Dr Lucinda H S Dean (Lucy)

Biography content


Senior Lecturer in History (Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland and Europe)

Dr Lucy Dean

I am a late medieval and early modern historian who works on Scotland and Europe with a keen interest in ceremony and ritual, monarchy and kingship, gender and masculinity, coming of age and the life cycle, material culture and public history.

I joined the Centre for History in 2016 having taught at the universities of Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh previously, as well as for the Open University (through Dundee). Prior to my doctoral studies I also worked as a cataloguer at the National Archives of Kew and as a heritage assistant at the Surrey History Centre (formally the Surrey County Archives), and more recently, I have worked collaboratively with the archive at the AK Bell Library and Archive (Culture Perth and Kinross) in Perth, helping to provide workshops and other activities.

My first forthcoming monograph – Death and the Royal Succession in Scotland, c. 1214 – c. 1543: Ritual, Ceremony and Power ­– has overhauled the research undertaken during and since my AHRC-funded doctoral thesis (University of Stirling, completed 2013) to explore and analyse the cyclical process of ritual succession from death onwards through four centuries of Scottish kingship. Ritual and ceremony remain central to my research, as does kingship, monarchy and power, but in recent years manhood and masculinity, material culture, burgh life and public history have become driving forces intertwined with these foci in newer ideas and projects. For more information, see research below.


Research content



I have always been fascinated by the ways in which power and authority is represented at all levels of society, and my past, present and future research interests reflect this. My forthcoming monograph – Death and the Royal Succession: Scottish Funerals, Coronations and Weddings, c.1214–1543 – explores the manner in which ritual and ceremony is utilised across several centuries and dynasties in Scotland. I was part of the editing team on the Routledge History of Monarchy (published by Routledge in 2019) and I’m currently working on a team preparing a textbook for undergraduates: Exploring Monarchy in Medieval Europe. I am a proactive member of the Royal Studies Network, taking the role of lead organiser on their tenth annual conference, Kings & Queens 10 – Royal Patronage: Material Culture, Built Heritage and the Reach of the Crown (29 June to 2 July 2021) hosted online by the Centre for History.

Various new strands of research have emerged from my central area of interest in kingship, power, performance and ritual. Material culture as historical evidence fascinates me, and I’m pursuing these interests both through collaborations and in my own research. For example, I’m developing a more object-centred approach to material culture and ceremony in current work on the ampulla and other ritual objects in the Scottish coronation of Charles I in 1633, which will be published in a special issue of the Royal Studies Journal in 2025. Another prominent area of exploration is that of manhood, masculinity and coming of age with ultimate aim of pursuing a wider comparative analysis project on the male monarchs who ‘came of age’ after accession in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Scotland, and how this relates to the wider picture in Scotland. Initial work in progress includes a case study on James V, and a forthcoming comparative book chapter on kingship, masculinity, youth, aging. I also recently published an article drawing these two interests together by looking at material display through clothing, manhood and marriage in a special issue of Scottish Historical Review on Dress and Décor.

I am also always looking for innovative and meaningful ways of engaging the public with history and Scottish history particularly, working with the likes of Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Collections Trust, Culture Perth and Kinross, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, and National Museums of Scotland. Taking history beyond academia is key for me! Central to this work currently is the rekindling of the Perth Charterhouse Project, collaborating with Prof Richard Oram at Stirling and various local partners, in the post-COVID-19 pandemic environment. We organised a much-postponed conference and accompanying archival exhibition - From Foundations to Echoes in the Records: The Charterhouse and its place in Perth – in May 2022, and have been co-organising a series of workshops in 2023 with the Perth and Kinross Archive (CPK) designed to help break down barriers around working with medieval manuscripts. I have also been quite actively involved in media coverage in 2023 around the use of the Stone of Destiny in the coronation of Charles III, as well as providing commentary on the royal honours when Charles III visited Scotland to receive these. A report that I undertook for Historic Environment Scotland on the royal honours (in 2017) will be published online later this year.

I would welcome research proposals from undergraduate dissertation students, MLitt students or PhD students interested in aspects of social, cultural and political history of the late medieval and early modern period (particularly, but certainly not exclusively, focused on Scotland!) in a range of areas. These include pre- and post-Reformation liturgy and ritual, ceremonial and festivals, gender studies, life cycle and coming of age, ambassadorial interaction, itinerant courts, Scottish financial and burgh sources, heraldic manuscripts and the role of the herald, material culture. I’m also keenly interested in supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects, particularly with heritage bodies and archives.

