Man at desk with laptop

Malcolm Mercer

Malcolm Mercer is Curator of Tower History at the Royal Armouries Museum, based at the Tower of London.

Biography

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 on the nature of loyalty as well as a monograph about gentry motivation and behaviour during the Wars of the Roses.

At the Royal Armouries, Malcolm is actively exploring medieval arms and armour production in England with a particular emphasis on the role of the Tower of London. He is also taking an active interest in the Tower Armouries collections in the 19th century and more generally the nature of arms and armour collecting.

Malcolm currently 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 (2016), forthcoming
‘Greek Armour at the Tower of London’, Arms and Armour (2016), forthcoming 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)