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Summary: War, society, and culture in Britain 1688-1840; Britain’s armed forces; conflicts in the long eighteenth century, especially the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Location: Michael Sadler building, 3.14
Teaching Commitments: HIST1210 The Modern World FOAR2000 Research Placement HIST3685 Georgians at War HIST5020M Making History: Archive Placement HIST5540M Defending the Nation
My research focuses on reinvigorating the history of warfare and the soldier in Britain in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century and reintegrating their history into wider scholarship and themes relevant to the period.
I'm particularly interested in the development of new military forces in the United Kingdom - such as the militia, part-time volunteers, yeomanry, and fencibles - and how the experience of being involved in these forces shaped and was shaped by communities and society. It is not widely appreciated that at its peak as many as 1 in 4 men were in some kind of military service, a level of mobilisation comparable to the First World War.
Currently, I am working on material about British Army officers in the Napoleonic Wars.
Workshop on War, Society, and Culture in Britain c.1688-1830
Working closely with Special Collections in the Brotherton Library, this project involved hosting a workshop to explore the wealth of underused primary sources from the period that could be used to explore the impact of war of people's lives, both at the time and subsequently as they remembered its events in peacetime.
Download the workshop report.
Soldier and Soldiering in Britain, c.1750-1815
Working with Dr Matthew McCormack from the University of Northampton, this 18-month project exploring the complex relationship between Britain and its soldiers during the eighteenth century. Georgians branded these men a danger to liberty, victims of oppression, and 'bloody backs', whilst also celebrating their victories and championing their generals, such as General Wolfe at Quebec in 1759. Britain's soldiers were both heroes and the 'scum of the earth'. The project explored the full range of military experience in the period, particularly looking at the increasing mobilisation of the male population into novel forms of military service beyond the full-time soldiering of the British Army. The militia, reformed during the Seven Years' War in 1757, and large-scale volunteer forces (part-time soldiers raised for home defence) in the American War of Independence and especially the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars created new types of soldier in Britain and new ways for men to be under arms. At its peak in the Napoleonic Wars, some 680,000 men were involved in some form of military service, yet the experiences of these men remains largely forgotten.
View the full results and outputs from this project at Gateway to Research.