A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 8 - By Robert Kerr












































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In the first extension of English commerce, in the sixteenth century,
consequent upon the discoveries of Western Africa, America, and - Page 170
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In The First Extension Of English Commerce, In The Sixteenth Century, Consequent Upon The Discoveries Of Western Africa, America, And The Maritime Route To India, It Seems To Have Been Conceived That Exclusive Chartered Companies Were Best Fitted For Its Effectual Prosecution.

"The spirit of enterprise in distant trade, which had for a century brought large resources to Spain and Portugal, began to diffuse itself as a new principle, in the rising commerce of England, during the long and able administration of Queen Elizabeth.

Hence associations were beginning to be formed, the joint credit of which was to support experiments for extending the trade of the realm."[76]

[Footnote 76: Ann. of the Honb. East India Co, I. 206.]

In the reign of Edward VI. a company was projected with this view; which obtained a charter in 1553, from Philip and Mary, under the name of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Lands, Countries, Isles, &c. not before known to the English. This company, of which Sebastian Cabot was governor, in the last year of Queen Mary, had extended its trade through Russia into Persia, to obtain raw silks, &c. In the course of their proceedings, the agents of this company met with merchants from India and China, from whom they acquired a knowledge of the productions of these countries, and of the profits which might be derived from extending the trade of England to these distant regions.[77] In 1581, Queen Elizabeth gave an exclusive charter to the Levant or Turkey Company, for trading to the dominions of the Grand Signior or Emperor of Turkey.

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