Professor Henry Yeomans

Professor Henry Yeomans


I am a historical criminologist who specializes in the study of alcohol regulation.

My research concentrates upon understandings of drinking, the regulation of drinking, or, more commonly, the relationship between the two. My research is inherently inter-disciplinary and I routinely operate at the interface between criminology, history, sociology and law as well as frequently borrowing concepts and insights from wider disciplines, such as political science and economics.

I was awarded my PhD by the University of Plymouth in 2012. I also hold a BA honours degree in History and Sociology (University of Leeds) and have completed an MA in Sociology (University of Leeds) as well as an MSc in Social Research (University of Plymouth).

In 2012, I was awarded the Sage Prize for Innovation and Excellence by the British Sociological Association and, in 2015, my monograph Alcohol and Moral Regulation won the the Socio-Legal Studies Association’s inaugural Socio-Legal Theory and History Prize. My co-authored monograph Historical Criminology was given the inaugural Book Award by the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Historical Criminology in 2023. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2021 and am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I began working at the University of Leeds in 2011. Since then, I have taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules, as well as supervising four PhD students through to completion. I was Programme Manager for the BA Criminal Justice and Criminology from 2016-2019 and Director of Postgraduate Research Studies in the School of Law from 2019-2021.

I have fulfilled several other adminstrative roles, such as Deputy Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies and Reviewer for the Faculty Research Ethics Committee. I have received research funding from the ESRC, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. I recently completed a Leverhulme Fellowship which entailed a historical study of illicit markets for alcohol in England and Wales.

I am interested in supervising doctoral projects in all areas of criminology, criminal justice history or drug and alcohol studies. I am also happy to be contacted by the press for comment on stories relating to drinking or alcohol policy.


  • Director of Research and Innovation

Research interests

My research applies historical perspectives to contemporary social issues around alcohol consumption and its control or regulation. 

I have researched the historical development of several prominent forms of alcohol regulation (e.g. licensing, excise taxes, units guidance) in order to explain their current existence or form.

I have also unpicked contempotary attitudes and policies in order to expose their connection to historical moral values and continuing disciplinary projects that are shaped by governmental interests in the control of women, lower social classes and other disempowered social groups.

I am, furthermore, interested in understanding ongoing changes to how alcohol is - or is not - consumed, and have conducted research projects examining the burgeoning popularity of Dry January and, in conjunction with Adam Burgess and Laura Fenton, the contemporary decline in drinking by young people. These various, intertwined projects have resulted in a series of journal articles, book chapters and the monograph Alcohol and Moral Regulation (see full list below).

In addition, I have worked extensively to foster, support and shape the emerging field of historical criminology. For example: I am network lead for a PhD network on crime, innovation and social change funded by the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership; I co-convened the Leeds Historical Criminology Seminar Series (with Heather Shore and David Churchilll) from 2017-2019; and I am a member of the steering committee of the British Society of Criminology’s Historical Criminology Network. I have published several outputs on the theory, practice or value of historical criminology including the monograph Historical Criminology, which was co-authored with David Churchill and Iain Channing (see full list below).

I recently completed a Leverhulme Fellowship. The Fellowship enabled me to conduct a project titled ‘A Historical Criminology of Illicit Alcohol Markets in England and Wales in the Long Nineteenth Century’ (c.1790-1914).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • MSc Social Research
  • MA Sociology
  • BA (hons) History and Sociology

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • British Society of Criminology
  • European Society of Criminology

Student education

I currently teach the masters module Researching Crime, Security and Justice as well as undergraduate modules Crime, Law and Social Change and Youth Crime and Justice. I am also supervising undergraduate dissertations and acting as an academic personal tutor.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>