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Dr Sara Caputo

Dr Sara Caputo

Lumley Junior Research Fellow, Magdalene College

Sara Caputo is available for consultancy.


In 2019 I completed my PhD thesis on 'Foreign Seamen and the British Navy, 1793-1815', at Robinson College, under the supervision of Dr Renaud Morieux. I was Scouloudi Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London for the year 2018-19, and in October 2019 I started as Lumley Junior Research Fellow at Magdalene College. During the academic year 2019-20 I will be spending periods of research at the Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven, Germany, and at the Huntington Library in California.

Subject groups/Research projects

Economic, Social and Cultural History:

Departments and Institutes

Magdalene College:

Research Interests

I am working on a book manuscript on the topic of the foreign sailors who served in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and the legal, social, cultural and diplomatic context of transnational 'encounters' and employment aboard British naval vessels. It draws on primary sources from British, Dutch, Italian, American, and Maltese archives, as well as further material from Denmark, Norway, France, Spain, and Germany. I am interested in combining different historiographical methodologies, qualitative and quantitative. My research was funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant and a Robinson College Lewis Research Scholarship in 2015-18, and an Institute of Historical Research 12-month Scouloudi Fellowship in 2018-19.

I am also engaged in parallel projects on the transnational history of naval medicine, naval technology, and cartography.

Tweeting with the handle @SarCaputo


- Supervising and lecturing for Paper 10, British Economic and Social History, 1700-1880.

- Supervising, lecturing and primary sources classes for Paper 5, British Political History 1688-1886.

- Historical Argument and Practice: seminar sessions on various topics.

Other Professional Activities

Convenor and coordinator of the international academic and public history network Early Modern Literacies (c.1500-c.1800). Twitter: @em_literacies.

Outreach widening participation lecturing and mentoring with the Cambridge University Admissions Office (including Experience Cambridge, Sutton Scholars, Insight Explore Summer Mentoring and The Subject Matters programmes) and The Brilliant Club charity. Various talks and sessions on History and on International Relations.

2016-17 Co-convenor of the Cambridge Modern British History Workshop.

Member of the organising committee of the Cambridge AHRC DTP international conference on 'Tradition and Transformation', 18-20 September 2017.

2016-17 Founding member and co-convenor of the AHRC-funded Value of the Humanities Research Group, University of Cambridge.

2016-17 Academic Affairs Officer for the Robinson College Graduate Society, organising the college Research Days.


  • Economic, Social History
  • Imperial History
  • Global History
  • Early Modern History
  • International History
  • British social history c.1600-1850

Key Publications

'Alien Seamen in the British Navy, British Law, and the British State, c.1793 - c.1815', The Historical Journal 62:3 (2019), pp. 685-707.

'Vers une histoire transnationale de la marine britannique au XVIIIème siècle / Towards a Transnational History of the Eighteenth-Century British Navy’, Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française, 397 – Perspectives Transnationales, 1780s-1820 (2019), 13-32.

‘Scotland, Scottishness, British Integration and the Royal Navy, 1793-1815’, The Scottish Historical Review 97:1 (2018), pp. 85-118.


Other Publications

Book reviews:

- Helen Hollick, Life of a Smuggler: Fact and Fiction (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2019), International Journal of Maritime History 32:1 (2020), 241-2.

- John Morrow, British Flag Officers in the French Wars, 1793-1815: Admirals’ Lives (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), History: Reviews of New Books 47:1 (2019), 14-15.

- Margarette Lincoln, Trading in War: London’s Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018), The London Journal 44:1 (2019), 87-8.

- Helen Watt and Anne Hawkins (eds), Letters of Seamen in the Wars with France 1793-1815 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2016), Archives 52:1 (2018), 81-3.


Blog posts:

- ‘When Subjecthood and Citizenship Did not Matter: the Royal Navy and Foreign Seamen in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars’, 7 November 2018, Cambridge Core Blog, Cambridge University Press