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The Business of Slavery - Chapter 14

The Asiento - The Royal Africa Company

The Asiento - The English in the Caribbean - The Royal Africa Company - Cromwell and commercial developments - The Restoration and commercial developments (not including Barbados) - Redevelopment for convict transportation - Moves between Barbados and Jamaica - The deeper interests of the "proprietors of Carolina" - A royal slaving company - Rise of the Whigs

The Asiento


There has been insufficient study in the English language of the Asiento, the Spanish contract, or, concession, plus international silver exchange, backing the slave trades. And if the names of all the merchants involved in the Asiento were known, the study of slavery could easily become more specific, for the Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese, but especially where English involvement is concerned. In 1663, the English Asiento arrangements took the form of a contract to supply the agent of the Asiento with 3500 Negroes a year. This could only be done by starving the English colonies of slaves, and anyway this contract delivered few slaves.

It is meanwhile intriguing to inspect what Prince Rupert might actually have overseen when he (or anyone else of high rank) took any interest in slaving business. Would any such interest have been at the level of "the board of trade", or would it have involved more personal varieties of money?
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 43, p. 327.

News in July 2006: The history websites on this domain now have a companion website, and an updating website as well, on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project, produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London).

This new website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with much attention to London/British Empire and some attention to Sydney, Australia.

As South American silver flowed to Europe, ripped out by local natives in their own forms of slavery, as Europe learned to cope with inflation due to the intake of Spanish silver, there arose a more complex role for the Asiento, the market for silver exchange devoted to slaving business. The question of satisfying the supply of and demand for slaves was plugged deeper into international business and commerce of the time.

Supplies of ultra-cheap labour for colonies were better guaranteed as luxuries (food spices, sugar, tobacco) become more available to the upper classes, then the middle classes. "Capitalism" was corrupted in respect of many basic, conceptual, factors - the costs of labour, the elasticity of the supply of labour, the operating costs of plantations, the sale price of the final products; all while the Mercantilist attempted to buy cheap and sell dear as a matter of course - or rather, ideology.

The role of ideology in the history of the rise of nation states in our period is interesting - for what ideology allows to participants in historical scenarios is relief from ambiguity. Ambiguity muddies the psychological waters of the historical actor, whereas ideology throws ambiguity (or uncertainty) aside, and allows purer action. And what are the factors which encourage such undesirable ambiguity? Only mundane matters such as compassion, love, a feeling of shared humanity, morality. On the other hand, and as Chinese classics on the art of war advise, never under-estimate your enemy, get to know him well! For such knowledge also reduces ambiguity, and in the case of war, reduces fear.

Consider now: Prince Rupert of the Rhine (17 Dec. 1619-29 -Nov. 1682), Fellow Royal Society of England. A commercial role for the romantic figure of Prince Rupert should not be forgotten... And there is a legend, too-little commented, that Rupert "in older age" invented a gunpowder ten times more powerful than anything known earlier. It would be surprising if a revised market for gunpowder did not give a strong filip to the demand for saltpetre from India, carried in East India Company ships.
Note: In 1681, Berkely Castle for the English East India Company sailed home, reputed the richest ship ever went out on Madras Roads, with cargo worth £80,000, half its tonnage being not-so-valuable saltpetre, plus much bullion.
Davis, Rise of the English shipping industry, variously. Bal Krishna, Commercial Relations between India and England, 1601-1757. 1924.

In younger days, by 1636 or later, Rupert, always an imaginative man, had developed "a wild scheme" to colonise Madagascar, of which his mother disapproved; Rupert (and/or Charles) asked the advice of the East India Company. Later, an expedition of Rupert's was commanded by one Sir William Batten.

By 1650 Rupert, although his own fleet had no more than five ships, was operating vigorously as a pirate against the English parliamentarians, and down to Cartagena, and he wanted to use Barbados as a base. His flagship this time was named Constant Reformation (which sounds a disturbingly Puritan name (?)). He once took some prizes from the Gambia.

By 1651, Rupert was cruising the Guinea coast. His brother Prince Maurice was destined to be lost in a storm at sea off the Virgin Islands by September 1652. Rupert was interested in Barbados and was there by summer 1652, after Ayscue had "returned the island to the obedience of Parliament". Rupert did not bring home great prize money, nor political advantage from his sea war with the Dutch. Soon, by 1653, he came under the influence of Sir Edward Herbert, the lord keeper, and he was hand-in-glove with Lord Jermyn and Lord Gerard (Charles Gerard, {died 1694/95} first Baron Gerard of Brandon, first Earl Macclesfield).
Herbert: Attorney-General 1641-1645. GEC, Peerage, Hamilton, p. 269, Macclesfield, pp. 328ff; Portland, p. 587; Torrington, p. 784ff.

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From 1654, Rupert spent six years in Germany.
See his DNB entry and Eliot Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert and the Cavaliers including their private correspondence. Three Vols. London, Richard Bentley, MDCCCXLIX., Vol. 3, p. 489). Rupert bought the house of Sir Nicholas Crisp at Hammersmith, which had cost £25,000 to build. [On Rupert's son, Dudley, see Warburton, Vol. 3, p. 466; also Warburton, p. 461, p. 446. Earl Dartmouth, William Legge was a friend of Rupert by 1660. (Haley, Shaftesbury, p. 231) regarding Rupert and the Hudson’s Bay Company, with shareholders including Cooper, also the Earl of Craven, Sir Paul Neile (sic) and his business partners, although Shaftesbury made little profit from Hudson’s Bay. (GEC, Peerage, Bellomont, pp. 106ff.

Rupert's father was Frederick, his mother was Elizabeth of Bohemia. Rupert was linked romantically with Frances Bard and the actress, Margaret Hughes. Rupert became a patentee of the Royal African Company on 10 January 1663, and got involved in that Company's squabbles with the Dutch. He had planned by August 1664 to take 12 ships to the African coast to harry the Dutch. He was upset in 1665 when command of this fleet went to the Earl of Sandwich, Edward Montagu (1625-1672) and not himself.
GEC, Peerage, Sandwich, p. 432, Mount Edgecumbe; p. 315.

By 1668 he had a devised a scheme with Monck, the Duke of Albermarle, for discovering a passage from the Great Lakes to the South Sea, a sort of variation on the now-old English dream of the north-west passage. In June 1668 two ships went to seek the north-west passage; one of the ships being the Eaglet ketch, loaned by Charles II. The expedition had been proposed by a Frenchman, Groseilliers, and the commander was a man from Boston, Zacariah Guillam. A charter of 2 May, 1670 was given to Rupert and others for the Hudson Bay Company. The third Dutch war broke out in March 1672, and on 15 August, 1672, Rupert was appointed vice-admiral of England. By 1673, Rupert was intimate with the guiding genius of the Whigs, Shaftesbury.

Although, one historian cautions, Rupert was friends with Anthony Ashley Cooper (1621-1683), first Earl Shaftesbury, often regarded, incorrectly, as "founder" of the English Whigs.
K. H. D. Haley, The First Earl of Shaftesbury. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968., p. 229.

Rupert once became partners with Sir Thomas Cicheley and first Earl Shaftesbury, and they hoped the navy would buy guns they manufactured, but this arrangement went bad and they let their rights to one John Browne of Horsmonden, Kent. But Browne soon died and his widow and one William Dyke soon owed money to Rupert, Earl Shaftesbury and Chicheley.

Rupert also once dealt with the Earl of Craven (William Craven, (1608-1697, first Earl Craven, a proprietor of Carolina, a son of William Craven, Lord Mayor of London in 1610-1611) in some business deals.
GEC, Peerage, Craven, pp. 500-502. Bliss, Revolution and Empire, p. 209. Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert, p. 441. Haley, Shaftesbury, pp. 158ff and variously.

Shaftesbury's commercial involvements meanwhile included Dorset estates, mining, money lending, shipping, colonial proprietorship. He joined the Africa Adventurers in 1663-1666, and put dependents into East India Company employ. By 1646 he had a Barbados plantation and a ship Rose regularly on the Guinea slave coast. He also dealt with the financier and Caribbean operator, Martin Noell.
Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, Shaftesbury. Bliss, Revolution and Empire, p. 209 on proprietors of Carolina. Israel, (Ed.), The Anglo-Dutch Moment, variously. J. R. Jones, The First Whigs: The Politics of the Exclusion Crisis, 1678-1683. London, Oxford University Press, 1961. Shaftesbury's brother George married a daughter of Oldfield, a London sugar-baker. (Haley, Shaftesbury, p. 64; and on Shaftesbury as a Whig, pp. 234-235). A note is given below on the founder of the Whig Party, Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton.

