and Cecily Duchess of York (Bloomsbury Academic 2017) – as well as numerous articles on elite women in medieval England.

12.30 p.m. Lunch break/ Optional plenary Q&A with second group of speakers.

1.00 pm

Admissions talk on History undergraduate degrees.

Professor Helen Cowie, Admissions Tutor for History, University of York.

1.30 pm

Matthew Ward (Richard III)

Dr. Matthew Ward is a Teaching Affiliate and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. He is also a History tutor in the Lifelong Learning department at Aberystwyth University, running courses on Richard III and Wales and the Wars of the Roses. Matt specialises in fifteenth-century political and cultural history, particularly during the Wars of the Roses. He is a member of the Richard III Society’s Research Committee. 

Matt has published books and articles on politics and material/visual culture in the fifteenth century and recently edited a collection of essays on loyalty in the late-medieval and early modern period. He is currently finishing a book on loyalty in the fifteenth century.

Matt Lewis (The Missing Princes)

Matt is Chairman of the Richard III Society and the author of several popular books on the Wars of the Roses and Richard III.

2.30 pm Plenary Q&A on Richard III

3.00 pm

Dr. Helen Carrel (NEA preparation)

Helen Carrel is currently Head of History at Tormead School, Guildford, and she is the author of the Edexcel Pearson-endorsed A level textbook ‘Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII’ as well as a number of articles on the late medieval period. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a researcher at the University of York exploring Church Court records from the Archbishopric of York, as well as lecturing at a number of universities including Cambridge, Royal Holloway and Fordham (New York). Her Ph.D., from Clare College, Cambridge, focused on English political urban culture in the post-Black Death period.

3.30pm Close

Report on the 2022 Schools Conference

We asked teachers for feedback to help us plan a similar conference in 2023. There is a consensus that an online conference is preferable to travelling to a venue. By working online, we can invite speakers from a range of universities and institutions, costs are minimal with no hiring charges for premises, travel or meal costs; teachers and students can attend for their whole working day with no time used up for travel and hence schools may attend from any part of the country.

Teachers’ comments after the June 2022 conference.

‘I would certainly participate again if it was offered with the next Year 12 cohort.’ 

‘Good range of topics. Always good to have the key players covered.’

‘Please can I pass on my thanks for an excellent online education day today. The lectures were all stimulating, relevant and beneficial and my 40 students got an enormous amount out of the day as a whole.’

‘They [the speakers] were excellent. A really good mix representing the key people/ aspects of the course. ‘

‘The focus on personalities worked well. The Wars of the Roses in an era of personal monarchy suits this approach and matches with how I teach it.’

All really engaging and well-structured and organised.’

‘It went really well and had a great impact on the students. They [the students] were impressed by the level of knowledge shown by the speakers, they felt privileged to be in their company.

A fabulous set of speakers.’

‘It was hugely beneficial for our students and a very enjoyable day all round for students and staff alike. We would certainly wish to take part in the future and appreciated it being online for both costs and organisational reasons.’

‘We really enjoyed it and the sources were absolutely fantastic, it has really set a number of the students up ready for their coursework.’

‘The focus on source work was particularly beneficial. We look forward to next year’s event!’

Speakers’ comments.

‘I think it went brilliantly.’

‘It was a pleasure to be involved, and I’d be more than happy to assist at any future events ‘

‘It felt like a great success.

‘I enjoyed myself immensely, and I thought it was all brilliantly organised; ‘

‘I’m sure I’d be willing to take part in a future event.’

‘Very happy to consider doing something again in the future.’