Professor Peter King

Professor of English Local History

Professor Peter KingContact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2760
  • Email:
  • Office: Room 25, Marc Fitch House, 3/5 Salisbury Road
  • Office Hours: Email to arrange




I have been working as an academic for over 25 years, holding full-time posts at Middlesex University, Liverpool University, the University of Northampton, the Open University and, since 2010 Leicester University. Before becoming an academic I was employed as, and obtained a qualification in, Social Work. My research interests reflect this early involvement with people who often live on the margins. I work primarily on crime, justice, poverty and welfare 1680-1850. However, I have also successfully supervised Ph D students across a much wider range of social history topics and am willing to consider taking on graduate students across and beyond all the broad areas listed below under research interests. I have enjoyed supervising PH D students over the last 20 years and was delighted recently to realise that all the full time Ph D students I have taken on who wished to have academic careers now have full time posts in universities either here or in North America.


PhD Supervision

Topics have included:

  • ‘Policing the Factory. Appropriation and its Control in the West Riding Textile Factories 1840-80.’
  • ‘Government in an English Provincial Town. The Corporation of Ipswich 1720-95.’
  • ‘Poverty, Politics and Poor Relief in the Brixworth Union, Northamptonshire 1870-1900.’
  • ‘Changing Patterns of Female Employment in Rural England 1790-1890.’
  • ‘Charitable Provision for the Rural Poor: A Case Study of Policies and Attitudes in Northamptonshire 1800-1850.’
  • ‘Gender, Crime and Discretion in the English Criminal Justice System 1780-1830’
  • ‘The Summary Courts and Social Relations in Eighteenth-Century London’ 

Most Recent Publications

  1. ‘Urbanization, Rising Homicide Rates and the Geography of Lethal Violence in Scotland 1800-1860’ History, forthcoming (July 2011)
  2. ‘The Impact of Urbanization on Murder Rates and on the Geography of Homicide in England and Wales 1780-1850’, Historical Journal, 53 (2010), pp.1-28.
  3. ‘Making Crime News: Newspapers, Violent Crime and the Selective Reporting of Old Bailey Trials in the Late Eighteenth Century’ Crime, Histoire et Societes/ Crime, History and Societies, 13, (2009), pp.91-116
  4. Crime and Law in England 1750-1850.  Remaking Justice from the Margins  (Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp.1-348

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