Friday, 23 February 2007

The History Of Slavery And Capitalism

The British roots of the Business Corporation

The year was 1267, and blood flowed in the muddy streets of London. A dispute between two guilds the Goldsmiths and the Tailors had escalated until it turned into armed conflict. The issues that led to the fighting are not recorded, but history does tell us that over 500 men were involved, including members of the Cloth workers’ Guild and the Cordwainers’ Guild, and that many were injured or killed.
Such rumbles broke out from time to time among the scores of craft guilds that had arisen during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In 1340 it was the Skinners fighting the Fishmongers in the Cheapside district of the city. In 1378, the Goldsmiths attacked the Grocers. Though bloody, those conflicts were both mere skirmishes compared to the all-out war of the 1390s in which a grand alliance consisting of the Drapers, the Mercers, the Tailors, the Goldsmiths, the Saddlers, the Haaberdashers, and the Cordwainers went to war against the Fishmongers and the Victuallers. The issues were a complex blend of the lofty and the mundane, including fish prices and the religious teachings of John Wyclif.
What, if anything, do these quaint-sounding medieval guilds and their conflicts over obscure and long-forgotten issues have to do with today’s goliaths, with General Electric, Microsoft, Merck, WalMart, and so on? The Skinners, Fishmongers, and Haaberdashers of the late Middle Ages did not yet display the particular features that would allow us to call them corporations. They were not unified businesses, but rather umbrella groups for the members of particular crafts. But already, some seeds of the corporation can be seen.
One such seed was a tendency toward exclusion and hierarchy as organizing principles. Even by the fourteenth century, the craft guild had moved a considerable distance from its communal roots in a Saxon tribal institution known as the frith gild, an association that included both men and women and served a variety of protective, religious, and mutual-aid functions. Medieval craft guilds had originally been “commonalities” in which all members were equal, but over time a stratification occurred, with the elite members of each guild assuming uniforms known as liveries. In time, non-liveried members were shut out entirely, and eligibility for membership was determined not by competency at a craft but by ability to pay a fee of capital. Among the London guilds, a strict ranking developed. Twelve became known as the “great livery guilds,” with the Mercers occupying the top slot, followed in order of prestige by the Grocers, the Drapers, the Fishmongers, the Goldsmiths, the Skinners, the Merchant Tailors, the Haberdashers, the Salters, the Ironmongers, the Vintonners, and the Clothworkers. Scores of other guilds were known as the “lesser livery guilds.” Membership in one of the great livery guilds required a membership fee of £1000; to belong to one of the lesser livery guilds, the fee was £500.
Guilds didn’t just fight they also feasted. At one feast in 1516, the Drapers entertained the Mayor and the Sheriffs with “brawn and mustard, capon boiled, swan roasted, pike, venison baked and roast; jellies, pastry, quails, sturgeon, salmon, wafers and hippocras... six sheep, a calf, forty gallons of curds … swan’s puddings, a neck of mutton in pike broth, two shoulders of mutton roast, four conies, eight chickens, six pigeons, and cold meat plenty.”
Indeed, centuries after guilds such as the Skinners, Salters, and Long-bow Stringmakers had outlived their economic functionality, many of them lived on as vehicles for networking and socializing. (Lately, the guilds have been rediscovered by London’s young professionals, who have been forming new ones at a record pace, with names such as the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, and the Worshipful Company of World Traders. A glance at the online social calendar for the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners showed that its members were busily engaged in preparations for the annual Inter-Livery Clay Pigeon Shoot, the Inter-Livery Bridge Competition, the Installation of Masters, and the Lord Mayor’s Show, in addition to the regular practice sessions of the guild’s own Golfing Society.)
The nature of life in medieval times was such that the social, the religious, the economic, and the political spheres were fully mixed. Each guild had its own patron saint and altar. For example, the Fraternity of Pepperers, which begat the Company of Grocers in 1373, which in turn begat the Turkey Company in 1581 and the East India Company in 1600, maintained an altar in the Church of Saint Antonin and paid a priest to pray for the souls of past members. Since London had no police force, guilds also played a role in maintaining public order. As early as the thirteenth century, the guilds controlled the city government of London. They elected the Mayor, who was known as the “master of all the companies.” But despite their power, the guilds could not always rest secure, because their relationship with the British monarchy was complex and at times tense.
The main source of that tension was the revenue needs of the throne. By the 1500s, Parliament had gained control over taxation, and the English monarchs were scrambling to develop independent sources of revenue that did not rely on Parliamentary approval. One obvious source, especially in time of war, was the wealth of the livery guilds. For example, during the war between England and Spain, it was the Grocers’ Company, among others, that financed the ships that defeated the Spanish Armada.
During peace times, sales of land were a primary avenue of royal revenue, but as that source was exhausted by 1685. Another revenue source, employed both by Elizabeth I and James I, was to call in all the guilds’ charters for renewal, not because the charters needed renewal, but merely to create an opportunity for collecting fees. Similarly, royal revenue was generated by sales of monopolies, a term that had a somewhat different meaning than it does today. Rather than giving the owner exclusive control over producing a product, a monopoly also called a “searching and sealing patent”signified authority over verifying the quality of a certain product. Given the advantages inherent in controlling such a function, it is no wonder that gifts or sales of monopolies to non-guild members provoked bitter guild opposition. In 1580, when Queen Elizabeth attempted to grant a monopoly on the gauging of beer to one of her court favourites, the Brewers’ Guild mounted a fierce campaign to dissuade her. Similarly, when one Edward Darcy obtained a right to approve and stamp all skins, his monopoly sparked a rebellion by the Leathersellers.
Despite the objections of the guilds, sales of monopolies became a major source of royal revenues in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1623, Parliament passed the Statute of Monopolies, intended to halt the practice, but Charles I exploited loopholes in the act and managed to raise £100,000 per year from selling monopolies. In time, the practice ceased to be an effective source of revenue, since there were limits to how far even a king could go is selling off smaller and smaller slices of economic activity.
Meanwhile, as the livery guilds continued to joust with the monarchy over who would ultimately control the innumerable revenue streams produced by the English economy, growing international trade had begun to transform some of the guilds into the first actual business corporations. In 1505, the Mercers’ Guild spawned the “Guild or Fraternity of St. Thomas a Becket,” also known as the Merchant Adventurers, organized to conduct trade with in Holland and Germany. The Merchant Adventurers represented a transitional form, still a guild but beginning to show a few of the characteristics of the trading corporations that would subsequently define the first true corporations. As in a traditional guild, the Merchant Adventurers functioned as an umbrella for a group of independent traders rather than as an organized entity. So each trader handled his own capital independently. On the other hand, some common operations were beginning to emerge. Certain shared infrastructure, such as wharfs, conveys, and overseas embassies, was used jointly by all the members of the Merchant Adventurers, and this shared infrastructure needed to be developed jointly and financed out of pooled capital. This was the starting point for one of the key features that distinguished corporations from guilds: the pooling of capital.
The 1500s and 1600s saw the formation of a number of trading companies (see Table 2.1). For nearby regions such as Spain, the Baltic Sea, and France, the organizational model established by the Merchant Adventurers worked well. Thus, in the Spanish, the Eastland, and the French Companies, each company member maintaining his own separate capital. But, as new geographic discoveries and innovations in ship-building and navigation made it possible for voyages to range beyond the coastal areas of Europe to more distant regions, such as Russia, Turkey, West Africa, and China, it became more practical for the merchants to pool their resources.
The typical voyage was unsuccessful, but now and then a ship would return with cargo that generated fabulous returns. Trade was not the only way these expeditions generated rich returns outright piracy as often part of the equation. In 1587, one of Sir Francis Drake’s expeditions pirated a Portuguese galleon, and promptly seized it. The cargo turned out to be worth £100,000, and investor enthusiasm for investing in further pirateering expeditions soared. As in a venture capital fund that finances high-risk opportunities with potentially high returns, the steepness of the “risk-reward curve” made it logical for the financial backers of such voyages to pool their capital across multiple rolls of the dice. To further increase their chances of success, the investor groups sought grants of exclusive access to particular regions, bringing the notion of exclusivity to its apex the gene of violent organization grafted onto the chromosome of peaceful trade. Inside the boundaries of their designated regions, they deployed private armies and police, waging war against rivals and imprisoning miscreants.
Freemasonry developed out of the Guild system in the mid 1600’s and together with the Charter Companies created a new business and social order that preserved the rights and profits of the Investors, and rewarded participants with wealth and public recognition, above any other Human Rights. It reinforced the premise of the use of power and authority without responsibility, where “the great and good” could invest in the profits of slavery, whilst at the same time denouncing the practice as inhuman.
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization whose membership is held together by shared moral and metaphysical ideals and—in most of its branches—by a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being.
The fraternity uses the metaphor of operative stonemasons' tools and implements, against the allegorical backdrop of the building of the Temple of King Solomon, to convey what is most generally defined as "a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." It was the forerunner of other Secret Societies

Slavery the most profitable Business
Slavery as an institution in Mediterranean cultures of the ancient world comprised a mixture of debt-slavery, slavery as a punishment for crime, and the enslavement of prisoners of war.
The institution of slavery condemned a majority of slaves to agricultural or industrial labour and they lived hard lives. In some of the city-states of Greece and in the Roman Empire, slaves formed a very large part of the economy, and the Roman Empire built a large part of its wealth on slaves acquired through conquest.
Masters could free slaves, and in many cases such freedmen went on to rise to positions of power.
• 1 Slavery in ancient Egypt
• 2 Slavery in the Bible
o 2.1 Old Testament or Tanakh
• 3 Slavery in Greece
• 4 Slavery in Rome
The issue of religion and slavery is an area of historical and theological research into the relationship between the world's major religions and the practice of slavery.
• 1 Christianity
• 2 Islam
• 3 Hinduism
• Atlantic slave trade
Human trafficking
Sexual slavery
Slave ships were cargo boats specially converted for the purpose of transporting slaves, especially newly captured African slaves. The most important routes of the slave ships led from the northern and middle coasts of Africa to South America and the south coast of what is today the Caribbean and the United States of America. The captains and sailors of the boats were allowed to do whatever they wanted with the slaves. This included rape, murder, torture and other things because the slaves were considered their "property". Over 30,000 voyages were made from America to Africa to capture slaves. The transportation of slaves from Africa to America was known as the Middle Passage. The African slave trade was outlawed in 1807, by a law passed jointly in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. After 1807 all slave ships leaving Africa were legally pirate vessels subject to capture by the American and British navies. During this time, the slave ships became smaller and more cramped in exchange for improved performance in their new role as smuggling craft and blockade runners.
Atlantic slave trade
In only a few decades after the discovery of America by Europeans, the native population was so decimated that it was a profitable business to send slave ships into the Atlantic to perform labour intensive agricultural work. The peak time of slave ships to the Atlantic passage was between the 17th and 18th century when large plantations developed in the English colonies of North America.
In order to achieve high profits from the transports, the owners of the ships divided the hull into between decks, so they could transport as many slaves as possible. This led to indescribably unhygienic conditions, and consequently an enormously high mortality rate. Only the most resilient survived the transport. Often the ships transported hundreds of slaves, who were chained tightly to plank beds. For example, the slave ship "Henrietta Marie" carried up to 400 slaves on a single passage, who were confined to two decks, and each slave spent the week long passage chained to the bow of the ship.

Brookes slave ship plan
List of some of the slave ships
• Adelaide, French slave ship, sank 1714 near Cuba.
• Braunfisch, a Brandenburgian slave ship lost in 1688 in a revolt.
• The Brookes, sailing in the 1780s.
• Cora captured by the USS Constellation1860.
• Fredensborg, Danish slave ship, sank in 1768 off Tromøy in Norway, after a journey in the triangular trade. Leif Svalesen has written a book about the journey.
• Henrietta Marie. Sank 1701 off Key West, Florida.
• Kron-Printzen, Danish slave ship, sank in 1706 with 820 slaves on board.
• Lord Ligonier.
• Salamander, Brandenburgian slave ship.
• Tecora, Portuguese slave ship that transported the slaves who would later revolt aboard La Amistad.
• Triton captured by the USS Constellation 1861.
• Trouvadore, wrecked in Turks and Caicos 1841. 193 slaves survived. Project commenced in 2004 to locate the ship[1].
• The Wanderer
• Wildfire, a barque, arrested off the Florida coast by the US Navy in 1860; carrying 450 slaves.[2]
Zong, a British slave ship famous of the massacre which occurred aboard in 1781.

Note: While La Amistad is often called a slave ship, it was in fact a general purpose cargo ship, which occasionally carried slaves. See the article about the ship, and the resulting court case, for more information.
• 1 Slavery within Africa
o 1.1 Slavery in Songhai
o 1.2 Slavery in Ethiopia
• 2 Slaves taken from Africa
o 2.1 Trans Saharan trade
o 2.2 Indian Ocean trade
o 2.3 Atlantic Ocean trade
• 3 Why African Slaves?
• 4 Source of slaves
• 5 Effects
o 5.1 Effect on the economy of Africa
o 5.2 Effects on Europe’s Economy
o 5.3 Demographics
o 5.4 Legacy of racism
Documents in the History of Slavery
Part I. The Middle Passage
• Introduction: Enslavement
• John Barbot, a European slave trader, describes the African slave trade (1682)
• Ayuba Sulieman Diallo, a Muslim merchant, recalls his capture and enslavement (1733)
• Olaudah Equiano, an 11-year old Ibo from Nigeria, remembers his kidnapping into slavery (1789)
• Venture Smith relates the story of his kidnapping at the age of six(1798)
Part II. The Middle Passage
• Introduction: The Middle Passage
• James Barbot, Jr. describes a shipboard revolt by enslaved Africans (1700)
• Olaudah Equiano describes the horrors of the Middle Passage (1789)
• Alexander Falconbridge, a doctor, describes conditions on an English slaver (1788)
Part III. Arrival in the New World
• Introduction: Arrival in the New World
• Olaudah Equiano describes his arrival in the New World (1789)
• Alexander Falconbridge describes the treatment of newly arrived slaves in the West Indies (1788)
Part IV. Conditions of Life
• Introduction:Conditions of Life
• Solomon Northrup describes the working conditions of slaves on a Louisiana cotton plantation (1853)
• Charles Ball compares working conditions on tobacco and cotton plantations (1858)
• Josiah Henson describes slave housing, diet, and clothing (1877)
• Francis Henderson describes living conditions under slavery (1856)
• Jacob Stroyer recalls the material conditions of slave life (1898)
• James Martin remembers a slave auction (1937)
Part V. Childhood
• Introduction: Childhood
• Jacob Stroyer recalls the formative experiences of his childhood (1898)
• James W.C. Pennington analyzes the impact of slavery upon childhood (1849)
• Lunsford Lane describes the moment when he first recognized the meaning of slavery (1842)
Part VI. Family
• Introduction: Family
• Laura Spicer learns that her husband, who had been sold away, has taken another wife (1869)
• Josiah Henson sees an overseer try to rape his mother (1877)
• Lewis Clarke discusses the impact of slavery on family life (1846)
Part VII. Religion
• Introduction: Religion
• Olaudah Equiano describes West African religious beliefs and practices (1789)
• Charles Ball remembers a slave funeral, which incorporated traditional African customs (1837)
• Peter Randolph describes the religious gathers slaves held outside oftheir master's supervision (1893)
• Henry Bibb discusses "conjuration" (1849)
Part VIII. Punishment
• Introduction: Punishment
• Frederick Douglass describes the circumstances that prompted masters to whip slaves (1845)
• John Brown has bells and horns fastened on his head (1855)
• William Wells Brown is tied up in a smokehouse (1847)
• Moses Roper is punished for attempting to run away (1837)
• Lewis Clarke describes the implements his mistress used to beat him(1846)
Part IX. Resistance
• Introduction: Resistance
• Frederick Douglass resists a slave breaker (1845)
• Nat Turner describes his revolt against slavery (1831)
Part X. Flight
• Introduction: Flight
• Margaret Ward follows the North Star to freedom (1879)
• Frederick Douglass borrows a sailor's papers to escape slavery (1855, 1895)
• Harriet Tubman sneaks into the South to free slaves (1863, 1865)
• Henry ("Box") Brown escapes slavery in a sealed box (1872)
• Margaret Garner kills her daughter rather than see her returned to slavery (1876)
Part XI. Emancipation
• Introduction: Emancipation
• Thomas Long assesses the meaning of black military service during the Civil War (1870)
• Jackson Cherry appeals for equal opportunity for former slaves (1865)
• Jourdan Anderson declines his former master's invitation to return to his plantation (1865)
• Rufus Saxon assesses the freedmen's aspirations (1866)
• Samuel Thomas describes the attitudes of ex-Confederates toward the freedmen (1865)
• Francis L. Cardozo asks for land for the freedmen (1868)
• Elias Hill is attacked by the Ku Klux Klan (1872)
• Henry Blake describes sharecropping (1937)
• Frederick Douglass assesses the condition of the freedmen in 1880

