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Hayley Bassett

Mrs Hayley Bassett

Research student

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


I am a PhD candidate researching Anglo-Norman and French international law, politics and diplomacy in the early Middle Ages. I am particularly interested in the use of marriage alliances by leaders to underpin peace treaties. I came to university as a mature student, progressing from the award-winning Exploring the Past pathway onto a degree in 2011 and completed both my BA in Ancient and Medieval History and my MA in Medieval British Studies at Cardiff University. 

I am a coordinator of Cardiff University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion community outreach project SHARE with Schools.

I currently teach Medieval Worlds AD500-1500 and Global Histories Year 1 modules.

My research interests include:

  • 10th to 12th century ducal and royal power and authority.
  • Royal and noble inheritance, female succession and regnant queenship.
  • Diplomacy and peacemaking.
  • Dynastic marriage alliances.


Current research projects:

Melisende Queen of Jerusalem, Women and Power in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Treaties of Normandy 911 - 1066, formation of a Duchy.

The history of 'The Vexin' between Anglo-Normandy and the French crown, tenth to twelfth centuries.

Flanders, Brittany and Normandy.

Scholarships & Awards

  • September 2021              The St. John Historical Society Award for original research 2021.
  • July 2021                           Ursula Henriques Scholarship, Cardiff University, 2021-2022. 
  • September 2016              Masters Excellence Scholarship, Cardiff University, 2016-2019.


  • "Emma of Normandy: The Woman who laid the disturbances of War to rest" in Indentities of Noblewomen, eds. Harriet Kersey and Charlotte Pickard (Brepols, forthcoming 2023
  • “Betrothed and Betrayed: The Unconventional Life of Princess Alys of France 1160-1220” in Queens in Waiting: Potential and Prospective Queens, Ambitions and Expectations, eds. Sarah Betts and Chloe McKenzie (Queenship and Power series, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2022)
  • “Regnant Queenship and Royal Marriage between the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Nobility of Western Europe” in A Companion to Global Queenship, ed. Elena Woodacre (ARC Humanities Press, 2018), pp. 39-52.

Online Publications

  • “Princess Alys of France: a Twelfth-Century Patty Hearst?” in War, Peace and Diplomacy in the Middle Ages, (February 2017). 
  • “Empress Matilda - a study of Succession, Gender & Power in the Twelfth Century”, (2016)
  • Review of “Stephen: The Reign of Anarchy”, Carl Watkins, Royal Studies Journal, 2016, vol. III
  • Review of “The Daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine”, Colette Bowie, Royal Studies Journal, 2015, vol. II

 Conference Papers 

  • July 2022: "From Poppa of Bayeux to Gunnor: The Role of 'More Danico' Wives as the Mothers of Heirs to the Duchy of Normandy", International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds.
  • May 2022: "Anglo-French Marriage Diplomacy: An Examination of the Treaty of Gisors 1160", Cardiff's Late Antique and Medieval Early Researchers Seminar Series, Cardiff University.
  • March 2022: "Conflict Resolution in Normandy: The Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte 911", Gregynog Colloquium, Swansea University.
  • February 2022: "Co-rule and Conflict in the Kingdom of Jerusalem: Melisende and Baldwin III", Women and Warfare in the Medieval World Virtual Inaugural Conference.
  • July 2021: “Emma of Normandy: The Queen who ‘laid the disturbances of war to rest’?” International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds. 
  • June 2021: “Women and Power in the Kingdom of Heaven: Melisende and Sibyl: Two Medieval Queens of Jerusalem”, in partnership with Professor Helen Nicholson. Eileen Younghusband Memorial Lecture, Cardiff University.
  • February 2021: “Case study of royal marriage: Henry I, king of England and Queen Matilda”. Exploring the Past Queenship Guest Lecture, Cardiff University Centre for Lifelong Learning.
  • September 2020: “Inter-dynastic Marriage Alliances – Law, Diplomatic Practice and Policy in Normandy and England 911-1204”.Virtual Inaugural Noblewomen Network Conference
  • June 2019: “Melisende of Jerusalem: A Female King?” Cardiff University Society for Women Graduates Inaugural Conference.
  • March 2019: “Empress Matilda c.1102-1167: Heiress to England and Normandy”. Championing Her Story: Women’s History Conference, Cardiff University. 
  • January 2018: “To Have and To Hold: An Examination of Inter-dynastic Royal Marriage in Twelfth Century Western Europe”, Postgraduate Symposium, Cardiff University. 
  • January 2017: “An Instrument of Diplomacy? Marriage between Ruling Dynasties” Diplomacy and Peace-making Postgraduate Conference, Cardiff University. 

Professional Memberships

Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Membership (2019-present)

Royal Studies Network Membership (2015-present)



Graduate Tutor (2021-2022)

  • HS1112 Medieval Worlds AD500-1500

SHARE with Schools

Community Engagement and Outreach Project. Co-ordinator since November 2020.

Delivered 'Museum Curator' virtual workshops to Year 7, Fitzalan High School 25th June 2021

External profiles