Sam Drake, Research Associate

Cornwall and the Kingdom: Connectivity, Cohesion, and Integration, c.1300-c.1420

Sam Drake’s research considers Cornwall’s place in the kingdom between c. 1300 and c. 1420, exploring the way in which the county cohered with the wider realm. At every point Cornwall emerges as a quite remarkable place, one dominated by Cornish gentlemen bearing names such as Bodrugan, Carminow, and l’Ercedekne, believing that their natal county formed ‘a large land’ existing ‘since the time of King Arthur’.

Cornwall and its residents, however, also relied on their place in the wider realm. Thousands of Cornishmen and women thrived elsewhere in England, while numerous ‘outsiders’ were introduced into Cornwall by the needs of royal government, warfare, lordship, commerce, the law, the Church, and maritime interests. Connections which transcended Cornwall emerge as ubiquitous, for England formed a collectivity of communication and movement, a kingdom of connectivity. The county’s history, moreover, is employed as a prism refracting issues of identity and mobility, ‘state building’ and good lordship. The aim is to reconcile and extend the political and social frontiers of the realm, explaining how England cohered and indeed of what the kingdom consisted.