The 100 Oldest Companies Trading
1. Kongo Gumi
Founded: 578
40th generation
Prince Shotoku brought Kongo family members to Japan from Korea more than 1,400 years ago to build the Buddhist Shitennoji Temple, which still stands. Over the centuries, Kongo Gumi has participated in the construction of many famous buildings, including the 16th-century Osaka castle. Today the family continues to build and repair religious temples and manage general contracting from its Osaka headquarters. Current president is Toshitaka Kongo; his 51-year-old son, Masakazu Kongo, is waiting in the wings.
2. Hoshi
Founded: 718
46th generation
According to legend, the god of Mount Hakusan visited a priest, telling him to uncover an underground hot spring in a nearby village. The hot spring was found, and the priest requested that the Hoshi family build and run a spa on the site. Their hotel is now capable of housing 450 people in 100 rooms.
3. Château de Goulaine
Vineyard, museum, butterfly collection/France
Founded: 1000
The Goulaine family has owned this establishment for more than 1,000 years. The castle houses a rare butterfly collection in addition to a museum. It hosts various functions, including weddings. Wine is available for sale at the castle’s vineyards.
4. Barone Ricasoli
Wine and olive oil/Italy
Founded: 1141
The Ricasoli barons were first given their land by the Republic of Florence in the 12th century; today their Brolio Estate covers about 3,600 acres. The family’s main focus is its wine production, although 26 acres of the estate are used for olive cultivation.
5. Barovier & Toso
Glass making/Italy
Founded: 1295
20th generation
For centuries the Barovier family has produced crystalline glass, mother-of-pearl glass and gold-free cornelian red on Murano Island, about a ten-minute ferry ride from Venice. The Baroviers merged with the Toso family, who were also glassmakers on Murano Island, in 1936.
6. Hotel Pilgrim Haus
Founded: 1304
The Hotel Pilgrim Haus is located in the town of Soest, about 110 miles north of Frankfurt.
7. Richard de Bas
Founded: 1326
Richard de Bas has a longstanding reputation for high-quality papers, which has led to many high-profile jobs. The company has supplied paper for limited-edition works by Braque and Picasso.
8. Torrini Firenze
Founded: 1369
Jacopus Turini started the business, which is currently located in Florence. Perhaps the family’s most valued possession is its secretive and exclusive “Oro Nativo” manufacturing process, a method of working with gold while retaining its most natural color.
9. Antinori
Founded: 1385
26th generation
The Antinori family has been in the wine business since Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Florentine Guild of Vintners more than 600 years ago. Marchese (or “Count”) Piero Antinori and his three daughters currently oversee a worldwide system of vineyards in Italy, the U.S., Hungary, Malta and Chile that continue to be recognized by consumers and by wine critics for their superior quality Chiantis and other vintages. The company is housed in a Florentine palazzo.
10. Camuffo
Founded: 1438
18th generation
The business began in Khanià, a Venetian port on the island of Crete. It was founded by a man locals called “Camuffi” but whose real name was El Ham Muftiì. The family has supplied boats to Mohammed the Second, the Venetian Republic, Napoleon, the Asburg Imperial and the Royal Italian navies. Experts refer to a Camuffo boat as “the Stradivarius of the sea.”
11. Baronnie de Coussergues
Founded: 1495
16th generation
When King Charles VIII began selling royal property in France to pay off some of his expenses, Pierre Raymond de Sarret bought the estate known as Coussergues. Today the vineyard produces a wide variety of wines, including chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, viogniers, cabernet francs, merlots and cabernet sauvignons. The family sells 1.5 million bottles of wine a year in France and abroad and has won numerous gold medals for its wines.
12. Grazia Deruta
Founded: 1500
The company produces majolica, a special type of ceramic that pre-dates the 13th century. Current CEO Ubaldo Grazia has expanded the company’s business into the U.S. market and has produced three exclusive designs for Henri Bendel. Grazia has also done work for other major department stores and labels, such as Neiman-Marcus and Tiffany.
13. Fabbrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A.
Founded: 1526
14th generation
Founder Bartolomeo Beretta’s world-class gun-maker is now a Hollywood favorite; its guns appear in the James Bond series, among other films. Beretta’s reputation for quality craftsmanship recently enabled the company to wrest a $56 million U.S. armed forces contract away from competitor Colt Industries. Beretta is the weapon of choice of other law-enforcement agencies around the world, such as the Italian Carabinieri, French Gendarmerie and Texas Rangers. The company also has earned distinction for its line of hunting weapons. Ugo Gussalli Beretta is the company’s current president.
14. John Brooke & Sons
Woolens/United Kingdom
Founded: 1541
15th generation
The company, founded by John Brooke, has provided fabrics for British troops (Battle of Trafalgar, World War II), French troops and Russian military personnel. Today it’s headed by the 15th generation, represented by Mark Brooke and his brother Massimo Brooke. Mark has changed the company’s focus within the past decade by creating an entrepreneurial development park in its old mill buildings.
15. Codorniu
Founded: 1551
Jaime Codorniu acquired the company in 1551, beginning centuries of family ownership. In 1976 King Juan Carlos I declared the Codorniu estate a national historic and artistic monument. The estate is visited by 200,000 people every year and produces about 60 million bottles of wine annually.
16. Fonjallaz
Founded: 1552
13th generation
Pierre Fonjallaz began the family business when he “devoted himself to the growing of the vine,” as the label on a bottle of Fonjallaz wine will tell you. The company, now in its 13th generation of ownership, is headed by Patrick Fonjallaz.
17. DeVergulde Hand
Soap factory/Netherlands
Founded: 1554
18. von Poschinger Manufaktur
Founded: 1568
13th generation
The von Poschinger glassworks in Germany began in 1568 when Joachim Poschinger took ownership of a glass factory near Frauenau, near the Czech border. Today the business is divided into three different areas—farming, forestry and glass works—though glassmaking is still the focal point of family business affairs.
19. Wachsendustrie Fulda Adam Gies
Candles, wax figures/Germany
Founded: 1589
20. Bernberg Bank
Founded: 1590
Bernberg Bank is one of the few remaining independently owned banks in Germany.
21. R. Durtnell & Sons
Construction/United Kingdom
Founded: 1591
12th generation
Founder John Durtnell and his brother Brian built their first house in 1593. It still stands and is occupied to this day. The company is extremely versatile; its projects have included the Royal Military Academy, Chartwell House (Winston Churchill’s home) and Buckingham Palace.
22. J.P. Epping of Pippsvadr
Founded: 1595
23. Eduard Meier
Founded: 1596
13th generation
The company today is run by Peter Eduard Meier and his sister Brigitte. Its product line consists of about 4,500 items.
24. Tissiman & Sons Ltd.
Tailors and outfitters/United Kingdom
Founded: 1601
25. Takenaka
Founded: 1610
Takenaka has built office buildings for some of Japan’s major corporations, such as Mitsui Bank and Nippon Life Insurance. The family company has won many awards for design, technique and quality.
26. Mellerio dits Meller
Founded: 1613
15th generation
Members of the Mellerio family from Lombardy, Italy, became seasonal workers in France in the 16th century as purveyors of handcrafted jewelry. The family became royal favorites when it helped foil an attempted assassination of King Louis XIII. Located today near the Place Vendôme in Paris, Mellerio is known for fine jewelry and as designers and creators of the French Open tennis championship trophies.
27. Alldays Peacock
Industrial engineering/United Kingdom
Founded: 1625
The Onions family met with immediate success making bellows in a little shed near Coventry, England, prompting rapid expansion of the company into a near-monopoly. The business, which took the name J.C. Onions, became the official bellow-makers to the queen. The company’s expansion continued as it merged with its biggest competitor, William Allday & Co., and eventually with J.C. Peacock. Over the years, the company has produced a range of items, including water turbines, tricycles, cars and centrifugal fans.
28. Kikkoman
Soy sauce/Japan
Founded: 1630
On the run after her husband’s military defeat and death at the Osaka castle in the 16th century, widow Shige Maki escaped to Noda, Japan, and established a small business making what was to become soy sauce. The family business became a unified company in 1917 when eight branches of the Mogi family merged their companies together. The company has grown into the world’s largest producer of soy sauce products.
29. Sumitomo Corp.
Founded: 1630
Masatomo Sumitomo opened a medicine and book shop in Kyoto in the early 17th century. As time went on, various members of the family added to the conglomerate, making it what it is today. Sumitomo Group’s current core consists of 20 companies focusing on banking, shipbuilding, mining, glass production, electronics, cement, lumber and chemicals.
30. Akerblads
Founded: 1630
21st generation
This charming hotel in Tällberg is currently run by members of the 19th through 21st generations of the Akerblads family. The property has been remodeled and expanded over the years but still conveys a 17th-century atmosphere while offering excellent cuisine and warm Swedish hospitality.
31. Van Eeghen
Founded: 1632
14th generation
The company was established in Amsterdam by Christiaen Van Eeghen and has earned a reputation for being a reliable, highly ethical trading partner. Beginning with its tall ships, Van Eeghen plied the historic spice routes from the Far East to Holland. Today Van Eeghen continues its involvement with world trade but has diversified its business activities to include processing food ingredients.
32. Gekkeikan
Founded: 1637
13th generation
The Gekkeikan brewery was established by Jiemon Okura in the town of Fushimi. The quality of its sake has led to the company’s appointment as the official supplier of the Japanese Imperial household. Currently, the business makes more than 170 different products and exports to more than 60 countries.
33. Hugel et Fils
Founded: 1639
12th generation
The Hugel family’s roots in the war-torn Alsace-Lorraine region of France reach back to the 15th century. In 1639 the family began to make wine in the town of Riquewihr. Today, its vintages have an outstanding international reputation and are exported to more than 100 countries.
34. James Lock & Co.
Hatters/United Kingdom
Founded: 1642
The company was founded by James Lock and now makes men’s and women’s hats. One of its most recognized creations is the Bowler (known as the Derby in some places).
35. G.C. Fox & Co.
Shipping agent/United Kingdom
Founded: 1646
36. R.H. Levey & Son
Funeral services/United Kingdom
Founded: 1649
37. William Adams & Sons
Potters/United Kingdom
Founded: 1650
12th generation
The family has been producing pottery since at least 1448. In 1650, brothers William and Thomas established their pottery business in Burslem, about 35 miles south of Liverpool. It’s currently run by members of the 11th and 12th generations.
38. Ulefos Jernvaerk
Metals, milling, forestry/Norway
Founded: 1657
On August 8, 1657, King Fredrik III gave a royal decree allowing the Cappelen family to begin the company’s operations. The family has become involved in many different businesses over the years, including owning ships, trading, and producing stoves and manhole covers. The company is currently Norway’s market leader in manhole covers, which accounts for 70% of the family’s business.
39. Friedr Schwarze
Founded: 1664
12th generation
Jan Swarte (the surname was later changed to Schwarze) began the family business in Westphalia, where he was a farmer and a distiller. Four generations later, Hermann Josef Schwarze bought a house at Herrenstrasse, where the family still lives. This house serves as the company’s headquarters.
40. Kronenbourg Brewery
Founded: 1664
41. James Kenyon & Son, Ltd.
Textiles/United Kingdom
Founded: 1664
42. Hedges & Butler
Wines and spirits/United Kingdom
Founded: 1667
Hedges & Butler’s reputation for quality and refinement earned it a contract in 1837 to be the official supplier of wine and spirits to Queen Victoria’s family.
43. Early’s of Witney
Blankets/United Kingdom
Founded: 1669
44. Mocatta & Goldsmid
Gold/United Kingdom
Founded: 1671
45. C. Hoare & Co.
Banking/United Kingdom
Founded: 1672
11th generation
The Hoare bank is the last survivor of the English private deposit banks that were originally established in the 17th and 18th centuries. The bank was founded by Richard Hoare and is now run by members of the tenth and 11th generations. The family’s pride in close customer relationships and meticulous service has attracted famous customers, including Samuel Pepys, Queen Charlotte, furniture makers Thomas Chippendale & Son, Lord Byron, Jane Austen and various prime ministers.
46. Firmin & Sons Ltd.
Uniforms and insignia/United Kingdom
Founded: 1677
47. Viellard Migeon & Cie.
Iron making/France
Founded: 1679
The business was started by a man named Nicolas Viellard and met with significant success after the French Revolution. During this time the business adopted a strategy of cultivating family alliances to consolidate the iron works in the town of Morvillars, in eastern France.
48. Gradis Corp.
Wine trading/France
Founded: 1685
The Gradis family, originally from Portugal, settled in Bordeaux in the late 1500s. Diego Gradis later began the family wine trading business. During the Seven Years’ War (1756-63), family ships were used to re-supply troops in Canada. During World War I, the French government commissioned the family to ensure the supply of sugar for France. Today, the family has returned to its roots in wine trading.
49. Toye, Kenning & Spencer
Weavers/United Kingdom
Founded: 1685
Toye, Kenning & Spencer holds a royal warrant and over the years has produced much of the United Kingdom’s regalia, medals and uniforms. Brian Toye is the current chairman.
50. Yamamotoyama
Founded: 1690
The Yamamotoyama family began producing teas in Japan more than three centuries ago. The company is now the world’s oldest family-owned tea business.
51. Cartiera
Mantovana Corp.
Founded: 1690
The Marenghi family, descendants of Riccio da Parma (a knight famous for his battles in the early 1500s), owns the company. In 1688 the Duke of Mantua granted the family the privilege of selling paper; production began in 1690. The company is currently run by Cristina Marenghi and her sons Marcofabio, Alberto and Vittorio.
52. Delamare et Cie.
Packaging materials/France
Founded: 1690
The company was founded by André Delamare and is now run by François Delamare. Family members initially worked with wood, making carts and stagecoaches. Eventually they expanded into plastics and adhesives in the packaging market. The family has earned two top packaging awards, in 1986 and 1988. Today it conducts research on recycling and transformation of industrial waste.
53. Folkes Group
Real estate and engineering/United Kingdom
Founded: 1697
Seventh generation
The company began by making chain mail and swords and is now the oldest firm with a current stock market listing in the United Kingdom. In addition to making real estate investments, the company produces specialized cargo handling equipment, large crankshafts, roofing materials and other products.
54. Berry Brothers & Rudd Ltd.
Wine merchants/United Kingdom
Founded: 1698
Family of coffee, tea and spice merchants gravitated to wines and spirits later. They earned the right to supply the British royal family in 1760 and continue to do so—they currently hold royal warrants to the queen and the prince of Wales. The family operates out of the same shop where they began three centuries ago.
55. Shepherd Neame
Brewer/United Kingdom
Founded: 1698
Fifth generation
Britain's oldest brewer, founded by Capt. Richard Marsh, who was the mayor of Faversham, in Kent. Samuel Shepherd and his sons Julius and John eventually bought the business. When Percy Beale Neame joined the partnership in 1864, the company’s beer began to gain widespread renown. The Neame family has remained in control ever since.
56. William Dalton & Sons
Pest control/United Kingdom
Founded: 1710
57. Tissages Denantes
Founded: 1723
Even with more than 400 employees, the company preserves its traditions, which began in the 18th-century French trade fairs. Michel Denantes and his wife, Barbe, established a reputation for fine cloth at these fairs.
58. Amarelli
Founded: 1731
The family’s roots in Italy’s Calabria region—which according to the British Encyclopedia has the best licorice in the world—pre-date the year 1000. Fortunato Amarelli created the Amarelli company with his son in 1731. In 1987 the company won the gold medal from the Italian Chemical Company for combining traditional craftsmanship with modern technology.
59. Fraterri Piacenza Corp.
Founded: 1733
11th generation
In 1733, Pietro Francesco Piacenza created the first woolen mill in Pollone, a small town nestled at the foot of the Alps, near the Swiss and French borders. The family prides itself on its strict quality standards—its method of producing wool takes up to six times longer than some more modern techniques. The results are widely acclaimed. The company’s president today is Riccardo Piacenza.
60. Taittinger Champagne
Founded: 1734
The business was begun by Jacques Fourneaux. After World War I, the Taittinger family merged with Fourneaux-Forest (as the company was known at the time). The Taittingers ultimately took control of the operation. Claude Taittinger runs the business today.
61. William Clark & Sons
Linen/Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Founded: 1739
Ninth generation
The family has operated for more than 250 years as a manufacturer of linens in Northern Ireland and now runs the oldest family-owned linen factory in the world. Their international reputation for quality and value has made Irish linen perhaps more highly prized than any other cloth. The company is currently run by Bobby and Stephen Clark of the ninth generation.
62. Boplaas
Agriculture/Orchards/South Africa
Founded: 1743
Ninth generation
The farm was founded by Isaak Wilhelm Van der Merwe and is now run by two brothers, Frans and Nicolaas Van der Merwe, of the family’s ninth generation. The family also has built a literary legacy through poet Isaac Wilhelmus Van der Merwe, known nationally as “Boerneef,” and current author Carl Van der Merwe (eighth generation). The family farm was declared a national monument in 1973.
63. Aubanel
Publishing Co.
Founded: 1744
The business was started by Antoine Aubanel in Avignon. Rome awarded Antoine the title of “master printer” in 1756, and in 1780 he was appointed the official printer to the Pope, an honor that was to be handed down from generation to generation. The family refused to publish Napoleon Bonaparte’s book Le Souper De Beaucaire.
64. Fonderia Daciano Colbachini & Figli
Bell maker/Italy
Founded: 1745
The family business was founded by Giuseppe Colbachini when he joined with his three brothers to make bells. The Colbachini family’s talents earned them the prestigious title of “Pontifical Foundry” on January 17, 1898. To this day, Fonderia Daciano Colbachini & Figli is the only maker of bells in the world that is able to stamp its products with the Papal coat of arms. The business is currently directed by Giovanni Aldinio-Colbachini.
65. J.D. Neuhaus Hebezeuge
Hoist manufacturers/Germany
Founded: 1745
Seventh generation
Johann Diederich Neuhaus began the business when he joined the Factory Register in Germany as a manufacturer. The company started by producing wooden jacks, which were in high demand by carters who would constantly break their wheels on the rough terrain of 18th-century roads. In 1952 the company invented the air hoist, which was much safer than the electrical hoists that were being produced at the time. Today, the company’s products are sold in 90 countries. One product, the Gorilla V, is the world’s most powerful air hoist: It can lift 250 tons. Johann Diederich Neuhaus, who represents the seventh generation, is the current chairman.
66. Avandero Corp.
Founded: 1746
67. Nagelmakers
Founded: 1747
68. Villeroy & Boch
Founded: 1748
The family business began in Lorraine when François Boch, then an iron founder, started making ceramic tableware. In 1791, Nicolas Villeroy established a nearby ceramic factory. In 1836, these two families merged their factories to form Villeroy & Boch.
69. Zenith Pipe Company
Tobacco pipes/Netherlands
Founded: 1749
Eighth generation
Aart van der Want currently runs the company.
70. Marie Brizard & Roger International
Founded: 1755
Eighth generation
The company traces its origins to 18th-century Bordeaux, where, as legend has it, Marie Brizard saved a sailor from death. To show his gratitude, the sailor told Marie about an elixir that supposedly could cure every type of ill. Marie joined with her nephew Jean-Baptiste Roger to start the family company by producing the “elixir” known as anisette. The business is still centered in Bordeaux and is currently run by Jean-Baptiste Roger, an eighth-generation descendant of the founding family. Today the company’s products can be found in more than 120 countries.
71. Joseph Drouhin
Founded: 1756
Parts of the family’s wine cellars date back to the 13th century. One portion of their cellar was built in the 16th century for the king of France. The family’s cellars have been classified as historical treasures. Today the family’s estate covers more than 162 acres. Family members Robert, Philippe, Véronique, Françoise and Frédéric currently run the winery.
72. Lanificio Conte S.p.A.
Founded: 1757
The business was started when Antonio Di Giovan Battista bought a woolen mill in 1757. The current president is Gemma Boniver Conte. The firm has cultivated a reputation for fine women’s clothing.
73. Jose Cuervo
Founded: 1758
José Antonio de Cuervo acquired a land grant from the king of Spain in 1758. In 1795, José Maria Guadalupe Cuervo was granted the first license from the king to produce tequila. The family business is now Mexico’s oldest existing company. In Spanish, Cuervo means “crow,” the symbol the firm uses to identify its products.
74. Waterford Wedgwood
Crystal, china, & cookware/ Ireland
Founded: 1759
Waterford Wedgwood is perhaps the world’s leading maker of luxury crystal, china, ceramics and cookware. The company’s most visible product is the large crystal ball lowered every New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square.
75. Creed Perfume
Founded: 1760
Seventh generation
The business was started in the United Kingdom in 1760 when James Creed received an appointment from King George III to make fragrances. The company moved its operations from London to Paris in 1854. Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, both commissioned the company to make scents for them. Today the company has 238 fragrances in its line and is run by Olivier Creed, who represents the seventh generation.
76. Griset
Founded: 1760
Antoine Griset established the family’s first metal foundry in Paris in 1760. The factory was moved to Rue Oberkampf in Paris in 1825. Here the platinum bar used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures to denote the “standard meter” was first produced.
77. Hacienda Los Lingues
Founded: 1760
Don Melchor Jufré del Águila, mayor of Santiago, received an 18th-century gift from the king of Spain: the Angostura Estate, located in Chile’s Central Valley. He passed the land on to his daughter, Doña Ana María del Águila, and its 4,000 hectares became the home of a five-star hotel that can accommodate 37 guests. It’s also the home of one of the most prestigious horse stables in the Americas: the Aculeo Stable, which features horses brought to Spain by the Moors in 711 and later brought to the New World by the Spanish Conquistadors. Germán Claro Lira currently owns the land.
78. Faber Castell
Writing instruments/Germany
Founded: 1761
Eighth generation
The company was founded in Stein, Germany (near Nuremberg), when Kaspar Faber, a carpenter, produced his own pencils. Count Anton Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell currently manages the company, which makes about 2,000 products.
79. Möller Group
Metal products/Germany
Founded: 1762
Seventh generation
The family can be traced back to 1575. The Möllers began working with copper in 1762. Successive generations expanded the family’s focus to include a tannery and leather goods factory (1827), an engineering division (1863) and a plastics division (1936). Dr. Peter von Möller, who represents the seventh generation, currently runs the company.
80. Silca
Keys & key cutting machines/Italy
Founded: 1770
Fifth generation
Camillo Bianchi started the business when he invented the key-cutting service. The company serves more than 130,000 key-cutting centers, locksmiths and manufacturers in the security and automotive industries worldwide.
81. Osborne y Compania
Brandy and sherry/Spain
Founded: 1772
Sixth generation
The business was started by an Englishman, Thomas Osborne Mann, who in the late 1700s owned an export agency in Cadiz. Thomas enjoyed early success through his friendship with a British consul, who allowed him to store his wines in the consulate’s personal cellar. Today the company has about 700 employees and is headed by Tomas and Ignacio Osborne.
82. Editions Henry Lemoine
Music publishing/France
Founded: 1772
The family business was begun by Antoine-Marcel Lemoine in Paris. In 1810 he published the Messe Solennelle, composed for the coronation of Napoleon I. The publishing house also issued the works of Chopin, Berlioz, Donizetti, Halevy, Franck, Gounod, Messiaen and Piazzolla. Pierre Lemoine currently heads the company.
83. Bass Ale
Brewer/United Kingdom
Founded: 1777
William Bass bought a brewery in Burton in 1777 and brewed his first pint of ale. At first his output was only a few hundred barrels per year. This number grew to nearly 1 million barrels per year over the company’s first 100 years. It is said that Bass Ale was Catherine the Great’s favorite until Napoleon Bonaparte put a stop to Baltic trade. Today, Bass Ale’s beverages are sold on five continents.
84. JB Fernandes & Sons
Tools & ironwares/Portugal
Founded: 1778
Sixth generation
In 1778 an earthquake ruined much of Lisbon, then one of Europe’s most brilliant capitals. This disaster prompted Ignacio Jose Fernandes to open a business selling tools and iron goods to help rebuild the city. Today the firm is an industry leader in Portugal.
85. Ditta Bortolo Nardini
Founded: 1779
Bortolo Nardini founded the distillery when he bought an inn in 1779 next to the famous Bassano Bridge, about 45 miles northwest of Venice. The inn became known as the “Grapperia Nardini.” Grape pomace acquavite (known as grappa) had been made by peasants living in the area before the Nardinis arrived. Nardini introduced technology to the process of distilling the seeds, skins and stems left at the end of the winemaking process, making it more modern and scientific.
86. Asprey
Jewelry/United Kingdom
Founded: 1781
William Asprey founded the business in south London. Initially it made fine furniture. In 1832 Asprey was appointed dressing case maker to the king. Today Asprey shops can be found in New York, Geneva, Japan and Hong Kong. Asprey designed the sapphire and diamond necklace worn by Kate Winslet in the film Titanic. John Rolls Asprey currently runs the business.
87. Cadbury Schweppes
Drinks and confections/United Kingdom
Founded: 1783
Fifth generation
The Schweppe family business began in 1783, when Jacob Schweppe perfected a process for making mineral water in Switzerland. The Cadbury family business was established in 1824 when John Cadbury began selling tea and coffee. These two companies merged in 1969. Over the years the company has supplied the British royal family with its products.
88. Confetti Mario Pelino
Founded: 1783
Seventh generation
Sulmona, Italy, has been a confectionary-making center for three centuries. In 1783, thanks to the Pelino family, it became the confetti capital as well. Unlike paper confetti, Pelino confetti is a confection that is used to celebrate weddings, christenings, graduations and other occasions. The candies are made in a four-day-long process overseen by the Pelino family’s nine members, all of whom are occupied full-time in the factory and on the sales floor.
89. Molson
Founded: 1786
John Molson left his estate in England and came to Canada in 1786 before its independence from Britain. His first brewery that year produced enough beer to fill about 50,000 of today’s bottles, causing him to remark that “My beer has been universally well-liked beyond my most sanguine expectations.” Molson today is Canada’s largest brewery and enjoys a strong reputation in international markets.
90. Wilson Fuel
Founded: 1788
Eighth generation
The family’s main focus is on fuel production. They own a chain of gas stations in Nova Scotia, along with a couple of ski hills. Steve and Ian Wilson currently run the company.
91. Revol
Craft pottery/France
Founded: 1789
Eighth generation
François Revol and his younger brother Joseph began the business. In 1806 their porcelain won first prize for the quality of its glaze and its firmness at the Paris Exhibition; in 1868 it was awarded a silver medal at the International Exhibition in Le Havre.
92. Jeronimo Martins
Food retailer/Portugal
Founded: 1792
Jeronimo Martins is Portugal’s second-largest food retailer. Chairman Alexandre Soares dos Santos, 65, and four of his seven children work in the business, which is now focused on an aggressive overseas expansion. The family owns 60% of the group.
93. Bonhams
Auction house/United Kingdom
Founded: 1793
Bonhams is currently the world’s third largest auction house, after the merger of Bonham & Brooks with Phillips Auctioneers in the United Kingdom. The auction house has about 200 specialists in more than 40 departments. It claims to be the only leading auction house run by professional auctioneers.
94. Louis Latour
Founded: 1797
Seventh generation
The winery has provided wine for various figures of royalty, including the Thurn-und-Taxis family, the court of Bavaria, the king of Wurtemberg, Ferdinand of Saxe-Cobourg, and the Radziwill princess. The family’s wines are also served at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and restaurants, such as Monte Carlo’s Hôtel de Paris, Geneva’s Le Beau-Rivage and the Paris Ritz.
95. Industria Filati Tessuti Crespi
Founded: 1797
Seventh generation
Benigno Crespi founded the business at the end of the 18th century. The family’s focus is on high-quality clothing fabrics. In 1995, the company sold 8 million square meters of finished fabrics. Franco and his son Carlo Crespi currently run the company.
96. Egon Müller-Scharzhof
Founded: 1797
Fifth generation
It is believed that the vineyard was planted by the Romans around 700. It became the property of the church. After the French Revolution, when all church properties were seized and sold, the Scharzhof family bought the estate in 1797. The family’s vineyard is regarded as one of Germany’s finest.
97. Lombard Odier & Cie.
Banking and investments/ Switzerland
Founded: 1798
The bank enjoys a long reputation for quality service. (Jules Verne mentioned it in his 1872 novel From the Earth to the Moon.) Today, the bank employs more than 1,500 people in 13 countries.
98. N.M. Rothschild & Sons
Banking and investments/ United Kingdom
Founded: 1799
Nathan Mayer Rothschild left his father’s trading house in Frankfurt in search of his own fortune. He set up a business dealing with textiles in Manchester, England. But soon after, Nathan shifted his focus to finance and banking; it became the dominant branch of the legendary Rothschild family banking network. As his business grew, he bought a building in London that continues to serve as the firm’s headquarters. In 1825, when 145 banks failed, the Rothschilds provided the Bank of England with £10 million, saving the British banking system from collapse. Today the family has 40 offices in more than 30 countries.
99. Torres
Wine and brandy/Spain
Founded: 1800
The family has produced wine since the 17th century but didn’t sell their products until 1800. The Torres wines have won awards in Vienna, Philadelphia and Paris. During the Spanish Civil War, the family’s winery was bombed. It was eventually rebuilt by Miguel Torres Carbó and his wife. Today the company’s wines can be found in more than 120 countries.
100. Brucedale Pty. Ltd.
Founded: 1802
Sixth generation
Australia’s oldest family business belongs to the Suttor family. George Suttor received a land grant of 200 acres for providing botanical help to Sir Joseph Banks during a voyage to the colony of New South Wales. George named this land Chelsea Farm. When his children grew older, his elder boys, John and William, took possession of a 320-acre plot and named it Brucedale (in honor of George’s grandmother, whose maiden name was Bruce). Over time the family’s land holdings grew.

