RHS Officers

Professor Margot Finn
President

Margot Finn is President of the Royal Historical Society and Chair in Modern British History at University College London. She is an historian of Britain and the British colonial world in the ‘very long 19th century’, c. 1750-1914. Margot was recently Principal Investigator on the major Leverhulme Trust-funded project ‘East India Company at Home, 1757-1857’, and is a former Vice-President of the RHS. She is also a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and was a REF History Sub-panel member. Her publications include After Chartism: Class and Nation in English Radical Politics 1848-1874 (Cambridge, 2003), and The Character of Credit: Personal Debt in English Culture, 1740-1914 (Cambridge, 2003).

Dr Alix Green
Honorary Director of Communications

Alix Green is Lecturer in History at the University of Essex. She entered academia after a career in policy, strategy and government affairs. She founded the Public History seminar series at the Institute of Historical Research in London, and is a juror for the Public History Prize, which the RHS runs in association with the IHR seminar and the Historical Association. Her publications include History, policy and public purpose: historians and historical thinking in government (Palgrave, 2016) and Historians on the inside: thinking with history in policy’ in A Companion to Public History (Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming 2017).

Dr Zoe Laidlaw
Honorary Secretary

Zoe Laidlaw is Reader in British Imperial & Colonial History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research covers Britain’s empire and colonies in the nineteenth century, with particular focuses on imperial networks, humanitarianism, governance and colonial knowledge. Her publications include Colonial Connections: Patronage, the Information Revolution and Colonial Government (Manchester, 2005), and Indigenous Communities and Settler Colonialism: Land Holding, Loss and Survival in an Interconnected World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). She is currently completing the manuscript for Protecting Humanity: British Colonialism, Imperial Humanitarianism and the Aborigines’ Protection Society, c. 1830-1870.

Professor Sarah Hamilton
Honorary Treasurer

Sarah Hamilton is Professor of Medieval History in the Department of History at the University of Exeter. Her work focuses on exploring the nature of the relationships between ecclesiastical institutions, their rites and medieval society in the years which divide the early from high Middle Ages, c. 900-1100 AD, with a particular interest in liturgy. Her publications include The Practice of Penance, 900-1050, RHS Studies in History (London: Boydell and Brewer for RHS, 2001) and Church and People in the Medieval West, 900-1200 (London: Routledge, 2013).

Professor Andrew Spicer
Literary Director

Andrew Spicer is Professor of Early Modern European History at Oxford Brookes University. He completed his doctorate at the University of Southampton on exiles from France and the Southern Netherlands in the late sixteenth century. He has published widely on early modern immigrant communities, as well as nineteenth-century interest in the Huguenots. His more recent work has focused on the socio-cultural impact of the Reformation, particularly sacred space, art & architecture, and the material culture & setting of worship. He is an editor of the Ecclesiastical History Society’s Studies in Church History series. Besides Calvinist Churches in Early Modern Europe (Manchester, 2007), he has published a number of edited volumes, most recently Parish Churches in the Early Modern World (Farnham, 2016). He is currently completing a monograph entitled Conflict and the Religious Landscape: Cambrai and the Southern Netherlands, c. 1566–1621 to be published by Brill.

Professor Richard Toye
Literary Director

Richard Toye is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is an historian of Britain in in its global and imperial context in the period from the late nineteenth century to the present. He is the author of a number of books on Winston Churchill including The Roar of the Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill’s World War II Speeches (OUP, 2013), and Churchill’s Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made (Macmillan, 2010). He has also written books on persuasion in modern British politics, the history of the British Labour Party, and the Oxford Very Short Introduction to Rhetoric.

Professor Mary Vincent
Vice President and Chair of Research Policy Committee

Mary Vincent teaches at the University of Sheffield where she is Professor of Modern European History. She is on the editorial boards of Contemporary European History and Gender and History. Her main research interests lie in the history of modern Spain, particularly in the period of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship (1931-75). An interest in the social basis of Franco’s support, particularly that provided by the Catholic Church, has informed much of her work and had led to research interests in both the radical right and the history of gender.  Recently, her work has focused on violence and legitimacy, both in a comparative European context and in Spain itself. These themes are explored in her Modern Spain 1833-2002: People and State (2007) and have also led to her current project on iconoclasm, religious violence and the nature of Franco’s ‘crusade’.

Professor Ken Fincham
Vice-President and Chair of Education Policy Committee

Ken Fincham is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Kent. His research centres on politics, religion and culture in early modern Britain. His publications include Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I (OUP, 1990) and (with Nicholas Tyacke) Altars Restored: the Changing Face of English Religious Worship c.1547-1700 (OUP, 2007). He is one of three directors of the AHRC-funded ‘Clergy of the Church of England Database Project’, and sits on the editorial board of Boydell & Brewer’s Studies in Modern British Religious History series.

Professor Simon Newman
Vice President and Chair of Publications Committee

Simon Newman is the Sir Denis Brogan Professor of American History at the University of Glasgow. He is the author or editor of Parades and the Politics of the Street: Festive Culture in the Early American Republic (1997), Embodied History: The Lives of the Poor in Early Philadelphia (2003), Europe’s American Revolution (2006), A New World of Labor (2013), and Paine and the Age of Revolutions (2013). He currently holds a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant for a project entitled ‘Runaway Slaves in Britain,’ and is working on runaway slaves and the various forms of slavery in the eighteenth century British Atlantic World.

Professor Frances Andrews
Vice-President

Frances Andrews is Professor in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews, where she founded the Institute of Mediaeval Studies. She completed her BA and PhD at the University of London. Her writing explores the history of medieval Italy and of the medieval church, twin interests reflected in her editorship of Brill’s Medieval Mediterranean series and Boydell’s History of Medieval Religion. Her own publications include The Early Humiliati (1999) and The Other Friars (2006), as well as several (co-) edited collections. She is currently completing a project on the employment of regular religious in the governments of late medieval Europe.

Suzanne Bardgett
Vice-President

Suzanne Bardgett is Head of Research at Imperial War Museums. She studied Modern History at Durham University and has held a variety of posts at Imperial War Museum London. Suzanne co-founded and co-edited the Imperial War Museum Review, and from 1995-2000 led the team that created the Holocaust Exhibition (2000), which has now been seen by nearly 5 million visitors. Subsequent projects included the Crimes Against Humanity exhibition (2002) and the Srebrenica Memorial Room in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Suzanne is now leading a programme to reinvigorate research across IWM, which now has Independent Research Organisation status and eight AHRC Collaborative Doctoral students.