Accessibility statement

Joshua Ravenhill


The Alien Experience in Late Medieval London: Strategies and Options

Supervisor: Dr Jeremy Goldberg


My thesis aims to shed light upon the ‘alien experience’ in late medieval London. Historiography has privileged certain topics concerning migration, namely surveys on the demography and occupations of certain alien groups, how aliens were regulated by authorities and how native society responded to them. The thesis aims to provide a history of migration from the perspective of the migrants themselves in order to shed light upon the alien experience in the capital. It will do so through addressing two driving questions:

  1. What strategies did aliens undertake in England to survive and settle?
  2. What options were available to them?

To address these questions, the thesis will privilege the study of individual lives over the more conventional statistical analysis of tax records used in previous scholarship. It will use legal and probate records to reconstruct lives of alien individuals, or at least stories about individuals which were deemed to appear credible, to address the research questions.


  • Joshua Ravenhill, The Earliest Recorded Spectacle Makers in Late Medieval England: Immigration and Foreign Expertise', Notes and Queries, Volume 65, Issue 1, (2018).

Contact details

Mr Joshua Ravenhill
PhD student
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD