Skip Trinity Banner Navigation

Skip to main content »

Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
College Photo Name Crooks, Peter
Main Department History
College Title Assistant Professor
College Tel +353 1 896 1790
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 2011 -
American Society for Medieval Irish Studies 2011
Friends of Medieval Dublin (Honorary Secretary, 2008-2011) 2007
American Historical Association 2006 -
Friends of Medieval Dublin 2007 -
More Memberships>>>
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Irish Research CARA/Marie Curie Postdoctoral Mobility Fellowship 2011
Past and Present Postdoctoral Research Fellow, IHR 2006-07
Grace Lawless Lee Fund, TCD 2006
Denis Bethell Memorial Essay Prize, The Charles Homer Haskins Society 2005
James Ussher Research Fellowship, Trinity College, Dublin 2002-05
More Awards and Honours>>>
Description of Research Interests
Peter is a specialist on the history of the medieval British Isles, and in particular Ireland in the later Middle Ages (1171–1541). His articles have appeared in Past and Present and the English Historical Review. At present he is writing a monograph entitled England's First Colony: Power, Conflict and Colonialism in English Ireland, 1361-1460. From 2008 to 2011 Peter was deputy director of the Irish Chancery Project, funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The project seeks to reconstruct the letters of the medieval Irish chancery which were destroyed in a fire at the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922. The principal output of the project is CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c.1244-1509 ( The calendar, which is free to access, contains over 20,000 letters and ancillary information. Peter is also a student of the diachronic history of colonialism and empire. In June 2011 Peter convened a major international conference on the theme of ‘Empires and Bureaucracy: A Colloquium exploring the Comparative History of European Empires from Late Antiquity to the Modern World’. He is currently co-editing the proceedings with Timothy Parsons (Washington in St Louis).
Research Interests
Anglo-Irish relations Aristocracy Comparative history of empires Conflict and Dispute Resolution
Cultural Identity Ethnic Studies Late Medieval Ireland, 1166-1534 Late medieval England
Medieval Britain Medieval Colonialism and Imperialism Medieval Ireland Parliament
Political Culture
Research Projects
Project title The Irish Chancery Project (
Summary This IRCHSS-funded project seeks to advance our understanding of the ‘making of Ireland’ between the high Middle Ages and the dawn of the modern era—one of the most formative periods in Ireland’s past—by publishing on the web and in print an English calendar of the rolls of the medieval Irish chancery, c. 1216–1509. The chancery was a key organ of English government in medieval Ireland. Access to its records is, however, severely restricted. The original chancery rolls suffered a series of calamities from the 13th century, culminating in 1922 with the destruction of the last 123 original rolls. A Latin calendar produced by the Irish Record Commission (1828) does not compensate for their destruction: it was poorly edited and lacks an adequate critical apparatus. Moreover, it offers no English translations and the text is printed in ‘record type’, reflecting abbreviations in the original manuscripts. This project will remedy these deficiencies by reconstructing the chancery rolls from transcripts and calendars dating from 14th–19th centuries located in Ireland and England. The outcome will be a web-based English calendar, to be followed by a multi-volume printed edition. This project will revolutionise medieval Irish studies by providing both specialists and the general public with access to an unparalleled source of information. More generally, the project will generate interest from scholars working on administrative history in a Europe-wide context and on the ‘Anglicization’ of the British Isles in Middle Ages. It will also stimulate exciting comparative work across the medieval–modern divide on the adaptation (or ‘creolisation’) of metropolitan governing practices and values in a colonial context, and on the processes of state formation and cultural exchange in the British Isles and the early modern Atlantic world.
Funding Agency Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Type of Project Thematic Project
Date from July 2008
Date to July 2011
Person Months 36

Project title ‘England’s First Colony: Power, Conflict and Colonialism in English Ireland, 1361–1460’
Summary This project will provide a case study of medieval colonialism in action. It explores political society and political culture in English Ireland (1361–1460). The resulting monograph will make a major contribution to the diachronic study of colonialisms. This research project takes as its subject ‘Ireland in the Age of Intervention’, so-called because the century between 1361 and 1460 witnessed intensive investment—military and financial—by the English crown in Ireland. The ‘interventionist’ era opens with the expedition to Ireland of Lionel of Antwerp in 1361, and peters out with the ‘Declaration of Parliamentary Independence’ in 1460, which has often been interpreted as an expression of ‘separatism’ on the part of the colonial community. This project uses English Ireland as a case study of medieval colonialism in action—that is colonialism as a process underway as distinct from the initial process of colonization, which in Ireland (as elsewhere) has attracted greater scholarly attention, perhaps because in the early stages of a colonial encounter (‘first contact’, settlement, and so on) social change is readily apparent, and identities and cultures have yet to inter-bleed and blur. But it is precisely the hybrid nature of colonial society in this later period that makes it so appealing as a subject of research.
Funding Agency Irish Research Council
Programme CARA/Marie Curie Postdoctoral Mobility Fellowship
Type of Project
Date from 2011
Date to 2014
Person Months 36

Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Peter Crooks, CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c.1244-1509, 2012, -
Notes: [CIRCLE is a major new internet resource containing 20,000 reconstructed letters from the medieval Irish chancery rolls. The original rolls were destroyed in an explosion and fire at the Public Record Office of Ireland at the Four Courts, Dublin, on 30 June 1922. A printed edition will be published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.]
Peter Crooks, 'State of the Union: Perspectives on English Imperialism in the Late Middle Ages', Past and Present, no. 212, (Aug.), 2011, p1 - 40
Peter Crooks, 'Representation and Dissent: "Parliamentarianism" and the Structure of Politics in English Ireland, c. 1370-1420', English Historical Review, cxxv, (no. 512), 2010, p1 - 34
Peter Crooks, Government, War and Society in Medieval Ireland: Essays by Edmund Curtis, A.J. Otway-Ruthven and James Lydon, Dublin, Four Courts, 2008, 1 - 407pp
Comital Ireland, 1333–1534 in, editor(s)David Crouch and Hugh Doherty , The earl in medieval Britain, [Peter Crooks]
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>

Log in to the TCD Portal
Last Updated:02-OCT-2014