Emeritus Professor William (Bill) Speck

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death, on 16 February 2017, of Emeritus Professor William (Bill) Speck, former Professor of Modern History.

Bill’s academic career began with a Tutorial Fellowship at the University of Exeter in 1962.  The following year, he was awarded a Lectureship in History at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, where he was promoted to a Readership in 1974.  Appointment to the G F Grant Chair in History at the University of Hull followed in 1981, before he took up appointment as Professor of Modern History at Leeds in 1984.

Bill's research interests lay largely in the ‘long eighteenth century’, and he published widely in this field, including:

The Butcher: The Duke of Cumberland and the Suppression of the 45 (Blackwell, 1981)
The Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 (Oxford, 1988)
Literature and Society in Eighteenth-Century England, 1680-1820: Ideology, Politics and Culture (Longman, 1988).

Bill took early retirement in 1997, but continued to research and to write: his most recent book was Robert Southey: Entire Man of Letters, which was published to critical acclaim by Yale University Press in 2006.  He also remained engaged with the department – and attended last year’s annual public lecture (delivered by Colin Jones).

The funeral service will be held at 1.40pm on Tuesday 7 March at Carlisle Crematorium, Dalston Road, Carlisle, CA2 6AR, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast in Bill’s memory.

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