Dr Craig Spence

Academic Staff & Lecturer

School of Humanities

Craig is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for History. His academic career commenced with advanced research at the University of London’s ‘Institute of Historical Research’ where he investigated the social structure of late seventeenth century London. This work engaged with innovative computer mapping analyses and data visualizations and culminated in a major research monograph titled ‘London in the 1690s: A Social Atlas’. More recently, he has published a further book in which he explores the social and cultural aspects of early modern accidents: ‘Accidents and violent death in early modern London, 1650-1750’.

Craig joined Bishop Grosseteste University in 2004, following a lectureship in history at Goldsmiths’ College University of London in addition to periods of teaching for Royal Holloway College University of London, Richmond International University, and Syracuse University. Craig worked previously as a professional archaeologist at the Museum of London where he directed several excavations. During that time he revised the MoLAS recording system and published the ‘Archaeological Site Manual’; a standard work on archaeological recording methods that continues to be used widely throughout the UK and overseas in both the commercial and academic sectors.

Craig has a PhD in history from Royal Holloway College and an MA in London Studies from Birkbeck College both University of London. He is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA), and an elected Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries (FSA) and the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS). He was recently awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FSHEA). He is currently Chair of the City of Lincoln Branch of The Historical Association, and an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage.


Craig delivers undergraduate teaching in early modern British history, urban and cultural history, and has also taught in the subject area of archaeology and heritage management. He designed and teaches on BGU’s postgraduate Masters programme in ‘Social and Cultural History’. Craig is a University of Leicester approved doctoral supervisor and is happy to discuss research proposals from prospective research students on topics related to early modern social and cultural history and those with a more general historical accident, disaster and violence focus.

Craig has historical and archaeological research interests. These currently include early modern urban and cultural history with a focus on the patterns and interpretation of accidents and interpersonal violence. In association with this research he continues to explore and publish on aspects of early modern urban society and print culture. Craig is also developing research into the cultural history of the Space Age (1950s-1980s) with an initial focus on the Apollo programme and its impact on education. He is also interested in contemporary approaches to off-world cultural resource management. Back on Earth Craig continues post-excavation analysis of his previous archaeological research excavations undertaken at a Roman villa site near to Lincoln and the Roman and medieval settlement located on the BGU campus.


Spence, C. (2016). Accidents and violent death in early modern London 1650–1750. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer

Spence, C. (2012/2014). Lincoln: A history & celebration. Salisbury: Frith Book Company.

Spence, C. (2000). London in the 1690s: A social atlas. London: CMH, Institute of Historical Research.

Book Chapters

Spence, C. (2019) ‘Trading in trauma: publishing information on accidents in early modern newspapers’ in Innovative Practices: Circulation in the Book Trade (Leiden: The Handpress World – Brill’s Library of the Written Word Series). [Forthcoming].

Spence, C. (2018). ‘The Open Lab Project: Successfully addressing the skills deficit of volunteer community archaeologists in Lincolnshire’ in The Impact of cross-disciplinary conservation on social development. London: UCL Press [forthcoming].

Spence, C. (2004). ‘Francis Maximilian Misson’ and ‘Richard Newcourt: The Elder’ in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal Articles

Spence, C. (2014). ‘Newport, Lincoln, three-year seasonal research, training and commercial excavation 2010-2012’. Britannia: A Journal of Romano-British and Kindred Studies, 45, pp. 340-341.

Spence, C. (2013). ‘The rise and fall of medieval Lincoln’s northern suburb of Newport’. Medieval Archaeology, 57.1, pp.296-302.

Spence, C. (2010). ‘Sudbrooke [Roman villa] five-year seasonal research and training excavation 2005-2009’. Britannia: A Journal of Romano-British and Kindred Studies, 41, pp. 370-372.

Spence, C. (2002). ‘Seeing some Black in the Union Jack’. History Today, 52.10, pp.30-36.

Selected Conference and Research Seminar Papers

Making ‘murder’ in early eighteenth century London: The Searchers, the Bills and violent death, British Crime Historians Symposium, Edge Hill University, August/September 2018

Experiencing the injured casualty in early modern London, Early Modern Studies Conference, Early Modern Research Centre, University of Reading, July 2017

“Telling pretty stories”: Imagining early modern London through accident event narratives, Social History Society Annual Conference, UCL/IHR, London, April 2017

Trading in trauma: Reporting accident events in early modern newspapers, Newspapers and periodicals in Britain and Ireland, 1641–1800, (Cultures of Communication III Conference), Dublin, Ireland, September, 2016

Learning about Space in the Space Age: Exploring a junior school’s ‘Pathway to the Moon’ scrapbook of 1969, Science, technologies and material culture in the history of education: History of Education Society annual conference, Liverpool Hope University, 2015.

Reading/Visualising British crime statistics in 17th and 18th centuries, Expert Round Table, Center for Research on the English-Speaking World (CREW, EA 4399), Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, 2015.

Accidental information: constructing a knowledge of the 18th century metropolis through accident event narratives, Urban knowledge: Urban History Group annual conference, University of Wolverhampton, 2015

Reporting casualties: the persistence and uses of Bills of Mortality style formatting in early English newspapers, Forms and formats: Experimenting with print, 1695-1815, Centre for the Study of the Book conference, Oriel College and The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2014.

The Off-World heritage of space exploration, The Peter Hammerton Memorial Lecture, Lincoln Astronomical Society, Lincoln, 2014.

Progress in community engagement following publication of the Southport Group Report on public value in the historic environment, Annual conference of the Institute for Archaeologists, Oxford, 2012.

What is a Community Archaeologist? Constructing a professional identity through skills development, Annual conference of the Institute for Archaeologists, Southport, 2010.

Taxing the ‘Vitals of the Commonwealth’: London in the 1690s, The British Academy Hearth Tax Project 3rd annual conference, Roehampton University London, 2008.

Accidents and response in early modern London, Centre for the History of Medicine Research Seminar, The School of Medicine, Birmingham University, 2008.

Familiar hazards and dangerous places: sudden violent death in early modern London, Annual conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, 2007.

Death hath ten-thousand several doors’: accidents and death in the early modern city, Long-Eighteenth Century Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 2005.

Articles by Dr Craig Spence