charles w prior

Dr Charles Prior

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of Histories Languages and Cultures


I grew up on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee lands near Kingston, Ontario Canada, and was educated and taught at Queen's University (Canada), the University of Toronto, and the University of Cambridge, where I held a postdoctoral fellowship from 2004 to 2006. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2008, I am a life member of Wolfson College, Cambridge and held visiting appointments in Canada, the United States and in the UK. My work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust. With my colleague Joy Porter, I am a Co-Principal Investigator of the University-funded research cluster Treatied Spaces: Environment & Peoples in America, 1607-1890.

I have written two books and edited two collections of essays that deal with topics in early modern political thought. My most recent book project, which was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, is called 'Powers in the Land: Negotiating American Sovereignty, from Roanoke to the Republic'. My next project, 'Settlers in Indian Country', foregrounds Native conceptions of sovereignty and power in order to refine the place of settler colonialism in American colonial and early republican history.



The Shot Heard Around the World: 1776 in its Global Contexts

Imperial Colonies: Reinterpreting the American Revolution

Book Chapter

Settlers among empires: conquest and the American Revolution

Prior, C. W. A. (2018). Settlers among empires: conquest and the American Revolution. In E. Vallance (Ed.), Remembering Early Modern Revolutions: England, North America, France and Haiti, 79-93. Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Early Stuart Controversy

Prior, C. W. A. (2017). Early Stuart Controversy. In A. Hiscock, & H. Wilcox (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion, 69-83. Oxford University Press (OUP). doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672806.013.6

England’s Wars of Religion: A Reassessment

Prior, C. (2015). England’s Wars of Religion: A Reassessment. In W. Palaver, H. Rudolph, & D. Regensburger (Eds.), The European wars of religion: An interdisciplinary reassessment of sources, interpretations and myths, 119-138. Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Journal Article

Hebraism and the problem of church and state in England, 1642–1660

Prior, C. W. (2013). Hebraism and the problem of church and state in England, 1642–1660. Seventeenth Century, 28(1), 37-61.

Rethinking church and state during the English Interregnum

Prior, C. W. A. (2014). Rethinking church and state during the English Interregnum. Historical research : the bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 87(237), 444-465.

Research interests

American and British History, 1607-1800

European / Native American Diplomacy

Settler Colonialism

International Law

American Revolution

Postgraduate supervision

Angelina Osborne, ‘Powers and Persuasion: The London West India Committee, 1783-1833’. Funded by University of Hull 80th Anniversary Scholarship. Completed 2014.

James Walters, ‘Covenanters After the Covenant in Restoration England, 1660-1690’. Funded by NECAH Studentship. Completed 2018.

Heather Hatton, ‘Communicating Allegiance: Euro-American and Indian Diplomacy in the Northeastern Woodlands, 1701-1774’. Funded by Treatied Spaces Cluster. Year 2.

Mark Millard, ‘Pathways Through the Woods: Haudenosaunee Diplomacy and American Indian Treaties 1701–1784’. Funded by Treatied Spaces Cluster. Year 2.