Hitchcock, Tim 1957-

views updated

Hitchcock, Tim 1957-

PERSONAL:

Born October 18, 1957. Education: University of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1980; Oxford University, D.Phil., 1985.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Hertfordshire, College Ln., Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and historian. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, professor of eighteenth-century history, head of the Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities Research Institute, and codirector of the Old Bailey Online Project.

MEMBER:

Royal Historical Society (fellow).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Recipient of numerous research grants.

WRITINGS:

Richard Hutton's Complaints Book: The Notebook of the Steward of the Quaker Workhouse at Clerkenwell, 1711-1737, London Record Society (London, England), 1987.

(Editor, with Lee Davidson, Tim Keirn, and R.B. Shoemaker) Stilling the Grumbling Hive: The Regulation of Social and Economic Problems in England, 1689-1750, Allen Sutton Press (Stroud, Gloucestershire, England), 1992.

(With R. Shoemaker) Economic Growth and Social Change in the Eighteenth-Century English Town, History Courseware Consortium/University of Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland), 1996.

(Editor, with Peter King and Pamela Sharpe) Chronicling Poverty: The Voices and Strategies of the English Poor, 1640-1840, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

English Sexualities, 1700-1800, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor, with Michéle Cohen) English Masculinities, 1660-1800, Addison Wesley (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor, with John Black) Chelsea Settlement and Bastardy Examinations, 1733-1766, London Record Society (London, England), 1999.

(Editor, with Heather Shore) The Streets of London from the Great Fire to the Great Stink, Rivers Oram/Pandora (London, England), 2003.

Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London, Hambledon & London (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Robert Shoemaker) Tales from the Hanging Court, Hodder Arnold (London, England), 2006.

Contributor to academic books. Contributor to periodicals and academic journals, including Revue HES: Histoire, Economie et Société, History Workshop Journal, Radical History Review, History and Computing, Social History of Medicine, Journal of British Studies, and Journal of Urban History.

Project director, with Robert Shoemaker and Clive Emsley, of the Old Bailey Online Project (an electronic resource), which includes The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1913, and all known editions of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts, 1690 to 1772, and is published by the Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield and Higher Education Digitisation Service, University of Hertfordshire (Sheffield, England), 2003, revised and expanded edition, 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Tim Hitchcock is an academic and historian. Born on October 18, 1957, Hitchcock earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1980. He then completed a D.Phil. at Oxford University in 1985. Hitchcock eventually became a professor of eighteenth-century history at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England. He additionally serves as head of the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute. Hitchcock is a Royal Historical Society fellow. His primary research interests include eighteenth-century urban history, the formation of the eighteenth-century state, the history of sexuality, the origins of modernity, and poverty, with a specific regional focus on Britain.

Hitchcock has published extensively on topics related to his primary research. He contributes to a number of periodicals and academic journals, including Revue HES: Histoire, Economie et Société, History Workshop Journal, Radical History Review, History and Computing, Social History of Medicine, and the Journal of British Studies. He published his first book in 1987, called Richard Hutton's Complaints Book: The Notebook of the Steward of the Quaker Workhouse at Clerkenwell, 1711-1737. In 1992, he edited Stilling the Grumbling Hive: The Regulation of Social and Economic Problems in England, 1689-1750 with Lee Davidson, Tim Keirn, and R.B. Shoemaker. Again with Shoemaker, he published Economic Growth and Social Change in the Eighteenth-Century English Town in 1996. The following year he published English Sexualities, 1700-1800.

In 1997, Hitchcock also edited Chronicling Poverty: The Voices and Strategies of the English Poor, 1640-1840, with Peter King and Pamela Sharpe. The account makes use of sources rarely used in the study of British poverty from the middle of the seventeenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century. Comprised of nine individual contributions, the book encompasses a range of topics, including pensioners in London, the daily lives of commoners and their material wealth (or lack thereof), domestic servants and sexuality, juvenile crime, and illegitimacy and the strategies of mothers of bastard children.

Susannah Ottaway, reviewing the book in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, found that "Hitchcock's study draws on his considerable knowledge" of the field. Ottaway concluded that "this book succeeds in doing exactly what its editors intended: It challenges social historians to write a new history from below, using the words of the poor rather than settling for the words of the elite about the poor. These essays will be of great use to others who take up this challenge."

In 1999, Hitchcock edited, with John Black, Chelsea Settlement and Bastardy Examinations, 1733-1766. This was followed by another book that year, English Masculinities, 1660-1800, which Hitchcock edited with Michéle Cohen. The authors look at the oftentimes contrasting attitudes of masculinity in English culture in the mid-seventeenth century through the eighteenth century. The book covers topics of sexuality, marriage, courtship, and honor and reputation. The main sections of the book, divided into categories such as sexuality, sociability, virtue and friendship, and violence, explain the varying degrees of gender identity and perception in the context of the times.

Elaine Chalus, writing in the English Historical Review, said that Cohen and Hitchcock provide "a clear and accessible" introduction to the study. Chalus noted of the changes in English masculinities throughout history that "what caused these changes, however, is never satisfactorily explained. I was also left wondering to what extent these changes were superficial or structural." Chalus observed that "what emerges most powerfully—and needs to be applied to the history of femininity as well as masculinity—is the plurality of gender identities and the ways in which contemporaries negotiated them." Chalus summarized that "this collection of essays makes a significant contribution to the field."

Published in 2003, The Streets of London from the Great Fire to the Great Stink, edited with Heather Shore, looks at daily life among those who made a living on the streets from the period following London's Great Fire in 1666, when large sections of the city were burnt down and were subsequently rebuilt, to the mid-nineteenth-century construction of the Embankment. Ian Doolittle, writing in the English Historical Review, observed that "a collection of essays gathered around the theme of London's streets is an attractive prospect," adding that "the chosen period has logic." Doolittle summarized that "the contributors offer a wide range of enthusiastic approaches to the theme, covering various segments of the period and appearing in roughly chronological order." As for Hitchcock's own essay in the text, Doolittle described it as "a gripping narrative."

In 2004, Hitchcock published Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London. The account reconstructs life and living conditions among London's poor population in the eighteenth century and what methods they took to survive on a daily basis. Hitchcock uses a narrative style when telling individual stories, having gathered the majority of his information from diaries, literary accounts, paintings and drawings, medical records, and human resources accounts at places of employment. Hitchcock's account shows that even though the stereotype of a poor person was a man begging for money on the streets in the day, the majority were women and children, with the former often turning to prostitution and the latter forced to steal.

Erin Shelor, writing in History: Review of New Books, commented that Hitchcock was "quite effective" in "bringing the London poor to life in a way few historians have managed." Shelor noted that the book "adds a unique element in the way it intensely personalizes the subject, although some will find this a weakness as it involves creative interpretation of the available sources." Shelor observed that the writing style is "accessible" to a range of readers, including students, historians, and those with a general interest in the topic. Jamie L. Bronstein, reviewing the book in the Historian, found that the final chapter of the book seemed "dissonant" with the rest of the book. Bronstein concluded that "the ill-fitting last chapter aside, this book is a model of both form and content; a history book that is hard to put down. It will surely prove dangerously attractive to undergraduate and graduate students—even to nonhistory majors." The reviewer also believed that British historians will be reminded of "what made them fall in love with the discipline in the first place." In 2006, Hitchcock published Tales from the Hanging Court.

Hitchcock is also the project director, with Robert Shoemaker and Clive Emsley, of the Old Bailey Online Project. This digitization project, which includes The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1913, and all known editions of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts, 1690 to 1772, contains court proceedings from 1674 to 1913 and details the lives of ordinary people.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

British Heritage, May 1, 2006, David Marcou, review of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London, p. 63.

Economic History Review, February 1, 1994, Peter Borsay, review of Stilling the Grumbling Hive: The Regulation of Social and Economic Problems in England, 1689-1750, p. 194; February 1, 1999, Steve Hindle, review of Chronicling Poverty: The Voices and Strategies of the English Poor, 1640-1840, p. 150; May 1, 2006, Peter King, review of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London, p. 406.

English Historical Review, February 1, 2001, Elaine Chalus, review of English Masculinities, 1660-1800, p. 225; June 1, 2004, Ian Doolittle, review of The Streets of London from the Great Fire to the Great Stink, p. 803.

Historian, June 22, 2006, Jamie L. Bronstein, review of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London.

History Today, April 1, 1997, review of English Sexualities, 1700-1800, p. 57.

History: Review of New Books, June 22, 2005, Erin Shelor, review of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London.

Journal of British Studies, January 1, 2006, Alysa Levene, review of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London, p. 163.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, summer, 1998, Susannah Ottaway, review of Chronicling Poverty, p. 102; autumn, 2007, Victor Slater, review of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London, p. 277.

Journal of Modern History, September 1, 1999, Donald Woodward, review of Chronicling Poverty, p. 681.

Population Studies, March 1, 1998, Roy Porter, review of English Sexualities, 1700-1800, p. 119.

Social History, October, 1993, Jonathan Barry, review of Stilling the Grumbling Hive, p. 399; October, 1999, Anna Clark, review of Chronicling Poverty, p. 315.

Women's History Review, spring, 2001, Vincent Quinn, review of English Sexualities, 1700-1800, p. 171.

Women's Studies, May 1, 1998, Shasta Turner, review of English Sexualities, 1700-1800, p. 306.

ONLINE

Old Bailey Online,http://oldbaileyonline.org/ (May 14, 2008), author project Web site.

University of Hertfordshire Web site,http://www.herts.ac.uk/ (April 15, 2008), author profile.