Dr Kathryn Rix

Assistant Editor  krix@histparl.ac.uk

I joined the History of Parliament in 2009 after several years at Cambridge, where I completed my PhD – which was awarded the Seeley Medal and the Prince Consort Prize – at Christ’s College. I was a Fellow of Christ’s and then of Murray Edwards College. I am the assistant editor of the House of Commons, 1832-1945 project. We are currently working on the period 1832-1868, for which I’m researching biographies of MPs and constituencies, mainly in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Suffolk.

Research interests

I am particularly interested in the development of party organisation, changes in electoral culture, and the interactions between the local and national dimensions of electoral politics. My book on Parties, agents and electoral culture in England, 1880-1910 was published by Boydell & Brewer as part of the Royal Historical Society’s Studies in History series in November 2016.

I have a long-standing interest in electoral corruption and legislative attempts to tackle it, and this will form the basis of my next project. More recently I have begun working on parliamentary speech-making and the reporting of parliamentary proceedings.

I was a member of the project board for the Vote 100 project which organised a major exhibition in Westminster Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of partial female enfranchisement in 2018.


‘The “most difficult” subject for legislation: parliament and electoral corruption in the nineteenth century’, in The many lives of corruption. The reform of public life in modern Britain c.1750-1950, ed. I Cawood and T. Crook (Manchester University Press, 2022), 156-76

‘One of the most effective and most welcome workers: Bertha Bowness Fischer, pioneering political organiser’, Journal of Liberal History, 112 (2021), 12-19

‘Foulkes [née Fischer], Bertha Bowness (1875-1920)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2019)

‘The backbone of the party: Conservative agents, 1880-1910’, Conservative History Journal, 2:7 (2019)

Contributor to Voice and Vote: Celebrating 100 Years of Votes for Women, ed. Mari Takayanagi, Melanie Unwin and Paul Seaward (2018)

‘Who should have the vote? What electoral rights did Britons have in the century before 1918?’, History Today, Aug. 2018, 24-35 [co-authored with Philip Salmon]

‘The Second Reform Act and the problem of electoral corruption’, Parliamentary History, 36:1 (2017), 64-81

Parties, agents and electoral culture in England, 1880-1910 (2016)

Contributor to The Story of Parliament. Celebrating 750 years of Parliament in Britain (2015)

‘ “Whatever passed in Parliament ought to be communicated to the public”: reporting the proceedings of the Reformed Commons, 1833-1850’, Parliamentary History, 33:3 (2014), 453-74

‘Professionalisation and political culture. Party agents, 1880-1914’, Journal of Liberal History, 84 (2014), 18-25

‘By-elections and the modernisation of party organisation, 1867-1914’, in By-elections in British Politics, 1832-1914, ed. T. Otte and P. Readman (Boydell and Brewer, 2013), 151-75

‘“The elimination of corrupt practices in British elections”? Reassessing the impact of the 1883 Corrupt Practices Act’, English Historical Review, CXXIII (2008), 65-97

‘Les agents de circonscription en Grande-Bretagne (1880-1914): la professionalisation d’un rôle politique’, Politix, special edition on ‘La fabrique des partis en Grande-Bretagne’, 21:81 (2008), 41-60

‘Hidden workers of the party. The professional Liberal agents, 1885-1910’, Journal of Liberal History, 52 (2006), 4-13

‘“Go out into the highways and the hedges”: the diary of Michael Sykes, Conservative political lecturer, 1895 and 1907-8’, Parliamentary History, 20:2 (2001), 209-31

I have contributed book reviews to Global Intellectual History, Parliamentary History, the Journal of Liberal History, the Journal of Contemporary History, Midland History and Victorian Studies.

1 Response to Dr Kathryn Rix

  1. Pingback: ‘The House divided’: the creation of a second division lobby for the Commons in 1836 – The History of Parliament

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