Malcolm Sherwin Chase (3 February 1957–29 February 2020) was a social historian noted especially for his work on Chartism.
Chase was born in Grays to the carpenter (later building surveyor) Sherwin Chase and bank clerk Elizabeth (née Austin). He attended Palmer’s boys school, before taking a BA in history at the University of York, graduating in 1978. He proceeded to the University of Sussex where he took a master's degree in modern social history (1979), and then a D.Phil. (1984) under the supervision of J. F. C. Harrison (for whom Chase later edited a Festschrift).
Chase began working in the Department of Adult Continuing Education at the University of Leeds in 1982, and in 2002 became head of what was by then the School of Continuing Education. He moved to Leeds's School of History in 2005 and in the same year commenced a two-year term as president of the Society for the Study of Labour History. He became a professor in 2009, and served as chair of the Social History Society from 2011 to 2014.
In the description of Simon Hall and Rohan McWilliam, Inspired by the participatory ethos of the History Workshop Movement of the 70s, Malcolm kept in touch with – and continued to learn from – local historians, amateur enthusiasts and the interested general public. He spoke at countless meetings of local history societies, historical association branches, schools and colleges, and regional museums and galleries, regularly penning thoughtful pieces for local and regional history journals. He was generous with his time, encouraging younger historians and providing opportunities for them. At the annual Chartism Day conferences in different centres he was the animating figure encouraging new research and discussion. In 1983 he married Shirley Fereday, whom he had met at Sussex Chase died on 29 February 2020 following a brain tumour.
Alongside numerous articles, Chase published the following books:
- The People's Farm: English Radical Agrarianism, 1775-1840 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988)
- and C. Shaw, eds., The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989)
- The Life and Literary Pursuits of Allen Davenport, with a Further Selection of the Author's Work (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1994)
- and Ian Dyck, eds., Living and Learning: Essays in Honour of J. F. C. Harrison (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1996).
- Early Trade Unionism: Fraternity, Skill and the Politics of Labour (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000)
- Labour and Locality (The Wolfson Lecture in Local History for 2003) (University of Cambridge: Institute for Continuing Education, 2005)
- Chartism: A New History (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007) [French translation: La chartisme. Aux origines du mouvement ouvrier britannique, 1838-58 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2013)]
- 1820: Disorder and Stability in the United Kingdom (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013).
- ed. The Chartists: Perspectives and Legacies (London: Merlin Press, 2015)