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Department of History

Staff Profile

Professor Philip Williamson

Professor (Modern British History) in the Department of History

(email at

As a historian of twentieth-century British politics, political culture and government, Philip Williamson’s publications have ranged across the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties, trade unions and big business, and financial, economic and imperial policies. Recent research and teaching specialisms include inter-war Conservatism, political leadership and popular politics in the 1940s and early 1950s, the modern monarchy and public values, and national acts of public worship since the 1830s. He is principal investigator - with Natalie Mears (Durham) and Stephen Taylor (Durham) - for the AHRC-funded project on ‘British state prayers, fasts and thanksgivings, 1540s-1940s’. Durham’s libraries give access to unusually rich historical sources for British politics, religion and public life, and its group of British historians offer wide opportunities for postgraduate study.

Research Projects

  1. British state prayers, fasts and thanksgivings,1540s to 1940s
  2. Royalty and religion in the British Isles since 1689

Research Groups

  • Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia
  • Intellectual Culture
  • Modern
  • Politics

Research Projects

Research Interests

  • British politics and government 1900-1960
  • The British state, religion and public values since 1830
  • The churches and national worship in the United Kingdom and the Empire since 1688
  • The modern British monarchy
  • The City of London and government since 1850


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets, and Databases

Journal Article

Teaching Areas

  • British politics and policy from 1880 to 1960

  • the British monarchy and religion since 1688

  • Historical thought 1700-1800

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Royalty and religion in the British Isles since 1689 (£127569.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
  • 2007: BRITISH STATE PRAYERS, FASTS AND THANKSGIVINGS (£330172.14 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)