This webpage updated 31 January 2010
Reference item: Many trading scenarios arise due to lack of Indian/Asian demand for European manufactures including woolens. Dunn suggests that between 1560 and 1630, it is probable that English merchants put more investment money into privateering than any other enterprise, including the East India Company, but of course, in 1559, the Spanish had refused to surrender their "right" to exclude foreigners from the Indies, about which England failed to agree, entailing conflict away from home. About 1604, English privateers captured hundreds of enemy ships and took home about £100,000 worth of sugar, hides, logwood, indigo, silver, gold and pearls.
Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, pp. 10-11.
Reference item: In 1601, London men seek fruitlessly to find a north-west passage to sell more English woolens in colder areas, especially, China.
A. N. Ryan, ‘"A New Passage to Cataia": The Northwest Passage in Early Modern English History’, pp. 299-317 in John B. Hattendorf, (Ed.), Maritime History Vol. 1: The Age of Discovery. Malabar, Florida, Krieger Pub. Co., 1996.
Oddly enough, of all the merchant-expansionist groups, the aspiring exploiters of the Amazon area are some of the most revealing in terms of merchant-aristocracy linkages, genealogically. With any genealogical unity notable amongst and between England's notable traders, explorers, mariners and colonists from before 1600, we find that cloth traders and their associates were conspicuous - although, somewhat under-rated in maritime history.
Logwood, as the English called it, rather non-specifically, sometimes called redwood, was a source of dyes for the cloth trade. It was gained from near-Caribbean areas where the English had less influence than the Spanish and Portuguese. The earliest English exploration of the Amazon River area took place between 1553-1608; the first English and Irish settlements were made there, 1604-1620.
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.
Now, some earlier-considered names of interest in the context of English expansionism generally are: Sebastian Cabot, who warned of Portuguese interest in the area by 1553; Hakluyt the commentator on English maritime expansionism; Sir Walter Raleigh, inspired by tales of gold, by 1595, and his backers Myddleton.
GEC, Peerage, Dacre, p. 12. Who’s Who in Shakespeare"s England, p. 201. Andrews, Elizabethan Privateering, p. 26. A. L. Rowse, Raleigh and the Throckmortons. London, Macmillan, 1962., pp. 129ff notes Raleigh, and also that the Throckmortons had been in the service of the Earls of Warwick, who captured the loyalty of many large families. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 67: Fulke Greville (1554-1628), the first Lord Brooke, naval treasurer, was an intimate friend of Sir Walter Raleigh and interested in his colonisation schemes. Brooke also published Sidney's political tract, Arcadia. (On Brooke: Who’s Who in Shakespeare's England, p. 98, GEC, Peerage, Brooke, pp. 331ff; Willoughby, p. 690). Lorimer (Ed.), Amazon, p., 293 notes Raleigh's son, Carew (1605-1666). Backers of Raleigh or others of Raleigh's circle included Hugh Middleton (1580-1627, brother of Thomas below), Sir George Carey, keeper of the Privy Purse Henry Seckford, the great London merchant and privateer, Lord Mayor Thomas Myddleton (1556-1631), Lord Charles Howard the Lord High Admiral of England, Baron Effingham. Raleigh was a half-brother of Sir Humphrey Gilbert; Raleigh's father was a privateer, and Raleigh began his career working with a London merchant-privateer, Alderman Watts. Raleigh's cousin, Charles Champernowne was a privateer. Michael J. G. Stanford, ‘The Raleghs take to the Sea’, The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 48, No. 1, February 1962., pp. 18-35. On the Myddletons and their families, Who’s Who in Shakespeare's England, p. 164; Andrews, Elizabethan Privateering, pp. 113ff.
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London Lord Mayor Thomas Myddleton, a Puritan, had a brother, Robert, an MP and an East India Company investor. Thomas traded from the Elbe River in cloth, mercery, sugar and spices, and reported to Sir Francis Walsingham on customs farms matters. He was in partnership with Raleigh, Drake and Hawkins, and had a sugar refinery in Mincing Lane, London. Matters do not confine themselves just to the name Myddleton. The founder of the Spanish Company was Sir Richard Saltonstall (1577-1601). His daughter Elizabeth married Levant Company merchant, Peter Wyche (died 1643), and their daughter Jane married John Granville, first Earl Bath. The Wyches form a separate and interesting line in matters commercial (see Wood as historian of the Levant Company). Elizabeth's sister Hester Saltonstall married Sir Thomas Myddleton, her brother, Sir Samuel was an MP and "colonist", and yet another sister married Thomas' brother, the MP and merchant, Robert Myddleton.
Alfred C. Wood, A History of the Levant Company. London, Frank Cass, 1964.
