Portrait of Professor Tim Thornton Professor Tim Thornton

t.j.thornton@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472531


Tim Thornton studied at New College, Oxford. In 1997 he was awarded the Royal Historical Society's David Berry Prize for his work on the Isle of Man; in 1999 he was proxime accessit for the Society's Alexander Prize for an essay on the palatinate of Durham. He was the first scholar based in a new University to win one of the Society's prizes.

Appointed Head of the Department of History, English, Languages and Media in 2003, Tim was on secondment as Head of University Centre Barnsley during 2005-6 and became Dean of the School of Music, Humanities and Media in October 2006. He was appointed Pro Vice-chancellor (Teaching and Learning) in October 2008 and then became Deputy Vice-chancellor in September 2015.

Research and Scholarship

Tim Thornton works on the late medieval and early modern political and social history of the British Isles, spanning the period c. 1400-1650. He specialises in the non-English territories of the crown. His early work on Cheshire explored the palatinate’s history during the period between Richard II’s reign and the early seventeenth century. More recently, he has published on Wales, the Isle of Man, Durham and the Channel Islands, and also on the north of England during the late medieval and early modern periods. His most recent books are on political prophecy, particularly the traditions associated with Merlin, Mother Shipton and Nixon, the Cheshire prophet, and on the Channel Islands between 1370 and 1640, exploring their history in the context of relationships with Normandy, Brittany, France and England.

Tim's 2016 Joan Stevens Lecture on the Channel Islands and the courts of Westminster, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, has recently been published. He is also currently the editor, with Harold Mytum and Mike Hoy, of volume four of the new History of the Isle of Man from Liverpool University Press, covering the period between 1406 and 1830 (which will be finished during 2017), and, with Katharine Carlton, completing a monograph on the illegitimate relationships and offspring of the northern nobility and gentry for Manchester University Press.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Thornton, T (2017) ‘Wales in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Histories: Neglect, Rediscovery, and their ImplicationsHistorical Research , 90 (250), pp. 683-703. ISSN 1468-2281

Thornton, T (2017) The Channel Islands and the Courts of Westminster from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Centuries . St Helier, Jersey: Société Jersiaise. ISBN 978-0902897022


Thornton, T (2016) ‘Clergy Careers in the Channel Islands, 1480-1570’. In: Paris 1259: Studies in the History and Law of Continental and Insular Normandy. : Guernsey Bar. pp. 41-53. ISBN 9780955039515

Thornton, T (2016) ‘Lancastrian rule and the resources of the prince of Wales, 1456–61Journal of Medieval History , 42, pp. 382-404. ISSN 0304-4181


Thornton, T (2015) ‘Conclusion – Man: the Medieval Legacy’. In: A New History of the Isle of Man: The Medieval Period, 1000-1406. : Liverpool University Press. pp. 546-553. ISBN 978-0-853236-177

Thornton, T (2015) ‘Wales and the Crisis of the Lancastrian MonarchyThe Welsh History Review , 27 (3), pp. 459-478. ISSN 0043-2431


Thornton, T (2014) ‘Professional recognition: promoting recognition through the Higher Education Academy in a UK higher education institutionTertiary Education and Management , pp. 1-14. ISSN 1358-3883


Thornton, T (2013) ‘Celebrate and support professional teachersInTuition - the professional journal for IfL members (15).


Thornton, T (2012) ‘Preface to Slavery in Yorkshire: Richard Oastler and the campaign against child labour in the Industrial Revolution’. In: Slavery in Yorkshire: Richard Oastler and the campaign against child labour in the Industrial Revolution. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield Press. p. xi-xii. ISBN 978-1-86218-107-6

Thornton, T (2012) The Channel Islands, 1370-1640: Between England and Normandy . Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 9781843837114


Carlton, K. and Thornton, T. (2011) ‘Illegitimacy and Authority in the North of England, c. 1450-1640Northern history: a review of the history of the North of England. , 48 (1), pp. 23-40. ISSN 0078-172X


Thornton, T (2009) ‘Henry VIII's Progress Through Yorkshire in 1541 and its Implications for Northern IdentitiesNorthern history: a review of the history of the North of England. , 46 (2), pp. 231-244. ISSN 0078-172X

Thornton, T (2009) ‘Jersey's Royal Charters of LibertiesJersey and Guernsey Law Review , 13 (2), pp. 186-197. ISSN 1366-9354


Thornton, T (2006) Prophecy, Politics and the People in Early Modern England . Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. ISBN 9781843832591


Thornton, T (2005) ‘The Battle of Sandeford: Henry Tudor's understanding of the meaning of Bosworth FieldHistorical Research , 78 (201), pp. 436-442. ISSN 0951-3471

Thornton, T (2005) ‘Nationhood at the Margin: Identity, Regionality and the English Crown in the Seventeenth Century’. In: Power and the Nation in European History. : Cambridge University Press. pp. 232-47. ISBN 9780521608305

Thornton, T (2005) ‘British/English attitudes to the Norman Law of the Channel Islands in the Early Modern Period’. In: Commise 1204: studies in the History and Law of Continental and insular Normandy. Guernsey: Guernsey Bar/Barreau de Guernsey. pp. 123-132. ISBN 9780955039508