Inter caetera
Columbus' discovery in 1492 of supposedly Asiatic lands in the western seas threatened the unstable relations between the kingdoms of Portugal and Castile, which had been jockeying for position and possession of colonial territories along the African coast for many years. The king of Portugal asserted that the discovery was within the bounds set forth in Papal bulls of 1455, 1456, and 1479. The king and queen of Castile disputed this and sought a new Papal Bull on the subject. Pope Alexander VI, a native of Valencia and a friend of the Castilian king, responded with three bulls, dated May 3 and 4, which were highly favorable to Castile. The third of these bulls was titled "Inter caetera", awarded Spain the sole right to colonize most of the New World.
By the time of the Sengoku period (1467-1615), the attitude that slavery was anachronistic had become widespread. In a meeting with Catholic priests, Oda Nobunaga was presented with a black slave, the first recorded encounter between a Japanese and an African. In 1588, Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered all slave trading to be abolished.

Formation of British Trading Companies
Henry VII
22 August
Born 28 January 1457 Pembroke Castle
son of Edmund Tudor and Lady Margaret Beaufort Elizabeth of York
Westminster Abbey
Married 18 January 1486 8 children
Died21 April 1509 Richmond Palace aged 52
Henry VII (January 28, 1457 – April 21, 1509), King of England, Lord of Ireland (August 22, 1485 – April 21, 1509), was the founder and first patriarch of the Tudor dynasty.
Henry allied with the Habsburg empire as a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Early life
Henry was born at Pembroke Castle, in Wales, in 1457, and he was the only son of Edmund Tudor and Lady Margaret Beaufort. His father died two months before he was born, which meant that the young Henry spent much of his early life with his uncle, Jasper Tudor. With the return of the Yorkist Edward IV to the throne in 1471, Henry was forced to flee to Brittany, where he was to spend most of the next fourteen years. After the failure of the revolt of his second cousin, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, in 1483, Henry Tudor became the leading Lancastrian contender for the throne of England. With money and supplies borrowed from his host, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, Henry made an unsuccessful attempt to land in England but turned back after encountering Richard III's (1483–85) forces on the Dorset coast. Richard III attempted to ensure his return through a treaty with the Breton authorities, but Henry was alerted and escaped to France. He was welcomed by the French court, who readily supplied him with troops and equipment for a second invasion.
Rise to the throne
Having gained the support of the in-laws of the late Yorkist King Edward IV, he landed with a largely French and Scottish force in Mill Bay, Pembrokeshire, and marched into England, accompanied by his uncle, Jasper Tudor, and the experienced John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford. Wales had traditionally been a Yorkist stronghold, and Henry owed the support he gathered to his ancestry, being directly descended, through his father, from the Lord Rhys. He amassed an army of around 5000 soldiers and travelled north.
Henry was aware that this was his only chance to seize the throne since Richard had reinforcements that waited in Nottingham and Leicester and thus had only to avoid being killed in order to keep the throne. Though outnumbered, Henry's Lancastrian forces decisively defeated the Yorkist army under Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485 when several of Richard's key allies, such as the Earl of Northumberland and William and Thomas Stanley, crucially switched sides or deserted the field of battle. The death of Richard III on Bosworth Field effectively ended the long-running Wars of the Roses between the two houses, although it wasn't the final battle. Henry's claim to the throne was tenuous: it was based upon a lineage of illegitimate succession, and overlooked the fact that the Beauforts had been disinherited by an earlier act of attainder. Henry VII's paternal grandfather had married the widow of Henry V, while on his mother's side (Beauforts) claimed royal blood through an illegitimate line from John of Gaunt, third son of Edward III. However this tenuous claim proved to be no barrier to the throne. The Wars of the Roses had ensured that most other claimants were either dead or too weak to challenge him. In the end Henry dealt with the act of attainder by claiming that it could not apply to a king.
The first of Henry's concerns on attaining the throne was the question of establishing the strength and supremacy of his rule. His own claim to the throne being weak as it was, he was fortunate in that there were few other claimants to the throne left alive after the long civil war. His main worry was pretenders including Perkin Warbeck, who, pretending to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower and son of Edward IV, made attempts at the throne with the backing of disaffected nobles and foreign enemies. Henry managed to secure his crown principally by dividing and undermining the power of the nobility, especially through the aggressive use of bonds and recognisances to secure loyalty, as well as by a legislative assault on retaining, the practice of maintaining private armies. He also honoured his pledge of December 1483 to marry Elizabeth of York, daughter and heir of King Edward IV. The marriage took place on January 18, 1486 at Westminster. The marriage unified the warring houses and gave his his children a stronger claim to the throne (although there is evidence that Edward was born illegitimate). The unification of the houses of York and Lancaster by Henry VII's marriage to Elizabeth of York is represented in the heraldic symbol of the Tudor rose, a combination of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster.
In addition, Henry had the Titulus Regius, the document declaring Edward IV's children illegitimate due to his marriage being invalid, repealed in his first parliament, thus legitimizing his wife. Several amateur historians, including Bertram Fields and most particularly Sir Clements Markham believe that he also may have been involved in the murder of the Princes in the Tower, as the repeal of the Titulus Regius would have given them a stronger claim to the throne than his own. This theory has made its appearance in such notable cases as former William Rehnquist's show trial, aired on CNN, where he 'found' that "There is a sufficient lapse of time even considering the evidence most favorable to the State as to put it beyond the time when Richard III was in control of things and into the time when Henry VII was in control of things".[citation needed]
Henry's first action was to declare himself king retroactive to the day before the battle, thus ensuring that anyone who had fought against him would be guilty of treason. It is interesting to note, therefore, that he spared Richard's designated heir, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln. He would have cause to regret his leniency two years later, when Lincoln rebelled and attempted to set a boy pretender, Lambert Simnel, on the throne in Henry's place. Lincoln was killed at the Battle of Stoke, but Simnel's life was spared and he became a royal servant.
Simnel had been put forward as "Edward VI", impersonating the young Edward, Earl of Warwick, son of George, Duke of Clarence, who was still imprisoned in the Tower of London. Henry had imprisoned the boy at the age of 10, and though he did not release him at any point, he did not execute him until he had grown into adulthood, in 1499. Edward's elder sister, Margaret Pole, who had the next best claim on the throne, inherited her father's earldom of Salisbury and survived well into the next century (until she fell victim to a bill of attainder for treason too, under Henry VIII).
Economic and diplomatic policies
Henry VII was a fiscally prudent monarch who restored the fortunes of an effectively bankrupt exchequer (Edward IV's treasury had been emptied by his wife's Woodville relations after his death and before the accession of Richard III) by introducing ruthlessly efficient mechanisms of taxation. In this he was supported by his chancellor, Archbishop John Morton, whose "Morton's Fork" (the two "tines" of which being: "If the subject is seen to live frugally, tell him because he is clearly a money saver of great ability he can afford to give generously to the King. If, however, the subject lives a life of great extravagance, tell him he, too, can afford to give largely, the proof of his opulence being evident in his expenditure.") was a catch 22 method of ensuring that nobles paid increased taxes. Royal government was also reformed with the introduction of the King's Council that kept the nobility in check.
Henry VII's policy was both to maintain peace and to create economic prosperity. Up to a point, he succeeded in both. He was not a military man, and had no interest in trying to regain the French territories lost during the reigns of his predecessors; he was therefore only too ready to conclude a treaty with France at Etaples that both directly and indirectly brought money into the coffers of England, and ensured that the French would not support pretenders to the English throne, such as Perkin Warbeck. Henry had been under the financial and physical protection of the French throne or its vassals for most of his career prior to his ascending to the throne of England. To strengthen his position, however, he subsidized shipbuilding, so strengthening the navy (he commissioned Europe's first ever - and the world's oldest surviving - dry dock at Portsmouth in 1495) and improving trading opportunities. By the time of his death, he had amassed a personal fortune of a 1.5 million; it did not take his son as long to fritter it away as it had taken the father to acquire it.
Henry VII was one of the first European monarchs to recognise the importance of the newly-united Spanish kingdom and thus concluded the Treaty of Medina Del Campo in 1489, by which his son, Arthur Tudor, was married to Catherine of Aragon. Similarly, the first treaty between England and Scotland for almost two centuries betrothed his daughter Margaret to King James IV of Scotland, a move which would ultimately see the English and Scottish crowns united under one of Margaret's descendants, James I. He also formed an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, under the emperor Maximilian I (1493–1519) and persuaded Pope Innocent VIII to issue a Bull of Excommunication against all pretenders to Henry's throne.
Law Enforcement and Justices of the Peace

Death mask of King Henry VII in Westminster Abbey
Henry's principal problem was, indeed, to restore royal authority in a realm still recovering from the disorders of the Wars of the Roses. There were too many powerful noblemen, and, as a consequence of the system of so called bastard feudalism, each had what amounted to private armies of indentured retainers (contracted men-at-arms masquerading as servants).
He was content to allow the nobles their regional influence if they were loyal to him. For instance, the Stanley family had control of Lancashire and Cheshire, upholding the peace on the condition that they themselves stayed within the law.
In other cases, he brought his over powerful subjects to heel by degree. He passed laws against 'livery' (flaunting your adherents by giving them badges and emblems) and 'maintenance' (keeping too many male 'servants'). These were used very shrewdly in levying fines upon those that he perceived a threat.
However, his principal weapon was the Court of Star Chamber. This revived an earlier practice of using a small (and trusted) group of the Privy Council as a personal or Prerogative Court, able to cut through the cumbersome legal system and act swiftly. Serious disputes involving the use of personal power, or threats to royal authority, were dealt with by the new Court.
Henry VII used Justices of the Peace (JPs) on a large, nationwide scale. They were appointed for every shire and served for a year at a time. Their chief task was to see that the laws of the country were obeyed in their area. Their powers and numbers steadily increased during the Tudors, never more so than under Henry’s reign.
Despite this, Henry was keen to constrain their power and influence, applying the same principles to the Justices of the Peace as he did to the nobility. i.e. a similar system of bonds and recognisances to which applied to both the gentry (who were most likely to be appointed as Justices of the Peace) as well as the nobles who tried to exert their elevated influence over these local officials.
The enforcement of Acts of Parliament was overseen by the Justices of the Peace. For example, Justices of the Peace could replace suspect jurors in accordance with the 1495 act preventing the corruption of juries. They were also in charge of various administrative duties, such as the checking of weights and measures.
By 1509 Justices of Peace were the key enforcers of law and order for Henry VII. They were unpaid, which, in comparison with modern standards, meant a lesser tax bill to pay for a police force. Local gentry saw the office as one of local influence and prestige and were therefore willing to serve. Overall, this was a successful area of policy for Henry, both in terms of efficiency and as a method Later years
In 1502, fate dealt Henry VII a double blow from which he never fully recovered: His heir, the recently-married Arthur, died in an epidemic at Ludlow Castle and was followed only a few months later by Henry VII's queen, in childbirth. Not wishing the negotiations that had led to the marriage of his elder son to Catherine of Aragon to go to waste, he arranged a dispensation for his younger son to marry his brother's widow — normally a degree of relationship that precluded marriage in the Roman Catholic Church. Also included in the dispensation was a proviso that would allow Henry VII himself to marry his widowed daughter-in-law. Henry VII obtained the dispensation from Pope Julius II (1503–13) but had second thoughts about the value of the marriage and did not allow it to take place during his lifetime. Although he made half-hearted plans to re-marry and beget more heirs, these never came to anything. On his death in 1509, he was succeeded by his second son, Henry VIII (1509–47). He is buried at Westminster Abbey.
Marriage and Issue
Henry and Elizabeth's children are:
Name Birth Death Notes
Arthur, Prince of Wales
September 20, 1486
April 2, 1502
Married Catherine of Aragon (1485 - 1536) in 1501. No issue.
Margaret Tudor, Princess of England
November 28, 1489
October 18, 1541
Married (1) James IV, King of Scotland (1473 - 1513) in 1503. Had issue. Married (2) Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus (1489 - 1557) in 1514. Had issue.
Henry VIII, King of England
June 28, 1491
January 28, 1547
Married (1) Catherine of Aragon (1485 - 1536) in 1509. Had issue. Married (2) Anne Boleyn (1501 - 1536) in 1533. Had issue. Married (3) Jane Seymour (1503 - 1537) in 1536. Had issue. Married (4) Anne of Cleves (1515 - 1557) in 1540. No issue. Married (5) Catherine Howard (1520 - 1542) in 1540. No issue. Married (6) Katherine Parr (1512 - 1548) in 1543. No issue.
Elizabeth Tudor, Princess of England
July 2, 1492
September 14, 1495
Died young. No issue.
Mary Tudor, Princess of England
March 18, 1496
June 25, 1533
Married (1) Louis XII, King of France (1462 - 1515) in 1514. No issue. Married (2) Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk (1484 - 1545) in 1515. Had issue.
Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset
February 21, 1499
June 19, 1500
Died young. No issue.
Edward Tudor, Prince of England Unknown Unknown Edward Tudor. He may not have actually existed. Suspected to be a mistaken name for Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset. However, this name is listed in official records as a child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Edward is also mentioned in Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy by Alison Weir as having died young. She assumes the child to have been buried with his family in Westminster Abbey.

