Staff Profile: Dr Nancy Cox

Dr Nancy Cox
Title Honorary Research Fellow
Research Area Trade, Retailing and Consumption History
School School of Social, Historical and Political Studies
01902 322333

Areas of expertise

History of retailing and consumption in seventeenth and eighteenth century England


My academic career has focused on aspects of the economic and social history of seventeenth and eighteenth century England. Early work on Abraham Darby I of Coalbrokedale led to my participating in a successful major project based at Wolverhampton University to digitise the Gloucester coastal port books (funded by ESRC and Leverhulme. Concurrent with this and continuing to this day. the transcription and analysis of early-modern probate inventories, not only of retailers and craftsmen country wide, but also of ordinary people living in north-east Shropshire has led to both an interest in the processes of probate and the language of trade.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (by publication) 2001 University of Wolverhampton
  • MA 1958 University of Oxford
  • Diploma in Education 1958 University of Oxford
  • BA (Hons 2nd class) 1954 University of Oxford

Research interests

Current research interests include the history of early-modern retailing and internal trade generally; the historic language of trade including the nomenclature of traded goods; the history of north-east Shropshire, in particular the Weald Moor and the village of Kynnersley in the centre of it.

PhD supervision

Six completed PhD supervisions each on some aspect of early-modern internal trade and consumption.

Corporate and community engagement

Consultant Oxford English Dictionary Historic Language of Trade

External academic roles

External PhD examiner

Selected publications 

  • Retailing and the Language of Goods 1550-1820, (Ashgate, 2015) 
  • With Karin Dannehl, Perceptions of Retailing in Early Modern England, (Ashgate, 2007)
  • With Karin Dannehl, (eds), A Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820, British History Online (2007) 
  • The Complete Tradesman: a Study of Retailing, 1550-1820, (Ashgate, 2000) 
  • With N.W. Alcock, Living and Working in Seventeenth-Century England: Descriptions and Drawings from Randle Holme’s Academy of Armory, (British Library, 2000) 
  • With Jeff Cox, ‘Probate, 1500-1800, a system in transition’, in T.Arkell, N. Evans and N. Goose (eds), When Death do us Part: Understanding and Interpreting the Probate Records of Early Modern England,(Leopards Head Press, 2000). 
  • With D.P. Hussey and G.J. Milne, The Gloucester Port Books on CD-ROM and the Guideand Tutorial (Adam Matthews Publications, 1998)