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This section features sketches of the careers in arms of interesting soldiers, drawing on the evidence provided by the online database and produced by a range of contributors. The team also developed their own favorites, focusing on combatants taken from across a broad spectrum of the military community, from the foremost duke to the lowliest archer.

We continue to invite contributions from the wider academic and public audience. All that we ask is that these mini-biographies draw upon the project database as well as using other sources. We also welcome submission on groups of soldiers, connected by a common theme.

During the first year of the project, these soldier profiles were added monthly, and the prize for best contribution from a non-team member was jointly awarded to Randolph Jones and Richard Leathes. Both received a signed copy of Anne Curry, Agincourt: a New History (Tempus, 2006 pbk).

We exercise an editorial review process over submissions. Each submission should be no more than 2000 words in length and should follow the style of the existing soldier profiles. Please send submissions electronically to or

Brothers in arms: The gentry in Sir William Trussell’s retinue, 1378

Connected by blood or by marriage? Facing serious criminal charges? Or simply short of money and in need of the king’s shilling? Helen Kay traces the men-at-arms who enrolled in Sir William Trussell’s retinue for the St Malo campaign to investigate how the medieval gentry were recruited for war.

Soldiers named ‘LARGE’ in the Garrisons of Lancastrian Normandy 1415-50

In the final part of a trilogy of studies, David Large investigates Soldiers with the surname Large found in the garrison forces of Lancastrian Normandy.

Soldiers named ‘LARGE’ in the Protection and Attorney database.

In the second close study of the medieval soldier database, David Large discusses soldiers with the surname Large who secured letters of protection and appointed attorneys in order to protect their affairs whilst intending to serve overseas.

Men from Stamford, Lincolnshire, commanded by Edmund of Langley, duke of York (1341-1402): Comparison of names in the Poll Tax and Soldiers’ Databases.

David Large continues his research using the medieval soldier database and the poll tax to identify soldiers and provide insightful biographical details and highlight previously unknown local recruitment networks

Soldiers in the Plea Rolls

Vance Mead investigates the Plea Rolls as a valuable source for identifying medieval soldiers

Oxfordshire’s part in the English Military Campaign in France of 1415

A study by Ken Wise investigating Oxfordshire’s contribution to the Agincourt campaign.

The de Brundeley’s of Cheshire. [PDF download]

This profile by Noel Brindley considers the wide ranging career in arms of the Brindley family.

Using the Poll Tax to identify medieval archers.

This extended profile is a innovative piece of research by family historian David Large looking for archers with the surname Large.

John Judde

This profile highlights the career of John Judde, Merchant of London and Master of the Kings Ordinance. Gathered together from research into his anscestry by family historian David Judd, we are treated to a career spanning the end of the Hundred Years War and the beginning of the Wars and the Roses.

John Fort esquire of Llanstephan

An enlightening profile of a welsh soldier in the later fourteenth century, with added treason and spying!

Reginald, Lord Cobham

Nigel Saul has provided us with a fascinating profile of one of the leading military figures of the mid-fourteenth century.

Sir John Cressy
Our profile of Sir John Cressy and his involvement in Lancastrian Normandy.

The Court of Chivalry

We assess the value of cases from the court of chivalry in reconstructing the military career, and demonstrate how testimonies can be confirmed and extended by the medieval soldier database.

North-East Wales
We visit North East Wales for a profile of Welsh involvement in English armies during this period.

Shrewsbury – Archers

Our final profile relating to the battle of Shrewsbury focuses upon the archers – one of whom may have scarred Prince Henry for life!

Shrewsbury – Sir Thomas Percy

We present the second of our trilogy of case studies related to the battle of Shrewsbury 1403, the career in arms of the rebellious Sir Thomas Percy, earl of Worcester.

Shrewsbury – Knights

This installment is the first of a projected trilogy of case studies related to the battle of Shrewsbury 1403. The first focuses upon the interlinked careers of three knights, Sir John Calveley, Sir Richard Vernon and Sir Hugh Browe, who all met their end on opposing sides at this bloody encounter.

Walter Fitzwalter

This profile is brought to you by Tony Moore, research assistant on the ESRC funded project ‘Credit Finance in the Middle Ages’ (also based at the University of Reading). It looks at Walter Fitzwalter, Baron of Little Dunmow in Essex and demonstrates that the Soldier database can shed new light on the careers of even prominent members of the baronage.

Sir Walter Bitterley
Randolph Jones, a self described enthusiastic amateur in medieval studies has provided this profile. The focus is Sir Walter Bitterley, ‘a right valiant knight’, a kings knight of both Richard II and Henry IV, who met an unfortunate end in early fifteenth century Ireland.

Thomas de Mussenden

We are pleased to publish a soldier profile written by Richard Leathes, a family historian. It describes the rise of the esquire, Thomas de Mussenden, who as a younger son, was able to utilise his martial prowess to secure his fortune.

Robert de Fishlake

For this profile we are taking a dive into largely uncharted waters, with an attempt to reconstruct the military career of one of the more obscure members of the military community, Robert de Fishlake.

Sir William Clifford

This soldier profile considers Sir William Clifford. Like Owain Glyn Dŵr, he was a rebel, but unlike Owain, he was also a great survivor.

Owain Glyn Dwr

This profile is that of a future prince, who was spurred into rebellion by the non-delivery of a letter!