Book exploring the medieval Anglo-Scottish border shortlisted for prestigious prize

Book exploring the medieval Anglo-Scottish border shortlisted for prestigious prize

A new book by a University of Aberdeen historian has been shortlisted for an esteemed award.

Dr Jackson Armstrong's first monograph, England’s Northern Frontier: Conflict and Local Society in the Fifteenth-century Scottish Marches is in the running for the Royal Historical Society’s 2021 Whitfield Prize.

The prize offers an annual award of £1,000 for a work on British or Irish history that is the author’s first sole book publication. The winner from the 2021 shortlist of six titles will be announced in July.

England’s Northern Frontier, published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press, is the first book-length study of England’s far north and the Anglo-Scottish borderlands in the fifteenth century. It addresses conflict, kinship, lordship, law, justice, and governance, tracing the norms by which local people managed conflict in the region. The book argues that on the English side of the frontier common law and border law were only parts of a mixed framework, which included aspects of ‘feud’ as it is understood in a wider European context.

Dr Armstrong, a Senior Lecturer in History at Aberdeen, has published widely on medieval and renaissance English and Scottish history.

Since 2012 he has also led the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project, which investigates Scotland’s earliest records of town government.

Dr Armstrong said: “I am honoured that my book is included among the impressive titles on the shortlist for the Whitfield Prize.

“This book offers a different perspective on England’s north, and the English kingdom as a whole, that isn’t transfixed on a ‘centre’ of government emanating from the Thames.

“Especially at a time when England’s own conversation about its identities and its geographies of political power is evolving, and when relations between different parts of the UK have been brought into sharp focus, it is great to see a fresh interest in the history of this once-contested region.”

More information about the Whitfield Prize and the current shortlist can be found at The Royal Historical Society.