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The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857

December 2011 Newsletter

General News

On 8 February ‘The East India Company at Home’ project team will be presenting provisional findings from the project at the Histories of Home seminar series at the Institute for Historical Research in London. The seminar will begin at 5.30pm and will take place in the Torrington Room (Room 104, first floor South Block), all welcome. For more information see http://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminars/327.

A bibliography of articles and books concerned with Interiors and Interior Decoration is now available on the ‘Resources for Researchers’ page of the website.

Research

Ellen Filor is currently undertaking initial archival research on Scottish country houses at archives and libraries in Edinburgh and Kate Smith is focusing her research on Englefield House in Berkshire. After the marriage of Mary Powlett Wrighte (née Tyssen) Englefield House became home to Richard Benyon, former Governor of Madras, from 1745 until his death in 1774. Many of the papers for the Benyon family still exist and can be found at the Berkshire Record Office. Kate is currently working through those papers to find records of the Benyon family’s material culture. She is also interested in finding out whether the Wrighte or Tyssen family had connections to the East India Company – if you have any information on this please do get in touch (Kate.Smith@warwick.ac.uk).

Out and About

On 29 November Kate Smith met with Amelia Peck, Melinda Watt and Amy Bogansky of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to discuss their upcoming exhibition ’The Interwoven Globe: Worldwide Textile Trade 1500-1800’.

On 30 November Kate Smith met with Holly Shaffer at the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven to discuss the exhibition she has recently curated ‘Adapting the Eye: An Archive of the British in India, 1770-1830’. (http://britishart.yale.edu/exhibitions/adapting-eye-archive-british-india-1770-1830)

On 9 December ‘The East India Company at Home’ project team visited Osterley Park in Middlesex—home of the Child family (which included East India Company traders and Directors among its members) until given to the National Trust. We met with House and Collections Manager Claire Reed and her team and discussed the project at length. We are hoping to work with the team at Osterley Park to organise a summer event, which will highlight Osterley Park’s links with the East India Company and the local areas connections with India more generally.  

On 2 DecemberHelen Clifford gave a paper titled ‘Connecting Threads: The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857’ at the Cotton Printed Textiles, Past and Present Workshop, which was hosted by the University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics and Archaeology and the National Museum of Scotland. Having introduced the project to a Scottish audience at this workshop, we are looking forward to presenting new material at the Institute of Historical Research in London.

 

The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857

November 2011 Newsletter

 

Research

Margot Finn has completed drafting our first case study, Swallowfield Hall in Berkshire and it has recently been reviewed by our Advisory Board. We are revising the draft in response to their comments and will be posting the case study on the Associates Intranet space in the next month for your feedback.

Helen Clifford is in the process of researching a case study on Aske Hall, Yorkshire. She visited the North Yorkshire County Record Office with Kate Smith at the start of October and is now compiling an initial draft of the case study.

Kate Smith is currently researching Berkshire country houses, which have East India Company links. She visited the Berkshire Record Office on 27 October and met with Clive Williams (author of The Nabobs of Berkshire) and County Archivist, Peter Durrant. She is focusing her research on Englefield House and Warfield Park. Kate also recently visited Knole House in Kent and hopes to write a short case study on an ivory chair in their collection.

Ellen Filor is working on a literature review and bibliography of publications concerned with the East India Company. In December, she will complete some initial archival research on Scottish country houses at libraries in Edinburgh.

Out and About

On 21November, The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies Review will publish an article by Helen Clifford about The East India Company at Home project.

Helen Clifford will be giving the first paper about The East India Company at Home project at the National Museum of Scotland on 2 December. Helen’s paper titled ‘Connecting Threads: The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857’ is part of the Cotton Printed Textiles, Past and Present Workshop, which is hosted by the University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics and Archaeology and the National Museum of Scotland.

Website Updates

Robert O’Toole, who is an E-Learning Advisor and Teacher at the University of Warwick, is currently working with the East India Company at Home team to create a digitally accessible platform for the project’s case studies and research resources. We hope to complete the platform and load up our first case study before Spring 2012.

Kate Smith is currently completing a bibliography of materials concerned with interiors. We hope to load this bibliography onto the project website in December 2011.