Dr Aaron Graham, 1984–2023

4 May 2023

We at UCL History mourn the loss of our wonderful colleague Aaron Graham, who passed away after a short illness on 28 April 2023.

Aaron graham ucl history

After a DPhil and British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Oxford, Aaron first joined the Department in 2016 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, with a project called "Global Finance in Britain and Empire, 1783-1844." At that time, he also started to teach for us. His Advanced Seminar on the history of piracy was a particular favourite with our undergraduates. Aaron returned to Oxford in 2019 to work with Peter Wilson and colleagues on an ERC project, "The European Fiscal-Military System, 1530-1870", but we were delighted to bring him back to UCL in 2021 as Lecturer in the Economic History of Early Modern Britain.

Aaron’s research centred on the economic, social and political history of Britain and the British Empire between 1660 and 1850, with a focus on finance, politics, government, corruption, regulation and slavery. In his all-too-short career he published three books, many articles and won two major prizes for his work. At the time of his death, he had ongoing collaborations with colleagues at the University of the West Indies, Oxford, and all over the world, as well as here at UCL. He was also preparing to spend the summer on a placement with the History Department at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and developing a project with the Rockefeller Foundations on how issues of historical reputation and reparation affect philanthropic organisations.

In his teaching as in his research, Aaron was both kind and generous and utterly brilliant. As well as leading modules on the Industrial Revolution, the South Sea Bubble and the aforementioned pirates, Aaron served variously as a study-abroad tutor, careers tutor, and personal tutor and guest-lectured on our first-year core courses. He touched the lives and shaped the thinking of so many students, colleagues and friends. We shall miss him profoundly.