Soon after Sir Walter Raleigh's first voyage to the Guianas in 1595, the English explorer Captain Charles Leigh attempted to start a settlement on the Waiapoco (Oyapock) River, now the border between Brazil and French Guiana.
Thomas Roe, an English explorer of Amazonia, was later an emissary to the Moguls of India. See Godfrey Davies, The Early Stuarts, 1603-1660. The Oxford History of England. Oxford University Press, 1959., pp. 335ff. John Ley, died 1604; Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, pp. 20ff, p. 149. GEC, Peerage, Marlborough, pp. 488ff. Many of the descendants of England's "Amazon adventurers" maintained their interest in the Caribbean and nearby areas, including Virginia. They often expressed anti-Spanish sentiments, they elaborated their interests through layers of merchant, not aristocratic, connections. Interests in slavery were maintained. And strangely enough, while the men interested in Amazonia often left the East India Company alone, sans "gentlemen", they also invested in it. There is the odd sense with the Amazon investors that in an abstract, financial sense, they "swirl doubly on" into investment in both Virginian and East Indies trade.
The descendants of the Amazon adventurers dealt with the East India Company by linkages in the City of London, by financial intermediation - and some became interested in the colonisation of Virginia. This is another set of connections which help to explain how it occurred that there was more regular "flip-flop" of capital between slaving and East India Company interests than historians have thought. And how is the proof of this provided? By tracing the long Seventeenth Century infight between certain English aristocratic interests, and their commercial underlings over control of the Caribbean.
This Caribbean history is greatly dogged by the distractions of the English Civil War, and of matters Cromwellian, as well as by narratives of conflict with French, Dutch or Spanish interests. In retracing matters, the mysterious image of "the Great Southland", and the rather neglected role of the investments of the Anglo-Dutch merchants, Courteens, need new explanation.
Deeper into Amazonia:
Sir Thomas Roe had commercial links with Emanuel Exall, John Rizelye, William Stannarde, John Wightman, Peter Sohier and Robert Smith. Roe explored the swamps of Wiapoco and Cuyuni with others who became Virginia pioneers.
Roe, also later a trade emissary to the Mogul Emperor, was a protégé of the sister of Charles I, the Electress of the Palatinate, Elizabeth. By 1636-1637 Roe wanted a "voluntary war" in the West Indies.
Sir Walter Raleigh; Robert Rich, second Earl Warwick; Robert Harcourt; Roger North.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 109ff. Lorimer, Amazon, p. 60, Note 2. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 27. GEC, Peerage, North, p. 655, Note f.
Roger North's backers included his eldest brother; Ludovic Stuart (1574-1624) the second Duke of Lennox), the earls of Arundel (being Thomas Howard (1585-1646) Earl 14 Arundel, the earls of Warwick, Dorset (being Treasurer Thomas Sackville (1536-1608) Earl1 Dorset, whose mother Winifred was daughter of Lord Mayor Brydges); and Clanricarde (being Richard De Burgh (1572-1635), fourth Earl Clanricarde, third husband of Frances the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham and Ursula St. Barbe); and "the great part of the council", or, the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Pembroke, Southampton, Hamilton, and the Marquis of Buckingham.
Thomas Warner accompanied North to areas of Spanish hegemony, Guiana. In 1618, Arundel with the Earl of Warwick proposed a scheme to colonize Guiana/the Amazon River.
Thomas Warner (1575-1649) later governor of Antigua was son of an old, landed but non-wealthy East Anglian family.
On Thomas Warner of St Kitts, Barbados and Antigua. Jan Rogozinski, A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and the Carib to the Present. New York, Facts on File, c.1992., p. 76. Richard B. Sheridan, ‘The Rise of a Colonial Gentry: A Case Study of Antigua, 1730-1775’, Economic History Review, Series 2, Vol. 13, 1960-1961., pp. 342-357., here, p. 346. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 27. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 184.
By 1635, John and Samuel Warner were in the Virginia tobacco and provisioning trade. Thomas Warner by 1622-1625 was backed commercially in London by Ralph Merrifield (an associate of the Earl of Carlisle), who was interested in the West Indies.)
From 1609, various English syndicates had been interested in Guiana, and in 1619, Roger North was backed by the "great colonizing connection" around Rich, second Earl of Warwick, and raised money. The 1619 Guiana venture required some £60,000. Massive follow-up funds did not appear, however.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 109, p. 125.
Sir Nathaniel Rich (1585-1636), was second-in-command in commercial matters for the second Earl of Warwick. Sir Thomas Somerset (1579-1649) Viscount Somerset.
Colonist Sir Nathaniel Rich (1585-1636) was a grandson of illegitimate descent of Richard, first Baron Rich. Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, p. 195, Note 1. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 242 and disputing the content of the DNB entry.
