Radio Appearances

BBC Radio 4 ‘The Battles That Won Our Freedoms’

BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time'

BBC Radio 4 'Making History'

  • 24 July 2017 Contributor to a feature on the Northumbrian Enlightenment.

  • 14 July 2015 Studio guest discussing Thomas Spence, the 1745 Jacobite Siege of Carlisle, and the seventeenth-century poltergeist known as The Tidworth Drummer.

  • 5 October 2010 Interviewed for a feature on the French plans to invade Britain in the late eighteenth century.

BBC Radio 3 'Ideas the British Version' One of several talking heads on an episode of this series concerned with Montesquieu and the separation of powers. First broadcast October 2009, repeated July 2010.


Podcast on the English Revolution for The History Faculty.Org

recent Lectures


The Transformation of the Concept of Popular Sovereignty in Early-Modern Europe’, The Academy, organised by the Institute of Ideas, 21 July 2018.

'The English origins of modern democracy', Newcastle University Insights Public Lecture Series, 3 May 2018.

'The Republican Theorist as Royal Servant: James Harrington's Civil War', James H. Burns Memorial Lecture, St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History, 13 September 2016.

'Democracy Before "The Age of the Democratic Revolution', Keynote Lecture at the Early Modern Intellectual History Conference, Newcastle University, 18-19 July, 2015.

'"Springing from the double head of Monarchy and Democracy": The Persistence of Monarchical Republicanism and the Rise of Democracy in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Britain and France', delivered at the Franco-British History seminar at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 21 March 2013.

An extract from Freedom City Comics on Thomas Spence, illustrated by Terry Wiley.

An extract from Freedom City Comics on Thomas Spence, illustrated by Terry Wiley.

other public engagement activities















Battle of Ideas - What is... Democracy?

  On 29 October 2017 I joined a panel at the Battle of Ideas exploring the question 'What is... Democracy?'. The Battle of Ideas is organised by the Institute of Ideas and held annually at the Barbican Centre in London. The express aim of this event is to encourage free debate on topics of current political interest. In my session (which can be seen here) I sought to bring an historical angle to the question What is Democracy? and to explore what solutions history might provide as we face what many see as a current crisis of democracy.

Freedom City Comics

This year I have been one of the researchers contributing to this fantastic project, which is part of the Freedom City 2017 celebrations that are being staged to celebrate Newcastle University's awarding of an honorary degree to Martin Luther King 50 years ago this year. The strips centred on my research areas, which have been brilliantly illustrated by Terry Wiley, feature the Leveller John Lilburne and the eighteenth-century radical Thomas Spence, both of whom were born in the North East.


Inspiring Archives: A Story of the Civil War in the North East of England

In 2016-17 I was the History academic on this multi-disciplinary, Heritage Lottery funded, project to engage local Year 8 pupils with the events of the English Civil War as they impacted on our region.