Professor Harry Dickinson (BA, Dip.Ed., MA, PhD, DLitt, FHA, FHEA, FRHistS, FRSE)

Emeritus Professor of British history


I am a graduate of Durham University and hold postgraduate degrees of the universities of Durham, Newcastle and Edinburgh. After three years teaching at Washington Grammar School, I became Earl Grey Research Fellow at Newcastle University in 1964. I moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1966 as an Assistant Lecturer and was subsequently promoted to Lecturer, Reader and then Professor (in 1980). Since 1987 I have also been a Concurrent Professor at Nanjing University in China. I have held five visiting fellowships and two teaching appointments in the USA, and I have taught courses in China, Japan,Taiwan, France, Germany and Poland. I have assessed the research and teaching achievements in the History departments in the universities and research institutes of Estonia. I have been a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow (to China),and the Anstey Memorial Lecturer (at the University of Kent). I have served as a specialist adviser to the CNNA, on the Quality Assurance Agency, the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency, the Teaching Quality Assessment agency, the Research Assessment Exercise, the History Benchmarking Group, and the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. I have twice been a Vice President of the Royal Historical Society and I have been both Deputy President and President of the Historical Association (2002-5). I am a member of the Higher Education Academy. I chaired the History Research Panel of the Arts and Humanities Research Council until I retired in 2006. I have been external examiner at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at 22 universities in Britain, Australia, the USA and Sweden. At Edinburgh I have chaired postgraduate committees at faculty and university levels.

Responsibilities & affiliations

External appointments

  • Member of Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Archives and Public records.

  • Regular Visiting Professor to China and Poland

Research summary

I have spent my career specialising in the history of Britain during the very long eighteenth century (from 1688 to 1832). My work has mainly been on parliamentary politics, popular politics and political ideas, and I have also written on military and naval history. I have been an Associate Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and editor of the journal History (1993-2000).


  • Britain & Ireland
  • Latin America
  • North America
  • Scotland


  • Diplomatic History
  • Ideas
  • Imperialism
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • War


  • Eighteenth Century
  • Nineteenth Century

Current research interests

Political Ideas and Political Debate in Ireland and in Britain 1760-1815


Editor, Ireland in the Age of Revolution 1760-1805, 6 vols. 2013.

Co-editor of Reactions to Revolutions (Munich,2007). Editor, British Pamphlets on the American Revolution , 1763 - 1785. 8 Vols. (Pickering and Chatto, 2007-8) 'The Representation of the People in Eighteenth-Century Britain', in Realities and Representaion, ed. Maia Jansson (Palgrave:Houndmills & Macmillan:New York, 2007) pp19-44. 25 entries in Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760-1815, ed. Gregory Fremont-Barnes (Greenwood Press, Westport CT, 2007).

Editor of Constitutional Documents of the United Kingdom, 1782-1835 (Munich, 2005).

‘Richard Price on reason and revolution’, in William Gibson and Robert G. Ingram (eds.), Religion, Politics and Identity, 1660-1832 (Ashgate, 2005).

Editor of A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford, 2002). Co-editor (with Michael Lynch) of The Challenge to Westminster (Blackwell Publishing, 2000).

‘”The Friends of America”: British sympathy with the American Revolution’, in Michael T. Davis (ed.), Radicalism and Revolution in Britain, 1775-1848 (London and New York, 2000). Editor of A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford, 2002). Co-editor (with Michael Lynch) of The Challenge to Westminster (East Linton, 2000). Editor of Britain and the American Revolution (London, 1998). The Politics of the People in Eighteenth-Century Britain (London and New York, 1994 and 1995). Editor of Britain and the French Revolution, 1789-1815 (Harmondsworth, 1989). Caricatures and the Constitution, 1760-1832 (Cambridge, 1986). British Radicalism and the French Revolution, 1789-1815 (Oxford, 1985). Liberty and Property: Political Ideology in Eighteenth-Century Britain (London and New York, 1977 and 1979). Editor of Politics and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Britain (London and Totowa, NJ, 1974). Walpole and the Whig Supremacy (London, 1973). Bolingbroke (London, 1970).

Other works

Henry St John (13,500 words), Thomas Muir (1400 words), Thomas Spence (2900 words), Sir William Yonge (3650 words), Christopher Wyvill (3600 words), Alexander Davison (2500 words) in H C G Matthew, B H Harrison (eds) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Co-editor (with W.A. Speck) of the 18th century section of the Royal Historical Society’s British Bibliographies (Oxford, CD-ROM, 1998). Editor of The Political Works of Thomas Spence (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1982). Editor of The Correspondence of Sir James Clavering (Gateshead, 1967). Constitutional Documents of the United Kingdom, 1850 - to Present (Microfiche, Saur, Munich, 2004) Editor of the journal, History (1993 - 2000). Also author/editor of four pamphlets, 95 essays in books, 79 articles in journals, and over 300 reviews.  Work translated into French, Spanish, Polish, Chinese and Japanese.