Professor Elizabeth Tingle

Job: Professor of History

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH

T: 0116 250 8113




Personal profile

I studied for a BA History at University College, London and a DPhil at Oxford University, with a thesis entitled ‘The Building Industries of Eastern Brittany 1600-1790’. A PGCE in secondary History at the Institute of Education, London, was followed by a year’s teaching at Colchester Sixth Form College. I then taught History at University of Northampton (1990-2006) and Plymouth University (2006-2016).

After working on social and economic history projects (building industries, ceramics industries, urban corporations, gender and work I turned to an enduring interest in a combination of the history of ideas (politics and religion) and material culture, and work on the French Wars of Religion. This was published as a political history of Nantes in the later sixteenth century, then came projects on the Counter and Catholic Reformations, published as books on Purgatory funded by the Finzi Trust and Indulgences, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Along the way there have been numerous small projects on social history, religious life and culture such as a study of Breton ossuaries, maritime votive objects, parish churches and the Christianisation of prehistoric monuments. My most recent project is on on long-distance pilgrimage in post-Reformation Europe, primarily to France, Spain and Ireland.

I am currently editing a Brill Companion to the Christian Tradition on Death and Remembrance 1300-1700.

My new research project is on cathedrals and collegiate churches in early modern Europe and their role in urban culture and economy, and the Catholic/Counter-Reformation.

Applications for PhD study in histories of early modern European religion, culture and society are welcome.

Research group affiliations

Institute of History

Research interests/expertise

Early modern European History

French history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

French Wars of Religion

Counter and Catholic Reformations in France

Material culture of religious life

Parish churches in Britain and France

Areas of teaching

Historiography and Historical Methodology

Heritage & Public History


BA (Hons) History (London)

DPhil History (Oxon)

PGCE Secondary History (London)

Membership of external committees

  • Ecclesiastical History Society (conference officer - standing member of the committee)
  • East Midlands University History Network (committee member)
  • East Midlands Heritage and History Magazine (editorial board member)
  • History UK (DMU representative from Jan 2020)
  • Leicester City Council Heritage Partnership (ADH representative from Oct 2019)
  • Historical Assn Leicester Branch (chair of steering committee from Sept 2019)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Fellow of Royal Historical Society
  • Member of Royal Archaeological Institute
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (peer review college member 2017-2021)


Current projects:

Cathedrals and Collegiate Churches in Early Modern European Cities

Pilgrimage in the Counter Reformation in NW Europe (Atlantic region)

Editor for Brill Companion to the Christian Tradition volume on Death and Remembrance 1300-1700.

The Eco-Histories of the Leicestershire Wolds

Recent research outputs


Sacred Journeys: Long Distance Pilgrimage in North-Western Europe in the Counter Reformation (Medieval Institute Press/De Gruyter, 2020)

J. Hillman & E. Tingle eds, Soul Travel. Spiritual Journeys in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2019).

Guest Editor: The Reformation in the Midlands, Midland History, vol. 44,2 (Sept. 2019).

Indulgences after Luther: pardons in Counter-Reformation France 1500-1700 (London, Pickering & Chatto, 2015).

With Jonathan Willis eds., Dying, Death, Burial and Commemoration in Reformation and Counter-Reformation Britain and Europe, (Farnham. Ashgate, 2015).

Purgatory and Piety in early modern Brittany 1480-1720 (Farnham, Ashgate, 2012).

Authority and Society in Nantes during the French Wars of Religion 1558-1598 (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2006).

Articles and Essays

'Preaching Afterlife. Teachings on Purgatory in France, 1500-1700,' in Paula BARROS,  Ines KIRSCHLEGER & Claudie MARTIN-ULRICH eds., Prêcher la mort à l’époque moderne. Regards croisés sur la France et l’Angleterre (Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2020), 77-94.

‘Sacred Landscapes, Spiritual Travel: Embodied Holiness and Long-Distant Pilgrimage in the Catholic Reformation’ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 28 (2018), pp. 89-106.

‘Rural Seigneurs and the Counter Reformation: Parishes, Patrons and Religious Reform in France 1550 to 1700’, Church History 87 (2018), pp. 31-62

‘Long-Distance Pilgrimage and the Counter Reformation in France: sacred journeys to the Mont-Saint-Michel 1520 to 1750’, Journal of Religious History, 41 (2017), 158-180.

 ‘French Reactions to the 1517 Debate in Theory and Practice’, in Andreas Rehberg ed., Ablasskampagnen des Spätmittelalters. Luthers Thesen von 1517 im Kontext, (Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 2017), pp. 655-670.

