Dr Drew Gray is a social historian of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who specialises in the history of crime and punishment. Drew is Subject Lead for History at the University of Northampton and teaches modules on both the History and Criminology programmes. Drew enjoys teaching and is a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA). He has developed innovative assessments based upon the Old Bailey Online website and uses a range of digital sources and active blended learning methods in his teaching approach.
Since 2011 Drew has been a member of the editorial board of the London Journal and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Drew studied history at Northampton and gained his PhD here in 2006. He has authored several academic history articles and three books on the history of crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries. He is now working towards his application to become a Senior Fellow of the HEA.
Dr Gray teaches at undergraduate and master’s level and supervises a number of PhD students.
At level 5 Drew runs HIS2010 Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1700-1900 which explores a number of themes in the history of crime such as the evolution of policing, the use of the law, changing punishment policies, violence and homicide and the effect of gender and youth on the criminal justice system. The module is designated for history, law and criminology students and leads many of them to then take his level 6 module, Crime and Popular Culture in the Late Victorian City which explores several issues surrounding the Whitechapel (or ‘Jack the Ripper’) murders of 1888, including crime, poverty, immigration, the rise of the popular press and the mythology surrounding the ‘Ripper’. At masters level students can continue to develop their interest in crime and violence via Drew’s module HISM046, Violence and the Law in England.
Within the History department work has been undertaken to develop the Personal Tutor (PT) scheme over the past three years using Year Tutors which includes a combination of data analysis and staff/student interaction. This has improved the student experience of the PT system at their subject level. Drew has worked with Anna Swales and Kate Coulson to investigate the operation of the PAT scheme (as part of the “First Year Experience” and “Enhancing Student Success” projects) across the institution and to draw up proposals for a new scheme for possible implementation in 2018.
Dr Gray’s areas of historical interest can broadly be described as ‘crime, punishment and social protest’ but his main research topic is the role of the justice of the peace (or magistrate) in the long eighteenth century and nineteenth century. What fascinates him is how the process of summary justice operated, whom it affected and how open was it for people to use. The criminal justice system of the eighteenth century is often assumed to be all about highwaymen and the gallows but most people would have experienced ‘justice’ in the parlour of their local magistrate and this continued and developed in the Victorian period.
Drew is currently working on the summary process in Victorian London exploring the work of the capital’s Police Court magistrates, the forerunners of our modern magistracy. Since April 2016 Drew has written a daily blog about his research which can be found at The Police Magistrate blog.
- Gray, D. (2018) Exorcising a demon?: Why History needs to engage with the Whitechapel Murders and dispel the myth of ‘Jack the Ripper’. Humanities. 7(2), p. 52. 2076-0787.
- Gray, D. (2017) ‘Mercy without justice’? Press criticism of the pardoning process in late Eighteenth-Century London: the Kennedy case of 1770. Paper presented to: CFP: Lives, Trials and Executions: Perspectives on Crime, c.1700-c.1900, Liverpool John Moores University, 24 May 2017.
- Gray, D. (2017) Jack the Ripper and ‘Fake News’: Myth and Reality in the Whitechapel Murder Case. Invited Presentation presented to: Jack the Ripper and ‘Fake News’: Myth and Reality in the Whitechapel Murder Case, Syracuse University, Faraday House, London, 05 June 2017.
- Gray, D. (2016) Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1660-1914. London: Bloomsbury. 9781441117656.
- Gray, D. (2013) Gang crime and the media in late nineteenth-century London: the Regent’s Park murder of 1888. Cultural and Social History. 10(4), pp. 559-575. 1478-0038.
- Gray, D. (2013) Making law in mid-eighteenth-century England: legal statutes and their application in the justicing notebook of Phillip Ward of Stoke Doyle. The Journal of Legal History. 34(2), pp. 211-233. 0144-0365.
- Gray, D. (2013) Putting undergraduates on trial: using the Old Bailey online in teaching and assessment. Invited Presentation presented to: Our Criminal Past: Educating Historians of Crime: Classroom, Archives, Community, Leeds Metropolitan University, 06 September 2013. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2013) The City Summary Courts in the late 18th century: courts for the people? Invited Presentation presented to: Guildhall Library Events, Guildhall Library, City of London, 03 July 2013. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. and King, P. J. R. (2013) The killing of Constable Linnell: the impact of xenophobia and of elite connections on eighteenth-century justice. Family & Community History. 16(1), pp. 3-31. 1463-1180.
