Professor of Urban History
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University
Office hours: Thursdays, 2-3pm, and Friday, 2 pm – 4 pm
I am a historian of early modern London. I have published widely on many aspects of the capital’s economy, society and demography between 1550 and 1825. I am currently working on welfare and demography in Georgian Westminster. Since 2004 I have been leading the Pauper Lives project (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/pauperlives), which is based on reconstructing the lives of those who inhabited the large parish workhouse of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s West End (1725-1824). This research has been twice funded by the ESRC and also by the Wellcome Trust.
I was educated at St Andrew’s University and received my PHD from Cambridge University in 1983. I was a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge (1982-1990) and a Research Associate at the Cambridge Population Group (1985-1990). I moved to Newcastle in 1990. I was Head of School (2003-8) and Director of the Newcastle Branch of the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (2009-10).
I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I have been a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and am currently a member of the ESRC Peer Review College. I was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2009.
My main area of research is based on the Pauper Lives Project. This on-going research aims to reconstruct the lives of those who inhabited the large parish workhouse of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s West End (1725-1824). The project is interdisciplinary. Outputs, to date, have included articles on the history of the elderly, the health and mortality of workhouse inmates, the treatment of lunatics, pauper life cycles, the impact of the law of settlement and the changing welfare priorities during the period. Recent funding has focused on analysing the demography of the parish. This research has been funded twice by the ESRC and once by the Wellcome Trust. A related Leverhulme-funded project started in January 2013 this looks at the mortality regime in Manchester 1750-1850.
'Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850', Leverhulme Trust, with Romola Davenport, 2013-2015.
‘Infant Mortality by Social Status in London: The Baptism Fee Books of St Martin-in-the-Fields’, ESRC award with Romola Davenport (Cambridge). 2011 to September 2013.
‘Death, Disease and the Environment: contextualising individual causes of death in London, 1747-1825’, Wellcome Trust Award with Leonard Schwarz (Birmingham), 2007-2011.
‘The Lives of the Poor in the West End of London 1724-1824’, ESRC award with Leonard Schwarz (Birmingham), 2004-2007.
Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850
Project Leader(s): Romola Davenport (Director), Jeremy Boulton (co-Director) and John Black (Research Associate)
The London Foundling Hospital: Impact and Legacy, 1750-1850
Project Leader(s): Professor Helen Berry (PI)
I have run the following undergraduate courses in the last five years:
HIS2114 Death, dying and the dead in early modern England
HIS2081 A Protestant Nation in Crisis: British History 1560-1688
HIS3119 The Wages of Sin? Venereal Disease in Early Modern England (1500-1800)
HIS3118 Hogarth! The artist and his life in Georgian London, 1697-1764
I also contribute to HIS3008 Reading History and supervising undergraduate dissertations.
I used to run HIS8028 'Death cultures in early modern England' for the MA British History. I now lead the module 'HIS8105 Reform and resistance in England 1700-1939'.
I currently supervise two graduate students: Caroline Nielsen studying disability and the Chelsea Hospital in the eighteenth century; Cara Middlemass, who is studying memorial jewellery in early modern England.
- Boulton J. Traffic in corpses and the commodification of burial in Georgian London. Continuity and Change 2014, 29(2), 181-208.
- Boulton J. Double deterrence: settlement and practice in London’s West End, 1725-1824. In: King, S.; Winter, A, ed. Migration, Settlement and Belonging in Europe, 1500–1930s: Comparative Perspectives. New York: Berghahn, 2013, pp.54-80.
- Boulton J, Black J. Paupers and their Experience of a London Workhouse: St Martin-in-the-Fields, 1725–1824. In: Hamlett, J., Hoskins, L., Preston, R, ed. Residential Institutions in Britain, 1725-1950: Inmates and Environments. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013, pp.79-91.
- Boulton J, Davenport R, Schwarz LD. 'These ANTE-CHAMBERS OF THE GRAVE': Mortality, medicine and the workhouse in Georgian London (1725-1824). In: Reinarz, J., Schwarz, L, ed. Medicine and the Workhouse. University of Rochester Press, 2013, pp.58-85.
- Boulton JP, Black J. 'Those, that die by reason of their madness': dying insane in London, 1629–1830. History of Psychiatry 2012, 23(1), 27-39.
- Boulton JP, Schwarz L. 'The comforts of a private fireside'? The workhouse, the elderly and the poor law in Georgian Westminster: St Martin-in-the-Fields, 1725-1824. In: Joanne McEwan and Pamela Sharpe, ed. Accommodating Poverty: The Housing and Living Arrangements of the English Poor, c. 1600-1850. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp.221-245.
- Davenport R, Schwarz L, Boulton J. The decline of adult smallpox in eighteenth-century London. The Economic History Review 2011, 64(4), 1289-1314.
- Boulton J. 'Turned into the Street with My Children Destitute of Every Thing'; The Payment of Rent and the London Poor, 1600-1850. In: Joanne McEwan and Pamela Sharpe, ed. Accommodating Poverty: The Housing and Living Arrangements of the English Poor, c. 1600-1850. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp.25-49.
- Boulton J, Schwarz L. Yet Another Inquiry into the Trustworthiness of Eighteenth-Century-London’s Bills of Mortality. Local Population Studies 2010, 85, 28-45.
- Boulton J. Microhistory in early modern London: John Bedford (1601-1667). Continuity and Change 2007, 22(1), 113-141.
- Boulton J. Welfare Systems and the Parish Nurse in Early Modern London, 1650-1725. Family and Community History 2007, 10(2), 127-151.