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Sophie Therese Ambler supervises 5 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Sophie Therese Ambler

Reader in Medieval History, Deputy Director

Sophie Therese Ambler

Bowland College



Research overview

My interest spans the central and later Middle Ages in the Atlantic Archipelago and across Christendom, with my research focusing on political ethics and war. My early work explored the role of bishops in rebellion and revolution in thirteenth-century England, looking at the interaction of political thought and action in the age of Magna Carta and the Montfortian revolution. My first monograph (Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213–1272) was published with OUP in January 2017. My second book was about Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester (d.1265), who seized power from King Henry III and established a council to govern with the help of parliament: England's first revolution. Simon amassed a vast popular following, many of whom died with him at the Battle of Evesham fighting as avowed crusaders. The Song of Simon de Montfort: England's First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry was published by Picador in May 2019 in the UK and Commonwealth, with publication in the USA following with OUP in September 2019. My new research, supported by a Philip Leverhulme Prize, uses a diverse source base to explore the experiences and cultures of low-status combatants in the later Middle Ages, as well as the shifting patterns of thought concerned with their responsibilities in conflict. More broadly, I am interested in the exploration of medieval archives, and am currently involved in two research projects, one on the archives of the Anglo-Scottish borderlands and the other on 'A State within a State: The Making of the Duchy of Lancaster.'

PhD supervision

I would welcome enquiries from students interested in military, political and intellectual history in the central and later Middle Ages, and specifically in the area of political thought and action, war and warfare, the Church, crusaders, and charters and diplomatic, including topics that cut across these boundaries, such as the role of religion and ethics in war.


I am Reader in Medieval History, Deputy Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy, and a Research Fellow at The Ruskin. My research explores political ethics and war in the central and later Middle Ages. This includes my recent book on Simon de Montfort (d.1265), who led a campaign to seize power from the king and establish conciliar government. My new research, supported by a Philip Leverhulme Prize, explores the experiences and cultures of low-status combatants in the later Middle Ages, and their responsibilities in conflict. I enjoy writing for and speaking to a broad public audience, whether through talks or TV, radio and print

Career Details

I joined Lancaster in 2017; previously I was at the University of East Anglia, where I was a researcher on the AHRC's Magna Carta Project, and from 2012-13 I was a researcher on the People of Northern England databse 1216-1286, part of the AHRC's Breaking of Britain project, which explored the period leading up to the Scottish Wars of Independence. I undertook my PhD at King's College London with joint supervision at University College London, and was Thornley Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. I'm a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and secretary of the Pipe Roll Society, and enjoy writing for and speaking to a broader public audience, whether through talks or TV, radio and print

Current Teaching

I am not teaching 2021-23, whilst on research leave. Modules 'From Rebellion to Revolution: The War for the Throne, 1199-1265' (HIST316) and 'Warfare in the Medieval World, 1100-1500' (HIST444) will, however, still be offered in the Department of History during this period. 

Web Links

BBC Radio 4's In Our Time: The Second Barons' War

BBC History Extra podcast: 'Simon de Montfort's Medieval Revolution'

Cabinet Office podcast with Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, 'Why Parliament Works'

BBC History Weekend 2019: 'Simon de Montfort and England's First Revolution'.

Herstory Club: Interview (June 2021)

External Roles


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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