Social Sciences: Economics

Helen Paul

MA Oxon, MLitt (St Andrews), PhD (St Andrews), FRHistS

Primary position:
Lecturer in Economics and Economic History
Other positions:
Admissions Officer


The University of Southampton
Dr Helen Paul's photo

I am an economic historian and studied at Oxford and St Andrews. My PhD thesis concerned the South Sea Company and the financial bubble of 1720. My doctoral studies were funded by the ESRC and I then gained an ESRC research fellowship as a postdoc. My primary interest is in the early modern period from the late 17th to early 18th centuries. My research concerns the Financial Revolution; early joint-stock companies; the Triangular Trade including the slave trade, and Atlantic history.

If you are interested in hearing more about my research, please click on the following links:

BBC Radio 4 In Our Time

The South Sea Bubble episode

The Physiocrats episode

The Wealth of Nations episode

BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking

The Fable of the Bees: Mandeville’s View of 18th Century Economics

Economic History Society podcast for schools

The Transatlantic Slave Trade: Bristol and Liverpool

The South Sea Bubble of 1720: a famous financial crash

Contributor to:

The First Georgians: The German Kings who made Britain
BBC Four. Episode 1. Presenter - Lucy Worsley.

Other interviews:

Radio: BBC World Service; Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘As It Happens’; BBC Radio Scotland; Share Radio; BBC Radio Solent.

Television: BBC South; Forces TV

Newspapers and print media: The Financial Times; Reuters; The Scotsman; Daily Record; Evening Times of Glasgow; Slow Journalism.

ESRC DTC Economic and Social History Pathway Coordinator

Prospective applicants for ESRC funding for doctoral studies in economic and social history, please contact me or the DTC [

Other University of Southampton sites


The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)


Paul, Helen (2015) Review of periodical literature published in 2013 (iii) 1500-1700. The Economic History Review, 68, (1), 302-315. (doi:10.1111/ehr.12107).
Paul, Helen Julia (2014) Review of periodical literature published in 2012 (iii) 1500-1700. The Economic History Review, 67, (1), 251-261. (doi:10.1111/1468-0289.12045).
Conway, Stephen, Harding, Richard and Paul, Helen Julia (2013) Eighteenth-century Britain: the quintessential ‘contractor state’? International Journal of Maritime History, 25, (1), 248-253. (doi:10.1177/084387141302500112).
Paul, Helen Julia (2013) Review of periodical literature published in 2011 (iii) 1500-1700. The Economic History Review, 66, (1), 308-316. (doi:10.1111/ehr.12003).
Paul, Helen Julia (2012) Archibald Hutcheson's reputation as an economic thinker: his pamphlets, the National Debt, and the South Sea Bubble. Essays in Economic and Business History, 30, 93-104.
Paul, Helen (2010) Funding the slave forts on the coast of Africa. Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007


Paul, Helen (2011) The South Sea Bubble: an economic history of its origins and consequences, Abingdon, GB, Routledge, 176pp. (Routledge Explorations in Economic History).

Book Section

Paul, Helen Julia (2015) Speculating on the Atlantic world. In, Coffman, D'Maris, Leonard, Adrian and O'Reilly, William (eds.) The Atlantic World. Abingdon, GB, Routledge, 457-470. (Routledge Worlds).
Paul, Helen Julia (2014) Suppliers to the Royal African Company and the Royal Navy in the early Eighteenth Century. In, Fynn-Paul, Jeff and Fynn-Paul, Jeff (eds.) War, Entrepreneurs and the State in Europe and the Mediterranean, 1300-1800. Leiden, NL, Brill, 131-150. (doi:10.1163/9789004271302_008).
Paul, Helen (2011) The maintenance of British slaving forts in Africa: the activities of joint-stock companies and the Royal Navy. In, Torres, Rafael and Conway, Stephen (eds.) The Spending of the States: Military Expenditure During the Long Eighteenth Century: Patterns, Organisation, and Consequences 1650-1815. , VDM Verlag, 213-236.
Paul, Helen Julia (2009) Royal Africa Company. In, Wankel, Charles (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Business in Today's World. , Sage Publishing.
Paul, Helen (2008) Joint-stock companies as the sinews of war: the South Sea and Royal African Companies. In, Torres Sánchez, Rafael (ed.) War, State and Development: Fiscal-Military Status in the Eighteenth Century. Navarra, ES, Ediciones Universidad de Navarra, S.A., 277-294.
Paul, Helen Julia (2007) Joint-stock companies as the sinews of war: the South Sea and Royal African companies. In, Torres Sánchez, Rafael (ed.) War, State and Development: Fiscal-Military States in the Eighteenth Century. Pamplona, Spain, EUNSA.
Paul, Helen Julia (2006) British Asiento slave-traders and conflict during the triangular trade. In, Essays on Atlantic Studies: Rediscovering the Atlantic Maze. Galicia, Spain, Instituto Galego de Estudos de Seguranza Internacional e da Paz (IGESIP), 73-84.
Paul, Helen Julia (2001) What economic history means. In, Hudson, Patricia (ed.) Living Economic and Social History. Glasgow, GB, Economic History Society, 258-261.


Paul, Helen Julia (2009) The Darien Scheme and anglophobia in Scotland. Southampton, GB, University of Southampton (Discussion Papers in Economics and Econometrics 0925).
Paul, Helen Julia (2008) Census of economic historians in UK higher education. Glasgow City, GB, Economic History Society


Research Interests

Economic history: financial revolution; slavery; naval history; Atlantic history; cliometrics

Research projects

  • ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund Grant (£9900) The Chancellor of the Exchequer during the South Sea Bubble episode was John Aislabie. After Aislabie’s fall from power, he retreated to his Yorkshire estate and build the magnificent gardens of Studley Royal. They are now a World Heritage site. This project aims to help the public understand the connection between financial scandal and treason and heritage properties like Studley Royal and its near neighbour, Markenfield Hall.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Faculty Bursary (£750) The project is entitled ‘John Aislabie, the South Sea Bubble, and Studley Royal Gardens’. It is linked to the ESRC grant above.
  • Suppliers to the Royal African Company in the early modern period
  • Naval convoy protection
  • Personal financial advice
  • Popular views of the stock market

PhD Supervision

John Levin (co-supervised with Dr J. Conlin)

ESRC Funded

This Little Republick: the debtors' sanctuary of Southwark Mint, 1697-1723


Brenna Gibson (co-supervised with Dr C. Lambert)

Funded by SMMI

English seafarer communities in the later Middle Ages: a study in the socio-economics of an occupational group


Maria Newbery (co-supervised with Drs C. Petley and J. McAleer)

Funded by SMMI and Faculty of Humanities

The seaborne trade of Southampton 1772-1815


Michael Siva (co-supervised by Drs C. Petley and Herrmann)

The Jamaican Maroons: Black Soldiers Fighting for the Colonial Elite 1796-1866


Chair of Women's Committee (Economic History Society)

Admissions Officer (Autumn 2012 onwards)

ESRC DTC Pathway Co-ordinator for Economic and Social History

Member of the Executive Committee: Southampton Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies

Joint Honours Liaison

Teaching Responsibilities

PhD supervision

Supervision of masters dissertations

Supervision of undergraduate dissertations

ECON 1005: Introduction to Mathematics for Economists 

ECON 1007: Statistics

Supervision of History Department 2nd year undergraduate project

Supervision of English Department Individually Negotiated Topic

Provision of training in statistics or economic history for Humanities students


Dr Helen Paul
Economics Social Sciences University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 58/3039

Telephone: (023) 8059 5672