Much could be made of Shaftesbury's lineage in terms of themes already outlined here: anti-Spanish feeling, furthering colonisation, family connections with earlier-operating privateers, and interloping against the East India Company. In Shaftesbury's background was MP and secretary at war, Sir Anthony Ashley (1551-1622), who married Dorothy Wroughton (died 1616). She had also married MP Carew Raleigh, privateer and brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. Shaftesbury's second wife was Frances Cecil, daughter of David Cecil (third Earl Exeter) and Elizabeth Egerton, a daughter of John Egerton, first Earl Bridgwater, by Frances Stanley (1583-1635, daughter of Ferdinando Stanley (1559-1594), fifth Earl Derby; that is, John Egerton otherwise married to Margaret Courteen.

Shaftesbury's third wife, married in 1655 was Margaret Spencer, daughter of William Spencer (died 1636), second Baron Spencer of Wormleighton, and Penelope Wriothesley (1598-1667), daughter of Henry Wriothesley (1573-1624), who is more properly viewed as founder of the English Whig party.
GEC, Peerage, Spencer of Wormleighton, p. 160, Shaftesbury, p. 646. Henry Wriothesley: Who’s Who in Shakespeare's England, p. 234. GEC, Peerage, Craven of Ryton, p. 507; Drogheda, p. 436; Bedford, pp. 80ff; Southampton, pp. 128ff. Hervey, Arundel, pp. 42ff. Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, p. 204, Note 1. He is known in literature as a patron of Shakespeare. He once went on an expedition to the Azores, and was variously involved with anti-Spanish sentiment, the Virginia Company, the East India Company, Bermuda, the North West Passage Company, New England, the "Sea Plan" of 1622, and he helped govern Ireland under Essex. By 1603 he had a (customs) farm of Sweet Wines. He came undone as he aided Essex's "insurrection".

In search of profit, on 10 January, 1663 Rupert became one of the patentees of the Royal African Company of the day, and there followed disputes with the Dutch. By 1668 with others including the Duke of Albemarle he took up the search for the supposed North-west passage via Canada to the South Sea. (The Hudson’s Bay Company was chartered on 2 May, 1670). Rupert was first lord of the admiralty between July 1673 and May 1679. By about 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Company set out to exploit several million square miles of Canada, with a capital of only £10,500.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 32.

Rupert was also close to Lord Jermyn, and Lord Gerard, who all wished to overthrow Hyde.
Lord Gerard was lieutenant-general of all the forces in 1678-1679, admiral and a Royalist Whig, Charles Gerard (died 1694/95), first Baron Gerard of Brandon and first Earl Macclesfield. Hibbert, Cavaliers and Roundheads, lists, p. 300. GEC, Peerage, Macclesfield, pp. 328ff; Hamilton, p. 269.

About then, princes, ministers and the high of society invested in joint-stock companies. James the Duke of York, lord high admiral, was the first governor of the Royal African Company, he bought £3000 worth of East India Stock in 1684; and he succeeded Prince Rupert as governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Sir George Clark, The Later Stuarts, 1660-1714. Oxford History of England. Vol. 10. Oxford University Press, 1965., p. 61.

It is not surprising, with such men having such commercial interests, conflict broke out with other cross-channel commercial powers.


By 1663, the English slavers had delivered 3075 slaves to Barbados, but war had fretted the supply and the Barbados colonists were enraged at higher costs and other issues related to the Asiento.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 43., p. 327.

In 1662, the Asiento had been granted to two Genoese merchants, Grillo and Lomelin, who were given permission to sub-contract to any nation friendly to Spain. Grillo and Lomelin were soon talking to the Dutch East India Company and English Royal Adventurers. English dealers would now compete with the Dutch for this Spanish trade in slaves. The English developed absurdly optimistic hopes, reflective of their ignorance, in fact. The Grillo Asiento ended in 1671 - one English participant had been Richard (Ricardo) White.

Soon the Asiento was taken up by Garcia, a Madrid businessman, the Consulado of Seville, and a sub-contractor, Don Juan Barrosso, who relied greatly on the Dutch, in 1671.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, agents lists. Spate in his Vol. 1, p. 200, has much on Spanish silver and on asientos in general. See Oskar H. K. Spate, The Pacific Since Magellan. Canberra, Australian National University Press, 1979-1988.

Some Englishmen involved included Captain Joseph Bagg, agent-general at Cape Coast Castle, John Balle, agent for the Africa Company in Jamaica, Sir William Beeston, nd, governor of Jamaica, agent for the Africa Company, Thomas Belchamber, nd, agent for the Africa Company at Nevis, John Booker, agent in Gambia, Colonel Spencer Boughton, nd, agent-general at Cape Coast Castle, Capt Nathaniel Bradley, nd, agent-general at Cape Coast Castle, (Bradley was an agent at Cape Coast Castle in June 1680). John Chidley (a rogue), was agent in the Gambia. Thomas Corker, nd, was agent of the Africa Company at Sherbro. Thomas Crispe was an agent in 1655 and 1665.

Other Asiento agents included: Thomas Crispe (sic, as above) agent or factor on the Gold Coast, Thomas Croaker (sic) agent for Asiento, Howsley Freeman, chief agent and merchant at Cape Coast Castle, John Freeman, slave agent at Sherbro. (Note: Sherbro was also known as York Island). Stephen Gascoigne, the Royal Africa Company's agent in Barbados, Juan Genes, agent of Asiento, Abraham Gill, agent of Asiento. John Hanbury, agent for slaves in The Gambia. Robert Helmes (sic) the Africa Company's agent at Nevis. Giles Heysham, an Africa Company's agent at Barbados.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 40-41, p. 298.

Also, William Hicks was an agent or chief merchant at Cape Coast Castle, Capt Ralph Hodgkins was an agent-general for the Africa Company at Cape Coast Castle. John Chidley, an agent in Gambia. Henry Greenhill, agent-general at Cape Coast Castle, Robert Helmes (sic) Africa Company's agent at Nevis, Giles Heysham, Africa Company's agent at Barbados, Joseph Holmes, agent and slaver factor in the Gambia, William Hicks, agent or chief merchant at Cape Coast Castle, Captain Ralph Hodgkins, agent-general for the Africa Company at Cape Coast Castle, William Hicks, chief merchant at Cape Coast Castle. Captain Ralph Hodgkins, agent-general Africa Company at Cape Coast Castle. John Kabes, agent of Kommenda, John Kastell, agent and slaver for the Africa Company at the Gambia.

Lists can continue. The genealogist will wish to know: were any interesting family names listed here, perhaps also connected with other businesses mentioned by English historians of commerce? Such as?

Hender Molesworth, lieutenant-governor of Jamaica and the Africa Company's agent.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 241ff, pp. 297, 330ff.

Thomas Mellish, agent-general Africa Company at Cape Coast Castle in 1673; Meulanaer and Magnus, (sic) Africa Company's agents at Amsterdam; John Mildmay (sic) agent factor at Ophra; Alexander Oliver, agent of Asiento, at Ophra (also known as Ardra); Josiah Pearson, factor slaver at Anomabu, also agent or factor at Whydah; Charles Penhallow, Africa Company's agent at Jamaica; Edmund Pierce, slaver agent in Sierra Leone. Nicholas Porcio.

More? Maybe an Asiento agent, Rowland Powell, Africa Company's agent in Jamaica.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 297.

Zachary Rogers an Africa Company agent at Sherbro and accused of helping interlopers; William Ronan, chief merchant or agent of the Africa Company at Cape Coast Castle and accused of helping interlopers; Walter Ruding, Africa Company's agent in Jamaica. Sir Edwin Stede, governor of Barbados. An agent of the Africa Company, John Thurloe at Sekondi (sic). A factor slaver or agent at Sekondi was Thomas Thurloe. An agent slaver in the Gambia, Richard White; agent of Asiento. John Whitfield, factor or agent at Anomabu; Richard Willis, agent or slaver factor at Whydah.

In London, the practice arose of contracting for Negro slaves, in syndicates, which, as agreed in advance with the Royal Africa Company, bought cargoes or fractions of cargoes at a fixed price payable in London. Syndicates or their representatives then became consignees of such slaves and had disposal of them. This seems to have been the normal way of supplying the colonies before 1672. Then the company encouraged contractors to get the slaves. Fractions might be 1/20th of a cargo. By 1713, England carried out the slave trade by an Asiento, earlier held by the French Guinea Company, following the Peace of Utrecht.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 294, p. 328; Pierre Vilar, A History of Gold and Money, 1450-1920. London, Verso, 1991., p. 221.


Some pre-1672 Merchant Adventurers trading to Africa were Sir John Lethullier, James and John Banckes, Godfrey Lee, Francis Boynton. Sir William Turner (Lord Mayor, MP for London), paid £325 in 1671 to buy a 32/nd share in an East India Company ship Golden Fleece, which made six voyages to the east. Turner had about 1/20th of his wealth in the Royal Africa Company.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 36, p. 159.