Thornton, T (2004) The Charters of Guernsey . Bognor Regis, UK: Woodfield. ISBN 9781903953655


Thornton, T (2002) ‘The English king’s French islands: Jersey and Guernsey in English politics and administration, 1485–1642’. In: Authority and Consent in Tudor England: essays presented to C.S.L. Davies. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. . ISBN 978-0-7546-0665-9


Thornton, T (2001) ‘Fifteenth-century Durham and the problem of provincial liberties in England and the wider territories of the English crownTransactions of the Royal Historical Society 6th Series , 11, pp. 83-100. ISSN 1474-0648

Thornton, T (2001) ‘The Palatinate of Durham and the Maryland CharterThe American Journal of Legal History , 45 (3), pp. 235-255. ISSN 00029319

Coote, L. and Thornton, T. (2001) ‘Merlin, Erceldoune, Nixon : a tradition of popular political prophecy’. In: New Medieval Literatures. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 117-137. ISBN 0-19-818738-6

Thornton, T (2001) Social attitudes and political structures in the fifteenth century . The fifteenth century series. Stroud: Sutton. ISBN 9780750927055

Thornton, T (2001) ‘British postgraduate research into Fifteenth-Century history’. In: Social attitudes and political structures: in the fifteenth century. Stroud: Sutton. pp. 1-12. ISBN 0750927054


Coote, L. and Thornton, T. (2000) ‘Richard, Son of Richard: Richard III and Political ProphecyHistorical Research , 73 (182), pp. 321-330. ISSN 09503471

Thornton, T (2000) ‘Dynasty and territory in the early modern period: The Princes of Wales and their Western British inheritanceWelsh history review , 20 (1), pp. 1-33. ISSN 0043-2431

Thornton, T (2000) ‘Cheshire: the inner citedel of Richard II's kingdom?’. In: The Reign of Richard II. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. . ISBN 0752417975

Thornton, T (2000) Cheshire and the Tudor State, 1480-1560 . Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-86193-248-1


Thornton, T. and Taithe, B. (1999) Propaganda: political rhetoric and identity, 1300 - 2000 . Themes in History. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 9780750920285

Thornton, T (1999) ‘Propaganda, political communication and the problem of English responses to the introduction of printing’. In: Propaganda: political rhetoric and identity 1300 - 2000. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 41-60. ISBN 9780750920285

Thornton, T (1999) ‘Taxing the King's dominions: the subject territories of the English Crown in the Late Middle Ages’. In: Crises, revolutions and self-sustained growth: essays in European fiscal history 1130 - 1830. Stamford: Shaun Tyas. pp. 97-109. ISBN 9781871615937

Thornton, T (1999) ‘The alleged French raid in the Isle of Man, 1377Northern history: a review of the history of the North of England. , 35, pp. 208-213. ISSN 0078-172X

Thornton, T (1999) ‘Opposition drama and the resolution of disputes in Early Tudor England: Cardinal Wolsey and the Abbot of ChesterBulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester , 81 (1), pp. 25-48. ISSN 0301-102X


Thornton, T (1998) ‘Scotland and the Isle of Man, c.1400-1625 : noble power and royal presumption in the Northern Irish Sea provinceScottish Historical Review , 77 (1), pp. 1-30. ISSN 0036-9241

Thornton, T (1998) ‘The enemy or stranger, that shall invade their countrey’. In: War: identities in conflicts, 1400 - 2000. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 57-70. ISBN 9780750916837


Thornton, T (1997) ‘Reshaping the local future : the development and uses of provincial political prophecies, 1300-1900’. In: Prophecy : the power of inspired language in history 1300-2000. Stroud: Sutton. pp. 51-70. ISBN 9780750913317

Thornton, T. and Taithe, B. (1997) Prophecy: the power of inspired language in history, 1300 - 2000 . Themes in History. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 9780750913317


Thornton, T (1996) ‘Local equity jurisdictions in the territories of the English crown : the Palatinate of Chester, 1450-1540’. In: Courts, counties and the capital in the latter middle ages. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 27-52. ISBN 0-312-16289-8


Thornton, T (1995) ‘A Defence of the Liberties Cheshire, 1451–2Historical Research , 68 (167), pp. 338-354. ISSN 0951-3471

Thornton, T (1995) ‘Cardinal Wolsey and the Abbot of Chester: How a complex legal case in the Country Palatine casts light on the limitations of royal power in Tudor EnglandHistory today , 45 (8), pp. 12-17. ISSN 0018-2753


Thornton, T (1993) ‘The integration of Cheshire into the Tudor nation state in the early sixteenth centuryNorthern history: a review of the history of the North of England. , 23 (1), pp. 40-63. ISSN 0078-172X

Research Degree Supervision

Tim is currently supervising dissertations related to the political and military history of the fifteenth century, national character, and trans-Atlantic connections.

Tim is interested in potential research projects relating to the non-English territories of the crown, especially Cheshire, the Isle of Man, Durham, Wales and the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, and to political prophecy, c. 1450-1800.