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Title: The development of a Southern Whale Fishery from Britain between 1775 and 1815
Author: Clayton, J. M.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis examines British involvement in the Southern Whale Fishery, which commenced in 1775 and over the next forty years resulted in Britain becoming the world leader in the industry. The main aims of this essentially empirical study are twofold: first, to reconstruct the historical geography of whaling by collecting and analysing primary records in order to fill a gap in our knowledge; and second, to place whaling - as a particular commercial activity carried out in the southern hemisphere from Britain during that period - in its wider social, historical and political context. The theoretical insights and concepts derived from contemporary historical geography that underpin the study and locate it in the discipline of geography are those of globalisation with particular reference to oceanic trade. Documentary analysis and interpretative narrative form are the principal methods used to collect, analyse and present the data. A detailed picture is presented of the networks of people, ships and products associated with whaling from Britain to the southern seas. Some of the geographies of that whaling world have been reconstructed at different spatial scales, both global and local, tracing the movement and flows of different social groups, commodities and capital in the development of the Fishery. The study identifies the significant political influences and key players that impacted on the global oceanic trading activities of the Fishery and how these operated at a local scale. The thesis also discusses the establishment, in 1792, of a whaling town at Milford in south west Wales by Nantucket Quaker families. The study shows how the Southern Whale Fishery, at that time, represented an important element of Britain’s contribution to world trade, a means of supplementing Britain’s naval power, the provision of opportunities for territorial expansion and the identification of new trade routes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available