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Title: Gentleman of the sea : the rise of the ocean tramp shipowner c.1870-1939
Author: Carpenter, Oliver
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis tracks the rise of some British tramp shipowners and their experiences during the period c.1870-1939. Three case studies have been chosen to bring focus to the investigation - those being the tramp shipping companies owned and managed by Joseph Robinson (Stag Line), Walter Runciman (Moor Line) and James Knott (Prince Line). This thesis follows a chronological structure and is split into three divisions. Part I: Local (c.1870-1890), places the shipowners within their local communities, touching on topics such as religion (specifically Wesleyan Methodism), the construction of technology, the familial business of ship owning and the importance of trust. Part II: Local to National (c.1890-1914), explores public spectacles, aggrandisement, credibility, publicity and political associations in order to understand these shipowners' transition to the national 'public stage'. Part III: National (1914-1939), looks at the First World War and the interwar period, times that saw these shipowners firmly established in the national sphere. The social networks, expertise, growing authority and increased control of tramp shipowners are central to the analysis, in accordance with the approach drawn on from the historian of technology Thomas Hughes. Research questions relating to the shipowner's rise, his distinctiveness and his desire to control his environments are answered throughout this thesis. I reveal the direction, influences, aims and ambitions of these shipowners, in the context -of the broader themes of the changing makeup of British society in this period. I conclude that these shipowners did take control of their environments in local, national and even global contexts. Moreover, they engineered their elevation from local to national stages and they were a distinctive group of individuals. This thesis contributes to the scholarship on British history, maritime history and the cultural history of technology by placing the tramp shipowner at the heart of the analysis, rather than subsuming him behind company economics or ship specifications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available