Papers on the East India Company Tea Trade

Scope and Content

The material comprises accounts and statistics relating to the tea trade, and letters to the Right Hon. Henry Dundas from Charles Herries, J. Hunter Blair and others. There are papers on the quantities of tea sold since the Commutation Act and the difference in prices, the duty on calico wrappers, the numbers and tonnages of ships laden in China for the EIC, prices of tea on the Continent, quantities of unsold tea in warehouses, the colonization of India and the tea trade, and the regulation of tea brokers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Herries (d. 1826) was a London merchant, and colonel of the light horse volunteers, father of the British statesman John Charles Herries.

Sir James Hunter Blair (1741-1787) was born James Hunter, the son of an Ayr merchant. He adopted the name Blair after marrying Jean Blair, a wealthy heiress. In 1780 he became the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh (1780-4) and in 1784 he was made Lord Provost of the City. In that capacity he began the work of rebuilding Edinburgh University and the construction of the South Bridge. In 1786 he was knighted, but died the following year, leaving behind a large family of fourteen children.