Godfrey Lee of the Merchant Adventurers and the Royal Africa Company was an importer of copper, as was Thomas Vernon of the same Company. Mildmays is old and famous and illustrious Essex family, which died out by 1796. There was once a Mildmay a slave agent at Ophra, according to K. G. Davies' lists.
Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837. London, Yale University Press, 1992., p. 157.

The Royal Africa Company of 1672 and the Asiento:

The African Adventurers Company was ruined by its losses and after 1672 was replaced by the English Royal Africa Company, which was even more ambitious, setting up six forts on the Gold Coast and one on the slave coast, while the French built north of the Gambia in Senegal.
Clark, The Later Stuarts, pp. 332ff.

Founded in 1672, the Royal African Company had its monopoly broken from 1689 by private traders; by 1712 the private traders gave the Company a 10 per cent commission to fund operation of the forts.
Orlando Patterson, The Sociology of Slavery: An Analysis of the Origins, Development and Structure of Negro Slave Society in Jamaica. London, Granada, 1967., pp. 127ff.

From 1712, the British slave trade became free, so the Company made only an insignificant supply of slaves. Slackness in the English trade (as it was London-based?) allowed Bristol and Liverpool to become ports heavily dependent on slavery, especially Liverpool. Africa House was in Leadenhall Street, London, first mentioned by 1677. These premises were later taken over by the East India Company and from 1766 the Africa Company offices were in Cooper's Court, and later, Cannon Street. (The charter was recalled in 1821 and the remaining possessions on the West African coast were given to Sierra Leone.)

By 1672 there were 70 sugar works on Jamaica (which is a total of 3,840,000 acres). In 1752, cultivable land was measured at 633,336 acres. In 1754 there were 1620 planters with an average holding of 1000 acres, and much land not used for sugar was left idle, despite the island's potential for greater self-sufficiency in food production and informed urgings that it become more diversified in production. To keep production down propped up the price, and Williams writes, Jamaica could easily have had three times the number of sugar plantations it did have. Producing 760 tons of sugar, 200,000 acres had been granted to 717 families, which is about 280 acres per family. Sugar islands became increasingly parochial in outlook, and, was this due to monoculturalism? Cultivating one acre of cane in the West Indies required [about] 172 days of human labour.
Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 114-119, p. 127.

After 1670, in London, wealthy West Indian planters began to meet at a tavern, and by 1674 arose the Jamaican Coffee House. Thus did social life help to institutionalise West India absentee landlordism. On 27 September, 1672, the Royal Africa Company charter passed the Great Seal, and now it had legal recognition. It could seize the goods and ships of any who infringed its monopoly, it sought gold, silver and Negroes, it could make war and peace with heathen nations, it could raise troops and execute martial law. Pity the Africans...
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 97.

But financially, matters were chimerical. On 16 December, 1712, an item in London Gazette noted agreements reached about finalising the Royal Africa Company, which then lapsed into sleepiness, and it appeared that since 1672, an original subscriber with £100 stock would have lost between £253 and £350. Its books at times seem to have been handled with criminal dishonesty, or, problems of ignorance, lack of experience in capital management, though one might well ask, could anything like slavery in fact be managed rationally? Davies writes: "The outrage to morality which the Middle Passage must always be should not obscure the fact that it was also an outrage to sound economics".
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 72, p. 96, p. 294.

An original subscriber, John Bull, for £500, bought another £400 in 1674 and sold all the next eight months. He bought again in 1675 and 1676 and resold; the same, in 1679 and 1685. Others behaving in this way were the Earl Berkeley, John Cudworth, Nicholas Hayward, Thomas Hall. From 1672, more investors: Benjamin Newland bought goods at the company's sales. John Gourney, Thomas Aldworth, Thomas Nichols and Peter Proby supplied the Royal Africa Company with goods for export as wholesalers.
This Peter Proby is difficult to identify. Two other men named Peter Proby, one Lord Mayor of London 1622-1623, were presumably dead by this period. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Proby of Elton, p. 429.

Investors included: Sir Humphrey Edwin as a company promoter. Sir John Buckworth a commissioner of the Mint. Sir George Waterman the City Auditor. Sir William Langhorne (ex-India with £19,000 in East India stock and £4000 in RAC stock). Sir Jeremy Sambrooke (ex-India with £18,000 in India Stock and £700 in the RAC). And Streynsham Master, ex-India. Old hands of the former Africa Adventurers were modest investors; Abraham Holditch, Henry Nurse former agents at Cape Coast Castle, and Alexander Cleeve a former agent of The Gambia. So, two-thirds of capital was in the hands of businessmen and most of these were overseas traders. Money was "drawn from already-established branches of trade".
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 66-69.

By 1672, some small RAC investors were Tobias Rustat, Yeoman of the Wardrobe (and benefactor of Jesus College at Cambridge); Lawrence du Puy, keeper of the mall; William Ashburnam, cofferer of the royal household; Matthew Wren, secretary of the Duke of York; Eusebius Mathews; a few holders of minor civil service posts, some widows, some country gentlemen, a controller of prizes, a cashier to customs, two revenue officers, country men including Sir John Lowther of Lowther, Sir John Lowther of Whitehaven, Sir Anthony Craven of Buckinghamshire, Broom Whorwood of Oxfordshire, George Garth of Surrey, and Francis Farnaby of Kent. Lawrence du Puy, the King’s barber. Dudley North, the noted Turkey merchant joined the RAC just to learn how to manipulate joint-stock, with which he was unfamiliar.

By 1672, the new Royal Africa Company had a sub-contract with the Asiento and an oblique entry was made possible to Spanish colonial markets; sugar, gold and ivory would supplement trade in Negroes. The Royal Africa Company would probably be favoured by Charles II, his court, and the Duke of York (who invested in both the East India Company and the Royal Africa Company), plus several ministers and prominent courtiers. But an accident of finance, a stop on the exchequer, poor national finances, debts to goldsmiths, all immobilized, and those who had left money with goldsmiths (by then loaned to the crown?) were held up.

Moreover, with the "secret" treaty of Dover of 1671, Charles had gotten cash from France for an attack on the United Provinces. Since the Dutch were so important on the African coast, this was all important; the second Dutch war had been largely an outcome of rivalry on the African coast, and it was notable that many who knew of the "secret" Dover treaty subscribed to the Royal Africa Company. Including, Clifford (died 1673 had £400 stock), Arlington (£500 stock), Buckingham (£500 stock died 1687), and Ashley (Shaftesbury); four of the five ministers in the Cabal, plus the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Sir William Coventry and Sir Joseph Williamson (secretary of state, £500 stock, sold out in 1687). Plus, John Locke (philosopher interested in property rights and colonisation, £400 stock, sold in 1675). Sir George Carteret (£500 RAC stock - his family had a royal charter for Carolina; he was a Lord Proprietor of Carolina and a member of the committee of trade and plantations).

Sir Peter Colleton (large plantation in Barbados, £1000 RAC stock sold in 1675, down to £400). The Earl of Craven (£600 stock). Merchant Thomas Povey. Sir Edmund Andros (former governor of New York). Ferdinando Gorges (£1000 RAC stock, sold in 1679), whose family had estates in New England. Several such names had been associated with Ashley (Shaftesbury) in his earlier (unnamed) colonial schemes. Others were Lord Hawley, Lawrence du Puy and Matthew Wren, close to the Duke of York. Lord Berkeley had up to £1600 stock in the RAC but sold out in 1688. The king, James II, sold his RAC stock, £3000 on 10 January, 1689; James received in dividends £3480 and sold for £5730, with a total profit of £6210 over seventeen years. The Earl of Craven was not a large investor, nor was Lord Powis (£100 stock) or Lord Falconberg. Royalty and their circles never held more than one-quarter of the RAC stock.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 60-67.

By 1672, the primary problem of any African company was a shortage of liquid capital, and the RAC had raised too little. Turnover was slower due to long credit being extended to slave-buying planters. There was the infrastructure cost of fixing capital in forts, so the Company had to borrow heavily. It traded in gold, ivory, dyewood, hides and waxes for the English market and in buying slaves for the West Indies. The need arose to export English goods worth about £100,000 per year, including goods of non-English origin, such as cheap eastern textiles, Swedish iron, spirits such as French Brandy. Beads for Africa came from Venice. English manufacturers objected as their markets were limited, the sugar islands wanted more slaves than were supplied, free traders objected. K. G. Davies writes, the RAC spent up to £25,000 per year on hired shipping.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 44-46, and p. 175.

