I studied Medieval and Modern History at the University of Liverpool, gaining a BA(Hons) in 1989, and stayed on as a research student under the supervision of Dr Brian Quintrell. I worked on the political associations of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and was awarded a PhD in 1996. I have taught at Liverpool Hope University since 1991 and I am currently the History Subject Leader and the Level C (Year 1) Course Leader. I mainly teach late medieval and early modern British and Irish history, including my Level H (final year) seminar on The British Civil Wars, and my MA module, The Court of Charles I, which explores the important political and cultural developments of the 1620s and 1630s. I have published a number of articles and chapters examining aspects of the career of Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, including most recently an evaluation of the importance of his agent William Raylton (Historical Research, 2011). I have contributed a number of entries to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and have just completed an article on the activities of Strafford's close friend and supporter, Sir George Radcliffe, at the royalist court at Oxford. I am currently completing an article on the expansion of the privy council in 1629 and starting work on ambition of a Cheshire gentleman, Sir Philip Mainwaring, to commission the writing of the history of his county during the 1650s.
I am a member of the Society for Court Studies, Council Member and Honorary Treasurer of the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, and Council Member of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.