Helmsman graphicMonitor graphicHelmsman graphicThe Cozens/Byrnes Merchants Networks Project - Book Section - Updated 20 November 2010

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If you value the information posted here,
and the project of this history website in general,
you may like to consider making a donation
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It would be greatly appreciated.
Options include:
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A project seldom if ever developed for the Internet ... a website to return to regularly ...

Merchant Networks Promo Logo

THIS WEBSITE is a major excursion beginning with examinations of Merchant Networks in the general context of The British Empire during its first and second foundings. The outlook is international, though not exactly global.

Or, more generally, merchants operating in the English-speaking world ... from the 1680s to about 1900 ... All to be seen in a more detailed way than attempted before on the Internet ...

It's a case of, first the website, then the book ...

Click here to read a new promotional page for this website translated into Chinese

Otherwise, the following websites links have been of recent interest to us

Wrecksite at: http://www.wrecksite.eu/wrecksite.aspx
More Wrecksite at: http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?138969
Wooden Walls at: http://www.woodenwalls.co.uk/index.html

The book project that motivates this website

A Guide to Updated Files - 2010

Contents below
(footnotes are not given to chapter material rendered as HTML files)

If interested in the website project only, please see the sitemap. The sitemap presents a complete and hyperlinked list of files comprising the website in strictly alphabetical order.

Introduction (part of)

Chapter 2 on History Wars, real wars and moral wars (a cultural overview)

Chapter12: This chapter is adapted from an existing file on the net as A Bitter Pill, about debts that British merchants claimed about 1786 from Americans (backdated to 1775).

Chapters 9 and 10: These chapters will present the results of the commercial/economic links of the signers of The American Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution (1787. A tabulation on this is presented at: Regarding Chapter 9

Chapter 16: A section with material on shipowner Duncan Dunbar II is already on the Net at: Dunbar

Chapter 26: Will contain a section on Australia's social reformer, Caroline Chisholm, via an article contributed by Paul Halloran (Tamworth, NSW). Chapter 26

Addenda (anything extra)

E-mail the Webmaster: Dan Byrnes

In early 2006, Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens formed a team to manage this website and co-write a book on economic history. The book's title is still not decided, but the book will be concerned with tensions between mainstream history, maritime, economic, social and cultural history, popular views held on history old and new in a variety of countries vis-a-vis economic history, and some aspects of modern popular culture in the Western World.

The book will explore many facets of such interests - and the book draft to date possibly explores perhaps too many facets. This webpage - preamble.htm - is not an introduction to the actual book, it is a preamble as an introduction to the curiosities that the book will expolore. This table will present a guide to files drawn from the book that we happen to upload to the Internet. (If filenames are not yet hyperlinked, they are not yet available, still unfinished as part of the book project.)

All material on this website is Copyright 2006-2010 by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens. Netsurfers should feel free (in a Creative Commons kind of way) to make us of the material presented, as long as usual acknowledgement and citation conventions are observed, and the same as regards acknowledgement &c in the light of any copyright permissions from other parties that we have enjoyed to mount material on the website. If in any doubt, please email the webmaster, Dan Byrnes.

The proposed book plan proceeds as follows: A first chapter discusses "early European" use of the plantation complex system of agricultural production on Cyprus at the end of one of the early Crusades regarding sugar, to 1200 or so. Following chapters will include material on themes-in-general plus a survey of views given in variants of economic history as given in diverse media often used today, particularly film, given more as a cultural overview (about "Capitalism").

Then a chapter on the arrival of William III of Orange in England (1688), and somewhat later, material on early contractors (commercial operators) assisting government to victual naval or military forces, reinforcing a growing and decided tendency in British Imperial life. Then arises a chapter on English economic optimism 1700-1720 and the rise and deflation of the South Sea Bubble, about which time, England also re-organised its means of transporting convicted felons to colonial destinations. Matters move to trends seen in North America before and during the Seven Years War (1756-1763), particularly regarding the Canadian fur trades. Shortly, matters move to the American Revolution, with some attention to American merchants trading internationally before and after the Revolution, whom we feel have been downplayed-in-context.

Following the Revolution, an aftermath was the penal colonisation of Eastern Australia (at Sydney, New South Wales). Attention soon turns to British-India, which at times helped supply the fledgling colony at Sydney. How and why some British-Indian merchants, or investors in some British-Indian firms, came to be involved in transporting convicts to Australia is given attention as a way of breaking out of a certain mould of discussing merchant activity in Australian colonies (Staple Theory regarding locally-trading merchants, or trading Sydney-to-London in only limited ways).