The operation of the Asiento involved international speculators in currency, and Spanish, Flemish, Italian and French markets attracted speculators connected with the Crown by asientos. Silver was placed in the most profitable market.
Vilar, A History of Gold and Money, p. 152.

In 1674-1676, England renewed its interest in the Asiento and probably dealt with Garcia at Madrid. In 1674 Francis Millington, and in 1676, Peter Proby and various Royal Africa Company shareholders made overtures, such as with a deal for 250 slaves to be delivered to Cadiz. Apparently, regarding a Spanish ship, the Santo Domingo, Richard White, ex the Grillo Asiento, made overtures which the Royal Africa Company later rejected. (Later, Thomas Croaker went from Cadiz to Barbados to buy slaves). Then Spanish interest switched to Jamaica, where the Spanish stationed a permanent agent.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 330.

By October 1683, 336 slaves off Jamaica were sold to Abraham Gill, an agent of the Asiento Porcio, (which was a Spanish Asiento in conflict with the Dutch Cowman's Asiento) to Don Juan Genes and Co., and to Don Juan Espino. Later operating was Don Alexander Oliver, a representative of the Dutch Coymans Asiento. There were no more such sales after 1686. The Jamaicans enjoyed dealing in silver, the Royal Africa Company missed a prime opportunity here, but the Jamaicans were notoriously anti the Royal Africa Company monopoly. And in 1686, Molesworth twice complained about the lawlessness of the South Sea pirates.

In June 1689, the former Porcio Asiento agent, Santiago Castille ("Sir James Castille") visited England to arrange a deal with the Royal Africa Company for slaves via Jamaica; this was rather an illegal deal which English authorities decided to overlook. War anyway made the deal impossible. Castille intended to sue; the Royal Africa Company claimed "restraint of princes", the outcome seems unknown. It appears anyway from 1693 that Castille had stung a group of Jamaican merchants for over 86,000 pieces of eight due to them (presumably for supply of slaves to Castille's Asiento agency).
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 334.

The English on the African Gold Coast:

Thomas Crispe in 1655 and 1665 had disputed with Denmark about land near Cape Coast Castle and later made depositions. Crispe in 1649 had become the chief agent or factor on the Gold Coast for Rowland Wilson, Maurice Thomson, John Wood and Thomas Walter, whom he called The Guinea Company. The original site of Cape Coast Castle had been given to the English, was then re-taken by the Swedes, re-taken by the English, all in Crispe's time on the coast.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 40-41.

But we do not know how many ships used the location. Interestingly, about 1670, a "slaver", Sir Nicholas. Crisp sold his house near Hammersmith to Prince Rupert, for the use of Rupert's lover, a house which had cost £25,000. Crisp was active in the Africa trade from 1625.
Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert, Vol. 3. DNB entries.

(NB: K. Chaudhuri has noted that Guinea was the long-cloth imported by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) from the Coromandel coast to be re-exported for the West Indies and African slave marts. Here, the English East India Company was not keen on business due to the "undeveloped" state of the pre-Restoration English slave trade. Guinea stuff was sold to the Guinea Company but with little profit.)
K. N. Chaudhuri, The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint-Stock Company, 1600-1640. London, Frank Cass, 1965., p. 201.
Meantime, between 1660 and 1685, tempe Charles II, the king generally received more money from each pound of Virginian imported leaf that the planter.
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 206.

In England itself, by 1660, any export of wool from Britain was again forbidden, and in 1662, smuggling wool as export (from Kent, Sussex and Essex), was made punishable by death. By 1671 there was abolition of tunnage and poundage as forms of customs duties, and then the "free traders" were styled as smugglers. The first organised English customs duties seem to stem from 1688, and smugglers began to feel persecuted by 1685, for their illegal running of goods was becoming considerable. "Export smuggling" was in wool, and the forbidding of wool export meant that cloth workers had wool growers at their mercy.
Teignmouth and Harper, The Smugglers. Vol. 1, 1973. (Orig. 1923)., pp. 9-12, p. 21, p. 28, pp. 46-40.

By 1717, wool smuggling was punishable by transportation. Further penalties were added in 1746, and Dr Johnson thought customs officers were a lower species than smugglers, By the mid-eighteenth century, bands of smugglers were well-organised in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, and gangs ran such as the Hawkhurst Gang, headed by Arthur Gray, who was said to be worth £10,000, whose residence with sweet irony was a site later built on by Lord Goschen, at one time Chancellor of the Exchequer! Also, smugglers using great numbers of horses, a trade in its own right, but Teignmouth and Harper regard them as products of bad laws, a vicious system with its origin tempe William III.

"Robustious days", and the basis of a good deal of folklore and legend! On 17 November, 1747, the gaol at Maidstone was broken open by 12 men and smugglers were released. By 1749, smugglers were conspiring to kill the turnkey of Newgate. By 1787, there were "1425 articles liable to duty"… "very many of them taxed at several times their market value", bringing in revenue of £6 million per year… "in 1797 the customs laws filled six large folio volumes… a total number of Customs Acts before 1760 was 800, by 1813 there were 1300 more added, till Sir Robert Peel tried to re-order the chaos.
Teignmouth and Harper, The Smugglers, p. 14, pp. 60-69, p. 75.

By 1660, commissioners of the Treasury included Sir Edward Hyde, George Monck later duke of Albermarle, Monck's kinsman Sir William Morice, Lords high admirals, and James, Duke of York. By 1660, England had Caribbean bases on Jamaica and Barbados. England found logwood for dyeing in an area with no fixed government, in the Bay of Honduras and on the Mosquito Coast. The Spanish held St. Eustatius which was becoming an entrepot.
G. Davies, Early Stuarts, p. 301; Clark, The Later Stuarts, p. 325.

Cromwell and commercial developments:

In all colonial administration, Cromwell was personally influenced by a group of London merchant advisors. He placed them on committees, especially Martin Noell (sic) and Thomas Povey. By about July 1656, there had been many complaints to Cromwell from merchants such as Povey and Noell, and so a standing committee was set up. Noell had much influence on Cromwell. Noell was from humble origins in Stafford, but he became a "great capitalist", an alderman of London by 1651, a member of the East India Company, and he also had many West Indian connections. Noell was first heard of, trading to Monserratt and Nevis, by 1650. He had acted as a contractor for the Western Expedition, and was an agent for the army out there, so he received a large land grant on Jamaica. His brother Thomas was prominent at Surinam and Barbados. Noell flourished as shipowner, importer, a landowner in the West Indies and Wexford, a merchant, contractor, a money lender.
Fraser, Cromwell, pp. 533ff.

Povey was responsible for much, as he made the beginnings of "a definite colonial policy". English merchants by 1656 had gone a long way with continuing the former anti-Spanish tradition of piracy, and they proposed that parliament incorporate a West India Company to attack Spanish towns, to interrupt the Spanish treasure fleet and to drive Spaniards from control of the West Indies and South America.
Newton, Colonising Puritans, pp. 325ff. Povey's papers are in the British Museum, E.g., 2395, folios 89-113, and 202-237. Povey's Letter book is: Add. MSS, 11411.

By 9 December 1654, as the Western Design was firming, Daniel Searle was made governor of Barbados at a council meeting. Venables, Penn, Winslow and Butler were all being named in a commission, but it had not been understood in London that Barbados had developed its own unique way of life (and for example, was developing its own slave code which was later exported to Jamaica, then to Virginia).
There is little information on Searle. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, pp. 78ff.

About 1654, Jeremy Sambrooke examined the financial behaviour of the East India Company.
K. N. Chaudhuri, The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint-Stock Company, 1600-1640. London, Frank Cass, 1965., p. 208.

By 1657, the East India Company's directors were seriously considering selling the Company's factories and rights, but the general court (shareholders) overruled them. At this point, Cromwell came down seriously in favour of continuing the Company as a capitalistic enterprise, but oddly enough, no copy of the charter issued by Cromwell in 1657 still exists. The charter which was issued is thought to have resembled the charter of 1609.
Ian Bruce Watson, Foundation for Empire: English Private Trade in India, 1659-1760. New Delhi, Vikas Pub. House, 1980.

After 1657, more shareholders were let into the East India Company, and the newly-chartered Company bought all the properties of the Old Company. Dividends would be paid in cash, not in commodities as had earlier been the case. Cromwell's charter was later abridged by a charter Charles II issued in 1661. By 1659 or so, Charles II's new Company charter had five important features; it allowed the company:
(1) to acquire territory;
(2) to coin money;
(3) to command troops and fortresses;
(4) to make alliances (5) to exercise civil and criminal jurisdictions.
Newton, Colonising Puritans, variously. In 1659 with business bad in the City of London, many merchants were not attending for lack of employment, poor families were in danger of perishing and wards found it difficult to support them with the Poor Rate. Also in 1659, a treaty demonstrated that Spanish power on the wane, leaving some ways open for British adventure.

