Professor Richard Hoyle to be Victoria County History Director

(photo: Kurt Graf) (photo: Kurt Graf)

RHN 64/2014 | Forum

Renowned rural historian to head the Victoria County History project at the Institute of Historical Research

The Victoria County History (VCH) project, which publishes historical reference works on English counties and is coordinated by the School of Advanced Study’s Institute of Historical Research, is to get an internationally respected new Director and General Editor.

Part of the University of London, the VCH welcomes the appointment of Richard Hoyle, currently Professor of Rural History at the University of Reading. He takes up his position on 1 October as Professor of English Local and Regional History.

With its scholarly volumes based on original research, the VCH is an important resource not only for county and local historians but also for anyone researching genealogy and family history. As a leading economic and social historian of early modern England, Professor Hoyle brings a wealth of erudition and experience to an initiative that has been built into a national treasure over 115 years and is without parallel.

‘I have long been an admirer of the Victoria County History, which in many respects is the English national history,’ said Professor Hoyle. ‘I look forwards to maintaining both the principles of the founding fathers and the standards achieved by their successors. Under my direction I hope that VCH will continue to offer its readers the very best of the old whilst accepting new challenges. I am very much looking forwards to getting to know the VCH family over the next few months.’

Professor Hoyle has written extensively on the political history of the 16th century but is probably best known as a historian of the economic and social history of many aspects of the English countryside, with publications on subjects as varied as the history of tenure and popular politics in the 16th and early 17th centuries, early modern famine and 19th and 20th century field sports.

He retains a strong interest in the history of northern England, especially the history and landscape of his native Yorkshire.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and is the long-serving senior editor of Agricultural History Review, the leading English language journal in the field. He is also President of the European Rural History Organization (EURHO).

Professor Miles Taylor, Director of the Institute of Historical Research, said: ‘I am delighted that Richard Hoyle is coming to lead the Victoria County History. He has few rivals as a prolific and original scholar of the social and economic history of rural Britain. He will bring distinction and leadership to the VCH and ensure its remarkable work develops and expands.’

Source: School of Advanced Study, University of London