Formerly Principal of Linacre College and Professor of Early Modern Social History, University of Oxford
Educated at Bradford Grammar School and St John's College Oxford, I was a Junior Research Fellow of Balliol College 1966-9 and Lecturer in History at York University 1969-73. From 1973 to 1996 I was Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Exeter College, Oxford, and then Principal of Linacre College Oxford until I retired in 2010. I was titular Professor of Early Modern Social History from 1999, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University with responsibility for libraries and museums 2000-5, and a Delegate of Oxford University Press 2000-2013. I was one of the editors of the journal Past and Present 1985-94. My research interests lie in the social and economic history of England from the 16th to the early 18th centuries. I have worked on the history of disease, especially plague, and on urban history and social policy in that period and looked at them in a more broadly comparative context. Most recently I have been working on the early evolution of English political economy, its relationship to broader notions of social and intellectual improvement, and how its emergence reflected - or did not reflect - changes in standards of living.
British Academy appointments
Member of Council, 1994 - 1995
Fellow and Tutor, Exeter College University of Oxford, 1973 - 1996
Principal, Linacre College University of Oxford, 1996 - 2010
Professor of Early Modern Social History, University of Oxford, 1999 -
Principal of Linacre College and Professor of Early Modern Social History, University of Oxford, University of Oxford, 2002 - 2010
Formerly Principal of Linacre College and Professor of Early Modern Social History, University of Oxford, Linacre College University of Oxford, 2010 -
Plague. A Very Short Introduction 2012 (Italian edn, 2914; German, 2015)
The Invention of Improvement. Information and Material Progress in Seventeenth-Century England 2015
The impact of plague in Tudor and Stuart England 1985
Poverty and policy in Tudor and Stuart England 1988
From reformation to improvement: public welfare in early modern England 1999
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