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Sara Caputo

Research Interests

I am currently working on a PhD project on 'Foreign Seamen and the British Navy, 1793-1815', under the supervision of Dr Renaud Morieux.

My thesis looks at 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 and Maltese archives, as well as further material from Denmark, Norway, France, Spain, and the USA. I am interested in combining different historiographical methodologies, qualitative and quantitative. My research was initially funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant and a Robinson College Lewis Research Scholarship in 2015-18, and is currently generously supported by an Institute of Historical Research 12-month Scouloudi Fellowship.

Tweeting with the handle @SarCaputo


- Paper 10, British Economic and Social History, 1700-1880: core lecture on 'Law, Crime and Punishment in the Eighteenth Century' (2018); revision lectures on 'National Identity, Ethnicity and Empire, c.1700-c.1880' (2017) and 'National Identity and Ethnicity in the United Kingdom, c.1700-c.1880' (2018).

- Paper 5, British Political History 1688-1886: primary sources class on 'National Identities in Britain in the Eighteenth Century'.

- Historical Argument and Practice: seminar sessions on 'Quantitative History' and 'Nations and States'.

- Supervising for Paper 5.

Other Professional Activities

2018-19 Scouloudi Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London.

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
  • 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 (forthcoming, 2019).

'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 (forthcoming, September 2019) [in French and English].

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


Other Publications

Book reviews:

- 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