Contact Details


Telephone number: 01865 274260

Role: Fellow and Tutor; Associate Professor in History; Fellow Archivist*

*I can be heard talking about the college archives, alongside the Archivist, Olly Mahony, here: 

Photo of Dr Grant Tapsell at Lady Margaret Hall


After a peripatetic childhood in Ayrshire, East and West Sussex, Cambridgeshire, Surrey, and west London, I read Modern History at LMH from 1995 to 1998 and immediately felt at home. The inspirational teaching I received from an exceptional group of early modern historians in Oxford convinced me to carry on for graduate work, albeit migrating to Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. After a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Darwin College, Cambridge, and a departmental lectureship back in Oxford, I spent five very rewarding years as a lecturer at St Andrews. I have been Fellow and Tutor in History at LMH since 2011.

Research Interests

My initial interests were focused on early Whig and Tory 'party' politics in the reign of Charles II. This included attention to partisan writing, religious differences, and the extent to which partisanship could be seen in Scotland and Ireland as well as England. Many of these concerns were then examined over the whole later Stuart period in a jointly-authored book with Dr George Southcombe which was primarily written with undergraduate students in mind.

Collaboration has remained an important part of my research life, including two jointly edited festschriften for former tutors, and a collection of essays on the later Stuart church. The last of those reflected my increasing concern with the history of the Church of England in the seventeenth century. This has focused on aspects of the career of William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1678-90, culminating in a book-length edition of his letters from his time as a Cambridge undergraduate in the 1630s right through to his death in 1693. 

In 2021 I gave the Church of England Record Society Annual Lecture about Sancroft, which can be viewed here: 

A shorter version targeted at LMH alumni can be viewed here: 


Teaching is the most important part of my professional life and I work across a range of papers in early modern British, European, and colonial American papers, as well as methodological papers for Prelims and the Final Honour School. It has been a privilege to teach exceptional cohorts of undergraduates at LMH and from across the collegiate university. I work in close collaboration with my subject colleagues at LMH to support our students to achieve the best possible degree results. Many LMH historians have continued on to graduate study in Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Bristol, several London colleges (including the Courtauld), and elsewhere; others have pursued careers in the law, media, civil service, local government, publishing, museums, teaching, armed forces, and financial services. I enjoy organising History subject reunions at college to keep in touch with former students.

Working at Oxford has also given me the pleasure of supervising the research of a range of extremely talented graduate students. They have worked on topics including: the gentry of Wales and Cornwall; the Caroline judiciary; the Palatine family in exile; the future James II as a patron of learning in Scotland; royalist preaching during the English civil wars; the career and writings of George Savile, marquess of Halifax; and reading and books in the life of John Robartes, earl of Radnor. So far three of these dissertations have been published as monographs by major presses, with another two on the way. My current doctoral students are working on representations of Charles II in overseas territories; nonconformist understandings of history; and the impact of exile on episcopalian clergy during the 1640s and 1650s. I would welcome approaches from budding graduate students looking to work on aspects of political and religious history in the second half of the seventeenth century.



(ed.) The Correspondence of William Sancroft, 1634-93 (Church of England Record Society, forthcoming)

(ed.) Revolutionary England, c.1630-c.1660: Essays for Clive Holmes (Routledge, 2016) [with George Southcombe]

(ed.) The Nature of the English Revolution Revisited: Essays in Honour of John Morrill (The Boydell Press, 2013)  [with Stephen Taylor]

(ed.) The Later Stuart Church, 1660-1714 (Manchester UP, 2012)

Restoration Britain and Ireland, 1660-1714: Politics, Religion, and Culture (Palgrave, 2010) [with George Southcombe]

The Personal Rule of Charles II, 1681-85 (The Boydell Press, 2007)


'Restoration and the Culture of Persecution: The View from Lambeth', in Arthur der Weduwen and Malcolm Walsby (eds), Reformation, Religious Culture and Print in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honour of Andrew Pettegree (2 vols, Brill, 2022), I, 83-100

‘The Church of England, 1662-1714’, in Jeremy Gregory (ed.), The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume 2: Establishment and Empire: The Development of Anglicanism, 1662-1829 (Oxford UP, 2017), pp. 25-48

'Religion and the Government of the Later Stuarts', in Andrew Hiscock and Helen Wilcox (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion (Oxford UP, 2017), pp. 102-16

'"Parliament", "Liberty", "Taxation", and "Property": The Civil War of Words in the 1640s', in George Southcombe and Grant Tapsell (eds), Revolutionary England, c.1630-c.1660: Essays for Clive Holmes (Routledge, 2017), pp. 73-91

'Charles II's Commission for Ecclesiastical Promotions, 1681-4: A Reconsideration', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 66 (2015), 735-54

‘A British patriarchy? Ecclesiastical imperialism under the later Stuarts’, in Stephen Taylor and Grant Tapsell (eds.), The Nature of the English Revolution Revisited: Essays in Honour of John Morrill (The Boydell Press, 2013), pp. 261-84

‘The Reluctant Chaplain: William Sancroft and the Later Stuart Church’, in H.C. Adlington, Tom Lockwood, and Gillian Wright (eds.), Chaplains in Early Modern England: patronage, literature and religion (Manchester UP, 2013), pp. 193-211

‘Pastors, Preachers, and Politicians: The Clergy of the Later Stuart Church’, and ‘Introduction: The Later Stuart Church in Context’, in Grant Tapsell (ed.), The Later Stuart Church, 1660-1714 (Manchester UP, 2012), pp. 1-17, 71-100

‘Royalism Revisited’ [Review Article], Historical Journal, 54 (2011), 881-906

‘Laurence Hyde and the Politics of Religion in Later Stuart England’, English Historical Review,125 (2010), 1414-48

‘“weepe over the ejected practice of Religion”: Roger Morrice and the Restoration Twilight of Puritan Politics’, [Review Article], Parliamentary History, 28 (2009), 266-94

‘The Immortal Seven’, a group entry for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2007)

‘Parliament and Political Division in the Last Years of Charles II, 1681-5’, Parliamentary History, 22 (2003), 243-62.