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This webpage updated 31 January 2010

The Business of Slavery - Chapter 9

Courteen and Terra Australia Incognita - Questions of handling bullion - Virginia to 1749: how it grew from Amazon adventures - London's Virginia merchants regroup - Dissolution of the Virginia Company - Puritan business and the Mayflower - Convict transportation to colonies - Endnotes on Maurice Thomson

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Courteen and Terra Australis Incognita:

Turning aside from the Caribbean... by 1628, Sir William Courteen Senior (died 1636) devised a plan to settle Terra Australis Incognita, Australia, a matter which will be treated in later chapters.
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. 68. George Mackaness, ‘Some Proposals for Establishing Colonies in the South Seas’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 24, Part 5, 1943., pp. 261-280 with Sir John Callender's proposal given pp. 271ff. Newton, Colonising Puritans, variously. DNB entries, various. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 125, pp. 171ff. Williamson, Caribee Islands. Kenneth R. Andrews, Trade, Plunder and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480-1630. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1984., pp. 278ff, pp. 301ff. On Courteens, see Shafaat Ahmad Khan, The East India Trade in the Seventeenth Century (in its Political and Economic Aspects). London, 1923. Ian B. Watson, ‘The Establishment of English Commerce in North-Western India in the Early Seventeenth Century’, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 13, No. 3, 1976., pp. 375ff.

Sir Percival Griffiths, A Licence To Trade: The History of the English Chartered Companies. London, Ernest Benn, 1974., pp. 82ff. Holden Furber, Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600-1800. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, c. 1976., pp. 39ff. Also, Holden Furber, ‘The United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, 1783-1796’, ECHR, 10, (2), November 1940., pp. 138-147. Holden Furber, John Company at Work. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1948. Andrews, Ships, Money and Politics, p. 183, Note 69. On Courteen's descendants, GEC, Peerage, Kent, p. 176; Hereford, p. 480; Maynard, p. 602; Valentia, p. 207.

And by as early as 1629, a grant was made regarding the Carolinas, but no serious attempt to colonize was made there till 1663, with the eight proprietors being the Earl of Clarendon, Duke of Albemarle, Sir John Berkeley, Sir George Carteret, the Earl of Craven, John Colleton, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (later Earl of Shaftesbury), and Sir William Berkeley. The king gave the Carolinas to this coalition only because they were too strong to deny - and most of them had other proprietorial-colonial interests... Colleton with Barbados, Sir William Berkeley became governor of Virginia, Carteret and John Berkeley were involved with New Jersey.

Carolina was thought suitable for baronial estates, but the Carolina system would become a haven for disgruntled Barbadians who had developed a specialized plantation agriculture, promoted slave labour, and reduced the flexibility of the existing social system of Carolina. The articles of the Carolina government were drawn up by Ashley Cooper (Shaftesbury) with help from John Locke, based on political ideas "already outmoded" in England itself.
Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, pp. 119-121.

**********

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Questions of handling bullion:

By 1630 the Spanish government agreed to market its American silver in London instead of Genoa, while gold was otherwise got from the Netherlands. This tended to make the English East India Company, which now had 12,000 employees, dependent on Spain as a silver supplier.
K. N. Chaudhuri, The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint-Stock Company, 1600-1640. London, Frank Cass, 1965., p. 136. From about 1630 the East India Company in India was deeply reliant on Indian financiers, the shroffs, eg., Tapi Das, just as a new joint-stock Company formed. (Griffiths, Licence to Trade, p. 84.) And in 1631, a new joint-stock company was being formed. Modern discussions of the technicalities of world silver supply now can easily mention conditions in India in great detail.

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, to 1630 and later, the first English ships to trade with China were those of the Courteen Association; and it seems that Courteen had links with the Dutch East India Company - which have never been specified - as well as with Jan de Moor, a noted director of the Dutch West India Company.
See Horsea Ballon Morse, 'The provision of funds for the East India Company's trade at Canton during the Eighteenth Century', Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April 1922, Part 2. pp. 227ff. MF 950.05. Alison Olson, Making The Empire Work: London and American Interest Groups, 1690-1790. Harvard University Press, London, Harvard. 1992., p. 17. Goslinga, Dutch in the Caribbean, variously.

Virginia to 1749: how it grew out of Amazon ventures:

Virginia. A word applied to tobacco. The name comes from Virgin, from the Virgin Queen, England's unmarried Queen Elizabeth. The area's name first referred to parts of North America not held by the Spanish or the French. Raleigh's piratical English colony on Roanake Island had failed, but England tried again, slightly north, with a venture sponsored by The London Company, or, the Virginia Company.
On the merchants behind the first Virginia Company, Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 98ff.
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James I in 1606 with one charter established the London and Plymouth Companies, granting them land extending 200 miles inland of the Virginian coast.
A few days before Christmas 1606, sailed from London the ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery to begin the American colonisation; Davis, Rise of the English Shipping Industry, p. 3. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 93-94. C. M. Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History. Four Vols. New Haven, 1934-1936.

In early 1607, three ships and 144 men under the command of Captain Christopher Newport, ex the Mediterranean and Asia trade, carried 100 men and four boys to the Chesapeake Bay, which they entered in April 1607, landing on Cape Henry. The new colony elected local councillors, selected a peninsula up the James River, and established there on 31 May, 1607. The first permanent English settlement was called Jamestown, the first of thirteen British colonies-to-be. Today, Richmond is the capital of Virginia, Norfolk the next largest city. The coastal plain or Tidewater region was flat and swampy enough to be called Dismal Swamp. It is cut by four large tidal rivers, the Potomac, the Rappahanock, The York and the James, which empty into Chesapeake Bay. By 1697 the best Tidewater lands had been taken up and some soils were found exhausted; so began the settling of the Piedmont.

At the western end the Tidewater rises and provides the Piedmont, which stretches south to the North Carolina boundary. Rising abruptly in the piedmont is the Blue Ridge, and between the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian plateau further west is the Shenandoah Valley, which has provided one of the world’s memorable songs inspired by great rivers, songs that are often wide and sweeping, reflective, pensive if not outrightly melancholy.

As troubles reigned in Virginia, the numbers of newcomers were cut to only 38 by the end of 1607. The Virginian colonists held out, however, and more supplies plus additional settlers arrived in January and October 1608. A new charter of May 1609 abolished the original 1606 patent and a local governor with near-dictatorial powers was appointed. A large expedition, nine ships, sailed from England in May 1609 under Sir Thomas Gates as deputy-governor.
On the English discovery of Bermuda, Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 14. Two ships were lost in the Bermudas, the others arrived in May 1610 to find the people at Jamestown had barely survived "the starving winter". More settlers arrived however. As a comparative view, (Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 59) in 1609 there were 176 traders active in the unregulated trade with Spain.

