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Professor Samantha K Williams

College position(s)

Fellow, Director of Studies


History and Modern Languages, History, History and Politics

Degrees, Awards and Prizes

BA (Lancaster), MSc, PhD

Research themes

I am interested in the history of poverty in England in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I have written two books:

  • Unmarried motherhood in the metropolis, 1700-1850: pregnancy, the poor law and provision (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
  • Poverty, gender and life-cycle under the English poor law, 1760-1834 (Boydell and Brewer, 2011).


I really enjoy teaching first and second-year historians ‘British economic and social history, 1700-1914’ and I focus upon the industrial revolution. I also teach ‘Historical argument and practice’: a course which involves both theory and themes in history, such as gender and race.


  • Professor of Social History
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
  • T. S. Ashton Prize from the Economic History Society for ‘Poor Relief, Labourers’ Households and Living Standards in Rural England c.1770-1834: a Bedfordshire case-study’, Economic History Review LVIII (2005), pp.485-519.

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