Dr. Simon Devereaux

Dr. Simon Devereaux
Associate Professor and Undergraduate Advisor
Office: Cle B218

BA, MA, PhD (UofT)

Area of expertise

Early Modern British History, Criminal Justice, Political and Constitutional History

Office Hours

Spring 2024: Monday/Wednesday/Thursday 3:00 - 4:00 pm or by appointment

Faces of UVic Research video


I was born and raised in Nepean, Ontario.  I received my BA in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1989, and stayed there to pursue my MA (1990) and PhD (1997) in British history with J.M. Beattie.  From 1997 to 1999, I held a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at Green College, University of British Columbia, where I worked with the late Richard Ericson. Before coming to Victoria in July 2004, I served as Lecturer in British History at the University of Queensland, Australia.


Selected Publications

Selected publications


Execution, State and Society in England, 1660–1900 (2023)

Database/Website (2017):

Capital Punishment and Pardon at the Old Bailey, 1730-1837 

Edited Volumes:

The Visitations of Horace Salusbury Cotton, Ordinary of Newgate, 1823-1838 (Boydell/London Record Society, forthcoming)

(with Paul Griffiths) Penal Practice and Culture 1500-1900: Punishing the English (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)

(with Allyson N. May & Greg T. Smith) Criminal Justice in the Old World and the New: Essays in Honour of J.M. Beattie (Centre of Criminology/University of Toronto, 1998)

Journal Articles:

“Execution and Pardon at the Old Bailey, 1730-1837," American Journal of Legal History, 57 (2017), 447-94

“The Bloodiest Code: Counting Executions and Pardons at the Old Bailey, 1730-1837,” Law, Crime and History, 6 (2016), 1-36

“Inexperienced Humanitarians? William Wilberforce, William Pitt, and the Executions Crisis of the 1780s,” Law and History Review, 33 (2015), 839-85

“England’s ‘Bloody Code’ in Crisis and Transition: Executions at the Old Bailey, 1760-1837,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 24/2 (2013), 71-113

“The Historiography of the English State during ‘the Long Eighteenth Century’ – Part I: Decentralized Perspectives,” History Compass, 7 (2009), 742-64

“The Historiography of the English State during ‘the Long Eighteenth Century’ – Part II: Fiscal-Military and Nationalist Perspectives,” History Compass, 8 (2010), 843-65

“Recasting the Theatre of Execution: The Abolition of the Tyburn Ritual,” Past & Present, 202 (Feb 2009), 127-174

“Imposing the Royal Pardon: Execution, Transportation and Convict Resistance in London, 1789,” Law and History Review, 25 (2007), 101-38

“From Sessions Paper to Newspaper? Criminal Trial Reporting, the Nature of Crime, and the London Press, 1770-1800,” London Journal, 32 (2007), 1-27

“The Abolition of the Burning of Women in England Reconsidered,” Crime, History & Societies, 9/2 (2005), 73-98

“The Fall of the Sessions Paper: The Criminal Trial and the Popular Press in Late Eighteenth-Century London,” Criminal Justice History, 18 (2003), 57-88

“The Making of the Penitentiary Act, 1775-1779,” Historical Journal, 42 (1999), 405-33

“Irish Convict Transportation and the Reach of the State in Late Hanoverian Britain,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, n.s. 8 (1997), 61-85

“The City and the Sessions Paper: ‘Public Justice’ in London, 1770-1800,” Journal of British Studies, 35 (1996), 466-503

Book Chapters:

“Patrick Madan – Avatar of the English Penal Crisis,” in Katie Barclay and Amy Milka (eds), Cultural Histories of Law, Media and Emotion: Public Justice (Routledge, 2023), 217-36

“Swearing and Feeling: The Secularization of Truth-Seeking in the Victorian English Court,” in David Lemmings and Allyson May (eds.), English Criminal Justice in the Long Eighteenth Century: Theatre, Representation and Emotion (Routledge, 2019), 104-27

“Arts of Public Performance: Barristers and Actors in Georgian England,” in David Lemmings (ed), Crime, Courtrooms and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1700-1850 (Ashgate, 2012), 93-117

“The Promulgation of the Statutes in Late Hanoverian Britain,” in David Lemmings (ed.), The British and their Laws in the Eighteenth Century (Boydell & Brewer, 2005), 80-101

“Peel, Pardon and Punishment: The Recorder’s Report Revisited,” in Devereaux & Griffiths (eds), Punishing the English, 258-84

“The Criminal Branch of the Home Office, 1782-1830,” in Devereaux et al (eds), Criminal Justice in the Old World and the New, 270-308

“In Place of Death: Transportation, Penal Practices and the English State, 1770-1830,” in Carolyn Strange (ed), Qualities of Mercy: Justice, Punishment and Discretion (UBC Press, 1996), 52-76


HSTR 220A History of England to the Glorious Revolution
HSTR 220B History of England from the Glorious Revolution - present
HSTR 313A Britain's Rise to World Power, 1689 - 1837
HSTR 313B English Society 1689 - 1837
HSTR 316B Death and the Afterlife in England, 1750 to the Present
HSTR 320A The British Monarchy since 1689
HSTR 320B Homicide in Modern Britain