seit 2020
University of Louvain
F.R.S.-FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher
seit 2019
Saint-Louis University, Brussels
Visiting Lecturer
2018 – 2019
Harvard University
Belgian American Educational Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
2014 – 2018
University of Louvain and Saint-Louis University, Brussels
F.R.S.-FNRS Research Fellow
University of Southampton
Visiting Researcher
2013 – 2014
Saint-Louis University, Brussels
Teaching Assistant


Forgiving at the Crossroads of Norms: The Power to Pardon in Late Medieval England and France

My research project examines the regulation of the royal power to pardon and its relationship with social and legal normativity in medieval Europe, focusing on thirteenth to fifteenth century England and France as a comparative case study.

The first axis of my research investigates the development of the pardon legislation in late medieval England and France. An important tool in the construction of royal power, the granting of pardon letters was also frequently accused to favour a culture of impunity among criminal offenders. Consequently, I will explore how the use of pardon was perceived and debated in the English Parliament and the French General Estates and how these two representative assemblies consequently compelled the monarchs to promulgate a legislation that restrained access to royal mercy.

The second axis of my research examines to what extent the royal pardon drew its legitimacy from a series of norms inherited from Roman law and canon law. Here, I will particularly investigate the complex relationships between the granting of pardons, the plurality of legal orders in England and France, and the application of the moral principles of a fair application of justice that dominated in the medieval period – such as clementia, misericordia, and equitas.

Using this double approach, my research aims to demonstrate that, although the granting of pardons to criminal offenders in the late Middle Ages may be considered as an exception to the regular application of the law, the royal power to pardon itself was not entirely above law and even favoured the unification of judicial practices under royal authority.

Einschlägige Veröffentlichungen

Verreycken, Quentin, L’État de grâce. La bureaucratie du pardon au Moyen Âge, Bruxelles, Académie royale de Belgique (in preparation).

Verreycken, Quentin, Pardonner le soldat au Moyen Âge. France, Angleterre et espace bourguignon au XVe siècle, Paris (accepted for publication).

Verreycken, Quentin, „En nous humblement requerant“. Crime narrations and rhetorical strategies in late medieval
pardon letters, in: Open Library of Humanities 5 (2019), 1-31. DOI:

Verreycken, Quentin, The power to pardon in late medieval and early modern Europe. New perspectives in the history of crime and criminal justice, in: History Compass 17 (2019). DOI:

Verreycken, Quentin, “Pour nous servir en l’armée.” Le gouvernement et le pardon des gens de guerre sous Charles le Téméraire, duc de Bourgogne (1467-1477), Louvain-la-Neuve 2014.