Swansea University - griffiths_r

Professor Emeritus Ralph A. Griffiths, OBE

Specialist Subjects: Medieval History, Medieval Historiography, Britain, Wales

Professor Griffiths joined Swansea as an Assistant Lecturer in 1964; he subsequently became a Lecturer (1966), Senior Lecturer (1971), and a Reader (1978), and was Professor of Medieval History from 1982 to 2002. He served as Dean of Admissions between 1990 and 2002, and was a Pro-Vice-Chancellor between 1998 and 2002.

Professor Griffiths was a member of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales from 1990, and served as its Chair since 1999-2009. He sat on the Advisory Council on Public Records between 1996 and 1999, and on the Council of the Royal Historical Society between 1987 and 1991, serving as Vice-President between 1992 and 1996.

Current research

Professor Griffiths's ongoing research lies in the broad field of politics and society in later medieval Britain. He is particularly interested in perceptions and relationships among the peoples of the British isles, the English monarchy and its dominions, the Lancastrian and Yorkist regimes in fifteenth-century politics, towns and the historic environment in Wales and the borderlands, and Anglo-Welsh society. He is also interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography of the Middle Ages.

Principal publications (2000–present)

  • Sir Rhys ap Thomas and his Family: A Study in the Wars of the Roses and Early Tudor Politics, 2nd edn, with a new introduction, University of Wales Press, 2014. ISBN 9781783160143
  • General editor, The Gwent County History, vol. V: The Twentieth Century, ed. C. Williams and A.J. Croll (University of Wales Press, 2013), pp. 376
  • (With R.S.Thomas),  The Making of the Tudor Dynasty, 2nd revised edition with new preface (The History Press, 2013), pp. 258
  • (ed. with P.R. Schofield), Wales and the Welsh in the Middle Ages: Essays presented to J. Beverley Smith (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011)
  • General editor, Gwent County History, vol. IV: Industrial Monmouthshire, ed. Chris Williams and Sian Rhiannon Williams (University of Wales Press, 2011)
  • Japanese edition, The Short Oxford History of the British Isles: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • General editor of M. Gray and P. Morgan, eds.,The Gwent County History, Vol. III: The Making of Monmouthshire (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009)
  • Joint-editor, Studies in Welsh History (1978-present)
  • (ed. with Peter Wakelin), Hidden Histories: Discovering the Heritage of Wales (Aberystwyth: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 2008)
  • General Editor and editor (with Tony Hopkins & Ray Howell), The Gwent County HistoryVol. II: The age of the Marcher Lords, 1070-1536 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2008)
  • (ed.), In conversation with Napoleon Bonaparte: J. H. Vivian's visit to the island of Elba (Newport: South Wales Record Society, 2008)
  • Chinese edition,(with J. Gillingham) Medieval Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford and Beijing, 2008), 345pp
  • (with Roger S. Thomas) The making of the Tudor dynasty, 3rd edn. (Stroud: Sutton, 2005)
  • (ed., with J. E. Law), Rawdon-Brown and the Anglo-Venetian Relationship (Stroud: Nonsuch, 2005)
  • General Editor of Miranda Aldous-Green & Ray Howell (eds.), The Gwent County HistoryVol. I: Prehistoric and early medieval Gwent (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2004)
  • (ed.), The Household Book (1510-51) of Sir Edward Don: An Anglo-Welsh Knight and his Circle (Bedford: Buckinghamshire Record Society, 2004)
  • The Short Oxford History of the British Isles: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • Assistant editor, The Welsh History Review (1966-2002)
  • (with John Gillingham), Medieval Britain: a very short introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) 
Book-chapters and journal articles
  • ‘Venturing into the “Jungle”: Late medieval history in the Edwardian age’, in N. Evans and H. Pryce (eds), Writing a Small Nation’s Past: Wales in Comparative Perspective, 1850-1950 (Ashgate, 2013), 195-209
  • ‘The poet as social observer: Guto’r Glyn in west Wales’, in D.F. Evans, B.J. Lewis and A.P. Owen (eds), Gwalch Cywyddau Gwŷr: Essays on Guto’r Glyn and Fifteenth Century Wales (Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth, 2013), 135-47
  • ‘Wales’ in P. Kewes, I.W. Archer and F. Heal (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles (Oxford University Press, 2012), 679-94.
  •  ‘Owain Glyn Dŵr’s Invasion of the Central March of Wales in 1402: The Evidence of Clerical Taxation’, Studia Celtica, XLVI (2012), 111-22.
  •  ‘The Island of Anglesey and the Wider World, 1300-1500’, Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club: Centenary Transactions, 2011, 76-91.
  • ‘Who were the townsfolk of medieval Wales’, in H. Fulton (ed.), Urban Culture in Medieval Wales (Cardiff, 2012), pp. 9-18.
  • ‘Richard, duke of York, and the crisis of Henry VI’s household in 1450-1: some further evidence’, Journal of Medieval History, 38, no. 1 (2012), 1-13.
