Professor Philip Cottrell

Emeritus Professor of Financial History, and Honorary Visiting Fellow (1944-2013)

Phil Cottrell


Research Interests

Being concerned with the totality of humankind's daily experience, Economic and Social History is a catholic subject (see the Economic History Society's website). This has led to its practioners employing , collectively, a very wide range of approaches for the discipline's further development. These been have drawn from across the spectrum of the humanities and the social sciences, and have involved the application of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Due to the intellectual gains that can be made through specialisation, Economic and Social History, like History, has increasingly become an 'umbrella' discipline, with sub-fields comprising each of its connected 'panes'. Throughout my career I have employed the particular viewpoint of History and Economic and Social History offered by finance - money, credit and capital. Financial History is an extremely rich and varied vein of History, directly impinging upon all of its domains, as with: business history, economic history, imperial history, international history, political history and social history. The particular perspective provided by Financial History is, consequently, far from narrow and arcane through giving a whole range of entry points to History and Economic and Social History - from the level of the individual, family and the firm through the community, the region, the national economy and the nation state to the world. If this terse assertion fails to convince, see Y. Cassis and P. L. Cottrell, 'Financial History', Financial History Review , 1.1 (April, 1994), pp. 5-22; where the argument is more developed and, thereby, I hope, is more persuasive. My adoption of Financial History as a research field has led to published studies of: the London capital market's mid-nineteenth century development; Victorian industrial finance; the finance of transport improvement - railways and shipping; British overseas investment; the growth of joint stock banking from at the local level to being nationwide; and the interaction of business, politics and finance in the 'West's' involvement with east central Europe during the interwar period.




  1. The Ionian Bank; an imperial institution, 1839-1864 (2007)
  2. Investment banking in England, 1856-1881, 2 vols. (1985)
  3. Industrial finance, 1830-1914 (1980, reprinted 1983, 1993, 2005)
  4. British overseas investment in the nineteenth century (1975, Japanese edition, 1992)
  5. (with B. L. Anderson), Money and banking in England (1974)

Edited collections

  1. (co-editor with Y. Cassis), The world of private banking (2009).
  2. East Meets West- Banking, Commerce and Investment in the Ottoman Empire (2008)
  3. (co-editor with E. Lange and U. Olsson), Centres and peripheries in banking. The historical development of financial markets (2007)
  4. (co-editor with G. Notaras and G. Tortella), From the Athenian tetradrachm to the Euro.  Studies in European monetary integration (2007)
  5. (co-editor with J. Reis), Finance and the making of the modern capitalist world, 1750-1931 (1998)
  6. (co-editor with A. Teichova and T. Yuzawa), Finance in the age of the corporate economy (1997)
  7. Rebuilding the financial system in central and eastern Europe (1997)
  8. (co-editor with H. Lindgren and A. Teichova), European industry and banking between the wars (1992)
  9. (co-editor with D. Moggridge), Money and power (1988)
  10. (co-editor with A. Teichova), International business and central Europe, 1918-1939 (1983)
  11. (co-editor with D. H. Aldcroft), Shipping trade and commerce (1981)

