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Malcolm Mercer

Malcolm Mercer is Curator of Tower Armouries at the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London.

Malcolm Mercer is a specialist in late medieval English cultural, military and political history. He came to the Royal Armouries from Canterbury Cathedral Archives in 2009 where he was Senior Research Archivist and directly responsible for collections development.

However, his expertise in the medieval records of central government was developed principally at The National Archives. In his role as Senior Medieval Records Specialist he worked on a wide range of research projects and initiatives that facilitated much greater access to both traditional and non-traditional users.

Malcolm’s research interests have traditionally centred upon late medieval political culture, particularly the fifteenth century gentry and their participation in warfare. He has published a number of articles about the nature of loyalty as well as a monograph that analyses gentry motivation and behaviour during the Wars of the Roses.

At the Royal Armouries Malcolm is actively researching medieval arms and armour production in England with a particular emphasis on the role of the Tower of London and the role of king’s armourers. Elsewhere he is working on English royal armours of the 16th and 17th centuries, currently focusing on the armours of Henry Stuart. In addition he is a specialist in the development of the Tower Armouries collections in the 18th and 19th centuries and the nature of arms and armour collecting more generally. Recently, he has been working on the increasing interest shown by military officers in Oriental arms and armour during the early 19th century.

Malcolm sits on the Council of the List & Index Society, closely associated with The National Archives, which has a long established tradition of publishing lists, texts, and editions of manuscripts for the wider historical community. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Asiatic Society.

Publications:
The Battle of Agincourt, ed. A. Curry & M. Mercer (New Haven and London, 2015)
The Medieval Gentry: Power, Leadership and Choice during the Wars of the Roses (London and New York, 2010)
Henry V: The Rebirth of Chivalry (Treasures from The National Archives, 2004)
‘Shaping the Ordnance Office Collections at the Tower of London: The Impact of Colonial Expansion, Diplomacy, and Donation in the early 19th century’ Museum History Journal 9.2 (2016)
‘Greek Armour at the Tower of London’, Arms and Armour 13.1 (2016), with Dr Thom Richardson
‘The Rise of the Kings’ Armourers’ in Fourteenth Century England 8, ed., Jeffrey Hamilton (Woodbridge, 2014)
‘Samuel Meyrick, the Tower Storekeepers, and the rearrangement of the Tower’s historic collections of arms and armour, c.1821-69’, Arms and Armour 10.2 (2013)
‘The Artillery Train of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, 1640’, The Irish Sword 28 (Summer, 2011)
‘Kent and National Politics, 1461-1509’, in Later Medieval Kent 1220-1540, ed., S. Sweetinburgh (Woodbridge, 2010)
‘Exchequer Malpractice in Late Medieval Ireland: a petition from Christopher Fleming, Lord Slane, 1438’, Irish Historical Studies 36 (2009)
‘The Strength of Lancastrian Loyalism during the Readeption: Gentry Participation at the Battle of Tewkesbury’ in the Journal of Medieval Military History 5 (Boydell & Brewer, 2007)
‘The Administration of the Cinque Ports in the Early Lancastrian Period’ in People, Places and Perspectives: Essays on Later Medieval & Early Modern England in Honour of Ralph A Griffiths, eds., P. W. Fleming & K. Dockray (Stroud, 2005)
‘A Forgotten Kentish Rebellion, September-October 1470’, Archaeologia Cantiana 122 (2002)
‘Lancastrian Loyalism in Kent during the Wars of the Roses’, Archaeologia Cantiana 119 (1999)
‘Driven to Rebellion: Sir John Lewknor, Dynastic Loyalty and Debt’, Sussex Archaeological Collections 137 (1999)
‘Lancastrian Loyalism in the South-West: The Case of the Beauforts’, Southern History 19 (1997)
‘Sir Richard Clement, Ightham Mote and Local Disorder in the Early Tudor Period’, Archaeologia Cantiana 115 (1995)

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