The Restoration and commercial developments (not including Barbados):

With the Restoration, West India merchants in London persuaded Charles II to retain Jamaica as a royal colony, and later came the appointment of Sir Thomas Modyford, royal governor of Jamaica 1664-1671. Modyford promoted agricultural development and attacks on the Spanish, which got him personally £1000 per year from buccaneers, and he wanted liberal land grants and Barbadians to join him. Modyford himself had 22 parcels of land in eight parishes.
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, pp. 154ff.

By 1660 and later, with the Restoration, some independence was lost on Barbados, with the Navigation Act which tied sugar islands to English interests. Barbados' planters became subject to London’s mercantilist policies. Charles agreed to annul the Carlisle claims to the island and confirmed earlier Barbadian land purchases. So in some senses, Charles assumed direct control, following which he sent out Francis Lord Willoughby as first royal governor. Willoughby had already been governor 1650-1652. By 1660, Peter Watson had brought to London the petitions of Modyford and others in the Barbados assembly.
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 45-48.

By 9 July, 1660, once Lord Willoughby was directed by the king to take up as governor of Barbados and other Caribbee islands, respecting his position as lessee of the Earl of Carlisle's rights, of course, the Courteen interest protested, as noted earlier. Lord Willoughby, had cause to refer to the actions of a group of planters and merchants in London who resisted the imposition of proprietary government for [their own] private ends.
A "governor of the Caribbean" was William Willoughby (1616-1673), sixth Baron Willoughby. Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 32-33. GEC, Peerage, Bellomont, pp. 106ff; Willoughby, pp. 709ff.

By 1667 these men were thought to include Peter Colleton, Peter Leare, Mr. Ferdinando George. These were all absentee planters continuing the work of Kendall and Colleton, and they worked against the development of any agency by Povey.
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 26-28, pp. 40-41.

By 1660, the most influential elements in the West India interest were the merchants whose rise to power had been mainly caused by the share they took in the Cromwell western expedition of 1655, writes Penson. Noell's interest declined. Povey's schemes disappeared with the decline of the Willoughby interest. By September 1665, another pro-Willoughby agent in the wings was John Champante, a clerk in the Grand Excise office.
Penson, Colonial Agents, p. 38.

In effect the island was cheated by the king. But the Barbadians shrugged their shoulders, and it was from about now that some Barbadians were knighted, becoming "sugar-coated knights" in partial recognition of their gentry status. These included Sir Thomas Modyford, Sir James Drax, Sir Peter Leare, Sir John Colleton, Sir John Yeamans.
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 80.

Also with Charles II and the Restoration, the East India Company directors gave gifts of their loyalty, and the king gave them a favourable charter and accepted loans over 16 years of £170,000.
Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, p. 75.

In a different trading sphere, by about 1660, more than half of the beneficiaries of the capital in the Royal Adventurers to Africa were peers or members of the Royal Family; including the Duke of York, Princesses Maria and Henrietta, Prince Rupert (who withdrew), the dukes of Albemarle and Buckingham, the earls of Bath (who withdrew before capital had been fully paid-up), Lord Hawley (who withdrew) Ossory, Pembroke, St Albans and Sandwich. Commoner investors included some of the greatest mercantile figures of Restoration London; Sir Robert Vyner, Edward Backwell, Sir John Robinson (Lord Mayor, London MP, deputy-governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and director, East India Company), Sir Philip Frowd, Sir Andrew Riccard, Sir William Coventry (withdrew).
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 64-65. [See C. T. Carr, Select Charters of Trading Companies. Selden Society, nd.]

By 16 July, 1660, as Penson writes, authorities in London wanted Colonel Modyford installed at Barbados. Modyford's friends in London wanted this outcome. Friends here being led by John Colleton and aided by favour of General Monk, both of whom were relatives of Modyford. The group of friends appears to have been Peter Watson, John Colleton, [Sir] James Drax, Thomas Kendall, Jonathan Andrews, Tobias Frere, Edward Walrond (sic). Given the views of Lord Willoughby, these all remained concerned about their tenures. By 1671, this group would dominate the actions of any agent for Barbados. By 30 August, 1660, as disputes over Barbados continued, a committee had backed a decision of the king, as some rival claimants appeared, the heir of the earl of Carlisle and the representative of an earlier grant, James, Earl of Marlborough, and so Kendall, Colleton et al had again to press their case for a royal government of Barbados, versus, it seems, any proprietary right.


Redevelopment for convict transportation:

By 1660, there arose also a petition stating that the prisons were sanctuaries for the rich and able debtors, but murdering dens of cruelty for the poor. The Fleet debtors' prison then was in use; the warden had to make a living and pay his assistants from extorting the inmates, much as depicted in Henry Fielding's novel, a century later, Amelia. But at least the ordinary criminal was fed. Meantime, the city was full of various kinds of rogues, cheats and con-artists, more so at the end of the civil wars.

During the civil war, Scots, Irish and English enemies of the commonwealth were transported mainly to Barbados and Virginia. And since it was difficult to induce enough emigrants, a regular trade grew up in kidnapped persons. Transportation of the vagrant and the criminal appealed to authorities as an easy way out. (James in 1617 had ordered that notorious malefactors be transported to Virginia, or be put as soldiers into wars.)
G. Davies, Early Stuarts, p. 321.

London’s poor law administrators were vexed by wanderers from the country, so they promoted an act of 1662 enabling them to remove to their place of origin anyone who became chargeable. This limited the freedom of movement of the poor, and of labourers, as a disciplinary measure, and the law for punishing vagrants was also strengthened. About 1667-1669, Act 18 Car II c. 3 empowered the judges to exile for life the border brigands of Northumberland and Cumberland to any of the American colonies. This act expired in 1673.
Eris O’Brien, Foundation, p. 124.

There was an increase in new types of workhouses (factories), houses of correction or bridewells, prisons under another name, but the Quakers set up their own bridewells, such as Clerkenwell in London in 1701; and a poor-law system was set up where corruption could as easily be conducted as genuine charity and helpfulness.
Clark, The Later Stuarts, pp. 52-53.

Charles II arrived in London on 29 May, 1660. So arrived the Restoration of the Stuart Family. A new parliament, the Convention Parliament, was royalist, and Charles persuaded on condition that he promised amnesty to former enemies of the House of Stuart. He paid the army arrears and guaranteed religious toleration. Military power went to the Cavaliers and policy arose from the group known as the Cabal (made from their initials). The Cavalier parliament assembled in 1661, restoring a militant Anglicanism, and Charles considered re-asserting absolutism, though the crown remained still dependent on Parliament for revenue.
Clark, The Later Stuarts, p. 107.

All over Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, autocratic monarchy was receiving resistance from two sectors - aristocracies and the privileged corporation. One might wonder, could this in any way by put down to population pressure and economics? Absolute monarchy could not manage a system enabling increasing populations to live at a sufficient standard.

Moves between Barbados and Jamaica:

By December 1660, in London, some members of the Council for Foreign Plantations include Secretaries of State, others of the Privy Council, some experts, Lord Willoughby, the Earl of Marlborough, some west Indian planters and merchants such as, Sir Peter Leare, Sir Andrew Riccard, Sir James Drax, Thomas Povey, John Colleton (a relative of Modyford), Edward Walrond, Martin Noell, Thomas Kendall, Thomas Middleton, William Watts. These latter merchant names all worked together for five years with the board. (Povey seems to have also been linked with events in Virginia and New England). Maybe, Povey had ambitions of becoming an "agent-all-round" ?
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 34-37.

Earlier, Povey had been more or less recommended by Willoughby to the governors of Montserrat and Nevis, colonels Osborne and Russell respectively, on concerns of the islands. By about 1663, Colonel Philip Froude was secretary of the council for Foreign Plantations, and he had the support of Modyford's party, and Lord Bartlet and others, regarding the antagonist Povey.

By December, 1660, a charter arose for the Royal Adventurers into Africa, which by now had very shaky finances, and in Davies' view was more "an aristocratic treasure-hunt than an organized business". By January 1663 there was a rethink, a revised charter, and specific mention of the slave trade as a company objective. Capital was about £120,000, one seventh of which was never paid, including £6000 promised by the king.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 41.

With this 1660 founding of The Company of Royal Adventurers to trade to West Africa, there was apparently little no connection with the Caribbean. All this followed the 1588 endeavours of the Senegal Adventurers, which had only eight original members and was not incorporated; they had a monopoly to trade to Senegal and Gambia for ten years. No next development happened until 1618.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 39.

By 1661 too, the East India Company had a revised charter, which allowed it to maintain forts and raise troops for their defence. So began its new era with paid-up capital of £370,000, permanent joint-stock.
Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, p. 75.

