Ian King

PhD Candidate in Early Modern History


I completed a B.A. in history at Trinity College, Connecticut (Hons.) in 2018 before coming to Cambridge to pursue an M.Phil. in the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic. I then joined the faculty of history to begin doctoral research in early modern Anglo-Saxon reception, funded by the F. W. Maitland Studentship in Legal History.

My PhD research examines sixteenth and seventeenth-century interest in the pre-Norman English past on the part of prominent lawyers and jurists. I take legal history as a branch of intellectual history to explore the relationship between law, antiquarianism and historical consciousness in early modern England. My research is supervised by Dr Clare Jackson (Trinity Hall) and advised by Dr Paul Cavill (Pembroke).

Research Interests

My research interests include early modern intellectual history, medievalism, historical identity, English legal history, the history of the book and private collections, pre-Norman England, and the history of Anglo-Saxon studies and of the Old English language. I am also interested in early notions of race and descent myth, especially early modern precursors to Victorian conceptions of Germanic and proto-Germanic English ancestry. 


For the coming academic year (2021-2), I will be conducting undergraduate supervisions for Part II Paper 12: The 'rule of law' in early modern Britain: State power, criminal justice, and civil liberties, c.1500–c.1800.


Tags & Themes


Peterhouse, Cambridge



Key publications