Mark Shearwood

Mark Shearwood


I obtained my BA degree in Leadership and Management in 2014 from Anglia Ruskin university while working full time for an international courier company. In 2018 I earned a MA in War and Strategy from the University of Leeds. My MA thesis ‘The Plug Bayonet: Reputation and Reality analysed the development and impact of the plug bayonet on English army tactics. My thesis formed the basis of my first book, The Perfection of Military Discipline: The Plug Bayonet and the English Army 1660 – 1705 (Warwick: Helion & Co, 2020).

I am a postgraduate researcher in the School of History at the University of Leeds. My thesis focuses on issues of religion, identity and loyalty in the army of James II and William III.


AHC Faculty Research Dissemination Award: 2018/19 Round 4 July 2019

University of Leeds School of History Extraordinary Fund: February 2019 & November 2019

Catholic Record Society: David Rogers Research Fund Award: 2019

The Society for Army Historical Research: Minor Grant: 2019

Royal Historical Society/Adam Matthews Digital collection subscription award: 2020


The Perfection of Military Discipline: The Plug Bayonet and the English Army 1660 – 1705 (Warwick: Helion & Co, 2020

‘William of Orange and the Glorious Revolution’, Arquebusier: Journal of the Pike and Shot Society. 35.6 (2017), 26-35.

Shearwood, Mark, ‘Parliament’s Generals; Supreme Command & Politics During the British Wars 1642-51, by Malcolm Wanklyn’ in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 98 (2020), 89-90.


Podcast: In Conversation with Postgrads: Episode 2,


HIST1300 Primary Sources for the Historian: 2019-2020, The Glorious Revolution 1688-90.

Module design including palaeography (print and handwriting) exercises designed for first year undergraduate, hands-on archive sessions and utilising mixed media pedagogical approaches and methods. 

Conference Organiser:   

Preparation for Battle: University of Leeds, 19th to 20th June 2019

Conference Papers:       

‘English Military Discipline and the Plug Bayonet in the Late Seventeenth Century’, Preparation for Battle Conference: University of Leeds, 19th to 20th June 2019

‘The De-Catholicisation of the English Establishment and its Rebirth’, New Voices in the History of War Conference, All Souls College, Oxford 12th July 2019.

‘The Plug Bayonet: Myths and Miss-information’, Weapons in Society, Royal Armouries, Leeds, 26th September 2019

Jacobitism & War Conference, Jacobite Studies Florence, Florence 24-26 May 2020.  ancelled due to Covid19

‘To Fight for the Emperor, Irish Troops in the Service of the Habsburg Empire 1689-90’, EMQuon The Early Modern Quarantine Conference, #EMQuon  26th June 2020

‘Loyalty and Identity, Irish Troops in the Service of the Habsburg Empire’, The Northern Early Modern Network Conference, University of Edinburgh 26th – 27th November 2020.

Public Engagement:        

‘The Transition of the English Army from James II to William III’,  Defending the Crown: Armies of the Late Stuart Monarchs, National Army Museum, 21st September 2019.

‘The Plug Bayonet: Changing the Face of Battle’, Public Winter Lecture Series, Royal Armouries Leeds, 14th October 2020.

Workshop Design:         

Co-designer and facilitator of ‘How to get the most out of research seminars’ for Leeds Excellence in the Arts Programme (LEAP) at the University of Leeds 2018/19

Manuscript to Memorandum 2019-2020: Design of a workshop looking at identifying and accounting for bias in the translation and transcribing of Early Modern primary sources. Introducing methodological solutions to non-standardised spelling.


Final Year Project mentor 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Mentoring final year undergrad students during their dissertations as well students enrolled in the LEAP program.

Panel Membership:       

University of Leeds REF2021 Circumstances Panel (2019-2020) Assessing declarations of circumstances requiring judgement and identifying an appropriate reduction in output in relation to REF2021 and the University’s Code of Practice.


Men, Women, and Care Date Entry Internship (2019-2020)
Date entry of social and demographic information drawn from the National Archives (Pin-26) as part of a European Research Council funded project.


Early Career Member: Royal Historical Society

Research interests

My research interests primarily lie in the late seventeenth century England and Europe. I have a particular interest in the Glorious Revolution, and the reigns King James II and King William III. 

My thesis challenges the current scholarly perceptions of identity, loyalty, religion and society in relation to the English army during the period leading up to and following the Glorious Revolution. My research project looks at the mechanisms and implications of the change from the pseudo-Catholic army of James II to the supposed ultra-Protestant army of William III. My thesis aims to identify the armies’ structure and recruitment under James II, how it was transformed under William III, and what happened to those officers and soldiers, who were discarded in the process.

I am exploring issues of loyalty and identity in relation to both the state, the monarch, and religion.   Current historiography tends towards a binary discourse, whereas my thesis has identified a far more complex and dynamic identities. Established work on the English army either finishes with the disbandment of the army following James II flight to France, or on the re-constituted English army under William III.  The story of Catholic soldiers under James II and William III has not been fully explored apart from those who went on to fight for James II in Ireland. My research aims to return agency to these officers and men including the 2,000 Irish and English soldiers interned in the Isle of Wight prior to being sold to the Habsburg Empire by William III. The basis of my thesis is the exploration of what it was to be Catholic following the defeat of England’s last Catholic monarch and to scrutinise assumptions that the army was purged of all non-Protestant soldiers. One of the defining tenets of my thesis is to ascertain what happened to the rank and file Catholic soldiers who were no longer trusted or needed following the flight of King James II to France, an area currently overlooked. Although the focus of my work may appear to be within the sphere of military history, I would suggest it is a multi-disciplined approach covering the areas of religious history, social history, and forced migration.

I also have a research interest in late seventeenth century military technology and tactics with a particular emphasis on the plug baynet and how it changed regimental structure and tactics.

I completed my BA in Leadership and Management at Anglea Ruskin University, graduating in 2014.

I completed my MA in War and Strategy at the University of Leeds with my Dissertation of the English Plug Bayonet, graduating in 2018.  


  • BA Leadership and Management
  • MA War and Strategy