About Francis Young

Francis Young is a UK-based historian and folklorist specialising in the history of religion and belief. He is the author, editor or co-author of 20 books, which deal with subjects as diverse as early modern Catholicism, the history of exorcism, medieval monasticism, folklore, the cult of saints, the history of magic and witchcraft, and Baltic paganism. He is also a professional indexer and a translator specialising in medieval and early modern Latin.

Francis was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and studied Philosophy at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and Classics at University of Wales, Lampeter before receiving his doctorate in History from Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was Volumes Editor for the Catholic Record Society between 2015 and 2017. He spent several years as Head of Sixth Form at an English cathedral school, teaches for Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, and regularly appears on BBC radio and other media. His book Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic was awarded the 2021 Book Subvention Award by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic studies, while three of his books have previously been shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award by the Folklore Society. He is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Francis is a member of the Folklore Society and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. He is a professional member of the Society of Indexers, as well as a Reader in the Church of England.

Pope with CEA
Pope Francis receiving a copy of Francis Young’s history of the Diocese of East Anglia from the Bishop of East Anglia, Alan Hopes in June 2016

This site features updates on Francis’s publications, speaking engagements and occasional reviews and other articles.

26 replies on “About Francis Young”

I would be greatly interested in exchanging information on the Gages of Hengrave. I’ve been researching my English kin for years and have an extensive genealogy of the Firle, Hengrave, Haling, Raunds and Rathlin Gages, including many wills. I recently tried to get permission for a photographer to shoot the monuments and inscriptions at Hengrave Church, but the owners never responded to the request. Is there anything about this family I could help you with? Asa Gage – asakgage@gmail.com

Keep up the good work Mate!
Historians on Twitter show these magnificent buildings of an era before ISIS like protestantism despoiled beauty. England is the poorer and Australia, where I live shared the consequence ! Keep it Up !!!

Good Morning Francis, I’m so sad that I missed the chance to see you at Bury this week as the talk is sold out (and rightly so). You are cordially invited to the tenth St Edmund dinner at Ipswich the previous evening if you are free, and perhaps I could share with you my own research on the warrior King. If not please take a look at our wreath at the statue on the Saint’s Day. Sadly it’s been the only one placed there annually over the last decade. Regards, Darren (darrenstedm@gmail.com)

I’m really sorry but the Ely witches book is now out of print – although some day I may revisit it and bring out an expanded edition. I know there is a copy to borrow in Ely public library

Fascinating Edmund lecture at Moyse’s Hall this evening and looking forward to reading Edmund, England’s Lost King next year.

The Friends of Peterborough Museum would be interested in you giving a talk at one of their lunch time lectures this October 18th

While I am an Anglican priest, I am interested more in the history of exorcism throughout history and it’s development. Apart from the descriptions on amazon and on the jacket, how much of this full history throughout Christianity is covered in the Anglican Exorcism book (“…The author explains…, while also setting his subject against the canvas of the wider history of ideas.”). Would I be better served purchasing your “History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity?” Thank you in advance for your thoughtful reply!

If you’re interested in exorcism in general, my earlier book might be the better bet as the latest book is quite focussed on the Church of England. The earlier book covers the entire history of exorcism in the RC Church from the beginning of the 4th century to the present day. If you’re interested in Christian exorcism before the 4th century, Graham Twelftree would be a good place to start (or Andrea Nicolotti if you read Italian)

I am the Speaker Finder for a U3A History Group. Please may I have contact details to make inquiries about availability for our 2020 Programme? Kind regards.

Hello Sir, I am an American doing some research on Baldwin of Bury St. Edmunds. The good physician is my primary concern but the Abbey and he is inextricably linked of course. I can not find a place to purchase your book here and your site appears to only offer options on broken links from here. Can you point me in the direction to find your book and if you think any of your other publications would relate to Baldwin. Thanks for your time.

Thank you, I did a Google search of the ISBN and 3 other books came up and a hit from your site. I’m glad it worked out this way, I now have a new blog to read!

Dear Dr Young I wonder if you would kindly contact me. I am interested in bringing a group from Westminster Cathedral to Ely and wondered if we could chat. I am very interested in the possibility of visiting the Bishop’s House – I understand it is now used by the school but wondered if we might get access outside term time. Hope you can help. Best wishes Christina 0207 798 9059

Dear Dr Young,
I am trying to establish where records relating to pupils at the Palace School would now be kept. I was wondering if this is something you came across during your research for the book on the Bishops Palace? Any help would be much appreciated.
Many thanks,

Dear Dr. Young,

I am halfway through a two year MRES in History at Leicester University. In my first year I focussed on early modern England from a Catholic perspective looking particularly at Communion rites; fixtures and fittings in the church , position of Altar etc, Church Papists and also The vibrancy of medieval Christianity, I read a lot of Duffy and Walsham!
For my main piece of writing I’m scrambling around with some ideas, thinking particularly of exorcisms in the Elizabethan period from the perspective of the Counter Reformation.
I appreciate how busy you are but can you make any suggestions. I want to focus on some original sources , perhaps letters or reports that pertain to the period and subject matter but are on a path a bit less academically trodden. To stretch the metaphor you certainly have hiked thoroughly across this terrain
Any ideas or pointers will be gratefully received and formally acknowledged in my finished essay. If there are any pieces of work that my studies might help you it would be an honour.

Steve Bourke.

Just Listened to the History Extra podcast and I’m fascinated by the subject. I’ve always been a fan of the MR James stories. I am a retired librarian and academic book indexer living in the south eastern coast of Massachusetts.

[…] Before I move on to introducing our special guest today I’d like to remind you that Angela Symposium is a crowdfunded project. So if you have the means and want to help this project keep going please consider supporting my work with a one-off PayPal donation, by joining memberships or my Inner Symposium on Patreon. You will find all the links in the info box and in a pinned comment. And of course, don’t forget to smash the like button, subscribe and activate the notification bell and leave us a comment if you’re watching this after we go live. Or you know, let us know what you’re thinking in the chat if you’re here with us live. So let me introduce our special guest now Dr Francis Young. […]

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