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Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin

Lecturer in Early Modern History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


I am an early modern historian with particular research interests in artisanal cultures, urban space and architecture, and networks of craft and ‘scientific’ knowledge. My published work has explored themes such as expertise, material cultures of memorialisation, and gifting rites among artisans and merchants. Most recently I have written about metropolitan goldsmiths’ workshops as significant experimental spaces.

My monograph, entitled Crafting identities: artisan culture in London, c.1550-1640 (MUP, 2021), argues that the livery halls of artisanal guilds became multifunctional sites for technical innovation, civic memorialisation, and social and political exchange. Locating a fundamental intersection of craft, mercantile, ‘scientific’, and institutional knowledge cultures in England’s metropolis, it shows, for the first time, how the social and intellectual status of London’s crafts and craftsmen was embedded in spatial and material contexts.

I joined Cardiff University in January 2020 as Lecturer in Early Modern History (on the Disglair Lecturers Scheme). Prior to this I was postdoctoral research associate on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project, Metropolitan Science, at the University of Kent (2017-20), and Fellow in History at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge (2016-17).


[with Elaine Tierney and Charlotte Wildman] Researching urban space and the built environment (Manchester, 2022).

'Instrument makers, shops and expertise in eighteenth-century London', in Gordon McOuat and Larry Stewart (eds), Spaces of Enlightenment science (Brill, 2022), pp. 74-90.

Crafting identities: artisan culture in London, c.1550-1640 (Manchester, 2021).

[with Rebekah Higgitt and Noah Moxham] 'Science and the City: Spaces and geographies of Metropolitan Science', Science Museum Group Journal, 15 (2021).

'Writing knowledge, forging histories: metallurgical recipes, artisan-authors and institutional cultures in early modern London', Cultural and Social History, 18:3 (2021), 297-314.

“A place of great trust to be supplied by men of skill and integrity’: assayers and knowledge cultures in late sixteenth-and seventeenth-century London’, The British Journal for the History of Science, 52:2 (2019), 197-223.

 ‘Gifting cultures and artisanal guilds in sixteenth-and early seventeenth-century London’, The Historical Journal, 60:4 (2017),  865-887.

‘Material memories of the guildsmen. Crafting identities in early modern London’, in E. Kuijpers and J. Pollmann, eds., Memory before modernity. Practices of memory in early modern Europe (Leiden, 2013), pp. 165-181.      

“Discords have arisen and brotherly love decreased’: the spatial and material contexts of the guild feast in early modern London’, Brewery History, 150 (2013), 28-38.