Dr. Andrea McKenzie

Dr. Andrea McKenzie
Associate Professor
Office: Cle B211

BA (UBC), MA (York), PhD (UofT)

Area of expertise

British. 17th and 18th century English social and cultural history; crime, execution, gender (especially masculinity and courage); print & popular culture, religion & eschatology.

Office Hours

Dr. McKenzie is on leave this fall.


I grew up in the Vancouver area and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia; I then went on to do a Master’s degree at York University and a PhD at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of the legal and social historian John Beattie. I lived and taught in Brisbane, Australia, for several years before taking up my appointment at the University of Victoria in 2004. My research area is seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, with a specialization in the social and cultural history of the law, trial, execution, and print culture (especially last dying speeches and confessions). I am currently completing a study on late 17th-century conspiracy thinking and the death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey in 1678 (a famous unsolved mystery/historical whodunit). I am also working on a larger monograph on conspiratorial politics, anti-Catholicism, truth claims and public professions of belief during the “Popish Plot”, a moral panic and political and constitutional crisis in England, c. 1678-81. I teach more broadly on the history of England/Britain from the middle ages to the present, with an emphasis on the early modern period (c.1500-1800).

Awards and Honours

  • Winner of the University of Victoria's Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Teaching (2011).

Selected publications


Tyburn's Martyrs: Execution in England, 1675-1775 (London and New York, Hambledon Continuum, 2007).

Articles and chapters:

“Fake News, Firing Plots and the Standing Army: Arson Prosecutions during the Popish Plot, 1678-81”, in Katie Barclay and Amy Milka, ed., Public Justice: Media, Emotions and the Self, in the Routledge series ‘Studies in Eighteenth-Century Cultures and Societies’, edited by Elaine Chalus and Deborah Simonton, forthcoming.  

Secret Writing and the Popish Plot: Deciphering the Shorthand of Sir George Treby”, Huntington Library Quarterly (forthcoming, December 2021). 

“Sham Plots and False Confessions: The Politics of Edward Fitzharris’s Last Dying Speech, 1681”, in Brian Cowen and Scott Sowerby, ed., The State Trials and the Politics of Justice in Later Stuart England, Boydell Press, in the “Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History”, series (in press, September 2021). 

“Inside the Commons Committee of Secrecy: George Treby’s Shorthand and the Popish Plot”, Parliamentary History, vol 40, 2 (June 2021), 277-310 ​

“Pity and the Prosecutorial Passions: An Emotional History of Petty Treason and Parricide in England, 1674-1790”, in David Lemmings and Allyson May, ed., Emotions, Justice and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century England (Routledge, 2018).

Petite trahison dans son contexte: genre et verdicts dans les procès pour homicide entre conjoints aux assises de Old Bailey à Londres, Angleterre, 1674-1790”, Les cahiers du FRAMESPA : Nouveaux champs de l’histoire sociale (2017).

“His Barbarous Usages”, Her “Evil Tongue”: Character and Class in Trials for Spouse Murder at the Old Bailey, 1674-1790”, American Journal of Legal History. Volume 57, Issue 3 (September 2017), pp. 354–384

“On the ‘Very Brink Between Time and Eternity’: Truth, Charity and Last Dying Words in England, c. 1649-1700”, Journal of the Canadian Historical Society/Revue de la Société historique du Canada, vol 24, 2 (2013), pp. 33-70

“Biting the Biter: Sex, Scatology and Satirical Inversion in Augustan Highwaymen ‘Lives’”, _Huntington Library Quarterly_, Vol. 76, no. 2 (June, 2013), pp. 235-256

“‘God’s Hat’ and the Highwayman’s Shoes: a Gestural and Sartorial History of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century English Trial and Execution”, in _Canadian Journal of History_, vol. 47, 2 (Autumn, 2012), pp. 231-257

“Useful and entertaining to the generality of Readers”: Selecting the Select Trials, 1718-1764”, in David Lemmings, ed., _Courtrooms and the Public Sphere_ (Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 43-69

"God's Tribunal: Guilt, Innocence and Execution in England, 1675-1775", Cultural and Social History 3 (2006), 121-144.

"The "Real McHeath": Social Satire, Appropriation and Eighteenth-Century English Criminal Biography", The Huntington Library Quarterly 69 (4, 2006), 581-605.

"'This death some strong and stout hearted man doth choose': The Practice of Peine Forte et Dure in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England," Law and History Review (June 2005) 279-313. Winner of the American Society for Legal History's Surrency Prize (best article in the journal for 2005), and the Sutherland Prize (best article in English/British legal history for 2005).

"From True Confessions to True Reporting? The Decline and Fall of the Ordinary's Account", special edition of The London Journal 30 (1, 2005), 55-70.

"Martyrs in Low Life? Dying 'Game' in Augustan England", Journal of British Studies (April, 2003), 167-205.

"Making Crime Pay: Motives, Marketing Strategies, and the Printed Literature of Crime in England 1670-1770", in Greg T. Smith, Allyson N. May and Simon Devereaux, ed., Criminal Justice in the Old World and the New (Toronto, 1998), 235-269.



HSTR 122 Conspiracies, Hoaxes & Moral Panics (co-taught with Simon Devereaux)
HSTR 220A History of England to the Glorious Revolution
HSTR 220B History of England from the Glorious Revolution - present
HSTR 312 Tudor-Stuart England
HSTR 316A Death and the Afterlife in England, 1200-1750
HSTR 318 The Bloody Code: Crime in England, 1660 - 1800
HSTR 320E Ice, Exploration and the English
HSTR 414 Seminar in 17th Century England
HSTR 420 Seminar on Plots, Anti-Catholicism and Conspiratorial Politics in England, 1588-1688​