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John Beckett

Professor of English Regional History, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I have taught at the University of Nottingham for much of my career, In addition to my full-time work in the Department of History, I am:

  • Chair of the Thoroton Society, the local history and archeology society for Nottinghamshire.
  • Chair of the History of Lincolnshire Committee which publishes scholarly monographs on the county
  • Chair of the Nottinghamshire Archives User Group
  • Convenor and Editor of the Nottinghamshire Church History Project (jointly with the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham}
  • Chair of the Editorial Board of the academic journal Midland History

Expertise Summary

I supervise research students in all areas of eighteenth and nineteenth century British history.

Recent successful Ph.D. students have worked in the following areas:

  • Nottinghamshire landowners and their estates c.1660 - c.1840

  • The renaissance of the English market town study of six Nottinghamshire market towns, 1680-1840

  • Patrician landscapes, plebian cultures : parks and society in two English counties, c.1750-1850

  • Parliamentary Enclosure in Northamptonshire,

  • Parliamentary Enclosure in Lincolnshire

  • Working-class diet and health in Nottingham, 1850-1939

  • The political activities and opinions of the Fourth Duke of Newcastle (1785-1851)

  • Anglican Choir Bands in the East Midlands

  • The Lincolnshire attorney in the 18th and 19th centuries

  • Seventeenth century Leicestershire politics

  • Enclosure in the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire

I currently supervise research students working on the rural shop in the East Midlands since the nineteenth century, the 1918 influenza outbreak in the East Midlands, nonconformity in south Nottinghamshire in the nineteenth century, industrial Derby, and crime in Derbyshire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries..

Teaching Summary

I currently reach the following UNDERGRADUATE courses

Level 1. Learning History (10 credits)

Level 2. Rethinking the Industrial Revolution (20 credits)

Level 3. Nottingham: a Provincial City (40 credits)

I also supervise Exploring Historiography essays at level 2, and dissertations at level 3.

I currently supervise POSTGRADUATE students for the degrees of

Ph.D

M.Res.

Research Summary

Ongoing research work includes: (with M.E. Turner), Sustainability in British Agriculture, 1500-2000. Project funded by the ESRC (1999-2002) which has already produced published outputs. Work… read more

Recent Publications

  • JOHN BECKETT, 2015. Politician or Poet?: the Sixth Lord Byron in the House of Lords 1809-13 Parliamentary History. (In Press.)
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2014. The Glorious Revolution, Parliament and the Making of the First Industrial Nation. In: Parliament, Politics and Policy in Britain and Ireland, c.1680-1832: essays in honour of D.W. Hayton 1. Wiley Blackwell. 36-53
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2014. Inventing and reinventing the modern City: the 2012 City Status Competition in the United Kingdom Urban History. (In Press.)
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2014. The Victoria County History in Yorkshire: the past, the present and the future Northern History. (In Press.)

Current Research

Ongoing research work includes: (with M.E. Turner), Sustainability in British Agriculture, 1500-2000. Project funded by the ESRC (1999-2002) which has already produced published outputs. Work currently in progress on a book. About 75% complete, but both authors delayed by other commitments.

(with M.E. Turner), Landownership in Britain since 1880. Several conference papers given, one substantial publication (Agricultural History Review, 55, 2007) and a book chapter in 2010. Conference papers given in 2008 in Lisbon and Lund.

The English Village. A book on the evolution and development of the English Village through time, arising from my work (2005-10) with the Victoria County History. AHRC Fellowship in 2011. Several chapters written: research ongoing.

A history of the University of Nottingham. A project sponsored by the university, and involving in particular detailed research on the past 25 years. Work on going, but it is hoped to produce the book by summer 2014.

Southwell Church History Project (University of Nottingham, and Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, currently with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund). Preparation of researched histories of each church and church site in Nottinghamshire. Intended to lead to (a) a website (ongoing), (b) an edition in the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire Record Series, and (c) a major scholarly study of the evolution of church buildings since the Norman Conquest (with Christopher Brooke).

The Aristocracy and the First World War. A study of the transformation of the English aristocracy from a leisured class into part of the machinery of war, with special reference to the papers of the Brownlow family, in Lincolnshire Archives.

Newstead Abbey and the Byronic legacy. A study of the break up of the Newstead (Nottinghamshire) estate in the 1920s and 1930s, and at the position of the Abbey as a Byron memorial. Expected to be a long article c.2014.

A book on Local History in England, for Routledge. Due to be completed in 2015

The Rise and Fall of The GrenvillesSupervision

I continue to supervise research students at the University of Nottingham, and am happy to consider applications for work in any area of British history, including local history (both within the East Midlands and further afield) since the seventeenth century.

The PhD students who I am currently supervising are as follows:

Janet Gilks - crime in Derbyshire

Michael Crane - the development of Derby

Anne Woodcock - nonconformity in south Nottinghamshire

Rosemary Muge - poaching in the East Midlands

Joan Knight - the 1918 outbreak of influenza in the East Midlands

Conferences

Conference papers:

'The decline of manorial control over village and community governance, 1600-2010', 8th European Social Science History Conference, University of Ghent, Belgium, 14 April 2010

'Local History in its comparative international context', International Symposium, Institute of Historical Research, 8 July 2009

'The New Domesday of Landownership, 1875, and its aftermath', 7th European Social Science History Conference, Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, 28 February 2008

(with Michael Turner), 'Agricultural Productivity in England, 1700-1914', European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) action A35: Program for the study of European rural societies (PROGRESSORE) Third Workshop for Working Group 2 (Rural management of land): `Production and productivity in European agriculture in a historical context', University of Lund, Sweden, June 13-14 2008

'Libraries and the Victoria County History', Historic Libraries Forum, Royal Asiatic Society, London, 15 November 2007

'End of the Old Order? The Land Question and the Burden of Ownership in the UK, c.1880-c.1925', Sixth European Social Science History Conference, Amsterdam, 22 March 2006

(with Michael Turner), 'F.M.L. Thompson and the English Land Market, 1918-21', British Agricultural History Society, Winter Conference, IHR, London, 10 December 2005

(with Michael Turner), 'The Land Question and the Burden of ownership, c.1880-1925', 'The Land Question' conference, the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, 3 July 2005

`Historical Dimensions of Sustainable Farming', ESRC Transdisciplinary Seminar Series: Approaches to Sustainable Farmland Management, School of Geography, University of Nottingham,13 January 2004

(with Michael Turner and Bethanie Afton), `Agricultural Sustainability', British Agricultural History Society Spring Conference, University of Sussex, 8 April 2002

`The Anglican Diocese as Region: the creation of Southwell Diocese, 1878-1884', Conference of Regional and Local Historians (CORAL), University of Wolverhampton. 6 September 2001

Public lectures

'Byron and the Luddites', Lucy Edwards Lecture, Newstead Abbey Byron Society, 11 December 2011.

'The Victoria County History and the Lincoln Record Society: the quest for a 'County History' of Lincolnshire', Jim Johnston Memorial Lecture, University of Lincoln, , 18 May 2010

'The Early days of the Victoria County History', Christopher Elrington Memorial Lecture, Amwell Society, Islington, London, 26 January 2010

'Two Christian Counties: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and the Diocese of Southwell, 1884-1927', Roy Christian Memorial Lecture, Derby WEA and Derbyshire Archaeological Society, University of Derby, 11 January 2008.

'England's Past for Everyone', Gerald Aylmer Seminar, Royal Historical Society, 20 November 2008.

'England's Past for Everyone: researching the local community', Historical Association Annual Conference, Clore Centre, British Museum, 14 April 2007

'Local History, family history and the Victoria County History: new directions for the twenty-first century', Marc Fitch Lecture, University of London, Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck, 23 September, 2006.

