Hindle, Steve 1965–
Hindle, Steve 1965–
Born July 23, 1965, in Warrington, England. Education: Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, bachelor's degree, 1986; University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, M.A.; Cambridge University, Ph.D., 1992.
Office—History Department, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Historian, educator, writer, and editor. Girton College Cambridge, Cambridge, England, junior research fellowship, beginning 1991; University of Warwick, Coventry, England, Warwick Research fellow, 1995-c. 2001, senior lecturer, 2001-04, professor, 2004—. Also director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, 2004-07.
Royal Historical Society (fellow), National Archives Early Modern Sources Advisory Panel, Council of the Dugdale Society.
John Nichols Prize in English Local History, University of Leicester, 1995; Alexander Prize of the Royal Historical Society, 1997.
(Editor, with Paul Griffiths and Adam Fox) The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
The Birthpangs of Welfare: Poor Relief and Parish Governance in Seventeenth-Century Warwickshire, Dugdale Society/Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (Stratford-upon-Avon, England), 2000.
(Editor, with Heather Falvey) "This Little Commonwealth": Layston Parish Memorandum Book, 1607-c1650 & 1704-c1747, foreword by Mark Bailey, Hertfordshire Record Society (Rickmansworth, England), 2003.
On the Parish? The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c. 1550-1750, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 2004.
Annual reviewer of periodical literature for the Economic History Review, 1999-2004; coeditor of Economic History Review, 2007—. Editorial board member of Rural History and the Journal of Historical Sociology.
Steve Hindle is a historian whose interests include the Renaissance and early modern England. He edited The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England with Paul Griffiths and Adam Fox. The book is a collection of essays that examines, as the editors put it, "the articulation, mediation and reception of authority" as perceived both by the governors and the governed. The author's contribution includes a discussion about how magistrates used various views of the poor to marginalize them, especially females who neither married nor entered a religious service. James Epstein noted in Labor History that "the author carefully documents the complex workings of the legal procedure of ‘binding over,’ whereby a magistrate could bind an individual over in a fixed sum, or recognizance, and for a fixed period, to keep the peace without an actual conviction for any criminal offense."
Other topics discussed by contributors include parish politics, demonic possession as a way to escape social restrictions, and the informal power women wielded through gossip. Robert Shoemaker, writing in the English Historical Review, noted that "the fundamentally hierarchical nature of early modern English society remains evident in several familiar themes which recur throughout these essays." Epstein wrote: "One of this collection's strengths is the contributors' nuanced rendering of the politics of everyday encounters with authority."
In the first book he authored, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, Hindle examines the social and cultural implications of the growth of governance that occurred in England in the century following 1550. This growth was primarily associated with a rapidly expanding English population that more than doubled between 1524 and 1656, which created economic, military, and fiscal pressures as well as social, religious, and cultural problems. On his faculty profile page on the University of Warwick History Department Web site, the author noted that the book is "an attempt to explore the scale of popular participation in the process of governing rural England in the period c. 1550-1640."
The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640 discusses the evolution of public policy in the context of contemporary understandings of economic change. The author also analyzes litigation, arbitration, social welfare, criminal justice, moral regulation, and the parochial administration as manifestations of the increased role of the state in early modern England. In the process, the author examines the relationships between centralization, the quickening tempo of local administration, and the increase of litigation. Hindle also considers topics such as the provision of prerogative justice, the keeping of the public peace, the execution of criminal justice, and the reformation of manners. The author concludes his analysis by assessing the long-range implications of various governmental changes for the process of English state formation.
"Throughout a lucid and intelligent examination, Hindle's emphasis is, first, upon the severity of the problems faced, and measures taken, especially through the criminal law," wrote Jonathan Scott for the English Historical Review. Scott added, "It is, secondly, upon the contested nature of the whole process whereby the authority of the state was deployed in the localities." Roger G. Ingram, a contributor to History: Review of New Books, commented that "The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640 will be required reading for historians and graduate students in the field."
