Dr Michael Spence


2005 MA in Anglo-Saxon Studies, University of Manchester
2014 PhD Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds

Research interests

Medieval record-keeping; early documentary history of northern England; economic history of northern monasteries; manuscript digitisation; digital humanities.


Monograph: Record-keeping and Archival Redaction at Fountains Abbey (Brepols, impending).

Critical Edition: BL Add MS 40010, Fountains Abbey Rentals; in preparation.


‘Cartularies of Fountains Abbey: Archival Systems and Practices’, Cîteaux: Commentarii cistercienses, 61 (2010), 185-205;

‘Interpretations of Malham from Fourteenth-Century Sources’, in Medieval Studies in the Yorkshire Dales (York: PLACE/YDLRT,  2013), pp. 17-27;

‘Fountains Abbey and the Acquisition of Bordley in Craven: Anglo-Scandinavians, Scots and monastic flocks’,  Northern History, 53:1 (2016), 26-55;

‘Stimulating the Institutional Memory : the President Book of Fountains Abbey’ in Les pratiques de l'écrit dans les abbayes cisterciennes (XIIe - milieu du XVIe siècle). Produire, échanger, contrôler, conserver : Actes du colloque international, Troyes-Abbaye de Clairvaux, 28-30 octobre 2015, ed. by Arnaud Bodin and Laurent Morelle (Paris: Somogy, 2016), 293-304;

‘The Election Dispute at Fountains Abbey Revisited’, Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies, 9 (2019), forthcoming;

with Philip Butterworth: ‘WILLIAM PARNELL, SUPPLIER OF STAGING AND INGENIOUS DEVICES, and his Role in the Entry of Elizabeth Woodville into Norwich in 1469’, Medieval English Theatre, 40 (2019), forthcoming.


Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, ed. by Christopher Grocock and I.N. Wood, Oxford Medieval Texts (Oxford: OUP, 2013), in Northern History, 52:1 (March 2015), 134;

Durham Priory Manorial Accounts, 1277-1310, ed. by Richard Britnell, Surtees Society Publications, 218 (2014), in Northern History, 52:1 (March 2015), 141;

The Latin Cartulary of Godstow Abbey, Oxford, ed. by Emilie Amt, (Oxford: OUP, 2014), in Sehepunkte, 15 (2015);

Alisdair Dobie, Accounting at Durham Cathedral Priory; Management and Control of a Major Ecclesiastical Corporation 1083-1539 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), in Northern History, 53:2 (2016), 155-56;

Susan Rose, The Wealth of England: The Medieval Wool Trade and Its Political Importance 1100-1600 (Oxford: Oxbow, 2018), in Northern History, 55:2 (2018), forthcoming.

Colloquium papers

IMC 2009: ‘Precedent or President: Cross-referral in the Records of Fountains Abbey’;

IMC 2010: ‘Fountains Abbey: Making the Documentary Connection’;

IMC 2011: ‘A Fresh Look at Fountains Rentals’;

IMC 2012: ‘Scribes of Fountains Abbey’;

IMC 2014: ‘Record-Keeping at Fountains Abbey and the Election Dispute of 1410-16’;

Troyes, France, 2015: ‘Stimulating the Institutional Memory: The President Book of Fountains Abbey’

IMC 2018: ‘Recordkeeping at Fountains Abbey: Shaping Archival Memory’

Leeds 2018, Northern History Colloquium in memory of Gordon Forster: ‘Canons and Pastoral Care in Medieval Yorkshire?’

Local History Society presentations

April 2013, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Medieval Section: ‘Record-keeping at Fountains Abbey’;

October 2014, Upper Wharfedale Heritage Group: ‘The Craven Granges of Fountains Abbey’;

November 2014: Ingleborough Archaeology Group, ‘Monastic Malham’;

April 2015: Yorkshire Dales National Parks Authority Day School: ‘The Lost Charters of Bordley’;

November 2015, North Craven Heritage Trust: ‘Craven and the Disputed Election at Fountains Abbey, 1410-1416’;

October 2017: 3D Archaeological Society, Harrogate: ‘A History of Aldfield and Fountains Abbey’;

September 2018, Halifax Antiquarian Society: ‘Calderdale and Fountains Abbey.’


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>