Department of History

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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 also an advocate for Social Network Analysis and adopting Socio-Economic theory for the analysis of networks in History.

I am the Director of the Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS);

I serve on the Editorial Boards of Essays in Economic and Business History and the Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

I am a Council Member of the Economic History Society (inc. on Executive Committee) and Chair of the Women's Committee; British Commission for Maritime History; Centre for Port and Maritime History (Liverpool); Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire;

I have been asked to give keynote papers on interdisciplinarity and social network analysis, For example at the British Commission for Maritime History 'New Researchers' Conference', Liverpool Mar 2019; 'Negotiating Networks: New Research on Networks in Social and Economic History', IHR, 2018 and for 'Port City Lives: Mobilities, Networks, Encounters', Liverpool, Sep 2012.

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)

I am an HEA Fellow.

Research Summary

I am presently working on a Leverhulme Funded book project entitled Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times: Living the British Empire in Jamaica, 1756. This project uses a rare collection of letters in… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

I am presently working on a Leverhulme Funded book project entitled Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times: Living the British Empire in Jamaica, 1756. This project uses a rare collection of letters in the High Court of Chancery records at The National Archives, UK. It will use these letters to tell the stories of the more 'unusual' suspects in Jamaica's eighteenth-century history; the lesser merchants, the captains, the visitors (sojourners) and the enslaved. It focuses in the year 1756 - the start of the Seven Years' War and the height of the power and influence of the Jamaican elite - but also just before Tackey's Revolt in 1760 - which shook the planter elite to their core and changed Jamaica for ever.

I am Principal Investigator on the Scott Trust-Funded project exploring any links with historical slavery of John Edward Taylor (founder the Manchester Guardian in 1821), as well as with his associates, their investments and business activities. See

I am a member of the Working Group for the University of Nottingham project Universities of Nottingham and Historical Slavery.

I am also editing a collection with Sarah Goldsmith and Karen Harvey (eds.), Letters and the Body, 1700-1830: Writing and Embodiment (Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming c. 2021).

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 University 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.

  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2019. What's in a Price? The American Raw Cotton Market in Liverpool and the Anglo-American War Business History. 61(2), 942-70
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2019. Avoiding Musty Mutton Chops: The Network Narrative of An American Merchant in London Essays in Economic and Business History. XXXVII, 1-42
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE and SUSANNE SEYMOUR, 2018. Imperial Careering and Enslavement in the Long Eighteenth-Century: The Bentinck Family, 1710-1830s Slavery & Abolition. 39(4), 642-62
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2018. Risk, networks and privateering in Liverpool during the Seven Years War, 1756-1763 International Journal of Maritime History. 30(1), 30-51
  • HAGGERTY, JOHN and SHERYLLYNNE HAGGERTY, 2017. Networking with a Network: The Liverpool African Committee 1750-1810 Enterprise and Society. 18(3), 687-721
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2016. Actors of Maritime Trade in the British Atlantic: From the 'Sea Dogs' to a Trading Empire. In: CHRISTIAN BOUCHET and GERARD LE BOUEDEC, eds., The Sea in History: The Early Modern Period Boydell and Brewer. 237-54
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2016. Structural Holes and Bad Ideas: Liverpool's Atlantic Trade Networks in the Early-Eighteenth Century. In: MANUEL HERRERO SANCHEZ and KLEMENS KAPS, eds., Merchants and Trade Networks in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, 1550-1800: Connectors of Commercial Maritime Systems Pickering and Chatto. 237-54
  • SUSANNE SEYMOUR and SHERYLLYNNE HAGGERTY, 2016. Assess the position of the Derwent Valley cotton industry in terms of the Empire, the slave trade and the pressures of global demand and supply. In: DAVID KNIGHT, ed., The Derwent Valley: The Valley that Changed the World: Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Research Framework Derwent Valley Mills Partnership. 87
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE and HAGGERTY, JOHN, 2013. Visual Analytics for Large-Scale Actor Networks: A Cast Study of Liverpool, 1750-1810. In: CASSON, MARK and HASHIMZADE, NIGAR, eds., Large Databases in Economic History: Research Methods and Case Studies Routledge. 146-165
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2012. 'Merely for money?': business culture in the British Atlantic, 1750-1815 Liverpool University Press.
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE and SEYMOUR, SUSANNE, 2012. Property, Power and Authority: The Slavery Connections of Bolsover Castle and Brodsworth Hall. In: DRESSER, M., HANN, A. and KAUFMAN, M., eds., Slavery and the English Country House English Heritage. 78-90
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2012. The British Empire: 10 Big Questions: 'How important Were merchants to the first British Empire?' At: BBC History Magazine
  • • HAGGERTY, J., M. C. CASSON, S. HAGGERTY, & M. J. TAYLOR, 2012. Forensic Analysis of User Interaction with Social Media: A Methodology At: Crete
  • HAGGERTY, J. and HAGGERTY, S., 2011. The life cycle of a metropolitan business network: Liverpool, 1750-1810 Explorations in Economic History. 48(2), 189-206
  • HAGGERTY, J. and HAGGERTY, S., 2011. Temporal Social Network Analysis for Historians: A Case Study: Proceedings of the International Conference of Visualization Theory and Application In: International Conference on Visualization Theory and Applications. 207-217
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2011. 'You promise well and perform as badly': The Failure of the 'implicit contract of family' in the Scottish Atlantic' International Journal of Maritime History. XXIII(2), 267-282
  • HAGGERTY, S. and HAGGERTY, J., 2010. Visual analytics of an eighteenth-century business network Enterprise and Society. 11(1), 1-25
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2010. Risk and risk management in the Liverpool slave trade Business History. 51(6), 817-834
  • HAGGERTY, SHERYLLYNNE, 2009. A Reputable Trade? The Liverpool Slave Traders and Abolition: pp. 65-67 Available at: <>
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2008. Liverpool, the slave trade and the British-Atlantic empire, c. 1750-75. In: HAGGERTY, S., WEBSTER, A. and WHITE, N.J., eds., The empire in one city?: Liverpool's inconvenient imperial past Manchester University Press. 17-34
  • HAGGERTY. S, A. WEBSTER and N. J. WHITE, 2008. The Empire in One City? Liverpool's Inconvenient Imperial Past Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2006. The British-Atlantic Trading Community, 1760-1810: Men, Women, and the Distribution of Goods Leiden: Brill.
  • MCCUSKER, JOHN J., ed., 2005. History of World Trade Since 1450: 'Philadelphia' MacMillan Reference.
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2003. Women, work, and the consumer revolution: Liverpool in the late eighteenth century. In: BENSON, J. and UGOLINI, L., eds., A nation of shopkeepers: five centuries of British retailing London: I.B. Tauris. 106-126
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2002. The structure of the trading community in Liverpool, 1760-1810 Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. 151, 97-125
  • HAGGERTY, S., 2002. A link in the chain: trade and the trans-shipment of knowledge in the late eighteenth century International Journal of Maritime History. 14(1), 157-172
  • HAGGERTY, S., 'Ports, Petticoats and Power?' Women and Work in Early-National Philadelphia. In: CATTERALL, D. CAMPBELL, J., ed., Women in Port: Gendering Communities, Economies, and Social Networks in Atlantic Port Cities, 1500-1800 Leiden: Brill Press. (In Press.)
  • SHERYLLYNNE HAGGERTY, Avoiding Musty Mutton Chops: The Network Narrative of An American Merchant in London Essays in Economic and Business History. (In Press.)

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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