Skip Content

Professor Richard Smith FBA


About this Fellow

My research and publications have focused on the history of marriage, principally in medieval Europe, peasant inheritance practices and customary law, welfare practices and their demographic correlates in medieval and early modern England and urban historical epidemiology. Much of this work has been undertaken while Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at Oxford University and Director of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. I currently hold a Senior Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust (2014-2019) to undertake research on 'Migration, Mortality and Medicalization: investigating the long-run epidemiological consequences of urbanisation in England 1600-1939'.



Current post

  • Emeritus Professor of Historical Geography and Demography and Director, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge

Past Appointments

  • University Lecturer in Population History, University of Oxford, 1983 - 1989
  • Reader in History of Medicine and Director of Wellcome Unit for History of Medicine, University of Oxford, 1990 - 1994
  • Director, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge, 1994
  • Emeritus Professor of Historical Demography and Geography, University of Cambridge, 2011


Life, Death and the Elderly: Historical Perspectives 1991


Welfare of the Individual and the group: Malthus and externalitioes American Philosophical Society 2001


The World We Have Gained: Histories of Population and Social Structure 1986


Bastardy and its comparative history 1981


Land, kinship and life-cycle 1984


Medieval society and the manor court 1996


Other Anthropology and Geography Fellows

Professor Paul Sillitoe

Anthropology Development Anthropology Ethnosciences Human Ecology and Environment Social & Cultural Anthropology, Other Branches

Professor Ash Amin

Transformations in contemporary society/space relations; urban and regional development; re-imagining the economy; new forms of politics and citizenship; the idea of Europe; race and multiculturalism

Professor Robert Foley

Human evolution: the evolutionary ecology of extinct hominins; the evolution of human behaviour and culture; prehistory and archaeology of early human populations; evolutionary theory in archaeology and anthropology.