Studies in British Privateering, Trading Enterprise, and Seamen's Welfare, 1775-1900

Studies in British Privateering, Trading Enterprise, and Seamen's Welfare, 1775-1900

Studies in British Privateering, Trading Enterprise, and Seamen's Welfare, 1775-1900

Studies in British Privateering, Trading Enterprise, and Seamen's Welfare, 1775-1900

Excerpt

In recent years the annual Dartington maritime history weekend seminar, organised by the Department of Economic History of Exeter University, while retaining its traditional interest in South West England and West Country themes, has been venturing into wider seas. By doing so the seminar has both broadened its membership and derived better comparative insights for assessing regional maritime experience. This select group of papers from the most recent meetings reflect this tendency.

Of the six papers only one has a purely south western focus, Amber Patrick’s view of the river Tamar’s traffic in the mid and later nineteenth century. But three of the papers while dealing with national themes do contain much regional reference, namely David Starkey’s and Colin Elliott’s discussions of later eighteenth century privateering, and Alston Kennerley’s study of seamen’s missions and sailors’ homes in the nineteenth century. A fifth contribution, by David Williams, is concerned with British Parliamentary interest in the shipping industry in the 1830s and after, its focus being the reforming zeal of that remarkable Cornishman, James Silk Buckingham. The last paper, by Stephanie Jones, has no particular West Country or South West reference, in that it deals with British, notably Scottish, mercantile enterprise overseas, in India in the second half of the nineteenth century. While the papers then show some broadening of the seminar’s range, the contributors themselves less well reflect this change. Five are already well known to the seminar, three being based in Devon; Dr Starkey, a research fellow in maritime history at Exeter University, Mr Kennerley, a lecturer in marine science at Plymouth Polytechnic, and Mr Elliott, a Teignmouth bookseller and publisher. Of the remaining two habitues, Miss Patrick is a Cheltenham . . .

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