Miles Taylor
Professor in Modern History



BA, PhD (Cantab), FRHist

Miles Taylor is Professor of Modern History. He joined the department in 2004, having studied history at Queen Mary University of London, Harvard and Cambridge, and previously taught at Southampton, King’s College London, and Cambridge. Between 2008 and 2014 he was seconded to the University of London as Director of the Institute of Historical Research. He is the holder of a sabbatical Leverhulme Trust Major Research Award, 2014-16 to complete a book entitled The Sovereign People: Parliament and Representation in Britain since 1750, but he remains available for PhD supervision.

Miles Taylor is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the National Portrait Gallery, and sits on the editorial advisory boards of the History of Parliament Trust, the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, the BBC History Magazine and the Journal of British Studies. He has previously served on the grants award panels of both the ESRC and the AHRC.




Professor Taylor's four main areas of interest are in modern British history: first, 19th-century Chartism and radical politics, especially the ideas, literature and historiography of these movements; secondly, the history of parliamentary representation in the UK during the heyday of limited male suffrage, c.1820-1914; thirdly, the impact of the empire on the British state, political system and social policy in the 19th and 20th centuries: how the experience of empire shaped the modern British polity - its monarchy, armed forces, parliament, gender relations, religion and social policy, and finally, the historiography and heritage of Victorian political and cultural life. Professor Taylor currently writing a book on the history of parliamentary representation in Britain since the late 18th Century, and a study of the Victorian monarchy and India.

Research resources

The Borthwick Institute holds a wide range of modern records relating to national and local religious, philanthorpic, business, architectural; educational and medical life, as well as the personal and estate papers of several Yorkshire families. There are also extensive possibilities for research in modern British history in the National Railway Museum, the City of York Archives, York Health Archives and the York Minster Archives. Within reach of York is the British Library lending service at Boston Spa, and the Brotherton Library of the University of Leeds, the latter a superb resource for 18th and 19th century studies.


Professor Taylor is able to supervise research students in most areas of British political, parliamentary, cultural and imperial history since the late 18th century. Professor Taylor will be especially keen to take on research students interested in topics which combine the history of the metropole with that of the colonial periphery, and those who wish to use the rich vein of modern archival and microfilm material in the Borthwick Institute for Archives and in the Raymond Burton Library.

Completed York PhDs:

  • Joseph Hardwick, ‘Anglican church expansion and colonial reform politics in Bengal, New South Wales and the Cape Colony, c. 1790-1850’ (AHRC-funded, awarded 2008)
  • David Gent, ‘Aristocratic politics in early Victorian Yorkshire: Lord Morpeth and his world’ (AHRC-funded, awarded 2010)
  • Janette Martin, ‘Popular political oratory and itinerant lecturing in Yorkshire and the north-east in the age of Chartism, 1837-60 (White Rose studentship, awarded 2010)
  • Marthe Tholen, ‘The shepherd speaks: Anglican sermons from the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1815-1855’ (self-funded, awarded 2010)
  • Patrick McSharry, ‘The religious radicalism of Lord George Gordon’ (self-funded, awarded 2010)


Selected publications

Authored books

  • Ernest Jones, Chartism and the Romance of Politics, 1819-69. OUP, 2003.
  • The Decline of British Radicalism, 1847-1860. OUP, 1995.

Edited books

  • with Charles Beem, eds. The Man Behind the Queen: Princes Consort in History. Palgrave, USA, 2014.
  • The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • The Victorian Empire and Britain’s Maritime World: The Sea and Global History, 1837-1901. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Southampton: Gateway to the British Empire. IB Tauris, 2007.
  • Palmerston Studies (2 vols). Hartley Institute, 2007.
  • The Victorians since 1901: Histories, Representations and Revisions. Manchester University Press, 2004.
  • Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution. Oxford World's Classics, OUP, 2001.
  • Party, State and Society: Electoral Behaviour in Britain since 1820. Scolar Press, 1997.
  • The European Diaries of Richard Cobden, 1846-1849. Scolar Press, 1994.

Articles (selected)

  • ‘Magna Carta in the Nineteenth Century’. In Magna Carta: The Foundation of Freedom 1215-2015, edited by Nicholas Vincent. Third Millennium Information, 2014.
  • ‘The dominion of history: the export of historical research from Britain since 1850’. Historical Research 87, no. 236 (2014)
  • 'Joseph Hume and the reformation of India, 1819-33'. In Radicalism in English Political Thought, 1550-1850, edited by G Burgess & M Festenstein. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • 'Queen Victoria and India, 1837-61'. Victorian Studies 47, 1 (2004).
  • 'Empire and parliamentary reform: the 1832 Reform Act revisited'. In Rethinking the Age of Reform: Britain, c. 1780-1850, edited by A. Burns & J. Innes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • 'Labour and the constitution'. In Labour's First Century, edited by D. Tanner et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
  • 'The 1848 revolutions and the British empire'. Past & Present 166 (2000).
  • 'The six points: Chartism and the reform of parliament'. In The Chartist Legacy, edited by Owen Ashton et al. Merlin Press, 1999.
  • 'The beginnings of modern British social history?'. History Workshop Journal 43, (1997).
  • 'John Bull and the iconography of public opinion in England, c. 1712-1929'. Past & Present 134 (1992).



Contact details

Prof. Miles Taylor
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD