Case study authors

The case studies featured on this website were written by a range of authors for the Leverhulme Trust-funded East India Company at Home project, which ran from September 2011 to August 2014. Family and local historians, academics, curators, heritage sector professionals, PhD students, undergraduate students and even a retired civil engineer all contributed to research, bringing different expertise and making the project richer and more diverse. Further details about each of the authors, their interests and backgrounds, can be found below along with (in some cases) contact details you can reach them by.

Hannah Armstrong  

Case study: ‘Josiah Child and the Wanstead Estate’

Hannah Armstrong is currently writing a PhD thesis at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research focuses on reconstructing the history of Wanstead House, an eighteenth century country estate that was demolished in 1824.


Rachael Barnwell

Case study: ‘”Chinese” staircases in North-West Wales’

Rachael Barnwell is an Executive Assistant at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales in Aberystwyth. She has previously published Inside Welsh Homes, investigating domestic interiors in Wales, and curated touring exhibitions of material from the National Monuments Record of Wales.


Alison Bennett

Case study: ‘Quex Park, Kent’

Ali works in the Development Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum and helps to run its Director’s Circle events programme. She is a graduate of SOAS and the University of Sussex, having specialised in colonial history; specifically in South Asia. She will soon embark on her AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentship entitled ‘Collecting in East Africa, 1880 to 1940’ under the supervision of Professor Margot Finn and Dr Sarah Longair at University College London’s History Department, in collaboration with the British Museum.


Helen Clifford

Case studies: ‘The Dundas Property Empire and Nabob Taste’ and ‘Chinese Wallpaper: An Elusive Element in the British Country House’

Helen Clifford was Senior Research Fellow on the East India Company at Home team, and museum consultant to the Trading Eurasia: Europe’s Asian Centuries project at Warwick University. She runs the Swaledale Museum in Reeth, North Yorkshire and is a freelance writer and curator specialising in early modern luxury trades.


Brian Crossley

Case study: ‘Caned Furniture’

A retired Chartered Civil Engineer, Brian is a second generation Chair Caner. Being taught by his mother when he married, he has continuously developed his skills in this craft ever since. He teaches the craft on a regular basis in various locations and researches the world-wide development of caned furniture. Commissions for re-caning varied types of furniture come in from around the UK, for his workshop is equipped to handle the largest items.


Francesca D’Antonio

Case Study: ‘The Willow Pattern: Dunham Massey’

Francesca D’Antonio is a graduate of SOAS and Central St. Martins, currently working within the Client Service team at Christie’s Auction House. Born to Italian parents in Germany, she has lived abroad most of her life. The six years spent in Korea and her travels throughout Asia have spurred her interest in Asian art. English Heritage homes interest Francesca for the juxtaposition of cultures, to which she feels a personal connection. Having fine-tuned her knowledge in Chinese Ceramics during her postgraduate studies, Francesca explores the ubiquitous Chinese inspired Willow Pattern ware in her case study.


Pauline Davies

Case Study: ‘East India Company and the Indian Ocean Material World at Osterley, 1700-1800’

Pauline Davies, trained and worked as a librarian before joining the Department of Trade’s policy staff. A volunteer at the National Trust’s Osterley Park and House ( for nearly 10 years she is fascinated by both the corporate and maritime history of the East India Company and continues her research into the Child family’s connection with both.


Penelope Farmer

Case Study: ‘The career of William Gamul Farmer in India, 1763-1795’

Penelope Farmer read history at Oxford and subsequently published books for children, adult novels and some family anthologies: her latest novel Goodnight Ophelia will be published shortly. She returned to her historical roots on finding a collection of 18th century family letters to and from India and is now working on a family memoir, based on these.


Ellen Filor

Case studies: ‘William Rattray of Downie Park’ and ‘Alexander Hall (c. 1731/2-1764) in Scotland and Sumatra’

Ellen Filor is a PhD student in the Department of History at UCL (on the East India Company at Home project), she will submit her dissertation, titled ‘Complicit Colonials: Border Scots and the Indian Empire, c.1780-1857’, in September 2014. After completing her viva, Ellen plans to take up a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Michigan, under the supervision of David Hancock.


Margot Finn

Case Study : ‘Swallowfield Park, Berkshire’

Margot Finn was the Principal Investigator on the East India Company at Home project and is Professor of Modern British History at UCL. Over the next year (2014-15) she will be working with members of the team and some project associates to develop publications concerned with the project research findings.   She hopes to apply in 2015 for a further collaborative grant to carry forward (and into new directions) the East India Company at Home research. In 2015-16, she will be on research leave and plans to complete her current book on the families (both British and Indian) of the East India Company, c. 1757-1857.


