Dr Elly Robson

Specialising in
Environmental history, popular politics and protest, agrarian change, history of ideas, water histories, property rights, practices of knowledge production.

Elly Robson is a historian of early modern Britain, with a particular interest in processes of environmental transformation and their relationship to social relations, political ideas, and practices of knowledge production.

Academic interests

Elly Robson’s main academic focus is early modern British history, including popular politics and protest, social relations, economic development, environmental change, knowledge production, ideas in action in social contexts, migration, colonisation, legal disputes, land rights, and water politics.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Cantab.
  • MPhil, Cantab.
  • PhD, Cantab.


Prior to joining Jesus College, I was the Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London.

My ongoing research examines controversial projects of fen drainage, forest enclosure, and land improvement in seventeenth-century England. A further study investigates how early modern enclosure of common lands intersected with projects of Irish plantation and New World colonisation.

I am editor of History Workshop Online, a digital magazine of radical history. I am also co-founder of the Environmental History Workshop.

I am an academic member and secretary of the Legacy of Slavery Working Party at Jesus College.

Publications, links and resources

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