Publications content




Death and the Royal Succession in Scotland, c. 1214 – c. 1513: Ritual, Ceremony and Power (forthcoming with Boydell, 2024)

Edited Books 

E. Woodacre, L. Dean, C. Jones, Z. Rohr and R. Martin (eds), The Routledge History of Monarchy (Routledge, 2019) - available as an Ebook from UHI Library. 

K. Buchanan and L. Dean, with M. Penman (eds), Medieval and Early Modern Representations of Authority in Scotland & the British Isles (Routledge, 2016)

Peer Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

‘Negotiating Youth, Old Age & Manhood: A Comparative Approach to Late Medieval Scottish Kingship’, in Mairi Cowan, Janay Nugent and Cathryn Spence (eds), Gender in Scotland, 1200-1800: Place, Faith and Politics (forthcoming 2023/ 2024).

Where to make the king (or queen): the importance of place in Scottish inaugurations and coronations from 1214 to 1651’, in O. O’Grady and R. Oram (eds), Royal Scone: A Scottish Medieval Royal Centre in Europe (Shaun Tyas, 2023)

‘“richesse in fassone and in fairness”: Marriage, Manhood and Sartorial Splendour for Sixteenth-Century Scottish Kings’, Scottish Historical Review, Special Issue – Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland to 1700, 100 (2021), 378-96.

‘Keeping Your Friends Close, But Your Enemies Closer? The Anglo-Franco-Scottish Marital Triangle, c. 1200 to c. 1625’ in Marie-Claude Canova-Green and Sara Wolfson (eds), Celebrations for the Wedding of Charles and Henrietta Maria (Routledge, 2020)

‘Making the Most of What They Had: Adapting [Indoor] and Outdoor Spaces for Royal Ceremony in Scotland c. 1214–1603’, in R. Mulryne & K. de Jonge (eds), Architectures of Festival in Early Modern Europe (Routledge, 2017)

‘In the Absence of an Adult Monarch: Ceremonial Representations of Authority by Marie de Guise 1543–1558’, in Buchanan and Dean with Penman (eds), Medieval and Early Modern Representations of Authority in Scotland & the British Isles (Routledge, 2016)

‘Projecting Dynastic Majesty: State Ceremony in the Reign of Robert the Bruce’, International Review of Scottish Studies, 40 (Sept 2015), pp. 34-60. (Won IRSS ECR Prize June 2014)

‘Enter the Alien: Foreign Consorts and their Royal Entries into Scottish Cities, c. 1449–1594’ in R. Mulryne and A.M. Testaverde with I. Aliverti (eds), The Iconography of Power: Ceremonial Entries in Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, February 2015), pp. 267-295.

‘Crowning the Child: Representing Authority in the Inaugurations and Coronations of Minors in Scotland, c.1214 to c.1567’, in E. Woodacre and S. McGlyn (eds), The Image and Perception of Monarchy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge Scholars, Sept 2014), pp. 254-280.

Magazine Feature Articles

‘Imprisoned In Her Own Capital: Mary’s Controversial Re-Entry to Edinburgh after Carberry Hill, 1567’, History Scotland, Limited Edition: Mary Queen of Scots (Dec 2018, republished in 2023).

‘Stating their Place: Ceremonial Legitimisation of the Early Stewart Dynasty, 1371 to c.1424’ in History Scotland, Special Issue: Kings and Queens of Scotland: The Stewarts, 16/ 3 (May/June 2016), pp. 28-33.

‘The Chronicles and State Celebrations: Representations of Royal Authority through State Ceremony in Scotland, c. 1200–1603’, History Scotland, 12/6 (Nov/Dec, 2012), pp. 20-27.

Online Writing and Podcasting

Episodes 1, 30, 31 and 51 of Scotichronicast, plus interviewed Kate Buchanan in Episode 18 (June 2020 – Feb 2023).

‘A Queen Unleashed – Consolidating Power for A Child King’, ‘Making a King at Scone’, ‘Partners in Rule – Positioning Queen Joan as Second Person of the Realm?’, and ‘Rituals to Celebrate Perpetual Peace’, James I King of Scotland Blog (2020)

‘[Project] Crowns, Wedding Rings and Processions: Royal State Ceremony and Representations of Authority in Medieval Early Modern Scotland’, Heraldica Nova. Medieval Heraldry in social and cultural-historical perspectives (March 2015).

Why leaders in Scotland are excited about a battle that happened 700 years ago’, The Conversation (27 June 2014).

