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First came a ravaging plague, then in September 1666 blazed the Great Fire of London, beginning with an accidental fire on London Bridge. In four days 13,000 houses were destroyed, plus larger buildings in between, all to a property value of £7-10 million. Fire insurance was a thing of the future, and when fire insurance did come to be sold, names in Londonís sugar refining industries - fire hazard businesses - were conspicuous in promoting it. And in the country, there were riots due to unemployment and high taxation.
A recently-published title with a new, more forensic treatment and updated statistics is Neil Hanson, The Dreadful Judgement: The True Story of the Great Fire of London, 1666. Doubleday, 2001.
For various other trade figures of the time, regarding sugar and tobacco providing employment in the East End and on the south bank, with the East India Company by the 1670s admitting it competed with the Levant Company in silk handling, see pp. 132-138, A. L. Bier and Roger Finlay, (Eds), London, 1500-1700: The Making of the Metropolis. London, Longman, 1986, citing E. S. Morgan, íThe First American Boom: Virginia 1618 to 1630í, William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, 27, 1971. N. Williams, íEngland's Tobacco Trade in the Reign of Charles Ií, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 65, 1957.
The East India Company held its factories as tenants to the native rulers, operating mostly at Surat (north of Bombay on India's north west coast), the principal port city on the west coast of India, side by side with the Dutch. (From 1668 the French also had a factory there). On the east coast the chief English factory was Fort St George, at Madras. The English also had some factories on the Coromandel coast, Masulipatam (on the mid-eastern Indian coast), and on the coast, Balasore (south of Calcutta), Orissa, Hugli (south of Calcutta on the west Ganges River delta).
Another East India Company factory was at Bantam in Java, another at Bencoolen in Sumatra. The Company leased some factories on the African West Coast as calling ports, and here lies a problem, since it is difficult to find reports on East India (or "slaving") trading occurring at these ports. Presumably, trade did take place, and if so, yet another nexus was formed enabling "East India" and "slaving" money flows to mingle, with the proceeds naturally amalgamating in London.
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.
Meanwhile, the acquisition of Bombay in full territorial sovereignty from the Spanish as a wedding gift for Charles II provided many new opportunities. When the Duke of Marlborough had come to collect Bombay with five men o' war, the Portuguese governor was unhappy, and difficulties remained till 1665. Charles found Bombay all to expensive and gave it to the East India Company for a quit-rent in 1668. The Company thought well of Bombay and soon transferred their local headquarters to it from Surat.
This coincided with a change in tempo for East India Company activities. Initially, with disorder noted all over India, the Company in London remained quite cautious and unambitious, but on the spot in India, Company staff thought they could only survive by taking strong measures, and so they lead the Company by the nose.
Clark, The Later Stuarts, p. 350.
The Company's Indian garrison mutinied against the Company's pussyfooting attitude. (The Company also lost Bantam). Charters granted to the Company in 1661 and 1683 had given it the right to coin money, to exercise jurisdiction over English subjects, to make peace and war, and to enter into alliances with Indian rulers. Under James II the Company directors wanted the condition of a sovereign state in India, so that they would not be at the mercy of local rulers. Initially, the Company enjoyed prosperity under Charles II, but this lapsed, partly as English interlopers had reduced profits. (Those interlopers tend not to be named, unfortunately).
A remarkable interloper was Samuel White, about the time of the operations of the "association" of Sir William Courteen. The East India Company as well as interlopers or free traders were guided chiefly by lust for loot. Samuel White began as a Company employee, as trade was mostly in Indian cotton goods in exchange for cash or English manufactures. However, there was also arising the "country trade", the intra-Asian trade. Interlopers engaged in this enthusiastically, but Company staff did not; at least, "not officially". Country trade became an indirect source of revenue for the Company, and all was countenanced so long as the free traders stayed away from the London markets. This was the situation Samuel White met at Madras when he arrived in 1676. Samuel joined his brother George, already an interloper, at the capital of Siam, at Ayudhya. Samuel worked on Siam royal ships delivering elephants, and trading on his own account. He also found the Siamese preferred dealing with the French, and an idea was to keep English ships out of the Bay of Bengal.