- Gray, D. (2012) Justice at its roots: the current state of research into summary proceedings and petty sessions in England. Invited Presentation presented to: British Crime Historians Symposium 3, The Open University, Milton Keynes, 06-07 September 2012. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2012) Policing the City of London, c.1780-1829. Invited Presentation presented to: Londonicity 2012: The Second Annual London Studies Conference, University of London, 22-24 June 2012. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2012) “Concealing my want of power”: social relations and the magistracy in Northamptonshire in the long eighteenth century. Invited Presentation presented to: North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS) 2012, Montreal, Canada, 09-11 November 2012. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2011) Contextualising the Ripper murders: poverty, crime and unrest in the East End of London, 1888. Invited Keynote presented to: Jack the Ripper Through a Wider Lens: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Bossone Research Enterprise Center, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, 28-29 October 2011. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2010) Gang crime in the shadow of the ripper: the Regent’s Park murder of 1888. Invited Presentation presented to: Institute of Historical Research Seminar, University of London, England, 11 November 2010. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2010) London’s Shadows: the Dark Side of the Victorian City. London, England: Continuum. 9781847252425.
- Gray, D. (2010) Not catching Jack: the Metropolitan Police and the hunt for the Whitechapel murderer. Invited Presentation presented to: Raunds and District History Society, Raunds, Northamptonshire, 04 November 2010. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2010) The regulation of crime in the nineteenth century. Invited Presentation presented to: Crime and Punishment in the Long Nineteenth Century, Oxford, England, 27 March 2010. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2009) ‘For a sheep or a lamb’: the eighteenth-century criminal justice system. Invited Presentation presented to: Raunds and District History Society, Raunds, Northamptonshire, 1 October 2009. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2009) Crime, Prosecution and Social Relations: The Summary Courts of the City of London in the Late Eighteenth Century. Basingtsoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan. 9780230203976.
- Gray, D. (2009) Getting the bloggers to read: using weblogs in undergraduate teaching. Invited Presentation presented to: E-learning Near and Far: Using Technology in Teaching History, University of Wolverhampton, 11 November 2009. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2008) “An example of that unity, and of that dependence of parts on each other, without which no well constructed and efficient system of police can ever be expected” : policing the city of London, c. 1780-1829. Paper presented to: European Social Science History (ESSHC) Conference, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 26 February – 1 March 2008. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2008) Not catching Jack: the Metropolitan Police and the hunt for the Whitechapel murderer. Paper presented to: University of Northampton Retired Staff Association, University of Northampton, December 2008. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2008) Putting undergraduates on trial: using the Old Bailey Online as a teaching tool. Paper presented to: The Metropolis on Trial Conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes, 10 – 12 July 2008. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2008) The Old Bailey Online as an EBA (enquiry based learning). Paper presented to: 10th HEA/HCA (Higher Education Academy/History Classic Archaeology) Annual Conference, Lady Margaret’s Hall, University of Oxford, England, April 2008. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2008) The people’s courts? Summary justice and social relations in the City of London, c.1760–1800. Family & Community History. 11(1), pp. 7-15. 1463-1180.
- Gray, D. (2008) You can’t trust a special like an old time copper: policing Northamptonshire before the Police. Paper presented to: Creaton Historical Association Meeting, Creaton, Northamptonshire, October 2008. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2007) Bull-running, dangerous driving and the regulation of the streets of London, c.1780-1820. Paper presented to: British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, Oxford, 4-6 January 2007. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2007) Settling their differences: the nature of assault and its prosecution in the City of London in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In: Watson, K. D. (ed.) Assaulting the Past: Violence and Civilization in Historical Context. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 141-159.
- Gray, D. (2007) The people’s courts? Summary justice and social relations in the City of London, c.1760-1800. Paper presented to: Urban Living: Society, Culture and Politics in the English Town, 1700-1850, University of Northampton, 5-6 July 2007. (Unpublished)
- Gray, D. (2007) The regulation of violence in the metropolis. The prosecution of assault in the summary courts, c.1780-1820. The London Journal. 32(1), pp. 75-87. 1749-6322.
- Gray, D. (2006) Summary proceedings and social relations in the city of London, c.1750-1800. Doctoral thesis. The University of Northampton.