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Alex Wakelam

Alex Wakelam

Alex Wakelam is available for consultancy.


PhD in History. University of Cambridge 2015-2018. Supervised by Dr Amy Erickson

MPhil in Early Modern History. University of Cambridge 2014-2015.

BA in History. University of York 2011-2014.

Research Interests

My research interests primarily centre on the social, economic, and cultural history of England 1650-1815 with a particular focus on the economic experiences of women in the period.

My PhD research focussed on examining female financial failure and imprisonment for debt in the long eighteenth century, primarily through a quantitative study of prison commitment registers. It aims to assess the changing and static structures, character, and quantity of female debt within the period (particularly business debt) to demonstrate the regularity of female financial activity across the period. Its secondary aim is to re-evaluate the role of the debtors' prison within Early Modern society, separating it from the Dickensian fantasy and presenting it as a key element in eighteenth century debt enforcement, based on prison evidence rather than contemporary rhetoric.

My MPhil thesis focussed on the Merchant Taylors' Company of York and their admittance of women after 1693. Using company and civic records, centring on a database created from entrances to the apprenticeship register (1696-1725), my work studied female apprenticeship strategies, parental intentions, and the worth of female traders within the city in the first thirty years of female membership of the Company. It was awarded a distinction and can be read in the History Faculty's Seeley Library.


Part I: Paper 9 - British economic and social history, c. 1500-1750

Other Professional Activities

Member of The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure


  • Economic, Social History
  • Early Modern History

Key Publications

“Benefiting from the ‘comforts of ease & afluence’: The Experience of Female Business Retirement in the Diary of Sarah Florry”, Women’s History Review vol.27, no.5 (2018), 707-728.