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White however was allowed to fit out armed ships, and he entered on piracy against Burma and Golconda, then to Sumatra and the Persian Gulf. In about two years he acquired about £150,000, and finally the Company in London got orders from James II that White be removed from the service of the King of Siam. White remained between a rock and a hard place, and he would not survive the intrigues of Siam. So in 1687 he sailed one of his ships to Madras, escorted by an East India Company ship with Weldon, come to fetch him. White's lies to the king of Siam cost about 80 English lives in the long run, but White arrived home, just as James II had just fled. William III was now on the throne, a time was ripening favourable for White and all interlopers, while misfortunes would settle on the shareholders of the Company. White brazenly decided that the best form of defence is offence, and so he would sue the Company. But he died in 1689 before any case came up.
Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, pp. 79-83.
White was not the only English aggressor! In 1686, an East India Company expedition was sent to capture and fortify Chittagong (on the east of the Ganges River delta). It was intended to make war on the King of Siam and to capture an island near Bombay from the Portuguese; but only the Chittagong project came off. The Mogul Indians besieged the English everywhere, and the English retreated down to the site of modern Calcutta (on the west of the Ganges delta, where Job Charnock prevailed). One English response was to blockade the progress of Moslem pilgrims to Mecca, which rather oddly led to an Indian backdown, and also had some bearing on the foundation of Calcutta.
In the later years of Charles II, the Company was troubled, and in 1693 it had to bribe its way with senior ministers for a new charter from the crown. Here, the House of Commons wanted no exclusiveness for any one company to India, and said all subjects had a right to trade to India unless prohibited by Act of Parliament. With such disputes, London Whigs later wanted to examine various accounts in the City, some of them, Company accounts. The bribes of 1693 were discovered, and the Duke of Leeds, who had received 5500 guineas, was impeached.
It appears, that William III simply auctioned the monopoly to the East. The New East India Company offered a loan to government of £2 million at 8 per cent, which was accepted despite a lower interest rate bid from the Old East India Company. So Du Bois of the Old Company bought heavily into the New. It was finally realised that the two companies had to merge. The (Old) Company averaged only 13 ships per year, but despite difficulties the United Company found an annual profit of £300,000 per year during the first four years of its existence. (In 1693 it was estimated that the Old Company spent £170,000 in "secret service money", bribing the Crown or its ministers and parliamentary contacts in return for a favourable new charter.) Later, the Duke of Leeds/Danby was impeached. There were at the time, few Whigs in the Company, and by 1695, dissension broke out, which assisted the Scottish (Darien) company - which will be discussed further in detail.
Clark, Later Stuarts, p. 328, pp. 352-354. Ian B Watson, Foundation, p. 29.
Earlier, some of the Eastern interlopers thought they might link with the Scottish Company trading to India, but this came to nothing. There was, however, yet another visitation of old-versus-new. There arose two English East India companies, the Old and the New. This produced intense rivalry in the East itself. The New Company at one point made a handsome loan to the government, the directors of the Old held to what they had, and acquired shares in the New. The New company had less an imperialistic attitude, day-to-day in the east, and by 1702 it only mattered when the New fused with the Old following "wise mediation" by Godolphin. There appeared the United East India Company, a final body which obtained most of the sea-borne trade of India, plus the imperial inheritance of the Mogul emperors.
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 43-48.
Sir Josiah Child's management of the East India Company:
By 1630, the East India Company had some 12,000 employees in stable employment.
Olson, Making the Empire work, p.17.
Sir Josiah Child (died 1699) is regarded as "the father of Mercantilism". He placed his daughters in marriage well, to the Duke of Beaufort, Duke of Chandos, Lord Granville; and his own son became Lord Tilney.
Westerfield, Middlemen, p. 402. Rudolph Robert, Chartered Companies and Their Role in the Development of Eastern Trade. London, G. Bell and Sons, 1969., treats Sir Josiah Child.