Nathaniel's brother Robert Rich was wrecked with Somers on Bermuda. Nathaniel, knighted in 1617, was an investor in the Bermuda Company in 1615, the Virginia Company in 1619, in the New England Company in 1620, and the Providence Island Company in 1630. Robert, first Earl Warwick (1559-1619), the most powerful landowner in Essex, married Penelope Devereux and Frances Wray. He obtained a 1619 patent to go the Amazon-Waiapoco area as an adventurer with the Earl of Arundel, Edward Cecil, Dorset, Clanricarde, Jo. Danvers and Thomas Cheek.
His own DNB entry. (Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, pp. 192ff. Hasler, History of Parliament, for Careys, Vol. 1, p. 546. GEC, Peerage, Holland, pp. 539ff; Warwick, pp. 404ff; Newhaven, p. 539. See also, Robin Law, ‘The First Scottish Guinea Company, 1634-1639’, The Scottish Historical Review, Vol. LXXVI, No. 202, October 1997., pp. 185-202.
The Amazon Company of 1619 organized by the Earl of Warwick and Captain Roger North put men at the head of the Amazon delta. The Spanish however did not agree. That led to the later first permanent English settlement in the West Indies. Left alone after the failure of the Amazon venture was (Sir) Thomas Warner. Later, by 1626-1627 arose the Guiana Company.
In the Caribbean before 1625, Roger North was associated with a company founding plantations and trading stations on the delta of the Amazon River. Some notables interested in the Guiana area included: the Courteens, Daniel Elfrith (about 1619), Sir Thomas Warner of Barbados fame, and the mariner Roger North. Sir Thomas Roe (died 1644). Sir Christopher Neville (died 1649). William Herbert, third Earl Pembroke and Anne Clifford, Baroness Clifford, wife of Philip, fourth Earl Pembroke. Treasurer of the Guiana Co. was Sir Henry Spelman. Also, Amazon colonist Robert Harcourt. Sir Thomas Mildmay (died 1625-1626). Rich, the second Earl Warwick. Thomas Finch, second Earl Winchelsea (died 1639). George Villiers, first Duke Buckingham. Dudley North, fourth Baron North (died 1677). Sir Arthur Gorges (died 1661). Henry Grey Earl1 Stamford (died 1673). Cromwellian Sir John Hobart (died 1683).
On the origin of the English East India Company:
We are here (given England's geographic location) considering two different strands of commercial endeavour, eastern/Asian and southern Atlantic, in that the first East India Company investors (1599-1601) were commercial men who did not want the co-operation of "gentlemen", that is, aristocrats. As the East India Company began, following up on the travels of Ralph Fitch, the "gentlemen", some as listed above, were attempting to exploit the Amazon area. In fact, more genealogical unity can be found concerning Amazon adventurers between 1580-1630, than concerning the first East India Company merchants; not that English histories necessarily give this impression.
The East India Company first began operations in 1600 in England, "lured by spices and peppers". The earliest voyages were to the islands of the Far East, not India, but later, English interest concentrated at Surat, India, partly to avoid annoying the Spanish-occupied territories. The Dutch meanwhile pushed on to the Moluccas and Java. By 1600, the Dutch with their monopoly of the pepper-trade had annoyed England by sharply increasing the price of their product - Londoners reacted by chartering their East India Company, so it is said. The East India Company established itself to take over the commerce of the Levant Company men in far-eastern commodities by developing a direct sea-route with India and the East Indies via the Cape of Good Hope. Some of the same group were trying to pry open the valuable import markets of the Portuguese empire in South America.
Ramkrishna Mukherjee, The Rise and Fall of the East India Company: A Sociological Appraisal. Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1973. [Also, New York, 1974], p. 101.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 19.
Ramkrishna Mukherjee, The Rise and Fall of the East India Company: A Sociological Appraisal. Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1973. [Also, New York, 1974], p. 101.
Historians disagree even here. From 1599, it is sometimes said, though the legend is incorrect, that England was annoyed as the Dutch raised their pepper price from 3/- to 8/6d per pound. Foster for example feels the English East India Company were more interested in exporting woolens.
Michael Greenberg, British Trade and the Opening of China, 1800-1842. Cambridge University Press, 1951.
Note: Sir Horatio Palavicino (1540-1600) was an Elizabethan financier from a Genoese family who died a remarkably wealthy English commoner. By 1592 he had tried to corner the world supply of pepper. (Does anyone ask if this gave lessons to the men behind the establishment of either the English or Dutch East India companies?) He had children by his wife Anne Hoftman, who as widow married the Royalist, Sir Oliver Cromwell (died 1626). Several of Cromwell's children by his first wife, Elizabeth Bromley, married Palavicino’s children. Sir Horatio lived in the notable parish, St Dunstan's, Tower Ward.
