Department of History

If you wish to get in touch with our administrative staff, please see the admin staff contact page.

Image of Sheryllynne Haggerty

Sheryllynne Haggerty

Associate Professor and Reader in Economic and Business History, Faculty of Arts


Expertise Summary

My expertise is in the area of eighteenth-century traders and the economy of the first British empire - both formal and informal. Complementing this is an interest in networks of people, credit and goods and the lives of men and women who facilitated this trade. I would therefore be interested in supervising PhDs on any aspect of the economy of the British-Atlantic or on women and work, and port cities which concentrate on the period roughly c. 1750-1810.

I am the Director of the Centre Economic and Business History; Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS); and serve on the Council of the Economic History Society, the Centre for Port and Maritime History (Liverpool), the British Commission for Maritime History (BCMH) and the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Teaching Summary

The modules I teach reflect my broad interest in Atlantic History and especially the British-Atlantic economy. I teach on the following modules:

  • (Mis)Perceptions of the Other (MA )
  • Research Methods (MA)
  • The British Slave Trade and Abolition (special subject)
  • The Rise (and Demise?) of Capitalism (third year option)
  • From East India Company to West India Failure: The First British Empire (second year survey)
  • From Reformation to Revolution (first year survey)
  • Learning History (first year core)

Please note that I will be on sabbatical academic year 2017/18 so I will not be involved in teaching all of these modules.

I received my Accreditation as an Associate Teacher in Higher Education from the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) in October 2002.

Research Summary

I am presently working on a new project entitled 'Sugar Slaves and Sustenance: Liverpool and the West Indies to 1807' which seeks to explore the commercial relationships between Liverpool and the… read more

Current Research

I am presently working on a new project entitled 'Sugar Slaves and Sustenance: Liverpool and the West Indies to 1807' which seeks to explore the commercial relationships between Liverpool and the Caribbean from its earliest days. I was Alexander O. Vietor Memorial Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library March to May 2014 in order to conduct research on this project.

In 2012 I published my second monograph entitled 'Merely for Money'? Business Culture in the British Atlantic, 1750-1815, with Liverpool University Press. This research started with an ESRC award for 2004-5 entitled Business Culture and Community: Liverpool in the 18th Century British Atlantic. This is an inter-disciplinary study into business culture during this period, but which takes an Atlantic perspective. Using a variety of primary sources, it adopts social-science theory to investigate the concepts of risk, trust, reputation, obligation and networks within the eighteenth-century trading community. I was Caird North American Research Fellow 2006, granted by the National Maritime Museum (UK) and the John Carter Brown Library (Rhode Island, USA) which contributed to this study.The British-Atlantic Trading Community

In 2009 I was co-holder of an English Heritage £10,000 grant along with Susanne Seymour of the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. The project is entitled "The Slavery Connections of English Heritage Properties". This forms part of English Heritage's scheme to conduct research into various case studies of properties with slavery connections in their care. A publication from their conference on this research is due for publication in 2012.

In 2011, along with Susanne Seymour of Geography and Celeste-Marie Bernier of American Studies, I was involved in workshops funded by the Centre for International Business History (now CEBH) and ISOS, called 'Sights and Sites of Slavery'. This was the first step in an interdisciplinary project looking at the collections of National Museums Liverpool, and especially the International Slavery Museum from various disciplinary perspectives.

I am also presently working with the school of Computing, Science and Engineering at Nottingham Trent University using Visual Analytic tools for the analysis of business networks. We have already published on this work. See my publications below.

More widely I am interested in the economics of the first British Empire, and am working with the history departments of the Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool, and Liverpool Hope Univesity developing further research in this area. I was joint organiser for the conference Liverpool and Empire in April 2006, and am part of the editorial team for the volume based on the conference entitled The World in One City?: Liverpool's Inconvenient Imperial Past, 1750 to the present day (Manchester University Press, 2008).

Other interests include the work and income opportunities of women in Atlantic port cities, for example in Charleston, Kingston and Philadelphia. The first British Empire shaped to a very large extent what work was available for women, who was allowed to carry out that work, and what other opportunities or constraints existed and shaped women's lives. Studying women's economic opportunities in this comparative context raises questions not only of economics, but also of slavery, race, gender and class. I helped organise a conference held jointly with the School of History, University of Liverpool, and the Merseyside Maritime Museum in June 2005 entitled "Sisters and Doing it for Themselves: Women and Informal Port Economies". I am presently contributing to a book on women in early-modern Atlantic port cities.

