Professor Huw Bowen
Specialist Subjects: The economic, imperial, and maritime history of Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with particular research interests in the history of the East India Company and British interactions with Asia.
Huw Bowen was educated at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth before being appointed as Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1985. He worked as a teacher between 1988 and 1992 and then moved to the University of Leicester where, having been Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History, he was awarded a personal chair in 2006. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1994 and is currently Honorary Visiting Fellow at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. He joined the History Department (now History and Classics) at Swansea as Professor of Modern History in 2007. In 2008 he was elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and in 2011 he became a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He is founding editor of the research monograph series The Worlds of the East India Company published by Boydell & Brewer.
Huw Bowen is Convenor of History Research Wales.
In 2010-2011 he led the ESRC-funded research project 'History, heritage, and urban regeneration: the local and global worlds of Welsh copper'.
Professor Bowen is currently engaged in a re-estimation of the value, volume, and geographical distribution of British trade with Asia, 1760–1833. As part of this study, he has developed an East India Company Trade and Finance Database.
Other research projects include the study of Asia and British economic development during the long eighteenth century; South Asian consumption of British manufactured goods during the late eighteenth century; the shipping and cargo losses of the East India Company 1700–1833; the island of Johanna and the maritime world of the East India Company; and South Asia, the East India Company, and Welsh economic development, 1750–1833.
He is the co-founder and organiser of two research networks:
- [with John McAleer and Robert J. Blyth] Monsoon traders: the maritime world of the East India Company (London: Scala, 2011)
- [ed.] A new history of Wales. Myths and realities in Welsh history (Llandysul: Gomer Press, 2011).
- The business of empire: the East India Company and imperial Britain, 1756-1833 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006 (hbk) / 2008 (pbk))
- [ed., with A. González Enciso] Mobilising resources for war: Britain and Spain at work, 1650–1815 (Pamplona: EUNSA, 2006)
- [ed., with M. Lincoln & N. Rigby] The worlds of the East India Company (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2002 (hbk) / 2004 (pbk))
- War and British Society, 1688-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)
- Elites, enterprise, and the making of the British overseas empire, 1688–1775 (London: Macmillan, 1996)
- Revenue and reform: the Indian problem in British politics, 1757–1773 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991 (hbk) / 2002 (pbk) )
Book-chapters and journal articles
- ‘Bullion for trade, war, and debt relief: British transfers of silver to, from, and around Asia, 1760–1833’, Modern Asian Studies (2010), 445-75.
- ‘The consumption of British manufactured good in India: A prologue, 1765–1813’ in Douglas E.Haynes, Abigail McGowan, Tirthankar Roy, and Haruka Yanagisawa, Towards a history of consumption in South Asia (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2010), 26–50.
- ‘British exports of raw cotton from India to China during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries’, in Giorgio Riello and Tirthankar Roy (eds), How India clothed the world: The world of South Asian textiles, 1500–1850 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2009) 115–136.
- ‘Privilege and profit: The commanders of East Indiamen as private traders, entrepreneurs, and smugglers, 1760–1813’, International Journal of Maritime History 19 (2007), 1–46.
- ‘Sinews of trade and empire: The supply of commodity exports to the East India Company during the late eighteenth century’, Economic History Review 55 (2002), 466–486.
- ‘“So alarming an evil”: Smuggling, pilfering and the English East India Company, 1740–1810’, International Journal of Maritime History 14 (2002), 1–13.
- ‘British conceptions of global empire, 1756–1783’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 26 (1998), 1–26.
- ‘“The Pests of Human Society”: Stockbrokers, jobbers, and speculators in mid-eighteenth-century Britain’, History 78 (1993), 38–53.
Recent conference papers and invited lectures
- ‘C.H. Philips and the East India Company’, Sir Cyril Philips Memorial Lecture at the Royal Asiatic Society, London, 16 April 2009.
- ‘Re-imagining, reconstructing, and re-estimating British trade with Asia, c. 1750–1830’, Tenth Global History Workshop at Osaka, Osaka University, 14 September 2009.
- ‘Asia and British economic development, 1750–1830’, 5th Anglo-Japanese Conference, University of Tokyo 17 September 2009.
Principal research grants, fellowships, and prizes
- Economic and Social Research Council ‘follow-on’ grant, History, heritage, and urban regeneration: The local and global worlds of Welsh copper, £95,430 (2010)
- AHRC Research Networks and Workshops Scheme: British Asia and the British Atlantic, c.1500–1820: two worlds or one?, £24,446 (2007)
- British Academy grant (with Professor Aled Jones, University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Wales and the British overseas empire: interactions and influences, 1600–1960, £2,167 (2006)
- Economic and Social Research Council Research Fellow (2004–2007)
- Economic and Social Research Council grant (Award RES-000-27-108) British economic, social, and cultural interactions with Asia, 1760–1833, £139,650 (2004)
- Caird Senior Research Fellow, National Maritime Museum (2003–2004)
- National Maritime Museum grant, British trade with Asia, 1760–1833, £15,000 (2003)
- National Maritime Museum grant, British private trade with Asia, 1700–1813, £4,500 (2002)