Charles_ Prior

Dr Charles W A Prior

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

School of Histories, Languages and Cultures

01482 466328

Charles Prior grew up on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee lands near Kingston, Ontario Canada, and was educated and taught at Queen's University (Canada), and the University of Cambridge, where he held a postdoctoral fellowship from 2004 to 2006.

Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2008, he is a life member of Wolfson College, Cambridge and held visiting appointments in Canada, the United States and in the UK.

His current book projects are concerned with settler colonialism before the American Revolution, and with treaties and the projection of territorial sovereignty in the American East, from the start of the 'long peace' to the Treaty of Fort Stanwix.


Research Interests

  • American History, 1607-1800

  • British History, 1485-1800

Research groups

Leads the research cluster, Treatied Spaces: Environment and Peoples in America, 1607-1890, with colleague, Professor Joy Porter.

The cluster explores the ways in which treaties between Native American peoples and settler, colonial, and federal governments shed light on questions of sovereignty, the possession of land, the use of space and the environment, the movements of peoples and goods, and pathways of war and disease.

Currently working on a new book, Settlers Among Empires: Frontiers of Conquest and Law in America, 1607-1784, with the support of a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust (RF-2017-156\3).



Prior C W A, Settlers Among Empires: Frontiers of Conquest and Law in America, 1607-1784 (in preparation)

Prior C W A, A Confusion of Tongues: Britain’s Wars of Reformation, 1625-1642, Oxford University Press (2012)

Prior C W A and Burgess G (eds), England’s Wars of Religion, Revisited, Ashgate (2011)

Prior C W A, Defining the Jacobean Church: the Politics of Religious Controversy, 1603-1625, Cambridge (2005)

Prior C W A, Mandeville and Augustan Ideas: New Essays, English Literary Studies Monograph Series (2000)

Full List


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

On research leave until December 2018.

Research PhDs

I am able to supervise topics in the broad fields of British political, constitutional or religious history between 1560 and 1800, and on the political history of the relationship between Britain and its American colonies (1600-1800), or the American Revolution.

Current PhD supervisions 

  • James Walters (NECAH funded), Working on Ideas of Church, State and Civil Religion around the Scottish National Covenant

  • Mark Millard (Treatied Spaces Cluster), Working on Diplomacy and Territoriality in the American East

  • Heather Hatton (Treatied Spaces Cluster), Working on Ritual and Material Culture around Treaty Councils

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, The 'Regiment of the Church': Doctrine, Discipline and History in Jacobean Ecclesiology, 1603-1625, supervisor Paul Christianson, Queen's University at Kingston (2003)

  • MA, Political Science and History, University of Toronto (1999)

  • BA Hons, Political Science, Queen’s University at Kingston (1997)

External roles

  • Peer reviewer, Research Fellowships Scheme, Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)

  • Peer reviewer, Standard Research Grants Program, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

  • Book manuscript reviews for the University of Notre Dame Press, Ashgate Press, Pickering and Chatto, Routledge UK, Pearson Education, Versita / De Gruyter

  • Article manuscript reviews for Journal of British Studies, History of Political Thought, The Historical Journal, The Historian, The Canadian Journal of History

Awards and accolades

Research Funding

  • Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust, 2017-18

  • British Academy, Small Research Grant, 2008

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Post Doctoral Fellowship, 2004-2006

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 2001-2003

Visiting Appointments

  • 2010 Visiting Scholar, St John’s College, Oxford

  • 2008 Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge

  • 2007 Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

  • 2006 Elected Life Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge

  • 2004-2006 Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge

  • 2004 Visiting Fellow, Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

  • 2002 Visiting Fellow, Bridwell Library & Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.