Mark Allen

PhD Candidate in Early Modern History

After completing a BA with Honours in musicology and history at La Trobe University in Australia, and a German government funded research project at the Universität Freiburg, Mark worked in communications for several years in both Melbourne and London. In 2018 he returned to academia, completing an MA in Early Modern History at King’s College London. He is now studying for a PhD focused on the politics of religious tolerance and intolerance in early Stuart London under the supervision of Professor Alexandra Walsham. Mark is the History Faculty Cranmer Award Scholar for 2023-2024.

Mark’s research is focused on the politics of tolerance and intolerance in early Stuart London through a case study of popular Catholic worship in the queen’s and embassy chapels. Reconsidering assumptions that post-Reformation Catholic religious practice in England was essentially domestic and discreet, he is exploring how the corporate rituals in London’s chapels had many surprising parallels with the public and communal Baroque piety that was evolving on the Continent. Mark's project also explores the various political, cultural, and social principles that allowed these spaces to simultaneously function as points of protections for Catholics and sites of tension for Protestants. It additionally investigates the role of the presence and tolerance of Counter-Reformation piety in London on the contemporary fear of Catholics and seventeenth-century religio-political crises.




'London Catholicism, embassy chapels, and religious tolerance in late Jacobean polemic' at the 2021 Reformation Studies Colloquium organised by the Centre for Reformations Studies at the University of Birmingham.

'In the shadows?: London’s queen’s and ambassadors’ chapels and the visibility of baroque Catholicism, 1603-1643' at the 2022 Cambridge-Tübingen Workshop (hosted by the Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen).

'The queen’s and embassy chapels and the boundaries of tolerance in early Stuart London, 1603-c1643' at the Early Modern British and Irish Seminar, University of Cambridge, February 2023.

'Reconsidering tolerance, Catholicism, and the queen's and embassy chapels in early Stuart London, 1603 - 1642', at the Britain in the 17th Century Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London, December 2023.


Tags & Themes


Darwin College, Silver St, Cambridge CB3 9EU.