Helen Nicholson

A former Head of the History Department at Cardiff University, I am a world-leading scholar in research into the military religious orders and the Crusades. I have very extensive experience in teaching students at all levels, and a strong record in impact and engagement with the wider public.

Latest posts

The Everyday Life of the Templars: update

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

Some readers of this blog will know that the data from these pages will form a central part of my forthcoming book The Everyday Life of the Templars, contracted to Fonthill Media. The first draft of the book is now complete; the text now needs the usual proof-reading and tidying.

The Templars’ Scottish charters

Posted on May 9, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

Whatever happened to the Templars’ Scottish records? There is no evidence that King Edward II’s officials took inventories of the Templars’ two Scottish commanderies: if they did, the records have been lost. But in fact it appears that the Templars had moved their valuable documents south before the king’s officials moved in. The inventory of the Templars’ house at Read moreabout The Templars’ Scottish charters

Getting the text book

Posted on May 6, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

Among the books that the Templars had in London in 1308 was one which was the textbook on pastoral care.

The maths of the case

Posted on April 22, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

A little arithmetic suggests that there were far fewer Templars than might be thought: see my gawainsmum blog.

Debts due to the Templars

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

At the end of December 1308 King Edward II’s treasurer sent out writs to all the sheriffs in charge of the former Templar estates instructing them to find out what debts had been due to the Templars at Christmas 1307 — that is, just before the Templars in England were arrested — and report back Read moreabout Debts due to the Templars

Update: Walter le Baud’s accounts for the Templars’ estates in Herts. and Essex, January to February 1308

Posted on February 23, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

Walter le Baud year one Essex and Herts Update: I’ve transcribed Walter le Baud’s accounts for the Templars’ former lands in Hertfordshire and Essex. These accounts cover the first month after the arrest of the Templars, so they present a snapshot of the estates at the point that the Templars stopped running them. It is Read moreabout Update: Walter le Baud’s accounts for the Templars’ estates in Herts. and Essex, January to February 1308

Hertfordshire accounts: Chelsing, Lannock and Dinsley

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

I have transcribed the 1308 accounts drawn up for the Templars’ former estates in Hertfordshire — Chelsing, Lannock and Dinsley, and the market dues received from Baldock —  by the sheriff John of Shadworth, clerk. I haven’t yet made full translations, but the attached .pdf file includes some translations and comments on the accounts. This also Read moreabout Hertfordshire accounts: Chelsing, Lannock and Dinsley

The perils of poultry

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

In the first few months of 1309 foxes and kites ate half the geese on the former Templar manor at Little Staughton in Bedfordshire: see my blog here.


Posted on February 10, 2016 by Helen Nicholson

On my ‘Gawainsmum’ blog I have been commenting on the cider produced on the former Templar estates.

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, the views contained within this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cardiff University.