Lawrence Stone, An Elizabethan: Sir Horatio Palavicino. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1956.
Why English woolens would be needed in tropical and semi-tropical countries is an interesting question. (?) But more interesting is why England needed dye for cloth, and spices and pepper for the improvement of a bland diet? The role of Englishmen in the cloth industries is paramount, as shows in collections of genealogies.
Just which men were involved in which scenarios is crucial to an argument. In 1599, under the auspices of Merchant Adventurers (who were little interested in shipping woolens), an association was formed, with 101 shares, asking the queen for a warrant to fit out three ships, a charter of privileges and permission to export bullion. But might this break the peace with Spain and Portugal? The queen was persuaded to send an agent, merchant John Mildenhall, on an embassy to the Great Mogul, via Constantinople. He did not arrive till 1603 at Agra, and he got home overland by 1607 - with permission for the English to trade.
(Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, pp. 65-67.)
The first meeting of East India Company Adventurers was held in London, 24 September, 1599. The trade of members was to be on an individual basis, with no joint stock. These were Levant Company merchants who had their own offices. Seven of the original fifteen East India Company directors were Levant men. The first governor of the East India Company was Sir Thomas Smythe, whose family unfortunately remains difficult to trace genealogically.
His son was Sir Thomas III Smythe, who had a son-in-law, Alderman Robert Johnson, a governor of the Bermuda Company. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 98ff. Thomas III was of the East India and Muscovy companies, and was in 1632 governor of the Bermuda Company. However, sources differ, as another reference suggests that: seven of the original 24 directors of the East India Company of the charter of 31 December, 1600, were Levant merchants. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 21, p. 86. Encyclopedia Britannica of 1928.
Between 1601-1605, Levant Company charter officers included Andrew Bayning, John Bate, Thomas Cordell and Richard Staper. Other noted merchants were Arthur Jackson, Sir Robert Lee, Robert Bowyer, Richard Wyche and Lawrence Greene.
See Wood, Levant Company, for various lists.
After 1600 the East India Company had 125 shareholders (including Elizabeth I), with a capital of £72,000, but the Company wished to avoid dealing with "gentlemen", that is, aristocrats. They wanted more bourgeois involvements. This was wise, since aristocrats had been involved in much other trading to 1600, and it is possible that it was the Levant merchants who, where possible, wished to exclude aristocrats from the East India Company. At the time, this reflected one kind of radical view. By 31 December, 1600, the Company had obtained a royal charter, and now proposed voyages. The captain of the first venture was Sir Edward Michelbourne. One of the first East India Company traders after 1600 was James Lancaster. One interesting figure from 1598 was the Aleppo merchant, William Clarke.
On Edward Clarke as a commercial explorer with Anthony Jenkinson, see Jenkinson's DNB entry. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, Jenkinson.
One of the original Company men of 1599-1600 was Thomas Alabaster, a Spanish merchant of the 1580s who by 1601 was the East India Company accountant. In 1600, Thomas Mun was a factor of William Garraway [Garway?], sometime a merchant in Italy.
K. N. Chaudhuri, The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint-stock Company, 1600-1640. London, Frank Cass, 1965., p. 75. See also, P. J. Thomas, Mercantilism and East India Trade. London, Frank Cass and Co., 1963. (Orig., 1926.) S. A. Kahn, The East India Trade in the Seventeenth Century. London, 1923. W. H. Moreland, From Akbar to Aurangzeb. London, 1923. J. C. Appleby, ‘Thomas Mun's West Indies Venture, 1602-1605’, Historical Research: The Bulletin of the Institution of Historical Research, Vol. 67, No. 162, February, 1994., pp. 101-107.
(For the first Company voyage, Alabaster sent Captain Baker and Robert Pope to the English west country to get bullion - bullion obtained by piracy - and some money from Calais and Rouen in France.)
K. N. Chaudhuri, An Early Joint-stock Company, 1600-1640, p. 126. On trade in an earlier era, see James A. Williamson, Maritime Enterprise, 1485-1558. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1913.
The East India Company's first fleet left with four ships from the Thames under Captain James Lancaster, in February 1601, for a voyage of two years, involving ships Red Dragon, Hector, Ascension and Susan, sailing for Java and Sumatra in 1601. Susan, commanded by James Lancaster, was owned by London alderman Paul.
A second voyage in 1604 sailed under commander Henry Middleton, to go to Bantam in Java where Lancaster had left some factors, with Middleton also to try Banda and Amboina. In 1606 the returning interloper/pirate Sir Edward Michelbourne had warned the Company that the English at Surat could expect trouble from the Portuguese. (Middleton later fought the Portuguese; so did Capt. Thomas Best of East India Co. Voyage 10.)
