On This Day: 8 October 1702

On this day in 1702, the English, or New, East India Company in London held a Court meeting. This was a rival to the London, or Old, East India Company. The two Companies would eventually merge.

At this meeting, the Company set out how much bullion its Commanders, Officers and Seamen of various ranks were permitted to export from England and what type of goods they were permitted to import to England. It also set out the type of goods only the Company was permitted to import. In other words, the Company regulated the private trade permitted by its employees. These regulations were set out in a printed notice.

The notice has been endorsed on the reverse in Thomas Bowrey’s handwriting with a list of the good officers of the Company were not permitted to export from England. This list is not mentioned in the printed notice. It is notable that this list includes lead, iron arms or ordinance and glass – all items that were loaded in large quantities on Bowrey’s outbound ships. He was setting himself up in opposition to the Company rather than the private trade of the Company’s employees.

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