Skip navigation

Prof Tony Webster

Professor in History

Department: Humanities

A native of Wigan in the North West of England, Tony Webster is a Professor in History. He was previously Head of History at Edge Hill University, then Head of Humanities at the University of Central Lancashire, and lastly Head of History at Liverpool John Moores University.

Tony WebsterA native of Wigan in the North West of England, Tony Webster is a Professor in History. He was previously Head of History at Edge Hill University, then Head of Humanities at the University of Central Lancashire, and lastly Head of History at Liverpool John Moores University. Before starting his career as an academic, he was a tax inspector with the Inland Revenue.

His research interests are in British imperial and business history, and the history of the co-operative movement. He graduated from the University of Birmingham, who awarded him the Ashley Prize in 1985 for best PhD thesis in the Faculty of Commerce and Social Science. His key publications on the British Empire include Gentlemen Capitalists: British Imperialism in Southeast Asia 1770-1890 (Tauris 1998); The Debate on the Rise of the British Empire (Manchester University Press 2006); The Richest East India Merchant: The Life and Business of John Palmer of Calcutta (Boydell 2007), The Empire in One City: Liverpool’s Inconvenient Past (Manchester University Press 2008 – edited with Nick White and Sheryllynne Haggerty), The Twilight of the East India Company: The Evolution of Anglo-Asian Commerce and Politics 1790-1860 (Boydell 2009),  Commodities, Ports and Asian Maritime Trade since 170 (Palgrave 2015 – edited with Ulbe Bosma) and Mainstreaming Co-operation: An Alternative for the 21st Century (Manchester University Press 2016 – edited with Linda Shaw and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh). He has published in the Economic History Review, The Journal of Imperial & Commonwealth History, The Historical Journal,Modern Asian Studies and Enterprise & Society. In 2005 he was awarded the Newcomen Prize for best article for that year in Enterprise & Society, for his article on John Palmer. With Professor John Wilson (Director of the Newcastle University Business School) and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh (the Co-operative College) he wrote Building Co-operation: A Business History of the Co-operative Group 1863-2013 (Oxford University Press 2013). The book formed the principal historical source used for the Kelly Report into the problems of the Co-operative Bank (2014), and Tony has presented his research at a Bank of England Seminar (2015). The project was supported by the British co-operative movement, with which Tony retains close links. He is a former Governor of the Co-operative College in Manchester, and Chairs the Heritage Advisory Committee of the National Co-operative Archive. Tony is also joint author of the approved  AQA A level history Text book, “The British Empire 1857-1867” (Oxford University Press 2015). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and member of the Economic History Society. A Common Purpose graduate, he is currently seeking Fellowship status with the RSA.

0191 243 4458

Qualifications

Bachelor of Social Science; Cert Ed; Inspector of Taxes FT2; PhD

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Tony's main research interests are in the history of the British Empire (particularly the business history of the empire), and the history of the British Co-operative movement. He is developing modules related to both of these areas, and is especially interested in developing the employability of history graduates.

 

Sponsors and Collaborators

Tony works closely with the Co-operative Group in Manchester and the co-operative movement in the north-east of England. He is a Governor of the Co-operative College in Manchester, and sits on the executive committee of the National Co-operative Archive.

 

Key Publications

1) (with John F. Wilson & Rachael Vorberg-Rugh) Building Co-operation: A Business History of the Co-operative Group 1863-2013 (Oxford University Press 2013)

2)  (With John Wilson and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh) "The Co-operative Movement in Britain: From Crisis to "Renaissance" 1950-2010" Enterprise and Society 14:2 (2013) pp271-302

3) "Building the Wholesale: The Development of the English CWS and British Co-operative Business 1863-1890" in Business History 54:6 (2012) pp883-904. This was a special issue edited by Tony Webster and John K. Walton: "The Business of Co-operation: National and international dimensions since the nineteenth century".

4) "The Development of British Commercial and Political Networks in the Straits Settlements 1800 to 1868: The Rise of a Colonial and Regional Economic Identity?" in Modern Asian Studies Vol. 45 part 4, July 2011 pp899-929.

5) "Reassessing Gentlemanly Capitalism: British Economic Interests and Colonial Policy in Asia 1790-1860" in T. Falola & E. Brownwell, Africa, Empire and Globalization: Essays in Honor of A. G. Hopkins (Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina 2011) pp273-292.

6) The Twilight of the East India Company: The Evolution of Anglo-Asian  Commerce and Politics 1790-1860 (Boydell and Brewer 2009) - volume three in the series "The Worlds of the East India Company"


+

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria
+

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

+

Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

More news

Back to top