Some interesting contemporary and other titles of relevance here include: A. V., An essay for regulating the coin. 2nd Ed. 1696. A. Abram, An Abstract of the Grievances of Trade, etc. London, 1694. A. Abram, An account of some transactions .. relating to the East India Company. London, 1693. R. Allen, An essay on the nature and methods of carrying on a trade to the South Sea. London, 1712 B. E. A new dictionary of terms, ancient and modern, of the canting crew. London, circa 1696. W. R. Bisschop, The Rise of the London Money Market. London, 1910. J. S. Brewer, British Merchant; or, Commerce preserved. (C. Kind, Ed.). 3 Vols. London, 1721. Carry Jr., Case of Messrs. Brooke and Helier, circa 1700. Carry Jr., The Case of Richard Thompson and Company. London, 1678. R. Coke, Collection of the debates and proceedings in Parliament in 1694 and 1695, upon the inquiry into the late briberies and corrupt practices. London, 1695. Thomas Culpepper, Plain English ... concerning the deadness of our markets. London, 1673. (Following up Culpepper's 1641 tract against usury). F. W. Fairholt, Tobacco: its history and associations. London, 1859. W. Forbes, A methodical treatise concerning bills of exchange. 2nd edn. Edinburgh, 1718. E. Halley, Atlas maritimus et commercialis. London, 1727. W. C. Hazlitt, The Livery Companies of the City of London. London, 1892. W. Herbert, The History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of London, etc. Two Vols. London, 1837. R. B. Westerfield, Middlemen in English Business: 1660-1760. Newhaven, Connecticut, 1915. [Reprinted, Newton Abbot, 1968]., p. 353, pp. 429 ff.
Josiah Child as a young man left London for Portsmouth to make his fortune from vittling Cromwell's army. He returned to London in the 1660s and bought a brewery.
Furber, Rival, p. 97.
By 1664, Sir Josiah Child was warning that the North American colonies would become "prejudicial" because of their growing maritime strength.
Albion, Forests and Sea Power, p. 245. Westerfield, Middlemen, p. 406.
Child was broadly correct. During the 1690s Josiah Child labelled New England as "the most prejudicial Plantation to this Kingdom", and described the inhabitants as "a people whose Frugality, Industry and Temperance, and the happiness of whose laws and institutions, promise to them long life with a wonderful increase of People, Riches and Power."
Philip S. Haffenden, New England in the English Nation, 1689-1713. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1974. Introduction, and p. 54. Also, See Michael G. Hall, et al (Eds.), The Glorious Revolution in America. Chapel Hill, NC, 1964.; Bernard Bailyn, The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press, 1955.; Thomas C. Barrow, Trade and Empire: The British Customs Service in Colonial America, 1660-1775. Harvard University Press, Cambridge University Press, 1966.; Curtis P. Nettels, Money Supply of the American Colonies. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. Wisconsin, 1934.
By 1673, Child was the largest shareholder in the East India Company, as dissatisfaction was rising with returns from the Company, and interlopers were competing. The Company was split on how to deal with interlopers or not, and there was also debate over whether to exclude the Kingís brother, James, the Duke of York (later James II) from succession to the crown or not.
The opponents of the interlopers, including Child, were supporters of the King. Many of the pro-interlopers were exclusionists, and a pro-exclusionist was Thomas Papillon, an East India Company director since 1663, a pro-republican with Dutch financial interests. The opposing forces within the Company were matched equally till Child became Governor of the Company and Papillon became deputy-governor in 1681.
K. N. Chaudhuri, Trade and Civilization in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750. Cambridge University Press, 1989., p. 87. According to Furber, Rival, Sir Josiah Child was no relation to John Child who worked for the East India Company in India.
On 11 November, 1681 Papillon moved to wind up the Company's joint stock in three years and open a new joint stock to interlopers. This was defeated. Papillon also wanted more parliamentary liaison for the Company. Later, Papillon and his supporters were ousted, so they sold out of the Company. Child meantime had judiciously distributed "presents". Papillon faced damages of £10,000 and fled to Utrecht. The rebels had to sell out their stock to Du Bois and withdraw to lick their wounds, Papillon was finally fined £10,000 by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys for sedition and fled overseas. A small clique of about forty men closely connected with the court were left in control of the Company, and stockprices rose.
Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, pp. 76-77.
About 1684-85 arose a legal case, the East India Company versus Thomas Sandys. By 1683, a Company interloper, Thomas Sandys, gained a royal prerogative to create a monopoly of the Indian trade. Judge Jeffreys upheld the royal prerogatives but interloping continued. In 1691 the interloping group had a new society meeting at Dowgate, and they got a case to Parliament in 1694. In 1698 the New East India Company was set up. It gave a loan of two million to the state, but the Old Company bought out the new for £3.2 million, just as the Company was feeling greater need for permanence in India.
The king's right to use royal prerogative to create a monopoly whereby the Company could seize interlopers was upheld, and after the accession of James II in 1685, the Company could successfully prosecute interlopers. The Company obtained a new charter in 1686, although Company fortunes fell and, quite outrageously, and partly due to the work of Sir Josiah Child, the Company was waging war on the Mogul emperor, Aurangzeb, just as William III came to the throne in 1688-1689 - and as the pirate Samuel White had come home.
Abroad, Thomas Papillon noted the case of Samuel White, came home, and with others with a fund petitioned Parliament to throw open the Indian trade. A French war delayed matters. Governor of the Old Company, Sir Josiah Child, "father of Mercantilism", fought all this. The Company spent nearly £90,000 in bribes in one year to keep its exclusivity. An inquiry found it was the Company's usual practice to distribute bribes to great men; that in 1693 it had spent about £90,000 on bribery. The Duke of Leeds was charged with accepting a bribe of £5000 and impeached. Great men tried to smother the inquiry. Parliament was prorogued. Some £10,000 was traced to William III.
With William III installed, however, Papillon felt confident in returning from abroad. A war of pamphlets began in London. The interlopers rose again. Whig interests sought a new charter for the Company from William and the fight lasted eight years. Sir Josiah Child possessed enough influence to get bills through favouring the monopoly. Then the Company stupidly failed to pay a new tax and so forfeited its charter. A new charter was written by October 1693, although in 1694 the Parliament resolved that all subjects of England had an equal right to trade to the East unless prohibited by Act of Parliament.
So matters made for a standoff. As William III might have allowed the claims of the private (eastern) traders, then came the threat of the Scottish Darien Company, while in 1697 the weavers attacked East India Company House, and Child's house too. Child finally failed in efforts to restrict the stock ownership of the Company, so much so that he used two brokers to sell shares dear and buy cheap. But now it was Parliament, not the King, which granted charters for trading monopolies.
Sir Josiah Child, "autocrat of the East India Company," remained a favourite at the court of Charles II, since he made Charles many private loans. Charles in gratitude made him baronet. Child was a Whig who rose to Whig governorship of the East India Company. James II hated Child, but Child turned Tory for James, rather aggrandizing himself as part of the exercise.
It was this Toryism which led to revolt by the Company's Papillon faction. As Tory, Child fared badly with the 1688 Revolution promoting William III, but power remained covertly in his hands. Child often gave bribes, and bribery and corruption with the Company reached "amazing proportions" from 1688 till later in Walpole's times. "To obtain and maintain the exclusive economic and political privileges in England, it (the East India Company) combined bribery with protestations of honesty, intrigues with outward submission, plunder of foreign lands for the small clique with declarations of serving the British interest of promoting trade, and, later, rapine of India" writes Mukherjee, along with the post-1800 hypocrisy of the carrying of "the white man's burden".
Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, p. 47. Maurice Collis, British Merchant Adventurers. London, William Collins, 1942. W. M. Torrens, Empire in Asia: How We Came By It: A Book of Confessions. London, Trubner and Co., 1872.
And in all, it could be said, that as a writer on trade and economics, Child may well have been too busy to notice that slavery existed, that workers might need, or prefer, living wages. His writings were some of the early formulations which corrupted the heart of the capitalism of his day. There was indeed an ideological battle starting. A lesser-known figure, Sir William Petty, did however write more humanely on semen's wages versus landlubber wages in the early 1670s.
