History through material culture is a unique, step-by-step guide for students and researchers who wish to use objects as historical sources. Responding to the significant scholarly interest in historical material culture studies, this book makes clear how students and researchers ready to use these rich material sources can make important, valuable and original contributions to history.
Written by two experienced museum practitioners and historians, the book recognises the theoretical and practical challenges of this approach and offers clear advice on methods to get the best out of material culture research. With a focus on the early modern and modern periods, this volume draws on examples from across the world and demonstrates how to use material culture to answer a range of enquiries, including social, economic, gender, cultural and global history.
1 Approaches to the material world
2 Planning a research project
3 Developing a methodology
4 Locating sources: understanding museum collections and other repositories
5 Analysing sources
6 Writing up findings
Leonie Hannan is Research Fellow in Eighteenth-Century History at Queen’s University, Belfast
Sarah Longair is Lecturer in the History of Empire at the University of Lincoln
Price: £12.99, pbk.
Published: April 2017
Desertion from active military service has always been a contentious action, especially in times of war. Deserters in the eighteenth century were routinely castigated as poor patriots or traitorous subjects. Recently, scholars have begun to analyse in greater depth how and why desertions occurred, and have demonstrated that political considerations were less important than issues of identity and interest. However, in the context of the American Revolutionary War, historians have focused on the relationship between deserters and the military, arguing that soldiers who left their posts were less integrated into the camp community. This article suggests that the act of desertion was often more than a protest against conditions or discipline, but instead was shaped by a deserter’s connections with civil society rather than the military community.
This article explores the influence of the Hundred Years’ War on Fowey between c.1337 and 1399. In so doing, it employs naval pay rolls to study the contribution the town made to royal fleets and considers the mechanisms which the Crown employed to defend the port from enemy raids. It also examines the degree to which the war was extended though the agency of ‘pirates’. The article argues that the conflict had an all-pervasive effect upon Fowey, but that the costs incurred by the port and its people as a result of this were by no means crippling.
In Anglo-Saxon courts, from the eighth century down to the Norman conquest, ‘officers of the mouth’, bore household titles and served the king and his guests during meals, at least on major occasions. Those butlers (pincernae) and dish-bearers (dapiferi, disciferi) were not mere ‘waiters’ but members of great aristocratic families; serving the king’s table was an honour for them, with all the implications of that word in an early medieval context. Using a variety of sources, particularly the subscription lists of charters, this article examines their rank at court, social origin, degree of proximity to kings and queens, and the nature of their occupation.
As one of Britain’s landmark constitutional reforms, the 1832 Reform Act has attracted considerable historical attention. However, only cursory notice has been paid to the extensive work completed by the 1831–2 boundary commission to reform the nation’s parliamentary boundaries. Drawing on previously unused archival material, this article provides the first sustained analysis of the boundary reforms that took place in England’s ancient boroughs in 1832, revealing the significance of Thomas Drummond, a previously obscure royal engineer and chair of the English and Welsh boundary commission, to the ‘Great Reform Act’. As well as revealing the wider importance of parliamentary boundaries to the passage of reform by 1832, Drummond and the boundary commission established significant precedents for the expansion of the reformed British state and future parliamentary reform.
To celebrate Women’s History Month and tie in with the IHR and KCL event on London’s women historians (http://www.history.ac.uk/events/event/7709), we have brought together a selection of articles by women historians published in the journal since 2000. The collection includes academics at various stages of their careers – from eminent professors to early career researchers – and highlights the range and depth of women’s research interests. Articles are free to read throughout 2017.
This article offers a new perspective on the context and significance of the 1553 succession crisis precipitated by the Protestant Edward VI’s abortive bid to exclude his Catholic sister Mary in favour of his evangelical cousin Jane. Challenging the view of Jane’s coup as an evangelical crusade, and of Mary’s victory as the only successful Tudor rebellion, it analyses the constitutional principles behind the new settlement of succession, demonstrates how it was justified to the public and uncovers its Elizabethan legacy. By closely reading a series of key texts, it reshapes our understanding of this seminal event in Tudor history.
The Annual Pollard Prize – named in honour of the IHR’s founding director A. F. Pollard (1869-1948) – was established in 1999, initially as a termly prize for the best paper given at an IHR seminar by a postgraduate or early career researcher (within one year of obtaining the Ph.D). It has grown in popularity over the years with entries increasing in quality, quantity and variety. Papers cover subjects as extensive as our range of seminars. Winners have written on travellers in Britain, colonial policemen, 18th-century footwear retailing, Foot and Mouth disease, saints’ cults and masculinity in the Nazi concentration camps, amongst many other topics. A list of early winners can be found here.
