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Early Modern Economic and Social History

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Lent Term 2020



The seminar meets Thursdays at 5 pm in Room 12 of the History Faculty.

We normally have dinner with the speaker afterwards, to which all are welcome.

Convenors: Amy Erickson, Leigh Shaw-Taylor, Hillary Taylor, and Paul Warde



23 January

Samantha Williams (Cambridge)
The ‘unruly infected’: enforcing the plague orders in Cambridge in 1625

The plague orders that were issued by the English government between 1518 and 1666 aimed to ensure treatment of the sick and limit the spread of the disease, but government orders were only as good as their enforcement at the local level. Focussing on Cambridge, this paper examines the way in which plague orders were implemented, and infringements against them punished, as heard at the Vice Chancellor’s and Mayor’s Court in 1625.


 6 February *Postponed*

Paul Warde (Cambridge)
Title T.B.C.


 20 February

Karolina Hutkova (London School of Economics)
West Indies technologies in the East Indies: Imperial preference and sugar business in Bihar, 1800-1850s

European sugar entrepreneurs in Bihar adopting West Indian sugar technologies in the 1830s-40s faced a lack of irrigation technologies, a lack of internal transport networks, and low yielding sugar cane varieties. When Britain equalised duties on slave and non-slave sugar, London prices fell and Indian sugar producers went bankrupt. Sugar was among the chief Indian exports and a major source of foreign exchange. This policy change betrays inconsistency in British imperial policies towards overseas colonies and a lack of consideration of colonial manufacturing.


12 March

Jonas Lindstrom (Uppsala University)
Making verbs capture change

The verb-oriented method was developed to make possible the study of work in the early modern period (see M. Ågren, ed., Making a Living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society (2017)). To what extent, and how, can it be used to study the transition to the modern world? How do verb phrases relate to occupational descriptors, to questions of specialization and to changing labour relations?


The support of the Trevelyan Fund (Faculty of History) is gratefully acknowledged.


 Lent 2020 programme - print version


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Seminar programme archive

 Easter Term 2019

 Lent Term 2019

Easter Term 2018

Lent Term 2018

Easter Term 2017

Lent Term 2017

Easter Term 2016

Lent Term 2016

Easter Term 2015

Lent Term 2015

Easter Term 2014

Lent Term 2014

Michaelmas Term 2013

Easter Term 2013

Lent Term 2013

Lent Term 2012




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