James I thought tobacco smoking horrible, loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to lungs, and he blasted it anonymously in a pamphlet, A Covnter Blaste to Tobacco by R.B. anno 1604. Aware of lung cancer, modern medicine would today agree with James. As early as 1610 the Virginia Company experienced trouble in covering the expenses of voyages, since many investors had defaulted on the second and third payment of their stocks. By 1612 it had to use lotteries to keep solvent. In 1611 Sir Thomas Dale was given authority in Virginia. In 1612 a third and final charter was given to the Virginia Company over the Bermuda Islands. This charter was more liberal in that each person transporting himself to Virginia would be granted 50 acres, and the company also set up subsidiary, private joint-stock companies to settle larger areas. And so, agriculture.
Richard B. Tennant, The American Cigarette Industry. Yale University Press, 1950., p. 116.

From 1612, John Rolfe tried tobacco planting using a Trinidad variety which the English fancied. He married the Indian princess Pocahantos and thereby obtained some eight years of peace with the Indians of the area. Later, in 1616, as a convert to Christianity, the wife of John Rolfe, and mother of a son, with several other Indians, Pocahantos sailed to London and was presented as a princess to the king and queen. She intended to return home in 1617 but took ill and died at Gravesend to be buried there. She was one of a line of indigenous people to visit England, including, from the Pacific, Tahitians and Australian Aboriginals. For example, Aboriginal Bennelong from Sydney with Governor Arthur Phillip, Mydidie from Tahiti with Sir Joseph Banks. Like Pocahantos, several of these indigenes died in England, although Bennelong returned to Sydney.
On John Smith and Pocahontas, see Chapter 4 in Peter Hulme, Colonial Encounters: Europe and the native Caribbean, 1492-1797. London, Methuen, 1986.

The new governor became Thomas West, Lord De La Warre. (Thomas West (1577-1618), Lord De La Warre.
Some following sections here rely heavily on Robert Bliss, Revolution and Empire, variously.

The first Negroes arrived in Virginia in 1619 in a Dutch ship. Initially, most Negroes were indentured, not enslaved, but later, atrocious legislation by Europeans successively eroded any ideas or sentiments protecting the rights of Negroes so as to justify slavery, where human beings were owned as property. The local assembly, the House of Burgesses, became the first of its kind in the New World. By 1619 the urge on American soil for self government asserted itself very quickly, and by 1641 the colony was well established.

Regroupings in London of Virginia merchant factions:

One early Virginia Company investor was a magnate of the Levant and East India companies, Sir Thomas Smythe, whose plantation efforts were unsuccessful. Smythe in 1623 became governor of the Bermuda Company, to be succeeded in that role by his son-in-law, alderman Robert Johnson.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 97-98; Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 70.

Regrettably, confusion still exists about the genealogy of Smythe. Here, also, arises a further genealogical mystery concerning a Lord Mayor of London about 1518, Sir Thomas Mirfyn. The implications are as follows - Mirfyn's possible longer descendancy via a son Edward and a daughter Frances involves the later names Palavicino, Cromwells, Earls Fauconberg, the later Edens, the eighth Marquis Tweeddale, other Cromwellians, second Baron Ashburton (that is, Baring), and Barringtons of the Rich faction. If the same Sir Thomas Mirfyn had a daughter Joan who married Lord Mayor Andrew Judd, then Mirfyn's shorter or other descendancy would include names such as customs receiver, "Customer" Smythe (died 1591), Knightleys as republicans, Lord Mayor Rowland Hayward, Roper/Lords Teynham; and perhaps some members of the Rich faction.)
On the genealogy of "Customer" Smythe, see website (broken link?): http://www.patpnyc.com/ahn-kis.shtml

By 1616, Smythe, a London alderman, had been sometime governor of the East India, Muscovy, French and Somers Islands companies. His son-in-law was Robert Johnson, a director of the Levant and East India companies who became a governor of the Bermuda Company. Smythe became one of the leading merchants of the Virginia Company of London, but he remained interested also in the East India Company.
The Rich family, Earls Warwick, had a large interest in Bermuda; and second Earl Warwick became governor of the Bermuda Company in 1628. Alison Olson, Making The Empire Work: London and American Interest Groups, 1690-1790. London, Harvard University Press, London. 1992., p. 17.

Another of the "Virginia Magazine" was Sir John Wolstenholme, a leading London financier and a customs farmer as well as East India Company director. Other Virginia investors included William Essington, a leading Merchant Adventurer who was a son-in-law of the Merchant Adventurer, Sir Thomas Hayes, a Lord Mayor of London; William Canning, a noted Merchant Adventurer, was also deputy-governor of the Bermuda Company and several times master of the Ironmongers. (Ironmongery became important items of trade on the African slave coasts).
Another noted Virginia Company investor was George Calvert (1578-1632), Lord Baltimore, a Catholic with a title granted by James I. Calvert had been the king's principal secretary of state but resigned; he also invested in the Virginia Company and the New England Company, and spent money on a Newfoundland colony, Avalon. Later his son Cecilius acquired land which became the colony of Maryland. Clarence L. Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, 1607-1763. London, Macmillan, 1965., pp. 21-23, pp. 42ff. GEC, Peerage, Baltimore, p. 393.

The "Rich faction", the second earl of Warwick's faction, remained extremely active, although the extent to which it owed its Virginian interests to its earlier Amazon interests is debatable, and has not yet been traced in detail by historians. A kind of cloudiness surrounds the information arising on Earl Warwick's involvements. As I noted earlier, consultation of general lists of explorers tends to indicate that interests in "Amazonia" were translated to interests in Virginia. Intruding in the lists are mentions of investors in the Bermudas (Somers Isles), plus lists associated with the establishment of the East India Company - and so at times, it seems that the men becoming interested in Virginia also had links with the East India Company. Some research problems remain here, but I suspect that the cloudiness of the lists is due partly to an investors' search for financial stability - which seems to have finally arisen with a nexus between East India and Virginia listings. Perhaps, too, behind the scenes, some investors in Amazonian adventurers had been clothiers, needing dyes for fabrics, and clothier names rarely become associated with marine endeavours. If this is so, I have not yet found their names. It is also possible that a slackening of the profits from privateering had a cloudy influence on investment patterns, and that some confusion arose in commercial circles as Charles 1 succeeded James 1. Meanwhile, by 1618 the second Earl of Warwick had become an original member of the Guinea Company, newly-incorporated to engage in profitable trade in Negroes.
(Newton, Colonising Puritans, pp. 34-36.)

At the time of the ship money dispute, the value of the Rich navy was so great that Warwick obtained a commission modelled on the lines of Queen Elizabeth's commission to the anti-Spanish privateer, George Clifford (1558-1605), thirteenth Lord Clifford and third Earl of Cumberland , who according to Newton in European Nations in the West Indies had been "more prominent than any other English nobleman as a leader of corsairs; since 1587 he had organised and fitted out at his own expense no less than eleven expeditions against Spanish commerce", with his twelfth attempt being his last.
Newton, Colonising Puritans, pp. 37ff. R. G. Marsden, ‘Early Prize Law’, English Historical Review, April, 1910. Arthur Percival Newton, (Ed.), The European Nations in the West Indies, 1493-1688. London, Black, 1933., p. 115. Andrews, Elizabethan Privateering, p. 70. GEC, Peerage, Cumberland, p. 568; Clifford, pp. 294ff. Some of Cumberland's commercial associates were Thomas Cordell (Mercers, and Levant Co.), William Garraway, Sir John Hart, Paul Bayning, John Watts.

Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick, was the eldest son of Robert (1559/60-1618-19), the first Earl Warwick and third Baron Rich, and great-grandson of Richard, first Baron Rich, chancellor of the Court of Augmentations to Henry VIII, founder of the family fortunes, a Puritan and a contemporary of John Preston. The Rich family were anti-Spanish and therefore distasteful to James I. The second Earl of Warwick continued the earlier privateering expeditions of his forebears; in 1614 he became one of the original members of the Somers Isles Company. In 1618 he had 14 shares in the Somers Isle Company and one of the divisions of the Islands was called Warwick Tribe (sic, a peculiar appellation). In 1616 he and his father fitted out two ships with a Savoy Commission to rove in the East Indies. In fact, the second Earl of Warwick, and his commercial associates busily united the themes of anti-Spanish activity, interest in Virginia, and trade in the zones desired by the English East India Company.
(Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, pp. 192ff. GEC, Peerage, Holland, pp. 538ff; Newhaven, p. 539.)

The anti-Spanish vehemence of Warwick's day lasted long in English cultural life, and was once expressed once Australia had been settled, by the Enderby whalers in the late 1790s, by way of fantasies about attacking parts of the western coasts of South America. On one album of English folk songs can be found two anti-Spanish lyrics:

Take this scone to wear this horn, it was the crest when you were born,
Your father's father wore it and your father wore it too...
Hal-an-Tow, jolly rumble-o, We were up, long before the day-o.
To welcome in the summer, to welcome in the May-o.
The summer is a comin’ and the winter's gone away-o.
What happened to the Spaniards, that makes a greater boast though?
Why they shall eat the feathered goose, and we shall eat the roast-o.
Hal-an-Tow. Jolly rumble-o. We were up, long before the day-o.


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And again:

And now I will tell of brave Elliott, the first youth that enters the ring,
and so proudly rejoice I to tell it, ... he fought for his country and king.
When the Spaniards besieged Gibraltar t’was Elliott defended the place,
and he soon caused their plans for to alter, some died, others fell in disgrace...

From (1) Hal-an-Tow and (2) Earsdon Sword Dance Song, sung by UK folksingers, The Watersons, Frost and Fire: A Calendar of Ceremonial Folk Songs. Topic Records, UK. 12T136.

Dissolution of the Virginia Company:

In 1620 came the abandonment of the charter of the Amazon Company. By February 1621, Sir Nathaniel Rich had wanted to see the establishment of a West India Company.
(Sir Nathaniel Rich, (1585-1636), knighted in 1617, was the senior business manager for the second Earl of Warwick, with Maurice Thomson evidently reporting to him. Nathaniel was grandson by illegitimate descent of Richard, first Baron Rich. Nathaniel's father Richard (died 1610) had been a Virginia colonist. DNB entry for Nathaniel Rich. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 242. Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, p. 195, Note 1.)

In 1620, James I had stepped in to stop the Rich faction using Virginia and the Somers Islands (Bermuda) as bases for privateering against the Spanish in the West Indies. Later the king made the Rich faction abandon their efforts with Guiana. (Charles 1 gained the throne of England on 27 March, 1625.) In 1621 James 1 revoked the lottery funding the Virginia Company and in 1621-1622 the king tried unsuccessfully to back the Smythe faction in the battle for the position of treasurer of the Virginia Company. By 1623, when Sandys' faction thought they had convinced the king their views on the government of Virginia were sound, the king amazed them when in 1624 there was declared a vacancy of the Virginia Company charter, and with some involvement from Sir Nathaniel Rich, control of the company was given to Lord President Mandeville.
Viscount Mandeville, first Earl Mandeville, sometime treasurer, Henry Montagu (1563-1642). His family turned part Whiggish; his son Edward was anti-ship money, a Cromwellian peer, although he later assisted the Restoration. GEC, Peerage, Manchester, p. 365; North, p. 657.

The new governor of Virginia became Sir Francis Wyatt (a descendant of the Wyatt plotters early in the career of Elizabeth I), who had married a niece of Sir Edwin Sandys, which Edwin has a bad press. Sir Francis Wyatt, governor of Virginia 1621-1626 and 1639-1642. Encyclopedia Britannica item on his grand-father Sir Thomas II. Who's Who /World of Shakespeare, p. 215 on Sandys.

Sandys had sent about 4000 colonists to Virginia, "most of whom died". He doctored reports on the miseries of Virginia. Rowse sees him as an active member of the House of Commons, a liar and cheat, who "drove the Earl of Warwick back to the Company of Sir Thomas Smythe". In Rowse's book, Elizabethans, p. 80, Edwin 1 Sandys as he takes control of the Virginia Co. seems almost a republican, somewhat intellectual, who felt a king should be elected and only rule thus; James I preferred the devil to this man. Edwin I Sandy's sister's daughter married governor of Virginia, Sir Francis Wyatt. Sandys was also interested in the Somers Islands Co. and a member of East India Company. He was treasurer of Virginia Co. 1619-1621, and active in that company between 1606-1621.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 70-100. Hasler, House of Commons, Vol. 3, pp. 339ff.

Charles I when he examined the Virginia Company situation dealt with two Sandys supporters, the Earl of Dorset and William, first Baron Cavendish.
(Earl Dorset was Richard Sackville (1589-1624)), third earl of Dorset, an investor in the Virginia Company by 1609.
Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, p. 194, Note 5).

He was married to Anne Clifford, daughter of the anti-Spanish "privateer", George Clifford, third Earl Cumberland. Anne Clifford also married the anti-Spanish Philip Herbert, fourth Earl Pembroke, who was also interested in the Virginia Company, and was patron of Sir William Courteen Snr. in squabbles over the development of England's Caribbean interests. The first Earl of Dorset, sometime treasurer, Thomas Sackville (1536-1608), was of the descendants of Lord Mayor Geoffrey Boleyn.
GEC, Peerage, Dorset, p. 422.)

Thus, the third earl of Dorset, as consulted on "colonisation" represented, as it were, two powerful families who had been affronted by Henry VIII's treatment of his wives; the Parrs and the Boleyns.
Baron Cavendish: In 1624, Virginia had only 1000 colonists. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 113.


