Professor Peter Miskell and Dr Lucy Newton invited to present a paper at the World Economic History Congress in Boston

10 August 2018

Professor Peter Miskell and Dr Lucy Newton invited to present a paper at the World Economic History Congress in Boston

Dr Lucy Newton and Prof Miskell were invited to present a paper at the the XVIII World Economic History Congress on 29 July-3 August 2018.


Prof Miskell gave a paper on 'Business Historians and their Audiences'.

Dr Lucy Newton presented two papers titled: 'Lending to entrepreneurial firms: credit provision by small scale-banks to small-scale enterprise in nineteenth century England' and 'British banks and their Aesop’s fables: organizational memories of the management of financial crisis'.


Paper abstracts can be found below:

Business Historians and their Audiences

Peter Miskell, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK

Where do business historians actually work? Who pays their salaries? Who do they get paid to teach? The answers to these questions have the potential to profoundly influence how business historians conceive of their audiences, which in turn has implications for the subject matter they choose to study and the way in which they communicate their findings.

Here I examine data on the institutional affiliations of all those who have published in the three leading (English language) business history journals over the last five years. The results point to a fragmented discipline, which has established very different institutional homes in different countries. The implications of this fragmentation are discussed, both in terms of the difficulty in identifying common research questions and methods, and also in the way that business historians seek to engage with wider audiences.


Lending to entrepreneurial firms: credit provision by small scale-banks to small-scale enterprise in nineteenth century England

Vicky Barnes, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt and Lucy Newton, Henley Business School, University of Reading

This paper explores the activity of the early, small-scale English joint-stock banks in the provision of credit during the first half of the nineteenth century. These were small-scale banks lending to small and medium sized enterprises. Formed after 1826, joint-stock banks took the place of private banks and adopted more managerial, corporate governance structures than their private predecessors. The research employs data from bank archives to show that changes in organisational form did not result in a new revolutionary way to assess credit applicants. The decision to lend remained based upon informal information gathering through commercial networks as well as upon subjective measures, such as the personality or character of the applicant. The findings provide a detailed analysis of lending data to shed light on the ability of entrepreneurial firms to access finance.

British banks and their Aesop’s fables: organizational memories of the management of financial crisis

Vicky Barnes, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt and Lucy Newton, Henley Business School, University of Reading

This paper examines the way that British banks have remembered lessons about failure, mania and crisis from the nineteenth century. It focuses on the stories of people, personalities and characters as devices for constructing narratives. We focus on fables about making safe lending decisions - and discussions about how (or not) to do so - were thought to be key in avoiding failure and future crisis and so were passed down to the next generation of bankers. It also moves onto the present day to consider why these parables have or have not survived.

The conference programme and more details about the conference can be found here.

Contact Image

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact Daria Radwan by email at d.m.radwan@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6597.