David Crouch (historian)

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David Crouch
Born David Bruce Crouch
(1953-10-31) 31 October 1953 (age 67)
Cardiff, Wales
Nationality British
Fields Medieval Social History
Institutions Hull University
Alma mater Cardiff University
Known for Professor of Medieval History, Author
Notable awards Fellow of the British Academy

David Bruce Crouch, FRHistS, FBA (born 31 October 1953) is a Welsh historian and academic. Since 2000, he has been Professor of Medieval History at the University of Hull.


He graduated in history from the former University College, Cardiff, in 1975, and pursued a career in secondary school teaching in South Wales till 1983. While serving as a schoolteacher he completed a doctorate on the Anglo-Norman twin aristocrats, Waleran of Meulan and Robert of Leicester, subsequently published by Cambridge University Press.[1] From 1984 he occupied research posts in the University of London until moving to a teaching position in North Riding College, later University College, Scarborough in 1990.[2] In 2000 he transferred to the Department of History in the University of Hull as professor of medieval history. He has occupied visiting professorships in Poitiers and Milwaukee.[3] From 2013 he holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship and in 2015 he is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton[4]

Corpus of Work

Professor Crouch's main focus is on the social and political history of the period from 1000 to 1300, primarily in England and France, with a particular emphasis on comparative studies of social structures between the various realms of Britain and continental France. His fullest statement on his theory that it was the formulation of nobility as a self conscious aristocratic quality demanding social deference is to be found in his 2005 work The Birth of Nobility. His idea is that once nobility was a quality that could be acquired and demonstrated by conduct and lifestyle as much as by birth, a cascade effect was triggered which produced a hierarchy of social classes organised by relative degrees of nobility. He sees this as happening in the generations on either side of the year 1200.

From the beginning of his career he has also published on the medieval history of South East Wales and the diocese of Llandaff.[5]

In political history he has written influential biographies on King Stephen and William Marshal. He was a member of the academic team which edited and translated into English the contemporary medieval biography of Marshal[6]

His books on the aristocracy of England and France in the High Middle Ages, have been characterised by his incorporation of English social history into the mainstream of continental scholarship.[7]


In 1986, Crouch was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).[8] In 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).[9]


  • The Beaumont Twins: The Roots and Branches of Power in the Twelfth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1986. ISBN 0-521-30215-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • William Marshal: Court, Career and Chivalry in the Angevin Empire 1147-1219. Harlow: Longman. 1990. ISBN 0-582-03786-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> 2nd edition 2002.
  • The Image of Aristocracy in Britain, 1000-1300. London: Routledge. 1992. ISBN 0-415-01911-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Reign of King Stephen, 1135-1154. Harlow: Longman. 2000. ISBN 0-582-22658-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Normans: The History of a Dynasty. London: Hambledon and London. 2002. ISBN 1-85285-387-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Tournament. London: Hambledon and London. 2005. ISBN 1-85285-460-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France: 900-1300. Harlow: Longman. 2005. ISBN 0-582-36981-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The English Aristocracy, 1070-1272: A Social Transformation. New Haven, Conn. and London: Yale University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-300-11455-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lost Letters of Medieval Life: English Society, 1200-1250, edited with Martha Carlin. Philadelphia and London: Pennsylvania University Press. 2013. ISBN 978-0-8122-4459-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. Who's Who 2015 (Bloomsbury, 2014); Biographical material in, 'The Slow Death of Kingship in Glamorgan' Morgannwg: Transactions of the Glamorgan History Society, xxix (1985), 20
  2. Biographical material in, The Image of Aristocracy in Britain, 1000-1300 (Routledge, 1992), p. iii
  3. Biographical material in The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France, 900-1300 (Longman, 2005), p. vi
  4. "Crouch, David - History - University of Hull". University of Hull. Retrieved 1 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Llandaff Episcopal Acta, 1140-1287 (South Wales Record Society, no. 5, 1988); ‘The Transformation of Medieval Gwent’ in, Gwent County History ii, The Age of the Marcher Lords, c. 1075-1536, ed. R.A. Griffiths, A. Hopkins and R. Howell (Cardiff, 2009), 1-45.
  6. History of William Marshal, edited with A. Holden and S. Gregory (3 vols, Anglo-Norman Text Society, Occasional Publications Series, 4-6, 2002-2007)
  7. ‘The Pragmatic Origins of British Social History,’ in, Die Deutung der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft in der Moderne, ed. N. Fryde, P. Monnet, O.G. Oexle and L. Zygner (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006), 123-145
  8. "CROUCH, Prof. David Bruce". Who's Who 2015. Oxford University Press. November 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "British Academy announces 42 new fellows". Times Higher Education. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links