I began my academic career at the University of Wales Trinity St David, Lampeter, where I completed my undergraduate degree in Conflict and War. I studied a wide variety of military and social history, with my 3rd year dissertation examining elements of the Anglo-Allied campaign during the Hundred Days in 1815.
I then moved to the University of Kent to complete my master’s degree in Imperial History. In the time after graduating, I worked in an education institution and the civil service before relocating to Leeds for my doctorate.
My MA dissertation entitled 'Preparatory and Apparently Easy Service’: The Fencible Regiments in Britain 1793–1802 introduced me to the home defence apparatus which operated during the French Revolutionary Wars. I have continued this topic into my PhD thesis, which will expand further upon my earlier research.
- An Acceptable Level of Violence: Assessing the Development of the British Government’s Security Approach to ‘The Troubles’ From 1969–79, The Journal of Intelligence Conflict and Warfare 1:2 (2018)
- ‘The Fencibles: Assessing Recruitment to the Home Defence Regiments’, Society for Army Historical Research Centenary Conference (2021)
- ‘The Fencibles: Assessing Recruitment to the Home Defence Regiments’, School of History Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Leeds (2022)
My PhD research is focused on the Fencible Regiments – a solution to the Scottish opposition to the militia system during the 18th century. They had been used before, and later gained popularity in British North America; my doctoral research is restricted to the period 1793–1802. This includes questions surrounding:
- How the different branches of the home defence apparatus interacted, and how these interacted with Georgian society
- Military, regional, and national identity in Fencible Regiments
- Recruitment strategies and methods to a Corps which was predominantly drawn from Scotland, and how the reduced Clan system impacted this
- The experience of the Fencible Regiments during their service in Ireland, and the extent to which they were involved in responding to the 1798 Rebellion
My research interests include, but are not limited to:
- military relationships with society
- The British Army at war 1775–1815
- military material culture
- recruitment to the British Regular and Non-Regular forces
- working with archives
- public engagement with history
I welcome any correspondence on these topics, whether that be academic discussion or avenues for collaboration. You can contact me via my email, or on Twitter @RMB_History.
I am the Student Representative on the Council for the Society for Army Historical Research, a Postgraduate Lead for the War and Peace Research Cluster here in Leeds, and am also a member of the other following organisations:
- British Commission for Military History.
- British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
- Scottish Historical Society
- Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society
- PhD History (in progress)
- MA Imperial History (2019)
- BA (Hons) Conflict and War (2018)
Research groups and institutes
- War and Peace