- Harris 207
- Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:10-5:00 pm
Geographic Field(s): Medieval and Early Modern European History; Modern European History: Britain and Its Empire
Thematic Field(s): War and Empire in History; Religious History; Legal and Criminal History
Principal Research Interest(s): Early Modern Britain, Early Modern Europe
Scott Sowerby (Ph.D., Harvard, 2006) is a historian of early modern Britain and Europe with a particular interest in comparative history and transnational issues, including religious toleration, state formation, and military power. His book, Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2013), was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize for the best first book on British or Irish history and was shortlisted for Phi Beta Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. His co-edited books include (withPaul D. Halliday and Eleanor Hubbard) Revolutionising Politics: Culture and Conflict in England, 1620–1660 (2021); (with Brian Cowan) The State Trials and the Politics of Justice in Later Stuart England (2021); and (with Noah McCormack) The Memoirs of Sir Daniel Fleming of Rydal Hall from 1633 to 1688 (2021).
He is currently working on a book entitled Absolution and Arms: The Violent Origins of Religious Toleration in Early Modern Europe (under contract with Harvard University Press), a comparative study exploring the experiences of religious minorities in militaries. The book investigates how European states either accommodated or proscribed religious diversity within armies and navies from the Reformation to the Age of Revolutions. In so doing, it suggests a new genealogy for the history of religious toleration in Europe: toleration was often offered to minority groups in exchange for their armed support.
Programs with which you are affiliated Graduate Program in British Studies
- Revolutionising Politics: Culture and Conflict in England, 1620–1660, edited with Paul D. Halliday and Eleanor Hubbard (Manchester University Press, 2021).
- The Memoirs of Sir Daniel Fleming of Rydal Hall from 1633 to 1688, edited with Noah McCormack (Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 2021).
- The State Trials and the Politics of Justice in Later Stuart England, edited with Brian Cowan (Boydell & Brewer, 2021).
- “Group Hunting: Religion, Politics, and Ideology in Later Stuart Britain,” Historical Journal, vol. 58, no. 4 (Dec. 2015), pp. 1191–1204 (review article).
- Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2013).
- “Forgetting the Repealers: Religious Toleration and Historical Amnesia in Later Stuart England,” Past and Present, no. 215 (May 2012), pp. 85–123.
- “Opposition to Anti-Popery in Restoration England,” Journal of British Studies, vol. 51, no. 1 (Jan. 2012), pp. 26–49.
- “Pantomime History,” Parliamentary History, vol. 30, pt. 2 (2011), pp. 236–258 (review article).
- “Of Different Complexions: Religious Diversity and National Identity in James II’s Toleration Campaign,” English Historical Review, vol. 124, no. 506 (Feb. 2009), pp. 29–52.
- “Tories in the Whig Corner: Daniel Fleming’s Journal of the 1685 Parliament,” Parliamentary History, vol. 24, pt. 2 (2005), pp. 157–201.
- In 2014, Professor Sowerby received the Weinberg College Award for Distinguished Teaching. He teaches courses on Tudor-Stuart Britain, eighteenth-century Britain, the history of gender and sexuality, and the global history of piracy.
Recent Awards and Honors
- Professor Sowerby’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Huntington Library, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the John Carter Brown Library, and Churchill College, Cambridge.
- In 2019 Professor Sowerby was awarded the CCHS Teaching Development Fellowship, which resulted in an undergraduate course on “Pirates, Guns, and Empires” (Spring 2019).