Articles and Chapters

  1. ‘London private banks at the mid-nineteenth century’, in O. Feiertag and I. Lespinet-Moret (eds), L’économie faite homme; hommage à Alain Plessis (Geneva: Librairie Droz S. A., 2011).
  2. ‘A city port in flux: Liverpool during the early 1820s’, in J. Morilla, J. Hernández Andeu, J. L. Garcia y J. Ma Ortiz-Villajos (eds), Homenaje a Gabriel Tortella  Les claves del desrrollo economic y social (Madrid: LID Editorial Empresarial S. L./ Universidad de Alcalá, 2010).
  3. ‘Der Wiederaufbau Österreichs 1920/21: Ein Fall für die Privatwirtschaft oder Aufgabe des Völkerbundes?’, in H. Berghoff, J. Kocka u. D. Ziegler (eds), Wirtschaft im Zeitaler der Extreme. Beiträge zur Unternehmensgeschichte Deutschlands und Österreichs. Im Gedenken an Gerald D. Feldman (Munich: Verlag C. H. Beck, 2010).
  4. ‘”Conservative abroad, liberal at home”: British banking regulation during the nineteenth century’, in S. Battilossi and J. Reis (eds), State and financial systems in Europe and the USA. Historical perspectives on regulation and supervision in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Farnham/Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2010).
  5. [and Lucy A. Newton], ‘Female investors in the first English and Welsh commercial joint-stock banks’, in A. Laurence, J. Maltby and J. Rutterford (eds), Women and their money 1700-1950.  Essays on women and finance (London/New York: Routledge, 2009).
  6. [and Lucy A. Newton, Josephine Maltby and Janette Rutterford], ‘Women and wealth: the nineteen century in Great Britain’, in A. Laurence, J. Maltby and J. Rutterford (eds), Women and their money 1700-1950.  Essays on women and finance (London/New York: Routledge, 2009).
  7. ‘Sustaining the Bretton Woods system; ‘Basle assistance for Sterling”, 1961-7’, in P. Clement and J. C. M. Oliva (eds), European central banks and monetary cooperation after 1945 (Frankfurt-a-Main: European Association for Banking and Financial History e.V., 2007).
  8. (with Lucy Newton), ‘Female investors in the first English and Welsh commercial joint-stock banks’, Accounting, Business and Financial History, 16.2 (2006)
  9. ‘Established connections and new opportunities.  London as an international financial centre, 1914-1958’, in Y. Cassis and É. Bussière (eds), London and Paris as international financial centres in the twentieth century (Oxford: OUP, 2005)
  10. ‘The Ionian Bank and its archives’ in Z. Browne, Papers of the Ionian Bank Limited (Athens: Alpha Bank Historical Archives, 2005)
  11. ‘Barings and the finance of Russian mobilization, 1914’, in C-J. Glad, S. Granér and S. Jonsson (eds), Markets and embeddedness (Göteborg: Publications of the Department of Economic History, Göteborg University No. 92, 2004)
  12. 'Resolving the sewage question: Metropolis Sewage & Essex Reclamation Company, 1865-81' in Robert Colls and Richard Rodger (eds), Cities of ideas: civil society and urban governance in Britain 1800-2000. Essays in honour of David Reader (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2004)
  13. 'Domestic finance, 1860-1914' in R. Floud and P. Johnson (eds), The Cambridge Economic History of Britain , II, Economic maturity 1860-1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)
  14. 'Financing the Bagdadbahn: Barings, the City and the Foreign Office, 1902-3' in A. K. B. Evans and J. V. Gough (eds), The Impact of the Railway on Society in Britain. Essays in Honour of Jack Simmons (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003)
  15. 'The financial system of the United Kingdom in the Twentieth Century', in L. De Rosa (ed.), International banking and financial systems: evolution and stability (Rome: Capitalia Gruppo Bancario: Aldershot/Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2003)
  16. 'La Banque d'Angleterre, les crises de la livre sterling et l'Europe, 1958-1967', in O. Feiertag et M. Margairaz (eds), Politiques at pratiques des banques d'émission en Europe (XVII e -XX e siècle). Le bicentenaire de la Banque de France dans la perspective de l'identité monétaire européenne (Paris: Mission historique de la Banque de France/Bibliothèque Albin Michel Histoire, 2003)
  17. 'Central bank co-operation and Romanian stabilisation, 1926-1929' in T. Gourvish (ed.), Business and politics in Europe 1900-1970. Essays in honour of Alice Teichova (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
  18. 'Founding a multinational financial enterprise: Ionian Bank, 1833-1849' in K. P. Kostis (ed.), The creators and the creation of banking enterprises in Europe from the 18 th to the 20th Century (Athens: Alpha Bank Historical Archives, 2002)
  19. 'Britannia's sovereign: banks in the finance of British shipbuilding and shipping, c.1830-1894', in: L. M. Akveld, F. R. Loonmeijer and M. Hahn-Pedersen (eds), Financing the maritime sector. Proceedings from the fifth North Sea history conference Rotterdam 1997, Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseets studieserie nr. 13 (Esbjerg, 2002)
  20. 'The Bank of England and Credit-Anstalt's collapse, spring 1931', in K. Bachinger and D. Stiefel (eds) with C. Natmeßnig, Auf Heller und Cent. Beiträge zur Finanz- und Währungsgeschichte (Frankfurt/Vienna: Wirtschaftsverlag Ueberreuter, 2001)

Member of the editorial board of Financial History Review (Cambridge University Press)


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