Patrick Williams retired in 2008 after teaching at Portsmouth from 1974. He was successively Research Associate, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor of Spanish History. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1986. On his retirement, the University honoured him with the title of Emeritus Professor.
Patrick Williams has specialised in the history of Spanish government. He has published studies on Armada (Tempus : 2000 and 2009); Philip II (Macmillan : 2001); The great favourite. The Duke of Lerma and the Court and Government of Philip III of Spain 1598-1621 (Manchester University Press : 2006, paperback edition 2009); the Spanish edition (El gran valido. El duque de Lerma y la corte y gobierno de Felipe III 1598-1621) is being published in 2010 by the Junta de Castilla y León. Professor Williams is finalising a two-volume history of Spanish government in the Early Modern Period – The Councils of State and War in Habsburg Spain and The councils of Habsburg Spain : the research for these studies has most recently been funded by generous grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy and by the Centre for European and International Studies Research at Portsmouth University.