Dr Jonah Miller
I am a historian of policing in Britain between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. I’m especially interested in how everyday policing practices connect to large, abstract power structures like patriarchy and the state, and how those connections change over time.
I received my BA from Queen’s College, Oxford, and my PhD from King’s College London before arriving in Cambridge as Research Fellow in the study of Prejudice, partly funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
My first book, Gender and Policing in Early Modern England, traces the beginnings of a shift from one kind of gendered policing to another: from local government by the heads of middling households to law enforcement by groups of poorer unmarried men. It combines social, legal, and gender history to explore the changing relationship between patriarchy and the state.
I’m now working on two new projects. The first is about a long-forgotten killing by a London police officer in the mid-nineteenth century. This case offers new insights into the relations between policing, poverty, and radical politics in the early years of professionalised law enforcement.
The second project is a longer-term legal history of arrests and other forms of capture in the common law world. This explores the boundaries between legal and extralegal coercion in Britain and across the British empire. Lawyers and others remade the law of arrest for different persons, places, and political contexts, reflecting and shaping ideas of liberty, hierarchy, and state power.