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On 1 March, 1624, the House of Commons' motion regarding a seizure of departing East India Company ships became part of the Smith/Smythe/Sandys squabble. Treasurer Cranfield had backed Sandys' opponents. The Commons gave some backing to Sandys and his gentry men trying to retain control of the Virginia Company. Maurice Thomson et al, were led by Smythe and backed by the Rich faction, the Earl of Warwick. At first, Charles and Cranfield had backed the merchants in their fight with Sandys; by 1624, Charles and Cranfield had destroyed Sandys tobacco monopoly, dissolved the old Virginia Company, and reconstituted it with merchants plus the Rich faction.

Behind the whole squabble seems a view taken in England, that one was either for or against the right of the individual in Virginia to own property, manage resources and make a profit in ways new to traditional English life and politics. Sandys lost the battle because his assumptions, while "democratic" enough in some ways to disaffect the king, were not well-fitted to the system of production which at the time was stimulating a boom mentality. What the king wanted finally was sufficient control over trade and profits, and so he conceded some ground on questions of colonial government, resulting in Virginia's new independent House of Assembly.)

In 1623, Buckingham and Charles had returned from their mission to Spain, determined to end the Spanish match. Their stance seemed to open ways for a rise in anti-Spanish feeling generally. Buckingham and Charles wanted to resurrect the careers of the anti-Spanish Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton…
(This was Thomas Wriothesley, (1607-1667) fourth Earl Southampton; or his father, Henry, (1573-1624), third earl, an investor in the Virginia and East India companies, also interested in finding the north-west passage. The third earl was a backer of the Sandys faction in the Sandys/Smythe squabble over the treasurership of the Virginia Company.)

….and the Earl of Oxford, lately imprisoned by James. They welcomed William Fiennes, Lord Saye and Sele, and also the second Earl of Warwick. (Another figure to be mentioned is the great Puritan minister, John Preston, linked to Calvinist ministry, who had tutored the Earl of Warwick's son). Also with close ties of friendship to Lord Saye was the puritan Sir Richard Knightley (1593-1639).
One of Knightley's wives was Anna Courteen, daughter of Sir William Courteen Senior. Knightley's cousin Sir Valentine Knightley was a member of the Virginia Company. Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 69. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage for Knightly. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 261.

As Saye became an ally of Buckingham, there was also alliance with the parliamentary opposition. Buckingham even managed to recruit "the mighty earl of Pembroke", who hated Buckingham.
Philip Herbert (1584-1649/1650), fourth Earl Pembroke, whose first wife was Susan De Vere and second, Anne Clifford. This fourth earl was given a grant of Barbados but he lost it to Earl Carlisle; by 1627-1628 he held this grant in trusteeship for Courteen Senior (as noted in DNB , entry for Courteen.

Pembroke in 1645 was Commissioner of Admiralty. In 1637 Pembroke with others was given a grant of the province of Newfoundland, which area became "a nursery of seamen". He was in the Virginia Company by 1609, East India Company by 1611, North West Passage Company by 1612 and was privateering by 1625. He and his brother were councillors for Virginia. He or his father seem to have been patrons of Courteen's early attempts to settle Barbados - but whether Pembroke was exactly double-crossed by the Earl of Carlisle remains quite unclear.
Burke's Extinct Baronetcies, p. 516. Who’s Who in Shakespeare's England, p. 188. Lorimer (Ed.), Amazon, p. 291, Note 2. GEC, Peerage, Carnarvon, p. 44; Pembroke, p. 415; Oxford, p. 253; Dorset, p. 424; Clifford, p. 295. One of this earl's daughters, Mary, married Sir John Sydenham, Bart, (1642-1696) (Burke's Extinct Baronetcies, p. 516.). He was of the same family line as Elizabeth Sydenham, the second wife of privateer, Sir Francis Drake.

A secretary-of-state, and a Buckingham protégé, was Sir Edward Conway, who tried to turn James to an anti-Spanish position and to recover the Palatinate. There was arising, a joint Anglo-Dutch move against Spain in the Caribbean, which may also have come to the notice of the Anglo-Dutch merchant, Sir William Courteen Senior.

By 1623, writes Davies, James 1 was economically weak, with little credit given him for the good years. He restricted and disorganised trade by adding burdens, a rationalisation being that extra trade would result from peace with Spain. Earlier in James I's reign there had been new enterprises such as the East India Company and the Russia Company, and developments such as Scottish colonisation in Nova Scotia. Too little, however, was ever reported of Maurice Thomson till Brenner published his research, by 1993.
Here, one should also see Newton, Colonising Puritans, variously.

The extraordinary range of trading engaged by Thomson as agent for the second Earl of Warwick and his associates is all the more remarkable if a brief tour is made of the fringes of English settlement and interest patterns of the decades 1600-1640, since it is helpful if the aspirations of a wide range of merchants is known.

By Charles' proclamation of 13 May, 1625, Charles rejected Sandys' views on the government of Virginia as smacking too much of "popular government".
Bliss, Revolution and Empire, pp. 19-24.

In short, from 1618, the Sandys faction's views on the management of Virginia were brought undone by bad luck, the outcomes of earlier problems, and too much leaning on ideas of "popular government". (One suspects the king realised that those with the most powerful grip on rising tobacco production, and import, including the Rich faction, had the political views he could live with more comfortably!) Sandys' faction between 1618-1622 sent over 3500 colonists to Virginia, mostly young men, but their policy of diversifying the economy and discouraging tobacco planting failed.

It appears to the present writer that the level of tobacco profits from 1618, problems on the ground in Virginia, plus disputes over how to govern Virginia - popularly, or within the confines of some kind of royal charter - blasted the Sandys faction. The extent of Charles' enthusiasm for controlling the tobacco trade is not explained in Bliss's political analysis - but till April 1623, Charles had favoured his father's outlook on managing Virginia - and the views of the Sandys faction. But it seems then that the Earl of Warwick with the help of Sir Nathaniel Rich and later, Maurice Thomson, created means of dominating trade to Virginia - perhaps at the cost of abandoning their anti-Spanish prejudice, and not without the aid of some Dutch capitalists - who do not seem to include Sir William Courteen.

By 1624, the Virginia Company's charter was dissolved and declared vacant, and the Crown took over the colony. Charles I had stepped in and Virginia (along with the Bermudas, (the Somers Islands) and New England, became England's first royal colony. The Sandys faction, or the "old Virginia Company" meantime, consisted of customs farmer Sir John Wolstenholme, George Sandys, Sir John Danvers, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir Thomas Roe, Sir Robert Heath, Sir John Zouch, the Ferrar brothers John and Nicholas, Heneage Finch, Gabriel Barber and Sir Dudley Digges.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 132.

This faction had little interest in the Caribbean, which was also part of their undoing, since their commercial enemies were linking business between West Indian islands and Virginia. On 15 July, 1624 a new commission was issued by James I to "the merchant party" and also to members of the Rich faction. If there had been linkages between the Rich/Warwick faction, and Sandys' gentry/merchants faction, they were probably cast more in terms of Puritan affiliation, where religious viewpoint helped shape views on the government of colonies, than in terms of more traditional or gentry politics.
Newton, Colonising Puritans, pp. 30ff.

