Steve Hindle

Steve Hindle

Director of Graduate Studies in History
Derek Hirst Endowed Professor of Early Modern British History
PHD, University of Cambridge
MA, University of Minnesota
BA, University of Cambridge

contact info:

office hours:

  • Wednesdays
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    and by appointment

mailing address:

  • MSC 1062-107-114
    ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

Professor Hindle studies social, cultural, and economic change in Britain during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. He will be teaching numerous courses in early modern British social, economic and political history; on the relationships between literature and politics in Tudor and Stuart England; and on microhistory as a research method and as a narrative strategy.

Steve Hindle came to Washington University after eleven years as Director of Research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. He is particularly interested in how the social transformations caused by the Reformation, the English civil war, and the industrial revolution were experienced by working people (men, women, and children) at the local level; and has published widely on the nature and scale of the growth of governance, on the origins and significance of the evolution of social welfare policy, and on the changing balance of agriculture and manufacturing in early modern society. His study of social, economic, and spatial relations in an especially well documented seventeenth-century village will appear in 2023 with Oxford University Press as The Social Topography of a Rural community in Seventeenth Century England.

His next project is a study of the role of mills and milling in early modern English society. While historians have previously examined the politics of grain supply with reference to exchange entitlements and social protest, far less attention has been paid to the mechanics through which flour was produced, exchanged, and consumed. Study of the litigation and manorial regulations related to the toll corn that was collected at mills and in marketplaces will enhance our understanding of the labor involved in early modern flour trade and explain how millers came to enjoy extraordinary power to mediate the subsistence of local communities in early modern England.

Professor Hindle welcomes inquiries from students interested in pursuing graduate work in the social and economic history of sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain. He has previously supervised doctoral dissertations on subjects including alehouses and sociability; almshouses and provision for the elderly; the local politics of agrarian protest; the moralized understanding of economic change; and representations of vagrancy and mobility in early modern society.

Selected Publications


The Social Topography of a Rural Community: Scenes of Labouring Life in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2023). [ISBN 0-19-286846-2] Pp.xii+472.

On the Parish? The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c.1550-1750 (Oxford Studies in Social History, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004). [ISBN 0-19-927132-1] Pp.xii+521. Paperback edn 2009.

The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c.1550-1640 (Macmillan [Early Modern History: Society and Culture]: London and New York, 2000) [ISBN 0-333-63384-9]. Pp.xi+338. Paperback edn 2002.

Edited Collections of Essays

Remaking English Society: Social Relations and Social Change in Early Modern England, eds. Steve Hindle, Alexandra Shepard and John Walter (The Boydell Press [Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History 14]: Woodbridge, 2013) [ISBN 1-84383-796-10]. Pp.xviii+374. Paperback edn 2015.

The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, eds. Paul Griffiths, Adam Fox and Steve Hindle (Macmillan [Themes in Social History]: London and New York, 1996) [ISBN 0-333-59883-0]. Pp.vii+331.

Peer Reviewed Articles

"Representing Rural Society: Labor, Leisure, and the Landscape in an Eighteenth-Century Conversation Piece", Critical Inquiry, 41 (2015), 615-654.

"Below Stairs at Arbury Hall: Sir Richard Newdigate and His Household Staff, c.1670-1710" [The IHR Marc Fitch Lecture 2010], Historical Research, 85 (2012), 71-88.

"Imagining Insurrection in Seventeenth-Century England: Representations of the Midland Rising of 1607", History Workshop Journal, 66 (2008), 21-61.

"Dearth and the English Revolution: The Harvest Crisis of 1647-50", Economic History Review, 61 [S1] (2008), 64-98.

"Technologies of Identification Under the Old Poor Law", The Local Historian, (2006), 220-236.

"Dependency, Shame and Belonging: Badging the Deserving Poor, c.1550-1750", Cultural and Social History, 1 (2004), 6-35.

”'When and What was the State?': Some Introductory Comments", Journal of Historical Sociology, 15 (2002), 63-65.

"Dearth, Fasting and Alms: The Campaign for General Hospitality in Late Elizabethan England’,  Past and Present, 172 (2001), 44-86.

"The Growth of Social Stability in Restoration England", The European Legacy, 5 (2000), 563-576.