Rory MacLellan


Contact Details

Thesis title: Patronage of the Knights Hospitaller in fourteenth century Britain and Ireland, c.1291-1400
Supervisor: Dr Rory Cox


I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Winchester in Ancient, Classical and Medieval Studies. Following this I completed my MLitt in Mediaeval History at the University of St Andrews, with a thesis on the Scottish Knights Templar and their Aberdeenshire preceptory of Maryculter. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Mediaeval History at St Andrews.

This project will focus on donations made to the Hospitallers after the loss of the Levant in 1291, examining the motivations behind this patronage of the Order, including the importance of crusading, employment, geography, and religion. It will argue that, aside from donations by the English and Scottish monarchs, patronage of the Hospital differed little from that of any other monastic order. Furthermore, it will show that modern scholarship's sharp division of the military and non-military religious orders is an anachronism that most medieval patrons would not have recognised.

My research interests lie mainly in late medieval Britain and Ireland, particularly the periods of the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. More specifically, I am interested in the military orders in the British Isles and their interactions with Church, Crown and wider society.


  • St Andrews Local History Foundation Bursary 2016/17 for the project 'Following the Family: Creating a Geneaological Index for the St Andrews Burgh Records, c.1150-1700'.
  • The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2015.

Conference papers:

  • ''Lord Sanct Johnis': William Knollis and the Transformation of the Scottish Hospitallers', Institute of Scottish Historical Research Reading Weekend, April 2016.