Dr Alexander Wakelam

I am a historian of Britain (1700-1900) researching the history of debt and “work” in society from economic and cultural perspectives. In particular my research has specialise in the history of debtors’ prisons, female business owners during the Industrial Revolution, as well as local council elections at the end of the nineteenth century.

I currently work in project facilitation in Cybersecurity, AI, and the Internet of Things but previously I was a Keynes Fund Research Associate in the Economics Faculty at the University of Cambridge constructing a database of men elected to local borough councils 1867-1900. This project combined newspaper reports of elections with census data to explore how the “supply side” of councillors (i.e. the social and economic background of politicians rather than their voters) impacted spending decisions such as on improved sanitation.

My first book Credit and Debt in Eighteenth-Century England – An Economic History of Debtors’ Prisons was published in July 2020 and I continue to work on insolvency in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain as well as the role of guilds and the experience of the Industrial Revolution for commercial women.

I have also provided consultation for TV, commercial partners, and charities on insolvency, the history of women, and occupational change and would be happy to speak on any similar topic.