In On the Parish? The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c. 1550-1750, the author provides a study of the negotiations that took place over the allocation of poor relief in rural communities in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century England. The author delves into the relationships among the enduring systems of informal support by which the laboring poor made attempts to survive on their own. He also analyzes the expansion of endowed charity supported by late sixteenth-century statutes for charitable uses and the developing system of parish relief coordinated under the Elizabethan poor laws. In addition, the author reconstructs the hierarchy of relief provision as experienced by the poor and argues that the receipt of a parish pension was the final stage in a protracted process of negotiation between prospective pensioners and parish officers.
Noting that the structure of On the Parish? is "thematic," the author writes in the introduction: "It nonetheless employs an overarching narrative scheme, which is itself governed by the spread of formal welfare provision. Parish relief … was the developing backdrop against which the discourses and practices of charity discussed in other chapters must be understood. The institutionalization of relief also accounts for the broad chronological parameters of the book, which loosely stretch from the first mid-sixteenth-century attempts to appoint officers (‘collectors’) who would be responsible for the relief of the poor in each parish to the early eighteenth-century initiatives to restrict the scale of out-relief under terms of the workhouse test."
The author bases his historical analysis on exhaustive research in the archives of trustees who administered endowments, overseers of the poor who assessed rates and distributed pensions, magistrates, and judges who interpreted the Elizabethan statutes. With this research, Hindle presents in depth the experience of indigence and how the impoverished moved from networks of care provided by relatives and neighbors to the bureaucracy of the parish relief system.
"On the Parish? is without question the most important book on early modern poverty for almost two decades," wrote Paul Griffiths in a review for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. "The spadework in archives is impressive. The narrative of tougher discrimination and deterrence towards 1700 is well done. And pushing back the turning point from age-old medieval habits of giving to somewhere after 1660 when the balance tipped decisively towards ‘formal’ charity gives us all something to think about." Other reviewers also had high praise for the book. For example, H.R. French wrote in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, "Hindle's major achievement is to prove beyond doubt that ‘parish relief was, therefore, a process—indeed, an often protracted process—of which the audited overseers' disbursement is only the final record,’ and definitely not the whole story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hindle, Steve, Paul Griffiths, and Adam Fox, editors, The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Hindle, Steve, On the Parish? The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c. 1550-1750, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 2004.
American Historical Review, October, 1998, Derek M. Hirst, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 1241; June, 2006, Tim Hitchcock, review of On the Parish?, p. 902.
Choice, October, 2000, D.J. Kovarovic, review of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, p. 397.
Economic History Review, November, 1997, Tim Harris, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 836.
English Historical Review, April, 1999, Robert Shoemaker, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 440; November, 2001, Jonathan Scott, review of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, p. 1225; April, 2006, R.W. Hoyle, review of On the Parish?, p. 535.
History: Review of New Books, summer, 2000, Robert G. Ingram, review of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, p. 160.
International Review of Social History, December, 2006, review of On the Parish?, pp. 533-534.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January, 2006, H.R. French, review of On the Parish?, p. 157.
Journal of Historical Geography, January, 1998, Phil Harrison, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 109.
Journal of Modern History, September, 2002, Victor Stater, review of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, p. 634.
Labor History, November, 1998, James Epstein, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 497; February, 1999, James Epstein, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 118.
Law and History Review, fall, 2002, Paul D. Halliday, review of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, p. 647.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 2000, review of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1640, p. 27.
Social History, January, 1998, Malcolm Gaskill, review of The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England, p. 104.
Times Higher Education Supplement, June 24, 2005, Martin Daunton, "Let Them Shift for Themselves," p. 25.
Times Literary Supplement, April 22, 2005, Ralph Houlbrooke, "Doleful Figures," p. 24.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (June 16, 2008), Paul Griffiths, review of On the Parish?
Warwick University History Department Web site,http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/ (June 16, 2008), faculty profile of author.