Trade in pepper and spices was envisaged, competition with the Dutch became severe; and the Dutch by 1623 drove the English out of Indonesia except from Bantam, at Java.
Bal Krishna, Commercial Relations Between India and England, 160-1757. 1924.
However, by 1607 the English were lodged at Surat, India, and were dealing with the Mogul emperor. The English had new stations at Madras, 1639, Bombay, 1662 and the Calcutta area, 1686. The English traded also with ports of the Persian Gulf and the southern Red Sea. England needed pepper from the East Indies and saltpetre (for gunpowder manufacture) from northern India, silk, cotton, indigo, drugs of all kinds.
On one William Hawkins, see Sir Percy Sykes, A History of Exploration: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day. London, Routledge and Sons, 1975. Sykes treats some of the general exploration of Australia and notes (p. 151) that in 1607, William Hawkins took a ship to Surat to see the Mogul emperor, which he did, though he was later forced to leave by the Portuguese.
A useful "merchant list" for other comparative purposes for 1600 and later includes the names Ralph Freeman of the Levant Company, William Hawkins the slaver (and naval administrator) with an assistant Captain Keeling, Abraham Cartwright of the Levant Company, Paul Bayning (1588-1629), first Viscount Grandison, of the Venice Company; Anthony Jenkinson of the Muscovy Company, William Salter of the Levant Company, John Smith the "founder" of the colony of Virginia, and John Dee as an adviser on navigation. Plus Sir Walter Raleigh, mariner.
Freeman from 1624 was part of the Rich/Earl Warwick faction, controllers of the Virginia Company. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 79, p. 103.
The Earl of Warwick, Puritan noble:
With the arrival in London of James I after the death of Elizabeth I (d.1603), English interest in anti-Spanish privateering abated somewhat, but interest in Amazon adventures was retained, especially by the first and/or the second Earl Warwick. The descendants of Amazon adventurers gradually developed an interest in Caribbean plantations, which also allowed them to retain their anti-Spanish spirit. Meanwhile, seven or more Levant Company merchants had helped establish the East India Company in 1599-1600, and that grouping had little interest in the Caribbean, or anti-Spanish activity. It was from about 1618 that some figures interested in Amazon adventures firmed their interest in Virginian business.
The English historian, Brenner, has only recently outlined the career of a conspicuously successful seventeenth century London merchant, an early "expansionist" of the first founding of the British Empire, Maurice Thomson.
K. G. Davies mentions Thomson only briefly in his Royal African Company. Thomson's name is sometimes given as Thompson, but I have rendered his spelling Thomson throughout, and similar for his relatives. To the end of this chapter is a chronologised listing of the merchant associates of Maurice Thomson, the "merchant banker" who worked consistently for decades to promote the colonising interests of the second Earl of Warwick.
Maurice Thomson seems to have been the business manager of the extraordinarily energetic Puritan noble, Robert Rich (1587-1658), second Earl of Warwick. In fact, Warwick's business manager was his kinsman, Sir Nathaniel Rich (1585-1636), so it is possible that Thomson answered to Sir Nathaniel. Whatever the organisational details, Thomson and his brothers enjoyed remarkable commercial careers that have been insufficiently acknowledged - and nearby, like a shadow to Maurice Thomson, moved the Anglo-Dutch financier, Sir William Courteen, as shows in chronology...
In 1618 the ship Treasurer Capt Daniel Elfrith was fitted with a Savoy Commission as a man-o-war; she carried the first shipment of Negroes ever sold in Virginia, not indentured, and her arrival provided Warwick's enemies in Virginia with reasons to attack. They accused him of piracy, though Elfrith said the Negroes been obtained properly.
Here, Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 36, notes with irony that the same man, Warwick, who introduced Negroes slaves into British America also introduced the charter of Massachusetts, later the foremost abolitionist state.
The Earl of Warwick's Savoy commission was obtained for considerable money from Scarnafissi, the agent of Charles Emmanuel I, who was then on a money-seeking mission to England. In the East, the Rich ships took a Mogul ship worth £100,000, which was recaptured by an East India Company ship; there followed a long dispute with the Company, though while it proceeded, Rich was "constantly at the Company", borrowing stock ordnance and stores for his ships.
In 1618, Rich sent his ship Treasurer to plunder the Spanish West Indies; then he sought to use Virginia as a base for similar pirating. However, by 1620, Sir Edwin Sandys (1561-1629) and his circle intervened in this, and brought information to the Privy Council and the Spanish ambassador.
Relevant here is Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, Chapter IV, The New-Merchant Leadership of the Colonial Trades.