In 1665 began a purely commercial war, Anglo-Dutch, which stemmed from conflict on the African west coast. Captain Robert Holmes was aggressive there over the winter of 1663-1664.
In 1664 Capt. Holme's expedition founded Fort James about 20 miles up the Gambia River, after cleaning out the Dutch, as a new base for English operations. There followed a confusing series of English-Dutch capture and recapture.
Clark, Later Stuarts, pp. 332ff.

Holmes took Goree north of the Gambia River and Cape Coast Castle on the Gulf of Guinea. Captain Nicolls took the New Netherlands (New York).
Clark, Later Stuarts, p. 63. Anglo-Dutch Wars continued, of 1652-1654, 1665-1667 and 1672-1674. Notes, Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, pp. 20-22. Anglo-French wars continued of 1666-1667, 1689-1697 and 1702-1713 were very destructive to the Caribbean, more so than for North America.

In 1661, Robert Holmes for the Royal Adventurers into Africa expelled the Courlanders (Latvians) from the mouth of the Gambia River, and James Island was occupied by the English. There was trading to Sherbro and Sierra Leone, but the Dutch placed obstacles, so in 1664 Holmes captured Dutch settlements at Cape Verde. De Ruyter then in 1665 swept out the English from all areas but Cape Coast Castle.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 42.

The king decided to grant New Netherland to his brother James, the Duke of York, as a proprietary province. James’ deputy was Richard Nicholls, who sailed for New Netherland from Boston, and Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant surrendered in September 1664. New York’s trade staple was fur. Part of the New York territory included what would become New Jersey, and James, Duke of York here favoured his friends Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, two defenders of the Stuarts during the Cromwellian period. In 1665 they established a government for the area, but New Yorkers protested at this as it clashed with their own interests. In 1674, Lord Berkeley sold his New Jersey interests to two Quakers, John Fenwick and Edward Byllynge; who later used trustees including William Penn.
Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, pp. 115-116.

By 29 March, 1661, Walrond on Barbados had decided Kendall and Colleton were really working for the reinstatement of Modyford on Barbados. Willoughby got himself to Barbados by 1663 and found considerable intrigues there.
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 32-33.

By June 1661, Povey's old friend William Watts was in command of the government of St Christopher. Povey's brother Richard was then on Jamaica, and Jamaica had a new governor, Thomas Lord Windsor. This was Thomas Windsor (Hickman) (1627-1687), seventh Baron Windsor and first Earl Plymouth, appointed governor of Jamaica in 1661. He disbanded the Roundhead army on Jamaica and cancelled commissions to privateers.
His DNB entry. GEC, Peerage, Plymouth, p. 560; Windsor, p. 800.

Povey's influences abated however from 1663. In the years after the Restoration, Povey's influence declined as he was linked with Willoughby, and the ruling party on Barbados was anti-Willoughby. About 1664-1666, Povey was surveyor-general of the victualling dept. in London.
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 10-13, pp. 35-38.

English merchant and lawyer Thomas Povey first became active about 1650-1655. By about 1664-1666, Povey was surveyor-general of the Victualling Dept. and dealt with West Indian islands. Maurice Thomson and Martin Noell (sic) were friend of Povey. Thomas Povey, a barrister of Gray's Inn and a merchant with widespread interests, was well-known for exerting his influence; his brother Richard was secretary and commissary general of provisions at Jamaica and another brother was William, provost marshal at Barbados.

In 1662 the Royal Adventurers Trading into Africa also had one purpose, to oust the Dutch in the slave trade. The East India Company had leased as a calling place, Cormantine (Kormantin), a few miles east from the Dutch Cape Coast Castle. By now this was the third English-Africa Company, and it took over an East India Company factory, Cape Coast Castle, a few miles east of a Dutch station, Elmina, on the Gold Coast. (The Breda treaty gave Cape Coast Castle back to the English.)
Clark, The Later Stuarts, p. 332. In 1662 and later: On the development of the joint-stock company in England, see Davies, Early Stuarts, pp. 24ff. K. G. Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 22ff, p. 32, lists joint-stock companies such as Muscovy, Mines Royal, Mineral and Battery Co., Levant Co., East India Co., New River Company (half of its capital belonged to the crown), Royal Fishery (interesting the Duke of Monmouth; Charles II invested £9000 in the Royal Fishery), Royal Adventurers, Royal African Co., Hudson's Bay Company, Bank of England.

The Duke of York was apparently involved here, as he put £3600 more into the Africa Company, which surrendered its charter in 1663 and had a new one issued, to The Company of Royal Adventurers of England Trading into Africa. This charter mentioned slaving specifically, the idea being to supply slaves to the West Indies on credit. The new company took over Kormantin and Cape Coast Castle, but was soon troubled by the Dutch. (The English ambassador to Holland then was Sir George Downing.) A series of wars arose between Britain and Holland.
Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro, pp. 136-137.


The deeper interests of the "proprietors of Carolina":

The granting of the "proprietorship of Carolina" south of Virginia, was not simply a sole-colonisation venture. It was one outcome of a large-scale, highly imaginative melding of many diverse strands of economic endeavour, with a view to keeping that endeavour in the hands of organisations bound largely to royal monopolisation. It is very likely that the outbreak of resentment in the 1790s, of merchants "interloping" against the East India Company, in the time of William III, was the expression of a London-based, long-held, Whiggish-minded resentment at what the "proprietorship of Carolina" might have come to, as is easily found from an examination of the interests of the Carolina proprietors. Those interests stretched from eastern Canada, south down the American coast, past Virginia, south to the Caribbean sugar islands, to Surinam, also to the West African coast, and around the Cape of Good Hope to India, via the financial interests of the East India Company, about the time that England gained Bombay. The scope of the interests held was enormous, since it embraced most of the earlier history of English colonisation, plus existing entry points into the Levant trade, as we find…

Carolina was intended to be the next jewel in the crown of colonisation, but its promoters already had extensive interests in all that had gone before… In a sense, Carolina represented a capture of the fruit of colonisation that the Stuarts had previously given too little attention. "The Carolina proprietors" in effect represented the start of a royally-controlled set of trading companies, with, potentially, enormous geographical scope and reach. As such, it embodied most English themes so far expressed in history, including, naturally, the continued occupation of Ireland. A first charter was issued on 24 March, 1663, a second charter in June 1665. (The Royal Africa Company was revivified from 1672.)

A grant had been made respecting the Carolinas as early as 1629, but no serious attempt was made to colonise till 1663, with eight proprietors, who received from Charles II a proprietary grant of Carolina. They were "many wealthy and most influential men in England". Waterhouse imparts in his first chapter, in 1663, the man who had initiated the entire affair, to be joined by the governor of Virginia, was Sir John Colleton, a rich Barbados planter. He was, with Sir William Berkeley and Lord Ashley, a member of the Special Committee for Foreign Plantations. Colleton was a relative of Jamaica's Sir Thomas Modyford.
Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, pp. 119ff; Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 78, Note 62. Davies, Royal Africa Company, index.

The Carolina proprietors became:

Sir William Berkeley (1606-1677), governor of Virginia in 1641.
Bliss, Revolution and Empire, p. 209. Haley, Shaftesbury, pp. 230ff. J. T. Wertenbaker, Virginia Under The Stuarts, 1607-1688. 1914.

And in the wings, his brother, Lord John Berkeley of Stretton (1602-1678), Commissioner of the Navy and member of the Privy Council. John, a friend of James, Duke of York, was a proprietor of New Jersey, a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. John married Christian Riccard, daughter of Sir Andrew Riccard, some-time governor of the Levant Company and also of the East India Company. Christian Riccard also married Henry Rich, first Viscount Irwin, of the family of the Earls of Warwick.
Ian B. Watson, Foundation, p. 72. GEC, Peerage, Berkeley, pp. 147ff; Warwick, p. 416.

Cromwellian Lieutenant-General, George Monck (1608-1670), first Duke of Albemarle, Captain General.
Bliss, Revolution and Empire, p. 209. GEC, Peerage, Albemarle, pp. 87-90. George Monck's son Christopher became the heavy-drinking governor of Jamaica known to Sir (Dr) Hans Sloane. Christopher married Elizabeth Cavendish who also married Ralph, first Duke Montagu, as his first wife. Ralph by his second wife had a son John, second Duke Montagu, earlier mentioned as "John the Planter", owner of St Lucia in the Caribbean.