From 1623-1628 the affairs of the Somers Island Co. been going from bad to worse. Its governor by 1622 was John Bernard, sent out to inspect Capt. Butler's proceedings, but Bernard died, and his successor was John Harrison, a nominee of the Sandys faction, who held office only in 1623. He was succeeded by Capt. Henry Woodhouse (1623-1626); Woodhouse was succeeded by Capt. Philip Bell, one of the Warwick/Rich faction. The company's agents were accused in England of monopolistic practices, as they sold dear to planters for necessities and bought cheap. There was conflict with a Barnstaple merchant, John Delbridge, who wanted a right to trade to the islands without paying high license duties required.
See Alison Grant, John Delbridge, Barnstaple Merchant, 1564-1639, pp. 91ff in Stephen Fisher, (Ed), Innovation in Shipping and Trade. Exeter Maritime Studies, No. 6. 1989.

What hampers many historians' treatments of the era is failure to recognise the role of Puritan nobles in what is termed, the anti-Sandys merchant faction. The Virginia Company was dissolved by the Crown, and in 15 July 1624 James 1 issued a new commission to the merchant party and Rich faction, 41 members including Sir Baptist Hicks, Sir James Cambell and Sir Ralph Freeman, and, plus ten commissioners who were leading officers in the government of James I.

But with the death of James I, this new commission was abrogated and Charles I never re-established it. So many of the City's merchants withdrew from trade with Virginia, except for some remaining, including Samuel Vassall and Matthew Craddock, plus Humphrey Slaney who traded with his son-in-law William Cloberry. Some others remaining were Edward Bennett (Levant), Nathan Wright (Levant), Benjamin Whetcomb (sic) (Levant), Anthony Pennyston (Levant), Richard Chambers (Levant), and Wm. Tristram (Merchant Adventurer).
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 92, p. 103, p. 216.

These were some of the merchants involved by the time William Claiborne in Virginia was promoting the Kent Island project (basically in territory later called Maryland). And so, a newer generation of Levant Company men, different to those first involved with the creation of the East India Company, were becoming interested in North American trade.

Meanwhile, Warwick's chief business manager, Sir Nathaniel Rich, was understudied by a man who seems more like a merchant banker than a merchant, since he had so many "associates", Maurice Thomson. Scattered material on Thomson surfaces in various books, but he has never been treated comprehensively.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 120ff.

When the Virginia Company was dissolved in 1624, William Tucker and Maurice Thomson, partners and brothers-in-law, and were leading Virginia development. Another brother-in-law of Tucker was William Felgate. By 1626, Thomson had returned to London to organise trade for Virginia, which suggests he had earlier lived in Virginia. Given his timing, one suspects that Thomson had astutely gauged the extent to which Puritan ideology would continue to remain an ally of the production system developing in Virginia.

It is still not entirely clear that either Sir Nathaniel Rich or the powerful and puritan second earl of Warwick were fully involved in all the schemes in which Maurice Thomson became involved, yet, the schemes had a seamlessness of interest and push about them which suggests a continued high-level and successful inspiration, presumably from Warwick.

Following the settling of the Smythe-Sandys squabbling, a group newly-emerging in Virginian affairs had 41 or more members, including Sir Baptist Hicks, Sir James Cambell (Lord Mayor of London in 1629 and no relation to any Campbells of the extended Campbell family discussed here, who started on Jamaica in 1700, nor any other Campbells). And Sir Ralph Freeman.
Sir James Cambell; Burke's Extinct Baronetcies, pp. 98ff. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 89-90.

There were also ten commissioners who were leading officers in the government of James I, but with the death of James I, this new commission was abrogated, and Charles I never re-established it.

London merchants by the mid-1620s found that Charles (son of James I) and Buckingham were willing to confront London’s Merchant Adventurers in order to try to find new sources of merchant or financial support. The Earl of Carlisle was a dependent of Buckingham, and as proprietor of the Caribbean, Carlisle became an unexpected winner in colonisation stakes, since neither he nor his kin had ever had any interest in maritime activity. (In early 1624, Buckingham did not scruple to stop an outgoing East India Company ship and get from the Company some £10,000 for himself and an extra £10,000 for the king.)
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 216.

On 1 March, 1624 came a House of Commons' motion regarding the seizure of departing East India Company ships, and such matters became part of the squabble between the Smythe and Sandys factions. When the Commons backed Sandys and his gentry men as they tried to retain control of the Virginia Company, this meant that they moved against Maurice Thomson's interests, which meant they moved against the interests of Robert Rich the second Earl of Warwick, and/or those of Sir Thomas Smythe. The treasurer, Cranfield, had backed Sandys' opponents, though the king and Cranfield had backed the Sandys party of merchants; but by 1624, Sandys' tobacco monopoly was destroyed, the "old" Virginia Company was dissolved, and it was reconstituted with merchants including associates of the Rich faction.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 252.

America merchants in London were disconcerted by the stance adopted by the Commons, as they could not deal with America on a monopoly basis, as free trade was to become the rule. Brenner feels that it would have been worse for Virginia if the monopoly style of trade had been continued to there, as it would have bled the colonists dry. Sir Francis Bacon suggested that noblemen and gentlemen would be more useful for the Virginia trade as they'd be more inclined to bear a loss than merchants who wanted quick gains. But the nobles were "not interested"; they invested on average a mere £35 each at one time in Virginia. Some gentry did back the "hundreds", or plantation deals, including Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton and Sir Richard Berkeley, but these were short-term operations. Finally it was seen that new Virginia capital came not from gentry or the greater merchants, so American trade was infiltrated by merchants from lesser backgrounds, including "mere mariners".
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 79, pp. 104-108, pp. 114ff, pp. 116-118.

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So, many of the City's earlier-involved merchants withdrew from Virginia/America trade. Some men remaining in American trade in the 1620s included Samuel Vassall (a name to be known also on Jamaica) and Matthew Craddock, plus Humphrey Slaney, who traded with his son-in-law William Cloberry. Some other investors remaining were Edward Bennett (Levant Company), Nathan Wright (Levant Company), Benjamin Whetcomb (sic) (Levant Company), Anthony Pennyston (Levant), Richard Chambers (Levant), and William Tristram (Merchant Adventurer).
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 92, p. 103, p. 136.

In 1630 Samuel Vassall failed to settle South Carolina, helping Huguenots, in territory granted to Sir Robert Heath. Emigrants for there were mistakenly landed in Virginia. Vassall often worked with Richard Bateson and Edward Wood, who were Maurice Thomson's privateering partners. Also linked was Richard Cranely, a Levant man, an American sea captain who worked Virginia and the West Indies with one Mr. Thomson (possibly the "founder" of Nevis, Edward Thomson); plus Nathan Wright, a Levant Company man trading with New England and an interloper in both the Greenland and Newfoundland trades, before he began with America in the late 1630s.

