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Social History of England, 1500-1700 (HI209)


Three Boors in a Tavern 1667

This module is a second-year optional module which specializes in the social history of England between 1500 and 1700. Students will be (re)introduced to Social History as a discipline, and invited to understand continuity and change in England by interrogating a unique period of the country's past. The module lectures will cover a broad and fascinating array of material, including riot, crime, religion and witchcraft, poverty, hierarchy and gender, agrarian change, urban and rural societies, and even civil war. Always, our focus will be on the majority of people who lived and worked during the early modern period; on their habits of life and courtship, of industry and of resistance or subversion. One hour weekly seminars will complement these lectures by fleshing out specific themes from the week, and by inviting students to engage in some of the great historical debates which have shaped the discipline of Social History in the modern era.


The complete module documentation for this module is available for download as a pdf file.

The lecture list, seminar arrangements and contact details of teaching staff are avaiable as a WORD file by clicking here.


A list of the General texts which will prove useful for the course is provided here. A fuller bibliography for each of the subjects covered by the course lectures can be found in the Complete Course Documentation above. Additional Resources for the special lectures in term 3 will be provided in the near future.

Selected Primary Documents (by Lecture Topic)

(Week 3) The Social Order.
Document: The Homily on Obedience