Katherine Tudor, Princess of England
February 2, 1503
February 2, 1503
Died young. No issue. Mother, Elizabeth of York, died as a result of Katherine's birth.
An illegitimate son has also been attributed to Henry. Sir Roland de Velville or Veleville (1474 - 25 June 1535) was knighted in 1497 and was Constable of Beaumaris Castle. If de Velville was in fact Henry's son, he was born during the period of Henry's exile in France. His mother is said to have been "a Breton lady". Roland de Velville's descendants included Katheryn of Berain, hence she is sometimes referred to as "Katherine Tudor".[1]
Henry VII's elder daughter Margaret was married first to James IV of Scotland (1488–1513), and their son became James V of Scotland (1513–42), whose daughter became Mary, Queen of Scots. By means of this marriage, Henry VII hoped to break the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France. Margaret Tudor's second marriage was to Archibald Douglas; their grandson, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley married Mary, Queen of Scots. Their son, James VI of Scotland (1567–1625), inherited the throne of England as James I (1603–25) after the death of Elizabeth I. Henry VII's other surviving daughter, Mary, first married the elderly King Louis XII of France (1498–1515) and then, when he died after only about 1 year of marriage, she married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk without her brother's (now King Henry VIII) permission. Their daughter Frances married Henry Grey, and her children included Lady Jane Grey, in whose name her parents and in-laws tried to seize the throne after Edward VI of England (1547–53) died.

1502 First enslaved Africans in the Americas.
1485-1509 A chartered company is an association formed by investors or shareholders for the purpose of trade, exploration and colonisation.
Typically, these companies were formed from the sixteenth century onwards by groups of European investors to underwrite and profit from the exploration of Africa, India, the Caribbean and North America, usually under the patronage of one state, which issued the company's charter. This enabled states to use private resources for exploration and trade beyond the means of the limited resources of the treasury, which is a liberal form of indirect rule; some companies did themselves employ a form of indirect rule of territories through traditional leaders, such as princely states with whom they (not the European state) made treaties.
Chartered companies were usually formed, incorporated and legitimised under a royal or, in republics, an equivalent government charter. This document set out the terms under which the company could trade; defined its boundaries of influence, and described its rights and responsibilities.
For example, the charter of the British South Africa Company, given by Queen Victoria, allowed the company to:
• Treat with African rulers such as King Lobengula
• Form banks
• Own, manage and grant or distribute land
• Raise its own police force (the British South Africa Police).
In return, the British South Africa Company agreed to develop the territory it controlled; to respect existing African laws; to allow free trade within its territory and to respect all religions.
Chartered companies in many cases benefited from the trade monopolies (such as the English Royal African Company, which held a monopoly on African slaving from 1672 to 1698).
In order to carry out their many tasks, which in many cases included functions - such as security and defence - usually reserved for a sovereign state, some companies achieved relative autonomy. A few chartered companies such as the British Honourable East India Company (HEIC) and Dutch Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) had military and naval forces of their own that dwarfed even the average European state's armed forces, and adequate funds to buy the best men and equipment, in effect making them a state within a state.
More chartered companies were formed during the late nineteenth century's "Scramble for Africa" with the purpose of seizing, colonising and administering the last 'virgin' African territories, but these proved generally less profitable than earlier trading companies. In time, most of their colonies were either lost (often to other European powers) or transformed into crown colonies. The last chartered company to administer territory directly in Africa was the Companhia de Moçambique in Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique), which handed over rule of the colonies of Manica and Sofala to the Portuguese crown's colonial government in 1942.
Merchant Adventurers (1505)
The Company of Merchant Adventurers of London brought together London's leading overseas merchants in a regulated company (in the nature of a guild). Its members' main business was the export of cloth, especially white (undyed) broadcloth. This enabled them to import a large range of foreign goods.
The company received their royal charter from King Henry IV in 1407, but its roots may go back to the Fraternity of St Thomas of Canterbury, which claimed to have liberties existing as early as 1216. The Duke of Brabant granted a charter to the English merchants at Antwerp in 1305, but this body may have included the Staplers (who exported raw wool as as well as the Merchant Adventurers. Henry IV's charter was in favour of the English merchants dwelling in Holland, Zeeland, Brabant, and Flanders. However there were also other groups of merchants trading to other parts of northern Europe, including merchants dwelling in Prussia, Sconce, Sound, and the Hanse (whose election of a governor was approved by Richard II of England in 1391), and the English Merchants in Norway, Sweden and Denmark (who recevied a charter in 1408).
Under Henry VII's charter of 1505 the company had a governor and 24 assistants. The members were trading capitalists and were prohibited by the company's ordinances from selling by retail or keeping open shop. The company was largely composed of London mercers, but also had members from York, Norwich, Exeter, Ipswich, Newcastle, Hull, and other places, but the merchant adventurers of these towns were probably separate but affiliate bodies.
Under Henry VII, the non-London merchants complained that they had once traded freely with Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, but now the London company was imposing on them a fine of £20, and so drove them out of their markets. Henry VII caused this to be reduced to 10 marks (£6.13.4d). There was also conflict with the Merchants of the Staple, who sought to expand from their traditional (but declining) trade of exporting wool through Calais to exporting cloth to Flanders without becoming free of the Merchant Adventurers, an issue ultimately resolved in favour of the latter. There was also conflict with the foreign merchants of the Hanseatic League, who had considerable privileges in England trade until these were revoked in the mid 16th century.
The Merchant Adventurers had a commercial monopoly, its members being the only persons entitled to export cloth from England. Their main market (or staple port) was Antwerp, but they began to have difficulties when the King of Spain as sovereign of the Low Countries increased customs duty in 1460 in contravention of a treaty with Brabant of 1496. Three years later, he prohibited English ships from coming to the Low Countries. The Merchant Adventurers then decided to use other ports, Emden in East Friesland and Hamburg competed to entertain the Merchant Adventurers of England, the choice falling on Embden, but it was soon found that it failed to attract merchants to buy the English merchants' wares. They left abruptly, returning to Antwerp, but there was a further rupture with Antwerp, due to Elizabeth I of England seizing Spanish treasure ships conveying money to the Duke of Alva as governor of the Netherlands. Some trade was resumed at Antwerp from 1573 to 1582, but ceased with the declining fortunes of that city.
The conflict with the Hanseatic League continued. The Hanse had the same rights in England as native merchants and better privileges abroad, thus enabling them to undersell English merchants. Hamburg was a member of the League, but when the English merchants left Emden, they tried to settle there, but the League forced Hamburg to expel them. Emden was tried again in 1579. The Emperor ordered the Count of East Friesland to expel the merchants, but he declined, and the merchants remained there until 1587 . In 1586, the Senate of Hamburg invited the Merchant Adventurers to return there, but negotiations over this broke down. The merchants (who had frequented Middelburg since 1582 were also invited to return in 1587 to the (now independent) United Provinces, but this was unpopular due with the company's members who were weary of impositions by Holland and Zeeland. Ultimately the company's staple was permanently fixed at Hamburg in 1611. A Dutch staple moved during the early 17th century from Middelburg to Delft in 1621, then to Rotterdam in 1635, then to Dordrecht in 1655.
The first slaves used by Europeans in United States territory were among Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón's colonization attempt of North Carolina in 1526. The attempt was a failure, lasting only one year and the slaves revolted and fled into the wilderness to live among the Cofitachiqui people.[4]
The first historically significant slave in what would become the United States was Estevanico, a Moroccan slave and member of the Narváez expedition in 1528 and acted as a guide on Fray Marcos de Niza's expedition to find the Seven Cities of Gold in 1539.
In 1619 twenty Africans were brought by a Dutch soldier and sold to the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia as indentured servants. The transformation from indentured servitude to racial slavery happened gradually. It wasn't until 1661 that a reference to slavery entered into Virginia law, directed at Caucasian servants who ran away with a black servant. It wouldn't be until the Slave Codes of 1705 that the status of African Americans as slaves would be sealed. This status would last for another 160 years, until after the end of the American Civil War with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865.
Return of slavery to British law
• 1642 - Massachusetts becomes the first colony to legalize slavery.
• 1650 - Connecticut legalizes slavery.
• 1661 - Virginia officially recognizes slavery by statute.
• 1662 - A Virginia statute declares that children born would have the same status as their mother.
• 1663 - Maryland legalizes slavery.
• 1664 - Slavery is legalized in New York and New Jersey.[9]
Development of slavery
The first imported Africans were brought as indentured servants, not slaves. They were required, as white indentured servants were, to serve nine years. Many were brought to the British North American colonies, specifically Jamestown, Virginia in 1620. However, the slave trade did not immediately expand in North America. Mexico and Canada had completely abolished slavery by 1810.
Slavery under European rule began with importation of European indentured labourers, was followed by the enslavement of indigenous peoples in the Caribbean, and eventually was primarily replaced with Africans imported through a large slave trade. Which cost around 105 American dollars.
The shift from indentured servants to African slaves was prompted by a dwindling class of former servants who had worked through the terms of their indentures and thus became competitors to their former masters. These newly freed servants were rarely able to support themselves comfortably, and the tobacco industry was increasingly dominated by large planters. This caused domestic unrest culminating in Bacon's Rebellion. Eventually, chattel slavery became the norm in regions dominated by plantations.
Many slaves were owned by plantation owners who lived in Britain. The British courts had made a series of contradictory rulings on the legality of slavery which encouraged several thousand slaves to flee the newly-independent United States as refugees along with the retreating British in 1783. The British courts having ruled in 1772 that such slaves could not be forcibly returned to North America (see James Somersett and Somersett's Case for a review of the Somerset Decision), the British Government resettled them as free men in Sierra Leone.

Example of abusive slave treatment: Back deeply scarred from whipping
Several slave rebellions took place during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Through the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (also known as the Freedom Ordinance) under the Continental Congress, slavery was prohibited in the territories north of the Ohio River. In the East, though, slavery was not abolished until later. The importation of slaves into the United States was banned on January 1, 1808; but not the internal slave trade, or involvement in the international slave trade externally.
Aggregation of northern free states gave rise to one contiguous geographic area, north of the Ohio River and the old Mason-Dixon line. This separation of a free North and an enslaved South launched a massive political, cultural and economic struggle.
Refugees from slavery fled the South across the Ohio River to the North via the Underground Railroad, and their presence agitated Northerners. Midwestern state governments asserted States Rights arguments to refuse Federal jurisdiction over fugitives. Some juries exercised their right of jury nullification and refused to convict those indicted under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
The Dred Scott decision of 1857 asserted that one could take one's property anywhere (Even if one's property was chattel and one crossed into a free territory). It also asserted that African Americans could not be citizens, as many Northern states granted blacks citizenship, who (in some states) could even vote. This was an example of Slave Power, the plantation aristocracy's attempt to control the North. This turned Northern public opinion even further against slavery. After the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, armed conflict broke out in Kansas Territory, where the question of whether it would be admitted to the Union as a slave state or a free state had been left to the inhabitants. The radical abolitionist John Brown was active in the mayhem and killing in "Bleeding Kansas." Anti-slavery legislators took office under the banner of the Republican Party.
In the election of 1860, the Republicans swept Abraham Lincoln into the Presidency (with only 39.8% of the popular vote) and legislators into Congress. Lincoln however, did not appear on the ballots in most southern states and his election split the nation along sectional lines. After decades of controlling the Federal Government, the Southern states seceded from the U.S. (the Union) to form the Confederate States of America.
Northern leaders like Lincoln viewed the prospect of a new Southern nation, with control over the Mississippi River and the West, as unacceptable. This led to the outbreak of the Civil War.
The Civil War spelled the end for chattel slavery in America. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 was a reluctant gesture that proclaimed freedom for slaves within the Confederacy, although not those in strategically important Border states or the rest of the Union. However, the proclamation made the abolition of slavery an official war goal and it was implemented as the Union captured territory from the Confederacy. Slaves in many parts of the south were freed by Union armies or when they simply left their former owners. Many joined the Union Army as workers or troops, and many more fled to Northern cities.
Legally, slaves within the United States remained enslaved until the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution on December 6, 1865 (with final recognition of the amendment on December 18), eight months after the cessation of hostilities. Only in the Border state of Kentucky did a significant slave population remain by that time.
After the failure of Reconstruction, freed slaves in the United States were treated as second class citizens. For decades after their emancipation, many former slaves living in the South sharecropped and had a low standard of living. In some states, it was only after the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s that blacks obtained legal protection from racial discrimination (see segregation).
Although slavery has been illegal in the United States for nearly a century and a half, the United States Department of Labor occasionally prosecutes cases against people for false imprisonment and involuntary servitude. These cases often involve illegal immigrants who are forced to work as slaves in factories to pay off a debt claimed by the people who transported them into the United States. Other cases have involved domestics.

Henry VIII
21 April
Born 28 June 1491
son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (1) Catherine of Aragon
11 June 1509 6 children

(2) Anne Boleyn 25 January 1533 3 children

(3) Jane Seymour York Place May 1536 1 son[18]

(4) Anne of Cleves Greenwich 6 January 1540

(5) Catherine Howard Oatlands 28 July 1540

(6) Catherine Parr Hampton Court Palace 12 July 1543
Died 28 January 1547 Whitehall aged 55
1530-1547 Sir John Hawkins (also spelled as John Hawkyns)
Sir John Hawkins, 1532-1595
(Plymouth 1532 – November 12, 1595) was an English shipbuilder, merchant, navigator, and slave trader.
John was the son of William Hawkins the elder, by Joan Trelawny. William was a confidant of Henry VIII of England and one of the principal sea captains of England.
John Hawkins was probably the first major English slave trader, although some point to John Lok in 1553.
First voyage
His first voyage, of 1555, led three small ships to the Sierra Leone coast in order to kidnap people and sell them into slavery. He left Africa with 300 Africans, having seized them from Portuguese kidnappers. Despite having two ships seized by the Spanish authorities, he sold his victims in Santo Domingo and thus made a profit for his London investors. His voyage caused the Spanish to ban all English ships from trading in their West Indies colonies.
Second voyage
In 1564, Queen Elizabeth I rented him the huge old 700-tonne ship Jesus of Lubeck, and he set forth on his second longer and more extensive voyage along with three small ships. Hawkins sailed to Borburata, privateering along the way. By the time he reached Borburata, he had kidnapped around 400 Africans. After Borburata, Hawkins sailed to Rio de la Hacha. The Spanish officials tried to prevent Hawkins' sale of his kidnap victims into slavery by imposing taxes. Captain Hawkins refused the taxes and threatened to burn the towns. After selling his victims, Captain Hawkins sailed to a French colony in Florida for a respite. Captain Hawkins returned to England in September 1566, his expedition a total success as his financiers made a 60% profit.
Third voyage
His third voyage was in 1567. Hawkins again traded for slaves with local leaders, and also augmented his cargo by capturing the Portuguese slave ship Madre de Dios (Mother of God) and its human cargo. He took about 400 slaves across the Atlantic on the third trip. At Vera Cruz he was chanced upon by a strong Spanish force that was bringing the new viceroy to the colony there. Only two of the English ships escaped destruction, and Hawkins' voyage home was a miserable one.
Although his first three voyages were semi-piratical enterprises, Queen Elizabeth I was in need of money and England saw pirates as fighting England's battles at their own cost and risk.
Hawkins would write about the details of his third voyage in An Alliance to Raid for Slaves. Specifically he comments on how trading and raiding were closely related in the English slave trade and how European success in the slave trade directly depended on African allies who were willing to cooperate.
Hawkins pretended to be part of the Ridolfi plot to betray Queen Elizabeth in 1571. He offered his services to the Spanish, in order to obtain the release of prisoners and to discover plans for the proposed Spanish invasion of England.
His help in foiling the plot was rewarded, and in 1571 Hawkins entered Parliament to become an MP. He also became Treasurer and comptroller of the Royal Navy (1573 - 1589).
His Navy financial reforms upset many who had vested interests - principally Baker and Pett - and these concocted a Royal Commission on Fraud against him in 1583. But he was found innocent.
John Hawkins was determined that his navy, as well as having the best fleet of ships in the world, would also have the best quality of seamen, and so petitioned and won a pay increase for sailors, arguing that a smaller number of well motivated better paid men would achieve substantially more than a larger group of disinterested men.
Hawkins made important improvements in ship construction and rigging, he is less well known for his inventiveness as a shipwright, but it was his idea to add to the caulker's work by the finishing touch of sheathing the underside of his ships with a skin of nailed elm planks sealed with a combination of pitch and hair smeared over the bottom timbers, as a protection against the worms which would attack a ship in tropical seas. Hawkins also introduced detachable topmasts that could be hoisted and used in good weather and stowed in heavy seas. Masts were more forward, and sails flatter. His ships were longer and the forecastle and sterncastle were greatly reduced in size.
Potatoes, tobacco and sharks
Potatoes were first imported to England in either 1563 or 1565 (sources differ) by Hawkins.
Some scholars suggest it was John Hawkins who introduced tobacco into England. Some accounts say this was in 1569, others in 1564. The latter is more likely, since he mentions "Ltobaccoj" (meaning tobacco) in his journals of the second voyage.
The OED notes that the word shark appears to have been introduced by Hawkin's sailors, who brought one back and exhibited it in London in 1569. It has recently been suggested that the derivation is from xoc the word for "fish" in a Mayan language spoken in Yukatan.[1]
In 1595 he accompanied his cousin on a treasure-hunting voyage to the West Indies, during which he fell sick and died at sea off Puerto Rico.
He was succeeded by his son Sir Richard Hawkins, and his great apprentice and protégé, Francis Drake.
Hawkins came to the public's attention again in June 2006, almost four and a half centuries after his death, when his descendant Andrew Hawkins publicly apologised for his ancestor's actions in the slave trade. [1]
The Reformation, before which, in 1532, Henry VIII broke with Papal authority, fundamentally changed Ireland. While Henry VIII broke English Catholicism from Rome, his son Edward VI of England moved further, breaking with Papal doctrine completely. While the English, the Welsh and, later, the Scots accepted Protestantism, the Irish remained Catholic. This fact determined their relationship with the British state for the next four hundred years, as the Reformation coincided with a determined effort on behalf of the English state to re-conquer and colonise Ireland. The religious schism meant that the native Irish and the (Roman Catholic) Old English were excluded from power in the new settlement.
Re-conquest and rebellion
From 1536, Henry VIII decided to re-conquer Ireland and bring it under crown control. The Fitzgerald dynasty of Kildare, who had become the effective rulers of Ireland in the 15th century, had become very unreliable allies of the Tudor monarchs. They had invited Burgundian troops into Dublin to crown the Yorkist pretender, Lambert Simnel as King of England in 1497. Again in 1536, Silken Thomas Fitzgerald went into open rebellion against the crown. Having put down this rebellion, Henry VIII resolved to bring Ireland under English government control so the island would not become a base for future rebellions or foreign invasions of England. In 1541, Henry upgraded Ireland from a lordship to a full Kingdom. Henry was proclaimed King of Ireland at a meeting of the Irish Parliament that year. This was the first meeting of the Irish Parliament to be attended by the Gaelic Irish chieftains as well as the Hiberno-Norman aristocracy. With the institutions of government in place, the next step was to extend the control of the English Kingdom of Ireland over all of its claimed territory. This took nearly a century, with various English administrations in the process either negotiating or fighting with the independent Irish and Old English lords.
1540-1616 Hugh O'Neill • Ireland History The Brehon Law The Pale The Brehon Laws

Edward VI
28 January
Born 12 October 1537
Hampton Court Palace
son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour unmarried
Died 6 July 1553 Greenwich Palace Aged 15
Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) became King of England, King of France (in practice only the town and surrounding district of Calais) and Ireland on 28 January 1547, and crowned on 20 February, at just nine years of age. Edward, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first ruler who was Protestant at the time of his ascension to the throne. Edward's entire rule was mediated through a council of regency as he never reached maturity. The council was first led by his uncle, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (1547-49), and then by John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1549-1553).
Although Henry VIII had broken the link between the English church and Rome, it was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England. It was during Edward's reign that Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, implemented the Book of Common Prayer.
Edward's reign was marked by increasingly harsh Protestant reforms, the loss of control of Scotland, and an economic downturn. A period of social unrest begun earlier intensified during his rule, and conflicts with the French increased.
When it became clear that Edward's life was to be a short one, the king's advisors persuaded him to attempt to exclude his two half sisters, the devout Catholic Mary and moderate Protestant Elizabeth, from the line of succession to the throne in order to put the Lady Jane Grey, the solidly Protestant daughter-in-law of the chief Regent, next in line to succeed the king. Following Edward's death at the age of fifteen, a disputed succession reopened the religious conflicts. Lady Jane was Queen for only nine days, during that time reigning in name only, before she was replaced by Mary. Queen Mary then sought to undo many of Edward's Protestant reforms.
Early life

Prince Edward in 1538
Painting by Hans Holbein
Edward was born at Hampton Court Palace in London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.[1] He was the son of King Henry VIII by his wife, Jane Seymour, who died twelve days afterwards from puerperal fever. It is sometimes asserted that Jane sacrificed her life by the performance of a Caesarean section, but such assertions are without basis. Henry was deeply upset at Jane's death. He described Jane as his only ‘True Wife’ as she was the only one that provided him with the son he so desperately wanted.
Edward automatically became Duke of Cornwall upon his birth; a few days later he was created Prince of Wales. His initial care until the age of 6 was left to his nurse, Mother Jack, and various servants, but his stepmother Queen Catherine Parr later took over that function.[2]
Henry VIII was extremely pleased by the birth of a male heir. He had disposed of his two previous wives, Catherine of Aragon (mother of Mary) and Anne Boleyn (mother of Elizabeth), partially because of their failure to produce male heirs. Both marriages were annulled: Anne Boleyn was executed, and Mary and Elizabeth were deemed illegitimate. Despite their illegitimacy, however, they were reinserted into the line of succession after Edward VI in 1544.

