Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Copenhagen
Website URL
Long 18th Century, Royal Navy, British Maritime World, Maritime Medicine, Insanity, Disability, Patronage and the Royal Navy, History of Psychiatry, Dockyards, Hospitals, Life at Sea
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a social historian of medicine and the maritime world in the long eighteenth-century. My current research focuses on mental disorder, difference and disability in the maritime world of the long eighteenth century. I explore how the ocean environment, the space of the ship and global mobility fundamentally shaped the way that mental disorder was both experienced and understood at sea and in coastal communities.
In the past, I’ve worked on social networks and patronage in the Royal Navy at the end of the eighteenth century, which was the topic of my Ph.D undertaken at University College London and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (2013-2017).
I recently held a one-year post as Pearsall Fellow in Naval and Maritime History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. My project ‘Disordered Minds and Nervous Bodies: Insanity in the Royal Navy 1740-1820′ drew together material from surgeons’ logs, courts martial, admiralty papers and hospital registers to examine the incidence of and attitudes towards mental disorder in the navy. My key findings reveal that a culture of practical tolerance towards a wide spectrum of mental conditions existed in the eighteenth-century navy, challenging the view that the dangers and priorities of sea-service encouraged stigma of mental illness in seafaring communities and occupations. I continued this research as a Caird short term fellow at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich in January 2020 with a project entitled ‘Unserviceable, being insane: sailors’ mental illness and disability outside the naval hospital 1793-1815′.

Recent Publications

‘Patronage and Insanity: Tolerance, reputation and mental disorder in the British navy, 1740-1820’ Historical Research, Volume 94, issue 263 (February 2021) Pages 73–95,

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, British Isles, Ireland, United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
18th century
Expertise by Topic
Medicine, Military