Australian developments move on to the 1840s NSW Depression, where a surprising, somewhat novel new theory is expressed regarding decisions made by British investors in Australia due to the Depression. The book ends about 1880, after the Crimean War, and about 200 years after William III arrived in London. Following, will be some discussion of methodologies about merchant networks used as the book was written. Conclusions are still being written and re-assessed, but they will tend to echo, confirm or contradict some earlier remarks made by way of a cultural overview on "views of Capitalism".

Throughout will be a heavy emphasis on material arising from biographies of noted merchants, not as any kind of embryonic biographical dictionary, but with regard to how the said material suits or, at times, does not suit the book's themes, which will be ranged around propositions that merchants always work within networks - not as the egoists/egotists so often eulogised in earlier-written economic histories we have surveyed. No man is an island. That is, the co-writers feel that they have to offer, some reasons to consider approaches which hopefully can help guide the writing of more entertaining economic history - as well as more informative.

Note: Of 21 March 2010: Announcing an update to the first upload of a new set of files for this website, a concerted attack on the ways in which US "paranoid conspiracy theorists" active on the Internet since 1997 or so, have been dabbling with economic history in order to confuse the more ignorant members of the US electorate. Chief of the "theorists" to be countered is Lyndon LaRouche, one of the most virulent of such US commentators. For this series, the directory and filenames concerned are gathered under the umbrella-heading of "gaps" in history. Go now to the first file: gaps.htm where files follow in numeric series.

[And, yes, this project could also become something like a surfable book, or a website book ... Surfable book graphic ... an idea we first met in the late 1990s, and an idea we feel is well worth pursuing on the Internet in a variety of formats!]

Note: Material presented on this website is researched, compiled/recompiled and written by Ken Cozens and Dan Byrnes, unless otherwise indicated. Formatting and style of information delivery is © Kenneth J. Cozens (London) and Dan Byrnes (Australia) 2006-2010.

(Where " -Ed" is referred to in text in various files, it mostly refers to Dan Byrnes as the webmaster for this project)

(This website, pre-planned modestly, was relaunched on the Net on its own domain on 4 July 2006 at: www.merchantnetworks.com.au/ - Ed)

The two writers/researchers behind the Merchant Networks Project are Ken Cozens (in London) and Dan Byrnes (Australia).

The Cozens/Byrnes team formed in late 2005 after prolonged e-mail discussions to pursue the idea of historians working on Merchant Networks. Not work on merchants as individuals, more on the networks they are part of ...

For more on the details of this approach, see The About Us Page


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About the authors:

Pictures: Kenneth J. Cozens and Dan Byrnes (with camera).

Ken Cozens

Ken Cozens (at right) has had a long interest in Thames-side history and British maritime history. He gained his Masters degree in History at Greenwich University in 2005. (At Greenwich Maritime Institute.) He has lately become more interested in using a variety of website technology to promote his interests in history.

Dan Byrnes has a deep interest in the history of convict transportation from England/Britain to both North America and Australia. He gained an Honours degree in History from University of New England (Australia) in 1996.

Dan Byrnes

And so ... this website is a contemporary Anglo-Australian production ...

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Webmaster of the Merchant Networks Project, Dan Byrnes, is the author behind The Blackheath Connection, a major work on the history of the transportation of convicts from England to North America and then Australia, 1717-1810. The Blackheath Connection website logo

Note 1: From February 2010, the The Merchant Networks Project will be unveiling a new website feature which has been long in planning ... a new set of Timeline files on shipping movements during major periods of European activity. The series of seven files so far begins about 1600 and will proceed to near 1900. That is, it will finally treat aspects of the transitions from the use of sailing ships to the use of steam-powered ships. These files are simple HTML webpages and will be searchable only via alpha-numeric queries in your searcher/word finder in your browser. The files will list ship voyages by date, with entries often being findable by shipowner, captain name, ship name. (The original listings were begun by being built around normally-available data on convict ships sailing to Australia 1788++) Listings on eg, trans-Atlantic shipping in different timeframes, or European shipping to China will be added in due course.
Once this new feature of the website is in operation, navigation of the site will be rejigged and improved - Editor

These files begin at the following URL: Shipping Timelines

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Some remarks from Dan Byrnes, 2003.

This is from The Armidale Express, 1 October 2003, page 8. Headline: Armidale man trying to solve the riddles of convict transportation to Australia

Armidale author and researcher, Dan Byrnes, is still finding many gaps as he delves into the history of convict transporation to Australia. In a talk at the New England Writers Centre, Mr Byrnes confessed to a feeling of mystification about his latest set of findings, which relate to his earlier work on matters 1718-1810.

Much of his earlier work, entitled The Blackheath Connection, has been available on the Internet since March 2000.

