UWTSD academic awarded British Academy grant


UWTSD academic, Dr Harriett Webster, has been awarded a British Academy grant from the Neil Ker Memorial Fund to pursue her research on medieval Welsh rebel, William Cragh.

Harriet Webster

Awards from the Neil Ker Memorial Fund are offered to support any aspect of research into the promotion of the study of Western medieval manuscripts and in particular those with a British interest.  Dr Webster is among a number of distinguished academics to have received funding from the Academy this year, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences.

Dr Harriett Webster is currently researching for her new book, 'The Miracle of the Resuscitation of the Twice Hanged William Cragh', which will be published next year.   William Cragh was a Welsh outlaw who was hanged in Swansea in 1290 by the local Norman Marcher Lord William de Briouze.  However, the hanging ended unexpectedly with William Cragh coming back to life.  Cragh’s recovery was considered as a miracle and the testimony of nine medieval eyewitnesses are still available to see in a manuscript in the Vatican library, Rome.  This grant will allow Dr Webster to complete a critical edition and translation of the nine witness testimonies from thirteenth-century Swansea. The work will also shed light on several key fields of medieval studies, including the evolution of saint-making practices, cultural and ethnic tensions in frontier societies and the increasing significance of the written word in medieval processes. 

British Academy

Dr Harriett Webster, who is a lecturer in Medieval History based on the university’s Lampeter campus, said:

“I’m very excited about the opportunity offered by this British Academy grant. It will allow me to continue my research on medieval Swansea and the lives of nine individuals living there in the late thirteenth century as it provides funding for archival trips to the Vatican Library (Rome), Bibliotheque Nationale de France (Paris), Bodleian Library (Oxford) and the National Archives (Kew).

I will be tracing the steps of the papal investigation into the life and miracles of Thomas Cantilupe, bishop of Hereford that lead to his canonisation in 1320. Along the way I will also be looking for evidence of life on the frontier of the Welsh Marches, including hitherto unpublished annals in a manuscript from Neath Abbey, and a charter for Swansea sometimes referred to as 'the Welsh Magna Carta'.”

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / Arwel.Lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk