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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 Denise Pumain

Comparative analysis of the evolution of cities & systems of cities in different parts of the world; dynamic modelling of complex systems in social sciences; geographical theory.

Professor Neil Wrigley

Economic geography with distinctive focus on retail & consumption: specifically retail globalisation & its host-economy impacts; & policy & practice engaged research on retail access.

Professor Hastings Donnan

The comparative study of borders that have experienced conflict, violence and war; related issues of trauma, memory and displacement; border crossings, transitions and transgressions; Islam; Ireland; Pakistan

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