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Henry Yallop

Henry Yallop is Keeper of Armour and Edged Weapons at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Having completed his first degree in History (BA Hons, King’s College London 2001-2004), Henry went on to focus on the Middle Ages at the University of York (MA, Medieval Studies, 2004-2005). Henry then began his museum career as a long term volunteer at the Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, at both the Norwich Castle Museum and Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum, whilst also working part time.

He returned to London to work for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, firstly with the Export Licencing Department of Cultural Goods and then for The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest. When MLA relocated, Henry took the opportunity to do a Museum qualification at the University of East Anglia (MA, Museum Studies & Cultural Heritage, 2010-11), where he focused on arms & armour collections, which he received after further voluntary work with the National Army Museum.

After a lifelong passion for arms, armour and military history, he took up the post of Assistant Curator (Edged Weapons) in 2012. In 2014 he co-curated the museum’s new First World War gallery: ‘Bullets, Blades and Battle Bowlers’ and the online encyclopaedia ‘Arms of the First World War’. In 2015 he co-curated the museum’s offerings for the Waterloo bicentenary. These were the exhibition ‘Waterloo: The Art of Battle’, in association with the Royal Academy of Arts, the new permanent display ‘The Waterloo Campaign: June 1815’ and the online encyclopaedia of weapons. He was also appointed Deputy Editor of the museum’s peer-reviewed journal Arms & Armour in 2015. In 2016 he was lead curator of the museum’s 2016 exhibition ‘Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard’ and the accompanying multi-disciplinary conference. He has spoken at national and international conferences and appeared on television documentaries.

In 2017 Henry was appointed Keeper of Armour and Edged Weapons, with overall responsibility for the armour and edged weapons components of the collection.

Henry is interested in the development, use, and effect of arms & armour, especially relating to European edged weapons and archery. He is particularly interested in swords, swordsmanship and related trauma; especially in military contexts.

Recent publications:
The Cavalry Lance, Osprey, 2017, with Alan Larsen

‘A Sword for a System: The Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sword’, in Proceedings of the Conference ‘The Sword – Form and Thought’ at Deutsches Klingenmuseum Solingen, November 19th–21st 2015, Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming

Arms and Armour of the First World War, Royal Armouries, 2017, with Jonathan Ferguson & Lisa Traynor

‘Grips, Sleeves and Liners: Leather on European Edged Weapons’, in Mould, Q., (ed.), Leather in Warfare: Attack, Defence and the Unexpected, Royal Armouries, 2017

(review) ‘The Art of Swordsmanship by Hans Lecküchner’, Forgeng, J., (trans.), in Arms & Armour, Vol.14, Issue 1, 2017

‘Swords of Empire: The 19th Century Frenchification of European Edged Weapons’, in Dziewulski, M., (ed.), The Ambassadors of Dialogue: The Role of Diplomatic Gifts and Works of Arts and Crafts in Intercultural Exchange. Papers from the International Conference of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) and the International Committee for Museums Collections of Decorative Arts and Design (ICDAD) at the National Museum in Krakow 16th-18th of September, 2015. Krakow, 2016

‘The Grosse Messer’, The Field, October 2016

‘Giving the pig a poke’, The Field, May 2016

(review) ‘The Sword and the Crucible. A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords up to the 16th Century, by Alan Williams’, Medieval Archaeology, Vol 59, Issue 1, 2015

‘Uniforms, Arms & Armour’, in Daniel Maclise: The Waterloo Cartoon, by Mark Murray-Flutter & Annette Wickham, Royal Academy of Arts, 2015, with Mark Murray-Flutter & Lisa Traynor