skip to primary navigationskip to content

Harry Spillane

Harry Spillane

PhD Candidate in History

Trumpington Street,

Cambridge CB2 1RD


I am a PhD candidate at Peterhouse, studying the creation, production and reception of the Bishops’ Bible in Elizabethan England.

I completed by undergraduate degree at Oxford (Merton College) in 2017 before moving to Cambridge (Peterhouse), on a Newton Scholarship, where I completed my MPhil in 2018, supervised by Dr. Arnold Hunt.


Research Interests

My research explores the difficulties and practicalities of producing English Bibles under Elizabeth I with a particular focus on how Archbishop Matthew Parker and his bishops produced the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 – and then revised it in 1572. I wish to challenge perceptions that it was a universal failure and understand more fully how it shaped the Elizabethan Church and English Protestant identity from the 1570s. This project seeks to use methodologies that have been developed by Historians of the Book to understand how bibles were created and purchased whilst considering the social and cultural impact of the Bishops’ Bible on Elizabethan Protestant culture.

More broadly, I am interested in the development of different Protestant ‘identities’ in post-Reformation England, the ways in which the English Reformations shaped the English book trade and the attempts by writers and polemicists on either side of the confessional divide to rewrite the history of the Church for their own purposes.


Research Supervision

I am supervised by Prof. Alexandra Walsham and advised by Mr Scott Mandelbrote.



I offer supervisions in the following papers in the Historical Tripos:

Paper 4 - British political history, 1485-1714

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


Other Professional Activities

From 2019 to 2020 I am one of the conveners of the Early Modern History Seminar.



  • Early Modern History

Key Publications

Review of Stuart Succession Literature, Moments and Transformations, P. Kewes and A. McRae (ed.), in The Journal of Royal Studies, 6:1 (July, 2019), 123-125.

Review of Elizabethan Publishing and the Making of Literary Culture, by K. Melnikoff, in Sixteenth Century Journal, (Summer, 2019), forthcoming.