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Professor Martin Daunton FBA

Professor Martin Daunton, FBA

Programme Director, Philomathia Social Sciences Research Programme

Head of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Professor of Economic History

Office Phone: 01223 761738


Martin Daunton previously taught at the University of Durham and University College London, before moving to Cambridge in 1997. He was chairman of the Faculty of History and of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Master of Trinity Hall from 2004-2014. He was President of the Royal Historical Society from 2003 to 2007, which involved him in debates over the role of history in education. He was a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum from 2002-2010 where he was active in discussion of how to interpret events in British history such as Trafalgar and the end of the slave trade. He is currently the Chair of the Leverhulme Committee.

He returned as Head of School in 2012.  His research has focussed on the development of economic and social policy in industrial societies, covering such themes as housing, labour, welfare and taxation.  He is currently completing a book on the economic governance of the world since 1933 which considers debates over distributive justice in the international economy, and editing a book with colleagues in Berlin on ‘leviathan after the boom’ which analyses the changing face of the European state since the 1970s.  He is also co-director of the Philomathia project on inheritance, and is concerned with the debates over intergenerational justice

Key Publications

  • House and Home: Working-class housing in the Victorian city, 1850-1914 (London, 1983)
  • Royal Mail: The Post Office since 1840 (London,1985)
  • Progress and poverty: an economic and social history of Britain, 1700-1850 (Oxford, 1995)
  • Trusting Leviathan: the politics of taxation in Britain, 1799-1914 (Cambridge, 2001)
  • edited, Cambridge Urban History of Britain, 1840-1950 (Cambridge, 2000)
  • Just Taxes: the politics of taxation in Britain, 1914-1979 (Cambridge, 2002)
  • Wealth and Welfare: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1851-1951 (Oxford, 2007)

Programme Logo

History of Wealth Project

This project, co-funded by the Philomathia Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust, investigates the broader significance of wealth an inheritance in 19th and early-20th century Britain.

This programme was launched by POLIS in October 2013, and aims to train future policy-makers to value and promote evidence-based policies that can most benefit society.