Paul Griffiths

16th- & 17th-Century English Cultural & Social History


Office:629 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


I am a cultural and social historian of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and I have been putting together a body of work for a quarter of a century now – since my Cambridge PhD (1992) – that is connected by a string of themes and topics that include crime, policing, punishment, surveillance, houses of correction and prisons, towns and cities, youth, gender, sexuality, medical care, and identities.

My first book, Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England, 1560-1640 (Oxford University Press, 1996), won the Royal Historical Society (UK) Whitfield Prize for the best first book on British history published anywhere in the world. I published Lost Londons: Crime, Control, and Change in the Capital City, 1550-1660 with Cambridge University Press in 2008. The journal Historie Social-Social History published ‘London Calling! Paul Griffith’s Lost Londons, A Roundtable Discussion’ in 2010. I have just completed a third book, Inside Government: Information, Institutions, and Identities in England, 1550-1700, that will come out in 2018. I am currently working on Tudor Vice: Morals, Manners, and Magistrates in 1570s London that will be pitched towards a broader audience than my three prior books.

I have also edited (with Adam Fox and Steve Hindle) The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England (Palgrave-MacMillan, 1996), (with Mark Jenner) Londinopolis: Essays in the Cultural and Social History of Early Modern London (Manchester, 2000); and (with Simon Devereaux) Penal Practice and Culture: Punishing the English, 1500-1900 (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2004).

My articles and essays have appeared in many journals, including Historical Journal, Continuity and Change, Journal of British Studies, and The Journal of Urban History, as well as collections of essays, most recently The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare and A Social History of England, c.1500-c.1750, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

My major fellowships include the Frank H. Kenan Fellowship at the National Humanities Centre, a Huntington Library fellowship, and a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship.

I have presented papers and lectures on my work on four continents.