'Byron and Newstead: the Aristocrat and the Abbey', VCH Essex Appeal Fund, AGM, Blix, nr Chelmsford, 22 November 2006

'The Victoria County History: Past, Present and Future', Historical Association, Manchester Branch, 4 November 2006

'The Survival of the Aristocracy in England: how did they do it?', HA Essex, Chelmsford, Essex Record Office, 13 May 2006

'Building towns and suburbs: landlords, enclosure and commons, 1750-1914, Victorian Society, East of England Groups, Lucy Cavendish Hall, Cambridge, 8 April 2006

'Byron and Newstead: the Aristocrat and the Abbey', London Byron Society, The George, 213 Strand, London, 22 February 2005.

'Agriculture and the Industrial Revolution', Cheshire Local History Association Annual conference (keynote address), Northwich, Cheshire, 30 October 2004

`The Survival of the Aristocracy in England: how did they do it?, Bolton Branch, Historical Association, Bolton School, 1 March 2004

`Why Did the Aristocrats Dislike their Country Houses?', Calke Abbey (National Trust Lecture), 20 February 2004

`Byron and Rochdale', International Byron Society Annual Conference, Rochdale, 23 August 2003.

`Robert Bakewell and Agricultural Productivity: new thoughts on a well-worn theme', New Dishley Society, Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville, 17 October 2002

`Houses in Nottingham, 1688-1750', Maurice Barley Commemorative Lecture, University of Nottingham, 6 June 2002

`Jubilees, Coronations and the Creation of English Cities: Nottingham, Leicester and Derby', Historical Association, Nottingham Branch, University of Nottingham, 9 May 2002

`Byron and Newstead', International Byron Society Annual Pilgrimage, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, 13 April 2002

`The Anglican Diocese as Region in Nineteenth-Century England', Anne Mitson Memorial Lecture, Nottingham Trent University, 20 March 2002

`Laxton: England's Last Open Field Village', Wolfson Lecture in Local History, Board of Continuing Education, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, 20 May 1999.

Past Research

See my publications list.

Future Research

I am currently completing three books:

The English Village - a study of the evolution of the English village since the Norman Conquest, building on work undertaken at the Victoria County History (2005-10). Publisher Yale UP.

A New History of the University of Nottingham. Commissioned by the University, and due for publication in 2014.

Issues in Local History. A book of essays relating to my long experience and knowledge of the working of local history both in the UK and further afield. Publisher: Routledge.

