Dr. Andrea McKenzie

Dr. Andrea McKenzie
Office: Cle B211

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

Area of expertise

Early Modern Britain, Crime and Legal History, Conspiratorial Politics, Manuscript Culture

Office Hours

Summer 2024: No office hours


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 have recently completed 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.

Awards and Honours

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

Selected publications


Conspiracy Culture in Stuart England Tyburn's Martyrs

Conspiracy Culture in Stuart England: the Mysterious Death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey (Boydell & Brewer/University of Rochester Press, 2022).

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 (New York and London: Routledge, 2023).

Secret Writing and the Popish Plot: Deciphering the Shorthand of Sir George Treby”, Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 84, 4 (Winter 2021), 783-824 

“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 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2021), 113-34​

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

“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 25 (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, vol 57, 3 (September 2017), 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), 33-70

“Biting the Biter: Sex, Scatology and Satirical Inversion in Augustan Highwaymen ‘Lives’”, Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 76, 2 (June, 2013),   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),   231-257

“Useful and entertaining to the generality of Readers”: Selecting the Select Trials, 1718-1764”, in David Lemmings, ed., Crime, Courtrooms and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1700-1850 Sphere (Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2012),   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", Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 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, vol. 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
(taught in rotation with Simon Devereaux)
HSTR 220A History of England 1066-1689
HSTR 220B History of England 1689-present
HSTR 312 Tudor-Stuart England
HSTR 316A Death and the Afterlife in England, 1200-1750
HSTR 318 The Bloody Code: Crime and Society in England, 1660 - 1800
HSTR 320E Ice, Exploration and the English
HSTR 414A The World Turned Upside Down: Society and Politics in 17th c. England
HSTR 420 Plots, Anti-Catholicism and Conspiratorial Politics in England, 1588-1688​