Edward at the age of six.
Painting by Hans Holbein
Up until recently, it has been widely accepted that Edward VI was an extremely sickly child. Theories have speculated that he suffered from congenital syphilis[3] or from tuberculosis. His first illness, experienced at the age of 4, was a "quartan fever" which lasted for months. His supposed frailty may have led Henry VIII to quickly seek to remarry; the King's last three marriages (Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr), however, did not produce any children. Edward's own journals mention no illness at all apart from a bout of measles in 1552, and the pulmonary tuberculosis which killed him. The policies of the Duke of Northumberland also indicate that he was making a foundation on which Edward was expected to build when he reached his majority, rather than expecting Edward to die young.
Edward's supposed physical difficulties did not impede his education; on the contrary, the young prince was a very bright child, already able to read and speak Greek and Latin at the age of seven. His principal tutors were Bishop Richard Cox, Sir John Cheke and Jean Belmain. These were able teachers and great minds at the time and imparted in Edward his knowledge of the Classics, seemingly based on the course of instruction described by Erasmus and Vives. Importantly, Henry VIII chose his tutors because they were humanists: he may also have considered their moderate Protestantism when making his choice,[4] as Edward was not brought up in the Catholic religion. Edward's education was coloured by the Reformation that had swept through the Netherlands and Germany.[1] He later learned to speak French and Greek, and, by the age of thirteen, he was writing essays into the latter language. He was quite fond of his stepmother Catherine Parr, and wrote three letters to her, one each in French, English and Latin. The rest of the letters he wrote were in Latin to his sisters. Edward also had strong feelings for his sister Mary, although these were tempered by their disagreements over religion. His love of learning and writing led him to found many grammar schools that were named after him.[5] He also gave the Royal Charter to Sherborne School, which has a claim to be the oldest educational establishment in England, teaching having occurred in the Abbey, which forms part of the school, from the eighth century.
Under Somerset
Council of Regency

Edward VI's uncle, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, ruled England in the name of his nephew as Lord Protector from 1547 to 1549.
Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547, when Edward was only 9. His will named sixteen executors, who were to act as a Council of Regency until Edward VI achieved majority at the age of eighteen (although it was agreed by the Council in 1552 that Edward would reach his majority at 16). These executors were to be supplemented by twelve assistants, who would participate only when the others deemed it fit. The executors were all inclined towards religious reformation, whose most prominent opponents, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Stephen Gardiner (the Bishop of Winchester) and Thomas Thirlby (the Bishop of Westminster), were excluded. The Council immediately appointed the king's maternal uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford to serve as Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King's Person during Edward's minority.[6] A few days after Henry VIII's death, Lord Hertford was created Duke of Somerset and appointed to the influential positions of Lord High Treasurer and Earl Marshal. Edward VI was crowned as king at Westminster Abbey on 20 February 1547.[1]
To allay all doubts regarding the validity of Henry VIII's will, all the executors sought reappointment from Edward. On 13 March 1547, Edward VI created a new Council of twenty-six members. The Council consisted of all the executors and assistants, except for Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton (who, whilst serving as Lord Chancellor, had illegally delegated some of his powers to other officials) and Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. Somerset, as Lord Protector, was supposed to act only on the advice of the other executors but was able to gain near complete control of government after obtaining the power to change the composition of the Council at his whim. The Lord Protector, then, became the real ruler of England with Edward VI acting in a largely ceremonial role. Somerset's administration of the country would prove to be more merciful than tactical and more idealistic than practical; Henry VIII's treason and heresy acts were repealed or changed, resulting in social and political unrest.[7]
Ineffective rule
One of the Duke of Somerset's primary aims was to achieve a union between England and Scotland. In late 1547, an English army marched into Scotland and took control of the Lowlands in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. This action was the closing chapter in the War of the Rough Wooing and in the Anglo-Scottish Wars that had been simmering throughout the 16th century. In 1548, however, Mary, the young Scottish Queen, was betrothed to the Dauphin Francis, the heir-apparent to the French throne, thereby strengthening the alliance between France and Scotland.
The Duke of Somerset was hardly in a position to oppose both France and Scotland, as his own position was insecure. His brother, and the widower of Catherine Parr, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, the Lord High Admiral, took advantage of this weakness by hatching a plot to depose Somerset. Lord Seymour's conspiracy, however, was exposed in 1549. A bill of attainder was introduced in Parliament and passed almost unanimously. Somerset was hesitant to sign his brother's death warrant, so Edward very reluctantly gave his consent to the Council; Lord Seymour was executed by beheading on 20 March.[8] Thomas Seymour was Edward's favourite uncle and his death would embitter the young king toward Protector Somerset.[1]

Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was a very important influence on Edward's Protestant views
Another powerful influence on Edward VI was Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Both Cranmer and the Duke of Somerset were committed to creating a Protestant England. Various Catholic rites were replaced with Protestant ones. One of the most notable was Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer, which was published solely in English in 1549 to replace the four old liturgical books in Latin. The political aim of the work was to unite moderate religious factions into a single Protestant fold by obscuring the role of the Mass and downplaying the status of saints. Its use was enforced by an Act of Uniformity 1549 but it served only to antagonise both Protestants and Catholics.[7] Zealous reformers such as John Knox were appointed as court chaplains. The Duke of Somerset, however, did not encourage persecution; rather, he refrained from it, as he feared the wrath of Europe's powerful Catholic monarchs, especially Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
Prayer book rebellion
The Prayer book rebellion was a movement opposing the Act of Uniformity. After Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church and declared his own Church of England in 1536, he never introduced hard-line reforms to break completely, as he was still Catholic at heart. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, influenced Edward, as Prince of Wales, to follow the Protestant faith. When Henry died in 1547, Cranmer and Somerset sought to have a completely English Church.
The introduction of the Book of Common Prayer was disapproved of by most of England. However, it was especially opposed in Cornwall, as the only languages spoken there were the native Cornish language and Latin: Somerset and Cranmer had assumed that English was spoken all over the country. When the protesters explained that they spoke no English, Somerset refused to alter the Act: English was to be the language of the true English Church. The protesters responded by forming an army of up to 3000 men, led by Sir William Body and other prominent Catholic landowners. They proceeded to the city of Exeter, which they had assumed would support them, but the mayor refused to open the city gates. A five-week siege began, during which time London had time to formulate a plan of action.
Somerset sent Sir Peter Carew and his brother to keep the rebels occupied until John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford could gather an army to counter the rebellion. Russell, however, was reluctant to attack until reinforcements from Italy and Germany arrived. Once Exeter was besieged, the rebels moved to attack Russell, but he surprised the main body of rebels in marshland, who were saved only by reinforcements. The rebels continued their protests against the Act of Uniformity, declaring, "and so we Cornishmen, whereof certain of us understand no English, utterly refuse this new English".
Eventually, Russell's promised foreign reinforcements arrived, headed by Lord Grey. The counter-attack followed. The rebels went through a valley, where they were cut off and slaughtered by Gawen Carew. Over 4,000 lost their lives, and English soon became the first language. However, it did not help Somerset's popularity, and he was soon considered a liability.
Somerset's downfall
Inflation and the cost of war combined to double prices from 1547 to 1549.[7] The wool industry, however, boomed during this time, through the ongoing fencing in or 'enclosure' of the landscape to raise sheep for individual proprietors. This often displaced common land and therefore caused great social unrest known as the enclosure riots. So, the enforced introduction of the Book of Common Prayer on Whit Sunday in 1549 sparked an uprising known as the Prayer Book Rebellion or Western Rebellion.
On 8 August, taking advantage of internal strife, the French, under Henry II, formally declared war on England. The Duke of Somerset became extremely unpopular, even among his own Council. In October 1549 he was deposed and sent under arrest to the Tower of London by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick.[9]
Under Warwick (Northumberland)
The rule of Warwick
Somerset was deposed, but John Dudley, Earl of Warwick did not make himself Lord Protector, and even encouraged Edward VI into declaring his majority as soon as he was sixteen. In 1550, Lord Northumberland conciliated the peasant rebels and made peace with France, giving up all of England's possessions in Scotland and Boulogne without compensation.[7] Unlike Somerset, Warwick was a man of action who was full of ambition to officially install and enforce an inflexible form of Protestantism and enrich himself with land and power.

John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, led the Council of Regency after the downfall of Somerset
The rise of the Earl of Warwick (later Duke of Northumberland) was accompanied by the fall of Catholicism in England. Use of the Book of Common Prayer in all Church services was more strictly enforced and all official editions of the Bible were accompanied by anti-Catholic annotations. Catholic symbols in churches were desecrated by mobs and the Ordinal of 1550 replaced the divine ordination of priests with a government-run appointment system.[7] Religious dissenters, moreover, were often persecuted and burnt at the stake. In 1550 and 1551, the most powerful Roman Catholic Bishops, Edmund Bonner (the Bishop of London), Stephen Gardiner (the Bishop of Winchester) and Nicholas Heath (the Bishop of Worcester) included, were deposed and their places taken by Protestant reformers such as Nicholas Ridley. The Council under Warwick also systematically confiscated church territories and Warwick himself had the ambition to be the largest landowner in England.[10]
Meanwhile, the Duke of Somerset, who agreed to submit to Lord Warwick, was released from prison and readmitted to the Privy Council. Within a few months, he found himself powerful enough to demand the release of other political and religious prisoners. He opposed the Council's attempt to curtail the religious liberty of Edward's sister, Mary. The Duke of Somerset's opposition to the more radical form of religious Reformation irked Lord Warwick.
Warwick attempted to increase his own prestige; on his advice, Edward created him Duke of Northumberland and bestowed honours on his numerous supporters. The Duke of Northumberland began a campaign to discredit the Duke of Somerset. The people of London were informed that the Duke of Somerset would destroy their city; Edward was told that the Duke would depose and imprison him and seize his Crown. It was also suggested that the Duke of Somerset had plotted to murder the Duke of Northumberland. In December of 1551, the Duke of Somerset was tried for treason on the grounds that he had attempted to imprison a member of the King's Council. The treason charge, however, could not be proven; instead, Somerset was found guilty of participating in unlawful assemblies, but was still sentenced to death. The Duke of Somerset was subsequently executed in January 1552.
On the day after the Duke of Somerset's execution, a new session of Parliament began. It passed the Act of Uniformity 1552, under which a second Book of Common Prayer was required for church services. Unauthorised worship was punishable by up to life imprisonment.
Plot to retain power as Edward is dying

A power struggle ensued as Edward VI lay dying of tuberculosis
During his father's reign Edward had effectively been mollycoddled and kept in seclusion. Edward desperately wanted his own freedom, and indulged in the early years of his reign with other children of his age. He became extremely fond of sports such as tennis. During the winter of 1552–53, Edward VI, strained by physical activities in the bitter weather, contracted a cold. Doctors tried to help by administering various medicines, but their efforts were in vain, leaving Edward in perpetual agony. The first symptoms of tuberculosis were manifest in January 1553 and by May it was obvious that his condition was fatal.[11] Edward was enough the master of his own destiny to have concerns about the succession addressed. Having been brought up a Protestant, he had no desire to be succeeded by his older half-sister and devout Catholic, Mary.
At the same time, the Duke of Northumberland was eager to retain his own power. He did not find the next two individuals in the line of succession, Mary and Elizabeth, conducive to his aims. The third individual in the line of succession under Henry VIII's will was Lady Frances Brandon (the daughter of Henry's younger sister Mary by Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk); she, too, was not to Northumberland's liking. Northumberland feared that Frances' husband, Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, would claim the Crown as his own. The Duke of Northumberland then foolishly attempted to rule through the Duchess of Suffolk's daughter, the Lady Jane Grey. Jane was married off to the Duke of Northumberland's younger son, Guilford Dudley.

Northumberland plotted to have his daughter-in-law, the Lady Jane, placed next in line to succeed Edward
On 11 June 1553, Northumberland commanded senior judges to draw up a draft will for Edward. The plan was illegal for many reasons; firstly, a minor did not have the authority to make a will. Furthermore, Edward's will had not been authorised by any Act of Parliament, whilst Henry's will (which Northumberland sought to abrogate), had been specifically authorised by an Act passed in 1544. The judges at first resisted giving in to the Duke of Northumberland's demands, as it was treason to attempt to vary the laws of succession established in 1544. Edward, however, ensured their co-operation by promising a pardon under the Great Seal.
The first draft of the will excluded Mary, Elizabeth, the Duchess of Suffolk and the Lady Jane from the line of succession on the theory that no woman could rule England. The Crown was to be left to the Lady Jane's heirs-male. This plan, however, was not to Northumberland's liking (probably because Lady Jane had no male heirs at this time, having been married only a month or so before); the draft was changed to leave the Crown to Jane and her heirs-male. Mary and Elizabeth were excluded because they were officially illegitimate; the Duchess of Suffolk agreed to renounce her own claims. As Edward VI lay dying, the Duke of Northumberland (according to legend) symbolically stole the crown from him and gave it to his daughter-in-law, the Lady Jane.
Edward's death and aftermath
Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace on 6 July 1553, either of tuberculosis, arsenic poisoning, or syphilis. His last words were said to have been: "Oh my Lord God, defend this realm from papistry and maintain their true religion." He was buried in Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey by Thomas Cranmer with Protestant rites on 9 August, while Mary had Mass said for his soul in the Tower.

Edward's half sister and devout Catholic, Mary, succeeded him after the nine day reign of Lady Jane
Edward VI's death was kept secret for a couple of days so that preparations could be made for Jane's accession. High civic authorities privately swore their allegiance to the new Queen, who was not publicly proclaimed until 10 July. But the people were much more supportive of Mary, the rightful heir under the Act of Succession. On 19 July, Mary rode triumphantly into London, and Jane was forced to give up the Crown. Jane's proclamation was revoked as an act done under coercion; her succession was deemed unlawful. Thus, Edward VI's de facto successor was Mary I (1553–58), but his de jure successor was Jane.
The Duke of Northumberland was executed, but the Lady Jane and her father were originally spared. In 1554, when Mary faced Wyatt's Rebellion, the Duke of Suffolk once again attempted to put his daughter on the throne. For this crime, Jane, her husband and the Duke of Suffolk were executed.
After Edward VI's death at the age of fifteen, rumours of his survival persisted. To take advantage of the people's delusions, several impostors were put forward as rightful Kings. These impersonations continued throughout Mary I's reign, and even far into Elizabeth I's reign (1558–1603). Mistaken identities also feature in the American author Mark Twain's novel, The Prince and the Pauper, in which the young Edward VI and a pauper boy of identical appearance accidentally replace each other.
Style and arms
Like his father, Edward VI was referred to with the styles "Majesty", "Highness" and "Grace". His official style was of the same form as his father: "Edward the Sixth, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and of the Church of England and also of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head".
Edward VI's arms were the same as those used by his predecessors since Henry IV: Quarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England).
His Royal Motto was idem per diversa, the same whatever the circumstances (similar to Elizabeth the I's - semper eadem, Always the same).
1547-1553 The Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol were a separate body, chartered by Edward VI in 1552.
July 1555: a small group of Africans from Shama (modern Ghana) described as slaves are brought to London by John Lok, a London merchant hoping to break into the African trade.
Mary Tudor
Mary I
19 July
Born 18 February 1516
Greenwich Palace
daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Philip II of Spain
Winchester Cathedral
25 July 1554
no children
Died 17 November 1558 St James's Palace aged 42
Queen Mary I of England (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 6 July 1553 (de jure) or 19 July 1553 (de facto) until her death.
Mary, the fifth monarch after Jane Grey and before Elizabeth I of the Tudor dynasty, is remembered for returning England from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. To this end, she had almost three hundred religious dissenters executed; as a consequence, she is often known as Bloody Mary. Her religious policies, however, were in many cases reversed by her successor and half-sister, Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Mary and Elizabeth were both first cousins once-removed of Mary, Queen of Scots, grand-daughter of their aunt Margaret Tudor.
Early life
Mary was the second daughter and fifth child of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. A stillborn sister and three short-lived brothers, including Henry, Duke of Cornwall, had preceded her. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. She was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, London, on Monday 18 February 1516. She was baptised on the following Thursday with Thomas Cardinal Wolsey standing as her godfather. Mary was a sickly child who had poor eyesight, sinus conditions and bad headaches. Some authors believe that her poor health was from congenital syphilis contracted ultimately from her father via her mother. Whether or not he even had the disease is debated, however, as the story emerged long after his death.
Despite her health problems Mary was a precocious child. A great part of the credit of her early education was undoubtedly due to her mother, who not only consulted the Spanish scholar Juan Luis Vives upon the subject, but also was Mary's first instructor in Latin. Mary also studied Greek, science, and music. In July 1521, when scarcely five and a half years old, she entertained some visitors with a performance on the virginals (a smaller harpsichord). Henry VIII doted on his daughter and would boast in company, "This girl never cries." When Mary was nine years old, Henry gave her her own court at Ludlow Castle and many of the Royal Prerogatives normally only given to a (male) Prince of Wales, even calling her the Princess of Wales. In 1526, Mary was sent to Wales to preside over the Council of Wales and the Marches. Despite this, Henry was deeply disappointed that his marriage had produced no sons.
Throughout her childhood Henry negotiated potential marriages for her. When she was only two years old she was promised to the Dauphin Francis, son of Francis I, King of France. After three years, the contract was repudiated. In 1522, she was instead contracted to her first cousin, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, then 22, by the Treaty of Windsor. Within a few years, however, the engagement was broken off. It was then suggested that Mary wed, not the Dauphin, but his father Francis I, who was eager for an alliance with England. A marriage treaty was signed which provided that Mary should marry either Francis I or his second son Henry, Duke of Orléans. However, Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII's chief adviser, managed to secure an alliance without the marriage.

