Professor Adrian Bell

Associate Dean (International)

Professor Adrian Bell

Professor Adrian Bell

Head of ICMA Centre Chair in the History of Finance
Programme Director: MSc International Securities Investment and Banking
+44 (0)118 378 6461


Adrian is Chair in the History of Finance, Associate Dean (International) and Head of ICMA Centre. He is module convenor for the MSc module, Topics in the History of Finance.

Adrian is interested in the history of finance and is working on a major project funded by the Leverhulme Trust with Professor Chris Brooks and Dr Helen Killick. The project “The first real estate bubble: Land Prices and Rents in Medieval England c. 1200-1550” will run for 3 years from 2015. The project builds upon a previous project for Leverhume with Professor Chris Brooks and Dr Tony Moore on medieval foreign exchange. More detail is available at  A previous major project for the ESRC with the same team investigated the early and innovative use of credit finance by a succession of English medieval monarchs ( and an earlier ESRC project entitled “Modern Finance in the Middle Ages? Advance contracts for the supply of wool” (UK Data Archive, study number 5325:

Professor Bell also specialises in the Hundred Years War and his book, War and the Soldier in the Fourteenth Century, was published by Boydell and Brewer in Autumn 2004. In 2006 he was awarded a major grant from the AHRC (jointly with Professor Anne Curry, University of Southampton) to investigate “The Soldier in Later Medieval England” for more details see The findings are outlined in a major work The Soldier in Later Medieval England,published by Oxford University Press (2013). For a recent review see this link.


His working papers are available on SSRN at:

A profile of Professor Adrian Bell is available at this link


History of Finance, Football Finance


The Soldier in Later Medieval England

Adrian R. Bell, Anne Curry, Andy King, and David Simpkin
360 pages | 234x156mm
978-0-19-968082-5 | Hardback | October 2013

  • Draws upon source material of over 250,000 service records – the first time such a mass of source material has been used and accessed in order to reconstruct the military career
  • Takes a holistic approach across all ranks of soldiers from archer to peer
  • Detailed case studies to support the thematic conclusions, bringing to life the actual military careers of all ranks of the army
  • Supported with tabular data, allowing the mass of data to be quickly assimilated and appreciated
  • Linked with popular online database, giving it a broad market appeal

The Hundred Years War was a struggle for control over the French throne, fought as a series of conflicts between England, France, and their respective allies. The Soldier in Later Medieval England the outcome of a project which collects the names of every soldier known to have served the English Crown from 1369 to the loss of Gascony in 1453, the event which is traditionally accepted as the end-date of the Hundred Years War. The data gathered throughout the project has allowed the authors of this volume to compare different forms of war, such as the chevauchées of the late fourteenth century and the occupation of French territories in the fifteenth century, and thus to identify longer-term trends. It also highlights the significance of the change of dynasty in England in the early 1400s.

The scope of the volume begins in 1369 because of the survival from that point of the ‘muster roll’, a type of documentary record in which soldiers names are systematically recorded. The muster roll is a rich resource for the historian, as it allows closer study to be made of the peerage, the knights, the men-at-arms (the esquires), and especially the lower ranks of the army, such as the archers, who contributed the largest proportion of troops to English royal service. he Soldier in Later Medieval England seeks to investigate the different types of soldier, their regional and national origins, and movement between ranks. This is a wide-ranging volume, which offers invaluable insights into a much-neglected subject, and presents many opportunities for future research.

Accounts of the English Crown with Italian Merchant Societies, 1272-1345

List and Index Society, Vol. 331 (2009)
Adrian R. Bell, Chris Brooks and Tony K. Moore

The credit arrangements between the three Edwards and Italian merchants were crucial for financing England?s ambitious foreign policies and ensuring the smooth running of governmental administration. The functioning of this credit system can be followed in detail through the well-kept but mostly unpublished records of the English Exchequer. This volume combines a transcription of the most important surviving accounts between the merchants and the Crown, with a parallel abstract presenting the core data in a double-entry format as credits to or debits from the king’s account. This dual format was chosen to facilitate the interpretation of the source while still retaining the language and, as far as possible, the structure of the original documents. The wealth of evidence presented here has much value to add to our understanding of the financing of medieval government and the early development of banking services provided by Italian merchant societies. In particular, although the relationship between king and banker was, for the most part, mutually profitable, the English kings also acquired a reputation for defaulting on their debts and thus ‘breaking’ a succession of merchant societies. These documents provide an essential basis for a re-examination of the ‘credit rating’ of the medieval English Crown.

