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Faculty and Staff

Catherine F. Patterson

Catherine Patterson

Phone: (713) 743-3110
Office: 541 Agnes Arnold Hall
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Prof. Patterson is a scholar of early modern British history. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Historical Association, among others. She has been the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies in the UH History Department and an Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.


Prof. Patterson teaches a variety of courses in British and European history, with specialization in the early modern era, ca.1500-1800. She teaches Western Civilization to 1450; British History to 1689; Introduction to Law and Society in England, 1100-1800; Tudor England; Age of Revolution: Stuart Britain; and Society and Culture in Early Modern England. Her graduate courses include a research seminar in European History and Readings in Early Modern British History.

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Research Interests

Prof. Patterson's research interests focus on the intersection between political and social history in Britain’s early modern period.  Her two books, Urban Patronage in Early Modern England and Urban Government and the Early Stuart State, and various articles explore how politics, law, and government worked within the structures of early modern society and how individuals and communities—particularly urban ones—interacted with and helped shape the emergent early modern state. Her current research project, “The Politics of Fishing:  Fishermen, Free Trade, and Maritime Order in Seventeenth-Century Britain and the British Atlantic,” moves in a new direction, exploring how ideas about international trade, empire, and maritime order in the seventeenth century were shaped by the fishing industry and by the provincial fishermen who plied the seas in pursuit of this trade.

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Selected Publications

  • Urban Government and the Early Stuart State: Provincial Towns, Corporate Liberties, and Royal Authority in England, 1603-1640 (The Boydell Press, 2022).
  • Urban Patronage in Early Modern England: Corporate Boroughs, the Landed Elite, and the Crown, 1580-1640 (Stanford University Press, 1999).
  • “Consensus, Division, and Voting in Early Stuart Towns,” in P. Halliday, E. Hubbard, and S. Sowerby, eds., Revolutionising Politics: Culture and Conflict in England, 1620-60 (Manchester University Press, 2021), pp. 145-163.
  • “Whose City? Civic Government and Episcopal Power in Early Modern Salisbury, c. 1590-1640,” Historical Research 90 (2017): 486-505.
  • “Married to the Town: Francis Parlett’s Rhetoric of Urban Magistracy in Early Modern England” in Local Identities in Early Modern England, ed. Daniel Woolf and Norman Jones (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 156-177.
  • “Quo Warranto and Borough Corporations in Early Stuart England: Royal Prerogative and Local Privileges in the Central Courts,” English Historical Review 120 (September 2005): 879-906.
  • “Corporations, Cathedrals, and the Crown: Local Dispute and Royal Interest in Early Stuart England,” History 85 (2000): 546-571.
  • “Dispute Resolution and Patronage in Provincial Towns, 1590-1640,” Journal of British Studies 37 (1998): 1-25.