Cynthia Neville

Professor Emeritus; FRHistS, FSA Scot

Phone: 902-494-2011
Fax: 902-494-3349
Mailing Address: 
Marion McCain Building, room 1158, 6135 University Ave
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Medieval Scottish history
  • Social history
  • Cultural history
  • Religious history
  • Medieval English legal history


  • BA (Carleton)
  • MA (Carleton)
  • PhD (Aberdeen)
  • George Munro Professor of History and Political Economy

Selected Publications


  • The Acts of Alexander III  King of Scots 1249-1286: Regesta Regum Scottorum Vol 4 Part 1 Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2013).
  • Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2010).
  • Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland:  The Earldoms of Strathearn and Lennox, c. 1140-1386 Dublin:  Four Courts Press (2005) WINNER, 2006 Margaret Wade Labarge Prize, Canadian Society of Medievalists. WINNER, Satire Society 2006 "Scottish History Book of the Year."
  • Violence, Custom and Law:  The Anglo-Scottish Border Lands in the Later Middle Ages. Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press (1998).

 Book Chapters

  • Forthcoming  ‘“No Remission without Satisfaction”:  Canonical Influences on Secular Lawmaking in High Medieval Scotland’, in Memory and Foresight in the Celtic World, ed. Johathan Wooding and Lorna Barrow
  • Forthcoming: “The Growth of Royal Pardon in Fourteenth-Century Scotland”, in David Ditchburn and Steve Boardman, eds., Land, Law and People:  Essays in Honour of Alexander Grant (Woodbridge:  Boydell Press).
  • 2017  “Making a Manly Impression: The Image of Kingship on Scottish Royal Seals of the High Middle Ages”, in Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Ewan, eds., Nine Centuries of Man: Manhood and Masculinity in Scottish History (Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press), 101-21.
  • 2015: “Preparing for Kingship:  Prince Alexander of Scotland, 1264-1284’, in Children and Youth in Pre-Modern Scotland, ed. E Ewan and J. Nugent (Woodbridge:  St Andrews Studies in Scottish History and Boydell Press), 155-172.
  • 2013   “Neighbours, the Neighbourhood and the Visnet in Scotland, 1125-1300”,  in M. Hammond, ed., New Perspectives on Medieval Scotland: 1093-1286   (Woodbridge: Boydell Press), 161-73.

Journal Articles

  • “The Beginnings of Royal Pardon in Scotland”, Journal of Medieval History 42 (2016): 1-29.
  • "Royal Mercy in Medieval Scotland," Florilegium 29 (2012), 1-31.
  • “Knights and Knighthood in Gaelic Scotland, c. 1050 – 1300”, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 3rd ser. 4 (2007), 57-106 (with R. Andrew McDonald).
  • 2005 “Women, Charters, and Land Ownership in Scotland, 1150-1350”, Journal of Legal History, 26 (2005), 21-45.

Select Conference Presentations

  • 2016    “‘No Remission without Satisfaction’: Canonical Influences on Royal Pardon in Medieval Scotland, at the History Program Research Seminar, Monash University and Humanities Research Centre Seminar Series, Australian National University, October.
  • 2016    ‘Penitence, Reconciliation and Remission: The King’s Pardon in Thirteenth-Century Scotland,’ Keynote Address, Ninth Australian Conference of Celtic Studies, Sydney, Australia, September (by invitation).
  • 2015    “The Growth of Royal Pardon in Fourteenth-Century Scotland”, XVth  International Congress of Celtic Studies, Glasgow, July.
  • 2014    “The Limitations of Royal Justice in Later Medieval Scotland”, at the Workshop “Law   Addressing Diversity: Pre-Modern Europe and India in Comparison (12th to 17th Centuries)”, Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Vienna, May.
  • 2013    Chair and Commentator, ‘Building and Breaking Bonds: Family Dynamics in Early   Modern Scottish and English Households’, Annual Conference of the North American Conference on British Studies, Montreal, November
  • 2013    “The King’s Peace and Royal Mercy”, Scottish History Seminar, University of Edinburgh, UK, March.
  • 2013    “Royal Mercy and Pardon in Late Medieval Scotland”, Late Medieval Seminar Series, Institute of Historical Research, London, UK, March.
  • 2013    “Writing Royal Pardons in Medieval Scotland’, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, February.
  • 2012    Chair and commentator, ‘Scottish Courts and People 1530-1738’, annual Conference of the North American Conference on British Studies, Montreal, November.
  • 2012    “The King’s Protection and the King’s Peace under the MacMalcolm Kings of Scotland, 1100-1314”, 5th Annual meeting of the Atlantic Medievalists   Association, Acadia University, Wolfville, September.
  • 2012    “The Development of the King’s Peace in Scotland in the Later Middle Ages”, 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, University of Western Michigan,   Kalamazoo, May.
  • 2012    “The Quality of Scottish Mercy: Royal Pardon and Royal Mercy in Medieval Scotland”, Keynote Address, Annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Medievalists, Waterloo, May (by invitation).
  • 2011    “The King’s Justice and the King’s Peace in Anglo-Norman Era Scotland”, at the conference 'Power and Acculturation in the Norman World’, Lancaster University, Lancaster, December (by invitation).
  • 2011    “’A Pearl of Justice Joined to Mercy’? Pardon in Medieval Scotland”, North American Conference on British Studies, annual conference, Denver, Colorado, November.
  • 2011    “The King's Peace and the King's Pardon in Later Medieval Scotland’, at the conference Law and Governance in pre-Modern Britain, University of Western Ontario October 2011 (by invitation).

Awards, Fellowships, Distinctions

  • 2016    Visiting Fellowship, Humanities Research Centre, National University of Australia, Canberra (Oct-Nov)
  • 2016    Keynote speaker, Ninth Australian Conference of Celtic Studies, Sydney, Australia
  • 2013    Visiting Research Fellowship, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge UK (Lent and Ester terms)
  • 2013    Visiting Research Fellowship, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (Jan-June 2013); subsequently elected Life Member of Clare Hall.
  • 2013    Strathmartine Trust, Scotland, Research Grant
  • 2013    Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Research Grant
  • 2013    Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Research Grant
  • 2012    Keynote speaker, annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Medievalists
  • 2012    Father Lenard Boyle annual lecture, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
  • 2010    Special research leave, Winter 2010-11, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • 2010    Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.  Shortlisted, Saltire Society/National Library of Scotland, Research Book of the Year ( (Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland).
  • 2009    George Munro Chair in History, Office of the President, Dalhousie University.
  • 2009    Mayers Research Fellowship, Institute of Mediaeval Studies University of St Andrews, UK.
  • 2008    Identified as one of  ‘20 Best Teachers’ in Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie University.
  • 2008    Invited lecture, Biever Lecture Series, Loyola University, New Orleans, April.