By Tim Lambert

Clotilde 475-545

Clotilde married Clovis, the king of the Franks who ruled northern France. She helped to convert her husband to Christianity.

Theodora c. 497-548 Empress of the Byzantine Empire

Berta or Bertha 539-612

In the 6th century AD England was divided into small kingdoms and the English were pagans. However Berta was a Christian and she married the king of Kent. It was partly due to her influence that Kent was converted to Christianity.

Hilda of Whitby 614-680

Hilda was an influential woman in the Saxon church who founded the abbey at Whitby. In 664 she hosted the Synod of Whitby, an important church meeting.


In the Middle Ages books were often beautifully decorated. This art was called illumination. Ende was a famous illuminator.

Aethelflaed c. 868-918 Aethelflaed ruled Mercia (central England) from 911 to 918. She was called the Lady of the Mercians.

Matilda of Tuscany 1046-1115 She was a powerful woman ruler

Comnena 1083-1153 She was a princess of the Byzantine Empire. She was also a noted historian.

Hildegard 1088-1179

Hildegard was a theologian and writer. She also wrote about natural history and the medicinal use of plants. She also wrote music and a play.

Gruoch 1007-1060 She was the real Lady Macbeth

Trota of Salerno c. 1100 Trota of Salerno was a famous doctor. (Salerno in Italy was famous for its medical school. Women were allowed to study there).

Matilda 1102-1167 She was queen of England 1135-1154. (Although there was another claimant to the throne and they fought a long civil war).

Marie de France (12th century) Marie was a famous French poet. Unfortunately nothing is known about her life although she was highly regarded.

Eleanor of Aquitaine c 1122-1204 She was an influential woman in 12th century Europe

Teresa of Portugal 1181-1250 She was a devout woman who founded a monastery

Clare of Assisi 1194-1253 A follower of Francis of Assisi Clare founded the order known as the poor Clares

Guda 12th century Guda was a famous book illuminator

Rebecca de Guarna c. 1200 Rebecca was a famous woman doctor

Isabella of England 1214-1241 She was empress of Germany 1235-1241

Marguerite de Provence 1221-1295 She was queen of France

Eleanor of Castile 1241-1290 She was queen of England 1254-1290

Claricia 13th Century Claricia was another famous book illuminator

Rose de Burford ?-1329 She was married to a wool and spice merchant. She helped her husband with the business and took it over when he died.

Lady Agnes Randolph aka Black Agnes 1312-1369 She defended a castle

Jadwiga c 1373-1399 She was queen of Poland

Alice Perrers 1340-1400 She was the mistress of the English King Edward III

Julian of Norwich 1342-1416

Despite the masculine name Julian was a woman. She was a famous mystic and writer. Julian wrote about the 'motherhood' of God.

Margaret of Denmark 1353-1412 She was queen of Denmark

Dorotea Bucca 1360-1436 She was a famous physician. Dorotea was professor of Medicine at the University of Bologna.

Christine de Pisan 1364-1432 Christine was another famous writer

Margery Kempe 1373-c. 1439

Margery was an English mystic. The story of her life became a famous book The Book of Margery Kempe.

Joan of Arc 1412-1431

Joan inspired French soldiers to fight against the English

Jane Shore c. 1445-1527 She was the mistress of the English King Edward IV

Isabella of Castile 1451-1504

She married Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469 and when his father died in 1479 the two kingdoms were united

Laura Cereta 1469-1499

She was a great Italian writer

Anne Neville 1456-1485 She was the wife of Richard III and Queen of England 1483-1485

Famous Women in the 16th Century

Famous Women in the 19th Century

Famous Ancient Women

A History of Women's Jobs

A History of Women's Rights

My Youtube video about women in the Middle Ages