Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
 Hayley Bassett

Hayley Bassett

Myfyriwr ymchwil, Ysgol Hanes, Archaeoleg a Chrefydd

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.


I am a PhD candidate researching Anglo-Norman and French international law, politics and diplomacy in the early Middle Ages. I am particularly interested in the use of marriage alliances by leaders to underpin peace treaties. I came to university as a mature student, progressing from the award-winning 'Exploring the Past' pathway onto a degree in 2011 and completed both my BA in Ancient and Medieval History and my MA In Medieval British Studies at Cardiff University. 

I am a coordinator of Cardiff University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion community outreach project "SHARE with Schools".

I currently teach "Medieval Worlds AD500-1500" Year 1 module.

My research interests include:

  • 10th to 12th century ducal and royal power and authority.

  • Royal and noble inheritance, female succession and regnant queenship.

  • Diplomacy and peacemaking.

  • Dynastic marriage alliances.


Diddordebau ymchwil

Current research projects:

Melisende Queen of Jerusalem, Women and Power in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Treaties of Normandy 911 - 1066, formation of a Duchy.

The history of 'The Vexin' between Anglo-Normandy and the French crown, tenth to twelfth centuries.

Flanders, Brittany and Normandy.

Scholarships & Awards

  • September 2021              The St. John Historical Society Award for original research 2021.

  • July 2021                           Ursula Henriques Scholarship, Cardiff University, 2021-2022. 

  • September 2016              Masters Excellence Scholarship, Cardiff University, 2016-2019.


  • "Emma of Normandy: The Woman who laid the disturbances of War to rest" in Indentities of Noblewomen, eds. Harriet Kersey and Charlotte Pickard (Brepols, forthcoming 2023

  • “Betrothed and Betrayed: The Unconventional Life of Princess Alys of France 1160-1220” in Queens in Waiting: Potential and Prospective Queens, Ambitions and Expectations, eds. Sarah Betts and Chloe McKenzie (Queenship and Power series, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2022)

  • “Regnant Queenship and Royal Marriage between the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Nobility of Western Europe” in A Companion to Global Queenship, ed. Elena Woodacre (ARC Humanities Press, 2018), pp. 39-52.

Online Publications

  • “Princess Alys of France: a Twelfth-Century Patty Hearst?” in War, Peace and Diplomacy in the Middle Ages, https://jembenham.wordpress.com (February 2017). 

  • “Empress Matilda - a study of Succession, Gender & Power in the Twelfth Century”, https://www.academia.edu/13540292/ (2016)

  • Review of “Stephen: The Reign of Anarchy”, Carl Watkins, Royal Studies Journal, 2016, vol. III

  • Review of “The Daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine”, Colette Bowie, Royal Studies Journal, 2015, vol. II

 Conference Papers 

  • July 2022: "From Poppa of Bayeux to Gunnor: The Role of 'More Danico' Wives as the Mothers of Heirs to the Duchy of Normandy", International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds.

  • May 2022: "Anglo-French Marriage Diplomacy: An Examination of the Treaty of Gisors 1160", Cardiff's Late Antique and Medieval Early Researchers Seminar Series, Cardiff University.

  • March 2022: "Conflict Resolution in Normandy: The Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte 911", Gregynog Colloquium, Swansea University.

  • February 2022: "Co-rule and Conflict in the Kingdom of Jerusalem: Melisende and Baldwin III", Women and Warfare in the Medieval World Virtual Inaugural Conference.

  • July 2021: “Emma of Normandy: The Queen who ‘laid the disturbances of war to rest’?” International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds. 

  • June 2021: “Women and Power in the Kingdom of Heaven: Melisende and Sibyl: Two Medieval Queens of Jerusalem”, in partnership with Professor Helen Nicholson. Eileen Younghusband Memorial Lecture, Cardiff University.

  • February 2021: “Case study of royal marriage: Henry I, king of England and Queen Matilda”. Exploring the Past Queenship Guest Lecture, Cardiff University Centre for Lifelong Learning.

  • September 2020: “Inter-dynastic Marriage Alliances – Law, Diplomatic Practice and Policy in Normandy and England 911-1204”.Virtual Inaugural Noblewomen Network Conference

  • June 2019: “Melisende of Jerusalem: A Female King?” Cardiff University Society for Women Graduates Inaugural Conference.

  • March 2019: “Empress Matilda c.1102-1167: Heiress to England and Normandy”. Championing Her Story: Women’s History Conference, Cardiff University. 

  • January 2018: “To Have and To Hold: An Examination of Inter-dynastic Royal Marriage in Twelfth Century Western Europe”, Postgraduate Symposium, Cardiff University. 

  • January 2017: “An Instrument of Diplomacy? Marriage between Ruling Dynasties” Diplomacy and Peace-making Postgraduate Conference, Cardiff University. 

Professional Memberships

Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Membership (2019-present)

Royal Studies Network Membership (2015-present)



Graduate Tutor (2021-2022)

  • HS1112 Medieval Worlds AD500-1500

SHARE with Schools

Community Engagement and Outreach Project. Co-ordinator since November 2020.

Delivered 'Museum Curator' virtual workshops to Year 7, Fitzalan High School 25th June 2021

Traethawd ymchwil

‘Inter-dynastic Marriage Alliances – Law, Diplomatic Practice and Policy in Normandy and England 911-1204’

Marriages between royal dynasties, powerful magnates and important neighbours offered opportunities to cement alliances, extend influence and strengthen authority. There is a general assumption that pre-modern, political marriage is well-explored in academia, but this is inaccurate. The concept that marriage produced dynastic ties between nobles and royal families has been touched upon but the role and function of marriage in diplomacy, particularly redressing legal wrongs and enforcing restitution, is significantly under-explored.

Focusing upon the Duchy of Normandy from its inception in 911 to the loss of Normandy by King John in 1204, this thesis will consider the purpose marriage alliances served in diplomatic practice, Norman tradition and political policy in the region. It will examine the different contexts under which marriages were proposed, negotiated and agreed, regardless of whether the union actually took place. 

The Duchy of Normandy provides a unique opportunity to examine both noble and royal approaches to marriage diplomacy, as Duke William II of Normandy conquered England in 1066 and his successors inherited both the Norman duchy and the kingship of England.



Dr Jenny Benham

Reader in Medieval History

Paul Webster

Dr Paul Webster