Academic Staff

Dr Thomas Freeman

Staff positionLecturer
Telephone01206 873407
Office hoursThursday 14:00-15:00 Friday 15:00-16:00
Current research

Preparing an abridged edition of John Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" for Penguin Books.

Preparing an edition of manuscript letters of English Protestant martyrs, 1555-1558

Investigating borrowings and shared research between sixteenth century Lutheran and English historians

Reformation perceptions of the Middle Ages

Research interests

Medieval and Early Modern Martyrdom

Perceptions of the Middle Ages in the Early Modern Period

Early Modern Historical Writing

Demonic Possession and Exorcism

Early Modern Colchester

Film and History

English Reformation

Teaching responsibilities

Undergraduate Modules

HR111 Society, Culture and Politics in Europe, 1500-1750

HR114 Defiance and Devotion: The Late Medieval Church in Western Europe

HR251 Societies and Cultures in the Early Modern British Isles

HR370 The Tudors and Stuarts on Film

HR636 (Special Subject) Death and the Undead in Britain and Ireland, 1450-1700



Freeman, and E. Evenden, Religion and the Book in Early Modern England: The Making of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” (Cambridge, 2011).

As editor and contributor

Freeman and Tom Betteridge, Henry VIII and History (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2012).

Freeman and Susan Doran, Mary Tudor: Old and New Perspectives (Basingstoke, 2011).

Freeman and Susan Doran, Tudors and Stuarts in Film (Basingstoke, 2008).

Freeman and Thomas F. Mayer, Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, c. 1400-1700 (Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2007).

Freeman and Susan Doran, The Myth of Elizabeth (Basingstoke, Palgrave Press, 2003).


Freeman and Susan Royal, 'Stranger than fiction in the archives: the controversial death of William Cowbridge in 1538', British Catholic History 32 (2015), pp. 451-472.

Freeman and S. Monta, ‘The Style of Authorship in John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments’ in The Oxford Handbook of English Prose, 1500-1640, ed. Andrew Hadfield (Oxford, 2013), pp. 522-543.

‘One survived: The account of Katherine Parr in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” in Henry VIII and his Court, ed. Tom Betteridge and Suzannah Lipscomb (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2013), pp.235-252.

Freeman and S. Monta, ‘Holinshed and Foxe’ in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles, ed. Paulina Kewes, Ian W. Archer and Felicity Heal (Oxford, 2013), pp. 217-33.

‘Hands defiled with blood: Henry VIII in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” in Henry VIII and History, ed. Thomas Betteridge and Thomas S. Freeman (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2012), pp. 78-100

‘Burning Zeal: Mary Tudor and the Marian persecution’ in Mary Tudor: Old and New Perspectives, pp. 171-205..

‘Inventing Mary Tudor: Perceptions of Mary Tudor from the Restoration to the Twentieth Century’ in Mary Tudor: Old and New Perspectives (Basingstoke, 20011), pp. 87-100.

‘The power of polemic: Catholic attacks on the calendar of martyrs in John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 61 (2010), pp. 475-95.

‘The Rise of Prison Literature’, Huntington Library Quarterly 72 (2009), pp. 133-46.

‘Imitatio Christi with a Vengeance’: The Politicisation of Martyrdom in Early Modern England’ in Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, 1400-1700, pp. 35-69.

‘Joan of Contention: The Myth of the Female Pope in Early Modern England’ in Religious Politics in Post-Reformation England, ed. Kenneth Fincham and Peter Lake (Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2006), pp.  60-79.

‘Ut verus Christi Sequestor’: John Blacman and the cult of Henry VI’, The Fifteenth Century 5 (2005), pp. 127-42.

‘Through a Venice glass darkly: John Foxe’s most famous miracle’ in Signs,Wonders, Miracles: Representations of Divine Power in the Life of the Church, ed.Kate Cooper and Jeremy Gregory, Studies in Church History 41 (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 307-320.

(Co-authored with Elizabeth Evenden) ‘Print, profit and propaganda: The Elizabethan Privy Council and the 1570 edition of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,”’English Historical Review 119 (2004), pp. 1288-1307.