‘Indulgences after Luther: the fall and rise of pardons in Counter-Reformation France’ in M. Catto & A. Prosperi eds., Trent and Beyond. The Council, Other Powers, Other Cultures (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), pp. 405-422

‘La Sainte Ligue et les origines de la Réforme catholique en France, à partir de l’exemple de Nantes’, in Serge Brunet ed., La Sainte Union des catholiques de France et la fin des guerres de Religion (1585-1629), (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2016), pp. 385-400.

‘The Counter Reformation and the Parish Church: Parish Closes in Western Brittany (France) 1500-1700’, for A. Spicer ed., Parish Churches in the Early Modern World, Farnham, Ashgate, 2016), pp. 77-102.

‘Review Essay: Politics and Religion in France before 1800’, European History Quarterly, 46 (2016), pp. 113-123.

‘Mary and the Dead. Intercession for Departed Souls in Counter-Reformation France’, for Jonas Carlquist & Virginia Langum eds., Words and Matter: The Virgin Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern  Parish Life, (Stockholm: Sällskapet Runica e Mediaevalia, 2015), pp. 179-198.

‘Sainthood and Politics in the Baroque: The Cult of St Vincent Ferrer in Seventeenth-Century Brittany, France’ Journal of Baroque Studies I, (2013), pp. 1-25

‘La théorie et la pratique du pouvoir municipal: la police à Nantes pendant les guerres de religion 1560-1589’, for Philippe Hamon & Catherine Laurent eds, Le pouvoir municipal de la fin du Moyen Age à 1789, (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Rennes, 2012), pp. 127-144.

‘The Afterlives of Rulers: Power, Patronage and Purgatory in Ducal Brittany 1480-1600,’ in S. McGlynn & E. Woodacre eds, The Image and Perception of Monarchy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge, Scholar Press, 2014), pp. 281-297).

‘Indulgences in the Catholic Reformation: polemic and pastoral uses of pardons in France 1520-1700’. Reformation & Renaissance Review 16/2 (2014), pp. 181-204.

 ‘The Sea and Souls. Maritime Votive Practices in Brittany 1500-1750’, Studies in Church History, 46 (2010), 205-216.

‘The origins of Counter Reform Piety in Nantes: The Catholic League and its Aftermath (1585-1617)’, in Alison Forrestal and Eric Nelson eds., Politics and Religion in Early Bourbon France, (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2009), pp. 203-220.

‘Guerre et commerce: stratégies de neutralisation et d’accommodement dans le commerce atlantique entre Nantes et Bilbao durant les guerres entre les Valois et les Habsbourgs et les guerres de Religion (vers 1530-1600), in Jean-François Chanet & Christian Windler eds., Les ressources des faibles. Neutralités, sauvegardes, accommodements en temps de guerre (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2009), pp. 291-314.

‘Purgatory and the Counter Reformation: Perpetual Chantries in southern Brittany 1480-1720’,  Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 60, (2009), 464-489.

‘The Conversion of Infidels and Heretics: Baptism and Confessional Allegiance in Nantes during the Early Wars of Religion, 1550-1570’ French History, 22 (2008), 255-274.

Externally funded research grants information

2017 - Short-term fellowship at the Huntington Library, California, USA.

2016 – Conference grants of £200 from Renaissance Studies Society and £360 from Royal Historical Society, joint bids with Jenny Hillman, for conference on Pilgrimage at University of Chester, 24 June 2016.

2013-15. Historic advisor for Ugborough Parish Church, Devon, in a HLF bid which included £5400 for directing university student work on heritage/history of the church.

2013-14. Leverhulme Research Fellowship for ‘Indulgences after Luther. The fall and rise of pardons in Counter-Reformation France.

May 2012 Westhill Foundation £1500 for project on Islam and Christianity in SW England.

June 2011 Scouloudi Foundation Publication £798 to complete for publication Purgatory & Piety in Brittany 1480-1720.

March 2011 Canon Symonds Memorial Scholarship for a week of residential study, St Deiniol’s Library, Hawarden, Flintshire.

January 2010 The Mercers’ Company of London £2000. For a joint History-Chaplaincy series of six lectures on ‘History and Faith’ Spring Term 2010.

June 2006. £2,500 for archival and field research for project ‘Purgatory, Personal Devotions and the Dead in Brittany 1500-1720’, by Gerald Finzi Trust.

ORCID number