Griet Vermeesch

Postdoctoral researcher in early modern urban history – legal and social history

Senior researchers Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes (HOST) History
  • Current position Postdoctoral researcher in early modern urban history – legal and social history
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of History
    Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
    Building C – Room 5.454
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • Phone +32 2 629 39 85
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Prof. Dr. Griet Vermeesch obtained a Master in History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2001. In September 2006, she successfully defended her PhD Oorlog, steden en staatsvorming. De grenssteden Gorinchem en Doesburg tijdens de geboorte-eeuw van de Republiek (ca. 1570-1680) at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, for which she received the Professor van Winter Award for best book on local history of the Netherlands in 2007. She subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leiden and – since September 2007 – at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels on early modern urban history of the Low Countries. She has examined several aspects of regulation such as city-state relations, petitionary politics and the performance of urban administrations. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral fellow of the FWO on a project titled ‘The gatekeepers of urban justice. The pivotal role of barristers and lower legal professionals in dispute settlement in the early modern Low Countries. She combines this position with a part-time lectureship at the History Department of the VUB, where she teaches an undergraduate course on the socio-political history of early modern Europe.

Key publications

Griet Vermeesch (2019), ‘Facing illegitimate motherhood in eighteenth-century Antwerp. The impact of institutional settings on the experiences of single mothers’, Continuity and Change, 34.1.

Griet Vermeesch, Manon van der Heijden en Jaco Zuijderduijn (eds.) (2019), The uses of justice in global perspective, 1600-1900 (Routledge).

Griet Vermeesch (2016), ‘The legal agency of single mothers: lawsuits over illegitimate children and the uses of legal aid to the poor in the Dutch town of Leiden (1750-1810)’, Journal of Social History, 50, 51-73.

Griet Vermeesch (2015) The social composition of plaintiffs and defendants in the Peacemaker court, Leiden, 1750-1754, Social History 40(2): 208-229

Griet Vermeesch (2014) Access to justice. Legal aid to the poor at civil law courts in the eighteenth-century Low Countries, Law and History Review 32(3): 683-714

Previous education

2006: PhD in History, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2001: Master in History, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Previous positions

2007-2011: Postdoctoral assistant, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

2006-2007: Postdoctoral researcher, Leiden University, the Netherlands

2001-2006: PhD researcher, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands