School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Dr James Thomas
Reader in Local and Maritime History
Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, HANTS., PO1 3AS
With major research interests in both local and maritime history I have, since 1985, been examining the relationship between the East India Company and the Provinces and am currently working on the final volume of my East India Company trilogy, entitled A Raft of Wrecks. This examines Company performance and history through the media of shipwrecks and shipping losses. Major use is being made of the technique of multi-record linkage. An article entitled ‘Officer Education in the Age of Nelson: The Contribution of Portsmouth Naval Academy’ is currently being considered for publication in The American Neptune, the lead journal for maritime history published in the U.S.A. I am also preparing a book with Dr. L. Haycock entitled Essays in Wiltshire History.
- B.A. London
- Ph.D. Southampton
- Captains, Agents and Servants: A Gallery of East India Company Portraits. The East India Company and the Provinces, Vol. II. (Edwin Mellen Press, New York and Lampeter, 2007), 523 pp. ISBN. 1 978-0-7734-5270-1.
- The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society: The First 150 Years. (Devizes, 2003), 246 pp. ISBN. 0947723 09 9.
- Gales: A Study in Brewing, Business and Family History (with Barry Stapleton). (Ashgate, Modern Economic and Social History Series, 2000), 192 pp. ISBN. 07546 0146 3
- Portsmouth and the East India Company 1700-1815. The East India Company and the Provinces, Vol. I. (Edwin Mellen Press, New York and Lampeter, 1999), 503 pp. ISBN. 0-88946-450-2.
- The Portsmouth Region (with Barry Stapleton). (Alan Sutton, 1989), 265 pp. ISBN. 086299-374-1.
- The Book of Original Entries 1731-1751 (with N.W. Surry). (Portsmouth Record Series, III, Portsmouth 1976), 149 pp. ISBN 0 901559 30X.
- 'Portsmouth Naval Academy in the Age of Nelson: A Reassessment’, International Journal of Maritime History, forthcoming June 2011.
- ‘The Sea Captain, the Nawab and the Pilgrimage: A Maritime Yarn Examined’, Archives, vol. XXXV (2010), pp. 37-47.
- 'Society, economy and sport in Wiltshire 1700-1914: some initial thoughts’, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 102 (2009), pp. 275-287.
- ‘Thomas Stephens (1549-1619): Wiltshireman and Jesuit’ (with Daphne Tighe) Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 99, (2006), pp. 230-235.
- ‘Portsmouth Yard and Town in the Age of Nelson (1758-1805) – A Relationship Examined’, Transactions of the Naval Dockyards Society, I (2006), pp. 93-107.
- ‘Devizes in the Eighteenth Century: the Evidence from Fire Insurance Records’, Archives XXX No. 113 (2005), pp. 75-89.
- ‘East India Company Shipping Losses in the Late Eighteenth Century: The case of the Henry Addington’, The Mariner’s Mirror, 90 (2004), pp. 51-72.
- Robert A. Otter and James H. Thomas, ‘William and Edward Mackenzie as Railway Contractors: The Evidence of J.H.Watel’s Office Diaries from 1849 and 1850’, Transactions of the Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology, 72 (2000-2001), pp. 319-332.
- ‘Housing East India Company Troops in the 1790s: A Forgotten Survey’, Archives, XXVI, no105 (2001), pp. 123-133.
- ‘The Isle of Wight and the East India Company 1700-1840: Some Connections Considered’, The Local Historian, Vol. 30, no. 1(2000), pp. 4-22.
- ‘Music in Portsmouth 1700-1850: Some Aspects Considered’ in J. Chandler (ed.) Music in the Wessex Landscape, Special Edition Hatcher Review, V, no. 49 (2000), pp.56-71.
- ‘Quebec’s Bishop as Pawn: Saint Vallier’s Imprisonment in England 1704-1709’, Canadian Catholic Historical Association, Historical Studies, 64 (1998), pp. 151-60.
- ‘Economy and Society in Eighteenth-Century Somerset: Evidence from Neglected Sources’, Somerset Archaeological and Natural History, (1997) (Published 1998), pp. 57-75.
- ‘A Wage Bill for Ship Repairs in 1773’, Southern History, 19 (1997), pp. 135-42.
- ‘The Voyage of the Eagle, 1773’, The Mariner’s Mirror, 82 (1996), pp. 165-74.
- 'East India Company Agency Work in the British Isles, 1700-1800’, in H.V. Bowen, M. Lincoln and N. Rigby (ed.), The Worlds of the East India Company, (Boydell Press 2002), pp. 33-47. ISBN 085155 8773.
- ‘Paper and People: An Historical Perspective’ in J. Thorpe (ed,), In Safe Keeping: The Preservation of Rare Books in Archives (Winchester 1988), pp. 1-12. ISBN 978-1870651172.
- ‘A Seventeenth-Century Merchant’s Account Book’ in J. Webb, N. Yates and S. Peacock (ed.) Hampshire Studies (Portsmouth 1981), pp. 141-167. ISBN 0 901559 44X.
- Entry on the last century of the East India Company in P.N. Stearns (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Modern World (Oxford University Press) forthcoming 2008.
- From Municipal College to School of Languages and Area Studies: Park Building in Retrospect, Occasional Papers in the History of the University of Portsmouth, No. 1 (1997), 20 pp.
- Portsmouth and the East India Company in the Eighteenth Century, The Portsmouth Papers No. 62 (1993), 28pp.
- Portsmouth and the First Fleet 1786-1787, The Portsmouth Papers No. 50 (1987), 41 pp.
- The Seaborne Trade of Portsmouth 1650-1800, The Portsmouth Papers No. 40, (1984), 22pp.
- Petersfield Under the Later Stuarts: An Economic and Social Study, Petersfield Papers No. 6, 1980, iv and 56pp.
External Funding Grants Received
- 2002-3: Grants of £3,500 from Marc Fitch Fund, Isobel Thornley Bequest and an anonymous donor towards publication of The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society: The First 150 Years. (Devizes,2003).
- 2002: Royal Society grant of £750, with R. Otter, Civil Engineering, for continued work on the Mackenzie Collection.
- 1992: Royal Society grant of £700, with R. Otter, Civil Engineering, for research on the Mackenzie Collection, concerning 19th century railway building.
Membership of Editorial and Allied Boards
- 1981- date: Member, Portsmouth Historical Publications Advisory Panel.
- 1991 - date: Local History Editor, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine.
- 1990 - 1992 Council Member, Navy Records Society.
- 1988 - date: Member, Historical Association National Panel of Speakers.
- 1983 - 1986 Council Member, British Association for Local History.