Sue Thomas

Department of History
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: George Edmonds and the making of Birmingham radicalism
Supervisor: Dr Malcolm Dick
PhD History


I am interested in the development of radicalism in early and mid-nineteenth century Birmingham. 

The focus of my PhD research is one of the lesser known protagonists, George Edmonds, who led protests in the town from 1816-20, later becoming a leading light in the Birmingham Political Union and local Chartism. Edmonds’ journey from relatively humble roots as the son of a Baptist minister to being Clerk of the Peace of the Quarter Sessions - inventing a new Universal Alphabet along the way - should throw light on the degree of social mobility in Birmingham in this period. This interest emerged while I studied on the part-time MA in West Midlands History and wrote my dissertation on the period of turbulence at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. I am grateful to the support of Professor Peter Jones, who supervised the dissertation, and Dr Malcolm Dick, who runs the course.