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Faculty of Divinity

Subject areas:
• Medieval Church
• Ecclesiastical administration
• Medieval pastoral care
• Medieval canon law
• History of the book


Dr Hoskin studied History at the University of Oxford and completed her doctorate there on the administrative records and pastoral practice of the thirteenth-century bishops of Worcester. She became a fellow of Corpus in 2019, joining the college from the University of Lincoln, where she had been Professor of Medieval Studies in the Department of History and Heritage and School Director of Research. Before that she was at the University of York in research, teaching and archival roles.


Dr Hoskin's research focuses on the English medieval written record with a particular interest in using information about the structure and creation of formal administrative records to answer new research questions. Her recent monograph Robert Grosseteste and the 13th-century Diocese of Lincoln: An English Bishop’s Pastoral Vision, synthesised the evidence of the bishop’s administrative practice with his theological understandings of the nature of the relationship between god and people. Previous work has engaged with amongst other things, spiritual drivers that drove the bishops of the mid-13th century to engage in political revolt, Robert Grosseteste’s use and abuse of Aristotle’s Ethics, and the practicalities of record-creation for itinerant clerical households.

She has particular expertise in the scholarly editing of medieval documents, producing both print digital editions, and in supporting the management of historical manuscript and print collections.  She has worked with a number of digitisation projects including leading the Andrew W. Mellon funded Cause Papers of the Diocesan Courts of York project (church court records 1300-1858) and her most recent project, supported by an AHRC major research grant, explored what the incidental impressions made on wax seals at the time of their creation (finger and hand prints) reveal about the who was involved in the physical acts of sealing legal documents and what this suggests  about how ordinary people understood the act of legal record creation and the significance of these ‘security’ seals. The project involved bringing together the expertise of forensic scientists with insights from medieval art history, literature, law and history


Key publications: 


  • Robert Grosseteste and the 13th-Century Diocese of Lincoln: An English Bishop's Pastoral Vision (Brill, 2019)
  • The Administrative Rolls of Robert Grosseteste, 1235-1253 (Boydell and Brewer, 2015)
  • English Episcopal Acta 39: London 1280-1305 (OUP for the British Academy, 2011)
  • English Episcopal Acta 38: London 1229-1280 (OUP for the British Academy, 2011)
  • English Episcopal Acta 29: Durham 1242-1283 (OUP for the British Academy, 2005)


  •  ‘‘By the impression of my seal’. Medieval identity and bureaucracy: a case-study’, with Elizabeth New, The Antiquaries Journal (2019)
  •  ‘Robert Grosseteste, natural law and Magna Carta: national and universal law in 1253’, International Journal of Regional and Local History 10:2 (2015)
  • ‘Robert Grosseteste and the simple benefice: a novel solution to the complexities of lay presentation’, Journal of Medieval History 40: 1 (2014)
  • ‘Church, state and law: solutions to lay contumacy in the Anglo-Scottish borders during the later thirteenth century’, Historical Research 84 (November 2011)
  •  ‘Delineating the Development of English Episcopal Chanceries through the Signification of Excommunication’, Tabularia (2011)
  • ‘The accounts of the medieval paternoster gild of York’ Northern History xliv (March 2007)
  • ‘Diocesan Politics in the see of Worcester 1218-1266’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 54:3 (2003)

Book chapters

  • ‘The Cloister of the Soul: Robert Grosseteste and the monastic houses of his diocese’, in Monastic Life in the Medieval British Isles: Essays in Honour of Janet Burton, ed. Julie Kerr, Emilia Jamroziak and Karen Stöber (University of Wales Press, 2019)
  • ‘'By Force and Arms': Lay invasion, the writ de vi laica amovenda and tensions of state and church in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries’, in Petitions and Strategies of Persuasion in the Middle Ages: the English Crown and the Church, eds Thomas W. Smith and Helen Killick (Boydell Press, 2019)
  • ‘Administration and Identity: Episcopal Seals in England from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Century’, in A Companion to Seals in the Middle Ages ed. Laura Whatley (Brill, 2019)
  •  ‘How to travel with a bishop: thirteenth-century episcopal itineraries’, in Princes of the Church: Bishops and their Palaces, ed. David Rollason (Routledge, 2017)
  • ‘Matthew Paris's Chronica Majora and the Franciscans in England’, in The English Province of the Franciscans (1224-c.1350), ed. M. Robson (Brill, 2017)
  • ‘The Church and the King: canon law and kingship in England 1257-1261’, in Records, Government and Administration in the Reign of King Henry III, 1216-1272, ed. D. Crook and L. Wilkinson (Boydell and Brewer, 2015)
  • ‘Natural Law, Protest and the English Episcopate 1257-1265’, Thirteenth-Century England 15 (Boydell and Brewer, 2015)
  • ‘Authors of bureaucracy: developing and creating administrative systems in English episcopal chanceries in the second half of the thirteenth century’, in Patrons and professionals in the middle ages: proceedings of the 2010 Harlaxton Symposium, eds E.A. New and P. Binski (Paul Watkins / Shaun Tyas, 2012)
  • ‘Holy Bishops and Political Exiles: St Richard’s Cult and Political protest in the late Thirteenth-Century’, in St Richard and Pilgrimage ed. Paul Foster (Otter Memorial Papers 23, 2009)
Other publications: 


  • English Episcopal Acta 44: Coventry and Lichfield 1259-1295, with Jeff H. Denton (OUP for the British Academy 2014)
  • English Episcopal Acta 43: Coventry and Lichfield 1215-1258, with Jeff H. Denton (OUP for the British Academy 2014)
  • Facsimiles of English episcopal acta 1085-1300, with Martin Brett and David M. Smith (OUP for the British Academy, 2012)
  •  ‘A decent, regular and orderly state?’ Parochial visitations of the Archdeaconries of York and the East Riding 1720-1730 (Borthwick Texts and Calendars, 2010)
  • English Episcopal Acta 34: Worcester 1186-1216, ed. with Mary Cheney, David Smith and Christopher Brooke (OUP for the British Academy, 2008)
  • English Episcopal Acta 33: Worcester 1062-1185, ed. with Mary Cheney, David Smith and Christopher Brooke (OUP for the British Academy, 2007)
  • English Episcopal Acta 22: Chichester 1215-1253 (OUP for the British Academy, 2001)
  • English Episcopal Acta 23: Chichester 1254-1305 (OUP for the British Academy, 2001)
  • Archbishop Drummond’s Visitation Returns 1764 III: Yorkshire S-Y ed. with C. Annesley (Borthwick Texts & Calendars 26, 2001)
  • Archbishop Drummond’s Visitation Returns 1764 II: Yorkshire H-R ed. with C. Annesley (Borthwick Texts & Calendars 23, 1998)
  • Archbishop Drummond’s Visitation Returns 1764 I: Yorkshire A-G ed. with C. Annesley (Borthwick Texts and Calendars, 20, 1997)
  • English Episcopal Acta 13: Worcester 1218-68 (OUP for the British Academy, 1997)
  • The Foundations of Medieval English Ecclesiastical History: studies in medieval history presented to David Smith, ed. with Christopher Brooke, Barrie Dobson (Woodbridge, 2005)


  • ‘Cantilupe's crusade? Walter de Cantilupe Bishop of Worcester and the baronial rebellion’, Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society (2012)
  • ‘Imprints and Identity at Hereford Cathedral: A pilot project on the forensic and historical investigation of handprints on medieval seals’, with Elizabeth New, Archives et Bibliothèques de Belgique (forthcoming, 2020)
  •  ‘The court records of the Diocese of York 1300-1858: an underused resource’, with Simon Sandall and Emma Watson, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 83:1 (2011)


Book chapters

  • ‘Criminal Clerks and Political Strategists – the English Episcopal Acta Project’, in 100 Jahre Germania Sacra Kirchengeschichte schreiben vom 16. bis zum 21. Jahrhundert, ed Hedwig Röckelein (De Gruyter Akademie Forschung, 2018)
  • ‘Durham Priory: consolidation 1189-1380’, in Durham Cathedral: History, Fabric and Culture, ed. D. Brown (Yale University Press, 2014)
  •  ‘The Bishops of Chichester 1091-1503’.in Chichester: the Palace and its Bishops, ed. Paul Foster (University of Chichester, 2011)

Teaching and Supervisions


Pastoral Care in Twelfth and Thirteenth century Medieval England (new MPhil module for 2021-2022)

Research supervision: 

Dr Hoskin is interested in supervising in the following areas:

  • The Medieval Western Church, particularly the English Church in the 12th-14th centuries.
  • Administrative developments in the Medieval Church, particularly in the 12th-14th centuries
  • Pastoral care in the Medieval English Church
  • The boundaries of Church and State  in medieval England
  • Editions of Ecclesiastical records
Principal Research Associate
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Fellow Librarian, Corpus Christi College
Dr Philippa  Hoskin
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy