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Professor John Hatcher

Professor John Hatcher

Emeritus Professor of Economic and Social History

Corpus Christi College
Trumpington Street

Cambridge CB2 1RP

Departments and Institutes

Corpus Christi College:

Research Interests

John Hatcher's general field of research lies in the economic, social and demographic history of England from the middle ages to the eighteenth century. Within this broad area the focus of his attention in recent years has included the rise of the British coal industry before the industrial revolution; the impact of the Black Death of 1348-9; working habits and leisure in medieval and early modern England; the history and theory of economic development in the middle ages; and the population history of England between 1450 and 1750. He has recently published a book on the experiences of the ordinary individuals who lived and died in the Black Death which combines history with fiction.

Research Supervision

In the last few years John Hatcher has supervised successful Ph.D and M.Phil students working on: farm management and agricultural technology in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; Cambridge and its economic region, 1450-1560; the culture and practice of commerce in the late middle ages; court rolls and village life in fourteenth-century Cambridgeshire; the economy of late medieval nunneries, and the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 in Cambridgeshire.

Key Publications

  • A History of the British Coal Industry before 1700 (Oxford University Press, 1993)
  • 'England in the aftermath of the Black Death',Past & Present, 1994
  • Medieval England: towns, crafts and commerce (Longman, 1995), with Edward Miller
  • Progress and Problems in Medieval England;(Cambridge University Press, 1996), ed. with Richard Britnell.
  • 'Labour, leisure and economic thought before the 19th entury', Past & Present, 1998.
  • Modelling the Middle Ages: England's economic development in theory and practice(Oxford University Press, 2001), with Mark Bailey.
  • 'Understanding the population history of England, 1450-1750', Past & Present, 2003.
  • The Black Death: an intimate history (Weidenfeld and Nicolson (UK) and Da Capo Press (USA), 2008.
  • 'Unreal Wages: Long-run living standards and the 'Golden Age' of the fifteenth century', in Commercial Activity, Markets and Entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages, ed. B Dodds and C Liddy (Boydell Press, 2011).
  • 'Fiction as History: the Black Death and Beyond', History, 97, January 2012