From 1618 erupted a squabble between the Sandys/Smythe factions for the role of treasurer of the Virginia Company. Here, with a historians' debate, the present writer would agree more with Brenner’s analysis than with Bliss' views. The solution to the problem with the Virginia Company lay in finding a mode of government which fitted a plantation production system novel to the English; not, as was the Sandys plan, of finding ways to transplant English community life in a new environment. It rather seems as if Rich, the puritan Earl of Warwick realised more astutely than many others that an individualistic Puritanism that discriminated less against common folk - white colonists - could solve this problem more easily.
The Sandys faction...
In 1619, Sandys supplanted Smith as treasurer of the Virginia Company. In the Sandys camp were Wriothesley, Earl Southampton, Lord Cavendish (William Cavendish (1551-1625), first Baron Cavendish, first Earl Devonshire), and John and Nicholas Ferrar. Sandys saw "direct links between power and freedom, company profits and colonial prosperity". Lord Cavendish also had one-eighth of the Bermudas. It might also be noted that Frances, sister of Lord Cavendish, married William Maynard, first Baron Maynard, son of secretary of the treasury for Lord Burghley, Sir Henry Maynard. Frances' brother Charles, an auditor of the Exchequer, married Essex Corsellis, daughter of a colleague of Maurice Thomson, Zegar Corsellis, a Dutch financier. In later generations, Cavendish women married Charles Lord Rich and Robert Lord Rich.
(GEC, Peerage, Maynard, p. 599. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 621.)
The pro-Sandys faction from 1618, the year of the "Great Charter" of the Virginia Company included William, first Baron Cavendish, and Wriothesley, Earl Southampton, plus brothers John and Nicholas Ferrar.
Squabbling over Virginia, and with company reforms of 1618, Sir Edwin Sandys' "gentry party" battled Sir Thomas Smythe's "merchant party" for the position of treasurer of the Virginia Company.
(Bliss, Revolution and Empire, pp. 10-16. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 99-100.)
Sandys' party from 1618 ousted the Smythe faction, but still found it hard to keep Virginia supplied financially. London merchants withdrew from Virginian adventures, till 1623 when they joined forces to regain control of tobacco handling. Just who gained that control is difficult to find, but by 1617, Virginia was shipping 50,000 pounds weight of tobacco per year, and her planters were developing a boom mentality. (By 1638, Virginia exported two million pounds of tobacco.)
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 113.
By about 1619, Sir Thomas Smythe led another anti-Sandys faction of merchants including Sir John Wolstenholme and Sir William Russell, both leading crown financiers, plus merchants Hugh Hamersley, alderman Robert Johnson, Nicholas Leate, Anthony Abdy, John Dyke, Humphrey Slaney, Robert Bateman, Thomas Styles, Richard Edwards (all Levant Men), William Canning and Humphrey Handford (of the French trade and an importer of European wares).
(In the late 1620s and early 1630s, a few Levant-East India Company men also dominated the Russia Trade, being Hamersley, Job Harby, William Bladwell and Henry Garway.) (Garraway?)
W. R. Scott, The Constitution and Finance of English, Scottish and Irish Joint-stock Companies to 1720. Three Vols. Cambridge, 1910-1912.
So, the anti-Sandys faction included Smythe and the Rich/Warwick factions. There was a tendency to first destroy the Virginia Company in order to save it, and at the time, James I's treasurer was Sir Lionel Cranfield.
Lionel Cranfield (1574-75-1645), first Earl Middlesex, was early in his career, to 1622, a merchant adventurer. Rabb, Enterprise, p. 21, Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 68. GEC, Peerage, Middlesex, pp. 689ff.
How far the colonising faction led by Warwick should be regarded as "aristocratic" or "commercial" remains unclear. Answering to Warwick in commercial matters from 1619, it appears, was his kinsman Sir Nathaniel Rich. (Newton regards Nathaniel Rich as the business head of the Warwick faction.) And some opponents of Sandys included an East India Company officer and alderman, Morris Abbot, a Levant Company officer Christopher Barron, and some top Merchant Adventurers including William Essington, William Palmer and Edward Palmer.
(Sir Nathaniel Rich is noted thus in Bliss, Revolution and Empire, pp. 10-16.)
In 1619, the Earl of Warwick had a prominent part in financing Roger North's Guiana expedition, and in 1620 he was granted a seat on the council of the revived Plymouth Company for New England, and went to its meetings. As to linkages between Puritans, Warwick/Rich was a neighbour of Sir John Bourchier, whose daughter Elizabeth had recently married Oliver Cromwell. Warwick as organiser of the Guiana Company had wanted to settle there some of the separatists of Robinson's congregation at Leyden, but the dissolution of the Guiana Company meant that this Company looked to North Virginia instead, hence the sailing of the Mayflower in August 1620. (The captain of the Mayflower carrying her Puritans seems to have been Capt. Peter Andrews, who engaged in Virginia and West Indies tobacco planting. Andrews was brother-in-law of Mayflower's owner-builder, Samuel Vassall.
