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Far East trade papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS 56
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Far East trade papers
Date(s): 1691-1732
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume containing 123 leaves
Name of creator(s): Compiled by a Captain of the East India Company.
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Administrative/Biographical history:

The East India Company was an English company formed for the exploitation of trade with East and Southeast Asia and India, incorporated by royal charter on Dec. 31, 1600. Starting as a monopolistic trading body, the company became involved in politics and acted as an agent of British imperialism in India from the early 18th century to the mid-19th century. The company's defeat of the Portuguese in India (1612) won them trading concessions from the Mughal Empire. The Company mainly traded in cotton and silk piece goods, indigo, and saltpetre, with spices from South India. It extended its activities to the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript volume relating to trade in the Far East, 1691-1732, containing transcripts of letters, memoranda, exchange rates, lists of prices, and instructions for the prices of goods, compiled by a Captain of the East India Company trading between China, India and England. The volume includes an account of the state of trade in India by Sir Nicholas Waits, 1699; an account of the state of trade at Surat, India, by Samuel Lock, 1705; a Chinese merchant's advice relating to trade between India and China; various advice and directions for the purchasing of drugs, tea, musk, raw silk, ivory and beeswax; details of customs charges at Canton, 1704; instructions for the purchase of gold and pearls at Madras, India; orders and instructions given by the Directors of the East India Company; a description of the manufacture of lacquer in China, 1708, an essay on a hydrostatical method of discovering the fineness of gold, and an logarithmical table for finding the rate of exchange between dollars and pagodas, 1732, all by Isaac Pyke, Governor of St Helena.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Single item.

Conditions governing access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The manuscript was bought from Francis Edwards by Herbert Somerton Foxwell in 1901.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) 2nd edition, and NCA rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names (1997).

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jul 2000

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