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Dr. David Ditchburn

Dr. David Ditchburn

Associate Professor in Medieval History

Research Interests

Most of my research concerns later medieval Scotland and its links with other countries. I have explored commercial connections and migration, but also religious and cultural interactions, such as saintly cults and pilgrimages. I am currently writing a companion volume to Scotland and Europe which will examine the political and diplomatic links across both the insular and continental worlds. I am currently also Principal Investigator on the Irish Chancery Rolls Project and co-editor of The Scottish Historical Review.

Select Publications

  • Atlas of Medieval of Medieval Europe (2nd edn, ed. with Simon MacLean and Angus Mackay; London & New York: Routledge, 2007, pp. xi + 339; 1st edn, ed. with Angus Mackay: London & New York: Routledge, 1997), pp. x + 271.
  • Aberdeen before 1800: A New History (Ed. with E.P. Dennison and Michael Lynch; East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2002) pp. xi + 515.
  • Scotland and Europe: The Medieval Kingdom and its Contacts with Christendom, 1214-1560 (East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2001), pp. xiii+335.
  • Freedom and Authority: Scotland, c.1050-c.1650. Historical and Historiographical Essays presented to Grant G. Simpson (East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2000), pp. xii +212.


  • ‘The ‘McRoberts thesis’ and patterns of sanctity in late medieval Scotland’, in S. Boardman and E. Williamson, eds, The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010), pp. 177-94.
  • ‘‘Une grande ténacité double d’une loyauté remarquable’: l’Ecosse et le Schisme, 1378-1418’, Études Roussillonnaises, 24 (2009-10), pp. 137-46.
  • ‘Maritime ports and transport, c.1200-c.1500’, in Kenneth Veitch, ed., Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology. Volume 8: Transport and Communication (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2009), pp. 23-52.
  • ‘Union before union: the failure of ‘Britain’ in the Middle Ages’, in A. Mackillop and M. O Siochru, eds, Forging the State: European State Formation and the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707 (Dundee: Dundee UP, 2009), pp. 47-65.
  • ‘ “Saints at the door don’t make miracless”? The Contrasting Fortunes of Scottish Pilgrimage, c.1450-1550’, in J. Goodare and A.A. Macdonald, eds, Sixteenth-century Scotland: Religion, politics and society. Essays in honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp. 69-98.
  • ‘Medieval Scotland, 1100-1560’ in R.A. Houston and W. Knox, eds, The New Penguin History of Scotland (London: Penguin, 2001), pp. 96-181. [with A.J. Macdonald]
  • ‘Bremen piracy and Scottish periphery: the North Sea world in the 1440s’ in T. Riis, A. Macinnes and F. Pedersen, eds., Ships, Guns & Bibles in the North Sea and Baltic States, 1350-1700 (East Linton: Tuckwell, 2000), pp. 1-29. Also available at:
  • ‘The place of Guelders in Scottish foreign policy, c.1449-c.1542’ in G.G. Simpson, ed., Scotland and the Low Countries, 1124-1994 (East Linton: Tuckwell, 1996), pp.59-75.

Teaching and Supervision

My undergraduate teaching concentrates on the period between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, and covers Scotland, Britain and Europe. At levels 1 and 2 I offer ‘Religion, Death and Culture, c.1215-1517’ and ‘The Hundred Years War’. At Levels 3 and 4 my modules include ‘Medieval Religion, c.1215-1517’, ‘Renaissance Florence, c.1348-1527’ (both List 3) and ‘Edward I, Edward II and the Conquest of Britain, c.1286-1329’ (List 1).  At postgraduate level I teach modules on the MPhil in Medieval History and I am happy to supervise graduate students on most aspects of later medieval Scottish history and on various aspects of later medieval religion and the later medieval economy more generally.

Dr. Ditchburn on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Room 3145
Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 1 896 2399
Fax: +353 1 896 3995