Far East trade papers

Scope and Content

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.

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.


Single item.

Access Information

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.

Acquisition Information

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.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Alternative Form Available

Fo. 83-85 are available as Negative 115.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript folio. Bound in calf.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Custodial History

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

Corporate Names