  • JOHN BECKETT, 2015. Politician or Poet?: the Sixth Lord Byron in the House of Lords 1809-13 Parliamentary History. (In Press.)
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2014. The Glorious Revolution, Parliament and the Making of the First Industrial Nation. In: Parliament, Politics and Policy in Britain and Ireland, c.1680-1832: essays in honour of D.W. Hayton 1. Wiley Blackwell. 36-53
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2014. Inventing and reinventing the modern City: the 2012 City Status Competition in the United Kingdom Urban History. (In Press.)
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2014. The Victoria County History in Yorkshire: the past, the present and the future Northern History. (In Press.)
  • 2013. Ruler-Scholar-Divine: Dr George Ridding, First Bishop of Southwell, 1884-1904 Transactions of the Thoroton Society. 116, 119-27
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2013. Writing Northamptonshire's History: the early VCH in the county Northamptonshire Past and Present. 66, 56-69
  • JOHN BECKETT, MATTHEW BRISTOW and ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON, eds., 2012. The Victoria History of the Counties of England: a Diamond Jubilee Celebration 1899-2012 1st. University of London.
  • 2012. Rethinking the English Village The Local Historian. 42(4), 301-11
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. Local history in its comparative international context Local Historian. 41(2), 90-104
  • BECKETT, J. and TURNER, M., 2011. Agricultural productivity in England, 1700-1914. In: OLSSON, M. and SVENSSON, P., eds., Growth and stagnation in European historical agriculture Brepols. 57-81
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. Topgraphy and landscape history: the role of the Victoria County History Landscape History. 32(2), 57-65
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. The Victoria County History in Devon, 1899-1910 Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 143, 31-44
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. Canon Thomas Taylor of St Just and the Victoria County History of Cornwall 1899-1938 Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall. 31-44
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. W.G. Hoskins the Victoria County History in Leicestershire Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and HIstorical Society. 85, 165-91
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. The Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society and the Victoria County History Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society. 10, 207-25
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2011. Writing Hampshire's History: the Victoria County History, 1899-1914 Hampshire Studies. 66, 221-34
  • BECKETT, J. and TURNER, M., 2010. Land reform and the English land market, 1880-1925. In: CRAGOE, M. and READMAN, P., eds., The land question in Britain 1750-1950 Palgrave Macmillan. 219-236
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2010. Byron's Wealth Newstead Byron Society Review. 29-34
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2010. The Thoroton Society and the Victoria County History Transactions of the Thoroton Society. 113, 119-36
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2009. Libraries and the Victoria County History Library & Information History. 25(4), 217-26
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2009. Dr George Ridding, First Bishop of Southwell, 1884-1904. In: STANLEY CHAPMAN, DEREK WALKER, ed., Minster People Southwell Local History Society. 101-14
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2008. Derby's Quest for City Status Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. 128, 136-45
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2008. Historical Dimensions of Sustainable Farming. In: R. FISH, S. SEYMOUR, C. WATKINS, M. STEVEN, ed., Sustainable Farmland Management:: Transdisciplinary Approaches 1st. CAB International. 42-48
  • JOHN BECKETT, 2008. Lancaster becomes a city 1937 Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. 157, 149-56
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2007. Writing Local History Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2005. City status in the British Isles, 1830-2002 Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2005. The Nottingham Reform Bill Riots of 1831. In: Partisan Politics, Principle and Reform in Parliament and the Constituencies, 1689-1880 1st. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 114-38
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2005. Byron and Rochdale 33(1), 13-24
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2005. The Victoria History of the Counties of England: the VCH in the East Midlands East Midland Historian. 15, 57-8
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. Viscount Lonsdale. In: New Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. Sir John Lowther. In: New Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • BECKETT, J.V., BRAND, KEN, KNIGHT, MARTINE HAMILTON, NOTTINGHAM (ENGLAND). CITY COUNCIL and NOTTINGHAM CIVIC SOCIETY, 2004. The Council House Nottingham and Old Market Square / John Beckett, Ken Brand ; colour photographs by Martine Hamilton Knight Nottingham : Nottingham Civic Society, 2004.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. George Grenville. In: New Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. Freehold from Copyhold and Leasehold: tenurial transition in England between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries In: Proceedings of the CORN Conference.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. Contesting the Urban Fringe: Nottingham City Council, Wollaton Hall and Broxtowe Hall, 1924-37 108, 159-71
