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Honorary Historical Consultants

The Royal Armouries has always been fortunate in being able to call upon the goodwill and support of many outstanding authorities on a wide variety of subjects to support it in its many activities.

In 2008, as the major Henry VIII commemorative exhibition and companion publication were in active preparation it was felt that perhaps it was time to recognize the value of the contributions which acknowledged specialists gave to the Royal Armouries. The idea was proposed to inaugurate the position of Honorary Historical Consultant (HHC).

Subsequently a number of individuals have been identified as providing valuable support for the Royal Armouries and have been appointed Honorary Historical Consultants. The Board of Trustees has stated that it wishes to have only a small number of HHCs at any time, making this distinction a rare and prestigious one.

Functions of an HHC

  • To be a recognized international authority on an aspect of arms and armour or related subjects
  • To be willing to act on an unsalaried basis to support the Royal Armouries by providing information and advice in chosen subject areas at the request of the Director General, Academic Director or other senior member of the collections related staff. This advice may relate to several areas of operation of the Royal Armouries, for example; publications, displays, exhibitions or acquisitions
  • To support in particular the Royal Armouries publications programme by active contributions through writing or to advise, when asked to comment, upon works written by or for the Royal Armouries on subjects relating to their area of expertise
  • There will be no fixed number of HHCs but it is recognized that the total number will always be small. Currently the Board of Trustees wishes to have no fewer than five and no more than ten HHCs. Each will be recommended as a suitable candidate becomes apparent to the Master of the Armouries or other senior collections related staff
  • The appointment of HHC will be for period of five years, with an option to renew by mutual assent.

Current Honorary Historical Consultants

Kelly DeVries  - Professor of history at Loyola University Maryland.

Donald E. Graves - Author, co-author or editor of sixteen books on military and naval history subjects.

Bill Harriman - Writer and broadcaster whose interest in firearms and other weapons stems from the time when he built kits of guns as a boy.

David Penn - Former Keeper of Exhibits & Firearms at the Imperial War Museum and is now a consultant.

Paul Wilcock - Former Director of the Arms and Armour Research Institute at the University of Huddersfield.

David Williams - Professor at Loughborough University who is recognised internationally for his expertise in manufacturing technology.

Matthew Ford - Academic at the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex.

John Cooper - Senior Lecturer in Early Modern British History, University of York.