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Leanne Smith

Leanne Smith is a History research student. Leanne's PhD is 'No King but Jesus’: The Fifth Monarchist’s idea of a Christian Commonwealth.

Project title

'No King but Jesus’: The Fifth Monarchist’s idea of a Christian Commonwealth.


Leanne Smith

Project description

The execution of Charles I in 1649 ushered in a decade of ‘experimental republicanism’ as political thinkers, such as John Milton and James Harrington, began to put into print their thoughts on how a republican form of government should be constituted. It was during this politically turbulent period in British history that the Fifth Monarchy Men, a millenarian sect, began to also push for the creation of a godly commonwealth like that of the ancient Hebrew republic.

Although, early modern English republicanism has been the focus of much scholarly attention, interest in godly republicanism has attracted a relatively small audience. In fact, in the historiography of the Fifth Monarchists their engagement with republican thought has been dismissed as ‘superficial’ and simply as a ploy to increase their declining membership. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the study of godly republicanism through offering a reassessment of the political and religious thought of the Fifth Monarchy Men.


MA in Historical Research, University of Sunderland.

BA (Hons) History, University of Sunderland.


2017 - Sid Chaplin Memorial Prize awarded by the North East Labour History Society.

2018 – Blackwell’s Award for Best History Dissertation.

2019 - named proxime accessit for the Rees Davies Prize by the Royal Historical Society.


Research Grants

AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership.


Early Career Member Royal Historical Society.

Other Roles


Smith. L., “The Struggle over Female Labour at the Durham Coalfield, 1914-1918”, in North East History Volume 49 2018, pp. 11-25.


Month 2020 - University of Sunderland Humanities Seminar.

November 2020 – Northern Early Modern Network Graduate Conference.

January 2021 – Newcastle University Postgraduate Forum Seminar.


2021 – HIS1101 – Historical Sources and Methods.

Other Roles

Newcastle University PGF Seminar Series Co-ordinator (20/21).

Editor of SHCA Research Matters newsletter (2020).

Northern Early Modern Network - Conference Liaison.