‘Offending God: John Foxe and English Protestant Reactions to the Cult of the Virgin Mary’ in The Church and Mary, ed. Robert Swanson, Studies in Church History 39 (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 228-38.

‘The scribal culture of the Marian martyrs’ in The Uses of Script and Print, 1300-1700, eds. Julia Crick and Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 235-54.

‘Providence and prescription: The account of Elizabeth in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”’ in The Myth of Elizabeth, eds. Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman (Basingstoke, 2003), pp. 27-55.

‘The prison writings of the Marian martyrs’ in Europa Sacra: Raccolte agiografiche e identità politiche in Europa fra Medioevo ed Età moderna, eds. Sofia Boesch Gajano and Raimundo Michetti (Rome, 2002), pp. 295-318.

(Co-authored with Elizabeth Evenden), ‘John Foxe, John Day and the printing of the “Book of Martyrs”’ in Lives in Print: Biography and the Book Trade, eds. Robin Myers, Michael Harris and Giles Mandelbrote (New Castle, DE and London, 2002), pp. 23-54.

‘Dissenters from a dissenting Church: the challenge of the Freewillers, 1550-1558’ in The Beginnings of English Protestantism, eds. Peter Marshall and Alec Ryrie (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 129-56.

”As true a subiect being Prysoner”: John Foxe’s notes on the imprisonment of Princess Elizabeth, 1554-5,’  English Historical Review 117 (2002), pp.104-116.

(Co-authored with Sarah Wall), ‘Racking the Body, Shaping the Text: The Account of Anne Askew in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,”’ Renaissance Quarterly 54 (2001), pp. 1165-97.

‘Early modern martyrs,’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History 52 (2001), pp. 696-701.

”The Good Ministrye of Godlye and Vertuouse Women”: The Elizabethan Martyrologists and the Female Supporters of the Marian Martyrs,’ Journal of British Studies 39 (2000), pp. 8-33.

‘Fate, faction and fiction in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,”’Historical Journal 43 (2000), pp. 8-33.

‘Demons, deviance and defiance: John Darrell and the politics of exorcism in late Elizabethan England’ in Conformity and Orthodoxy in the English Church, c. 1560-1660, eds. Peter Lake and Michael Questier (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2000), pp. 34-63.

‘Texts, Lies and Microfilm: Reading and Misreading Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,”’ Sixteenth Century Journal 30 (1999), pp. 23-46.

‘New perspectives on an old book: the creation and influence of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,”’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History 49 (1998), pp. 317-28.

‘John Bale’s Book of Martyrs?: The account of King John in Acts and Monuments,’ Reformation 3 (1998), pp. 175-223.

”The Reformation of the Church in this Parliament”: Thomas Norton, John Foxe and the Parliament of 1571,’ Parliamentary History 16 (1997), pp. 131-47.

‘The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”’ in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 33 (London, 1997), pp. 267-88.

(Co-authored with Marcello J. Borges), ”A grave and heinous incident against our Holy Catholic Faith”: two accounts of William Gardiner’s desecration of the Portuguese royal chapel in 1552,’ Historical Research 69 (1996), pp. 1-17.

”The reik of Maister Patrick Hammyltoun”: John Foxe, John Winram, and the Martyrs of the Scottish Reformation,’ Sixteenth Century Journal 27 (1996), pp. 43-60.

‘Research, rumour and propaganda: Anne Boleyn in Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’, Historical Journal 38 (1995), pp. 797-819.

‘Notes on a source for John Foxe’s account of the Marian persecution in Kent and Sussex,’ Historical Research 67 (1994), pp. 203-11.

‘A Library in Three Volumes: Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” in the Writings of John Bunyan’, Bunyan Studies 5 (1994), pp. 48-57.

‘A Solemne Contestation of Divers Popes: A Work by John Foxe?’, English Language Notes 31 (1994), pp. 35-42. 

Other publications

Sixteen articles for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. H. C. G. Matthews and Brian Harrison,  60 vols.(Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004), including a life of John Foxe (12,000 words).

The article on John Foxe in The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, ed. David S. Kastan, 5 vols. (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003).

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