Jack Sargeant

Jack Sargeant


  • Samuel Alexander Building
    W 2.08

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Personal profile


I am a historian of political and economic life in early modern Britain, specialising in the English Revolution of the mid-seventeenth century. My current research falls into two broad categories. 

Firstly, I am interested in how ideas about the material world condition the production and contestation of political authority. With a focus on the English Revolution (1642–49), my doctoral research theorised a revolutionary break between understandings of authority as a natural, eternal quality of people or things, and as a particular, spatially embedded and historically contingent social relation. This involved analysing both the concrete interactions between ordinary people and political elites, and the writings of civil war radicals from the Levellers to Thomas Hobbes. Some of this research has been published in the Historical Journal and in Historical Research.

Secondly, I am interested in the transition to capitalism, and in particular the history of capitalism ‘from below’. Currently, I am interested in tracing how individuals excluded from (or marginalised within) artisanal and merchant guilds sought to shape market regulation though engagement with the crown, parliament, and civic authorities. I am exploring these themes through the fishing industry of seventeenth and eighteenth century London, and the conflict between humble fishers and the ‘ancient’ Fishmongers’ Company, who sought to exercise a monopoly over the city’s retail trade. 

Prior to joining Manchester, I taught at University College London and Queen Mary, University of London, where I am an affiliate of the Centre on Labour, Sustainability and Global Production (CLaSP).


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