W. A. Speck

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William Arthur Speck (born Bradford,11 January 1938; died Carlisle, 2017) was a British historian who specialized in late 17th and 18th-century British and American history.

He was educated at Bradford Grammar School and The Queen's College, Oxford, gaining a BA in 1960 and a D.Phil in 1966.[1] He was Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Leeds and a Special Professor in the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham where he co-convened an Interdisciplinary Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar. He was president of the Historical Association from 1999-2002.


  • Divided Society: Parties and Politics in England, 1694-1716 (1967).
  • Tory and Whig: The Struggle in the Constituencies 1701-1715 (Macmillan, 1970).
  • Stability and Strife: England, 1714-60 (Edward Arnold, 1977).
  • The Butcher: The Duke of Cumberland and the Suppression of the 45 (Blackwell, 1981; second edition, 2013).
  • ‘Whigs and Tories dim their glories: English political parties under the first two Georges’, in John Cannon (ed.), The Whig Ascendancy. Colloquies on Hanoverian Britain (Edward Arnold, 1981), pp. 51–70.
  • The Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 (Oxford University Press, 1988).
  • The Birth of Britain: A New Nation, 1700-1715 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994)
  • Literature and Society in Eighteenth-Century England, 1680-1820: Ideology, Politics and Culture (Longman,1998).
  • Cassell's Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cassell, 2002).
  • James II (Longman, 2002).
  • Colonial America: From Jamestown to Yorktown (Palgrave,2002).
  • A Concise History of Britain: 1707-1975 (1993).
  • Robert Southey. Entire Man of Letters (2006).
  • Dictionary of British America, 1584-1783 (Palgrave, 2007).
  • A Political Biography of Thomas Paine (Routledge, 2016).


  1. ^ John Cannon (ed.), The Whig Ascendancy. Colloquies on Hanoverian Britain (Edward Arnold, 1981), p. xii.