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Title: Making philanthropists : entrepreneurs, evangelicals and the growth of philanthropy in the British world, 1756-1840
Author: Allpress, Roshan John
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 4638
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis traces the development of philanthropy as a tradition and movement within the United Kingdom and the British world, with attention to both the inner lives of philanthropists, and the social networks and organizational practices that underpinned the dramatic growth in philanthropic activity between the late 1750s and 1840. In contrast to studies that see philanthropy as primarily responsive to Britain's shifting public culture and imperial fortunes during the period, it argues that philanthropic change was driven by innovations in the internal culture and structures of intersecting commercial and religious networks, that were adapted to philanthropic purposes by philanthropic entrepreneurs. It frames the growth of philanthropy as both a series of experiments in effecting social change, within the United Kingdom and transnationally, and the fostering of a vocationally formative culture across three generations. Chapter one focuses on John Thornton, a prominent merchant and religious patron, reconstructing his correspondence networks and philanthropic practices, and revealing patterns of philanthropic interaction between mercantile and Evangelical clerical networks. Chapter two uses the reports and minutes of representative metropolitan societies and companies to develop a prosopography of more than 4000 philanthropic directors, mapping their nexus of interconnections in 1760, 1788 and 1800, and arguing for the importance of firstly Russia Company networks and later country banking networks for philanthropy. Chapters three and four offer an extended case study of the 'Clapham Sect' as an example of collective agency, reframing their influence within the philanthropic nexus, and, through a close reading of their published works, showing how as intellectual collaborators they developed a unique conception of 'trust' that informed their activism. Chapter five shows how philanthropists extended their reach transnationally, with case studies in Bengal, Sierra Leone and New Zealand, and chapter six addresses multiple paths by which philanthropy became intertwined with Empire and the globalizing world in the British imagination.
Supervisor: Garnett, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Humanitarianism--History--18th century ; Humanitarianism--History--19th century ; Great Britain--Colonies--Administration ; Great Britain--Colonies--Social conditions ; Philanthropists--Great Britain--History