Princess Mary in 1544
Meanwhile, the marriage of Mary's parents was in jeopardy because Catherine had failed to provide Henry the male heir he desired. Henry attempted to have his marriage to her annulled, but, to Henry's disappointment, Pope Clement VII refused all his requests because of the influence of Catherine's nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Henry had claimed, by citing biblical passages, that his marriage to Catherine was unclean because she had been previously married (as a child) to his brother Arthur, although there was some debate as to whether that marriage had been consummated or not. In 1533, Henry secretly married another woman, Anne Boleyn. Shortly thereafter, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, formally declared the marriage with Catherine void and the marriage with Anne valid. Henry then broke with the Roman Catholic Church and declared himself head of the Church of England. As a consequence of this, Catherine lost the dignity of being queen and was demoted to Princess Dowager of Wales (a title she would have held as the widow of Arthur). Mary in turn was deemed illegitimate and her place in the line of succession, as well as the title princess, was transferred to her half-sister, the future Elizabeth I, daughter of Anne Boleyn.
Mary was expelled from Court, her servants were dismissed from her service, and she was forced to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth. She was not permitted to see her mother Catherine, nor attend her funeral in 1536. Her treatment at this time was widely perceived as unjust. Circumstances between Mary and her father worsened and she was tricked into reconciling with her father by submitting to him as head of the Church of England. By this she repudiated papal authority, acknowledged that the marriage between her mother and father was unlawful, and accepted her own illegitimacy.
Mary may have expected her troubles to end when Anne Boleyn lost royal favour and was beheaded in 1536. Like Mary before, Princess Elizabeth was now degraded to a Lady and removed from the line of succession. Within two weeks of Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, who died shortly after giving birth to a son, the future Edward VI. Mary was godmother to her half-brother Edward and chief mourner at Jane Seymour's funeral. In return, Henry agreed to grant her a household and Mary was permitted to reside in royal palaces. Her privy purse expenses for nearly the whole of this period have been published, and show that Hatfield House, the Palace of Beaulieu (also called Newhall), Richmond and Hunsdon were among her principal places of residence.
In 1543 Henry married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, who was able to bring the family closer together. The next year, through an Act of Parliament, Henry returned Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession after Edward. Both women, however, remained legally illegitimate.
In 1547, Henry died and was succeeded by Edward VI who attempted to establish Protestantism throughout the country. As an example, the Act of Uniformity prescribed Protestant rites for church services, such as the use of Thomas Cranmer's new Book of Common Prayer. When Mary, who had remained faithful to the Catholic church, asked to be allowed to worship in private in her own chapel, she was ordered to stop. After appealing to her cousin Charles V, who threatened to go to war with England, she was allowed to worship privately. Religious differences would continue to be a problem between Mary and Edward, however. When Mary was in her thirties, she attended a reunion with Edward and Elizabeth for Christmas, where Edward reduced her to tears in front of the court for "daring to ignore" his laws regarding worship.
English Royalty

House of Tudor

Henry VIII

Henry, Duke of Cornwall

Mary I
Elizabeth I

Edward VI

Mary I
As Edward did not want the Crown to go to either Mary or Elizabeth, he excluded them from the line of succession in his will.[1] This exclusion was unlawful, as it was made by a minor and contradicted the Act of Succession passed in 1544 which had restored Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession. Under the guidance of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, Edward VI instead devised that he should be succeeded by Northumberland's daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey, a descendant of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary.
When Edward died on 6 July 1553, Jane was proclaimed queen. Her accession was met with popular disapproval which was suppressed by the use of force; a young boy so bold as to hail "Queen Mary" had his ears cut off as punishment.[citation needed] Despite this, much of the country remained devoted to Mary[citation needed] and on 19 July, Jane's accession proclamation was deemed to have been made under coercion and was revoked. Mary was proclaimed queen in her place and her reign is considered to have begun on this day. On 3 August 1553, with support for Jane evaporating, Mary rode into London triumphant and unchallenged, with her half-sister Elizabeth at her side.
One of her first actions as queen was to order the release of the Catholic Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner from imprisonment in the Tower of London.[citation needed] Mary was inclined to exercise clemency and set Jane free, recognising that she had been forced to take the crown by her father (Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk) and father-in-law (the Duke of Northumberland). At this time, the Duke of Northumberland was the only conspirator executed for high treason, and even that was after some hesitation on the Queen's part.[citation needed] Mary was left in a difficult position, as almost all the Privy Counsellors had been implicated in the plot to put Jane on the throne. She could only rely on Gardiner, whom she appointed Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor. Gardiner crowned Mary on 1 October 1553 because Mary did not wish to be crowned by the senior ecclesiastics, who were all Protestants.[citation needed]
Mary's first act of Parliament retroactively validated Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and legitimated herself. Now 37, Mary turned her attention to finding a husband and producing an heir that would prevent the Protestant Elizabeth from succeeding to the throne. Mary rejected Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, as a prospect when her cousin Charles V suggested she marry his only son, the Spanish prince Philip, later Philip II of Spain.
The marriage, a purely political alliance for Philip who admired her dignity but felt "no carnal love for her",[citation needed] was extremely unpopular with the English. Lord Chancellor Gardiner and the House of Commons petitioned her to consider marrying an Englishman, fearing that England would be relegated to a dependency of Spain. This fear may have arisen from the fact that Mary was England's first queen regnant (excluding the brief, and controversial, reign of Jane).
Insurrections broke out across the country when she insisted on marrying Philip. The Duke of Suffolk once again proclaimed that his daughter, Lady Jane Grey, was queen. In support of Elizabeth, Thomas Wyatt led a force from Kent that was not defeated until he had arrived at London. After the rebellions were crushed, both the Duke of Suffolk and his daughter were convicted of high treason and executed. Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for two months, then was put under house arrest at Woodstock Palace.
Mary married Philip on 25 July 1554, at Winchester Cathedral. Under the terms of the marriage treaty, Philip was to be styled "King of England", all official documents (including Acts of Parliament) were to be dated with both their names, and Parliament was to be called under the joint authority of the couple. Coins were also to show the heads of both Mary and Philip. The marriage treaty further provided that England would not be obliged to provide military support to Philip's father, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, in any war. Philip's powers, however, were extremely limited and he and Mary were not true joint sovereigns like William and Mary.

Mary and Philip appear on the above medal by Jacopo da Trezzo made circa 1555.
Mary fell in love with Philip and, thinking she was pregnant, had thanksgiving services at the diocese of London in November 1554. This turned out to be the first of two false pregnancies. Philip had Elizabeth released from house arrest, probably so that he would be viewed favourably by her in case Mary died during childbirth. Philip found Mary, who was eleven years his senior, to be physically unattractive and after only fourteen months found an excuse to leave for Spain.
As queen, Mary was very concerned about religious issues. She had always rejected the break with Rome instituted by her father and the establishment of Protestantism by Edward VI. She had England reconciled with Rome and Reginald Cardinal Pole, the son of her governess the Countess of Salisbury and once considered a suitor, became Archbishop of Canterbury after Mary had his predecessor Thomas Cranmer executed. Mary would come to rely greatly on Pole for advice.
Edward's religious laws were abolished by Mary's first Parliament and numerous Protestant leaders were executed in the so-called Marian Persecutions. The first to die were John Rogers (4 February 1555), Laurence Saunders (8 February 1555), Rowland Taylor (9 February 1555), and John Hooper, the Bishop of Gloucester (9 February 1555). The persecution lasted for almost four years. The Marian persecutions are commemorated especially by bonfires in the town of Lewes in Sussex, and there is a prominent martyr's memorial outside St John's church at Stratford, London, to those Protestants burnt in Essex.
Mary also persuaded Parliament to repeal the Protestant religious laws passed by Henry VIII. To get their agreement took several years, and she had to make a major concession: tens of thousands of acres of monastery lands confiscated under Henry were not to be returned to the monasteries as the new landowners created by this distribution were very influential. Mary also started currency reform to counteract the dramatic devaluation overseen by Thomas Gresham that had characterized the last few years of Henry's reign and the reign of Edward VI. These measures, however, were largely unsuccessful. Mary's deep religious convictions inspired her to institute social reforms, although these were also unsuccessful.
Under her reign, in another of the Plantations of Ireland, English colonists were settled in the Irish midlands to reduce the attacks on the Pale (the colony around Dublin). Two counties were created in Ireland and named Queens County (now Laois) and Kings County (now Offaly) in honor of her and Philip. The county town of Queens County was called Maryborough (now Portlaoise).
Having inherited the throne of Spain upon his father's abdication, Philip returned to England from March to July 1557 to persuade Mary to support Spain in a war against France (the Italian Wars). As a result of her agreement (which violated the marriage treaty), England became full of factions and seditious pamphlets of Protestant origin inflaming the country against the Spaniards. English forces fared badly in the conflict and as a result lost Calais, England's last remaining continental possession. Mary later lamented that when she died the words "Philip" and "Calais" would be found inscribed on her heart.
[edit] Death
During her reign, Mary's weak health led her to suffer two false pregnancies. After such a delusion in 1558, Mary decreed in her will that her husband Philip should be the regent during the minority of her child. No child, however, was born, and Mary died at the age of 42, most probably of ovarian cancer, at St. James's Palace on 17 November 1558. She was succeeded by her half-sister, who became Elizabeth I. Mary was interred in Westminster Abbey on 14 December in a tomb she would eventually share with Elizabeth. The Latin inscription on a marble plaque on their tomb (affixed there during the reign of James I) translates to "Partners both in Throne and grave, here rest we two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in the hope of one resurrection".
Although Mary enjoyed tremendous popular support and sympathy for her mistreatment during the earliest parts of her reign, she lost almost all of it after marrying Philip. The marriage treaty clearly specified that England was not to be drawn into any Spanish wars, but this guarantee proved meaningless. Philip spent most of his time governing his Spanish and European territories, and little of it with his wife in England. After Mary's death, Philip became a suitor for Elizabeth's hand, but Elizabeth refused him.
The persecution of Protestants earned Mary the appellation "Bloody Mary" although many historians believe Mary does not deserve all the blame that has been cast upon her. During Mary's five-year reign, 283 individuals were burnt at the stake, twice as many as had suffered the same fate during the previous century-and-a-half of English history, and at a greater rate than under the contemporary Spanish Inquisition. Several notable clerics were executed; among them were the former Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, the former Bishop of London Nicholas Ridley and the reformist Hugh Latimer. John Foxe vilified her in his Book of Martyrs. Spanish ambassadors were apparently aghast at how the English reviled her and at the jubilation and celebration of the people upon her death.
Mary did not have many successes; she was, however, known for her "common touch". She would wear a country's national dress when meeting its ambassador, and many of those who waited upon her personally later expressed great love and loyalty to her.
One popular tradition traces the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary to Mary's attempts to bring Roman Catholicism back to England, although it is more likely about her Cousin Mary, Queen of Scots.

1553-1558 Russia Company (1553)
• Muscovy Company, founded 1555 and ceased 1917

Elizabeth I
17 November
Born 7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace
daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn unmarried
Died 24 March 1603 Richmond Palace Aged 69
Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England, Queen of France (in name only), and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. She is sometimes referred to as The Virgin Queen (as she never married), Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, and was immortalized by Edmund Spenser as the Faerie Queene. Elizabeth I was the sixth and final monarch of the Tudor dynasty (the other Tudor monarchs having been her grandfather Henry VII, her father Henry VIII, her half-brother Edward VI, her cousin Jane, and her half-sister Mary I). She reigned for 45 years, during a period marked by increases in English power and influence worldwide, as well as great religious turmoil within England.
Elizabeth's reign is referred to as the Elizabethan era or the Golden Age of Elizabeth. Playwrights William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson all flourished during this era; Francis Drake became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe; Francis Bacon laid out his philosophical and political views; and English colonisation of North America took place under Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Elizabeth was an even-tempered and decisive ruler. A favourite motto for her was video et taceo ("I see and keep silent")[1]. This last quality, viewed with impatience by her counsellors, often saved her from political and marital misalliances. Like her father Henry VIII, she was a writer and poet. She granted Royal Charters to several famous organisations, including Trinity College, Dublin (its official name is the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Elizabeth near Dublin) in 1592 and the British East India Company (1600).
In her nearly forty-five years as monarch, she created only nine peerage dignities, one earldom and seven baronies in the Peerage of England, and one barony in the Peerage of Ireland. She also reduced the number of Privy Counsellors from thirty-nine to nineteen, and later to fourteen.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the 13 colonies that became the United States of America, was named for Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen", as was the Ulster Plantation town of Virginia, County Cavan, Ireland.
Early life
Elizabeth was the only surviving child of King Henry VIII of England by his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Marchioness of Pembroke. The couple were secretly married sometime between the winter of 1532 and late January of 1533. In later life Elizabeth reported to the Venetian ambassador that she had been told it was the earlier date, possibly in November.[2] Elizabeth was born in the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, on September 7, 1533. Upon her birth, Elizabeth was the heir presumptive to the throne of England despite having an older half sister, Mary; Mary was not considered by Henry VIII to be a legitimate heir because Henry annulled his marriage to her mother, the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon.
Henry would have preferred a son to ensure the Tudor succession, but following Elizabeth's birth, a male heir never came, as Queen Anne suffered at least two miscarriages, one in 1534 and again at the beginning of 1536. The King enjoyed a string of affairs, one of which involved a young woman named Elizabeth Blount, known as Bessie, daughter of a knight, Sir John Blount of Shropshire. In 1519, Bessie became the mother of a male while she was single, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, also named Earl of Nottingham. While he acknowledged Fitzroy, the king did not put the boy into the official lineage. It is believed the king thought to do so would anger his subjects. Fitzroy died of consumption in 1536 at the age of seventeen.
Historians debate the exact reason why Anne fell from power, but it is generally agreed that she was innocent of the charges against her, and that her death was orchestrated by her political rivals.[3][4][5] Anne was arrested on 2nd May 1536 and imprisoned. Seventeen days later, she was executed on charges of treason, incest with her younger brother, George Boleyn, and witchcraft. Elizabeth, then three years old, was declared illegitimate and lost the title of Princess. She also lost the money and gifts her mother had routinely showered upon her. After Anne's death, she was addressed as Lady Elizabeth and lived separately from her father as he married his succession of wives. In 1537, her father's third wife, Jane Seymour, gave birth to a son, Prince Edward, who became the official heir to the throne under the Act of Succession 1543.
Elizabeth's first governess was Lady Margaret Bryan, a baroness whom Elizabeth called "Muggie". At the age of four, Elizabeth acquired a new governess, Katherine Champernowne, whom she often referred to as "Kat". Champernowne developed a close relationship with Elizabeth and remained her confidante and good friend for life. Matthew Parker, her mother's favourite priest, took a special interest in Elizabeth's well-being, particularly because a fearful Anne had entrusted her daughter's spiritual welfare to Parker before her death. Parker later became Elizabeth's first Archbishop of Canterbury after she became queen in 1558. One companion, to whom she referred with affection throughout her life, was the Irishman Thomas Butler, later 3rd Earl of Ormonde (d. 1615).

Princess Elizabeth, age 13 in 1546, thought to have been painted by Levina Teerlinc
Elizabeth was resourceful, determined, and exceedingly intelligent. She loved learning for its own sake. Like her mother and father, she was flirtatious and charismatic.
Henry VIII died in 1547 and was succeeded by Edward VI. Catherine Parr, Henry's last wife, married Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, Edward VI's uncle, and took Elizabeth into her household. It is believed that Seymour made advances towards Elizabeth while she lived in his household. There, Elizabeth received her education under Roger Ascham. She came to speak and read six languages: her native English, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin. Under the influence of Catherine Parr and Ascham, Elizabeth was raised a Protestant.
As long as her Protestant half-brother remained on the throne, Elizabeth's own position remained secure. In 1553, however, Edward died at the age of fifteen, after suffering ill health from birth. He had left a will which purported to supersede his father's will. Disregarding the Act of Succession 1543, it excluded both Mary and Elizabeth from succeeding to the throne and declared Lady Jane Grey, ward of Thomas Seymour, to be his heiress. A plot was formed by Thomas and John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland who married his son, Guilford Dudley to Jane. Lady Jane ascended the throne, but was deposed less than two weeks later. Armed with popular support, Mary rode triumphantly into London, her half-sister Elizabeth at her side.
Mary I contracted a marriage with Prince Philip of Spain (later King Philip II), seeking to strengthen the Catholic influence in England. Wyatt's Rebellion in 1554 sought to prevent Mary from marrying Philip, and after its failure, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for her alleged involvement in it. There were demands for Elizabeth's execution, but few Englishmen wished to put a member of the popular Tudor dynasty to death. The Lord Chancellor Stephen Gardiner wanted to remove Elizabeth from the line of succession, but neither Mary nor Parliament would allow it. After two months in the Tower, Elizabeth was released on the same day her mother was executed eighteen years earlier. She was then put under house arrest under the guard of Sir Henry Bedingfield.
Following a moderate start to her reign, the Catholic Mary opted for a hard line against Protestants, whom she regarded as heretics and a threat to her authority. In the ensuing persecution she came to be known as "Bloody Mary". She urged Elizabeth to convert to the Roman Catholic faith, but the princess, instead, kept up a skillful show of allegiance to suit her own conscience and ambitions. By the end of that year, when Mary was mistakenly rumoured to be pregnant, Elizabeth was allowed to return to court at Philip's behest. He worried that his wife might die in childbirth, in which case he preferred Lady Elizabeth, under his tutelage, to succeed rather than her next-closest relative, Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary of Scots had grown up in the French court and was betrothed to the French Dauphin and, although she was Catholic, Philip did not desire her to grasp the English crown because of the heavy French influence in her politics.
Early reign
Monarchical Styles of
Queen Elizabeth I

Reference style
Her Majesty

Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Her/Your Grace, Her/Your Highness

In November 1558, upon Queen Mary's death, Elizabeth ascended the throne. She was far more popular than Mary, and it is said that after the death of her half-sister the people rejoiced in the streets. Legend has it Elizabeth was sitting beneath an oak tree reading the Greek Bible at Hatfield when she was informed of her succession to the throne. As it was November and winter, it was unlikely Elizabeth would have been quietly reading but perhaps enjoying a brisk walk. A manservant approached her and breathlessly said, "Your Majesty…". Elizabeth then quoted Psalm 118 in response: "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes".
During her procession to the throne, she was welcomed wholeheartedly by the common people, who performed plays and read poetry exclaiming her beauty and intelligence. Elizabeth's coronation was on 15 January 1559. She was 25 years old. There was no Archbishop of Canterbury at the time; Reginald Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic holder of the office, had died shortly after Mary I. Since the senior bishops declined to participate in the coronation because Elizabeth was illegitimate under both canon law and statute and because she was a Protestant, the relatively unknown Owen Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle crowned her. The communion was celebrated not by Oglethorpe, but by the Queen's personal chaplain, to avoid the usage of the Roman rites. Elizabeth I's coronation was the last one during which the Latin service was used; future coronations except for that of George I used the English service. She later persuaded her mother's chaplain, Matthew Parker, to become Archbishop.
One of the most important concerns during Elizabeth's early reign was religion. She relied primarily on Sir William Cecil for advice on the matter. The Act of Uniformity 1559, which she passed shortly after ascending the throne, required the use of the Protestant Book of Common Prayer in church services. Communion with the Catholic Church had been reinstated under Mary I, but was ended by Elizabeth. The Queen assumed the title "Supreme Governor of the Church of England", rather than "Supreme Head", primarily because several bishops and many members of the public felt that a woman could not be the head of the Church.
In addition, the Act of Supremacy 1559 was passed requiring public officials to take an oath acknowledging the Sovereign's control over the Church or face severe punishment. Many bishops were unwilling to conform to the Elizabethan religious policy. Those bishops were removed from the ecclesiastical bench and replaced by appointees who would agree with the Queen's decision. She also appointed a new Privy Council, removing many Catholic counsellors in the process. Under Elizabeth, factionalism in the Council and conflicts at court were greatly diminished. Elizabeth's chief advisors were Sir William Cecil, as her Secretary of State, and Sir Nicholas Bacon, as the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.
Elizabeth ratified the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis established on April 3, 1559, bringing peace with France. She adopted a principle of "England for the English". Her other realm, Ireland, never benefited from such a philosophy. The enforcement of English customs in Ireland proved unpopular with its inhabitants, as did the Queen's religious policies.