Vassall was a Presbyterian City man and a navy commissioner who married a daughter of the London-Levant merchant, Abraham Cartwright. He was once interested with Pym in suppressing an Irish rebellion. He refused to pay ship money, was a wholesale clothier, imported eastern currants and silks, and also tobacco, flax and hemp. With Mathew Cradock he became a co-founder of the Massachusetts Bay Company. One William Vassall was a Massachusetts Bay colonist, and the name Vassal would later loom large in Jamaican matters.
Andrews, Ships, Money and Politics, pp. 59-60, p. 193, Note 22. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 151ff.
(It was later, by 13 January, 1630 that Warwick obtained for the Mayflower Puritans a grant of the second Plymouth patent.)
The appearance of Martin Noell:
Martin Noell headed a merchant grouping with fewer connections with aristocrats, and from about 1625 became influential in West Indies business. He was also a friend of William Courteen, the financier who had did much from 1625 to create the original establishment on Barbados. Noell appears to have been married to a Miss Thurloe, as Thurloe was a brother-in-law of Noell. (I assume this is the same Sir Martin Noel referred to in Pares' book, Merchants and Planters.)
Richard Pares, Merchants and Planters. New York, 1960.
Noell became a well-known financier of Caribbean interests, and he acted as an agent for Shaftesbury, for Barbados. (Shaftesbury's brother George married a daughter of a London sugar baker, Mr. Oldfield - Shaftesbury from 1646 remained interested in sugar and Barbados.) Fraser, in her book, Cromwell, p. 534, suggests Noell was knighted by Charles II, but died bankrupt. There was a Thomas Noell, a planter of Barbados. I have assumed Thomas was a brother with the other Noell names; but this is not a known fact. There was also a John Povey, Virginia Merchant, who worked with Nehemiah Blakiston, 1699-1721 as agents; their banker was the Virginia tobacco-handler, Micajah Perry. The noted planter name John Randolph, resident in Virginia, also arises in this context. Martin Noell, Jnr, active by 1647, is noted in Pares, Merchants and Planters.
Here, a useful title will be Bernard C. Steiner, 'The Protestant Revolution in Maryland'. Report, American Historical Association, Annual Report for 1897, Washington, DC 1898., pp. 289ff.
Martin Noell: Sources: Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 175ff.) Burke's Extinct Baronetcies, pp. 386ff, for Noel of Brook. Martin Noell and Povey are noted in Newton, Colonising Puritans. See also, K. H. D. Haley, The First Earl of Shaftesbury. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968., p. 64; Penson, Colonial Agents, variously; Alison Olson, 'The Virginia merchants of London: a study in eighteenth century interest group politics', William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, Vol. 40, July 1983., pp. 363-388., here, p. 373. On Nehemiah Blakiston: Blakiston was a collector of customs duties on the Potomac and a leader of Charles County, Maryland. He was active by 1689.
By 1625, Sir Charles Courteen noted that an English ship, Thomas Warner's, had touched at Barbados, found it uninhabited, and possessed it in the King's name. Courteen despatched ships and soon had up to 1800 people on the island, maintained by himself as their employer - entrepreneur of cotton and tobacco plantations. However, the proprietorship of the island came into serious dispute, but Davies does not say how or why, and the slowness of Courteen's supplies threatened famine. The island settlement survived, and by 1640 was profitably exporting tobacco, cotton and indigo.
See C. P. Lucas, Historical Geography of the British Colonies. Vol. 2, The West Indies, Second Edn, Oxford. 1905, cited in Penson, Colonial Agents, p. 8. G. Davies, Early Stuarts, p. 337. Peter Courteen of Cologne (1581-1631, unmarried) was brother of Sir William Courteen Senior, both sons of tailor William Courteen and Margaret Casiere. Kenneth R. Andrews, The Spanish Caribbean: Trade and Plunder, 1530-1630. London, Yale University Press, 1978., p. 233, pp. 244ff.
Details are skimpy and sometimes cross contexts, but it appears James 1 made an arrangement, little-known, with the Earl of Carlisle (family name, Hay) concerning proprietorship of certain Caribbean Islands including Barbados. The reverberations were to mean many years of political conflict (as to English arrangements that is) on and over Caribbean islands.
