Welcome to the Citizens project, led by Royal Holloway, University of London, charting the history of liberty, protest and reform from Magna Carta to the Suffragettes and beyond.

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"Citizens will be an exciting and vibrant addition to the educational and heritage landscape of the UK."

Dr Emma Peplow, The History of Parliament Trust

"Citizens will be a history resource of significant importance, not only for AQA students, but for the British History community in general."

Eoin MacGabhann, Head of Curriculum, History, AQA

"Working together to increase awareness, access and use of our combined democratic heritage could not be more topical or important."

Janneke Geene, Acting Director, People's History Museum

School Resources

Over the next three years we are going to create over 100 engaging video-based learning resources charting the history of liberty from Magna Carta to the Suffragettes and beyond. 

Festival of History

Join us in June to explore historical reenactment encampments, hear from guest speakers and watch plays performed against the backdrop of our grade 1 listed Founder's Building. A free event for all the family. 

Museum Resources

Working with museums across the South East we will create digital resources telling local stories in the struggle for liberty, from Simon de Montfort's victory at the Battle of Lewes to the Suffragette Pethick Lawrences of Dorking.


Learn about women's suffrage and nineteenth century radicalism and reform with our Massive Open Online Courses, 'Beyond the Ballot' and 'Peterloo to the Pankhursts'. 

Citizenship Resources

Working with partners including the Supreme Court, the National Justice Museum and Cumberland Lodge, we are preparing an innovative set of Citizenship themed workshops.

What is the Citizens project?

Citizens is a three year Heritage Lottery Fund supported project led by Royal Holloway, University of London.

Working with partners and supporting organisations including the AQA exam board, The National Archives, the People's History Museum, the UK Parliament, History of Parliament and the Historical Association, the project aims to help school and college students gain a better understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over the last 800 years.

By charting the journey from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and equality, the project will reveal how, in different periods, the state has responded to challenges to its authority and how change was brought about.

In so doing, the project will help students to construct an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen both in the past and present.

Meet the team

Steven Franklin

Steven Franklin

Project Officer
Steven Franklin is a current PhD student at Royal Holloway. His thesis focuses on the Public History of Magna Carta. Steven completed both his undergraduate degree and MA in Public History at Royal Holloway and in 2015 co-curated Egham Museum's Magna Carta exhibition and was instrumental in the delivery of Royal Holloway's Magna Carta MOOC.
Matthew Smith

Dr Matthew Smith

Project Director
Matthew Smith is a Senior Fellow in Public History in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, having completed his PhD at the University in 2008. Prior to his current role, Matthew was Curator of Egham Museum between 2011 and 2016, during which time he led several successful HLF bids and supported projects.
Claire Kennan

Claire Kennan

Project Officer
Claire Kennan is a current PhD student at Royal Holloway. Her thesis focuses on medieval guilds. Like Steven, Claire is also a Visiting Teacher in Royal Holloway's Department of History. Specialising in devising innovative school workshops and managing community events, Claire brings with her experience working with the Brilliant Club.

What's happening now?

Plans for the future

As the project progresses this website will grow to become a hub of online learning resources charting the history of liberty, protest and reform over the last eight centuries. In addition to the video based learning resources planned for schools we will also post articles written by university students and U3A research volunteers and develop other exciting learning tools, like our interactive map and 3D timeline.

If you are a teacher planning to use our resources in the classroom please contact us for more information and to receive free additional resources being produced to complement the videos - and remember to let us know what you think of the resources so we can refine our approach.