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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Interactions and influences, 1650–1830
Editor: H. V. Bowen

Written by leading specialists in the field, this book is a collection of essays that explore economic, social, cultural, political, and religious interactions between Wales and the empire. It discusses the many relationships that developed between Wales and the British overseas empire between 1650 and 1830. The book looks at Welsh influences on the emergence of 'British' imperialism, as well as the impact that the empire had upon the development of Wales itself. Using the West Indian and East Indian connection, the book quantifies different interactions that occurred between Wales and the overseas empire. It highlights how expansion in Asia served to draw Wales and the Welsh into the domestic and overseas worlds of the London-based East India Company. The book also explores the aspects of the impact that expansion had upon the development of the Welsh economy. The focus then turns to the Atlantic-facing parts of the Welsh economy. How British expansion in the Atlantic basin opened up opportunities for people from Wales to take a prominent place in international communities of religious thought and belief is shown. Participation in an expanding spiritual empire brought like-minded individuals together in transoceanic networks and this engagement helped to shape the emergence of Welsh evangelical identities. Finally, Welsh interactions with the nascent British empire in India are analysed. Much work remains to be done if Wales is to be fully integrated into the British imperial historiography and the empire is to be afforded a central role in the writing of Welsh history.

The 'Indian Room' label from Osterley's bell-pull system illustrates the economic and cultural aspects of the relationship between country houses and the British Empire. This book is a study of that relationship, of the ways in which country houses like Osterley served as venues for the expression of personal and national imperial engagement between 1700 and 1930. A rare scholarly analysis of the history of country houses that goes beyond an architectural or biographical study, and recognises their importance as the physical embodiments of imperial wealth and reflectors of imperial cultural influences, is presented. The book assesses the economic and cultural links between country houses and the Empire. In terms of imperial values, country houses expressed both the economic and cultural impact of empire. Carr and Gladstone were only two of the many examples of colonial merchants who turned landed magnates. Nabobs - men who made their fortunes either as employees of the East India Company or as 'free traders' in India - were willing to risk their lives in pursuit of wealth. Like nabobs, planters went to the colonies in search of wealth and were prepared to spend substantial time there in order to accumulate it. Military and naval were among categories of people who purchased landed estates with imperial wealth. The book identifies four discourses of empire - commodities, cosmopolitanism, conquest and collecting - that provided the basic categories in which empire was represented in country-house context.

British imperial attitudes towards China, 1792–1840
Author: Hao Gao

This book examines British imperial attitudes towards China during their early encounters from 1792 to 1840. It makes the first attempt to bring together the political history of Sino-Western relations and cultural studies of British representations of China, as a new way of understanding the origins of the Opium War – a deeply consequential event which arguably reshaped relations between China and the West for the next hundred years. The book focuses on the crucial half-century before the war, a medium-term (moyenne durée) period which scholars such as Kitson and Markley have recently compared in importance to that of the American and French Revolutions.

This study investigates a range of Sino-British political moments of connection, from the Macartney embassy (1792–94), through the Amherst embassy (1816–17) to the Napier incident (1834) and the lead-up to the opium crisis (1839–40). It examines a wealth of primary materials, some of which have not received sufficient attention before, focusing on the perceptions formed by those who had first-hand experience of China or possessed political influence in Britain. The book shows that through this period Britain produced increasingly hostile feelings towards China, but at the same time British opinion formers and decision-makers disagreed with each other on fundamental matters such as whether to adopt a pacific or aggressive policy towards the Qing and the disposition of the Chinese emperor. This study, in the end, reveals how the idea of war against the Chinese empire was created on the basis of these developing imperial attitudes.

India, the East India Company and the Welsh economy, c.1750–1830
H. V. Bowen

In the previous essay Andrew Mackillop explained why only comparatively small numbers of Welsh men and women found their way to Asia during the long eighteenth century. In view of this, it is quite reasonable to assume that any interactions that occurred between Wales and Britain’s growing empire in the east were somewhat limited. Indeed, logic would appear to dictate that the process of British territorial and commercial expansion in Asia which gathered pace after the East India Company’s conquest of Bengal

in Wales and the British overseas empire
Landscapes of convenience
John McAleer

surprising that it never came into their heads to settle there.’ 4 In fact, it was only the Dutch who settled a small group of their East India Company servants there, over a century and a half after the VOC had first begun trading to the East. The range of views derived from reports of and travels in the region expanded throughout the early-nineteenth-century period of political

in Representing Africa
Stephanie Barczewski

imperial sources. These women did not amass their imperial fortunes on their own but, rather, acquired them through inheritance from their fathers or other male relatives. Next, the role of investors in colonial stocks will be considered; East India Company stock in particular contributed to the purchase of a significant number of landed estates in the eighteenth century. Returnees from Britain’s colonies of

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930
Abstract only
David Brown

, breaking up the old companies and creating a mutually dependent relationship between the state and the Adventurers. A similar combination of commercial and diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on the Levant Company, control of which was also gradually transferred to Adventurers. In 1643, Charles I had moved the base of operations of the Levant, Muscovy and East India companies to Bristol. While this move kept much needed revenue from customs on imported goods out of the hands of the parliamentarians, the relocation from London’s markets was bad for trade. 8 From

in Empire and enterprise
Abstract only
Stephanie Barczewski

purchase his estate and settle in Britain. Finally, his experience reveals the risks of an Indian career, as he died before he could return home. The risks of India as a route to landed status Herbert’s example demonstrates that nabobs – men who made their fortunes either as employees of the East India Company or as ‘free traders’ (i.e., independent merchants) in India – were

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930
Abstract only
Stephanie Barczewski

ties and plumes and a variety of other ornaments. 1 This was, of course, a coincidence: the author of the draft advertisement had presumably picked up a random piece of paper and scribbled on the back, and any link between the sale of Indian finery and the presence of East India Company officers in Wellington Square was mere chance. But the tangential connection was enough to cause me to

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930