Dr Tom Pye

Tom is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in History. His research focuses on the intellectual, political, and legal history of Britain and its empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. He also has intersecting interests in the history of European political thought.
Tom is currently preparing the manuscript of his first book, Feudal Mirror: the Scottish Enlightenment and the Reinvention of Modern History, for publication with Cambridge University Press: a story of how new forms of history-writing emerged in mid eighteenth-century Scotland as a response to Westminster’s attempt to gut Scottish law of its ‘feudal’ innards. His next project reconsiders the history of the second British empire by exploring how the English whig tradition, broadly conceived, shaped (and failed to shape) metropolitan intellectual life, imperial legal culture, and policy-making in the new colonies.
Before joining UCL in January 2023, Tom held a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Turin and completed his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Cambridge. His research has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Isaac Newton Trust, King’s college Cambridge, the Lewis Walpole Library, Fondazione 1563, and the Leverhulme Trust. 


  • The Scottish Enlightenment and the Remaking of Modern History’, The Historical Journal 66/4, 746-72.
  • ‘Property, Space, and Sacred History in John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government’, Modern Intellectual History 15/2 (2018), 327-352.
  • ‘David Hume the Polymath’, History of European Ideas 43/6 (2017), 683-686.