Employment in Newcastle upon Tyne, c. 1600-1720
I specialise in the economic and social history of the North East in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. My PhD thesis, funded by the ESRC, examines occupational change in the urbanising and industrialising areas of the region, exploiting in particular the rich parish, probate and tax material for Newcastle upon Tyne. The rapid growth of the coal industry from the late sixteenth century onwards in North East England is well understood, but in Newcastle it met a pre-existing provincial capital which had sustained a thriving trade in wool and grindstones in the middle ages. The impact was great: the population of the town doubled in the century before 1666 and it was a town heavy with contrasts and busy with work. Newcastle’s parish registers offer an unusually rich source for quantifying these changes but the thesis goes beyond bald structural analysis. By linking many thousands of surviving records together it is possible to explore the working lives of Newcastle's existing inhabitants as well as its proliferation of migrant workers who might otherwise have been invisible.
- Early modern economic and social history, particularly the history of work
- Regional history, particularly North East England
- The use of parochial, probate and tax records for economic and social history
'Review of Briggs et al. (eds.), Sunderland Wills and Inventories, 1601-50', Economic History Review, Vol. 65, No. 2 (2012), pp. 792-3.
'Work before play: occupations in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1600-1720', in Adrian Green and Barbara Crosbie (eds.), Beyond Coal: the economy and society of North East England, c. 1500-1800 (forthcoming).
Recent research papers:
June 2012, 'Is urban development a one-way street? Change and continuity in seventeenth-century Newcastle', Early modern & modern postgraduate conference chaired by Dr Phil Withington, Durham
March 2012, 'Shiftin' coal and mekkin' ships: occupations in Newcastle, 1600-1702', Economic History Society New Researchers' Session, Oxford
December 2011, 'Occupations in Newcastle-upon-Tyne: triangulating hearth tax with parish registers', Economic History Society Residential Course, Manchester
July 2013: Co-organiser of 'Coping with Crisis' Durham conference (with Alex Brown and Rob Doherty)
2009-2010: Co-convenor of the Early Modern Postgraduate Discussion Group and the EMPDG conference
August 2009-present: Teacher and co-ordinator for the history strand of Durham Gifted & Talented (now Sutton Trust) summer schools
2012/13: Perspectives on Human Nature (Combined Honours in Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences)
2012: Databases for Historians: workshop for PhD students as part of the ESRC North East Doctoral Training Centre programme
2011/12: Ruling Britannia, 1688-1815
2010/11: Regional & National Identity in the British Isles, 1536-1707