Between 1600 and 1630 then, it appears that the following happened: by about 1624, the Warwick circle, and some privateers, entered conflict with Sir Thomas Smythe and City magnates, who led the Virginia Company and East India Company, plus other operations. This conflict encouraged the lesser Sandys faction. Rich's circle otherwise sent out two vessels to the Red Sea with a privateering commission from the Duke of Savoy, and attempted to plunder a great ship belonging to the queen mother of the Great Mogul.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 100.

The East India Company had just secured trade privileges from the Moguls and were worried. Several Company ships interrupted Rich's vessel and so bad feeling developed between Rich and the East India Company. Then Smythe and his friends frustrated Warwick's attempts to have his protégé, Nathaniel Butler, appointed governor of Bermuda. (Smythe's son married Earl of Warwick's sister, Isabella.... of which Smythe Senior disapproved.)
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 216. Isabella Rich; GEC, Peerage, Holland, pp. 538ff, Newhaven, p. 539.

By the 1630s, a new group or generation of Levant traders, whether or not they remained interested in the East India Company, were also becoming interested in Virginia/American trade, though not necessarily in Caribbean or West Indian trade. This disposition in trading groups would probably have remained, had not Thomas Warner discovered Barbados, the matter which prompted Sir William Courteen Senior to invest in settling Barbados.
On Caribbean dealings between Warner and Maurice Thomson. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 127.


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1620: Puritans, the Mayflower and other matters:

The Puritans' Mayflower had sailed in September 1620, landing at Plymouth, an area later annexed to Massachusetts, in 1691, after failing to find Virginia. The Scottish colonisation of Nova Scotia about the same time gave some stimulus to English trade (as we shall see, via Maurice Thomson's interests), but Britain in 1629 abandoned her efforts on Nova Scotia, when Charles I made peace with France. Meanwhile, in 1620 occurred the first known exploration of the African interior, up the Gambia River. A factory was established at the river mouth and later a fort was acquired at James Island. The English probably also visited Sierra Leone and Sherbro River.

An Englishman on one such expedition is said to have been offered slaves, but he magnanimously declined to deal in human beings. Unfortunately, things changed, although it should be emphasised, when chattel slavery began to be used on Barbados, the institution was initially unfamiliar to the English there. On Barbados, a "code" had to be drawn up, in which situation of course, the Negro had no voice, such was the voice of what would become Imperialism! This became the Barbados slave code, later exported to Jamaica, then to Virginia.
K. G. Davies, The Royal African Company. London, Longmans, 1960., p. 9, p. 15, p. 42. I have relied heavily here on the use of Davies' lists of investors in the slave trade, as given in his index, in order to link names with other information on men involved in the English slave trades from the 1640s.

In this, London’s aldermen got their way without protest. The tradition was arising, of people being "disappeared", especially from Middlesex. So, in the American colonies, by 1619, after the struggle between the Smythe/Sandys factions for control of the Jamestown settlement at Virginia, instructions were received for the formation of a local government, the House of Burgesses, which became more democratic in ideas than anything in England or Europe (as Ver Steeg notes). But the need for labour led a demand for slave, convict and indentured labour that would also mean that over time, that any nascent sense of "democracy" was to be corrupted by equations of rights to citizenship with rights arising from property ownership; meaning that citizenship would be offered to fewer European individuals, and denied to those of other races.
This theme is traced with some feeling in James Michener's novel, Chesapeake, although Michener there makes little mention of transported convicts. Bliss, Revolution and Empire, pp. 32-33. Also as part of developing trends, in 1620 the City of London sent "a swarm of 100 children" to Virginia; street children. F. L. W. Wood, ‘Jeremy Bentham versus New South Wales’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. XIX, Part 6, 1933.. pp. 329-351; here, p. 330. Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, p. 24, pp. 35-37. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 273.

How colonisation provoked the transportation of offenders:

In 1620, Sir Thomas Smith (Smythe?) had been allowed to ship 20 people to the Somers Islands (Bermuda). (Within a few decades, the term "being Babadosed" came to mean being kidnapped to work on Barbados. Long later, the term was "Shanghaied"). By the 1640s, many younger people on Barbados had arrived after being kidnapped. Later, other new inhabitants included London thieves and whores, Scottish and Irish soldiers captured in Cromwell's campaigns. Cromwell did much to encourage the transportation of people deemed undesirable, but not before certain trends had earlier been set by the second Earl of Warwick, his associates, and those who answered to them. Between 1623-1624 the newly-organised Dorchester Company was granted permission by the Council of New England to fish and trade. By 1626 the company - with some members prominent Puritans - had established a settlement at Salem, promoting the idea of a Bible Commonwealth.
(By 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Company was formed with a charter from the Crown. Some Levant Company men investing in Massachusetts Bay Colony included Francis Flyer, Matthew Craddock, Samuel Vassall, Nathan Wright, men already active in America trade. It is difficult not to see them co-operating with "the Rich faction". The Massachusetts Bay Company members were merchants, some fishing men of the Dorchester Company, some London merchants and some Puritan gentry. [In 1630, some seventeen English ships sailed for Massachusetts, with 1000 persons plus provisions and animal stock].)

Renewed anti-Spanish feeling after the Sandys/Smythe squabble:

Puritanism remained a strong theme in politics. In 1628-1629 were parliamentary confrontations with the crown over unparliamentary taxation, forced loans, arbitrary imprisonment, and Arminianism and persecution of Puritans. A political opposition grouped around the Earl of Warwick, Lord Saye and Sele, and Sir Nathaniel Rich and their colonizing ventures.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 148ff.

It would appear that Brenner is the first historian to strongly link the second Earl of Warwick with the formerly unreported extent of the trading engaged by Maurice Thomson and Thomson's associates. To date, it seems clear that the significance of the Earl of Warwick's commercial efforts have been understated. In Lorimer's book on Amazonian adventures, Warwick's influence should be associated with English efforts seen in the Virginia Company, North's unsuccessful settlement of the Amazons, and the settlement of the American New England - as well as with the anti-Spanish Providence Island Company. Warwick was greatly responsible for the promotion of the English use of chattel slavery - and this is said far too seldom by historians.
See also, Joyce Lorimer, (Ed.), English and Irish Settlement on the River Amazon, pp. 194ff. It is given in Arthur Percival Newton, The European Nations in the West Indies, 1493-1688. London, A&C Black, 1933., pp. 172ff.

Warwick was probably encouraged by conflict with Spain, as it is almost as though having won his part of the Sandys/Smythe squabble, the Earl of Warwick wished to renew his anti-Spanish fervour, fully aware that English commercial shipping would now sweep wider from Africa, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Virginia, and north on the Canadian coasts.

