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Dr Neil Younger

Profile summary

Professional biography

I studied history at the University of Birmingham, receiving a BA in 2001, an MPhil in 2003 and a PhD in 2007. Since then I have taught at the universities of Birmingham, Durham and Essex, and Vanderbilt University in the US. I joined the Open University as a Lecturer in 2014. 

Research interests

My research focuses on politics and government, both local and national, in Elizabethan England. In the past, I studied these issues by way of the problems posed to the early modern polity by warfare, focusing on the Elizabethan wars against Spain (1585-1603); this was the subject of my doctoral thesis and my first book, War and Politics in the Elizabethan Counties (2012).

More recently, I have shifted to looking at politics in the context of the religious division of post-Reformation England. The long-term aim of this is to produce a book reassessing the impact of religious change on Elizabethan politics. In the shorter term, and as part of that larger project, I have recently published a book on the life and career of Sir Christopher Hatton. This project investigates how a politician with very strong links to Catholics worked (and succeeded) within the ostensibly Protestant regime of Elizabeth I.

I would be happy to discuss supervising postgraduate research in any of these areas. I am currently supervising PhD students working on government in early modern Oxford, the emotional content of Elizabethan royal ceremonies, and the creation of William Camden's Annals

I am convenor of the Medieval and Early Modern History research group.




  • ‘New light on Henry Lanman, owner of The Curtain’, Early Theatre, 25:1 (2022), 117-25. 
  • ‘How Protestant was the Elizabethan regime?', English Historical Review, 133:564 (October 2018), 1060-92. 
  • ‘Drama, politics and news in the Earl of Sussex’s entertainment of Elizabeth I at New Hall, 1579’, Historical Journal, 58:2 (June 2015), 343-66.
  • ‘The practice and politics of troop-raising: Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex and the Elizabethan regime’, English Historical Review, 127:526 (June 2012), 566-91.
  • ‘Securing the monarchical republic: the remaking of the lord lieutenancies in 1585’ (winner of the 2008 Sir John Neale prize), Historical Research, 84:224 (May 2011), 249-65.
  • ‘William Lambarde on the politics of enforcement in Elizabethan England’, Historical Research, 83:219 (February 2010), 69-82.
  • ‘If the Armada had landed: a reappraisal of England’s defences in 1588’, History, 93:311 (July 2008), 328-54.

Book chapters

  • 'Warfare' in Understanding Early Modern Primary Sources, ed. L. Sangha and J. Willis (Routledge, 2016).
  • ‘Henry Herbert, second earl of Pembroke and noble leadership in the Elizabethan provinces’ in Leadership and Elizabethan Culture, ed. P. Kaufman (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013).

Edited sources

Other publications

  • 'The other favourite', History Today 73:7 (July 2023), 76-83. 
  • (with Janet Dickinson) ‘Just how nasty were the 1590s?’, History Today 64:7 (July 2014), 10-16.
  • ‘Robert Peake (c1551–1619) and the Babington Plot’, British Art Journal 14:2 (2013), 65-7.
  • ‘The Tudor state’, State Papers Online, 1509-1714, Cengage Learning EMEA Ltd, 2008.
  • Reviews for English Historical Review, HistoryJournal of British StudiesMidland HistoryReviews in HistorySixteenth Century Journal.

Teaching interests

I am currently Qualifications Lead for History and also Deputy Module Team Chair of A113 'Revolutions', an interdisciplinary Level 1 module which looks at major turning points in the making of the modern world. I am also Deputy Module Team Chair of A223 'Early Modern Europe: Society and Culture, 1500-1780'. I have also contributed teaching material to A111 'Discovering the Arts and Humanities' and A328 'Empires: power, resistance, legacies'. 


External collaborations

I am a convenor of the Tudor and Stuart History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research.


New Light on Henry Lanman, Owner of the Curtain (2022-06-28)
Younger, Neil
Early Theatre, 25(1) (pp. 117-125)

How Protestant was the Elizabethan Regime? (2018-10-05)
Younger, Neil
The English Historical Review, 133(564) (pp. 1060-1092)

Drama, politics, and news in the Earl of Sussex's entertainment of Elizabeth at New Hall, 1579 (2015-06-30)
Younger, Neil
The Historical Journal, 58(2) (pp. 343-366)

Religion and politics in Elizabethan England: The life of Sir Christopher Hatton (2022-10-01)
Younger, Neil
Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain
ISBN : 978-1-5261-5949-6 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester

War and Politics in the Elizabethan Counties (2012-05)
Younger, Neil
Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain
ISBN : 9780719083006 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester