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Dr James Davis

BA Hons (Durham), MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)

Senior Lecturer in Medieval History  

On Sabbatical Semester 1 2015-16

History exams officer, L3 / Joint Pathway Co-ordinator - BA English and History (Sem 2)

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 5037


James Davis was an undergraduate at the University of Durham and a postgraduate at the University of Cambridge, completing a PhD on retail trade and market culture in late medieval England.  He was appointed to his present post at Queen's in February 2005.

Research Interests

Dr Davis's main research interests focus upon medieval social and economic history, particularly English markets, trade and towns. He has examined the market culture of medieval England through a variety of literary and legal sources and is currently preparing a book on the subject, which will published with Cambridge University Press in 2011. He has also worked and published on the early-Reformation heretical book trade.

Select Publications


Articles and chapters:

  • ‘Review of periodical literature published in 2012: 1100-1500’, in Economic History Review, 67:1 (2014), pp 243-50.
  • ‘Market regulation in fifteenth-century England’, in B. Dodds and C.D. Liddy (eds), Commercial Activity, Markets and Entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages (Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, 2011), pp.81-105.
  • 'Marketing secondhand goods in late medieval England', in Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, ii:3 (2010)
  • ‘The cross and the pillory: symbolic structures of commercial space in medieval English towns’, in Susanne Ehrich & Jörg Oberste (eds), Städtische Räume im Mittelalter (Regensburg, 2009), pp. 241-59.
  • ‘“Men as march with fote packes”: pedlars and freedom of mobility in late-medieval England’, in P. Holden (ed.), Freedom of Movement in the Middle Ages: Proceedings of the Twentieth Harlaxton Symposium (Donington, 2007), pp. 137-56.
  • ‘The Christian Brethren and the dissemination of heretical books’, in R. Swanson (ed.), Studies in Church History: The Church and the Book (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 190-200.
  • ‘Baking for the common good: a reassessment of the assize of bread in medieval England’, Economic History Review, 2nd ser, 57, 3 (2004), pp. 465-502.

Entry on PURE research portal



Dr James Davis teaches on the following programmes / modules:


HIS3011 The Peasant's Revolt, 1381
HIS1003 The Black Death
HIS2052 Life, Love and Death in England and Ireland, c.1350-1650

History and Historians: Contested Pasts




Medieval History strand on the MA Modern History programme


Current PhD first supervision:

  • Eric Connor, 'Kings and chronicles in the fourteenth century'
  • Derek Crosby, 'A Crowded Urban Space: Conflict and Identity in an English Town, 1300-1800'
  • Robin McCallum, 'Towns and the Monarchy, 1272-1350'


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