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Douglas Hamilton

Professor Douglas Hamilton FRHistS, FHEA

Professor of History


Douglas Hamilton is Professor of History at Sheffield Hallam University and is an historian of enslavement and emancipation, and the eighteenth-century British Atlantic empire

  • About

    I joined SHU as Head of History in 2016, having worked at the Universities of Hull and Winchester.  I am an historian of the eighteenth-century British Atlantic empire, and I’m particularly interested in the Caribbean and slavery. I'm currently working on two projects: one is 'An empire of islands' funded by the AHRC which explores how islands contributed to the establishment, extension, and maintenance of the British Empire in the Age of Sail. The second project assesses the role of the Royal Navy in 18th-century Caribbean society.

    Slavery and anti-slavery, Caribbean, Atlantic World, Islands, Empires

  • Teaching

    Department of Humanities

    Social Sciences and Arts

    BA History; BA English & History


  • Research

    The Royal Navy in the 18th-century Caribbean

    An Empire of Islands: concepts, contexts and collections (with the University of Southampton and the NAtional Maritime Museum, funded by the AHRC ref: AH/N003225/1)

    National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Arts & Humanities Research Council

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Hamilton, D. (2019). Captain John Perkins. Trafalgar Chronicle.

    Hamilton, D. (2017). 'A most active, enterprising officer': Captain John Perkins, the Royal Navy and the boundaries of slavery and liberty in the Caribbean. Slavery and Abolition, 39 (1), 80-100.

    Hamilton, D. (2014). Slavery and the Enlightenment in the British Atlantic, 1750-1807. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, 119 (4), 1229-1230.

    Hamilton, D. (2013). In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680-1783. NWIG-NEW WEST INDIAN GUIDE-NIEUWE WEST-INDISCHE GIDS, 87 (1-2), 169-171.

    Hamilton, D. (2004). Private enterprise and public service: Naval contracting in the Caribbean, 1720–50. Journal for Maritime Research, 6 (1), 37-64.

    Book chapters

    Hamilton, D. (2019). Brothers in arms: Crossing imperial boundaries in the eighteenth-century Dutch West Indies. In Barczewski, S., & Farr, M. (Eds.) The MacKenzie moment and imperial history: Essays in honour of John M MacKenzie. Basingstoke: Palgrave:

    Hamilton, D.J. (2014). 'Defending the colonies against malicious attacks of philanthropy': Scottish campaigns against the abolitions of the slave trade and slavery. In Macinnes, A.I., & Hamilton, D.J. (Eds.) Jacobitism, enlightenment and empire, 1680-1820. (pp. 193-208). London: Pickering & Chatto

    MacInnes, A.I., & Hamilton, D.J. (2014). Introduction: identity, mobility and competing patriotisms. In Macinnes, A.I., & Hamilton, D.J. (Eds.) Jacobitism, enlightenment and empire, 1680-1820. (pp. 1-12). London: Pickering & Chatto

    Hamilton, D. (2010). Representing slavery in British museums: The challenges of 2007. In Imagining Transatlantic Slavery. (pp. 127-144).


    Hamilton, D., Hodgson, K., & Quirk, J. (2015). Slavery, memory and identity: National representations and global legacies.

    MacInnes, A.I., & Hamilton, D. (Eds.). (2014). Jacobitism, enlightenment and empire, 1680-1820. London: Pickering & Chatto.

    Hamilton, D. (2010). Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic World, 1750-1820. Manchester University Press.

    Hamilton, D.J., & Blyth, R.J. (2007). Representing Slavery Art, Artefacts and Archives in the Collections of the National Maritime Museum. Lund Humphries Publishers.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Lindsay Doulton, ‘The Royal Navy’s anti-slavery campaign in the western Indian Ocean, c. 1860-1890: race, empire and identity’ 2010 (AHRC CDA funding)

    Angel Smith, ‘An anatomy of a slave society in transition: The British Virgin Islands, 1807-
    1856’, 2011 (British Virgin Islands government funding)

    Mary Wills, ‘The Royal Navy and the suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade, c. 1807-1870: anti-slavery, empire and identity’, 2012 (AHRC CDA funding)

    Angelina Osborne, ‘Symbols of Power: a study of the West India Committee 1783-1833’, 2014 (University of Hull scholarship)

    Ryan Hanley, ‘Social and Political Influences on Black Writers in Britain, 1770-1830’ (University of Hull scholarship) 2015

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