Dr Leigh Shaw-Taylor M.Sc Ph.D.
Deputy Director of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure
Interests in English economic and social history 1500 to 1881 with a focus on: occupational structure; women's work; economic development; the development of agrarian capitalism; agricultural productivity; common land, common rights and enclosure.
My Ph.D. examined the extent to which the loss of common rights at parliamentary enclosure (c.1750- c.1830) proletarianised the rural poor in England. Since 2003 I have been the director of a large research program: The Occupational Structure of Britain c.1379-1911 which has been generously funded by The British Academy, The ESRC, The Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust. Since 2006 I have held a lectureship in the Faculty of History and since 2007 I have been deputy director of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.
- 1999-2002: Junior Research Fellow, Jesus College Cambridge
- 2002: Temporary Lecturer, Department of History, Queen Mary College, University of London
- 2002: Temporary Lecturer, Department of History, University of Oxford
- 2003-2006: Senior Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council).
- 2006-present: University lecturer, Faculty of History.
- 2007-present: Deputy Director of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure
- 2008-present: Senior Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.
- Ph.D. in History, University of Cambridge.
- M.Sc in Economic and Social History, University of Oxford.
- B.A. Open University.
The Occupational Structure of Britain 1379-1911
The 1841 census is the first census to provide an adequate description we have of the male occupational structure of the English economy while that for 1851 provides the first comprehensive data on female employment. In consequence for the period often described as the industrial revolution we lack adequate data on the evolution of the occupational structure of the economy either during the classic industrial revolution period or over the preceding centuries which are know to have seen considerable economic development. Since 2003 I have, with Professor E.A. Wrigley run a large research programme aimed at rectifying this gap in our knowledge. Ultimately we aim to create a quantitative reconstruction of the occupational structure of Britain from the late middle ages down to the outbreak of the First World War in as much detail as the sources permit. The research programme has been generously funded by The British Academy, The ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust. Since 2007 the programme has been a British Academy Research Project. For details see the project website.
International Comparative History of Occupational Structure (INCHOS)
Since 2007, together with Professor Osamu Saito (Hitotsubashi, Tokyo) I have co-ordinated an international network of scholars aimed at a systematic international comparison of the evolution of occupational structures. With Professor Saito I am currently editing a book, which we expect to complete in 2013, Occupational Structure and Industrialization in Comparative Perspective. This will contain 14 country chapter and foour thematic chapters by the editors.
The Development of Agrarian Capitalism in England 1500-1851
Almost all published studies on this topic have used units of land ownership as a proxy for farm size. The scale of sub-tenancy ensures that this is not a reliable procedure. Given the failure, to date, to develop robust data sets on the evolution of farm size over time I have used occupational data to measure the chronology and geography of the development of agrarian capitalism. This has been done by comparing the numbers of those described as yeoman, husbandmen and farmers with the numbers of individuals described as agricultural labourers or farm servants. In this way it is possible to chart the development of agrarian capitalism both spatially and chronologically.
- 'The rise of agrarain capitalism and the decline of family farming in England', Economic History Review (2012).
- 'Diverse experiences: The geography of adult female employment in England and the 1851 census' in N. Goose, (ed.) Women's work in Industrial England: Regional and Local Perspectives (2007).
- 'Family farms and capitalist farms in nineteenth century Engand', Agricultural History Review (2005).
- 'Access to land in eighteenth century England' in P.C.M. Hoppenbrouwers and E. Thoen (eds.), Access to Land and Markets, C.O.R.N. Publication No. 9, Brepols, 2004.
- M. De Moor, L. Shaw-Taylor and P. Warde (eds.) The Management of Common Land in North West Europe, C.O.R.N. Publication No. 8, Brepols, 2002.
- 'The Management of Common Land in the Lowlands of Southern England, c.1500 - c. 1850' in ibid.
- 'Parliamentary Enclosure and the Emergence of an English Agricultural Proletariat', Journal of Economic History, 2001.
- 'Labourers, Cows, Common Rights and Parliamentary Enclosure: the Evidence of Contemporary Comment c. 1760 - 1810', Past and Present 2001.
- Faculty of History: Paper 10 (British Economic and Social HIstory 1700-1914); Paper 9 (British Economic and Social History 1500-1750); M.Phil in Economic and Social History, Advanced Paper on British Industrialisation.
- I currently supervise one M.Phil and six Ph.D. students in British Economic and Social History. Four of these work on the occupational structure project.
- Joint organiser of the International Network for the Comparative History of Occupational Structure (INCHOS)
- Editor of the Cambridge Economic and Social History Website
- Member of the Economic History Society
- Member of British Agricultural History Society