School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Professor Jeremy Boulton

Professor of Urban History


Feedback, guidance and consultation hours: In semester 2: Tuesdays, 10-12 noon, Wednesdays, 12 noon - 1pm

 I am a historian of early modern London. I have published widely on many aspects of the capital’s economy, society and demography between 1550 and 1825. I am currently working on welfare and demography in Georgian Westminster. Since 2004 I have been leading the Pauper Lives project (, which is based on reconstructing the lives of those who inhabited the large parish workhouse of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s West End (1725-1824). This research has been twice funded by the ESRC and also by the Wellcome Trust.

I was educated at St Andrew’s University and received my PHD from Cambridge University in 1983. I was a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge (1982-1990) and a Research Associate at the Cambridge Population Group (1985-1990). I moved to Newcastle in 1990. I was Head of School (2003-8) and Director of the Newcastle Branch of the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (2009-10).

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I have been a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and am currently a member of the ESRC Peer Review College. I was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2009.



Research interests

My main area of research is based on the Pauper Lives Project. This on-going research aims to reconstruct the lives of those who inhabited the large parish workhouse of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s West End (1725-1824).  The project is interdisciplinary. Outputs, to date, have included articles on the history of the elderly, the health and mortality of workhouse inmates, the treatment of lunatics, pauper life cycles, the impact of the law of settlement and the changing welfare priorities during the period. Recent funding has focused on analysing the demography of the parish. This research has been funded  twice by the ESRC and once by the Wellcome Trust. A related Leverhulme-funded project started in January 2013 this looks at the mortality regime in Manchester 1750-1850.

Funded projects

 'Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850', Leverhulme Trust, with Romola Davenport, 2013-2015.

‘Infant Mortality by Social Status in London: The Baptism Fee Books of St Martin-in-the-Fields’, ESRC award with Romola Davenport (Cambridge). 2011 to September 2013.

‘Death, Disease and the Environment: contextualising individual causes of death in London, 1747-1825’, Wellcome Trust Award with Leonard Schwarz (Birmingham), 2007-2011.

‘The Lives of the Poor in the West End of London 1724-1824’, ESRC award with Leonard Schwarz (Birmingham), 2004-2007.


Undergraduate Teaching

I have run the following undergraduate courses in the last five years:
HIS2114 Death, dying and the dead in early modern England
HIS2081 A Protestant Nation in Crisis: British History 1560-1688
HIS3119 The Wages of Sin? Venereal Disease in Early Modern England (1500-1800)
HIS3118 Hogarth! The artist and his life in Georgian London, 1697-1764

I also contribute to HIS3008 Reading History and supervising undergraduate dissertations. 

Postgraduate Teaching

I used to run HIS8028 'Death cultures in early modern England' for the MA British History. I now lead the module 'HIS8105 Reform and resistance in England 1700-1939'.

I currently supervise Cara Middlemass, who is studying memorial jewellery in early modern England.