See: C. H. Hull, (Ed.), Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, as cited by Davis, Rise of the English Shipping Industry, p. 152.
As for "business styles"Ö Before 31 July, 1691, stockjobber William Sheppard, the greatest of the stock jobbers of his day, was buying and selling £6000-9000 in Royal Africa Company stock, also dealing in other stocks, including for the Hudsonís Bay Company and the East India Company. He ended with Company stock lots of £70,000.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 83.
And in 1691, Sir Josiah Child and seven others owned more than 25 per cent of Royal Africa Company stock, and voted their own way, accordingly.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 156.
Was it simply racism which made the writers of the day on economic topics overlook the fact that behind sugar and tobacco profits, behind slavery, was a violent, irrational, and institutionalised determination not to pay workers a sensible wage for their labour? If so, then it was partly racism which corrupted "capitalism" at the core, for the oversight affected notions on final sale prices for commodities. This oversight, and its affects in later commentary, helped to lay the basis for discussion on trade and economics, centuries later. Whereas, some historians are more prone to speak merely of the Mercantilists' fondness for "buying cheap and selling dear", or the difficulties of finding sufficient bullion to use in the East. As it was, "buying cheap" could also entail warfare, oppression of workers in goods-producing countries.
The Royal Africa Company as supplier of slaves was also a worry, as it had "narrow interests". "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", as Davies writes.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 346.
Davies calls the entire operation a failure as a capitalist organisation, due to wars, to operating on three continents, to under-capitalisation, structural defects, slow communications, as well as the inhumanity and immorality of the exercise.
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 294.
Two men regarded as "political economists", Josiah Child and Dalby Thomas, were investors in Royal Africa Company slaving operations.
Mintz, Sweetness, p. 155.
Note: The fortunes of the Childs, the Riders and the Heathcotes might be measured in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Davis, Rise of the English shipping industry, p. 95.
The large London timber merchants drew widely on London business circles to take shares in ships they built. The usual trading rights for East India Company ships captains made them a fortune in four or five voyages. In the Africa trade, captains always and mates often could carry their own slave cargo separate and freight free.
R. Davis, Rise of the English shipping industry, p. 87, p. 148.
The lists are long: Sir Josiah Child (the greatest shareholder and personality in the East India Company in the 1680s and 1690s); Sir John Moore (director of the Company and Lord Mayor 1681-1682 and MP for London in 1685); Sir Gabriel Roberts (Company director, deputy-governor of the Levant Company); Sir Samuel Dashwood (Company director, Assistant to the Levant Company, MP for London, Commissioner of Excise); Sir Robert Clayton (still in the rise of his fortune-making, "the great scrivener", MP for London, Lord Mayor, director of the Bank of England); Sir William Prichard (Lord Mayor 1682-1683, MP for London, Company director); Sir William Turner.
By 1665-1667, Sir Josiah Child was already eminent with Company as a director. In his view, trade with India was the most beneficial sort of English trade, although requiring over 25 of "the most warlike mercantile ships". In Bengal, the Moguls had resisted the first Portuguese, on the Hugli River.
The name de Souzas can be found in J. J. A. Campos, History of the Portuguese in Bengal. London/Calcutta, Butterworth and Co., 1919., p. 189, p. 197, p. 157.
The Portuguese about Bengal fell into piracy. But from about 1665, possibly from Chittagong, it was the Portuguese who probably gave the English East India Company its ideas when, in 1685, Child waged war on the Mogul emperor, Aurangzeb.
More merchant names are in Campos, History of the Portuguese in Bengal, pp. 19ff, p. 126.
"Sir Josiah Child [nd] as chairman of the East India Company Court of Directors writes to Governor of Bombay nd to crush countrymen (English) who had invaded ground of the Company's pretensions in India."
In 1681, Child had become governor of the East India Company. He soon became convinced the Company already had the power to make war on Indian politics, regarding the use of Fort St. George. Child was very concerned with revenue volumes, more so as overheads had to be paid.
