Shaun is Director of the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates (ISWE) and Lecturer in Early Modern and Welsh History at Bangor University. Originally from Flintshire, he studied History at York before proceeding to Aberystwyth to undertake his doctoral research on the dynastic identity of the Mostyn family and estate across the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Following the award of his PhD he worked as part of the Research Team at The National Archives.
Shaun was appointed Director of ISWE in 2015, with responsibility for overseeing the management, strategic direction and intellectual development of the research centre. ISWE exists to enhance both public and academic engagement with the histories, cultures and landscapes of Wales. It operates as a partnership with Bangor University Archives and Special Collections. To find out more about ISWE, please visit: http://iswe.bangor.ac.uk/.
Shaun is a historian of gentry culture and landed estates in Wales across the period c.1500-1900. His research primarily focuses on the social and cultural history of landownership and its interconnections with wider issues of identity, heritage, ancestry, social relations and the operation of power, status and authority in Wales. This includes an interest in the political and cultural history of Wales and its role in the creation of Britain after 1485 and the Act of Union of 1536-43. Landowner-tenant relations, estate landscapes, gentry identities and the Welsh country house represent important focuses in his work. This extends to publications on heraldry, heirlooms and commemorative practice, vernacular portraiture, libraries and the materiality of archives.
Shaun’s approach to research is inherently collaborative and interdisciplinary. He enjoys working with cultural heritage partners on collections-based research projects which have impact beyond academia, including in the sphere of heritage interpretation. He is a strong advocate of public history methodologies and community engagement. All these elements are all embedded in ISWE’s wider strategy and approach.
Shaun lectures and teaches on a number of early modern and research skills modules within the School of History, Law and Social Sciences, including:
HXH-1002: The Six Lives of Henry VIII
HGH-2133/3133: The Tudors: Politics, Society and Religion, 1485-1603
HTW-2127/3127: Wales and Europe in the Renaissance: Image, Language and Identity, c.1450-1630
HPH-4004: Research Skills
HPH-4005: Themes and Issues in History
HPH-4006: Documents and Sources – Medieval and Early Modern
HPS-4015: A (dis)united Kingdom? Early modern perspectives on the makeup of Britain, 1485-1707
Shaun is happy to be approached by undergraduate and postgraduate students to supervise dissertations in early modern or Welsh history. Enquires about doctoral projects relating to the work of ISWE are always welcome.
Beyond his roles at Bangor University, Shaun serves as Chair of the North East Wales Heritage Forum (https://www.newalesheritageforum.org.uk/), which represents over fifty local history and heritage groups across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. He is a Trustee of the Discovering Old Welsh Houses group (https://discoveringoldwelshhouses.co.uk/), Patron of the Friends of Clwyd Archives and sits on the Council of the Flintshire Historical Society. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the RCAHMW List of Historic Place Names of Wales project (https://historicplacenames.rcahmw.gov.uk/).