As a postgraduate at London University, with Conrad Russell as her supervisor, Jackie wrote a PhD thesis on the puritan Harleys of Herefordshire and their godly networks both locally and nationally during the civil wars. This research was published in 1991 by Cambridge University Press as Puritans and Roundheads: The Harleys of Brampton Bryan and the Outbreak of the English Civil War and was runner-up in the 1991 Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize Competition. The book challenged the traditional interpretation of county history during the civil wars as gentry dominated and locally-minded by arguing that religious networks provided an alternative and national set of allegiances during the civil wars. Jackie’s subsequent research has been shaped by these initial interests and has focussed on Puritanism and the Parliamentarian party. She has also published widely on the history of Kent during the civil wars and has written a series of articles revising Alan Everitt’s interpretation of Kent as a moderate county during the period. One of her more recent works, ‘So many sects and schisms’: religious diversity in revolutionary Kent, 1640-1660′ in C. Durston and J. Maltby eds, Religion in Revolutionary England (Manchester: MUP, 2006), argues that religious divisions provided a fertile arena for the circulation of radical religious and political civil war ideologies amongst non-elite groups.
Jackie has also published widely on women’s history in the early modern period, including Women in Tudor and Stuart England (Routledge, 1998), and a monograph on the feisty civil war puritan heroine, Brilliana Harley (Hardinge Simpole Publishing, 2002). In addition, she has acted as an advisory editor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in order to include more women in the DNB.
More recently Jackie has set up the John Hayes Canterbury 1641 Project , which is supported by the John Hayes Trust , the William Urry Fund and Canterbury Archaeological Society. The Project is based on the 1641 poll tax return for Canterbury, which lists all heads of households and their adult dependents living inside the city walls in 1641. The Project aims to trace the allegiance and experiences of the inhabitants of the city during the civil wars using petitions, wills and related material in order to demonstrate the involvement of groups other than the gentry in civil war politics.
Stephen Hipkin undertook his initial research on seventeenth-century urban history at Balliol College Oxford under the supervision of Dr Joan Thirsk. The author of many articles on early modern urban, social and economic history, his research interests now focus on the development of the agrarian economy c. 1550-1790 and resource allocation disputes and popular protest c. 1550-1640. He is currently researching a book on the politics of dearth and the grain trade, 1550-1700, and (with Anne Davison) is engaged in a major project to analyse the evidence for early land taxes in eighteenth-century Kent. Students he has supervised have recently been awarded PhD’s for theses examining Deer Parks in Tudor Kent, Governance and Social Policy at Faversham c. 1570-1640, and estate management and the agrarian economy of the Romney Marsh region c.1720-1790.
Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh is a sessional lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University. She also teaches medieval and early modern studies as an associate lecturer at the University of Kent, as well as working as a freelance documentary historian, primarily for Canterbury Archaeological Trust. Her monograph on The Role of the Hospital in Medieval England: Gift-giving and the Spiritual Economy was published in 2004. Since then she has edited Later Medieval Kent, 1220-1540 (2010) and Negotiating the Political in Northern European Urban Society, c.144-c.1600 (2013), as well as publishing numerous articles on medieval and early modern Kent. Her new project will explore household production and consumption in late medieval urban society using the exceptionally detailed 15th-century Hythe records.
Dr Martin Watts, currently teaches modern history as a sessional lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, and as an associate lecture at the Open University. Martin commenced his academic studies after a career at sea and ashore in the Merchant Navy and marine industry, and his First World War PhD was published as a monograph by Palgrave Macmillan – ‘The Jewish Legion and the First World War. He has also published on Operation Market Garden, the Second World War battle featured in the film, ‘A Bridge too Far.’ Martin’s current research interests include Kent and the First World War, with an article in Archaeologia Cantiana entitled ‘Maidstone and the First World War – Friendly Alien Recruitment and the Military Service Convention’. Martin has recently given public talks on ‘Romney Marsh and the First World War’, and ‘Communion and Sacrifice:St. Gregory’s War Memorial and the Great War.’