I studied history at Balliol College, Oxford where I completed a doctorate on oaths of allegiance in seventeenth-century England. In 2000 I was appointed De Velling Willis Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. Since then I have taught at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool. In September 2009 joined Roehampton as Reader in Early Modern History. In 2014 I was appointed to a personal chair at Roehampton.
The history of early modern England, especially the civil wars and the revolution of 1688. I also have broader interests in the history of radicalism and protest in Britain.
I acted as a historical consultant on the BBC documentary 'Roundhead or Cavalier?' (first broadcast May 2012). I have also appeared as a contributor on a number of historical programmes on British, Dutch and French radio and television, including two episodes of 'Who Do You Think You Are?', the most recent, featuring Nick Hewer, broadcast August 2013.
AHRC Peer Review College Member
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Historical Association Member
MA D.Phil (Oxon)
I am interested in the political and religious history of seventeenth-century England, especially during its two revolutions. Specific areas of interest include political and religious radicalism (including its subsequent influence and public memory), questions of allegiance/obedience/loyalty, the role of the conscience and the use of casuistry in political debates, and the emergence of the public and public opinion.
I am happy to supervise PhD projects on any aspect of early modern English history, but especially in the areas of popular politics, print culture, political ideas and religious controversy. I would be particularly keen to work with doctoral students on PhD projects relating to the historiography and memory of the civil wars and revolution or on projects using 'subscriptional texts' such as oath returns, petitions and addresses. PhD topics previously supervised include witchcraft in early modern Lancashire, the visual language of kingship in seventeenth-century England and the Queen's House, Greenwich 1603-1642.
I am currently working on two research projects. The first explores the construction of popular loyalty in late Stuart and early Hanoverian England, focusing on the use of loyal addresses (petition-like documents sent by communities to both Parliament and the Crown.) This will form the basis of my next monograph, provisionally entitled 'The Voice of the Kingdom', to be published by Manchester University Press. As part of this project, I am also examining the last exercise in mass public oath-taking in early modern England, the oaths of allegiance to George I tendered in 1723. Thanks to the support of the Marc Fitch Fund, I have been given some funding to produce an electronic finding list of these documents which are of great value to family and local historians as well as to those interested in the history of loyalty and allegiance. The project has its own website which includes the most up to date version of the finding list. Comments and new information can be added to a copy of the list which can be found here.
My second project investigates the subsequent impact, memory and representation of the radicalism of the English Revolution and, having researched the 'afterlife' of the Leveller leader John Lilburne, I am now exploring the commemoration of the English regicides (the men who signed Charles I's death warrant.) You can listen to a podcast of a recent lecture I gave on the subject here. As part of this research I have recently been awarded a visiting fellowship at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University to explore the papers of the eighteenth-century historian of the regicides, Mark Noble. As part of this project, I am also editing a collaborative monograph on the memory of early modern revolutions, under contract with Routledge.
I am also involved in a collaborative project with colleagues at Edge Hill University, funded by the Higher Education Academy, which looks at developing undergraduate history students' research skills through online learning platforms. You can find out more about that project and the project members here. You can explore a number of resources and tools developed through the project by enrolling on our 'Historical Enquiry' moodle site here. (Click on 'create new account' and follow the set-up instructions, then self-enroll on the 'Historical Enquiry' module). Our research was featured on an August 2014 edition of BBC Radio 4's 'Making History'. A link to the episode can be found here.
For more on my current research and PDF files of recent publications, please see my academia.edu page.
I teach on both Roehampton's BA and MA History programmes. I am also Director of the Graduate School.My modules include our core year one history course, the Independent History Research Project, a year two course on later Stuart political culture, Sex, Lies and Cheap Print, and a third-year module on the civil war, Radicalism in the English Revolution. My MA module, Ritual, Riot and Rebellion gives students the opportunity to explore popular politics through direct engagement with key documentary sources for the study of popular political culture.