Edward Hyde (1608-1687), Earl Clarendon, Lord Chancellor, whose son, Lawrence (died 1711), first Earl Rochester, was a partner with Willoughby, the governor of Barbados, who also owned Surinam. Of course, Edward's daughter, Anne, had married the king's brother, James, Duke of York, governor of the Royal Africa Company, of Jersey, of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Lawrence Hyde shortly before his death was governor of the Merchant Adventurers in London.
GEC, Peerage, Clarendon, pp. 265ff; Rochester, pp. 49ff. Of particular interest here is the conjunction of interest possessed by both the Royal Africa Company and the East India Company in the strategic location on the African coast, Kormantin.

Anthony Ashley Cooper, first earl Shaftesbury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had investments in the Guinea Trade and Barbados. He was distrusted by Royalists, so the others "came in to provide needed support".
On Barbados, Carolina and slavery: Richard Waterhouse, A New World Gentry: The Making of a Merchant and Planter Class in South Carolina, 1670-1770. New York, Garland Publishing Inc., 1989. Especially, Chapter 1.

Sir George Carteret (died 1679-1680), treasurer of the navy, member of the Board of Trade. He had been with Prince Rupert on Rupert's piratical adventures. Carteret was also a proprietor of New Jersey. His widow sold such rights to William Penn of Pennsylvania.
Warburton, Memoirs of Prince Rupert, Vol. 3.

William Craven (1608-1697), Earl of Craven, Lord Lt. of Middlesex, member of the Privy Council. At first sight, he does not seem to be anyone who might be involved!
Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Whitmore. Burke's Extinct Baronetcies for Bond of Peckham on "colonist", London alderman William Bond; Kemeyes of Kenanmabley. R. G. Lang, ‘Social Origins and Social Aspirations of Jacobean London Merchants’, Economic History Review, 2, V, 27, 1974., pp. 28-47. GEC, Peerage, Craven, pp. 500ff.

Craven however was Master of the home of navigation, Trinity House; a commissioner of the government of Tangier. He brought in the useful interests of the families of recent Lords Mayor of London. Son of a Lord Mayor, he was also son of a daughter, Elizabeth, of the Lord Mayor in 1631, William Whitmore, Haberdasher. His brother, John (1610-1648), first Baron Craven, by his marriage may have brought in the family interests of the Spencers of Wormleighton/Althorp. So, the name Craven presumably contributed standing City interests, and very strong ones.

The king, it is said, gave the Carolinas to these parties, as in his view, "he could not deny the strength of this coalition".
Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, p. 120.

Was he such an unaware businessman, oblivious of such an array of geographically spread and lucrative interests? Most of these proprietors had sustained colonial interests. Colleton was engaged with Barbados, Sir William Berkeley had been a governor of Virginia. Carteret and John Berkeley were involved with New Jersey. Carolina was suitable for "baronial estates". Once the disgruntled Barbadians arrived in Carolina, the system there provided a specialised plantation agriculture, promoted slave labour, and reduced the flexibility of the existing local social system. Articles for the government of Carolina were drawn up by Shaftesbury with the help of the philosopher John Locke, and were based on political ideas "already outmoded" in England itself.
Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, pp. 119-121.

That is hardly any wonder. After some 55 years in power, albeit interrupted by a civil war, the Scots Stuarts were simply beginning to realise where the future lay! And when they did realise, they overplayed their hand disastrously.

From 1663, when the most active Carolina proprietor was (so it is said) Shaftesbury, Sir Peter Colleton on Barbados, the eldest son of the Carolina proprietor, had joined forces with Sir Thomas Modyford, as some 200 Caribbean men were thinking of going to Carolina. After 1667, the first permanent Carolina settlement was made on the Ashley River, in 1670.

Dunn notes there had been some "aristocratic claptrap", of trappings dreamt up by Shaftesbury and Locke for the government of Carolina; its Fundamental Constitutions.
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, pp. 112-114. Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, speaks of "archaic, mediaeval ideas, outmoded in England itself", p. 121.

Later, from 1672, into the 1690s, the only revenge a London or outport-based merchant could take on this royally-inspired takeover of up to half-the-known-commercial-world was to engage firstly in "interloping " activity about Africa, against the Royal Africa Company, and when that failed, in the 1690s, to go interloping against the East India Company, east of Africa. It is also hardly any wonder that when the Scottish Darien Company arose in the 1690s, it also tried to fulfill many of the dreams inherent in the model provided by the royally-backed plans of "the Carolina proprietors". And all this is in the late 1690s was where the "Caribbean pirate", William Dampier, a man very familiar with English themes-in-history, gained employment circa 1700, when he sailed by Terra Australis Incognita.

A royal slaving company:

In 1663 the new royal slaving company told the king, Charles II, the very being of the plantations depended on supply of Negro slaves. Williams observes acidly, Europe was seldom so unanimous as in its view of its dependence on the value of Negro slave labour. Later, in 1672, the organisation was called The Royal Africa Company, and by 1680, (there was rising the lobbyists' dependence on the impressive statistic as a tool of trade), forts in Africa were estimated to cost £20,000 per year. There was a need certainly for private control of the Company, which like other slaving companies had enemies. In short the Company wanted a monopoly; and in 1671 the West India planters owed the Company £70,000 for slaves, for Jamaica alone.

By May 1671, after debate about failures, the Royal Adventurers were suggesting a new subscription of £100,000 and wanting the existing charter continued, with creditors to get 33 per cent plus old/new stock via a complicated formula. A new book for subscriptions opened on 10 November, 1671, then fresh plans arose, and a new company would buy all the old for £34,000. Between 10 November, 1671 and 11 December 1671, some 200 people underwrote stock to £111,600. Some original subscribers were John Locke and Shaftesbury. There were some delays in getting the capital in, caused by outbreak of a war with the Dutch, although in general the subscribers were keen to place their investment.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 59.

But in 1698 (while free traders were also again assailing the East India Company in London and about India), the Parliament abrogated the Africa Company's monopoly and threw slaving open to free trade. Although, a duty was applied of ten per cent on all goods exported to Africa for the purchase of slaves. Such goods included woolens (also part of the triangular trade), iron bars, guns and brass goods including pans and kettles. By 1682 Britain exported about 10,000 bars of iron to Africa yearly.

Eric Williams has discussed statistics provided by the pioneer seventeenth century English economist, Charles Davenant, indicating that by about 1700, England's total profit from trade amounted to £2 million, with the plantation trade accounted for £600,000 of this, and the re-export of plantation produce bringing in £120,000. The triangular trade pattern represented 36 per cent of England's commercial profits. About 1700, Davenant added that every individual white or black in the West Indies was seven-times more profitable than an individual at home in England. (And in 1700, Bristol had only 46 ships in the West Indian trade.)

The Royal Africa Company dealt in fabrics, including perpetuanas, lighter than serge, durable, cheap, while serge came from Devonshire. The Company bought goods from an Exeter agent or a London intermediary, one of whom was William Warren, a Company shareholder.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 177-183.

Knives and swords came to Royal Africa Company (RAC) from Samuel Banner of Birmingham (400,000 knives and 7000 swords). Banner had earlier supplied the Hudson’s Bay Company. Brokers used in London to deal with RAC imports included the prominent Robert Wooley, who paid the RAC 65,000 in ten years, although the destination of the goods since they left Wooley's hands has never been traced. On the lines of trade went; West India commodities going to London refiners, ivory to cutlers and furniture makers, dyewood to salters.

However, by January 1665 the Royal Adventurers owed £100,000, and supply reverted to private persons. There arose the Gambia Adventurers with a capital of £15,000, its shareholders being the members of the parent body, peers and courtiers, though by 1665 a number of prominent London merchants had entered the Company. It was too late, however, and by 1670 was talk of winding it up.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 43-44.

The Royal Adventurers sent no slaves to Jamaica after 1665; Jamaica probably sent or used slaves made available by private traders under licence. The RAC did not supply slaves again till 1674 (in which year, William Dampier was about Jamaica!). Jamaica became a strong opponent to monopoly of slave supply.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, pp. 308-310.

Meantime, themes anti-Spanish were not forgotten. In 1665 with the connivance of the governor of Jamaica, three British captains including Henry Morgan made their way upriver and sacked Granada, capital of Nicaragua, while other parties later pillaged the Pacific coast. In the winter of 1670-1671, Capt. Morgan with 1800 men again took Granada and Porto Bello, and Providence Island, then went across the isthmus and took Panama. Old Panama was never rebuilt, the Spanish were never recompensed for these losses. Morgan was later knighted and became Lt-governor of Jamaica.
Clark, Later Stuarts, p. 328.


Endnote 1: A brief chronology on the Asiento

Encyclopedia Britannica: Asiento is a Spanish word meaning "a farm of taxes, or a contract".

1490s and later: The Asiento, the silver and financial exchange backing the supply of slaves from Africa to the Caribbean and Southern America, seems to have gained its ultimate authority from the papal Bulls of the 1490s which divided the world mare clausum into two major areas of hegemony for Portugal and Spain, divisions which also left other European powers - France, Italy, Germany and England - with little to look as far as their colonial expansionism or international trade was concerned. (Except that the English defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1558 and a later Dutch whipping of the Spanish in 1639 rendered mare clausum meaningless for the future.)

