The Welsh in Asia, c.1700–1815
Andrew Mackillop

By the end of the eighteenth-century number of Welsh families had developed a tradition of service in the corporation, as one generation followed another out to Asia. The apparently marginal role of Welsh mobility within the empire has in turn resulted in a correspondingly greater emphasis upon developments within Wales itself. The Welsh were very well established in the metropole by the second half of the seventeenth century at the latest, with an expatriate community in the 1690s numbering at least 5,000. The Welsh do seem especially 'reticent' if contrasted against the much higher volume of Scots and Irish evident throughout Asia during the second half of the eighteenth and first decade of the nineteenth centuries. The potential hinted by the idea of 'imperial South Wales' underlines the value of applying Welsh evidence to British Empire studies and of exploring the country's domestic history in the context of overseas expansion.

in Wales and the British overseas empire
Sir Hector Munro of Novar, 1760–1807
Andrew Mackillop

Highland politics and kinship were central to Sir Hector Munro's favourable treatment of Brodie. Munro's nabob reputation and substantial Eastern fortune ensured that he faced particular problems when reintegrating into a Scotland ill at ease with the material and moral effect of Indian profits upon its society. The economic and social dimensions underpinning the hostile critique of nabobs ensured that Novar spent the bulk of his fortune and efforts on agricultural and estate improvements. In India Munro nurtured political networks that stretched back to his home community and which sustained his reputation and profile there. In alliance with Scottish free traders like Hugh Baillie, others monopolized commodities like Bengal salt and opium to corner supplies, inflate prices and generate huge profits, particularly prior to the 1780s.

in Emigrant homecomings