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Dr Tim Davies

Tim Davies

Work with the Europe's Asian Centuries Project

I worked as a Research Assistant on the Europe's Asian Centuries project from October 2012 to August 2013. My main duties were assisting the team, particularly Professor Maxine Berg, in various areas of archival research and data handling. I was particularly involved in the oral history work Maxine pursued in Kaachch, India. Prior to taking up the post, I submitted my PhD thesis entitled British Private Trade Networks in the Arabian Sea, c.1680-c.1760 in October 2012, and passed my viva in January 2013.

Thesis Abstract

My thesis explores the networks of British private trade based in the Arabian Seas, between c.1680 and c.1760, with a focus on the period between 1700 and 1740. It draws from the extensive records of the East India Company and numerous collections of private papers to look at how this mercantile trade was shaped, organised and constrained by the particular circumstances of the western Indian Ocean region. The unusual constellation of economic and political factors within the world of the Arabian Seas affected British private trade in significant ways during the pre-colonial period: political turmoil, piracy and commercial competition placed constraints on the successful operation of commerce. Shifting regional dynamics also underpinned the growth and greater success of private trade in the second half of the period under review. The thesis is therefore concerned with how British merchants conducted trade as part of a global commercial empire, whilst remaining embedded in specific local economic and political settings. Challenging and moving beyond existing work that has concentrated on the Bay of Bengal and Coromandel Coast regions, this study emphasises the regional specificity and unevenness of the British private trade system across maritime Asia. It makes use of, and builds upon, a number of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches from recent work on maritime trade and early modern merchant networks in both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds.

Research Interests and Activities

  • My research interests include eighteenth century transnational trade, the history of the English East India Company, British commercial culture, the early modern Indian Ocean world and global history. Please see my e-portfolio for more information.
  • I am currently working on a number of articles related for publication - focused on Bombay's global history and British private trade in the Indian Ocean - building on my thesis research .
  • I am a member of the World History Association and the Economic History Society.


Academic Profile

  • Research Assistant, EAC Project, Department of History, University of Warwick (2012-2013)
  • Seminar Tutor, Department of History, University of Warwick (2010-2013)
  • Ph.D. in History, University of Warwick (2009-2012). Supervisor: Prof Maxine Berg. Examiners: Profs Giorgio Riello (Warwick) and Huw V. Bowen (Swansea).
  • M.A. in History, University of Warwick (2008-2009).
  • B.A. in History, University of Warwick (2005-2008).