The English Wool Market c. 1230-1327

Cambridge University Press (August, 2007)
Adrian R. Bell, Chris Brooks and Paul DryburghISBN-13: 9780521859417

The wool market was extremely important to the English medieval economy and wool dominated the English export trade from the late thirteenth century to its decline in the late fifteenth century. Wool was at the forefront of the establishment of England as a European political and economic power and this volume is the first study of the medieval wool market in over 20 years. It investigates in detail the scale and scope of advance contracts for the sale of wool; the majority of these agreements were formed between English monasteries and Italian merchants, and the book focuses on the data contained within them. The pricing structures and market efficiency of the agreements are examined, employing practices from modern finance. A detailed case study of the impact of entering into such agreements on medieval English monasteries is also presented, using the example of Pipewell Abbey in Northamptonshire

Advance Contracts for the Sale of Wool c. 1265 – 1315

List and Index Society, Vol. 315 (2006)
Adrian R. Bell, Chris Brooks and Paul Dryburgh

A research project started in April 2004 with the aim of investigating the scale and scope of advance contracts for the sale of wool in the Middle Ages. It is widely believed by financial market practitioners that derivative instruments such as forward contracts and options are recent inventions. However an examination of the appropriate historical documents demonstrates the existence of quite sophisticated financial contracts much earlier – in England in the Middle Ages, where monasteries frequently sold their wool up to fifteen years in advance, to Italian merchants, for prices agreed on the date that the contract was signed. This publication provides parallel original Latin/French and translated English versions of these contracts and a summary spreadsheet of the data contained within the contracts. This will be a unique volume, bringing such documentation of financial sophistication and knowledge of medieval wool production to a wide audience, both academic and public. The wealth of surviving evidence has much value to add to the current understanding of the medieval economy.

War and the Soldier in the Fourteenth Century

The Boydell Press (November, 2004)
Adrian R. Bell

Little is known about the soldiers who fought in the Hundred Years War, though much about tactics and weapons. Adrian Bell’s book redresses the balance: he explores the ‘military community’ through focusing on the records of the two royal expeditions led by Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, in 1387 and 1388, where the extensive surviving evidence makes it possible to identify those who served on these expeditions, and to follow their careers. These campaigns are not only interesting for the wealth and concentration of materials surviving on military organisation, but also because of the political background against which the expeditions were undertaken, which included the attack upon the favourites of the King in Parliament by the Lords Appellant and the possible temporary deposition of Richard II. Advances made in historical computing techniques have made possible for the first time such detailed analysis of the personnel of a royal army. Website:


Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Moore, T. (2015) Le credit au Moyen Age: les prets a la couronne D’Angleterre entre 1272 et 1345. In: Resources publiques et contstruction étatique en Europe XIII-XVIII siecle, 2-3 July 2012, Colloque organise par l’IGPDE avec l’Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne et ses laboratoires (IDHE, LAMOP, EA 127, SAMM) et le laboratoire d’excellence ReFi (heSam), pp. 117-130. (Colloque des 2 et 3 juillet 2012 sous la direction de Katia Beguin)

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Taylor, N. (2014) Time-varying price discovery in the eighteenth century: empirical evidence from the London and Amsterdam stock markets. Cliometrica Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.ISSN 1863-2505 doi: 10.1007/s11698-014-0120-z

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Moore, T. K. (2014) The credit relationship between Henry III and merchants of Douai and Ypres, 1247-70. Economic History Review, 67 (1). pp. 123-145. ISSN 1468-0289 doi: 10.1111/1468-0289.12013

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Moore, T. (2013) Medieval foreign exchange: a time series analysis. In: Casson, M. and Hashimzade, N. (eds.) Large Databases in Economic History: Research Methods and Case Studies. Routledge Explorations in Economic History. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 97-123. ISBN 9780415820684

Bell, A. R., Curry, A., King, A. and Simpkin, D. (2013) The soldier in later medieval England. Oxford University Press , Oxford, pp360. ISBN 9780199680825

Bell, A., Curry, A., Chapman, A., King, A. and Simpkin, D. (2013) The soldier in later Medieval England : an online database.In: Villalon, A. L.J. and Kagay, D. J. (eds.) The Hundred Years War (Part III) : further considerations. History of Warfare. Brill, Leiden, pp. 19-48. ISBN 9789004245648

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Prokopczuk, M., eds. (2013) Handbook of research methods and applications in empirical finance.Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp512. ISBN 9780857936080

