In this paper I will examine the material culture both of John’s life and post-life as it influenced the development of the cult of St John of Beverley. John died in 721 and his hagiography developed soon after and began the process of demonstrating his sainthood. Athelstan adds to John’s prominence with grants of land, sanctuary rights, and the foundation of a collegiate church in 934. John’s sainthood allowed the Minster and the town of Beverley to develop as a sanctuary and a place of pilgrimage. I will argue that John’s sainthood met a socio-cultural need that adapted to changing views of his sainthood.
By the year 1000, the kingdom of the Scots was powerful, second in Britain only to that of the English. However, we do not really understand how this was achieved. As well as introducing Aberdeen University’s Comparative Kingship project, this paper will consider the evidence for early medieval Pictish overkingship and its successor kingdom of Alba (of the Scots). It will analyse potential explanations for change and will suggest how, by combining the investigation of textual sources, archaeology, environmental, landscape, and place-names studies, as well as an international comparative approach, we can reconstruct how these kingdoms changed over time.
Layered kingship is representative of kingly status at varying levels in early Anglo-Saxon England, the period from the English settlement in Britain to the First Viking Age. It relates to the presence and function of locally determined kingship within the culture-zone in question. There has been a tendency, since the start of the 20th century, to focus on big government, with most recent work suggesting that the establishment of the large machine of government was inevitable. This paper will adopt an interdisciplinary approach which is fundamental to my ability to challenge received wisdom.