Northern Centre for the History of Medicine and Medical Humanities

John Black

Research Associate in History
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Newcastle

Tel: +44 (0)191 222 7844

Research Associate in History
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Armstrong Building
University of Newcastle

Dr John Black is currently employed as a Research Associate on an ESRC research project Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850'' under supervision of Dr Romola Davenport (Director) and Professor Jeremy Boulton (co-Director), and continues to publish articles on this project jontly with Professor Boulton.

Dr Black has also worked as a Research Associate at Newcastle University on the Wellcome Trust funded research project Madness and Mortality (Principal Investigators: Prof. Jeremy Boulton and Dr Jonathan Andrews). Additionally, he was a Research Fellow, also at Newcastle University, on the Wellcome Trust funded research project Death, disease and the environment: contextualising individual causes of death in London, 1747-1825 (Principal Investigators: Prof J.P. Boulton & Dr L.D. Schwarz) and on the ESRC funded project Lives of the Poor in the West End of London, 1724-1867 (Principal Investigators: Prof J.P. Boulton & Dr L.D. Schwarz).

Research Interests

To date, the focus of Dr Black's personal research has been the relationship between shifts in social, economic and demographic influences on changes in cultural values within the plebeian population in particular, and all levels of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English society in general.

Currently, Dr Black is working on an article that examines cohabitation in London during the years 1740-1830. In addition, The Royal Historical Society has expressed an initial interest in publishing in monograph form Jonathan's PhD thesis, Illegitimacy and the Urban Poor in London, 1740-1830 (Royal Holloway, University of London, 1999).

Dr Black's next major piece of personal research will take as its subject Scottish migration to London during the period 1603-1851, for which the article 'Poor Scots in the West End of London 1725-1800' is an initial starting point. This project will look at all socio-economic levels of Scottish migrants to the metropolis. It will highlight the changing geographic distribution of places of habitation and employment of Scottish migrants in London during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In addition, the research will build up a comprehensive analysis of economic, political, social, artistic and cultural networks of Scots in the metropolis. In this way a picture of Scottish cultural identity within the metropolis will be drawn, and how this interacted with both the cultural viewpoint of the general metropolitan population, and that of the national identity of the Scottish homeland population.


Black, J. and Boulton, J, '"Those that die by reason of their Madness”: dying insane in London, 1629-1830’, Lunacy's Last Rites: Understanding and Mediating the Dying and Deaths of the Mentally Afflicted in Britain, ca. 1700-1900 (special edition of History of Psychiatry), due for publication March 2012

Black, J, Boulton, JP and Schwarz, LD, ‘Paupers and their experience of a Georgian workhouse: St Martin in the Fields, 1725-1824’, Inhabiting Institutions in Britain, 1700-1950, due for publication 2011.

Black, J, ‘Who were the Putative Fathers of Illegitimate Children in London, 1740-1810?’, Levene, A, Nutt, T. and Williams, S, Illegitimacy in Britain, 1700-1920. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

Black, J, ‘Illegitimacy, Sexual Relations and Location in Metropolitan London, 1735-1785’, Hitchcock, T. and Shore, h. (eds.), The Streets of London, 1660-1870. London: Rivers Oram, 2003

Black, J. and Hitchcock, T. (eds) 'The Chelsea Bastardy and Settlement Statements, 1733-1766', London Record Society, July 1999, pp.180

Reviews of 'The Chelsea Bastardy and Settlement Statements':
‘This is an exemplary edition in a most worthy series of record society publications. The examinations printed record both enquiries into the legal settlement of paupers (settlement examinations) and the paternity of illegitimate children (bastardy examinations). As the first-rate introduction shows, these examinations bring into sharp focus the meeting point between the poor and the system of relief…..The edition is at once scholarly and haunting’. (Prof. Jeremy Black in The Local Historian November 2000).

‘The London Record Society has produced successive high quality series of records, and this volume is well up to their standards.’ (Dr. Leonard Schwarz, Reviews in History February 2000)

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