Professor Richard Cust BA, PhD

Professor Richard Cust

Department of History
Emeritus Professor

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am professor of early modern history at the University of Birmingham, specialising in the political and cultural history of late sixteenth and early seventeenth century England.


Richard Cust was an undergraduate at Queen Mary College University of London, and a postgraduate at Bedford College, University of London. There he was supervised by Professor Conrad Russell and produced a 1984 PhD thesis on ‘The Forced Loan and English Politics 1626-1628.’ He was appointed to a lectureship in the Modern History Department at Birmingham in 1978 and has worked there ever since.

Postgraduate supervision

Richard Cust has supervised a wide range of doctoral dissertations topics relating to English political, religious and cultural history in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

The topics he has recently supervised include:

‘Images of the Royal Court under Queen Elizabeth’
'The Lieutenancy and Elizabethan Warfare 1585-1603’
‘Urban gentility in Stratford upon Avon 1560-1640’
‘Thomas Hall and his Library: a Puritan Minister in the English Revolution'


Richard Cust’s research interests range across late Tudor and early Stuart politics and political culture. He is currently writing a book on ‘Charles I and the Aristocracy, 1625-1642’, investigating the ways in which the king sought to bolster the position of the aristocracy within English society and mobilise their support in the political crises that he faced from 1639 onwards. It draws extensively on work carried out with Dr Andrew Hopper on an AHRC funded research project on ‘ The High Court of Chivalry 1634-1641’ and research on the political history of Charles I’s reign for his 2005 book, Charles I. A Political Life (Longman/Pearson).

Other activities

Along with Dr Andrew Hopper of the University of Leicester, Richard Cust has developed the Court of Chivalry web site  which provides calendared, electronically searchable, transcripts of proceedings for over 700 cases heard in court between 1634 and 1640.

He is also (with Dr Stephen Roberts of the History of Parliament), editor of the journal Midland History.


Recent publications


Cust, R & Lake, P 2020, Gentry culture and the politics of religion: Cheshire on the eve of civil war. Politics, culture and society in early modern Britain, 1st edn, Manchester University Press, Manchester. <>

Cust, R 2013, Charles I and the Aristocracy. Cambridge University Press.

Russell, C, Cust, R & Thrush, A 2011, King James VI &I and his English Parliaments. Oxford University Press.


Cust, R 2017, 'The defence of episcopacy on the eve of civil war: Jeremy Taylor and the Rutland petition of 1641', Journal of Ecclesastical History, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 59-80.

Cust, R 2014, 'Charles I's noble academy', The Seventeenth Century, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 337-357.

Cust, R, Broadway, J & Roberts, SK 2013, 'Additional docquets of Commissions of theb Peace from the Papers of Lord Keeper Coventry (1625-40) in the Worcestershire Record Office', Parliamentary History, pp. 229-36.

Cust, R 2013, 'Charles I and the Order of the Garter', Journal of British Studies, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 1-27.

Cust, R 2013, 'David Underdown and Cricket', History Compass, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 389-393.

Cust, R 2010, 'A Rutland Quarrel, The Court of Chivalry and the Irish Peerage during Charles I's Personal Rule', Midland History, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 149-73.

Cust, R 2009, 'Charles I: a Case of Mistaken Identity', Past & Present, no. 205, pp. 201-212.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Cust, R 2016, Chivalry and the English gentleman. in RM Smuts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare. Oxford Handbooks of Literature, Oxford University Press.

Cust, R 2016, The Culture of Dynasticism in early modern Cheshire. in S Jettot & M Lezowski (eds), The Genealogical Enterprise: Social Practices and Collective Imagination in Europe (15th-20th c.). Histoire Des Mondes Modernes, vol. 2, Peter Lang, Brussels, pp. 209-33.

Cust, R 2016, The material culture of Tudor and Stuart England. in C Richardson, T Hamling & D Gaimster (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe. Routledge History Handbooks, Routledge, pp. 247-74. <>


Cust, R & Hughes, A 2016, The Tudor and Stuart Town. in M Dick & C Chinn (eds), Birmingham. The Workshop of the World. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, pp. 101-123.

Cust, R 2009, William Dugdale and the Honour Politics of Early Stuart Warwickshire. in C Dyer & C Richardson (eds), William Dugdale, Historian, 1605-1686: His Life, is Writings and His County. Boydell Press, pp. 89-106.

View all publications in research portal


Society and politics of late 16th and early 17th century England