Timo McGregor is a historian of legal and political thought in early modern Europe and the Atlantic world. His research focuses on vernacular conceptions of political community and subjecthood in Dutch and English Atlantic colonies. McGregor’s current book project examines everyday legal disputes over the movements of settlers, merchants, fugitives, and Indigenous people in Anglo-Dutch settlements across the Guianas, West Africa, and Northeastern America. Identifying recurring concepts and idioms in these arguments, it reconstructs an inter-imperial legal vernacular for contesting the political status and legal rights of people and property moving across colonial boundaries. Attending to this improvised legal regime reveals how colonists used vernacular ideas about property and private law to constitute empire as an inter-imperial project.
McGregor’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Society for Legal History, the Huntington and John Carter Brown Libraries, and the New Netherland Institute, among others. His dissertation was awarded the New Netherland Institute’s 2022 Hendricks Award for the best book-length manuscript on the Dutch colonial experience in North America. McGregor holds a Ph.D. in history from NYU, an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a B.A. from the University of Utrecht. Prior to joining LSE, McGregor was a Henry Hart Rice Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University’s MacMillan Center.