Michael Prestwich

Michael Prestwich
Michael Prestwich
Born 30 January 1943 (1943-01-30) (age 68)
Occupation Emeritus Professor of history
Durham University
Nationality British
Subjects Middle Ages
Edward I
Medieval warfare


Michael Charles Prestwich OBE (born 30 January 1943) is an English historian, specialising on the history of medieval England, in particular the reign of Edward I. He is retired, having been Professor of History at Durham University, and Head of the Department of History until 2007.


Early life

Prestwich is the son of two Oxford historians, John and Menna Prestwich. He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, and then went to a well-known public school Charterhouse, before winning a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. He completed his D.Phil on Edward I's wars and their financing at Christ Church, Oxford.

Academic career

After a year as a lecturer at Christ Church, Michael moved in 1969 to St Andrews where he stayed for ten years before moving to Durham as a Reader. He soon became Professor, and has been head of the Department for two spells. For seven years in the 1990s he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor, with a wide brief which even extended to health and safety. He is chairman of the trustees of the Durham Union Society. He twice chaired the History panel for the Research Assessment Exercise, in 1996 and 2001.[1]

Prestwich has provided support and encouragement to other historians, in particular Ann Hyland, who recognised his assistance in her work on medieval warhorses.[2] Prestwich wrote the foreword for both of her books on the subject. On his retirement, he was presented with a festschrift, War, Government and Aristocracy in the British Isles c. 1150-1500, edited by Chris Given-Wilson, Ann Kettle and Len Scales.

Prestwich was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[3]

Personal life

He is married to fellow Oxford-educated historian Maggie Prestwich, who recently retired as senior tutor at Trevelyan College, Durham. He lives in Western Hill in Durham, and has a dog and three grown up children. He retired in 2008.

Select publications


  • Editor of a collection of his father's essays:
J.O. Prestwich, The Place of War in English History, 1066-1214 (2004) Woodbridge: Boydell Press ISBN 1-84383-098-1


  1. ^ Home page
  2. ^ Acknowledgements, p V, The Warhorse 1250-1600, and p VII, The Medieval Warhorse: From Byzantium to the Crusades, both by Ann Hyland
  3. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282. p. 11. 31 December 2009.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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