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Dr Katherine Julie Saville-Smith

Former Research Student

Katherine Julie Saville-Smith

Research overview

Kia ora. My research interests are around how families shape and are shaped by social and economic change in ways that connect local interests to regional and global dynamics. My doctoral research was inspired by some years of trying to make sense of my family connections with the Lake Counties and with India.


My research focuses on Cumbrian encounter with the East Indies which reaches back into the seventeenth century and burgeoned in the eighteenth century. It explores the experiences of provincial gentry and middling families. It considers the extent to which the East Indies encounter in the long eighteenth century reflected a British imperial project or reflected provincial social, familial and business preoccupations. It also considers the way the Cumbrian encounter with the East Indies influenced the economic development the Lake Counties. The major source materials are letters, diaries and records in the Cumbria Archives. 

Thesis Title

Seeking Success: Provincial Gentry and Middling Families in Cumbria Encounter the East Indies in the Long Eighteenth Century

Career Details

I am a part-time student at Lancaster University born and living in New Zealand where I am a research sociologist. In that capacity I undertake a range policy and service evaluations. More particularly I am involved in public good science programmes focusing on the seemingly unending quest to ensure ordinary people can access decent, sustainable, affordable housing and built environments which work for them across their lives (see www.cresa.co.nz and www.goodhomes.co.nz ).

Contact me

New Zealand may be over 11,000 miles away but contact is easy: kay(at)cresa.co.nz or savilles(at)exchange.lancs.ac.uk.