Book Reviews

‘Norman Reid, Alexander III, First Among Equals’, Innes Review, 72 (Nov 2021)

‘Amy Blakeway, Regency in Sixteenth Century Scotland’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies (2017)

Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300–1625 edited by Stephen Boardman and Julian Goodare’, IRSS, 40 (Sept 2015)

Cities Under Siege: New Urban Militarism by Stephen Graham (2011)’ Stryvling: Stirling International Journal of Postgraduate Research, 1/2 (2013).

Six reviews in History Scotland, 14/5 (Sept/Oct 2014), pp. 56-7; 14/4 (July/ August 2014), pp. 54-5; 13/3 (May/June 2013), p. 57, 12/4 (July/ August 2012), pp. 58-9; 11/6 (Nov/Dec 2011), pp. 57-8; including:  ‘J.J. McGavin, Theatricality and Narrative in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland’, History Scotland (Online ed., Aug 2012)

Teaching content



Currently, I am module leader on/ designer of:

  • Court, Kirk and Burgh in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Second Year)
  • Study of Things: Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (Third Year)
  • Public History (Third Year)
  • Reaching the Estate of Manhood in Late Medieval & Renaissance Europe (Fourth Year)
  • Royal Power, Propaganda and Performance in Early Modern Europe (MLitt)

I also sometimes teach on:

  • Middle Age (First Year)
  • What is History (First Year, also designed this and lead on it some years)
  • A Curious Age (Second Year)
  • Queer Britannia (Third Year)
  • Arguments and Alternatives (MLitt)
  • Primary Sources for History (MLitt)
Additional activities content

Additional activities

Additional activities

  • Royal Studies Network (2020-2021) – tenth annual conference organiser for the theme Royal Patronage: Material Culture, Built Heritage and the Reach of the Crown (29 June – 2 July 2021) hosted by Centre for History, now online (should have been in Perth). Working in collaboration partners at Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Culture Perth and Kinross (CPK) with assistance from the RSN team.
  • Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust Archaeological Research Framework (2018-2021) advisory role.
  • Royal Collections Trust: Holyrood (2018-2019) assisted and advised in reinterpretations for new multi-media guide for Holyrood Palace and Abbey and gave a public talk on the ceremonial role of the abbey in royal ceremonial in Spring 2019.
  • Culture Perth and Kinross Workshops (2016-present) and SGSAH Internship (April to June 2019) collaborating with colleagues at the archives at the AK Bell Library, in part through the Charterhouse Project, to offer a range of workshops to get more people into the archives and particularly exploring medieval and early modern materials. The SGSAH internship is led by the archive staff as the initial stages of a hopefully much bigger project on their incorporated trade records, and I’m offering support in this process, particularly with skills and context for the collection, and with editing the Reading Room guide. We hope to pursue further collaborative work in this area.
  • Perth Carthusian Charterhouse Project (current) collaborating with Prof Richard Oram (University of Stirling) and Glasgow School of Art SimVis (formerly Glasgow Digital Design Studio) initiating a community-led project in Perth centring around the Carthusian Charterhouse (f. 1426/9). Other potential stakeholders include Culture Perth & Kinross, Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust, Perth & Kinross Council, Perth Tourism Partnership, HES, and Alder Archaeology Ltd.
  • Research Commission for Historic Environment Scotland (2016-2017) working on a thematic research report on aspects of the origins, function, ceremonial use, symbolism, and European context of the Scottish Royal Honours exhibited at Edinburgh Castle (report should be published online in 2023)
  • Section Editor (published July 2019) for The Routledge History of Monarchy volume for Routledge (section on Ritual and Representation): The Routledge History of Monarchy
  • Copy-Editor and Reviewer for Royal Studies Journal
  • Research Assistant & Historical Advisor (Aug–Dec 2015) working with Perth & Kinross Council and Paul Gorman (Hidden Giants) on outreach project with school pupils to engage them with local history. Part of Royal Scone Project funded by RSE and Heritage Environment Scotland
  • Co-Organiser Representations of Authority to 1707: Scotland and her Nearest Neighbours, two day conference in Aug 2012, University of Stirling, following two PG workshops (June 2011/ Feb 201
  • Presented at BBC/AHRC Scottish Identity Workshop, BBC Broadcasting House, London (April 2012)
  • General Editor and Founding Member: Stryvling: Stirling International Journal of Postgrad Research (May 2011-Sept 2012; continued in advisory capacity to 2013, and as peer reviewer and copy editor (2014).
  • Co-chairperson and Organiser, ‘On Historical and Political Thought’, Stirling (Aug 2010-2012).