Ian B. Watson, Foundation, p. 3.
Child's policies became very aggressive and expansionary, and he wanted to defray the overhead costs of infrastructure, (just as did the Royal Africa Company).
Ian B. Watson, Foundation, p. 83.
About when Child began thinking of making war on Aurangzeb, Sir John Child in India (no relation to Sir Josiah Child, evidently), was admitting that the Company at Surat owed £281,250 to natives of Surat. It was inconvenient to pay even the interest here, and some way had to be found re such obligations.
Tara Chand, History of the Freedom Movement in India. Vol. 1. New Delhi, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1970., p. 206.
Mogul reactions were swift and drastic, moving against the English at Surat, Masulipatam, Vizagapatam. Bombay was attacked. The Emperor took English humility, and then came the firman of 1690, on condition the Company paid all dues to Indian merchants, gave compensation for losses inflicted on Empire, and recalled Sir John Child from India. So Bombay was evacuated and permits for trade on Indian west coast and Bengal were restored. Sir John Child, the Company, about 1681 had become exasperated by the behaviour of Mogul officials in Bengal and wanted to chastise Aurangzeb. The Company from London gave Child increased military and commercial powers, the same powers as the Dutchman Van Goens enjoyed at Batavia with VOC.
But the war went badly for Child, the west coast English reluctant to fight. Some Mogul pilgrim ships were seized, English ships brought in prizes, but costs included the imprisonments of some English at Surat and a siege of Bombay. The East India Company directors in January 1686, including Josiah Child had decided on war, but had no local knowledge. Their plan was naÔve: to declare war on Aurangzeb from the west, cut off Mogul shipping, while in the east they would take Madras, evacuate Company servants from Bengal, seize Mogul ships as sea, and take Chittagong as a base for moving up the Ganges with forces led by Capt. William Heath, to try to take the Mogul viceroy's capital at Dacca. Only Job Charnock saved this absurd situation from complete disaster, and by-the-by he had helped to establish Calcutta by 1692.
Furber, Rival, pp. 96-97.
Child evidently brewed Company discontents after 1681 when he became Governor. He heeded Augnier's advice about conducting commerce with sword in hand, so he wanted the Company to save for this purpose, and also develop new sources of revenue at both Bombay and Madras. However, his idea to increase taxes at Bombay contributed to Keigwin's rebellion of 1683. Hearing of Keigwin's actions, such as imprisoning the Company's deputy-governor, Charles II appointed John Child Captain-General of all the Company's forces in West India and sent out a ship ordering Keigwin to surrender. Keigwin surrendered. In 1685, John Child was created Baronet.
Sir Josiah Child, becoming Company governor in 1681, had been slow to persuade, but he finally went for war on Indian polities. The infrastructure matter, the cost of fortifications, was a strong point. And by 1684 the Company wanted to strengthen Fort St. George, wanting like the Dutch to see a fort pay its way.
Ian B. Watson, Foundation, p. 48.
By 1700, Thomas Pitt in India was reporting to Child, about increasing English revenue while not upsetting the local government. The Company wanted to increase its revenues as well as its commercial trade, and relevant ethical questions were not addressed till Clive's time in 1765, when he was given diwani rights.
Memorably, Child once expressed contempt for the laws of England as "compiled by a few ignorant country gentlemen" who hardly knew how to make laws for the good of their private families, let alone regulating companies and foreign commerce. And although this remark of Child's seems contemptuous, an examination of the views of those he criticised here makes one suspect he was correct. Josiah Child helped appoint John Vaux as Governor of Bombay, in which context arose Child's amazing remark, "the laws of England are a heap of nonsense".
Ian B. Watson, Foundation, p. 36, p. 72.
And Child did want his own increasingly aggressive orders carried out. In 1669, Child in his writings made remarks on the timber trade, at a time when 200 ships sailed for "Eastland", but England he feared was not building enough new ships for that trade. Child, of course, wanted only English ships to be used.