Joanna Goldsworthy

Case Study: ‘Fanny Parks: Her ‘Grand Moving Diorama of Hindustan’, Her Museum and Her Cabinet of Curiosities’

Joanna Goldsworthy worked in publishing for many years as Publishing Director of Victor Gollancz Ltd and Associate Editor of Doubleday (London) before leaving publishing to study history at University College, London, where she became interested in the British in India in the early nineteenth century. Her publications include, as Editor and contributor, two collections of essays, A Certain Age: Reflecting on the Menopause (1993) and Mothers by Daughters (1995), and, more recently, several academic papers. She works as an editorial consultant while continuing her private research.


Georgina Green

Case Study: ‘Valentines, the Raymonds and Company Material Culture’

Georgina Green has been involved with local history in Epping Forest, Redbridge and Waltham Forest for over 30 years and has written several books. Since 2001 she has been researching the lives of several people from Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford who were connected with the East India Company. She is currently working on a book manuscript about Sir Charles Raymond of Valentines.


Diane James

Case study: ‘A Fairy Palace in Devon: Redcliffe Towers, built by Colonel Robert Smith (1787-1873), Bengal Engineers’

Diane James is a PhD student in her third year at Warwick University researching Indian influence on British architecture, gardens and garden buildings. Her research focuses on the inter-relationship between design in India and Britain, and examines the impact of Hindu, Mughal, and Jain monuments and gardens on British East India Company returnees to Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.


Elisabeth Lenckos

Case study: ‘Daylesford’

Dr Elisabeth Lenckos holds a doctorate in Comparative literature and is an award-winning instructor, translator, and co-editor of “All this Reading”: The Literary World of Barbara Pym (2003) and Jane Austen and the Arts: Elegance, Propriety, and Harmony (2013). She is the author of numerous learned articles, as well as a recipient of Fulbright, DAAD, NEH, and Chawton House Library Fellowships. She is currently writing a book about Marian Hastings.


Sarah Longair

Case study: ‘The attar casket of Tipu Sultan’

Dr Sarah Longair’s research examines British colonial history in East Africa and the Indian Ocean world through material and visual culture. Her PhD investigated the history of the museum and colonial culture in Zanzibar which will be the subject of her forthcoming monograph: “Cracks in the Dome: Fractured histories of empire in the Zanzibar Museum”.  From 2014-2016, her research will examine the collection and circulation of objects in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Western Indian Ocean, based in the British Museum.


Stephen McDowall

Case Study: ‘Shugborough: Seat of the Earl of Lichfield’

Dr Stephen McDowall is Chancellor’s Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh, and the author of Qian Qianyi’s Reflections on Yellow Mountain: Traces of a Late-Ming Hatchet and Chisel (Hong Kong University Press, 2009).


Alistair Mutch

Case study: ‘General Patrick Duff of Carnousie, Banffshire’

Alistair Mutch writes on the history of management, amongst other things. His fascination with General Duff started because his uncle farmed the land his estate buildings stood on. He hopes to write a book about Scotland, India and the Madeira wine trade. His book Religion and National Identity: Governing Scottish Presbyterianism in the Eighteenth Century, is published in 2015 by Edinburgh University Press.



Angela Nutting

Case Study: ‘Bond Family Members in the East India Company’

Angela Nutting (b. 1932), lists Family History amongst her hobbies.  Angela’s only Grandchildren are American so her immediate family is likely to be American from now on. Nevertheless, they are very interested to know of their roots from ‘across the pond’.

Lowri Ann Rees

Case Studies: ‘Aberglasney, Carmarthenshire’ and ‘Middleton Hall, Carmarthenshire’

Following a BA in History, MA in the History of Wales and a PhD at Aberystwyth University, Lowri joined the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology at Bangor University as Lecturer in Modern History. Her main research area focuses on eighteenth and nineteenth century Wales, in particular the landed elite and their country estates and the concept of social mobility. She is currently working on an article looking at the return of East India Company to Wales and how they integrated back into society following their time away. Lowri is a member of the advisory board for the East India Company at Home project.



Andrew Renton

Case study: ‘The gold cup given to the parish church of St Mary, Welshpool, by Thomas Davies (d. 1667)’

Andrew Rentonis Head of Applied Art at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Cardiff. Since joining the Museum in 1999, his priorities have been research into and acquisitions for the full range of the post-mediaeval applied art collections, in particular Welsh ceramics, historic silver and contemporary applied art. Prior to this, he worked as a curator of applied art at National Museums Liverpool.


