Professor Frances Andrews

Professor Frances Andrews

BA, PhD (Lond.) FRHistS

Contact Details

E-mail -
Telephone - +44 (0)1334 463315
Fax - +44 (0)1334 463334

Research Profile on Research@StAndrews







Teaching and Research Interests

I arrived in St Andrews in 1995 and, despite sabbaticals spent researching in Berlin, Rome, Florence, and at NIAS in the Netherlands (where I spent the academic year 2015-2016), I have grown deep roots here. My research combines investigation of the political and social history of communal Italy with work on the mediaeval Church and the boundaries of the religious life. Alongside projects encompassing the whole of Latin Europe and beyond – as reflected in The Other Friars (2006), or Ritual and Space (2010) – I have been investigating the history of Italian religious movements (The Early Humiliati, 1999) and of the Italian City-States as places where the encounter between religious identity and secular utility was both creative and revealing of broader social and political change (Churchmen and Urban Government in Late Medieval Italy, 2013). My enthusiasm for the history of the Italian peninsula also led to a collaboration with colleagues in the USA on a volume of sources intended for use by undergraduates (Medieval Italy: Texts in Translation). Current projects include both a monograph completing my work on the employment of churchmen in urban government, and a micro-history centred on the career of a Dominican friar, Venturino da Bergamo, whose adventurous leadership of a revival pilgrimage to Rome in 1335 led to his condemnation by a papal tribunal, but whose brethren nonetheless sought to see him canonized.

In 2014-15 I was president of the Ecclesiastical History Society, choosing 'Doubting Christianity/The Church and Doubt' as my theme. The papers were published by Cambridge University Press as Studies in Church History volume 52 in early summer 2016.

In autumn 2015 I was elected a vice-president of the Royal Historical Society.

My undergraduate teaching reflects and combines these various interests: I offer courses on Heretics and other 'marginal' figures, on the narrative and visual sources for the early Mendicant saints on the art, archaeology and history of Mediaeval Rome and on the Italian City-States. At the postgraduate level, I contribute to Masters courses in Mediaeval History, Mediaeval Studies and Intellectual History and supervise a number of doctoral students who continue to fascinate and amaze in their range and skill.

I am currently managing editor of Brill's Medieval Mediterranean series and also the series editor for Boydell and Brewer's Studies in the History of Medieval Religion and I would welcome suggestions and proposals for either series.


Main and Recent Publications

  • ‘Preacher and Audience: friar Venturino da Bergamo and ‘Popular Voices’, in The Voices of the People in Late Medieval Europe. Communication and Popular Politics, ed. Jan Dumolyn, Jelle Haemers, Hipólito Rafael Oliva Herrer & Vincent Challet (Turnhout, 2014) 185-204
  • Churchmen and Urban Government in Late Medieval Italy, c.1200–c.1450: Cases and Contexts, (Cambridge University Press, 2013) [Details]
  • Living like the Laity? The negotiation of religious status in the cities of late medieval Italy’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 20 (2010), pp. 27–55
  • Ritual and Space in the Middle Ages. Proceedings of the 2009 Harlaxton Symposium. Harlaxton Medieval Studies Volume XXI (Doncaster, 2011) [Details]
  • Medieval Italy, Texts in Translation (University of Pennsylania Press, 2009) [Details]
  • Gli ordini mendicanti tra peste nera ed Osservanze, Memorie Domenicane , vol 40 (2009), pp. 7-34
  • The Other Friars: Carmelite, Augustinian, Sack and Pied Friars (Boydell 2006) [Details]
  • Pope, Church and City. Essays in Honour of Brenda M. Bolton, edited with Christoph Egger and Constance Rousseau (Leiden 2004) [Details]
  • The Early Humiliati (Cambridge 1999) [Details]


Administrative Duties

Senate Assessor
Athena Swan Champion (History)

Teaching Duties

Professor Andrews participates in the teaching of the MLitts in Mediaeval History, Mediaeval Studies and Intellectual History, contributes to the Undergraduate Second Level Module in Mediaeval History and also offers the following Undergraduate Honours courses:


Research Students

Current Research Students

  • Abigail Hartman, Charity during the Plague: The Cellites in the 14th-Century Rhineland
  • Aron Kecskes, The development of Norman lordships in Southern Italy, ca. 1053-1127 (with Justine Firnhaber-Baker)
  • Holger Kaasik,"Saints, Remembrance and Regional Contacts – A Multidisciplinary Approach to Italian Calendars, 1100–1500".
  • Hailey Ogle, “Emotions and Gender, Spaces and Communities: Who Recorded the Earliest Chansons de Geste?” (with Victoria Turner, School of Modern Languages)
  • Guy Fassler, "Understanding Urban Spaces in Late Medieval Italian Communes".
  • Laura Horne, Sacra Mysteria: Images as Reliquaries in Medieval Central Italy (joint with Claudia Bolgia, Edinburgh)
  • Tommaso Castaldi, Virtues and Vices in Central Italian Painting (joint with Claudia Bolgia, Edinburgh)

Former Research Students

  • Peter King, A late mediaeval confession manual, its author and context
  • Gillian Jack, The Experience of Converted Prostitutes in the Monastero di Santa Elisabetta delle Convertite in Late Renaissance Florence (with Emily Michelson)
  • Enrico Veneziani, Honorius II (Pope) and His Ecclesiology
  • Anna Peterson, Sick Soul, Sick Body: Fourth Lateran Council and hospitals in 13th century Narbonne and Siena (with Justine Firnhaber-Baker)
  • Steve Watts, 'From the University to the Convent: Perceptions of Female Religious Life in the Letters of Master Jordan of Saxony'
  • Chantal Gustaw, Reading Dante and Paul in the 14th-Century (with Robert Wilson)
  • Catriona Howie, Elections within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the tenth and eleventh centuries
  • Justine Trombley, The Latin Manuscripts of Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls
  • Miriam Buncombe, The use of Ritualized Acts in late Medieval Mystical Texts (with Bettina Bildhauer)
  • Kimberley-Joy Knight, Blessed are those who weep: the gift of tears in the high-late middle ages
  • Jamie Page, Prostitutes as Testifying Subjects in Late Mediaeval Germany (with Bettina Bildhauer)
  • Robert Houghton, The role of the "people" in Mantuan and Parman politics (c.900-1200) (with Simon Maclean)
  • Stefan Visnjevac, Preachers, Holy Men and the Governance of Late Medieval Italian Towns
  • Alessia Meneghin, The second-hand clothing and rag-trade in late mediaeval Prato and Florence. Two case-studies: Matteo di Ghelli (1390-1408) and Piero di Francesco da Vicchio (1456-1457)
  • Emily Graham, Cardinal Napoleone Orsini (1263-1342), the Spiritual Franciscans and political currents in fourteenth-century female spirituality
  • Angela Montford, Health, Sickness, Medicine and the Friars in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

Main Publications

Medieval Italy

The Other Friars

The Early Humiliati

Pope, Church and City