Albion, Forests and Sea Power, p. 157. Davis, Rise of the English shipping industry, p. 53, p. 160.
(Before 1713, it became convenient more so for the East India Company shipping interest to become associated with senior Company directors, partly as then, the shipowners could promise themselves that their own ships would be used, and men setting up this modified system included prominent Company members of the Company court such as Sir Josiah Child, Sir Jeremy Sambrooke, Richard Hutchinson and Charles Duncombe.
Endnotes: The Caribbean: slavery and convict transportation:
Modyford boasted, he was "a planter become a governor" But Modyford's move to Jamaica did not destroy the anti-Willoughby faction on Barbados that Modyford had built up to hinder first Searle, then Willoughby.
Penson, Colonial Agents, p. 39.
In 1664, due to Sir Thomas Modyford, Jamaica lock-stock-and barrel adopted the slave code which had earlier been written on Barbados. (The code was later re-exported to Virginia.) With the aid of his kinsman Monck, Duke of Albemarle, Modyford in 1664 became the royal governor of Jamaica, and in 1664 he sold his Barbados property, got 20,000 acres in Jamaica for himself and relatives and soon owned a property, Sixteen Mile Walk, the grandest plantation on the island, with six hundred servants and slaves.
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p 82.
To 1668, William Lord Willoughby had been out to the Leeward Islands, and when he got back home to London he was granted a renewal of his commission as governor of all the Caribbean Islands. By 1668, Barbadian agitators with Lord Willoughby had included Sir Paul Painter and Ferdinando Gorges.
(This was probably a merchant of St Bartholomew by the Exchange, active 1674, a colonist, and an investor in the Royal Africa Company according to K. G. Davies' lists; Hasler, History of Parliament, Vol. 2, pp. 206ff. Sir Ferdinando Gorges "the father of American colonisation", was proprietor of Maine in 1639-1647. His own DNB entry. Burke's Landed Gentry for Gorges of Wraxall. GEC, Peerage, Coningsby, p. 395; Southwell, Castle Matress, p. 149.
A list of those who were restive with Willoughby's privileges begins to look like a list of Londonís earliest Whigs of the merchant classes; merchants less than enamoured of autocratic royalty.
Which is no accident. From the 1680s, London Whig merchants were to express themselves vigorously about royal monopolies, rights to free trade, new colonies (such as Carolina), and naturally, their financial interests were ranged around Eastern trade and slavery. Londonís Whig merchants who came to final prominence during the reign of William III only tightened earlier existing financial linkages which made the mutuality of slavery and East India Company business profitable, sophisticated in technique, more free in attitude - and as this happened, further development of the Virginia-London tobacco trade created new sources of profit. (Incidentally, by 1681, most of the MP investors in the Royal Africa Company were Tories; between 1681 and 1702, 14 of 16 successful Tory candidates were interested in the Company, which may have reflected the influence of James II in the Company generally.)
Davies, Royal Africa Company, p. 104.
Endnote1: After 1670, the Bahamas were subject of a grant to certain of the Carolina proprietors of 1670, [CSP iii, No. 311, pp. 132-133, 1 Nov., 1670. By 1775-1776, the Royal Governor of South Carolina was Lord William Campbell]. The proprietors of Bahamas made little provision for defence, and in 1704 the Bahamas had become depopulated (about 150 families were there) due to war. Salt was the chief product. The Bahamas became a stronghold of pirates, a situation not addressed again till 1715. By 1707, the collector of customs for 20 years on Bahamas had been John Graves. For years the proprietors of the Bahamas had been resident in England, using an agent to see to their interests in dealings with the Board of Trade, one Thornburgh. By 1706, Graves was telling government that the Bahamas were decayed due to neglect by the proprietors.
Penson, Colonial Agents, pp. 99-103.
Endnote2: 1650-1700: One of the most remarkable (and outrageous?) books ever written about English pirates is:
B. R. Burg, Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth Century Caribbean. New York, New York University Press, 1995.
W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African-American Seamen in the Age of Sail. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, nd-recent/1990s?.
Copyright © by Dan Byrnes, Australia, 2002
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