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Markham, T. (2013) The performance of football club managers: skill or luck? Economics & Finance Research , 1. pp. 19-30. ISSN 2164-9480 doi: 10.1080/21649480.2013.768829

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Markham, T. (2013) Does managerial turnover affect football club share prices? Aestimatio, the IEB International Journal of Finance, 7. 02-21. ISSN 2173-0164

Bell, A. and Moore, T. (2013) The non-use of money in the Middle Ages. In: Mayhew, N. (ed.) Peter Spufford’s Money and its Use in Medieval Europe – Twenty-five Years On. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication (50). Royal Numismatic Society . ISBN 0901405698 (In Press)

Bell, A. R., Curry, A., Chapman, A., King, A. and Simpkin, D., eds. (2011) The soldier experience in the fourteenth century.Warfare in History. Boydell and Brewer, pp224. ISBN 9781843836742

Bell, A. R. (2011) The soldier, ‘hadde he riden, no man ferre’. In: Bell, A. R., Curry, A., Chapman, A., King, A. and Simpkin, D. (eds.) The Soldier Experience in the Fourteenth Century. Warfare in History. Boydell and Brewer, pp. 209-218. ISBN 9781843836742

Bell, A. (2011) English members of Philippe de Mézières’ Order of the Passion. In: Blumenfeld-Kosinski, R. and Petkov, K.(eds.) Philippe de Mézières and his Age: Piety and Politics in the Fourteenth Century. The Medieval Mediterranean (91). Brill. ISBN 9789004211131

Curry, A. and Bell, A. R., eds. (2011) Soldiers, weapons & armies in the fifteenth century. Journal of Medieval Military History, 9. Boydell and Brewer, pp212. ISBN 9781843836681

Bell, A. R. and Dale, R. S. (2011) The Medieval pilgrimage business. Enterprise and Society, 12 (3). pp. 601-627. ISSN 1467-2235 doi: 10.1093/es/khr014

Curry, A. and Bell, A., eds. (2011) Waging war in the fourteenth century. Journal of Medieval History, 37 (3). Elsevier.

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Moore, T. K. (2011) Credit finance in thirteenth-century England: the Ricciardi of Lucca and Edward I, 1272-1294. In: Burton, J., Lachaud, F., Schofield, P., Stöber, K. and Weiler, B. (eds.) Thirteenth-century England XIII: proceedings of the Paris conference, 2009. Thirteenth-century England (13). Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, pp. 101-116. ISBN 9781843836186

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C., Matthews, D. and Sutcliffe, C. (2011) Over the moon or sick as a parrot? The effects of football results on a club’s share price. Applied Economics, 44 (26). pp. 3435-3452. ISSN 1466-4283 doi:10.1080/00036846.2011.577017

Bell, A. R. (2010) Medieval chroniclers as war correspondents during the Hundred Years War: the earl of Arundel’s naval campaign of 1387. In: Given-Wilson, C. (ed.) Fourteenth Century England. Fourteenth Century England, VI. Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, pp. 171-184. ISBN 9781843835301

Curry, A., Bell, A., Chapman, A., King, A. and Simpkin, D. (2010) Languages in the military profession in later Medieval England. In: Ingham, R. (ed.) The Anglo-Norman language and its contexts. Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, pp. 74-93. ISBN 9781903153307

Curry, A., Bell, A. R., King, A. and Simpkin, D. (2010) New regime, new army? Henry IV’s Scottish expedition of 1400. The English Historical Review, CXXV (517). pp. 1382-1413. ISSN 0013-8266 doi: 10.1093/ehr/ceq343

Bell, A. and Sutcliffe, C. (2010) Valuing medieval annuities: were corrodies underpriced? Explorations in Economic History, 47 (2). pp. 142-157. ISSN 0014-4983 doi: 10.1016/j.eeh.2009.07.002

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Moore, T. K. (2009) Interest in Medieval accounts: examples from England, 1272-1340. History, 94 (316). pp. 411-433. ISSN 1468-229X doi: 10.1111/j.1468-229X.2009.00464.x

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Moore, A. (2009) Accounts of the English Crown with Italian merchant societies, 1272-1345.Standard List, 331. The List and Index Society, Kew, pp306. ISBN 9781906875183

Bell, A. R. (2008) The fourteenth-century soldier: more Chaucer’s knight or medieval career? In: France, J. (ed.) Mercenaries and Paid Men: the Mercenary Identity in the Middle Ages. History of Warfare (47). Brill, pp. 301-315. ISBN 9789004164475

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Dryburgh, P. R. (2007) The English wool market, c.1230-1327. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp214. ISBN 9780521859417

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Dryburgh, P. R. (2007) Interest rates and efficiency in medieval wool forward contracts. Journal of Banking & Finance, 31 (2). pp. 361-380. ISSN 0378-4266 doi: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2006.04.006

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Dryburgh, P. R. (2006) ‘Leger est aprendre mes fort est arendre’: wool, debt, and the dispersal of Pipewell Abbey (1280-1330). Journal of Medieval History, 32 (3). pp. 187-211. ISSN 0304-4181 doi:10.1016/j.jmedhist.2006.07.001

Bell, A.Brooks, C. and Dryburgh, P. R. (2006) Advance contracts for sale of wool c.1200-c.1327. List and Index Society, 315. List and Index Society, Kew, pp244.

Bell, A. R. (2004) War and the soldier in the fourteenth century. Warfare in history. Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, pp256. ISBN 9781843831037

Bell, A. R.Brooks, C. and Dryburgh, P. (2004) Modern finance in the Middle Ages? Advance contracts with Cistercian abbeys for the supply of wool c. 1270-1330: a summary of findings. Cîteaux: Commentarii cistercienses, 55 (3-4). pp. 339-343. ISSN 0009-7497


Land Prices and Rents in Medieval England c. 1200-1550

The University of Reading has recently won a research project grant (ref. RPG-2014-307) worth almost £200,000 from the Leverhulme Trust. The research team, comprising Professor Chris BrooksProfessor Adrian Bell and Dr Helen Killick, will examine in detail the workings of the English real estate market in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries.

The project will employ an innovative methodological approach which combines modern financial theory with medieval history. It will construct a dataset collated from both primary and secondary sources of property prices, rents and other relevant information. Various econometric techniques will be applied to evaluate the factors determining the variation in property prices over time and across regions. The study will consider the extent to which such prices were subject to periodic booms and busts by modelling deviations between actual and fundamentally justifiable values to test whether the medieval housing market was beset by bubbles.

For more details, see:

Medieval Foreign Exchange c. 1300-1500

The ICMA Centre has recently won a Research Project Grant worth almost £200,000 from the Leverhulme Trust for a three-year project beginning in January 2012 and entitled “Medieval Foreign Exchange c. 1300 – 1500” (grant number RPG-193). The research team, comprising Professor Adrian R Bell and Professor Chris Brooks, and Dr Tony Moore, will examine in detail the workings of the markets for foreign currency trade in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.   For more detail see:

Credit Finance in the Middle Ages: Loans to the English Crown c. 1272-1340

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have awarded Dr Adrian Bell and Professor Chris Brooks a major research grant worth just over £350,000 to investigate the early and innovative use of credit finance by a succession of English medieval monarchs. The study will examine in detail the credit finance arrangements used by Edward I, II and III from both a historical perspective and also utilise the approaches and models developed recently for modern-day sovereign borrowings.  The project will employ one Research Assistant for three years, and the team will work on a number of publications as well as the production of the transcriptions and translations of many original sources. For more information see:

The Soldier in later Medieval England: A major new AHRC research project

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has awarded a Research Grant worth just under £500,000 to Dr Adrian Bell of the ICMA Centre and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453.The project has an innovative methodological approach and will be producing an on-line searchable resource for public use of immense value and interest to genealogists as well as social, political and military historians. The project will employ two Research Assistants for three years and also will offer one Doctoral Research Studentship and will begin work on 1st October 2006. The whole team will also work on a jointly authored book, conference papers, and articles. For more information see:

Modern Finance in the Middle Ages? Advance contracts for the supply of wool

Dr Adrian Bell and Professor Chris Brooks were awarded £45,000 from the ESRC for a unique interdisciplinary project. Their research attempted to push back the boundaries for modern finance into the middle ages – by investigating forward contracts between Cistercian monasteries in England and Italian Merchant Banks during the later half of the thirteenth century. The monasteries frequently sold their wool up to ten years in advance for prices agreed on the date that the contract was signed. These contracts were written by hand and in medieval latin and have survived in governmental records, housed today in the National Archives at Kew. This was the first time that such contracts have been subjected to the rigours of the techniques of modern finance. Could it be that today’s financial market whizkids have a thing or two to learn from their ecclesiastical predecessors? The project analysed how efficient these early financial markets were and also produced an edition of the sources to stimulate further research into this fascinating history. Further details on the award and of the outputs can be found by looking at UK Data Archive, study number 5325: