Professor Steven King

Professor of Economic and Social History

Contact details

  • Office: Attenborough Tower Room 504Steve King (2)
  • Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7606
  • Email:
  • Feedback and support times: On Study Leave in Semester 2 (Academic Year 2018/19).
  • Personal details

I obtained a BA (Hons) in Economic and Social History from the University of Kent and a PhD in Historical Demography from the University of Liverpool.


I have wide-ranging teaching interests. At undergraduate level my teaching includes or has recently included:

  • Poverty and Welfare in Britain 1597 to the Present
  • Histories of Violence
  • All Bourgeois Now
  • Making History

My MA teaching includes:

  • Directed Reading Module
  • The Country House


PhD Supervision

I supervise PhD students on topics across the chronological range from the 1650s to the present. My interests are thematically and spatially wide. I have particular interests in and would like to hear from students with project covering: the past present and future of the welfare state; experience of being poor 1700 to the present; literacy; life writing and autobiographies; histories of institutions (hospitals, workhouses and so on); the lives of patients and their doctors; corpus linguistics, histories of the family and kinship; histories of migration and belonging; medical remedies; histories of madness; histories of consumption and material culture (including fashion history); and almost any aspect of economic history and historical demography. I am also keenly interested in practice based PhDs, where those with interests in film making, poetry, creative writing, policy work or art undertake a practical project of their choosing and write a reflective piece on the nature of the research process which together constitute the PhD.

You may already have topics in mind, but if you are open to different ideas, then I have a number of pre-prepared PhD projects which spin out of my current grants. For these projects, historiographical reading is already identified and the core sources are already transcribed or located. For a list of these projects, please click here:


    S. A. King, Sickness, Medical Welfare and the English Poor 1750-1834 (Manchester, 2018)

    C. Beardmore, S. A. King and G. Monks, Disability Matters (Cambridge, 2018).

    S. A. King, On The Poor (Cambridge, 2018).

    S. A. King and S. J. Taylor, ‘Imperfect children in historical perspective’, Social History of Medicine, 30 (2017), 718-26.

    P. Jones and S. A. King, ‘Voices from the far north: Pauper letters and the provision of welfare in Sutherland, 1845-1900’, Journal of British Studies, 55 (2016), 76-98.

    S. A. King and P. Jones, ‘Testifying for the poor: Epistolary advocates for the poor in nineteenth century England and Wales’, Journal of Social History, 49 (2016), 784-807.

    E. Hurren and S. A. King, ‘Public and private health care for the poor, 1650s to 1960s‘, in P. Weindling (ed.), Healthcare in Private and Public from the Early Modern Period to 2000 (London, 2015), 15-35.



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