Defining the Metropolitan Region

Town, Countryside and Environment in London & the South East, 1580-1914


John Beckett is Director of the Victoria County History, based at the Institute of Historical Research, and Professor of History at the University of Nottingham.  His most recent books are Writing Local History, 2007, City Status in the United Kingdom, 1830-2002, 2005, and Farm Production in England, 1700-1914, 2001 (with Michael Turner and Bethanie Afton).  Recent research projects have examined Sustainability in British Agriculture, 1500-2000 (ESRC), and Landownership in Britain since 1880, both in collaboration with Michael Turner.

Andrew Hann is a Senior Properties Historian at English Heritage specialising in researching the country houses within their portfolio of properties. Previously he worked as County Editor of the Victoria County History of Kent, and before that as a university-based researcher. His research interests include the history of retailing and consumption, the landed estate, urban and industrial change and the writing of community histories.

Vanessa Harding is Reader in History at Birkbeck.  She works on the history of medieval and early modern London, with a special interest in the interaction of social life and the physical environment.  She recently co-directed an ESRC-funded project (with Richard Smith and Matthew Davies) on 'People in Place: families, households and housing and housing in early modern London', which has developed into a successor project on 'Housing environments and health in London, 1550-1750', supported by the Wellcome Trust.  Her most recent book is The Dead and the Living in London and Paris, 1500-1670, 2002.

David Ormrod is Reader in Economic and Cultural History at the University of Kent.  His main interests lie in the commercial history of England and North-Western Europe, supplemented by the history of museums, collecting and art markets.  His most recent books are The Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650-1770, 2003, and Art Markets in Europe, 1400-1800, 1998 (edited, with Michael North); he is currently completing a history of The Origins of the English Art Market, 1650-1800.  He hopes to extend the ESRC research project described here to include further serial data on cities bordering the North Sea.

Paul Warde is an Associate Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge and Reader in History at the University of East Anglia.  His interests focus on on the long-term history of energy use and its relationship with economic development and environmental and social change.  Recent publications are Ecology, Economy and State Formation in early modern Germany, 2006, and Energy Consumption in England and Wales, 2007.  Forthcoming work includes an article on the lessons of energy history for current debates about climate change, and an edited volume, Nature's End. History and the Environment.  Paul runs the project History and Sustainability at the Centre for History and Economics, King's College, Cambridge.

Owen Lyne is a Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Kent.  His main research interests are in stochastic modelling, patricularly as applied to the history of epidemics.  He studied historical time series as a student in Cambridge, and is pleased to make use of that experience in this ESRC project with David Ormrod.  His role is statistical analysis and data manipulation to support the project, particularly through the preparation of informative graphs.

Jim Gibson is Archivist to the Rochester Bridge Trust and Senior Research Fellow in the School of History, University of Kent, attached to this project.  Before coming to Kent, he lectured on early modern English literature at Houghton College, New York,  and is author of The Philadelphia Shakespeare Story: Horace Howard Furness and the New Variorum Shakespeare and has edited Kent records for the Records of Early English Drama (REED).  With Nigel Yates, he edited Traffic and Politics.  The Construction and Management of Rochester Bridge, AD 43-1993, 1994.

The ESRC and The University of Kent