Dr Caroline Bowden

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Location People’s Palace 301

Email: c.bowden@qmul.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6930

I came to Queen Mary as Research Fellow/Project Manager of the Who were the Nuns? project in 2008.

I completed my PhD thesis as a mature student at the Institute of Education, London where I investigated attitudes to girls’ education in early modern England.

My first post in research was a Wellcome-funded project researching health care in the Cecil family, c.1550-c. 1660 at Royal Holloway. 


My research interests are currently focussed on the English convents in exile c.1600-1800, their creation, supporters, survival and significance in cultural and religious terms.

The creation of the project database and its publication on the website has involved innovative IT and prosopographical techniques which have allowed the development of a comprehensive database with a user-friendly interface.

This will serve to transform the study of early modern English women by showing how women religious can be integrated into main stream research on women writers, scribes, translators, managers, benefactors and patrons.

Web publication is supported by the print publication of six volumes of texts and a further volume of interpretive essays.



  • Invited to present the 2013 Gideon de Laune lecture at the Society of Apothecaries, London: ‘Nun-apothecaries and medicine in the English Convents in exile, 1600-1800’, presented 18 April 2013

  • Invited to contribute to Séminaire de recherche sur les îles Britanniques XVIIe – XVIIIe siècles, May 2013: The role of texts in a large-scale database

Membership of professional associations or societies 

Editorial Positions 

Appearances in the media

I am involved with Dr James Kelly in promoting the use of the database and associated research at a number of public events throughout 2013 as part of our ongoing commitment to disseminating the research generated over the course of the project.