Yuthika Sharma

Case Study: ‘East India Company and the Indian Ocean Material World at Osterley, 1700-1800’

Between February and April 2013 Yuthika Sharma  worked with The East India Company and Osterley Park and House teams as an AHRC cultural engagement fellow on a public engagement project entitled ‘Indian Ocean material worlds at Osterley, c. 1700 to the present’. In 2013 Yuthika completed a doctorate at Columbia University, which explored the visual and material culture of 18th and 19th century India, especially within cross cultural domains of Anglo-Mughal patronage. Her recent exhibition publications include Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi 1707-1857 (with William Dalrymple, Yale University Press, 2012) and “A House of Wonder: Silver at the Delhi Durbar Exhibition of 1903″ in Vidya Dehejia, et. al. Delight in Design, Indian Silver for the Raj (Mapin, 2008). Yuthika now works as a curator at the British Museum. After completing a fellowship at the Max Planck Institute, in 2014 Yuthika took up a three-year position as Tabor Foundation Research Fellow in the Department of Asia at the British Museum.


Cam Sharp Jones

Case Study: ‘The attar casket of Tipu Sultan’

Cam Sharp Jones is a PhD student at the University of Kent researching 19th century colonial ethnography and anthropology with specific reference to India. She has previously worked on the South Asian collections at the British Museum and the British Library.


Jan Sibthorpe

Case study: ‘Sezincote, Gloucestershire’

Jan Sibthorpe is graduate of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA Programme 2012.  As a design historian she is primarily interested in the cultural contexts and social history of early modern English material culture and the ways in which that history is recorded not only in the primary sources that surrounded it, but also, importantly, in the materiality of the ‘things’ themselves.


Doreen Skala

Case Study: ‘The Scarth Family of London and Ilford’

Doreen Skala earned her MA at Rutgers University, Camden. Her area of specialization is the British Atlantic world of the eighteenth century, with emphases on Hanoverian London and colonial Middle Atlantic America. She has published on a variety of topics including American Anglicization, fox hunting, and American jurist Benjamin Chew. She is currently engaged in preparing Chew’s journal for publication and further elucidating the social aspects of the London-Chesapeake Quaker world previous to the American Revolutionary War.


Kate Smith

Case studies: ‘Englefield House, Berkshire: Processes and Practices’; ‘Warfield Park, Berkshire: Longing, Belonging and the Country House’; ‘A Collaborative Endeavour: Building House, Home and Family at Montreal Park in Kent’; ‘The Afterlife of Objects: Anglo-Indian Ivory Furniture in Britain’; ‘Manly objects?: Gendering Armorial Porcelain Wares’

Kate Smith worked as the Research Fellow on the East India Company at Home project. In September 2014 she moved to Birmingham to take up her new post – Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century History at the University of Birmingham. In October 2014 Kate will publish her first monograph entitled Material Goods, Moving Hands: Perceiving Production in England, 1700-1830 with Manchester University Press.


Blair Southerden

Case study: ‘Ships, Steam & Innovation: An East India Company Family Story, c.1700-1877’

Blair Southerden was educated at Trinity School of John Whitgift and the University of Kent at Canterbury. On leaving school he joined the regular army, but failed to gain entry to Sandhurst. He joined Kent County Constabulary, where he rose to the rank of Inspector before changing career to work in information technology. In that industry, Blair worked in sales and marketing, and product and programme management, specializing in systems for the police and for intelligence and investigative analysis. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of the British Computer Society. Blair’s interest in genealogy began in the 1980s and he has been researching all four family lines since 1999.


John Sykes

Case study: ‘The Indian Seal of Sir Francis Sykes’

Sir John Sykes (10th Baronet) is the direct descendant of Sir Francis Sykes (1st Baronet) and a retired solicitor.  His family history has always been a great interest and he now juggles research and writing with chairmanship of a trust restoring the seventeenth-century Merchant’s House in Marlborough and various other voluntary activities. He is married to Sue and they have three sons and six grandchildren.


David Williams 

Case study: ‘The Melvill Family and India’

David Williams was educated at Sevenoaks School and Cambridge University, where he read history. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand and was with them for twelve years before working in various financial and administrative roles, principally with the French investment bank Paribas, in London and overseas. After retiring in 2003 he has been a Trustee for a number of charities and acted as Treasurer for other organisations, has travelled extensively with his wife and pursued his interest in family and local history, which led to his involvement in the EIC at Home project.