1528: Follows from Goslinga - In 1528 Charles V gave to the German commercial house of Welser (perhaps concerning salt supplies?), a grant over some part of South America (Venezuela - Caracao? - salt pans?) although Goslinga does not say how or why this happened, whether or not with Spanish co-operation, nor what it actually meant. But Goslinga, (p. 340), says that in 1528 the Spanish government and the House of Welser a contract was made, although confusion has arisen since historian Donnan referred to these Germans as "Flemings".
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, p. 264.

1502 approx: Goslinga on asientos, writes, "Slavery became an evident necessity in the New World within ten years of its discovery. The instructions given to Nicolas de Ovando, the first administrator of the Spanish American empire, permitted the introduction of Negroes into the Western Hemisphere. From the outset Spain tried to organize the importation of Negro slaves through official channels; such intentions are obvious in the first asientos granted by Charles V to Lorenzo de Gomenot, the governor of Bresa. De Gomenot was licensed to import four thousand Negroes - a fact which reflects the influence of Las Casas - yet these slaves are far too few to solve the labour problem.
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, p. 339.

1518: A website suggests that the Spanish crown first authorizes a direct shipment of slaves from Africa to the Americas.

1528: In 1528 the Spanish government and the House of Welser made a contract, although confusion has arisen since historian Donnan referred to the Germans as "Flemings".
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, p. 340 (where it is not clear what is the nature of the contract or the business to be undertaken).

1580: After 1580, when Spain controlled the main sources of black merchandise within her realm, her government included these asientos on a much more regular basis. As a majority of the slave centres were located in West Africa, the Portuguese asentistas were the only people of that nation who willingly accepted Spanish domination.

1595: A well-known asiento was that given by Phillip II for the Caribbean to the Portuguese Pedro Gomez Reynal in 1595, agreeing for an annual delivery of 4250 slaves per year for nine years, for the Antilles, New Spain, Honduras, Rio Hacha, Margarita and Venezuela, possibly also Brazil. Gomez paid the crown 900,000 ducats for this concession. Demand for labour was such that other asientos were made. The figures in these contexts on numbers of slaves used do not include slaves in the hands of English, French and Dutch slave traders.
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, p. 339.

1648-1654: The fall of Luanda to the Portuguese and the loss of New Holland in 1654 lead the Dutch to establish Curacao as a slave depot - quite a successful one. Goslinga says that Spanish officials, aware of the value of slaves to sugar production, are quite willing to accept bribes from foreigners in matters of slave handling. Before the Grillo-Lomelino asiento, there had been no official asiento granted for some time by the Spanish. Grillo-Lomelino intended to rely mostly on English and Dutch suppliers of slaves. Which meant, the Dutch West India Company is involved.
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, p. 353.

1662: In 1662, prior to the granting of an asiento to Domingo Grillo and Amrosio Lomelino (who were Genoese), future profits for slave trading promise to be large. Spain in 1662 makes an asiento with Grillo-Lomelino, for 24,000 Negroes in seven years and they would obtain slaves from Dutch West India Company and the English Royal African Company, and resell them. They put an agent on Curacao. This time around, Spain had varied its practice, as Grillo-Lomelino had won an exclusive right to procure and sell slaves in the Spanish colonies in America. Spanish colonists are appalled at the arrangements and prices charged for slaves and protest to their government, which tries to convince Grillo-Lomelino to obtain slaves direct from Africa. They refused. In 1668, though Grillo-Lomelino were becoming insolvent, they contracted to supply 3500 slaves annually to the Caribbean, subcontracting with the Dutch West India Co. for the delivery of 2000 slaves.
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, pp. 353-362.

1670: In 1670, due to the Grillo-Lomelino insolvency, the Spanish asiento goes to a Portuguese, Antonio Garcia, for five years, with 4000 slaves supplied each year, he to get his slaves from the Portuguese-controlled areas of Africa. But Garcia buys his slaves from the Dutch WIC at Curacao. Garcia temporarily loses his business to the resurging Grillo-Lomelino team, but regains it two years later, and continues buying from the Dutch. (It is even possible, says Goslinga, p. 362, that Dutch capital had been involved earlier re the Garcia asiento of 1675, and so the Dutch interest won out internationally in the slave trade.) At one time, Grillo-Lomelino had placed several thousand guilders in trust at Willemstad on the island of Curacao. Goslinga writes that during the Garcia concession, two Amsterdam merchants, Balthasar and Joseph Coymans acted as bankers and representatives of the asiento for Garcia. Later, Balthasar Coymans got the asiento for himself. Goslinga does not elaborate on a later Balthasar Coymans' asiento, except to say that it was "colourful".
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, pp. 353-362.

1680 approx: The Dutch agent-general on Curacao of the asiento is Balthasar Beck, Lt-governor of the island under Stuyvesant. (The Curacao slave market operates under terms set by the Amsterdam Chamber, which made contracts with the asentistas).
Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, pp. 353-362.

1700-1713: After the establishment of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty of 1700, a French company (French Guinea Co., though not named) is formed, which receives the exclusive privilege of the Spanish-American slave trade - the asiento.
Encyclopedia Britannica.

1713: At the Peace of Utrecht of 1713, the British claimed the asiento. This privilege went to the South Sea Company, and formed part of the basis for the financial madness (and anti-Spanish fervour) of the South Sea Bubble which burst from 1720.
Encyclopedia Britannica.

1748: The asiento is renewed in 1748, but partly due to conflict, in 1750 the Spanish agree "to the recession of the Asiento Treaty altogether with the payment by Spain of £156,000" to Britain.
Encyclopedia Britannica.

Endnote2: Circa 1670? Concerning London Lord Mayor Sir Samuel Starling
Descendants of Garford
2. Tallow Chandler Richard Garford
3. Mary Garford wife2 (d.1700)
sp: George Villiers Visc4 Grandison (b.1617;m.14 Nov 1764;d.16 Dec 1699)
sp: Sir, London Lord Mayor Samuel STARLING nd.

Endote3: 1673: The Royal Africa Company Listings - Assistants to the Company included: Sir John Buckworth, Deputy-Governor 1672-1673. Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, Sir John Banks, Jarvis Cartwright, Thomas Farrington, Sir Samuel Dashwood, Ferdinando Gorges, Sir Edward Hopegood, John Jeffreys, Sir Andrew King, Samuel Moyer, Sir Gabriel Roberts, Sir John Shaw, Benjamin Skutt in 1682-1684. Also associated, Thomas Vernon, Sir Robert Vyner, Sir Joseph Williamson, Edward Rudge, Sir John Robinson, William Roberts, Sir Arthur Ingram, Thomas Crispe, William earl of Craven, Roger Chappell, John Bull, Sir Robert Vyner.

Endnote4: 1674 Circa: Names of interest on roads out from Barbados Bridgetown by Carlisle Bay, in no particular order, Hawley, Scot(t) Sherland, Eyton, Carter, Kisbrook, Peat, Clements, Morris, Child, Young, Codrington Jnr, Turton, Cecill, Elegant, Newbold and Prideaux, Willoughby, Cole and Mellors, Gregory and Prideaux, Ridgway, Pellard, Osborn, Robinson, Witham and Green, Wolverston, Bulklay, Sutton Snr, Kandye, Perkins, Davis, Pointz, Morgan, Silvester, Stroud, Finchbrok; Neal, Bright and Salter, Newell and Guy, Gayton (maybe links to the Gaytons who were relatives of Arthur Phillip, first governor of New South Wales?), Bu Lett, Barnes, Marcell and Claypole, Holdip (sic) Evans and Cade, Grant, Sharpe, Thompson and Prideaux, Heywood, Chester, Lane Jnr, Lane Snr (are these linked to the later Lane Son and Fraser?), Dean, (See Alan Frost on Gov. Phillip of NSW, p. 4,5. old connections between Phillip, Lanes, Gaiton and Everitts, Lane Son and Fraser acted as bankers to Michael Everitt and Arthur Phillip, Phillip close to John Lane and Eleanor Everitt, In the late 1780s, after Michael Everitt died (Phillip been with him on ship Stirling Castle), Elizabeth Gaiton Everitt lived close to her daughter in Nicholas Lane, about time she commissioned the portrait of Gov. A. Phillip, of New South Wales, now in the National Portrait Gallery, which she later gave to Isabella Phillip, who later gave it to Eleanor Lane "of Peckham", and later in the nineteenth century, the Lane house at Peckham passed to the Gaiton family.
From Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 94, from a Barbados map dated about 1674.

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