My first monograph was entitled The British-Atlantic Trading Community 1760-1810: Men, Women, and the Distribution of Goods (Brill Press, 2006). This study investigated and profiled a far wider trading community than elite (male) merchants, and detailed the networks of people, credit and goods both within each city, regionally and across the Atlantic, between the two cities.

I have previously worked with Professor Kenneth Morgan (Brunel) and Professor Trevor Burnard (Warwick) on a Leverhulme funded research project entitled "Merchants and Merchandising: Kingston, Jamaica in the Eighteenth Century". This research investigated both the social and economic history of Kingston itself, and its business and social networks within the Atlantic framework.

Liverpool University recently conducted research on the nineteenth-century Liverpool mercantile community which will result in a major web accessible database. See

The Empire in One CitySupervision

Sheryllynne Haggerty is interested in supervising PhDs in eighteenth-century Atlantic trade and trading communities, including the contribution of women. I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary work.


International Maritime and Economic History Conference, Ghent, " 'Merely for Money'? Business Culture in the British-Atlantic, 1750-1815" (Jul 2012).

British Group for Early American History, Kent, "The Importance of Trust in the British Atlantic, 1750-1815" (Sep 2011).

Association of Business HIstorians, Reading, "The importance of Trust in Sustaining Business in the Atlantic, 1750-1815" (Jul 2011).

International Colloquium on Merchant Practice in the Age of Commerce, 1650-1850", Paris, " 'Merely for Money'? Business Culture in the British-Atlantic, 1750-1815" (Jun 2011)

British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Oxford,"Expectations and Obligations: Hopes and Fears in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Commerce" (Jan 2011).

with Susanne Seymour (Geography), Salty Geographies, Glasgow, "The Atlantic Ocean as Local Highway" (Oct 2010),

International Commission of Maritime History, Amsterdam, "Intercity Connections: Glasgow and Liverpool's Atlantic Networks in the Eighteenth Century" (Aug 2010).

British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Oxford, "The Atlantic Ocean as Highway: An Eighteenth Century Life Geography" (Jan 2010).

European Social Science History Conference, Ghent, "Elite Mercantile Networks in Liverpool 1750-1810: Power, Status and Control" (Apl 2010).

North West Business History Association, Liverpool, " 'Let me have good men, or I had better run my own risque': An Interdisciplinary Study of Risk in the Briitsh Atlantic 1750-1815" (Nov 2009).

Slavery and the Country House, London, with Susanne Seymour, "Problems with Property: The Slavery Networks of Bolsover Castle and Brodsworth Hall" (Nov 2009).

Association of Business Historians Conference, Liverpool, with John Haggerty, "Merchant Networks in Liverpool 1750-1810: Efficiency, Power and Control" (Jul 2009).

Society of Caribbean Studies Annual Conference, Hull, "Problems with Business Networks in the Jamaica Slave Trade" (Jul 2009).

Economic History Society Conference, Warwick, with John Haggerty, "Visual Analytics and Eighteenth-Century Networks: Pretty Useful?" (Apl 2009).

On the Waterfront Conference, Liverpool, "Ports, Petticoats and Power" (Nov 2008).

Courts, Cities and Memories: Transitions and Transformations in the Modern World, Pampulha, Brazil, "Commerce and Crisis: The Liverpool Slave Traders and Abolition" (Nov 2007).

Liverpool: A Sense of Time and Place, Liverpool, "The Liverpool Trading Community and the Atlantic World: Reputation in a Time of Crisis" (Sep 2007).

Anglo-American Conference, London, "Slave Traders or Liverpool Merchants?" (Jul 2007).

Contractor State Workshop, Greenwich Maritime Institute, " 'your Memorialists bound both by Ties of Inclination & interest': Liverpool merchants and their relationship with the state" (Apl 2007).

