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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 SSC/22
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Date(s): 1751-1769
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): The Company of Merchants Trading to Africa


Administrative/Biographical history:

Cape Coast Castle, a fortification in Ghana, was built to secure the trade in timber and gold and later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It was first built in 1653 in timber for the Swedish Africa Company; later rebuilt in stone and seized by the Danes before being conquered by the British in 1654. It was extensively rebuilt by the 'Committee of Merchants' and in 1844 became the seat of the colonial Government of the British Gold Coast.

The Royal African Company was established by the Stuarts and London Merchants for slaving following the Restoration in 1660. The Company was led by James, Duke of York and brother to King Charles II, and was originally known as the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa. The company abandoned slaving in 1731 and began trafficking ivory and gold dust. Charles Hayes was the sub-governor of the Company until 1752 when it was dissolved and succeeded by the Africa Company. The Company's logo was of an elephant and a castle; the Royal Africa Company provided gold to the English mint, 1668-1772 and coins made from this gold bore a depiction of an elephant below the bust of the monarch and were named the 'guinea'.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Company of Merchants Trading to Africa, 1751-1769, comprise a bound volume of copies of letters from the Committee of the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa, to the Governor and Council of Cape Coast Castle, 1751-1768 and bound volume of copies of letters from the Agent at Cape Coast Castle of the Royal Africa Company of England to his superiors in London, 1767-1769.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Accessed via the Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

A description is available online at Access to Archives and hard copy card catalogue is available in Foyle Reading Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection is believed to have been received between 1905-1910.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by an archives volunteer using existing finding aids and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
10 December 2001 and modified May 2008.

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