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. Sir James Lowther of Lowther. In: New Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2004. Thomas William Coke. In: New Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • BECKETT, J.V., TURNER,M. and AFTON,B., 2004. Agricultural Sustainability and Open-Field Farming in England, c. 1650-1830 International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. I(2), 124-40
  • DICKSON, P.G.M. and BECKETT, J.V., 2003. The finances of the Dukes of Chandos: aristocratic inheritance, marriage, and debt in eighteenth-century England Huntington Library Quarterly. 64(3-4), 309-355
  • BECKETT, JOHN, 1940-, HENSTOCK, ADRIAN and NOTTINGHAMSHIRE (ENGLAND). COUNTY COUNCIL, 2003. Nottinghamshire past : essays in honour of Adrian Henstock / edited by John Beckett Cardiff : Merton Priorty Press for Nottinghamshire County Council, 2003.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2003. Edward Trollope, the Archbishop's Palace, and the Founding of the Diocese of Southwell in 1884. In: Nottinghamshire Past: essays in honour of Adrian Henstock Merton Priory Press, Cardiff. 137-54
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2003. `The Future's Here': a conference on widening access to archives Local Historian. VOL 33(PART 4), 204-206
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2003. Introduction. In: Nottinghamshire Past: essays in honour of Adrian Henstock Merton Priory Press, Cardiff. 1-6
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2003. CITY STATUS FOR SWANSEA, 1911-69 WELSH HISTORY REVIEW. VOL 21(PART 3), 534-551
  • BECKETT, J.V. and WINDSOR, D., 2003. Truro: Diocese and City Cornish Studies. ISSU 11, 220-227
  • BECKETT, J.V., TRANTER, M. and BATEMAN, W., eds., 2003. Visitation Returns from the Archdeaconry of Derby Chesterfield: Derbyshire Record Society.
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2003. A Gloomy Picture [Nottingham Museums] East Midland Historian. 13, 3-4
  • BECKETT, J. V., 2003. Sir Daniel Fleming and the Gentlemen of England Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society. SERS 3(VOL 3), 127-138
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2002. Byron and Newstead: the aristocrat and the Abbey Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press.
  • BECKETT,J.V., 2002. Frustrated Ambition: the Nottingham Boundary Extension of 1933 Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire. 105, 171-83
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2002. Casting the Net: the computer database and the Southwell DAC Church History Project. In: Back to the Future: Building a Future from a Known Past Diocese of Southwell, Southwell. 28-30
  • TURNER, M.E., BECKETT, J.V. and AFTON, B., 2001. Farm production in England, 1700-1914 Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • BECKETT,J.V., 2001. City Status in the United Kingdom History Today. 51(11), 18-19
  • BECKETT, J.V., 2000. Agricultural Landownership and Estate Management. In: The Agrarian History of England and Wales, vol. 7 1850-1914 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 693-758
  • BECKETT,J.V., 2000. Greater Nottingham: The Abortive Boundary Extension Scheme of 1920 Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire. 104, 135-50
  • TURNER, MICHAEL, 1948-, AFTON, B. (BETHANIE), 1948- and BECKETT, J. V., 1997. Agricultural rent in England, 1690-1914 / M.E. Turner, J.V. Beckett and B. Afton Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • BECKETT, J.V., ed., 1997. A Centenary History of Nottingham Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK.
  • BECKETT,J.V., 1997. The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, 1897-1997 Nottinghamshire Historian. 58, 6-8
  • BECKETT, J., 1997. Responses to War: Nottingham in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815 Midland History. VOL 22, 71-84
  • BECKETT,J.V., TURNER,M.E. and COWELL,B., 1997. Flamborough and other inclosure hedges Rights of Way Law Review. 9(3), 91-96
  • BECKETT, J.V. and HEATH, J., 1995. Derbyshire Tithe Files 1836-50 Derbyshire Record Society, Chesterfield.
  • BECKETT, J. V. and HEATH, J. E., 1995. Derbyshire Tithe Files 1836-50 DERBYSHIRE RECORD SOCIETY -PUBLICATIONS-. VOL 22, ALL
  • BECKETT, J. V., 1994. The rise and fall of the Grenvilles : dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, 1710 to 1921 / John Beckett Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press ; New York : Distributed exclusively in the USA and Canada by St. Martin's Press, c1994.
  • BECKETT, J. V., 1989. A history of Laxton : England's last open-field village / J. V. Beckett Oxford : Basil Blackwell, 1989.
  • BECKETT, J. V., 1988. The East Midlands from A.D. 1000 / J.V. Beckett London : Longman, 1988.
  • BECKETT, J. V. (JOHN VINCENT), 1950-, 1986. The aristocracy in England 1660-1914 / J.V. Beckett Oxford : Basil Blackwell, 1986.
  • BECKETT, J. V., 1981. Coal and tobacco : the Lowthers and the economic development of West Cumberland, 1660-1760 / J.V. Beckett Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • JOHN BECKETT, W.G. Hoskins the Victoria County History, and the Study of English Local History Midland History. 36(1), 115-27
  • JOHN BECKETT, W.G. Hoskins the Victoria County History, and the Study of English Local History Midland History. 36(1), 115-27
  • Topography and landscape history: the role of the Victoria County History Landscape History. 32(2), 57-65
  • The Victoria County History in the Midlands Midland History. 39(1), 133-43
  • The Victoria County History in the Midlands Midland History. 39(1), 133-43

Department of History

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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