Dr Tom Leng
M.A., Ph.D. (Sheffield)
Department of History
Senior Lecturer in History
Full contact details
Department of History
1 Upper Hanover Street
I became a lecturer at the History Department at Sheffield in 2005, having previously completed both my B.A. and Ph.D. at the university. I have previously taught at the University of Nottingham, and worked on a number of projects at the Humanities Research Institute (HRI) here at Sheffield.
My Ph.D. was on the subject of Benjamin Worsley (1618-1677), an individual most famous for having claimed to have drafted the Navigation Act of 1651, the major piece of English commercial legislation to that date, but whose diverse interests also encompassed experimental science, alchemy, and spiritual introspection. I published my thesis as a monograph in 2008 as part of the Royal Historical Society's Studies in History series, entitled Benjamin Worsley (1618-1677). Trade, Interest, and the Spirit in Revolutionary England.
My second project was on the Merchant Adventurers of England in the seventeenth century, and led to the publication of a book, Fellowship and Freedom. The Merchant Adventurers and the Restructuring of English Commerce, 1582-1700, published by Oxford University Press in 2020.
- Research interests
I recently completed a project on the Merchant Adventurers of England in the seventeenth century. It examined internal conflicts within merchant communities and companies, and the social and intellectual geneses of seventeenth century 'free trade' campaigns. I aim in future to continue to research mercantile culture in early modern England more broadly.
- Fellowship and Freedom The Merchant Adventurers and the Restructuring of English Commerce, 1582-1700. USA: Oxford University Press.
- Benjamin Worsley (1618-1677). Trade, Interest and the Spirit in Revolutionary England. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.
- Taming capitalism before its triumph: public service, distrust, and “projecting” in early modern England. The Seventeenth Century, 34(4), 555-557.
- Interlopers and disorderly brethren at the Stade Mart: commercial regulations and practices amongst the Merchant Adventurers of England in the late Elizabethan period. Economic History Review, 69(3), 823-843. View this article in WRRO
- “Corporate Constitutionalism,” the Merchant Adventurers, and Anglo-European interaction. Itinerario, 39(3), 509-512.
- “Citizens at the Door”: Mobilising Against the Enemy in Civil War London. Journal of Historical Sociology, 28(1), 26-48. View this article in WRRO
- The Meanings of “Malignancy”: The Language of Enmity and the Construction of the Parliamentarian Cause in the English Revolution. Journal of British Studies, 53(4), 835-858. View this article in WRRO
- ‘His neighbours land mark’: William Sykes and the campaign for ‘free trade’ in civil war England. Historical Research, 86(232), 230-252.
- Diversity and Difference in Early Modern London. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, 26(2), 400-401.
- ‘A Potent Plantation well armed and policeed’: Huguenots, the Hartlib Circle, and British Colonization in the 1640s. The William and Mary Quarterly, 66(1), 173-194.
- COMMERCIAL CONFLICT AND REGULATION IN THE DISCOURSE OF TRADE IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND. The Historical Journal, 48(4), 933-954.
- Shaftesbury's aristocratic empire, Anthony Ashley Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury 1621-1683 (pp. 101-125).
- Shaftesbury’s Aristocratic Empire In Spurr J (Ed.), Anthony Ashley Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury 1621-1683 (pp. 101-126). Lund Humphries Publishers
- An Age of Risk: Politics and Economy in Early Modern Britain, by Emily C. Nicol. The English Historical Review, 133(563), 951-952.
- Ayesha Mukherjee.Penury into Plenty: Dearth and the Making of Knowledge in Early Modern England.. The American Historical Review, 121(2), 644-645.
- Westminster, 1640–60: A Royal City in a Time of Revolution, by J.F. Merritt. The English Historical Review, 130(544), 746-748.
- Research group
I would be interested in supervising students with an interest in any element of English overseas trade and exploration in the early modern period, as well as aspects of economic life more broadly.
- Current Students
- Completed Students
- Mabel Winter (second supervisor) - Finance, commerce, and politics in seventeenth-century England: The case of Thompson and Company 1671-1678
- Michael Bennett (second supervisor) - Merchant Capital, Hybrid Knowledge, and the Formation of English Colonial Labour Regimes c.1600 – c.1700.
- Alexander Taylor (second supervisor) - Venting Smoke: The Trade and consumption of Tobacco in Early Modern England and Wales c 1625-1685.
- Alexander Hitchman (second supervisor) - They themselves will be the Judges what commands are lawfull': Legal pamphlets and political mobilisation in the early 1640s.
- Teaching activities
- HST239 - The Export of England: Seventeenth Century Trade and Empire
- HST3142/3 - Merchants, Mariners and Migrants: The English Overseas c1570-1624
- HST6602 - Early Modernities
- HST6850 - Palaeography