A project seldom if ever developed for the Internet ... for those who keep asking questions, a website to return to regularly ... Why won't the USA discuss its colonial intake of convicts from England to 1775, about 65,000 people ... Who owned the convict ships to Australia 1786-1868 and why is it that Australians still don't ask about them? Surely, we would imagine that the descendants of the 162,000 or so convicts - men, women and children - sent to Australia would want to know who sent their ancestors to the Australian colonies, but the question seems to have no takers. It's very mysterious and needs looking into as an omission in history ... ???
February 2016: At long last, Dan Byrnes' historical work found online, on convict transportation and the convict contractors particularly (the managers of the convict shipping), has a new companion website. This welcome new website is mounted by Sydney historian Gary Sturgess and is still in its early days, but it should grow regularly. This website-to-watch is found at PHP-driven pages such as: Early Australian Convict Transportation
More and more, this website will treat questions such as: If British merchants with an international reach, or aspiring to have an international reach, and were transporting convicts to Australia to the 1860s, and Australian historians were not talking about this, why would this reticence, this silence, exist? Lack of curiosity?
If you value the information
Currently: The webmaster has taken steps to reply to a great many e-mailers who have responded to this website by way of contributing extra information, or asking detailed questions. This brings work to "the next level". The Merchant Networks Project remains very grateful to them and after extra research is now in a position to exchange extra points of view. If you have emailed this website, you may well be on the list for a fresh conversation. -Ed 26 November 2012: Follows a somewhat random sample of the kinds of queries which land netsurfers on pages of this website on any particular day:
The Merchant Networks Project is now gathering more details on matters such as: Re Fuller, Barron and Co. bankers of London. Re Captain Edward Manning of convict transport to Australia, Pitt. Genealogies of Colonial American families (before 1775-1783). Ship Rapid Capt. Dorr (1811, an American ship which sank off n/w Western Australia). Question about Hemp. Rival merchant networks in the 1600s. Planter names various on Caribbean sugar islands. On NSW Reformer Caroline Chisholm. Names of East India Company personnel in India. Bibliography items on maritime history and/or slavery. Names of individual convict transports (that is, ships). Ships owned by Duncan Dunbar II.
Where our netsurfers tend to live. In the past, our hit counter system has told us this website has had hits from: Australia, USA, UK, Canada, Ukraine, Ireland, Austria, Bermuda, Dominica, Switzerland, France. Sometimes, Africa (mostly the north-west coast). Sometimes, parts of India or South-East Asia. Sometimes, from Spain or Italy, Germany, Scandinavia. Much less so from Middle Eastern countries. Such a range of hits is fairly typical for almost any day, mostly from the English-speaking world. -Ed
Most recent updates on this website
Updated 28 October 2012: Pages devoted to the Convict Contractors chartering their ships to the British Government to transport convicts to Australia. Seldom has such information been presented before, as in a series called Pathways, and the product of many years of research; material as has not been seen before by Australians. We commend it to you (this file is growing) - Ed.
December 2016: Publication of, Gary L. Sturgess, 'A Government Affair: Reassessing the Contractual Arrangements for Australia's First Fleet,' The Great Circle, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2016., pp. 1-25 Part Two will be published in the next issue of The Great Circle. (Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History)
Late 2016: Dan Byrnes in Australia and Peter Dickson (UK) are looking anew at John Rose in Virginia, died 1802-1803, a lawyer employed by London-based merchant Duncan Campbell (1726-1803) to collect Campbell's debts due to the American War of Independence. The debts were worth about 8000 pounds sterling by 1787. This work in time will become a new last chapter for his book that Dan Byrnes had thought was finished, now found online, The Blackheath Connection. From 1803, John Rose's role was taken over by a relative of his in Virginia, Lawrence Berry. The work of Rose and Berry has probably never before been inspected by serious historians and it will be fascinating to see what surfaces here - Ed
By 10-11-2015, updates on file for the Anglo-American bankers Lane, Son and Fraser which bank failed in England in 1793.
May 2013: Publication of new research - see Gary L. Sturgess and Ken Cozens, 'Managing a Global Enterprise in the Eighteenth Century: Anthony Calvert of The Crescent, London, 1777-1808', The Mariner's Mirror, 99:2, May 2013., pp. 171-195.
29 January 2013: Sydney historian Gary Sturgess laments the fact that the spot on Sydney Harbour where Gov. Phillip landed in January 1788 is now marked with, of all things, a portaloo. How to honour the spot more appropriately? is his question. See: Sturgess here.
28-9-2012: A review by Dan Byrnes of Dr John Jiggens, Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of Hemp: Hemp, Sea-Power and Empire, 1777-1815. Australia, Jay Jay Publishing, 2012. Paperback, 285pp. ISBN: 978-0-9578684-3-4. At HEMP, Critical, not a complimentary book review at all.
Something different: A glance at ancient (Late Bronze Age, Mediterranean) maritime history prompted by US author Larry West. By 18-9-2012.
On 13-9-2012: For the use of anyone interested: Upload of Ken Cozens´ 2005 MA thesis as a PDF file, which is illuminating on the London slaving firm, Camden, Calvert and King, the firm responsible for the high death rates of the second wing of the Second Fleet of convict transportations to Australia. You can find a download of Ken Cozens´ thesis here.
This website has lately been presenting material from the on-going book project which initially motivates it. You can find a Preamble file on this at Preamble. Hyperlinks to the book section of the Merchants Networks Project will only be given on this page and from pages hyperlinked to it, nowhere else on the website. - Ed
Files on genealogy are being continually updated/improved. For a list of lineages we've inspected go to Genealogy and Contents
A work-a-day file 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
Timeline/Chronology files now appearing on this website in series 0-21 from the first file available - Timelines0- Click here
Currently: You can make us even happier than we are by linking this website to your website. Our URL for such purposes is: http://www.merchantnetworks.com.au. -Ed
This website is usually having its navigation system redesigned in small ways. If wishing to know more about the website, go first to the sitemap. This sitemap presents a hyperlinked list of files comprising the website in strictly alphabetical order - Editor
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 but more likely 1760-1860 ... All to be seen in a more detailed way than ever attempted before on the Internet ...
Note 1: 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 (he by 2019 is now deceased). 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.
Note 2: 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
Click here to read a new promotional page for this website translated into Chinese
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
[And, yes, this project could also become something like a surfable book, or a website book ... 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=2008.
(Where " -Ed" is referred to in text in various files, it mostly refers to Dan Byrnes as the webmaster for this project)
This website was relaunched on the Net in April 2019 at:
E-mail the Webmaster: Dan Byrnes
About the authors:
Pictures: Kenneth J. Cozens and Dan Byrnes (with camera).
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 technologies 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 1995/1996.
And so ... this website is a contemporary Anglo-Australian production ...
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.
Website history: Please note: This website was first launched on the Net by 20 May 2006 as a subset of a personal website from Australia. It was re-launched as a website on its own domain at its present URL on 4 July 2006. - Ed
Tech update: From early 2019: This website is lately made with open source web editor kit Bluefish and produced with a Linux Mint system V18 ...
This free script provided by
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