School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies


Dr James Thomas

  • Qualifications: BA (London), PhD (Southampton), FRHistS, FSA, FHA
  • Role Title: Reader in Local and Maritime History
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2200
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


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. Since 1969 I have also been examining Portsmouth's multi-faceted relationship with the navy during the period 1650-1820. My third area of major research is Indian Ocean piracy in the long eighteenth century.

Teaching Responsibilities

Research Clusters

Social Historical and Cultural Change in Europe

Discipline Areas



I have appeared on a variety of BBC radio programmes and on Dutch TV and radio discussing local and maritime issues


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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