Early copy of the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research (1924) announces fourteen IHR seminars. We now offer 74!
First prize is publication in the prestigious IHR journal, Historical Research, and £200 to spend on books from our publisher Wiley. A variable number of runner up prizes are awarded, depending on the quality of applications in any given year. Prizes are publication in the journal and a selection of Wiley books.
Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 prize. Papers should be sent to email@example.com with a supporting reference from a seminar convenor. The deadline for the prize is 26 May (papers scheduled to be given after that date but within the academic year may be submitted in advance). For more information see here.
In recent years, the study of the networks, ideas and identities that bound the ‘British world’ together has proved a rich field of enquiry in imperial history. This article seeks to apply those insights to an issue that dominated much of Britain’s relations with its settler colonies before the First World War: the controversies surrounding the exclusion of Asian migrants. Racial exclusion has garnered a great deal of scholarly attention in recent years. This article builds on that historiography, but also questions its inattention to the British connection, and hence to considerations of imperial power. It analyses how the debate on immigration served as a canvas on which advocates and detractors of exclusion could paint competing concepts of empire, and seeks to understand how policymakers attempted to manage the migration question through a range of spatial and diplomatic solutions. It will attempt, in sum, to show how a global empire dealt with the problems of a world that seemed increasingly divided along racial lines.
This article examines the last twenty years of the life of one of Ireland’s most controversial scholars, the polymath John Pentland Mahaffy. Mahaffy’s name still has wide resonance in Irish historiography owing to his interventions in Irish cultural politics in the decades before 1919. He is frequently seen as an ‘anti-Irish’ figure. This article places Mahaffy in the wider context of international scholarship of the late Victorian era, arguing that he was a cosmopolitan whose overriding concern was not Ireland, or even Britain, but the fracturing of the republic of letters.
In Renaissance Florence, the militia force created by Machiavelli in 1506, then re-established in 1527–30, involved the production of two types of records: the low-level ‘practical’ records which documented the daily running of an army in the field, such as muster rolls, notes and lists; and the upper-level administrative records, such as the correspondence between governing bodies and military officers. An analysis of published and unpublished sources provides evidence of the importance of such documentary practices, and highlights the problems connected to the loss and preservation of low-level military records relating to Renaissance ordinanze and militia.
The twelfth-century chronology of the de Mortemer (later Mortimer) family of Wigmore has proved a difficult and confusing subject. In particular, most scholars have accepted the Complete Peerage genealogy, which incorrectly posits the existence of two distinct lords called Hugh between 1104 and 1181. Here, the English sources are reconsidered alongside independent Norman evidence, resulting in a more robust genealogy and a better context for understanding how the de Mortemers shifted their position from being primarily a Norman family with English and Welsh interests (which they neglected) to being primarily an English one with Norman and Welsh responsibilities (which they did not).
There were undercurrents of discontent amidst the public rejoicing which met the marriage of the future William III and Mary II in November 1677. This article examines the nature of those public misgivings and assesses how Stuart and Orange propaganda responded to the ensuing doubts and anxieties. Through detailed analysis of public festivities, medals and prints, it explores the development of complex images which endorsed the policies and personalities of husband and wife. Ultimately, these hitherto neglected representations of William and Mary were both persuasive and influential, providing the foundations for their regal portrayal, following the 1688 revolution.
This article examines the reform of the penitential system during the reign of Henry VIII. It considers the call to reform, and analyses official statements from the Ten Articles (1536) to the King’s Book (1543), which is usually regarded as a victory for traditional religion. A careful assessment of the section of the King’s Book on the sacrament of penance, and of the King’s Primer, reveals that in this area evangelical reformers made gains. It shows Cranmer influencing Henry’s religious policy, and as such challenges George Bernard’s position. The article therefore argues for the major significance of penitential reform in the English Reformation.
This article investigates the discussion of the origins and development of religious belief within the Scottish jurist and philosopher Henry Home, Lord Kames’s Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1751). Kames’s work is argued to be a significant yet understudied contribution to the Scottish Enlightenment’s examination of religion as a human phenomenon. The Principles contained one of the lengthiest analyses on the topic published by a Scottish literatus. In particular, Kames placed into a historical trajectory the internal sense theory’s account of the non-rational origins of religious belief. In doing so, he provided an apologetic account of the progress from polytheism to monotheism resulting from the emergence of civil society, which set the tone for later Scottish discussions of religion.