21 July 2022

Sheffield expert in English history elected to British Academy

A historian who has dedicated his career to discovering the religious and political beliefs of our ancestors over 300 years ago has been elected to the British Academy Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field.

Professor Anthony Milton
  • Professor Anthony Milton, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of History, has been elected to a British Academy Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to the humanities and social sciences
  • He joins a prestigious Fellowship of over 1,400 scholars from the UK and overseas, including classicist Professor Dame Mary Beard and historian Professor Simon Schama
  • Professor Milton is a renowned expert in the religious, political and intellectual history of early modern England
  • He has been at the University of Sheffield for 30 years, contributing to teaching and research in the Department of History

A historian who has dedicated his career to discovering the religious and political beliefs of our ancestors over 300 years ago has been elected to the British Academy Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field (Thursday 21 July 2022).

Professor Anthony Milton from the University of Sheffield’s Department of History specialises in the early modern history of England (1500-1800), best remembered for the dramatic developments that transformed the political and religious life of the country under the Tudors and Stuarts, and the English Civil War.  

Professor Milton grew up in Sheffield and joined the University of Sheffield’s Department of History in 1992, where he continues regularly to publish research on subjects such as politics and religion in the English Civil War, and the religious, cultural and political relations between Britain and mainland Europe. He also has a long-standing interest in politics and ideas in South-East Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In recognition of his dedication to the field, he now joins a community of over 1,400 British Academy Fellows in the SHAPE subjects – the social sciences, humanities and arts – from the UK and overseas. 

Professor Milton said: “I feel that, as human beings, our fundamental task is to develop a compassionate understanding of all those around us, regardless of whether we agree with them or not. As historians, our challenge - and it can be a daunting one - is to understand those who lived in the past in the same way, critically, but in the round, and above all with empathy. That is what I have tried to do, and will keep trying to do, in my own research and teaching.”

“I feel very honoured to be elected to the Academy, but I also feel honoured and proud to have been for thirty years a member of one of the best History departments in the country, and one which I am sure will continue to supply future Fellows of the British Academy.”

Professor Adrian Bingham, Head of the University of Sheffield’s Department of History, said: “Professor Milton has been a member of the Department of History at Sheffield for 30 years and has played a key role in our teaching and research over that period.”

"This is a real honour and recognition of the fantastic contribution that he has made to the religious, political and intellectual history of early modern England.”

Founded in 1902, the British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. As well as a Fellowship of the leading minds in these subjects, the British Academy is also a funding body for research, nationally and internationally, and a forum for debate and engagement.

As a Fellow of the British Academy, Professor Milton joins a prestigious group of current Fellows including the classicist Professor Dame Mary Beard, the historian Professor Sir Simon Schama and the philosopher Professor Baroness Onora O’Neill, while previous Fellows include Dame Frances Yates, Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Mary Warnock, Seamus Heaney and Beatrice Webb.

President of the British Academy, Professor Julia Black, said: “I am delighted to welcome these distinguished and pioneering scholars to our Fellowship. With our new Fellows’ expertise and insights, the Academy is better placed than ever to open new seams of knowledge and understanding and to enhance the wellbeing and prosperity of societies around the world.”


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