Vanessa King

Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History

Professional Biography

Vanessa King is a lecturer in Medieval and early Modern History. She also teaches at Birkbeck and Goldsmiths colleges, University of London. Her expertise in medieval matters means she is frequently called upon to give public lectures and speak on BBC Radio.


  • PG Cert Ed in Higher Education, Birkbeck College, University of London, 2006
  • BA (Hons) in History, University of North London, 1981

Relevant Past Employment

  • 2018   current, Lecturer in History
  • 2008   current, Lecturer in History, Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • 1999  current, Associate Lecturer, Birkbeck College, University of London



Hands on My History: A Formative Assessment Tutor Handbook for History Courses (Workers’ Education Association, 2011)

Chapters in Books

  •  ‘From Minster to Manor: The Early History of Bredon’, The Legacy of the English: Essays in Honour of Ann Williams, David Roffe, ed., (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2012)
  • ‘Share and share alike? Anglo-Norman bishops and their cathedral clergy: the Domesday evidence’, Anglo-Norman Studies 28, ed. C. P. Lewis (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2006) 
  • ‘Aldred Archbishop of York revised entry’, The New Dictionary of National Biography (2005)
  • ‘Ealdred of York: the Worcester Years’, Anglo-Norman Studies, ed. C. Harper Bill (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1999)
  • ‘The Tenants of St Oswald’, St Oswald: his life & influence ed. N.P. Brooks, and K. Cubitt (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1996)


  •  'Family Fortunes in Fourteenth-Century Walsham le Willows: The Hawys and the Lenes', Foundations: The Journal of the Foundation of Medieval Genealogy, 8. (2016), pp. 3-14
  • ‘The Rampolye Family and the Black Death’, Genealogists’ Magazine, 31. 9. (March 2015), pp. 329-335

Book reviews

  • Stairway to Heaven: The Functions of Medieval Upper Spaces, by Toby Huitson, The Journal of Kent History, 79. (2014) p. 32

Audio-visual media

Research Interests

Vanessa's research interests include Anglo-Norman studies, queenship and medieval prosopography. She has published several articles on the impact of the Norman Conquest on ecclesiastical land tenure, as well as the impact of fourteenth-century plague on the community of Walsham le Willows, Suffolk. She is currently researching for a book on Anglo-Saxon queenship.

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Conference Papers Given

  • ‘Kinship and Power: The Case of Cynethryth and Aethelswith’ – The Aethelflaed Millennial Conference, Tamworth (Universities of Manchester and Keele), July 2018
  • ‘Symbols of Sovereignty: Food, Pageantry and Propaganda in Lancastrian England and France’ – International Anglo-Saxon Conference, Leeds University, July 2016

Teaching & Course Development

  • HIS503 Late Medieval England 1350-1500
  • HIS601 Medieval Europe 1350-1500
  • HIS602 Advanced Topics in History