Mr Byrnes' puzzlement relates to the family histories of many of the merchants involved with shipping prisoners to Australia after gaining a government contract to do so (there were about 648 convict ships by some counts).

He has found from database work that the family histories of many of their associates can also be linked, and patterns emerge, many of which are not registered in the history books.

"This seems like a new development for the period 1810-1867", he said. "One I hadn't expected. and which I hope to make the subject of new articles. A problem arises: since the genealogies are linked, the articles would best appear as a series, but it's difficult these days to have material published in series."

Mr Byrnes has also tried to enlarge on the scenarios usually menioned in the penal history Australians are used to reading.

"Between 1775-1867, the penal history often excludes a great deal of material on merchant history, which is relevant to discussing ship managers engaging in transportation", he said.

This applies to William Richards II, who organised the First F1eet, and to Duncan Campbell, overseer of the Thames prison-hulks to 1803.

Oddly enough, Richards' son, William III, became a convict ship captain, and later had a property, Winterbourne, near Walcha.

"The case of Richards at Walcha is an almost-quaint, inland, New England touch to such maritime history, but it's become hard to contain the number of issues involved," Mr Byrnes said.

"By regarding transportation as commercial maritime history, I've tried to explain the motives of the shipping men involved. After his father's First Fleet experience, just why William III Richards became a convict ship captain is something I still do not know.

"These are mysteries which still seem to be locked up in unwritten family histories. On today's Internet there are many family histories of relevance, though many are still unavailable. The net makes some research easier."

"Still, it often remains necessary to track family movements across the entire British Empire", Mr Byrnes said. "Meanwhile, it seems that families with ancestors who were involved in shipping convicts mostly don't wish to advertise their forebears. Just maybe, the 'convict taint' applies to the descendants of these shipping managers as well as to convict descendants -- or it is just that Australians haven't asked useful questions? I really can't say," he said.

Some of these convict contractors were part of layerings of different sorts of business associations between Britain and Australia, including our pastoralism - and family histories often seem relevant.

"The mystification arises in some cases, via using a large database, when indications arise that after the careers of some convict contractors [were over], someone in that extended family later appears as part of Australia's vice-regal sector.

"The continuities of some family interests do not seem to be accidents", Mr Byrnes said. "Particularly when it's evident that some convict contractors, such as shipping managers, had developed a continental overview of Australia before most pre-Federation Australians did. It's rather as though Australians have found this hard to visualise, though I regard it as part of our internationalistic history, it's a kind of outer shell of our convict history", he said.curve spacer graphic


A point of emphasis ...

Incidentally, it is remarked at Wooden Walls: Wooden Walls ... "The role of merchant ship builders in maintaining Britain's shipping supremacy at sea has been largely ignored by maritime historians until the arrival of this book which studies the subject from the merchant shipbuilder's point of view. "Building Britain's Wooden Walls" is an exceptionally good book on merchant ship building and focuses particularly on the 'Barnard Dynasty'."

We observe, that book reviewers and readers of history books, sometimes academics, sometimes not, often remark obliquely on deficiencies of approach or treatment in earlier-written treatments in sub-genres of history. This can also apply to critiques of methodology, or choice of tiopic, where it is found that a choice of topic or methodology does not finally dredge up the best information for fresh inspection, such are the endless conversations of historians. Such remarks are mostly a form of diplomacy, depending on how it is worded, often indulged-in by academic writers especially. They are also, very often, a form of advertising for new fashions in writing on particular topics. For our own part, we would tend to emphasise that the point with the book in question, Building Britain's Wooden Walls, would not be whether earlier writers ignored shipbuilders providing merchant ships which can be armed, it would be place of the Barnard Dynasty, as a merchant network, in the long-term scheme of building, supplying and re-building Britain's naval power. What we still lack, however, is a methodology for ranking merchants networks within a national boundary, a task which admittedly might be impossible. But it has crossed our mind that it might be possible, or desirable.

The latest on this website

If you enjoy controversy? See what Enderby whaling controversialist, Australian Keith Dawson, has dredged up about whaling issues and the early British convict colony at Sydney. Click here for what could become an entertaining controversy at top of the page.

Files on genealogy are being continually updated/improved. For a list of lineages we've inspected go to Genealogy and Contents

A file recently-added March 2010 to this website is on problem names and problem people, merchant names proving frustrating, on which we find that insufficient information is available for our purposes. See also a second file on problem people at the file: Problem names - Ed

New Timeline/Chronology files now appearing on this website in series 0-21 from the first file available - Timelines0- Click here

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Tech update: 7 June 2007: This website is lately made with open source web editor kit Bluefish and produced with a Linux system running ... Ubuntu logo

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