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United Kingdom, banking history, financial history, history of corporate governance, shareholders, nineteenth century, twentieth century, use of objects in historical studies
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About Me

I am a Professor in Business History at Henley Business School and currently co-Director of the Centre for International Business History. My current research interests include the operation and regulation of 19th century British joint-stock banks, including their branch networks, their governance and the composition of their boards. I am interested in the governance of 19th century corporations in general, as well as shareholder rights during this period. I have also researched in the area of marketing and reputation in UK retail banking in the 19th and 20th centuries.  I have recently considering the current use of history in creating identity for British retail banks, in particular through artefacts and objects such as art, architecture, uniforms and portraiture. I have also conducted research into the manufacturing of 19th century consumer durables, in particular pianos.

Recent Publications

Barnes, V. and Newton, L. (2019) Symbolism in bank marketing and architecture: the headquarters of National Provincial Bank of England. Management and Organizational History, 14 (3). pp. 213-244. ISSN 1744-9359 doi:

Newton, L. and Barnes, V. (2018) How far does the apple fall from the tree? The size of English bank branch networks in the nineteenth century. Business History, 60 (4). pp. 447-473. ISSN 1743-7938 doi:

Barnes, V. and Newton, L. (2018) Visualizing organizational identity: the history of a capitalist enterprise. Management & Organizational History, 13 (1). pp. 24-53. ISSN 1744-9367 doi:

Newton, L. and Barnes, V. (2018) War memorials in organizational memory: a case study of the Bank of England. Management and Organizational History, 13 (4). pp. 309-333. ISSN 1744-9367 doi:

Newton, L. and Barnes, V. (2017) Constructing corporate identity before the corporation: fashioning the face of the first English joint stock banking companies through portraiture. Enterprise and Society, 18 (3). pp. 678-720. ISSN 1467-2235 doi:

Newton, L. and Barnes, V. (2018) Formalising credit markets? The entrance of English joint-stock banks. In: Coffman, D.’M.Lorandin, C. and Lorenzini, M. (eds.) Financing in Europe. The evolution, coexistence, and complementarity of credit typologies from the Middle ages to the 19th century. Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Newton, L. (2017) ‘Made in England’ : making and selling the piano, 1851-1914. In: Di Martino, P.Popp, A. and Scott, P. (eds.) People, places and business cultures : essays in honour of Francesca Carnevali. Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, Suffolk, pp. 127-152. ISBN 9781783272129

Media Coverage
BBC TV documentaries on shareholders in 19th railways. BBC radio programme on female investors in the 19th century.
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, England
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Economic History