The last day of the year and EIC

I wanted to find out what else happened on this day apart from the birth of eight other people from my friend list.


(The charter granted by the Virgin Queen)

It just happens to be the day on which Queen Elizabeth I gave a charter of trade to a certain company so that they could trade exclusively in Asia and the Pacific. 218 merchants spent the previous year forming a guild and raising money to finance the venture. It was a response to the increased Dutch trade in spices. In England, spices such as cloves and cinnamon were used to disguise the taste of bland and rotting meat and in medicines and perfumes. It was vital to buy spices where they came from rather than pay the Dutch. Asian trade had always been handled by the Levant Company, which traded in the eastern Mediterranean. Arab and Persian traders brought spices through the Red Sea into the Western world to be re-distributed. When the Dutch began to bring goods directly into Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the other ports the Levant trade began to be worried. Nearly a quarter of the 218 merchants had been traders in the Middle East who were uniting in the face of a potential threat.


(A letter from 1693 indicating a code of conduct for the the Company’s business – its richness shows the importance given to the Company’s traders)

The name of the company was The East India Company. The Levant is the region where IS seeks to establish its Caliphate. The Queen granted the charter to the Company because she was made aware of how much tax would be collected from Asian imports. If this sounds too much like history repeating itself, it is because history has a clever habit of doing so.


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