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Dr Tom Hamilton

Associate Professor (Early Modern European History)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor (Early Modern European History) in the Department of History +44 (0) 191 33 47352
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies  


I studied History as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge and as a graduate student at the University of Oxford. After completing my doctorate, I held a lectureship at Oxford and a research fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, before I moved to Durham in 2018. I have also been a visiting research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt am Main. During my research leave in the academic year 2022–23, I will be a visiting professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

Research interests

I work on the social and cultural history of early modern Europe, with a particular focus on France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. My first book, Pierre de L’Estoile and his World in the Wars of Religion, was published by Oxford University Press in the Past & Present book series, and was shortlisted for the R. Gapper Prize for the best book in French Studies.

Currently I am completing my second book, A Widow's Vengeance: Violence and Justice in Late Renaissance France, under contract with Oxford University Press. My article on this subject, published in French History, was awarded the Nancy Lyman Roelker Prize by the Sixteenth Century Society. My critical edition of the trial at the heart of the book is published with Criminocorpus.

Pursuing this research has led me to develop wider interests in the role of criminal justice in the legal culture of the Old Regime. My recent and forthcoming publications on this subject have focused on hearsay and oral evidence, magic and witchcraft, public execution rituals, political crime and sedition, the sexual crimes labelled as ‘sodomy’, and visual depictions of criminal law.

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise graduate students working on topics in early modern French history, and in early modern social and cultural history more generally. I particularly welcome interest from applicants working on projects involving archival and manuscript sources; violence and peacemaking; social hierarchies in local and regional perspectives; gender relations between norms and practices; the social and cultural history of religious change; the circulation and reception of print; and interdisciplinary approaches to history, literature, and visual culture.


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