Dr Fred Smith

Junior Research Fellow, Clare College
Fred Smith
After completing a BA in History at the University of Warwick, I qualified as a Key Stage Two teacher and worked for two years in a Primary School in Ramsgate, Kent. In 2015, I returned to academia, completing an MPhil in Early Modern History at Cambridge and going on to study for a PhD under the supervision of Professor Alexandra Walsham. After working in the British Library in 2019 as part of a project digitising, cataloguing and researching King George III’s extensive collection of maps, I returned to Cambridge as a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College.
My PhD research highlighted the importance of exile, displacement and mobility in shaping the development of mid sixteenth-century English Catholicism. Focussing upon English Catholic exiles from the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, it explored the ways in which these emigres' experiences of displacement and dislocation, as well as their contact with Catholics from throughout Europe, influenced the development of their religious and political beliefs and identities. Through investigating the influential roles many of these exiles went on to fulfill after their return home during the reign of Mary I, my PhD sought to reconnect the history of mid-Tudor English Catholicism to the religious history of the continent and the rest of the British Isles.

Whilst I am currently working on preparing my PhD for publication, I have also begun a new research project. This explores perceptions of religious radicalism in early modern Britain, focussing particularly upon perceptions of Anabaptism, 1530-1640.
I offer supervisions in the following papers in Part I of the Historical Tripos:

Part I: Paper 4 - British political history, 1485-1714

Part I: Paper 9 - British economic and social history, c. 1500-1750
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library, Los Angeles, March-June 2020

Cataloguer and Researcher, Kings Topographical Project, British Library, London, January - September 2019

Scouloudi Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, London, 2018-19

Lead Convenor of the Gender and Sexuality History Graduate Workshop, 2016-18

Organiser of the 2017 Cambridge AHRC DTP International Conference on "Tradition and Transformation", 18-20 September 2017, Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Co-Editor of Doing History in Public, 2015-2018.


Tags & Themes


Clare College, Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TL


Key publications

'Reinventing the Counter-Reformation in Marian England, 1553-1558', The Historical Journal (forthcoming, 2020) (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X20000394)
'Life after Exile: Former English Catholic Exiles and the Legacy of Flight in Marian England', English Historical Review, 133 (2018), pp. 806-834 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cey204)

'A "fownde patrone and second father" of the Marian Church: Antonio Buonvisi, Religious Exile and the Development of Mid-Tudor Catholicism', British Catholic History, 34 (2018), pp. 222-246 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/bch.2018.22)

'The Origins of Recusancy in Elizabethan England Reconsidered', The Historical Journal, 60 (2017), pp. 301-332 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X16000169)

Other publications