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Henry Yallop

Henry Yallop is Keeper of Edged Weapons & Armour 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, 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.

With 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 Arms of the Battle of Waterloo. 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, most notably the History Channel’s Sean Bean on Waterloo (2015).

In 2017 Henry was appointed Keeper of Edged Weapons & Armour, with overall responsibility for the Edged Weapons, Armour and Oriental collections and staff.

In 2019 he organised the multi-disciplinary conference I.33 – The Heart of the Art of Combat at the museum.

Henry is interested in the development, use, and effect of arms & armour.  He is especially interested in European edged weapons, with a particular interest in the development, use, and effect of them in military contexts.

Recent publications

‘The Sword Exercises of the British Cavalry: 1796-1858’, in Wetzler, S., Jaquet, D., Deacon, J.H., (eds.) Acta Periodica Duellatorum, Vol. 8 No. 1, 2020: Conference proceedings: Fight Books in Comparative Perspective (Deutsches Klingenmuseum, 9-10 Nov. 2017)

‘Royal Armouries update’, ICOMAM Magazine, No. 23, May 2020

‘Two Ducal Hangers’, The Field, March 2020

‘A Sword for a System: The Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sword’, in Deutscher, L., Kaiser, M., Wetzler, S., (eds.) The Sword: Form and Thought. Proceedings of the second Sword Conference 19/20 November 2015, Deutsches Klingenmuseum Solingen, Boydell & Brewer, 2019

The Cavalry Lance, Osprey, 2017, with Alan Larsen

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