Professor of Historical Sociology
My research has always been interdisciplinary in the field of social and sociologically-informed history.
Teaching and supervision
Research interests for potential research students
I have a particular interest in law and early modern English society (1500-1800); crime and punishment in England 1500-present, including transportation of British criminals to the colonies, particularly to America. I am currently working on a book on treason and rebellion in Britain and the early modern Atlantic world.
I have published widely on aspects of the personal and social relations of early modern England, as revealed in legal and administrative records. I have written on witchcraft, problems of marriage and family life, the poor, law and the care of the mentally ill and disabled. With Gwenda Morgan, I have worked on law, crime and punishment in North East England in the 18th century, the transportation of British criminals to the American colonies, and banishment in the British Atlantic world. Increasingly, my work is Anglo-American, drawing upon the records of the British North American and Caribbean colonies in the early modern period. I have recently worked on problems of diaspora and identity under conditions of forced migration.
I am currently working on a study of the comparisons and contrast between the British and French in the early modern Atlantic world, and on treason and rebellion in the British Atlantic before 1800, both for book publication.
I sit on the management committee of the NE England History Institute, and I'm the Publications Secretary.
Rushton, Peter, Royle, Edward, England, Joe, Rose, Jonathan, Scott, Ian and Shaev, Brian (2019) David Walsh, The Sons of Belial: Protest and Community Change in the North West, 1740-1770, London: Breviary Stuff Publications, 2018, pp260, ISBN 9780992946692. Labour History Review, 84 (3). pp. 295-307. ISSN 1745-8188
Rushton, Peter (2019) Book Review: Indentured Migration and the Servant Trade from London to America, 1618-1718. ‘There is Great Want of Servants’. The London Journal. pp. 1-2. ISSN 1749-6322
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2015) Arson, Treason and Plot: Britain, America and the Law, 1770-1777. History, 100 (341). pp. 374-391. ISSN 1468-229X
Rushton, Peter (2015) The Rise and Fall of Seditious Words, 1650 to 1750. Northern History, 52 (1). pp. 68-84. ISSN 0078-172X
Rushton, Peter (2015) Caribbean: “Barbadose'd” - The Transportation of Convicts. Convict Voyages.
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2011) Fraud and Freedom: Gender, Identity and Narratives of Deception among Female Convicts in Colonial America. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34 (3). pp. 335-355. ISSN 1754-0194
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2007) Print Culture, Crime and Transportation in the Criminal Atlantic. Continuity and Change, 22 (1). pp. 49-71. ISSN 02684160
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2005) Visible bodies; power, subordination and identity in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Journal of Social History, 39. pp. 39-64. ISSN 00224529
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2003) The Magistrate, the Community and the Maintenance of an Orderly Society in Eighteenth-Century England. Historical Research, 76 (191). pp. 54-77. ISSN 0950-3471
Rushton, Peter (1993) Family Survival Strategies in Mid-Victorian Ancoats. Manchester Region History Review, 7. pp. 37-44.
Rushton, Peter (1991) "The Matter in Variance" Adolescents and Domestic Conflict in North East England 1600-1800. Journal of Social History, 25 (1). pp. 89-107.
Rushton, Peter (1989) The Poor Law, the Parish and the Community in the North East England 1600-1800. Northern History, 25. pp. 135-152. ISSN 0078-172X
Rushton, Peter (1988) Lunatics and idiots: mental Disability, the Community and the Poor Law in North East England 1600-1800. Medical History, 32 (1). pp. 34-50.
Rushton, Peter (2019) Local Laws, Local Principles: The Paradoxes of Local Legal processes in Early Modern England. In: Law, Lawyers and Litigants in Early Modern English Society: Essays in memory of Christopher W. Brooks. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 185-206. ISBN 9781108491723
Rushton, Peter (2018) ‘Austerity: a Critical History of the Present’. In: Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 21-43. ISBN 978-3-319-79120-3
Rushton, Peter and Donovan, Catherine (2018) Introduction. In: Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 1-17. ISBN 9783319791197
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2018) Parish, River, Region and Nation: Networks of Power in 18th-century Wearside. In: Beyond Coal and Class – Economy and Culture in North-East England, 1500-1800. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk. ISBN 9781783271832
Rushton, Peter and Donovan, Catherine (2018) Introduction: Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. In: Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-17. ISBN 978-3-319-79120-3
Rushton, Peter (2013) Exile and Suffering in the Construction of Identity: Narratives of Banishment, Exile and Return in 17th and 18th Century Britain and Ireland. In: Border Crossings: Narration, Nation and Imagination in Scots and Itish Literature and Culture. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 29-54. ISBN 978-1-4438-5229-6
Rushton, Peter (2013) Risk, Identities and Recognition: A History of Dangerous Categories and Categories of Danger. In: Constructing Risky Identities in Policy and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, pp. 21-37. ISBN 9781137276087
Rushton, Peter (2009) Gateshead 1550-1700: Independence against all the Odds? In: Newcastle and Gateshead before 1700. Phillimore & Co Ltd, Chichester, pp. 295-322. ISBN 9781860775796
Rushton, Peter (2007) Law in North-East England: Community, County and Region, 1550-1850. In: Regional Identity in North-East England 1300-2000. Boydell and Brewer, pp. 71-91. ISBN 9781843833352
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2007) Violence, Social Order and the Absence of "regulation" in working-class communities in eighteenth-century England. In: Assaulting the Past: Placing Violence in Historical Context. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 104-123. ISBN 1847181058
Rushton, Peter (2001) Texts of Authority: Witchcraft Accusations and the Demonstration of Truth in Early Modern England. In: Languages of Witchcraft: Narrative, Ideology and Meaning in Early Modern Culture. Macmillan, pp. 21-39. ISBN 9780333793480
Rushton, Peter (1996) Idiocy, the Family and the Community in Early Modern England. In: Idiocy to Mental Deficiency: Historical Perspectives on People with Learning Disabilities. Routledge, pp. 44-64. ISBN 041511215X
Rushton, Peter (1994) What's in a name? The Invention of Wearside. In: The Paradox of Place: Studies in Urban Continuity and Revival. Avebury Press, pp. 67-80.
Rushton, Peter ‘Austerity: a Critical History of the Present’. In: Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice. eds P. Rushton and C. Donovan. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, pp. 21-43. ISBN 978-3-319-79119-7
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2020) Treason and Rebellion in the British Atlantic, 1685-1800: Legal Responses to Threatening the State. UNSPECIFIED. Bloomsbury Academic, London.
Rushton, Peter (2017) The Myth and Reality of Brexit City: Sunderland and the 2016 Referendum. Working Paper. University of Sunderland.
Conference or Workshop Item
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2010) Dangerous Words: Sedition and the State in Britain and America, 1660-1800. In: European Social Science History Conference, 13-16 April 2010, Ghent.
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (2009) Boundaries and Frontiers in a Revolutionary War: The Problems of Legal Control in a Time of Treason. In: From Borderlands to Backcountry: Frontier Communities in Comparative Perspective, 5-7 Jul 2009, University of Dundee.
Rushton, Peter (2009) War, Crime and Rebellion; The Problem of Legal Order in the American Revolution. In: War Crimes Conference, 19-21 Feb 2009, Institute of Advanced Legal Study, University of London.
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2019) The British and French in the Atlantic, 1650-1800: Comparisons and Contrasts. Seminar Studies . Routledge. ISBN 978 1138657588
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2013) Banishment in the Early Atlantic World: Convicts, Rebels and Slaves. Bloomsbury Academic, London. ISBN 9781441106544
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2003) Eighteenth-Century Criminal Transportation: the Formation of the Criminal Atlantic. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333793381
Morgan, Gwenda and Rushton, Peter (2000) The Justicing Notebook (1750-64) of Edmund Tew, Rector of Boldon. Surtees Society. ISBN 0854440445
Rushton, Peter and Morgan, Gwenda (1998) Rogues, Thieves and the Rule of Law. The Problem of Law Enforcement in North East England 1718-1800. Routledge. ISBN 978-1857281163