From 1625, England was to be at war with Spain, then with France. One of England's responses was to promote privateering again, in a context where proposals for the establishment of an English West India Company as well as for improvements to the navy were common. "A group of MPs associated with the second Earl of Warwick, Robert Rich", became vocal. Warwick was a "privateering magnate" and "was to lead the Providence Company in a private war with Spain".
Andrews, Ships, Money and Politics, pp. 36-37. Bliss, (Revolution and Empire, p. 39) has Winthrop at Massachusetts believing by 1640 that the Providence Island Company had lost £120,000. Bliss writes, by the early 1640s, "Meanwhile, parliamentary leaders like the Earl of Warwick were as aware as anyone of the potential for sugar to fuel the sinews of war."

Andrews in Ships, Money and Politics writes, Warwick was "the only great shipowning aristocrat of his time, patron and chief entrepreneur of westward colonization, especially in the West Indies and the Somers Islands"… Is this remark significant? "The only other peer with a considerable interest in shipping [was] the Earl of Carlisle..." However, it remains extremely difficult to find ship men or traders associating with Carlisle. As he worked to "plant" the Caribees, Carlisle relied even more than Warwick did, on merchant backing, Carlisle's clique of merchants being led by Marmaduke Roydon.
Arthur Percival Newton, The European Nations in the West Indies, p. 156, p. 183. But there is little information on Roydon's family history or career, and his associates seem surprisingly few.

Later regarding Barbados, the associates of the Earl of Carlisle (family name Hay) were such as Peter Hay, James Holdip. Carlisle's backers included Marmaduke Roydon, William Perkins, Alexander Bannister. Meanwhile, the Barbados experience would accustom English people to managing chattel slavery.
Bliss, Revolution and Empire, p. 33.

These men Hay had kinsmen, Sir James Hay and Sir Archibald Hay who helped shore up the influence of the Earl of Carlisle, re rent collections. The new governor, Henry Huncks, threatened Peter Hay with physical violence. But the Hays did however understand colonial reluctance to undertake trade regulation if there was a share in colonial government a la issues later rising with the outbreak of the American Revolution].)

There seems to be little evidence that Carlisle was interested in maritime activity before he developed ambitions to dominate English efforts in the Caribbean. In fact, little is found in books on the merchants Carlisle used, and his commercial activities, as distinct from his political influences, remain cloudy to the historian. And further, Carlisle's interests cannot be properly understood without reference to Courteen's investments on Barbados - and much else. Perhaps, Carlisle was constrained to use shipping deployed by merchants whose greater loyalty was to the Earl of Warwick?


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In 1628 the second Earl of Warwick took over the governership of the Bermuda Company to make it a Puritan project. By 21 June, 1628, Digges and Rich had again put forward a plan for a West Indies company; Rich had a bill pre-written. An associated idea was to "breed up mariners". Similar plans were expressed in late January 1629. (And in August 1628 the Dutchman Piet Heyn (sic) reportedly took a Spanish treasure fleet for £1,200,000, so it is hard to imagine English fantasies of privateering not being re-energised.)
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 267-268.

In 1629, many Englishmen with vehement Puritan views backed the Providence Island Company, to be theirs exclusively, and in 1629 the Earl of Warwick, Sir Nathaniel Rich, Lord Saye and Sele, and another puritan, the third Earl of Lincoln (Thomas Clinton, 1571-1619), patronized the Massachusetts Bay Company.
Third Earl Lincoln: Who’s Who /Shakespeare, p. 152. GEC, Peerage, Lincoln, p. 695, Clinton, p. 318.

American Puritan ports siphoned off religious exiles (and later, undesirables). There emerged a large network, finally, of merchants, puritans and nobles, each influencing the other, and most of them influencing trade.
Titles consulted for this section include: Joyce Lorimer, (Ed.), English and Irish Settlement on the River Amazon, 1550-1646. London, The Hakluyt Society, 1989. Kenneth R. Andrews, The Spanish Caribbean: Trade and Plunder, 1530-1630. London, Yale University Press, 1978. See Chapter on Hawkins and the slave trade, Robert M. Bliss, Revolution and Empire: English Politics and the American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century. Manchester, Manchester University Press. 1990. Kenneth R. Andrews, Ships, Money and Politics: Seafaring and Naval Enterprise in the Reign of Charles I. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. With some information on William Courteen, see R. H. Major, FSA, Early Voyages to Terra Australis, Now Called Australia: A Collection of Documents, and Extracts from Early Manuscript Maps, Illustrative of the History of Discovery on the Coasts of that Vast Island, from the beginning of the Sixteenth Century to the time of Captain Cook. London, For the Hakluyt Society, No. 25. M.DCC.LIX. First published in 1859. J. A. Doyle, The English in America: The Puritan Colonies. Part 1. New York, Ames Press, 1969. (Orig. published in 1887). Arthur Percival Newton, The European Nations in the West Indies.

Once again with the plan for an English West Indies Company, the idea was to keep fifty ships stationed, and fifty as back-up. The Venetian ambassador thought any such plan would only keep the Dutch and English at each others' throats. Soon, by 1630, the Bermuda Company would be joined by John Pym, Rudyerd, Lord Saye, Lord Brook (either Fulke Greville or Robert Greville; Fulke the first Baron Brooke, Robert his cousin, second Baron Brooke), and Sir Richard Knightley - all of whom began to deal with Maurice Thomson and Thomson's many associates. (And planter debts in Virginia were to become a matter for comment.)

By 1634 there were 175 men trading with Virginia; by 1640 there were 330.
Here, Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, Chapter IV, The New-Merchant Class Leadership of the Colonial Trades, is particularly interesting. On debts, Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 129.

By 1640, America trade was in great contrast to the East India Company's operating style. In Virginia, a distinction between merchant and planter became blurred as planters dealt in trade, also as merchant-councilors appeared. A large name in the American trade continued - Maurice Thomson. Thomson was born around 1600, the eldest of five sons of a Hertfordshire family, father Robert.
On Thomson, see Andrews, Ships, Money and Politics, p. 6, pp. 57ff, p. 91, p. 183, pp. 195ff.

By 1623, Maurice had been in Virginia for six years. He had settled there in 1617, then became master of a 320 ton ship in which he took passengers and provisions for the Virginia Company and the Virginia colonists. He obtained a Virginia estate of 150 acres, and in 1623 his three brothers, George, William and Paul joined him in Virginia, with their brother-in-law, William Tucker, who covered costs. Tucker had married a Thomson sister. And in view of the many kinds of trade engaged by Thomson's associates, it may be more appropriate to view Thomson as something other than a "merchant". He was more a prototype for a merchant banker with a determination to promote colonisation. He helped expand various forms of commerce - many of them later dependent on slavery.
Perhaps the fullest account of the mutuality of the interests of the Earl of Warwick and Maurice Thomson is given in Kenneth R. Andrews, Ships, Money and Politics: Seafaring and Naval Enterprise in the Reign of Charles I. Sydney, Cambridge University Press, 1991., p. 6, p. 13, pp. 36-37, pp. 146ff. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 1255ff treats Maurice Thomson's earlier career.

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Endnote: Further notes on the trading activities of Maurice Thomson/Thompson:

NB: A chronological 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.

By 1626 Maurice Thomson was a figure in the St. Kitts plantation and tobacco and provisioning trade. Olson sees Thomson as active in the Canadian fur trade, sending provisions to New England, with a monopoly on the Virginia tobacco crop, as an interloper in East India Company trade, and one of the Guinea Company.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 126-127.

Thomson was quite prepared to leave London on serious business matters. In April 1626 he went to Southampton for about six days, regarding deals regarding St. Kitts, with one Thomas Combes of there, which later went sour. Combes had a plantation on St. Kitts; having been linked to Capt. Thomas Warner, the "original settler" of St. Kitts. Thomson agreed to put in £4000 capital. In April-May 1626, Thomson and Combes sent three ships with sixty slaves to St. Kitts. A new man joined the syndicate, Thomas Stone, of a Lancaster family, been apprenticed into the Haberdashers, London. He was in Cateaton Street, London, had a nephew in Virginia, one W. Stone, and also had links to Holland. By 1627 Thomson and Stone were re-exporting tobacco to Middleburg, Flushing and Amsterdam.

By the 1630s, Thomson was is in partnership with Humphrey Slaney in Newfoundland and Guinea business and the American tobacco trade. By 1631 he is also with the Kent Island project. By 1631 both Thomson and John de la Barre had become interlopers in the Canadian fur trade. By 1631 Thomson was also involved with the Kent Island project.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 184ff.

By 1634 Thomson's factor in Virginia was one Thomas Stegg. For 1632-1633, Thomson dealt with William Tucker and Thomas Stone in a syndicate given a right to market the entire Virginian tobacco crop. From 1636-1640, Thomson was in partnership with Roger Limbrey in the St. Kitts tobacco trade. To the 1640s, Thomson was in trade to Massachusetts Bay with Nicholas Trerice (sic) and Joshua Foote (sic). By 1637-1638, in partnership with the Virginia tobacco and provision trade with William Harris, Thomas Deacon and William Tucker.

William Tucker had arrived in Virginia in 1610 aged 21. Born then 1589, he later married a sister of Maurice Thomson, Mary. Tucker was originally a sea captain, but by 1616 he was active with several Londoners in founding a Virginia plantation, one being Elias Roberts, whose son Elias married Dinah Thomson, another sister of Maurice. Another participant was Ralph Hamor (sic), who became a Virginia magistrate and politician. By 1619 Tucker had become a major figure in Virginia by 1621. Tucker and Ralph Hamor went to London to see Parliament for Virginia's case in opposing the tobacco contract proposed by Sir Thomas Roe and others.
On Roe's career: Joyce Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, p. 37, p. 149 on his visit to Mogul India.

Later Tucker went off fighting Indians; he lived at Kecoughtan, or, Elizabeth City. By 1625, Tucker was one of only 15 men in Virginia who had ten or more servants. By 1626 Tucker had been appointed to the Virginia Council.

About 1638, Thomson was in partnership in trade to an unnamed area with William Tucker, George Thomson and James Stone. By 1638-1641, Thomas was involved in Capt. Jackson's raiding voyage to the Spanish West Indies with William Pennoyer, Thomas Frere and possibly William Tucker. By 1638, Thomson was involved in an attempted interloping voyage to Guinea with Oliver Cloberry, Oliver Reed and George Lewine. By 1638-1641, Thomson was involved in Capt. Jackson's raiding voyage to Spanish West Indies with William Pennoyer, Thomas Frere and possibly William Tucker.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 158 has it that Capt. William Jackson was once an apprentice of William Tucker in the London Clothworkers Company.

By 1638, Thomson had probably become a "general business manager" for the Earl of Warwick, presumably answering to Sir Nathaniel Rich. Thomson here also became a partner with William Courteen Jnr. Brenner for the late 1630s-1650 has a list of East India interlopers and promoters of an Assada plantation, including Maurice Thomson, William Pennoyer, Robert Thomson, Edward Thomson, Richard Bateson, Jeremy Blackman, Martin Noel, Nathan Wright, Samuel Moyer, Thomas Andrews, Nathaniel Andrews, John Fowke, Stephen Estwicke, James Russell, William Ryder, Thomas Boone, Joas (sic) Godschalk, John La Mott, Derrick Hoast, Adam Laurence, Waldegrave Lodovicke and John Rushout.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 118, p. 173ff, pp. 192-193.
This Godschall is presumably of the Godschall-Johnson family, which descent produces a governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham (1806-1855). Burke's Landed Gentry for Barnard of Hotham. Davis McCaughey, Naomi Perkins and Angus Trumble, Victoria's Colonial Governors, 1839-1900. Melbourne University Press, 1993.

By 1638, Thomson was involved with the Providence Island Company which had plans to use a silver mine in the Bay of Darien. Thomson in the late 1630s was also linked to the Anglo-Dutch-American trader, Nicholas Corsellis, and with a lead mine in Cardigan, Wales, the Mines Royal.
Nicholas Corsellis a Virginia trader was son of Nicholas Corsellis Senior and married a sister of Maurice Thomson. Also, Sir Thomas Cambell of Clay Hall married a Miss Corsellis. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 89-90, p. 176. One does not however read of commercial links between Maurice Thomson and these Cambells. Burke's Extinct Baronetcies, pp. 98ff.

Joshua Foote an ironmonger was busy with an ironworks in Tancready, Ireland; then with Robt Houghton, William Hiccocks and John Pocock he opened up the Massachusetts iron works at Braintree.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 160ff.

In 1638 at a meeting of the Providence Island Company, apparently, a Mr. Samuel Border told John Pym, that the patron of Benjamin Rudyerd was the Earl of Pembroke; Lord Mandeville may also have been involved here with the Earl of Warwick. There was "a large silver mine at the Bay of Darien".
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 301ff.

Some of these men sent to see Maurice Thomson, who led an expedition to this mine personally in 1639. Thomson anyway provisioned for this company.
Newton, Colonising Puritans, p. 3, p. 67.

Otherwise, in matters probably linked, in May 1638, following the failure of the Kent Island project, Claiborne in Virginia had got a commission from the Providence Island Company to start a settlement on the island of Ruatan (Rich Island) off the coast of Honduras.
Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, p. 157.

About 1638, Thomson was in partnership in trade to an unnamed area with William Tucker, George Thomson and James Stone. By 1639, Thomson was linked with William Pennoyer in a patent for a fishery at Cape Anne, from the Massachusetts Bay colony. By 1639-1641 Thomson was linked with the Providence Island Company, in provisioning Providence Island itself. In 1639, Thomson was linked with William Claiborne, Samuel Matthews, George Fletcher, William Bennett and the Bermuda Company regarding a great land grant encompassing territory between the Potomac and Rappahanock rivers - but plans here failed to eventuate.

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