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

Current Research

Major project on the Scottish medieval legal treatise known as the Leges Marchiarum, for publication in a forthcoming volume of the Stair Society Publications



with Grant G. Simpson. Regesta Regum Scottorum, Vol. IV, Part 1: The Acts of King Alexander III of Scotland, 1249-1286. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013.

Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010; reissued in paper, 2012.

Native Lordship in Medieval Scotland: The Earldoms of Strathearn and Lennox, c.1140-1365. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005.

Violence, Custom and Law: The Anglo-Scottish Border Lands in the Later Middle Ages. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 1998.

Edited Text (Refereed)

"A Plea Roll of Edward I's Army in Scotland, 1296," Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vol. 11. Scottish History Society, 1990, 7-133.

Select Book Chapters

"'Lo, I am in the kingis Grace': The Language of Royal Mercy in Late Medieval Scotland." Guelph Series in Scottish Studies, forthcoming.

“The Growth of Royal Pardon in Fourteenth-Century Scotland.” In Land, Law and People, edited by David Ditchburn and Steve Boardman. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2022, 23-49.

"'No Remission without Satisfaction': Canonical Influences on Secular Lawmaking in High Medieval Scotland." In Prophecy, Fate and Memory in the Early and Medieval Celtic World, edited by J. Wooding and L. Olson, Sydney Series in Celtic Studies 18. Sydney University Press, 2020, 209-46.

“Making a Manly Impression: The Image of Kingship on Scottish Royal Seals of the High Middle Ages." In Nine Centuries of Man: Manhood and Masculinity in Scottish History edited by Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Ewan. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017, 101-21.

“Preparing for Kingship: Prince Alexander of Scotland, 1264-1284." In Children and Youth in Pre-Modern Scotland, edited by Elizabeth Ewan and Janay Nugent. Woodbridge: St Andrews Studies in Scottish History/Boydell Press, 2015, 155-172.

“Neighbours, the Neighbourhood and the Visnet in Scotland, 1125-1300." In New Perspectives on Medieval Scotland: 1093-1286, edited by M. Hammond. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013, 161-73.

“Finding the Family in the Charters of Medieval Scotland, 1150-1350." In Finding the Family in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland, edited by Elizabeth Ewan and Janay Nugent. Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2008, 11-21.

“Arbitration and Border Law in the Later Middle Ages." In Liberties and Identities in Later Medieval Britain, edited by M. Prestwich. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2008, 37-55.

"Remembering the Legal Past: Anglo-Scottish Border Law and Practice in the Later Middle Ages.” North-East England in the Later Middle Ages, edited by R. H. Britnell and C. D. Liddy. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005, 43-55.

“Information juridique et mémoire de droit: la frontière anglo-écossaise à la fin du Moyen Âge.” Dans Information et société en Occident à la fin de Moyen Âge, ed. C. Boudreau, K. Fianu, C. Gauvard et M. Hébert. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2004, 361-372.

“Scotland, the Percies and the Law in 1400.”In The Reign of Henry IV: Establishment and Consolidation, 1399-1406, edited by D. Biggs and G. Dodd. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2003, 92-118.

“Charter Writing and the Exercise of Lordship in Thirteenth-Century Celtic Scotland.” In Expectations of the Law in the Middle Ages, edited by A. Musson. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2001, 67-89.

“Homicide in the Ecclesiastical Court of Fourteenth-Century Durham." In Fourteenth Century England I, edited by in Nigel Saul. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2000, 103-114.

"A Celtic Enclave in Norman Scotland: Earl Gilbert and the Earldom of Strathearn, 1171-1223." In Freedom and Authority: Historical and Historiographical Essays presented to Grant G. Simpson, edited by Terry Brotherstone and David Ditchburn. Edinburgh: Tuckwell Press, 2000, 75-92.

"War, Women and Crime in the Northern English Border Lands in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries." In The Final Argument: The Imprint of Violence on Society in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, edited by D. Kagay. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1998, 163-175.

"Local Perspectives and Functions of the English Chancery's Legal Instruments in the Later Middle Ages: The Anglo- Scottish Borders." In Écrit et pouvoir dans les chancelleries médiévales: espace français, espace anglais, edited by K. Fianu and D.J. Guth. Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d'Études Médiévales, 1997, 269-279. 

"War, Crime and Local Communities in the North of England in the Later Middle Ages." In Société rurale et les institutions gouvernementales au Moyen Âge, edited by J. Drendel. Montréal: CERES Press, 1996, 189-201.

"Widows of War: Edward I and the Women of Scotland during the War of Independence." In Wife and Widow in Medieval England, edited by S. Sheridan Walker. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1993, 109-139.

Select Journal Articles

“King Henry of Scotland’s Pardon of the Earl of Argyll, March 1566.” In, edited by K. Kesselring, S. M. Butler and K. Watson, April 8, 2020,

“The Beginnings of Royal Pardon in Scotland.” Journal of Medieval History 42 (2016): 559-87.

“Royal Mercy in Later Medieval Scotland.” Florilegium 29 (2014), 1-31.
with R. Andrew McDonald. “Knights and Knighthood in Gaelic Scotland, c. 1050 – 1300.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, 3rd ser. 4 (2007), 57-106.

“Women, Charters, and Land Ownership in Scotland, 1150-1350.” Journal of Legal History, 26 (2005): 21-45.

“Native Lords and the Church in Thirteenth-Century Strathearn, Scotland.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 53 (2002): 454-75.

“Scottish Influences on the Medieval Laws of the Anglo-Scottish Marches.” Scottish Historical Review 81 (2002): 161-85.

“The Bishop’s Ministers: The Office of Coroner in Late Medieval Durham.” Florilegium 18 (2002): 47-60.

“The Courts of the Prior and the Bishop of Durham in the Later Middle Ages." History 85 (2000): 216-31.

with C.J. Nederman. “The Origins of the Speculum Regis Edwardi III of William of Pagula." Studi Medievali, 3rd ser., 38 (1996): 317-29.

"Local Sentiment and the 'National' Enemy: Northern English Communities in the Later Middle Ages." Journal of British Studies 35 (1996): 419-37.

"Common Knowledge of the Common Law in Later Medieval England." Canadian Journal of History 28 (1994): 1-18.

"Keeping the Peace on the Northern Marches in the Later Middle Ages." English Historical Review 109 (1994): 1-25.

"The Law of Treason in the English Border Counties in the Later Middle Ages." Law and History Review 9 (1991): 1-30.

“Border Law in Late Medieval England." The Journal of Legal History 9 (1988): 335-56.
"The Political Allegiance of the Earls of Strathearn during the War of Independence." Scottish Historical Review 65 (1986): 133-53.

"Gaol Delivery in the Border Counties, 1439-1459; some preliminary observations." Northern History 19 (1983): 45-60.

Shorter Articles

Numerous entries in:
Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, edited by E. Ewan, Sue Innes, Siân Reynolds and Rose Pipes.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, edited by Robert E. Bjork.
Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing, edited by D. Woolf.
Book Reviews (85+) in American Historical Review, Speculum, Scottish Historical Review, Albion, Law and History Review, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, American Political Science Review, Canadian Journal of History, Renaissance and Reformation, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, Northern Scotland, Scottish Tradition, Epilogue, Modern Philology, Atlantis, International Review of Scottish Studies, The Medieval Review (online)