Typologies of Trust, Interdisciplinary Conference, Basel University, "Trust and the Mercantile Community c.1760-1815: An Historical Case Study of the British Atlantic in a Time of Crisis" (Dec 2006).

Expatriate Communities in a Time of Global War 1793-1815, Conference, Leicester University, "Crisis and Community: British-Atlantic Business Culture during the Napoleonic Wars" (Sep 2006).

John Carter Brown Library, Providence, USA, Brown Bag, "we would sooner have our Bills protested"! Business Culture in the British-Atlantic c.1750-1815 (Aug 2006).

Liverpool and Empire, 1700-1970 Conference, Liverpool, "Liverpool and the Slave Trade in the Eighteenth-Century British-Atlantic Empire" (Apl 2006).

Economic History Society Conference, Reading, "Women, Work, and Income Opportunities in Eighteenth Century Atlantic Port Cities" (and panel organiser), Women and Informal Economies in Port Cities (Apl 2006).

Liverpool and Transatlantic Slavery Conference, Liverpool, "Perceptions not Profits: Risk and Risk Management in the Liverpool Slave Trade" (Oct 2005).

Harvard International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, " "Miss Fan can tun her han!" Women, Work, and Income Opportunities in American Atlantic Port Cities" (Aug 2005).

Identities Conference, Liverpool, "Slave Merchant or Liverpool Merchant? Identity in the Eighteenth-Century British Trading Empire" (Apl 2005).

Western Social Science Association, New Mexico, "Concepts and Culture: Liverpool and the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic" (Apl 2005).

Economic History Society Conference, Leicester, "you sacrificed me": An Inter-Disciplinary Approach to Liverpool's Business Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic" (Apl 2005).

Global/Local, Cambridge, "Business Conversations in the Age of Independence: Liverpool and the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Economy" (Mar 2005).

Fourth ICMH, Corfu, "Distribution Point and Information Point: The Role of Merchants and the Function of Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Port Cities" (June 2004).

Liverpool University, "A Respectable Slice of a 'Respectable' Trade": Liverpool and Kingston, Jamaica in the mid-Eighteenth Century" (Feb 2004).

PEAES Conference, Philadelphia, Invited to chair and comment on a panel on Atlantic Trade in the Era of Revolutions (Sep 2003).

Harvard Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, "Absent Kings in Kingston? Business Networks and Family Ties: The View from Eighteenth Century Kingston, Jamaica" (Aug 2003).

Tenth Maritime History Conference of the AHNS, Bremen, "A Contribution to Commerce: Women and the Economy of Liverpool in the late Eighteenth Century" (Aug 2003).

Port Projects Colloquium, Newcastle, " "It is so long since I have been at home", The Trading Community of the Port of Kingston, Jamaica, in the Late Eighteenth Century" (May 2003).

Maritime History Seminar. Invited to speak at King's College, London, "Ports, Petticoats and Power? Female Traders in Philadelphia 1785-1805" (Oct 2002).

Harvard International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, "The Structure of the Philadelphia Trading Community on the Transition from Colony to State" (Aug 2002).

Port Projects Colloquium, Leeds, "Liverpool and Networking the Atlantic in the Late Eighteenth Century" and "Port Cities on the Web: The National Maritime Museum Project" (May 2002).

Economic History Society Conference, Birmingham, "Dealing in Diversity: The Trading Communities of Liverpool and Philadelphia, 1760-1810" (Apl 2002).

Invited to speak at the Joint Day School, HSLC/LLHF, Wigan, "The Trading Community of Liverpool in the late Eighteenth Century" (Mar 2002).

Tenth Maritime History Conference of the AHNS, Liverpool, "Networks and Distribution in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic" (Aug 2001).

Seventh Annual OIEAHC Conference, Glasgow, "The Merchant Community and Control in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic" (Jul 2001).

MCEAS, University of Pennsylvania, 'Brown Bag' Series, Philadelphia, "Cay, Clow and Control: An Exercise in Atlantic Distribution" (Oct 2000).

BAAS Conference, Swansea, "Trade and Gender in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic - Philadelphia and Liverpool" (Apl 2000).

CHORD Conference, Wolverhampton, "Trade, Gender and the Consumer Revolution in Liverpool, 1760-1810" (Sep 1999).

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details