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Name: Bethany Marsh

Thesis Title: 'Protestant Martyrs or Irish Vagrants?' Responses and the Organisation of Relief to Irish Refugees  in England, 1641-1651.

Thesis Description:

My thesis focuses on the economic and cultural impact of Irish refugees, of the 1641 Irish Rebellion, on England.This research addresses

1) the regional variances of humanitarian aid in England along the Great North road, Watling Street and Fosse Way

2) the impact of refugees on local attitudes towards Ireland

3) the identities of refugees (religion, ethnicity, political allegiance and economic standing)

4) the comparison between refugee aid and that of contemporaneous war widows and maimed soldiers

By utilising and adapting current analytical tools,  from modern displacement studies,  I aim to understand why the responses to refugees, by individuals, communities and political elites, varied. Namely whether action — or lack of action — was motivated by a sense of moral obligation and religious duty, or whether economic and political contexts had the greatest impact. Furthermore this research considers the economic, political and social impact of Irish refugees on the localities.

This research feeds into wider debates regarding the causes and ‘British Problem’ of the British civil wars, investigating overarching themes on the Irish dimension through the prism of localised impact. My research will align with projects such as the 1641 Depositions Online and further our understanding of the social, religious and political context of modern Anglo-Irish relations. It will also help inform current political concerns regarding population displacement and international refugee crises. It is through such historical displacement studies that current understanding of refugee aid can be gaged. 


Supervisors and Institution(s):

David Appleby (UoN), Andy Hopper (UoL) and Martyn Bennett (NTU)

Teaching Qualifications, Training and Experience:

  • Associate Lecturer at the University of Derby
  • Teaching Associate at the University of Nottingham: V11213: From Reformation to Revolution: An introduction to early modern history c.1500-1789, academic year 2017/18.
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 
  • Associate Teaching Programme 2017/18 (25% of the PGCHE)
  • A Practical Look at Core Teaching Skills (2017) UoN Graduate School
  • Presentation Skills (2017) UoN Graduate School
  • Lecturing for Learning (2017) UoN Graduate School
  • Marking and Assessment (2017) UoN Graduate School
  • Foundations in Higher Education (2017) UoN Graduate School
  • Introduction to Learning Technologies Online Course (2017) UoN Graduate School.
  • Postgraduate Teacher Training Series, East Midlands Centre for History Teaching and Learning September 2017- June 2018


Studentships, Scholarships and Other Funding:

  • Local History Studies Masters Funding - University of Nottingham (£3000)
  • Midlands3Cities doctoral training partnership- AHRC (3 years doctoral training and stipend)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£750 for training and residential trip to London)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£1,149.45 for training and residential trip to London)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£961.71 for archival research at the National Library of Ireland and the Representative Church Body of Ireland Library in Dublin)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£6,088.23 for a three month placement at Brewhouse Yard, Museum of Nottingham Life. Including a three month stipend extension and associated residential costs for archival research.
  • Research Training Support Grant- Midlands3Cities (£700 for travel and conference fees to present a paper at the National American Conference for British Studies in Washington D.C)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£283.90 for travel and conference fees to present a paper at the National American Conference for British Studies in Washington D.C)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£634.60 for archival research at the Norfolk Record Office, Norwich and the Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich)
  • Student Development Fund- Midlands3Cities (£515.60 for archival research at the British Library and London Metropolitan Archive)


Research Training and Placements:

  • January 2016: The National Archives Postgraduate Archives and Skills Training (PAST) Level Two: Skills and Methodology Workshop
  • April 2016: Database training for historians (Institute of Historical Research)
  • July 2016 to April 2017: Three month research placement: at the Museum of Nottingham Life researching non-conformists who lived on the site of Brewhouse Yard in the seventeenth century.
  • Prince2 Foundation Project Manager Training. 


Conference Papers and Public Engagement:

 August 2015:

  • Mortality, Care and Military Welfare during the British Civil Wars Conference 2015. The international conference was organised by the University of Leicester’s Centre for English Local History celebrating the opening of the National Civil War Centre at Newark Museum, Nottinghamshire. Paper presented, ‘Lodging the Irish: Irish refugees in Nottinghamshire 1641-1651'

May 2016:

  • MidlandsThreeCities Research Festival for Doctoral Students. Collaborative Poster Presentation: ‘The Emerging ‘Middle Class’: A Medieval or an Early Modern Phenomenon?’

July 2016:

  • Communities and Society in Early Modern Britain and Ireland. A one-day conference at Nottingham Trent University. Paper presented, ‘Midlands Hospitality: Irish Refugees in Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire, 1641 to 1651’.

November 2016:

  • Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Paper presented, ‘‘Lodging the Irish’: an examination of parochial charity to refugees from Ireland in the parish of Upton, Nottinghamshire, 1641-1651’.
  • National American Conference on British Studies. Paper presented, ‘Experience of charitable aid in the English Civil Wars: the reception of Irish Refugees in the localities, 1641 to 1651’.

June 2017:

  • Resounding in the Museum one-day conference at Nottingham Castle. Resounding in the Museum was a pilot activity funded jointly by the Creative and Cultural Industries Research Priority Area and Nottingham City Museums and Galleries. It set out to test new ways of using sound for visitor engagement at the Museum of Nottingham Life, a venue dedicated to local and social history. Specifically, the project aimed to investigate the potential use of sound in the caves adjoining the rear of the museum. ‘The Heavy Note’ Rebecca Lee. Paper presented, ‘Brewhouse Yard: Public Engagement with religious history’.

November 2017:

  • Midland History Postgraduate Conference, University of Worcester. Paper presented, ‘A tale of three counties: Charity and reception of Irish refugees in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire 1641-1651’.

May 2018:

  • Sixteenth Warwick Symposium on Parish Research ‘Parishes and Migration’, University of Warwick 12 May 2018. Paper Presented: ‘A grim spectacle: the migration and relief of ‘Irish’ refugees in London, 1641-1651.’

Upcoming: 'Thirty Years' War- 400 years on' conference to be held at Nottingham Trent University 11 July 2018 and 8th Annual Tudor and Stuart Ireland conference to be held at Queens University Belfast 24-25 August 2018

Publications and Prizes:

    • Midland History Journal Prize Winner 2016: B. Marsh, ‘Lodging the Irish: an examination of parochial charity dispensed in Nottinghamshire to refugees from Ireland, 1641-1651’, Midland History, 42 (2017), pp. 194-216.
    • B. Marsh, ‘‘Wealthy women, bankers and cloth-workers’: The lives of the nonconformist families of Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham, 1650-1750’, East Midlands History and Heritage, 6 (2018), pp. 7-9.


Email address:

Twitter: @TheMarshster


Associate Lecturer at the University of Derby

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Prince2 Foundation Project Management Qualification.