Steve Hindle became W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library in July 2011. His leadership responsibilities at the Huntington include the co-ordination of the fellowship program (which funds approximately 170 scholars each year to work on the library collections); the design of the schedule of lectures and conferences; and the oversight of the Publications Department (including the Huntington Library Quarterly).
Hindle is by training a social and economic historian of early modern England, and he previously worked at the University Warwick, where he was successively Director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Deputy-Chair and Chair of the History Department. He was born and educated in Warrington (Lancashire) in the north-west of England, and received his first degree in History from Fitzwilliam College Cambridge in 1986. He subsequently studied for an MA in History and Political Science at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, before returning to work on his Cambridge PhD, completed in 1992. He was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at Girton College Cambridge in 1991 and was appointed as one of the first Warwick Research Fellows in the Department of History at Warwick in 1995, becoming Senior Lecturer in 2001, and Professor in 2004.
Between 1999 and 2004, he acted as annual reviewer of periodical literature for the Economic History Review, and subsequently became Junior Editor of that journal in 2007 and Managing Editor in 2009. He currently sits on the editorial boards not only of the Review, but also of the journals Rural History, the Journal of Historical Sociology, Histoire Sociale/Social History and the Huntington Library Quarterly. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; and has served on the Executive Committee of the Economic History Society; the British Academy Publications Committee for Records of Social and Economic History; and the Councils of the Dugdale Society and the North American Conference on British Studies.
His first book, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England (Palgrave, 2000) was an attempt to explore the scale of popular participation in the process of governing rural England in the period c.1550-1640. Its concluding chapter, focusing on the governance of the rural parish, led him to an analysis not only of the social status and political attitudes of office-holders in rural communities, but also to an investigation of the politics of the poor rate. He subsequently researched and published a number of case studies of the patterns of local social relations in a wide range of English communities, including analyses not only of the loops of association which bound together subordinate groups but also of the allocation of entitlement under the Elizabethan poor laws. His second monograph, entitled On the Parish?: The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c.1550-1750, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004, and was re-issued in paperback in 2009. He is also the co-editor (with Paul Griffiths and Adam Fox) of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England (Macmillan, 1996); and (with Alex Shepard and John Walter) of the festschrift for Keith Wrightson entitled Remaking English Society: Social Relations and Social Change in Early Modern England (Boydell, 2013). He also contributed a substantial introduction to an edition (prepared with Heather Falvey) of the Layston-with-Buntingford Parish Memorandum Book, c.1607-1750, which was published by the Hertfordshire Record Society in 2004. Since 2004 he has completed the research for his next project, a monographic study provisionally entitled 'The Social Topography of a Rural Community: The Warwickshire Parish of Chilvers Coton, c.1600-1730', for which he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship in 2010. The first fruits of this research appeared in 2011 with a study of domestic service at Arbury Hall during the period 1670-1710, in 2013 with an analysis of the recruitment and remuneration of agricultural labor in the parish, and in 2018 with a discussion of the relationship between the clergyman and his congregation. Since 2008, he has also published a number of other articles and papers, including one on the harvest crisis of the late 1640s; another on representations of the Midland Rising of 1607; a third on beating the bounds of the parish in early modern England; a fourth on an exceptionally well-documented violent affray in Elizabethan Nantwich (Cheshire); a fifth on the representation of harvest labor in an eighteenth century landscape painting (which won the biennial PCCBS Prize for the best article in British history published in 2015 and 2016); and a sixth on a Jacobean magistrate seeking to defend himself from allegations of covetousness and corruption.
Steve Hindle, W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research