By 1628, we again meet Sir Thomas Warner (1575-1649/49), coloniser of Barbados, governor of Antigua (1575-1648-1649). In Jan Rogozinksi's Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and the Carib to the Present, is noted that on 28th? January, 1624, Thos Warner and 20 "gentlemen adventurers" landed on St Kitts to found the first permanent British settlements in Caribbean. Warner in 1620 had been on an ill-fated expedition to Amazonia, with Roger North to Guiana. He stayed there about two years. Leaving Amazonia in late 1622, Warner and his 14 men sailed for Virginia and St Kitts, not without difficulties with the French. Warner felt St Kitts would sustain tobacco. In England in 1623, Warner gained financial support of a syndicate led by Ralph Merrifield and Maurice Thomson, for 1624. (Merrifield was interested in clandestine West India trade.) In 1625 Warner returned a first tobacco crop to England and got a royal commission as governor of St Kitts, Nevis, Barbados and Montserrat. By 1635 one John Warner and one Samuel Warner were active in the Virginia tobacco and provisioning trade. Gov. Warner was a friend of John Winthrop the founder of Massachusetts.
This Sir Thomas Warner, from Suffolk, had three wives. His tomb is still on St Kitts Island. Jan Rogozinski, A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and the Carib to the Present. New York, Facts on File, c.1992., p. 76.; Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 184. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 27.) Richard B. Sheridan, ‘The Rise of a Colonial Gentry: A Case Study of Antigua, 1730-1775’, Economic History Review, Series 2, Vol. 13, 1960-1961., pp. 342-357., here, p. 346. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 27. Davies, Royal Africa Company, index. Burke's Landed Gentry for Warner formerly of Framlingham. The Warner family later became intermarried with the Godschall-Johnson family noted elsewhere here, which family once split into two, sending some members to Queensland, Australia, some to Canada, with many descendants in both countries.
Endnote 1: Robert Dudley, who married Anne Cavendish of a mariner family, (He was the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley by lover Douglas Sheffield. Robert in being married to Anne was brother-in-law of Thomas Cavendish, mariner and MP, and perhaps, brother- in-law of the writer on navigation, Richard Hakluyt, 1552-1616.
GEC, Peerage, Northumberland, pp. 722ff. Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, pp. 28-29 and p. 30, Note 2, and p. 38. Andrews, Elizabethan Privateering, p. 68. Gwenyth Dyke, ‘The Finance of a Sixteenth Century Navigator, Thomas Cavendish of Trimly in Suffolk’ , Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 44, 1958., pp. 108-115. Who’s Who in Shakespeare, p. 42.), the grandson of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland; Sir Thomas Roe (1581-1644) visited Guiana in 1610-1611.
Endnote 2: Roe's father was Robert, of Low Leyton, Essex, son of Thomas Roe, merchant tailor, Lord Mayor of London in 1568. A family member, William Roe, was Lord Mayor in 1590, Henry Roe was likewise in 1607, Lord Mayor. In May 1609, an Oxfordshire gentleman, Robert Harcourt, had links to Edward Gifford and Edward Harvey when he became interested in the Amazon area.
K. N. Chaudhuri, Trade and Civilization in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750. Cambridge University Press, 1989., pp. 86-87, p. 147.) Roe was an associate of Arundel; see Mary F. S. Hervey, The Life, Correspondence and Collections of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. Cambridge University Press, 1921. Kraus Reprint, New York, 1969., Chapter 20. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 26. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 300.
Endnote3: The father of first Viscount Bayning, Alderman Paul Bayning (died 1616) of St. Olave's Hart Street, London, was a privateer, one of four Venice merchants who combined with the merger of the Grocers Company and Turkey Company into the Levant Company.
See Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 18; GEC, Peerage, Bayning, pp. 35ff; Grandison, p. 75; Dacre, p. 13; Pembroke, p. 420ff; Cleveland, p. 280. Andrews, Elizabethan Privateering, pp. 108ff.
The Bayning descendants and their linkages included Thomas Lennard (1654-1662) Baron15 Dacre, married to Elizabeth Bayning with progress to the Barons Teynham; the Viscounts Clare; and an exotic specimen in commercial life, a "customs farmer", Barbara Villiers (1641-1709), Duchess Cleveland, whose sons began the line of the Dukes of Grafton.
GEC, Peerage, Cleveland, pp. 280ff.
Endnote4: On 20 March, 1602 was founded the Dutch East India Company (VOC). By 1605 the Dutch had the main Spice Islands but were driven out in 1606 by a Spanish expedition from the Philippines. The VOC had at the top a board of 17 merchants, and was a corporation with modern style, not joint-stock, permanent capital, and its policies finally led to violence.
Ton Vermeulen, ‘The Dutch Entry into the East Indies’, pp. 33-46 in John Hardy and Alan Frost, (Eds)., European Voyaging Towards Australia. Canberra, Australian Academy of the Humanities, Occasional Paper No. 8, 1990., p. 37. Mukherjee, Rise and Fall, pp. 111ff. Glen Barclay, A History of the Pacific: From the Stone Age to the Present Day. London, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1978., p. 32.
Copyright © by Dan Byrnes, Australia, 2002
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