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester painted by Steven van der Meulen.
Soon after her accession, many questioned whom Elizabeth would marry. Her reason for never marrying is unclear. She may have felt repulsed by the mistreatment of Henry VIII's wives, her mother's death always in her mind, or perhaps psychologically scarred by her rumoured childhood relationship with Lord Thomas Seymour while in his household. Contemporary gossip was that she had suffered from a physical defect that she was afraid to reveal, perhaps scarring from smallpox. There was also the story that she would only marry one man, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, with whom she was rumored to be deeply in love and whom she appointed her Master of the Queen's Horse. However, her council refused to sanction the marriage because of his status and his family's participation in the Lady Jane Grey matter (and for the early part of her reign Dudley was already married to Amy Robsart who later died in somewhat suspicious circumstances, although Dudley was acquitted of any involvement in this). Some believe Elizabeth decided that if she could not have him, she would not marry at all. The most likely cause, however, was probably her reluctance to share the power of the Crown with another and her fear that a marriage with a foreigner would provoke the same hostility as that of her sister Mary's disastrous marriage to Philip II. She also did not want to risk making England a foreign vassal and possibly involving it in the unprofitable and unpopular wars that Mary's marriage had done, while marriage to a high-born Englishman would involve England in factional dispute at court. Given the unstable political situation, Elizabeth could have feared an armed struggle among aristocratic factions if she married someone not seen as equally favourable to all factions. What is known for certain is that marrying anyone would have cost Elizabeth large amounts of money and independence as all of the estates and incomes Elizabeth inherited from her father, Henry VIII, were hers only until she wed.
While Elizabeth has been referred to as the "Virgin Queen" because she never married, it is unclear if she was actually a virgin in the medical or spiritual sense. Most prominent historians agree that she probably was a physical virgin due to a combination of psychological conditioning, avoidance of pregnancy and disease, loss of power and/or political control, threat of religious disfavor, and perhaps spiritual consequences. While a King might resort to keeping a wench, mistress or to concubinage (terms which simply denote differing levels of official recognition and financial benefit), it would have been dangerous for a women, especially a woman ruler dependent on public opinion for stability, to behave in the same manner. It was common for men, to take or pay for lovers simply because of the pleasure and comfort it brought. It is difficult to understand Elizabeth's apparent lack of sexual activity through modern eyes where it is often assumed that a ruling Queen naturally would have needed her personal sexual needs fulfilled. Even among her contemporaries she was a social and sexual enigma by refraining from marriage, sex, and childbirth. Much speculative ink has since been spilled over this matter, often strictly for the purposes of entertainment and commerce.
Playwright Ben Jonson remarked that the queen had "a membranum, and was incapable of Man" and that a friend, "a chirurgeon" had offered to remove the stubborn hymen with his trusty scalpel, but that Elizabeth demurred.[citation needed] We shall never know the details of whether she did or didn't do anything in private; We do know that she never married, because that would have changed her from a queen regnant to a queen consort: she would have lost the power of a king, which she clearly had and which she used to her country's advantage. In later centuries, other queens would have more options, notably Queen Victoria, who married and kept the crown, making her husband the Prince Consort. Elizabeth II was married at the time she inherited her father's crown as queen regnant. She has reigned even longer than her two predecessors, though not as an absolute monarch but as a constitutional one.
Conflict with France and Scotland
The Queen found a dangerous rival in her cousin, the Catholic Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland and wife of the French King Francis II. In 1559, Mary had declared herself Queen of England with French support. In Scotland, Mary Stuart's mother, Mary of Guise attempted to cement French influence by providing for army fortification against English aggression. A group of Scottish lords allied to Elizabeth deposed Mary of Guise and, under pressure from the English, Mary's representatives signed the Treaty of Edinburgh, which led to the withdrawal of French troops. Though Mary vehemently refused to ratify the treaty, it had the desired effect, and French influence was greatly reduced in Scotland.
Upon the death of her husband, Francis II, Mary Stuart had returned to Scotland. In France, meanwhile, conflict between the Catholics and the Huguenots led to the outbreak of the French Wars of Religion. Elizabeth secretly gave aid to the Huguenots. She made peace with France in 1564; she agreed to give up her claims to the last English possession on the French mainland, Calais, after the defeat of an English expedition at Le Havre. Elizabeth, however, did not give up her claim to the French Crown, which had been maintained since the reign of Edward III during the period of the Hundred Years' War in the fourteenth century, and was not renounced until the reign of George III during the eighteenth century.
[edit] Elizabeth and the 1559 Religious Settlement

Signature of Elizabeth I of England
Catholicism had been restored under Mary I, but Elizabeth claimed to be Protestant, and thus wanted to create a Protestant Church. Parliament was summoned in 1559 to consider the Reformation Bill and create a new Church. The Reformation Bill defined the Communion as a consubstantial celebration as opposed to a transubstantial celebration, included abuse of the Pope in the litany, and ordered that ministers should not wear the surplice or other Catholic vestments. It allowed ministers to marry, banned images from churches, and confirmed Elizabeth as Supreme Head of the Church of England. The Bill met massive resistance in the House of Lords, as Catholic bishops as well as the lay peers voted against it. They butchered much of the Bill, changed the litany to allow for a transubstantial belief in the Communion and refused to grant Elizabeth the title of Supreme Head of the Church.
Parliament was prorogued over Easter, and when it resumed, the government entered two new bills into the Houses — the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity. The Act of Supremacy confirmed Elizabeth as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, as opposed to the Supreme Head. Supreme Governor was a suitably equivocal phrasing that made Elizabeth head of the church without ever saying she was, important because in the sixteenth century, it was felt that women could not rule a church.
The Bill of Uniformity was more cautious than the initial Reformation Bill. It revoked the harsh laws against Catholics, removed the abuse of the Pope from the litany and kept the wording that allowed for both consubstantial and transubstantial belief in the Communion.
After Parliament was dismissed, Elizabeth, along with William Cecil, drafted what are known as the Royal Injunctions. These were additions to the Settlement, and largely stressed continuity with the Catholic past — ministers were ordered to wear the surplice. Wafers, as opposed to ordinary baker's bread, were to be used as the bread at Communion. There had been opposition to the Settlement in the shires, which for the most part were largely Catholic, so the changes were made in order to allow for acceptance to the Settlement.
Elizabeth never changed the Religious Settlement despite Protestant pressure (previously thought to originate from the Puritan choir) to do so and it is in fact the 1559 Settlement that forms much of the basis of today's Church of England.
Plots and rebellions
At the end of 1562, Elizabeth fell ill with smallpox, but later recovered. In 1563, alarmed by the Queen's near-fatal illness, Parliament asked that she marry or nominate an heir to prevent civil war upon her death. She refused to do either, and in April, she prorogued Parliament. Parliament did not reconvene until Elizabeth needed its assent to raise taxes in 1566. The House of Commons threatened to withhold funds until the Queen agreed to provide for the succession. On 19 October 1566, Sir Robert Bell boldly pursued Elizabeth for the royal answer despite her command to leave it alone; in her own words "Mr. Bell with his complices must needs prefer their speeches to the upper house to have you my lords, consent with them, whereby you were seduced, and of simplicity did assent unto it."

Mary Queen of Scots
Different lines of succession were considered during Elizabeth's reign. One possible line was that of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII's elder sister, which led to Mary I, Queen of Scots. The alternative line descended from Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk; the heir in this line would be the Lady Catherine Grey, Lady Jane Grey's sister. An even more distant possible successor was Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, who could claim descent only from Edward III, who reigned during the fourteenth century. Each possible heir had his or her disadvantages: Mary I was a Catholic, Lady Catherine Grey had married without the Queen's consent and the Puritan Lord Huntingdon was unwilling to accept the Crown.
Mary, Queen of Scots, had to suffer her own troubles in Scotland. Elizabeth had suggested that if she married the Protestant Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, then Elizabeth would "proceed to the inquisition of her right and title to be our next cousin and heir." Mary chose her own course, and in 1565 married a Catholic, who also had a claim to the English throne, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Lord Darnley was murdered in 1567 after the couple had become estranged. Darnley was a heavy drinker and had approved the murder of Mary's secretary David Rizzio, with whom he suspected her of having an affair. Mary then married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was widely believed to be responsible for Darnley's murder. Scottish nobles then rebelled, imprisoning Mary and forcing her to abdicate in favour of her infant son, who consequently became James VI.
In 1568, the last viable English heir to the throne, Catherine Grey, died. She had left two sons, but they were deemed illegitimate, owing to the absence of any living witnesses to the marriage, or to any clergy who could attest to having performed it. Her heiress was her sister, the Lady Mary Grey, a hunchbacked dwarf. Elizabeth was once again forced to consider a Scottish successor, from the line of her father's sister, Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots. Mary I, however, was unpopular in Scotland, where she had been imprisoned. She later escaped from her prison and fled to England, where she was captured by English forces. Elizabeth was faced with a conundrum: sending her back to the Scottish nobles was deemed too cruel; sending her to France would put a powerful pawn in the hands of the French king; forcibly restoring her to the Scottish throne may have been seen as an heroic gesture, but would cause too much conflict with the Scots; and imprisoning her in England would allow her to participate in plots against the Queen. Elizabeth chose the last option: Mary was kept confined for eighteen years, much of it in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor in the custody of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, and his redoubtable wife Bess of Hardwick.

Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
In 1569, Elizabeth faced a major uprising, known as the Northern Rebellion, instigated by Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. Pope Pius V aided the Catholic Rebellion by excommunicating Elizabeth and declaring her deposed in a papal bull. The Bull of Deposition, Regnans in Excelsis, was only issued in 1570, arriving after the Rebellion had been put down. After the Bull of Deposition was issued, however, Elizabeth chose not to continue her policy of religious tolerance. She instead began the persecution of her religious enemies, giving impetus to various conspiracies to remove her from the throne. She also permitted the Church of England to take a more explicitly Protestant line by allowing Parliament to pass the largely Calvinist 39 Articles in 1571 which acted as a declaration of Church of England faith.
Elizabeth then found a new enemy in her brother-in-law, Philip II, King of Spain. After Philip had launched a surprise attack on the English privateers Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins in 1568, Elizabeth assented to the detention of a Spanish treasure ship in 1569. Philip was already involved in putting down a rebellion in the Spanish Netherlands, and could not afford to declare war on England.
Philip II participated in some conspiracies to remove Elizabeth, albeit reluctantly. The 4th Duke of Norfolk was also involved in the first of these plots, the Ridolfi Plot of 1571. After the Catholic Ridolfi Plot was discovered (much to Elizabeth's shock) and foiled, the Duke of Norfolk was executed and Mary lost the little liberty she had remaining. Spain, which had been friendly to England since Philip's marriage to Elizabeth's predecessor, ceased to be on cordial terms.
In 1571, Sir William Cecil was created Baron Burghley; a wise and humorous man, who always advised caution in international relations, he had been Elizabeth's chief advisor from the earliest days, and he remained so until his death in 1598. In 1572, Burghley was raised to the powerful position of Lord High Treasurer; his post as Secretary of State was taken up by the head of Elizabeth's spy network, Sir Francis Walsingham.
Also in 1572, Elizabeth made an alliance with France. The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which thousands of French Protestants (Huguenots) were killed, strained the alliance but did not break it. Elizabeth even began marriage negotiations with Henry, Duke of Anjou (later King Henry III of France and of Poland), and afterwards with his younger brother François, Duke of Anjou and Alençon. During the latter's visit in 1581, it is said that Elizabeth "drew off a ring from her finger and put it upon the Duke of Anjou's upon certain conditions betwixt them two". The Spanish Ambassador reported that she actually declared that the Duke of Anjou would be her husband. However, Anjou, who was reportedly scarred and hunch-backed, returned to France and died in 1584 before he could be married.
Conflict with Spain and Ireland
In 1579, the Second Desmond Rebellion began in Ireland with the arrival of an invasion force funded by Pope Gregory XIII; but by 1583, the rebellion had been put down after a brutal campaign waged by fire, sword and famine, in which a large part of the population of the then County Desmond, the north-western part of the province of Munster died; chilling, albeit approving, observations on the campaign are set out in A View of the Present State of Ireland by the poet, Edmund Spenser (first licensed for publication in 1633, four decades after it was written).
Also in 1580, Philip II annexed Portugal, and with the Portuguese throne came the command of the high seas. After the assassination of the Dutch Stadholder William I, England began to side openly with the United Provinces of the Netherlands, who were at the time rebelling against Spanish rule. This, together with economic conflict with Spain and English piracy against Spanish colonies (which included an English alliance with Islamic Morocco), led to the outbreak of the Anglo-Spanish War in 1585 and in 1586 the Spanish ambassador was expelled from England for his participation in conspiracies against Elizabeth. Fearing such conspiracies, Parliament had passed the Act of Association 1584, under which anyone associated with a plot to murder the Sovereign would be excluded from the line of succession. However, a further scheme against Elizabeth, the Babington Plot, was revealed by Sir Francis Walsingham, who headed the English spy network. The extent to which the plot was created by Walsingham will always remain open to conjecture.
Mary was put on trial for treason by a court of about 40 noblemen, including Catholics and presided over by England's Chief of Justice, Sir John Popham. Mary denied the accusation, drawing attention to the fact that she was denied the opportunity of reviewing the evidence or her papers that had been removed from her, that she had been denied access to legal counsel and that she had never been an English subject and thus could not be convicted of treason. Mary was ultimately found guilty and was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire on February 8, 1587. At her execution, she removed a black cloak to reveal a deep red dress, the liturgical colour of martyrdom in the Catholic Church. The execution was badly carried out. It is said to have taken three blows to hack off her head. The first blow struck the back of her head, the next struck her shoulder and severed her subclavian artery, spewing blood in all directions. She was alive and conscious after the first two blows. The next blow took off her head, save some gristle, which was cut using the axe as a saw.

Portrait of Elizabeth made to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588), depicted in the background. Elizabeth's international power is symbolized by the hand resting on the globe.
In her will, Mary had left Philip her claim to the English throne; under force of the threat from Elizabeth's policies in the Netherlands and the East Atlantic, Philip set out his plans for an invasion of England. In April 1587, Sir Francis Drake burned part of the Spanish fleet at Cádiz, delaying Philip's plans. In July 1588, the Spanish Armada, a grand fleet of 130 ships bearing over 30,000 men, set sail in the expectation of conveying a Spanish invasion force under the command of the Duke of Parma across the English Channel from the Netherlands. Elizabeth encouraged her troops with a notable speech, known as the Speech to the Troops at Tilbury, in which she famously declared, "I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a King, and of a King of England too! And I think it foul scorn that Spain or Parma or any prince of Europe should dare invade the borders of my realm". Thus the legend of Good Queen Bess was born.
The Spanish attempt was defeated by the English fleet under Lord High Admiral Charles Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham, aided by inclement weather. The Armada was forced to return to Spain, with appalling losses on the North and West coasts of Ireland. The victory tremendously increased Elizabeth's popularity, but it proved far from decisive, and an ambitious strike against Spain in the following year (the English Armada) ended in complete failure. The war continued in the Netherlands, where the Dutch Estates were seeking independence from Spain. The English government also involved itself in the conflict in France, where the throne was claimed by a Protestant heir, Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV of France). Elizabeth sent 20,000 troops and subsidies of over £300,000 to Henry, and 8,000 troops and subsidies of over £1,000,000 to the Dutch.
English privateers continued to attack Spanish treasure ships from the Americas. The most famous privateers included Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin Frobisher. In 1595 and 1596, a disastrous expedition on the Spanish Main led to the deaths of the ageing Hawkins and Drake. Also in 1595, Spanish troops under the command of Don Carlos de Amesquita landed in Cornwall, where they routed a large English militia and burned some villages, before celebrating a mass and retiring in the face of a naval force led by Sir Walter Raleigh.
In 1596, England finally withdrew from France, with Henry IV firmly in control. He had assumed the throne (by agreeing to convert to catholicism), commenting that, "Paris is worth a mass". The Holy League, which opposed him, had been demolished, and Elizabeth's diplomacy was beset with a new set of problems. At the same time, the Spanish had landed a considerable force of tercios in Brittany, which expelled the English forces that were present and presented a new front in the war, with an added threat of invasion across the channel. Elizabeth sent a further 2,000 troops to France after the Spanish took Calais. Then she authorised an attack on the Azores in 1597, but the attempt was a disastrous failure. Further battles continued until 1598, when France and Spain finally made peace. The Anglo-Spanish War reached a stalemate after Philip II died later in the year. In part because of the war, Raleigh and Gilbert's overseas colonisation attempts came to nothing, and the English settlement of North America was stalled, until James I negotiated peace in the Treaty of London, 1604.
Later years

