Skip to content
John McCallum

John McCallum

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Heritage and Global Cultures


Dr McCallum is a senior lecturer in History, and Course Leader for the BA History degree. A specialist in early modern British religious history, he teaches a range of modules at undergraduate level, including Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, Age of Reformations, Living and Dying in Reformation Britain, and is the module leader for the History Dissertation. He co-supervises several PhD students working on early modern Britain, and would be keen to hear from any prospective students interested in working on topics in this area.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU in 2012, Dr McCallum completed his PhD at the University of St Andrews, and has worked at the Universities of Lancaster, St Andrews and Dundee.

Research areas

Areas of research interest include:

  • The Scottish Reformation, particularly its social context and impact
  • Poverty, charity and poor relief in early modern Scotland
  • The local and regional impact of the British Reformations
  • Weather and climate in early modern Scotland
  • Emotions in Early Modern Scotland

Dr McCallum's recent research has focused on poverty and welfare in early modern Scotland: in 2018 he published a major monograph on poor relief in early modern Scotland, following previous articles on this theme. This research grew out of his previous work on the Scottish Reformation and in particular its local dynamics, most notably in Reforming the Scottish Parish (2010) and his edited volume Scotland's Long Reformation (2016). He has also published on the clergy, weather, and pious writing in early modern Scotland. He is currently completing a number of chapters developing these research interests further, and is about to embark on a wider project seeking to open up the history of the emotions in the context of early modern Scotland.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist in the School of Arts and Humanities and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity


Selected Publications (for full list see Publications link below)


Poor Relief and the Church in Scotland, 1560-1650 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

(editor) Scotland’s Long Reformation: New Perspectives on Scottish Religion, c. 1500-c.1660 (Brill: Leiden, 2016)

Reforming the Scottish Parish: The Reformation in Fife, 1560-1640 (Ashgate: Farnham, 2010)

Articles and Chapters

‘Charity and Conflict: Poor Relief in Mid-Seventeenth Century Dundee’, Scottish Historical Review, 95:1 (2016), pp. 30-56

‘“Sone and servant”: Andrew Melville and his nephew, James (1556-1614)’, in R.A. Mason and S.J. Reid (eds), Andrew Melville (1545–1622): Writings, Reception and Reputation (Ashgate: Farnham, 2014), pp. 201-14.

‘“Nurseries of the Poore”: Hospitals and Almshouses in Early Modern Scotland’, Journal of Social History, 48:2 (2014), pp. 427-449

(With Alan MacDonald) ‘The evidence for early seventeenth-century climate from Scottish ecclesiastical records’, Environment and History, 19 (4) (2013), pp. 487-509

‘Charity doesn’t begin at home: Ecclesiastical poor relief beyond the parish, 1560- 1650’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 32:2 (November 2012), pp. 107-26

‘Poverty or Prosperity?: The Economic Fortunes of Ministers in Post-Reformation Fife, 1560-1640’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 62:3 (2011), pp. 472-490.

‘The Reformation of the Ministry in Fife, 1560-1640’, History, 94:3 (2009), pp. 310-327.

See all of John McCallum's publications...

Press expertise

Dr McCallum can offer comment on:

  • the Scottish Reformation, particularly its social context and impact
  • poverty, charity and poor relief in early modern Scotland
  • the local and regional impact of the British Reformations