Edinburgh Research Explorer

Anna Groundwater

(Former employee or visitor)


After graduating in History from the University of Cambridge, Anna Groundwater completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh.  Having spent several years teaching early modern British and Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh, she spent nearly three fruitful years as Research Fellow on Dr James Loxley’s AHRC project on Ben Jonson’s walk to Scotland in 1618-19. She is the co-author with Loxley and Julie Sanders of the book that resulted from the project. She has spent the last few years delivering skills and methods core training at undergraduate and postgraduate level back in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, and in helping to create the new History of Edinburgh course.

She has published on early modern government and society in Britain, Scotland, and the Scottish Borders, on Mary Queen of Scots, and on the roles of communication and patronage within James VI and I's government of his new 'Britain'. She is an advocate of the employent of digital methods in creating new types of historical research questions, and is particularly interested in machine-enabled deep mapping, network and text analysis.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and a member of the Scottish History Society and the Scottish Medievalists Society.

Research Interests

Her research interests focus on the ways in which early modern Scottish government was able to carry out its policies, looking at the roles of patronage, obligation, alliance, friendship, and kinship, as well as the significance of communication and access in getting people to cooperate with the crown. 

She has a particular interest in the communication between James VI and I’s government in London after 1603 and the Scottish elites, and is working on a large collection of correspondence between the court, the Scottish privy council, and regional elites in the Denmilne MS at the NLS, to be published by the Scottish History Society. 

She is also interested in the government and society of the Scottish Borders, and in comparisons of that with other frontiers within the British Isles and Europe.

She is the co-founder of The Borders Forum, which is intended to provide an inter-institutional focal point for work on all types of frontiers, administrative and mental, across the disciplines:

Research activities & awards

  1. Public lecture: Ben Jonson's Foot Voyage to Scotland, 1618: performing Union

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

  2. Public talk: 'Scotland Connected', at Previously history

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

  3. Referendum workshop for schools

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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ID: 7381873