Next Seminar – Liverpool 1st Nov 2017

We’re delighted to announce the programme for the next North West Early Modern Seminar, to be held at the University of Liverpool on Nov 1st from 3-5 PM. Please find the full details below.

NWEMS October

If you’d like to join us for dinner after the seminar, please email by Wednesday 25th Oct. We look forward to seeing you on November 1st!


CFP: NWEMS at University of Liverpool – 1st Nov 2017

Dear all,

The next North West Early Modern Seminar will be hosted by the University of Liverpool on 1st November 2017. We are currently looking for speakers to present brief 5 minute papers related to their research interests, in any discipline, in the early modern period.

Previous speakers have presented papers on topics as diverse as the early modern origins of sign language, the many faces of the Elizabethan pirate, notions of settlement and their development in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the language of value in seventeenth and eighteenth-century auction advertisements. The five minute slots are ideal for presenting work in progress, new projects, or for PhD students wanting to gain experience in presenting.

The application process will be conducted on a “first-come-first-served” basis.

If you wish to volunteer  please send your name, institution and the title or subject area of your paper to  by 5pm on 29th September.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will feel free to promote the CFP and event at your own institutions.

Best wishes,


Andrew Crome

Chair – North West Early Modern Seminar

Lecturer in Early Modern History, Manchester Metropolitan University

North West Seminar at Liverpool Hope University

In November the North West Early Modern Seminar was hosted by Liverpool Hope University where we enjoyed a series of excellent papers and presentations on current research projects. John Appleby (Liverpool Hope University) explored the ways in which the notorious pirate John Callice was able to benefit from networks of assistance and lack of action by local authorities, and the problems posed by this form of organised crime for the Elizabethan government. Dr Appleby drew attention to the fascinating image of the redeemed pirate, at times both useful to Callice and acceptable to ministers seeking to draw on his considerable knowledge. Dr Jenni Hyde (University of Manchester) stepped in at short notice and discussed the use by mid-Tudor ballad composers of simple, memorable tunes in familiar musical forms which could be reworded to suit a particular topical issue, demonstrating her point by leading her audience in song! She explored the range of subjects that were addressed in both surviving manuscript and print collections, and balladeers’ use of ambiguous words – and the potential consequences, in the context of the Henrician treason legislation, of being willing to explain them to an audience.

We heard from our ‘speed-daters’ after a short break, beginning with Dr Nicholas Seager (University of Keele) who discussed his current work editing the surviving correspondence of Daniel Defoe, talking us through the range of subject matter and the associated editorial challenges. Michael Smith (University of Manchester) explored an aspect of his doctoral research on late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century Protestantism, focusing on the motives of the SPCK in circulating work by the non-conformist theologian, Jean Le Clerc. Dr James Mawdesley (Liverpool Hope University) closed our proceedings by exploring the significance of the probable links between Richard Mather of Boston and clergy in Bury in the establishment of Presbyterianism in Lancashire in the 1640s.

We continued discussions over drinks and a meal.MWEMS 25 Nov 2015

North West Early Modern Seminar at the University of Huddersfield

In March the North West Early Modern Seminar travelled to Huddersfield where we heard some excellent papers and shared current research projects. Professor Jessica Malay (University of Huddersfield) gave an insight into the life of Katehrine Hampson, an independent genteel woman of the seventeenth century. Using wills and printed texts Professor Malay pieced together the social networks of Katherine Hampson beyond the nuclear family, with some important ramifications for the social role of unmarried women in early modern England. Dr Benjamin Williams (John Rylands Research Institute) talked us through the different expositing texts and commentaries in the Rabbinic Bible. His close analysis of annotations on the Bible held at the John Rylands Library made for an exciting discussion of the translation of particular words such as ‘hell’ and ‘damnation’ from Greek texts.


Professor Jessica Malay and Dr Benjamin Wiliams


A copy of the Rabbinic Bible held at the John Rylands Library

After a cake filled break we heard from our five minute ‘speed daters’. Rebecca Walker (University of Huddersfield) discussed her ongoing research project on the ideals of household hospitality. Dr Fiona Pogson (Liverpool Hope University) shared some recent research finds for the accounts of Thomas Wentworh, earl of Strafford. We also heard from Hannah Robb (University of Manchester) on her PhD project looking into the sociability of credit in the fifteenth century and Richard Leese (University of Huddersfield) who shared an interesting interdisciplinary research project on the archaeology of sieges in the English Civil War.


Our five minute ‘speed-daters’ taking questions

We followed the seminar with drinks, food and further discussion. Information on the next North West Early Modern Seminar will be posted here on the blog and twitter feed @NWSeminar. If you would like any information about the upcoming events of the seminar or would like to submit papers for future events please contact the secretary, Rachel Winchcombe at

North West Early Modern Seminar at Keele University

On Wednesday 29th October the North West Early Modern Seminar gathered at Keele University. We heard some excellent papers and exchanged results from recent research projects and papers. Ann Hughes (Keele University) shared the results from ongoing research into the financial records of the English civil war with some unexpected outcomes for the social and cultural implications of memory and remembrance in the seventeenth century. Sasha Handley (University of Manchester) discussed an intriguing eighteenth century bed sheet and the scientific experiments behind this ongoing research. We closed the papers of the ‘speed-daters’ with Rachel Winchcombe (University of Manchester) who explored the complexities of the ‘fantastical’ concept of El Dorado, with the suggestion that it was more grounded in science and reason than previously considered.

Allan Kennedy

Allan Kennedy (University of Manchester)

Simon Hill

Simon Hill (Liverpool John Moores University)

After a quick break we reconvened for two insightful twenty minute papers. Following on from his recent publication, Governing Gaeldom: The Scottish Highlands and the Restoration State, 1660-1688, Dr Allan Kennedy (University of Manchester) discussed the possibilities of court records from Argyllshire for a social history of Scottish crime. The preliminary research for the project pointed to a moderate and malleable rural judicial system which bucked the trend for a severe and bloody penal code in seventeenth century Scotland. Our second presenter, Simon Hill (Liverpool John Moores University), gave us an insight into his current doctoral research into the privateers of Liverpool in the American War of Independence. The presentation looked at the mechanics of privateering, its economic value to the local and national economy and the interaction between privateers and the state.

We closed the evening with drinks and further discussion in the pub. The next North West Early Modern Seminar will be held at the University of Huddersfield on the 11th March, 3pm. If you would like any information about the upcoming events of the seminar or would like to submit papers for future events please contact the secretary, Rachel Winchcombe at