Isobel Murphy

DPhil in English Local History


Aspects of social and economic change in a small market town: Moreton in Marsh 1850 -1914

Research abstract

To date, small market towns have been ignored by historians of the 19thC, as an in-depth search of the Bibliography of British and Irish History or the British Library's Ethos database will confirm. Emphasis instead has been placed on places with rapid demographic and economic growth. More recently interest has also been focused on much smaller settlements, as witnessed by the V.C.H Shorts series.  This has led to the experience of huge sections of the population being overlooked. In rapidly changing economic circumstances,  small market towns faced a fight for survival and in so doing had to quickly adapt to change and reinvent their function. My detailed study of Moreton in Marsh from 1850-1914 explores aspects of this and attempts to redress some of the gaps in the historiography.


Prof Sian Pooley, Dr. Jonathan Healey.


My first degree was from the University of Exeter in 1978.  In 2014 I was awarded a MA in English Local History, from the Open University and I began the D.Phil shortly afterward.

Research interests

Social and demographic change in  Gloucestershire during the nineteenth century.