Photo of Professor Anthony Musson

Professor Anthony Musson


Extension: 3362

Telephone: 01392 723362

Professor of Legal History

Professor Anthony Musson is Professor of Legal History and a Barrister of the Middle Temple. He gained an LL.M from Lancaster University and his doctorate from King's College Cambridge, where he was also an undergraduate. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of his research, he is a Fellow and Council member of the Royal Historical Society and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2012. He was a Research Associate of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York (1996-8) and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London (2003-6). He is co-director of the Bracton Centre for Legal History Research.

Anthony has published extensively in the field of medieval legal history and legal culture and in his work on legal iconography in particular has developed both interdisciplinary and comparative approaches. His major funded projects have examined visual representations of law and justice in the art and architecture of medieval Europe (British Academy) and the role of Lawyers in Society, 1258-1558 (ESRC). His latest project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examines the origins and jurisdiction of the Medieval Court of Chivalry. He is also involved with several collaborative projects notably on 'Books of Law: The Transmission of Western Legal Culture' (jointly led with scholars from Lille, Ghent and Helsinki), funded by a special collaborative projects grant from the CNRS, and on 'Jurisdictional Complexity in Europe, 1500-1900', led by scholars from Ghent and Limerick and funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

His expertise on the administration of criminal justice in medieval England, especially the tensions created by criminal gangs and outlaws has been showcased in BBC programmes such as The Long View (Radio 4) and the Emmy award-winning Terry Jones Medieval Lives (BBC 2/The History Channel). He has sought to promote public understanding of the private lives of medieval and Tudor lawyers through illustrated lectures to professional and cultural groups (including the Devon and Somerset Law Society, the Devon Historical Society, the University of the Third Age and the Richard III Society of Devon and Cornwall) and has worked with actors from the Elysium Theatre Company as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company (Open Stage) scheme's project, assisting their understanding of their characters in relation to the constitutional and legal issues in Shakespeare's historical plays, which led to 'The Wars of the Roses' performed at Buckfast Abbey in 2012. As part of the Magna Carta 800 Celebrations he has been commissioned by the Magna Carta Trust (in collaboration with the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association) to contribute to a commemorative volume: Magna Carta: The Foundation of Freedom, 1215-2015.

Supervisor to postgraduate students in Legal History, Medieval History and Criminal Law.