School of History

Timothy Riding

Research Topic: Building, Territory and Space in the East India Company’s Western Presidency, c. 1620-1780


Supervisor: Dr Martyn Frampton

I am interested in how early modern European companies organised and controlled the physical spaces within their networks. I concentrate on the English East India Company’s trading outposts in Surat, Bombay, and along the Malabar Coast. The Company invested in a range of buildings to protect its goods and servants, from trading factories and warehouses to forts. Across this period their investment in such spaces dramatically increased, and my research examines this trend in relation to the development of imperialism. It also takes Bombay as a case study for how the Company treated territory, examining the dramatic environmental and urban changes of the eighteenth century and shifting attitudes to territorial expansion. The goal is to offer, through a historical geography approach, a broad history of how such networked spaces were thought about, shaped and reshaped.