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Jennifer Caddick

History, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

The Distribution of Royal Patronage to the Gentry in the Minority of Henry VI, 1422-1437

Royal patronage entailed the dispersal of grants, lands, and titles to subjects in exchange for loyalty and service, and was key to developing links between the crown and the wider political community. When patronage was distributed wisely by a fully-functioning adult king it could aid political stability. This thesis explores what happened in the absence of a functioning monarch across three areas:

  • The contemporary understanding of what is now referred to as patronage (largesse/largesce, grace, favour, etc.) and the nature of service to the crown and to the realm. This involves redefining patronage as a single aspect of a symbiotic social contract, as opposed to a simple transaction. 
  • The assumption of the royal prerogative at the heart of the English polity by members of the council in place of a functioning adult king, and the implications this had for royal power within this period, as well as the routine distribution of patronage undertaken by the Chancery and Exchequer. 
  • The interactions between the political centre and the localities through a focus on the gentry and their role in this interaction, focusing on the case studies of Yorkshire, Norfolk, and London and the home counties. 
I aim to offer some new insight into the interaction between the crown and the polity, and between the centre and localities; to explore the dynamics of late-medieval government, and consider what motivated people to serve the medieval English state; and to show how successfully the English polity coped in the absence of a king in an age that is so strongly associated with the monarchy and the personal rule of the king. 

Research Area

  • History


CADDICK, Jennifer. "The Painted Chamber at Westminster and the Openings of Parliament, 1399-1484." Parliamentary History 38, 1 (2019): 17-33.

Work with Journals

Reviews Assistant. Nottingham Medieval Studies. October 2018 - Present. 

Website and Social Media Manager. Midlands Historical Review. February 2018 - October 2018. 


Conference Papers, Poster Presentations, and Roundtables

"'For the good service he has given': Service to the Crown and the Right to Reward in Henry VI's Minority." International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds. July 2020.

Network Analysis for Medievalists II: Opportunities and Challenges - A Round Table Discussion. International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds. July 2020. 

"Forging a Dual Monarchy? Presenting English and French Kingship in Henry VI's Minority, 1422-c.1437." Fifteenth-Century Conference, University of Exeter. September 2019.

"The Conciliar Assumption on the Royal Prerogative in Henry VI's Minority, 1422-c. 1437." International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds. July 2019. 

"Practicing Kingship without the King? The Conciliar Assumption of the Royal Prerogative in Henry VI's Infancy, 1422-c.1430." International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University. May 2019. 

"'because our said sovereign lord [is] busy': The Language of Absent Kings, 1422-1437." Noblesse Oblige?: Barons and the Public Good in the Middle Ages, University of East Anglia. April 2019. 

"Mapping the Socio-Political Networks of Gentry Petitions, 1422-37." Poster Presentation at Harlaxton 2018 Symposium: Performance, Ceremony and Display in Late Medieval Britain. July 2018. 

"Forging a Dialogue: The Crown, Commons, and the Painted Chamber at Westminster, 1399-1484." Orientations 2018, University of Nottingham. May 2018. 

"Masking the Minority? The Case of the November 1422 Parliament." M3C Research Festival 2018, Birmingham. May 2018. 

Conferences Organised

Generosity and Avarice in Medieval Europe, University of Nottingham. April 2020. Supported by the University of Nottingham's Department of History and the Institute for Medieval Research. 

Medieval Midlands 2018 Postgraduate Conference: Boundaries and Frontiers in the Middle Ages, University of Nottingham. May 2018. 

Public Engagement & Impact

Public Engagement

"Title TBC." PubhD Nottingham. March 2019.

"Historical Hospital." Family Discovery Day, University of Nottingham. June 2018. 


Royal Historical Society

British Archaeological Society

Medium Ă†vum

Richard III Society


"Sermons, Speakers and Physical Spaces in English Parliamentary Openings, 1399-1484." MA Dissertation, University of York. September 2016. 

"Parliament and Legislation in the Reign of Henry VII." BA (Hons) Dissertation, University of York. June 2015.