Dr Jonah Miller

Research Fellow, King's College
Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of History

I am a historian of Britain from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. I have wide interests in social history, legal history, gender history, and the history of political thought. In particular, I study everyday practices of government - especially policing - and how they relate to large, abstract power structures like patriarchy and the state.

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. During 2024 I will be away from Cambridge as a Lecturer at King's College London, before returning in January 2025.

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.


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