I am a historian of early modern Britain and the British Atlantic world with particular research interests in Wales, gentry culture, and colonialism. My work is chronologically broad, encompassing the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and geographically wide-ranging, incorporating British involvement in European wars and colonial activity in North America. Before arriving at Oxford, I held the Economic History Society Postan Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research.
My first monograph looks at gentry culture and society in early modern Britain. It uses the example of Wales to explore the relationship between power, status, and identity in early modern communities. For the Welsh gentry, Welshness was fundamental to their status and ability to hold positions of authority. My research confirms the uniqueness of the Welsh gentry as a distinct social class, while also providing a new analysis of why they retained their Welsh identity and the importance of Welshness to social status in early modern Wales. It emphasises the continued strength of regional and national identity in early modern Britain, a counterpoint to the increased centralisation of the early modern British state.
While at Oxford, I am also starting my second book project. This examines early modern Welsh colonial activity in the British Atlantic world, particularly the colonies of North America. My research builds on the developing body of scholarship on Irish and Scottish involvement in early modern British expansionism while nuancing the debate by introducing Wales’ own unique relationship with the British state. My project explicitly seeks to incorporate the experiences of Indigenous people, presenting a full account of the impact of early modern British colonialism and its legacies.
I am especially interested in recovering marginalised voices from the archives and I have published on early modern Welsh women, who rarely appear in their own words.
You can follow me on Twitter @pastdeeds