Photo of Michael Bennett.Michael Bennett

Title: Merchant Capital and the Origins of the Barbados Sugar Boom, 1627-1671.
Period: 1500-1800
Funded by: AHRC White Rose College of Arts and Humanities
Start year: 2016

Primary: Professor Mike Braddick | Secondary: Dr Tom Leng

Semester Two 2019/20 Office Hour: Thursdays 14:00-16:00 (Jessop West 2.01a)


Academic background

  • 2015-2016, Masters by Research, University of Kent, ‘The East India Company, Transnational Interactions, and the Formation of Forced Labour Regimes, 1635-1730’. Supervised by Dr William Pettigrew and funded by a University of Kent School of History Scholarship.
  • 2012-2015, Bachelor of Arts, King’s College London, First Class Honours in History.

Research topic

This thesis explores the merchants in the City of London who financed the expansion of plantation slavery on Barbados in the mid-seventeenth century. There has never been a systematic study of these merchants, which brings together archival material from the U.K., USA, and the Caribbean to analyse their involvement with Barbados in detail and place their commercial activity on the island into broader context. By bridging the historiographies of early modern England and the Caribbean, this thesis provides new perspectives on both the London merchant community and the history of early America.


Book Chapters

  • "Slaves, Weavers, and the ‘Peopling’ of English East India Company Colonies, 1660-1730" in Richard B. Allen, ed., Slavery and Forced Labour in Asia (Brill, Forthcoming).
  • "Migration" in William A. Pettigrew and David Veevers, eds., Transoceanic Constitutions: The Corporation as a Protagonist in Global History, 1550 – 1750 (Brill, 2019), pp. 68-97. 

Book Reviews

Review of Richard Allen, European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500-1850 (Ohio, 2015), History: The Journal of the Historical Association (December 2016).

Blog posts

'The 1807 Abolition Act And British Public Memory', History Matters, March 25 2019.