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Professor Boyd Hilton

Professor Boyd Hilton

Emeritus Professor of Modern British History

Trinity College
Cambridge CB2 1TQ

Departments and Institutes

Trinity College:

Research Interests

British history from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. I have just completed a large volume on the period 1783-1846 for the New Oxford History of England series. This has necessitated a synoptic approach to the period, taking in political, social, economic, cultural, intellectual, military, gender, and many other themes. My previous work focused mainly on politics, economic and social thought and policy, religion (especially evangelicalism); and scientific controversy.

Research Supervision

Mainly British history from the mid eighteenth to the mid nineteenth century: My current research students are working on religious ideology and eighteenth-century penal theory; interactions between the thought of William Paley and Robert Malthus; the politics of national defence during the Napoleonic wars and its impact on national identity; the impact of the Clapham Sect and the development of Anglican evangelical religious networks; Whig statesmen and the impact of natural science on government, 1807-52.

Key Publications


  • Corn, Cash, Commerce: The Economic Policies of the Tory Governments, 1815-1830 (1978)
  • The Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought, ca. 1795-1865 (1988)
  • A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? England 1783-1846 (2006). 

    Note: Articles on Peel, Gladstone, and Disraeli, and on religious, and scientific themes.