  • 'William Rees and the modern study of medieval Wales', in R.A. Griffiths and P.R. Schofield (eds), Wales and the Welsh in the Middle Ages: Essays presented to J. Beverley Smith (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011), 203-20.
  • 'Royal and Secular biography', in J Rosenthal (ed.), Understanding Medieval Primary Sources (London and New York: Routledge, 2011)
  • ‘The visitors to Gwynllwg and Gwentland towards the end of the Middle Ages’, The Monmouthshire Antiquary, XXVII (2011), 81-90
  • ‘The Burials of King Henry VI at Chertsey and Windsor’, in N. Saul and T. Tatton-Brown (eds), St George’s Chapel, Windsor: History and Heritage (The Dovecote Press, 2010), 100-7, 239-41
  • ‘An immigrant elite in the later Middle Ages: Locating the de Parys family in north Wales and Chester’, Welsh History Review, 25, no. 2 (2010), 168-200
  • Contributions to The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. R.E. Bjork, 4 vols (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • ‘Town and countryside in Cardiganshire towards the end of the Middle Ages’, Ceredigion: The Journal of the Cardiganshire Historical Society, XVI, no. 1 (2009), 23-47
  • ‘The Later Middle Ages (1290-1485)’, in Kenneth O. Morgan, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, new edn. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009), 166-222, 629-631
  • 'Henry V takes the field at Agincourt’, in M. Wood (introduction), The Great Turning Points in British History (C onstabele, 2009), 86-93)
  • 'Succession and the royal dead in later medieval England' [James Ford Lecture], in F. Lachaud & M. Penman, eds., Making and breaking the rules: Succession in medieval Europe, c.1000-c.1600 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008), 97-109
  • 'Lordship and society in the fifteenth century’, in Ralph Griffiths, Tony Hopkins and Ray Howell (eds), The Gwent County History, vol. 2: The Age of the Marcher Lords, 1070-1536 (University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 2008), 241-80.
  • 'The minority of Henry VI, king of England and of France’, in C. Beem (ed.), The royal minorities of medieval and early modern England (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 161-93
  • 'Crossing the frontiers of the English realm in the fifteenth century', in H. Pryce & J. Watts, eds., Power and Identity in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 211-225
  • 'The Lancastrians’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2008: www.oxforddnb.com/view/theme/95581)
  • Twenty-seven articles in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • 'Bridgwater, Oxford and Whitland abbey in 1491’, Studia Celtica, XXXVIII (2005 for 2004), 125-9
  • 'Travelling between England and Wales: The itinerary of Sir Edward Don in 1524’, The Carmarthenshire Antiquary, 40 (2005 for 2004), 5-12.
  • 'The funeral of Prince George, 22 March 1479’, in A.F. Sutton and L. Visser-Fuchs, with R.A. Griffiths, The royal funerals of the House of York at Windsor (Richard III Society), 47-57
  • ' "The Island of England" in the Fifteenth Century: Perceptions of the Peoples of the British Isles' [The Stenton Lecture], Journal of Medieval History 29 (2003), 177-200
  • 'Harry of Monmouth: Henry V of England: Local esteem and national reputation’, The Monmouthshire Antiquary, XIXC(2003), 71-86
  • 'Owain Glyn Dwr and the siege of Coity castle, 1401-5’, Morgannwg: Journal of Glamorgan History, 45 (2002), 5-28
  • 'Bishop Morton and the Ely tower at Brecon: Documenting intrigue’, Brycheiniog, 34 (2002), 13-20
  • 'The extension of royal power, 1415-1536’, in R.F.Walker (ed.), The Pembrokeshire County History, vol. 2: The Middle Ages (Pembrokeshire County History Trust, 2002), 224-69
  • 'After Glyn Dwr: An Age of Reconciliation?' [The Rhys Lecture], Proceedings of the British Academy 117 (2002), 139-164
  • 'Wales from conquest to union, 1282-1536', in Prys Morgan, ed., The Tempus History of Wales (Stroud: Tempus, 2001), 107-140

Principal research awards, fellowships, and prizes

  • President of the Swansea Historical Association, 2011
  • Elected Hon. Fellow of The Historical Association 2011
  • Hon. Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, University of London (2005)
  • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire  (2005)
  • Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow (2003-2005)
  • Hon. Vice-President, Royal Historical Society (2003)
Foundation Lectures:
  • Bond Lecture, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, 2006
  • Virgoe Lecture in English History, University of East Anglia, 2003
  • Stenton Lecture, Reading University, 2001
  • Sir John Rhys Lecture, The British Academy, 2001
  • James Ford Lecture in English History, University of Oxford, 1993

Presentation volumes

  • Keith Dockray & Peter Fleming (eds.), People, places and perspectives: Essays on later medieval and early Tudor England in honour of Ralph A. Griffiths (Stroud: Nonsuch, 2005)
  • R. R. Davies & G. H. Jenkins (eds.), From medieval to modern Wales: Historical essays in honour of Kenneth O. Morgan and Ralph A. Griffiths (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2004)
General Information

BA, PhD, DLitt, FRHistS

College of Arts & Humanities
TEL: +44 (0) Retired
FAX: +44 (0)
E-MAIL: r.a.griffiths@swansea.ac.uk

Courses Taught