Dr Rebecca Mason

Historian, editor, researcher

I am an early modern historian, with expertise in Scottish gender, legal and social history. I am interested in the legal rights of ordinary women from the past, and understanding how women negotiated their legal status and property relationships before local systems of justice in early modern Scotland.

I hold an AHRC-funded PhD in History from the University of Glasgow (awarded 2020), and have held funded postdoctoral positions at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London (funded by the Economic History Society) and the University of Glasgow (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council). I am currently an Editorial Fellow at History Workshop Online and a Women’s History Network Early Career Fellow. I was elected an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2022, and was awarded runner-up in the Royal Historical Society’s David Berry Prize in 2021 for the best published article in Scottish history. I am an Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and a Fellow of the Raphael Samuel History Centre.

I am currently writing two books: a monograph (under contract with Boydell and Brewer’s ‘St Andrews Studies in Scottish History’ series) on women’s navigation of legal systems and property relationships in early modern Scotland, and a co-edited book with Jane Mair (under contract with Brill’s ‘Legal History Library’ series) on gender and justice in Scotland in historical and legal perspective.

I regularly post about my research on Twitter: @rmason717.


Journal articles
‘Introduction: Recovering the Communities and Margins of Early Modern Scotland’, Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 12 (2021), 1-11.

‘Women, Marital Status and Law: The Marital Spectrum in Seventeenth-Century Glasgow’, Journal of British Studies 54: 8, (2019), 787-804.

Book chapters
‘Property over Patriarchy? Remarried Widows as Litigants in the Records of Glasgow’s Commissary Court, 1615-1694,’ Litigating Women: Gender and Justice in Europe, c.1300-c.1800, eds Teresa Phipps and Deborah Youngs (London: Routledge, 2022), 133-151.

‘Married Women’s Testaments: Division and Distribution of Movable Property in Seventeenth-Century Glasgow’, Gender, Law and Material Culture: Immobile Property and Mobile Goods in Early Modern Europe, ed Annette Cremer (London: Routledge, 2020), 64-90. Awarded ‘runner-up’ in the 2021 Royal Historical Society’s David Berry Prize.

‘Married Women, Property and Paraphernalia in Early Modern Scotland’, Gender, Law and Economic Wellbeing in Early Modern and Modern Europe, eds Anna Bellavitis and Beatrice Zucca Micheletto (London: Routledge, 2018), 200-214.

I have reviewed books for Women’s History Review, the Journal of Family History, Cultural and Social History, Continuity and Change, Reviews in History, the Innes Review and Scottish Historical Review.

Digital content

Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service: Doors Open Day, Parliament House, August 2021
Women in the Court of Session
For the video click here.
For the transcript click here.

University of Glasgow, School of Law Podcast
Women, Marriage and the Law in Scotland

Reddit AskHistorians Podcast, December 2020
Women in Medieval and Early Modern Scottish History

BBC Radio Scotland ‘Time Travels’, July 2020
Glasgow Women and Yellow Formica