Matthew Allen

Dr Matthew Allen is a Lecturer in Historical Criminology at the University of New England. His diverse research is all focused on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century British world and particularly colonial New South Wales. He is currently writing a history of alcohol in the colony which will explore the political symbolism of both celebratory drinking rituals and the deviance of public drunkenness in the period 1788–1856.  Another major project, supported by a University Research Support grant and a BCSS Seed Grant, examines the changing nature of deviance in New South Wales through a quantitative and qualitative study of magistrates and summary justice in the era of gubernatorial government, c.1810–1850.  He is also researching secularisation and the role of religious faith, and especially protestant dissent, in the emerging colonial public sphere, c.1820–1840.  All of these projects share an interest in understanding the unique and extraordinary transition of New South Wales from penal colony to responsible democracy, and the way that this process was shaped by the conflict between liberal ideals and authoritarian controls within the British world.



  • PhD (History)University of Sydney
  • BA (Hons), HistoryUniversity of Sydney