Portrait by unknown c.18th century
In 1598, Elizabeth's chief advisor, Lord Burghley, died. His political mantle was inherited by his son, Robert Cecil, who had previously become Secretary of State in 1590. Elizabeth became somewhat unpopular because of her practice of granting royal monopolies; the abolition of which Parliament continued to demand. In her famous "Golden Speech", Elizabeth promised reforms. Shortly thereafter, twelve royal monopolies were ended by royal proclamation; further sanctions could be sought in the courts of common law. These reforms, however, were only superficial; the practice of deriving funds from the grants of monopolies continued.
At the same time as England was fighting Spain, it also faced a rebellion in Ireland, known as the Nine Years War. The chief executor of Crown authority in the North of Ireland, Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, was declared a traitor in 1595. Seeking to avoid further war, Elizabeth made a series of truces with the earl; but during this period, Spain attempted two further armada expeditions against Northern Europe, although both failed owing to adverse weather conditions. In 1598, O'Neill offered a truce, while benefiting from Spanish aid in the form of arms and training; upon expiry of the truce, the English suffered their worst defeat in Ireland at the Battle of the Yellow Ford.
In 1599, one of the leading members of the navy, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and given command of the largest army ever sent to Ireland, in an attempt to defeat the rebels. Essex's campaign was soon dissipated, and after a private parley with O'Neill — in which the latter sat on horseback in the middle of a river — it became clear that victory was out of reach. In 1600, Essex returned to England without the Queen's permission, where he was punished by the loss of all political offices and of the trade monopolies, which were his principal income.
The succession to the throne had been the ultimate political concern in England since Mary Stuart's arrival in Scotland in the 1560s, and by the end of the century there was only one question in the minds of Elizabeth's advisors: who next? It is in this context that the behaviour of Essex is best explained. In 1601, he led a revolt against the Queen, but popular support was curiously lacking, and the former darling of the masses was executed.
Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy, a bookish man who liked to wrap himself up in scarves, was sent to Ireland to replace Essex. With ruthless intent, Mountjoy attempted to blockade O'Neill's troops and starve his people into submission; the campaign effectively cast the English strategy of the earlier Desmond Rebellion (1580-83) into a larger theatre, with proportionately greater casualties. In 1601, the Spanish sent over 3,000 troops to aid the Irish, with the justification that their intervention countered Elizabeth's previous aid to the Dutch rebels in the campaign against Spanish rule. After a devastating winter siege, Mountjoy defeated both the Spanish and the Irish forces at the Battle of Kinsale; O'Neill surrendered a few days after Elizabeth's death in 1603, although the fact of her death was concealed from the supplicant rebel with great skill and irony on Mountjoy's part.
During her last ailment, the Queen is reported to have declared that she had sent "wolves, not shepherds, to govern Ireland, for they have left me nothing to govern over but ashes and carcasses" (The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth (1925)). Elizabeth's successor promoted Mountjoy to the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, an office in which he showed skill and moderation, until his early death in 1605.
Although the last fifteen years of Elizabeth's reign were darkened by political misfortunes, they were also backlit by the artistic glories of the age of Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe and Shakespeare, by the navigational achievements of Drake and Hawkins, and by the establishment of the first colony in Virginia, named for her. This period had begun with the repulse of the Spanish Armada, which secured Elizabeth's authority as a protestant monarch; it ended with the melancholy of old age and the increasing cynicism of a Court that had grown stale. Yet, Elizabeth contrived some of her greatest speeches in the autumn of her reign and continued to survive, as she had all her life, the continual challenges of those who thought themselves better equipped to rule.
The Queen's health remained good until the autumn of 1602, when a series of losses among her remaining friends appeared to throw her into a melancholy. In her depression, she was lethargic and silent, quite unlike her usual brisk manner. Her courtiers anxiously tried to cheer her, but as she admonished her godson, John Harington, "When thou dost feel creeping time at thy gate, these fooleries will please thee less." She withdrew to Richmond Palace and to her bedchamber, lying on cushions on the floor and taking no nourishment. To Robert Cecil, insisting she go to bed, she flared, "Little man, little man, the word 'must' is not to be used to Princes." Then she fell silent. Her behaviour became eccentric. She stood upright, without relief, for two days, silent, with her finger held in her mouth like a tired child. It was as if she knew that, lying down, she would not rise again.
On March 21, 1603, the Lord Admiral finally persuaded the Queen to go to bed. They had to saw the Coronation Ring off her finger where it had grown into the flesh. She could no longer speak. Robert Cecil later alleged that she wordlessly signed to him that James VI of Scotland - son of Mary of Scotland - would be her heir. On March 24, with the Archbishop of Canterbury on his knees by her bed, praying with her women for her soul, she died, between 2 and 3 AM. Her physician later said it was like watching the falling of "a ripe apple from the tree." Elizabeth had ruled England for more than 44 years. A horseman was already travelling north to Scotland, and James VI, carrying her ring.
The will of Henry VIII had declared that Elizabeth was to be succeeded by the descendants of his younger sister, Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, rather than by the Scottish descendants of his elder sister, Margaret Tudor. If the will were upheld, then Elizabeth would have been succeeded by Lady Anne Stanley. If, however, the rules of male primogeniture were upheld, the successor would be James VI, King of Scotland. Still other claimants were possible. They included Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp of Hache (the illegitimate son of the Lady Catherine Grey) and William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby (Lady Anne Stanley's uncle).
It is sometimes claimed that Elizabeth named James her heir on her deathbed. According to one story, when asked whom she would name her heir, she replied, "Who could that be but my cousin Scotland?" According to another, she said, "Who but a King could succeed a Queen?" Finally, a third legend suggests that she remained silent until her death. There is no evidence to prove any of these tales. In any event, none of the alternative heirs pressed their claims to the throne. James VI was proclaimed King of England as James I a few hours after Elizabeth's death on March 24, 1603; heralding the end of the Tudor Dynasty and the start of the reign of the House of Stuart in the Kingdom of England. James I's proclamation broke precedent because it was issued not by the new sovereign himself but by a Council of Accession, as James was in Scotland at the time. Accession Councils, rather than new sovereigns, continue to issue proclamations in modern practice.

Sir John Hawkins (also spelled as John Hawkyns) (Plymouth 1532 – November 12, 1595) was an English shipbuilder, merchant, navigator, and slave trader.John was the son of William Hawkins the elder, by Joan Trelawny. William was a confidant of Henry VIII of England and one of the principal sea captains of England.John Hawkins was probably the first major English slave trader, although some point to John Lok in 1553. In 1595 he accompanied his cousin on a treasure-hunting voyage to the West Indies, during which he fell sick and died at sea off Puerto Rico.He was succeeded by his son Sir Richard Hawkins, and his great apprentice and protégé, Francis Drake.
1564-1569 Sir John Hawkins, the first English slave trader, makes four voyages to Sierra Leone River, taking a total of 1200 Africans across the Atlantic to sell to the Spanish settlers in the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Hawkins was the first Englishman to deport Africans from the west coast of Africa for sale in the West Indies. From the 17th century, Britain joined the Portuguese, Dutch and French in this large-scale, global commercial enterprise, becoming masters in the trade in human cargo.
1555 First voyage His first voyage, of 1555, led three small ships to the Sierra Leone coast in order to capture slaves. He left Africa with 300 Africans, having seized them from the Portuguese. Despite having two ships seized by the Spanish authorities, he sold the slaves in Santo Domingo and thus made a profit for his London investors. His voyage caused the Spanish to ban all English ships from trading in their West Indies colonies.
Potatoes were first imported to England in either 1563 or 1565 (sources differ) by Hawkins. Some scholars suggest it was John Hawkins who introduced tobacco into England. Some accounts say this was in 1569, others in 1564. The latter is more likely, since he mentions "Ltobaccoj" (meaning tobacco) in his journals of the second voyage.The OED notes that the word shark appears to have been introduced by Hawkin's sailors, who brought one back and exhibited it in London in 1569. It has recently been suggested that the derivation is from xoc the word for "fish" in a Mayan language spoken in Yukatan.
1564 Second voyage In 1564, Queen Elizabeth I rented him the huge old 700-tonne ship Jesus of Lubeck, and he set forth on his second longer and more extensive voyage along with three small ships. Hawkins sailed to Borburata, privateering along the way. By the time he reached Borburata, he had gathered around 400 slaves. After Borburata, Hawkins sailed to Rio de la Hacha. The Spanish officials tried to prevent Hawkins' sale of the slaves by imposing taxes. Captain Hawkins refused the taxes and threatened to burn the towns. After selling his cargo, Captain Hawkins sailed to a French colony in Florida for a respite. Captain Hawkins returned to England in September 1566, his expedition a total success as his financiers made a 60% profit.
1567 Third voyage His third voyage was in 1567. Hawkins again traded for slaves with local leaders, and also augmented his cargo by capturing the Portuguese slave ship Madre de Dios (Mother of God) and its human cargo. He took about 400 slaves across the Atlantic on the third trip. At Vera Cruz he was chanced upon by a strong Spanish force that was bringing the new viceroy to the colony there. Only two of the English ships escaped destruction, and Hawkins' voyage home was a miserable one.
Although his first three voyages were semi-piratical enterprises, Queen Elizabeth I was in need of money and England saw pirates as fighting England's battles at their own cost and risk. Hawkins wrote about the details of his third voyage in An Alliance to Raid for Slaves. Specifically he commented on how trading and raiding were closely related in the English slave trade and how European success in the slave trade directly depended on African allies who were willing to cooperate.
Hawkins pretended to be part of the Ridolfi plot to betray Queen Elizabeth in 1571. He offered his services to the Spanish, in order to obtain the release of prisoners and to discover plans for the proposed Spanish invasion of England.
His help in foiling the plot was rewarded, and in 1571 Hawkins entered Parliament to become an MP. He also became Treasurer and comptroller of the Royal Navy (1573 - 1589).
His Navy financial reforms upset many who had vested interests - principally Baker and Pett - and these concocted a Royal Commission on Fraud against him in 1583. But he was found innocent.
1558-1603 The Kingdom of England established colonies along the east coast of North America, from Newfoundland in the north, to as far as Florida in the south. Initially, the name "Virginia", named after Queen Elizabeth I, was applied to the entire coast, including what is now the Canadian Maritimes provinces.
St. John's, Newfoundland, claimed by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583;
the Roanoke Colony, founded in 1585 and 1587;
27 July 1585: the first English colony in the New World is established at Roanoke Island (modern North Carolina), organised by Sir Walter Raleigh and governed by Ralph Lane. It was not successful, and the colonists withdrew in June 1586.
11 July 1596: Queen Elizabeth I of England sends a letter complaining that 'there are of late divers blackmoores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there are allready here to manie ... Her Majesty's pleasure therefore ys that those kinde of people should be sent forth of the lande". Accordingly, a group of slaves were rounded up and given to a German slave trader, Caspar van Senden, in 'payment' for duties he had performed.
Under the charter of 1564, the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London company's court consisted of a governor (elected annually was by members beyond the seas), his deputies, and 24 Assistants. Admission was by patrimony (being the son of a merchant, free of the company at the son's birth), service (apprenticeship to a member), redemption (purchase) or 'free gift'. By the time of James I, there were at least 200 members. Fines for admission were then gradually increased. However they were reduced to £2 when the company finally lost its exclusive privileges following the Glorious Revolution of 1689.
The period between 1615 and 1689 was marked by a series of alternating periods, starting with the ill-fated Cockayne Project, when the company lost and then regained its monopolistic privileges. It also suffered from trouble with interlopers, traders not free of the company who traded within its privileged area. After Parliament finally threw the trade open in 1689, the company continued to exist as a fellowship of merchants trading to Hamburg, driving a considerable trade there, and it was thus sometimes called the Hamburg Company. It still existed at the beginning of the 19th century.
1569 -1573, 1579-1583 Desmond Rebellions in Ireland
1594-1603 Nine Years War in Ireland
From the mid-16th and into the early seventeenth century, crown governments carried out a policy of colonisation known as Plantations. Scottish and English Protestants were sent as colonists to the provinces of Munster, Ulster and the counties of Laois and Offaly ( Plantations of Ireland). These settlers, who had a British and Protestant identity, would form the ruling class of future British administrations in Ireland. A series of Penal Laws discriminated against all faiths other than the established (Anglican) Church of Ireland. The principal victims of these laws were Catholics and later Presbyterians.
Spanish Company (1577)
Eastland Company (1579)
The Eastland Company, or North Sea Company, was an English crown-chartered company, founded in 1579 to foster trade with Scandinavia and Baltic states. This was an attempt by the English to challenge the Hanseatic League's dominance in the commerce of Western and Central Europe.
Its charter was dated in 1579. By the first article, the company was erected into a body politic, under the title of the Company of Merchants of the East; to consist of Englishmen, all practicing merchants, who have trafficked through the sound, before the year 1568, into Norway, Sweden, Poland, Livonia, Prussia, Pomerania, etc., and likewise Revel, Königsberg, Dantzic, Copenhagen, etc., excepting Narva, Muscovy, and its dependencies. Most of the following articles granted them the usual prerogatives of such companies, including a seal, governor, courts, laws, etc.
The privileges specific to this company, compared to other English companies of the time, were:
• That none shall be admitted a member, who is already a member of another company, nor any retail dealer at all.
• That no qualified merchant be admitted without paying 6 pounds 13 shillings 6 pence.
• That a member of another company, desiring to renounce the privileges thereof, and to be received into that of the East, shall be admitted gratis, provided that he procures the same favor for a merchant of the East, willing to fill his place.
• That the Merchant Adventurers who never dealt in the East, in the places expressed in the charter, may be received as members of the company on paying 40 marks. That notwithstanding this union of the Adventurers of England with the Company of the East, each shall retain its rights and privileges.
• That they shall export no cloths but what are dyed and pressed; except 100 pieces every year, which are allowed them gratis.
This charter was confirmed by Charles II in 1661, with this addition; that no person of what quality soever, living in London, should be admitted a member unless he were free of the city.

Turkey Company (1581)
Morocco Company (1588)
East India Company (1600)
The British East India Company, sometimes referred to as "John Company", was one of the first joint-stock companies (preceded only by the Dutch East India Company). It was granted an English Royal Charter by Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600, with the intention of favouring trade privileges in India. The Royal Charter effectively gave the newly created Honourable East India Company (HEIC) a 21 year monopoly on all trade in the East Indies. The Company transformed from a commercial trading venture to one that virtually ruled India as it acquired auxiliary governmental and military functions, until its dissolution in 1858.

The company's flag initially had the flag of England, the St. George's Cross in the corner
Based in London, the company presided over the creation of the British Raj. In 1617, the Company was given trade rights by the Mughal Emperor. 100 years later, it was granted a royal dictate from the Emperor exempting the Company from the payment of custom duties in Bengal, giving it a decided commercial advantage in the Indian trade. A decisive victory by Sir Robert Clive at the Battle of Plassey in 1757 established the British East India Company as a military as well as a commercial power. By 1760, the French were driven out of India, with the exception of a few trading posts on the coast, such as Pondicherry.
The Company also had interests along the routes to India from Great Britain. As early as 1620, the company attempted to lay claim to the Table Mountain region in South Africa, later it occupied and ruled St Helena. The Company also established Hong Kong and Singapore; employed Captain Kidd to combat piracy; and cultivated the production of tea in India. Other notable events in the Company's history were that it held Napoleon captive on St Helena, and made the fortune of Elihu Yale. Its products were the basis of the Boston Tea Party in Colonial America.
Its shipyards provided the model for St Petersburg, elements of its administration survive in the Indian bureaucracy, and its corporate structure was the most successful early example of a joint stock company. However, the demands of Company officers on the treasury of Bengal contributed tragically to the province's incapacity in the face of a famine which killed millions in 1770-1773.

British and other European settlements in India
The foundation years
The Company was founded as The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies [1] by a coterie of enterprising and influential businessmen, who obtained the Crown's charter for exclusive permission to trade in the East Indies for a period of fifteen years. The Company had 125 shareholders, and a capital of £72,000. Initially, however, it made little impression on the Dutch control of the spice trade and at first it could not establish a lasting outpost in the East Indies. Eventually, ships belonging to the company arrived in India, docking at Surat, which was established as a trade transit point in 1608. In the next two years, it managed to build its first factory (as the trading posts were known) in the town of Machilipatnam in the Coromandel Coast in the Bay of Bengal. The high profits reported by the Company after landing in India (presumably owing to a reduction in overhead costs effected by the transit points), initially prompted King James I to grant subsidiary licenses to other trading companies in England. But, in 1609, he renewed the charter given to the Company for an indefinite period, including a clause which specified that the charter would cease to be in force if the trade turned unprofitable for three consecutive years.

The Company was led by one Governor and 24 directors who made up the Court of Directors. They were appointed by, and reported to, the Court of Proprietors. The Court of Directors had ten committees reporting to it.
Footholds in India
Traders were frequently engaged in hostilities with their Dutch and Portuguese counterparts in the Indian Ocean. A key event providing the Company with the favour of Mughal emperor Jahangir was their victory over the Portuguese in the Battle of Swally in 1612. Perhaps realizing the futility of waging trade wars in remote seas, the English decided to explore their options for gaining a foothold in mainland India, with official sanction of both countries, and requested the Crown to launch a diplomatic mission. In 1615, Sir Thomas Roe was instructed by James I to visit the Mughal emperor Jahangir (who ruled over most of the subcontinent, along with Afghanistan). The purpose of this mission was to arrange for a commercial treaty which would give the Company exclusive rights to reside and build factories in Surat and other areas. In return, the Company offered to provide to the emperor goods and rarities from the European market. This mission was highly successful and Jahangir sent a letter to the King through Sir Thomas Roe. He wrote:
Upon which assurance of your royal love I have given my general command to all the kingdoms and ports of my dominions to receive all the merchants of the English nation as the subjects of my friend; that in what place soever they choose to live, they may have free liberty without any restraint; and at what port soever they shall arrive, that neither Portugal nor any other shall dare to molest their quiet; and in what city soever they shall have residence, I have commanded all my governors and captains to give them freedom answerable to their own desires; to sell, buy, and to transport into their country at their pleasure.
For confirmation of our love and friendship, I desire your Majesty to command your merchants to bring in their ships of all sorts of rarities and rich goods fit for my palace; and that you be pleased to send me your royal letters by every opportunity, that I may rejoice in your health and prosperous affairs; that our friendship may be interchanged and eternal. [1]
The company, under such obvious patronage, soon managed to eclipse the Portuguese Estado da India, which had established bases in Goa, Chittagong and Bombay (which was later ceded to England as part of the dowry of Catherine de Braganza). It managed to create strongholds in Surat (where a factory was built in 1612), Madras (1639), Bombay (1668) and Calcutta (1690). By 1647, the Company had 23 factories, each under the command of a 'factor' or master merchant, and 90 employees in India. The major factories became the walled forts of Fort William in Bengal, Fort St George in Madras and the Bombay Castle. In 1634, the Mughal emperor extended his hospitality to the English traders to the region of Bengal (and in 1717 completely waived customs duties for the trade). The company's mainstay businesses were by now in cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpeter and tea. All the while, it was making inroads into the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade in the Malaccan straits, which the Dutch had acquired by ousting the Portuguese in 1640-41. In 1711, the Company established a trading post in Canton (Guangzhou), China, to trade tea for silver. In 1657, Oliver Cromwell renewed the charter of 1609, and brought about minor changes in the holding of the Company. The status of the Company was further enhanced by the restoration of monarchy in England. By a series of five acts around 1670, King Charles II provisioned it with the rights to autonomous territorial acquisitions, to mint money, to command fortresses and troops and form alliances, to make war and peace, and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the acquired areas. By 1689, the Company was arguably a "nation" in the Indian mainland, independently administering the vast presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay and possessing a formidable and intimidating military strength. From 1698 the company was entitled to use the motto "Auspico Regis et Senatus Angliae" meaning, "Under the patronage of the King and Parliament of England".
The road to a complete monopoly
Trade monopoly
The prosperity that the employees of the company enjoyed allowed them to return to their country and establish sprawling estates and businesses and obtain political power. Consequently, the Company developed for itself a lobby in the English parliament. However, under pressure from ambitious tradesmen and former associates of the Company (pejoratively termed Interlopers by the Company), who wanted to establish private trading firms in India, a deregulating act was passed in 1694. This act allowed any English firm to trade with India, unless specifically prohibited by act of parliament, thereby annulling the charter that was in force for almost 100 years. By an act in 1698, a new "parallel" East India Company (officially titled the English Company Trading to the East Indies) was floated under a state-backed indemnity of £2 million. However, the powerful stockholders of the old company quickly subscribed a sum of £315,000 in the new concern, and dominated the new body. The two companies wrestled with each other for some time, both in England and in India, for a dominant share of the trade. But it quickly became evident, that in practice, the original Company scarcely faced any measurable competition. Both companies finally merged in 1702, by a tripartite indenture involving the state and the two companies. Under this arrangement, the merged company lent to the Treasury a sum of £3,200,000, in return for exclusive privileges for the next three years—after which the situation was to be reviewed. The amalgamated company became the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies.
What followed in the next decades was a constant see-saw battle between the Company lobby and the parliament. The Company sought a permanent establishment, while the Parliament would not willingly relinquish the opportunity to exploit the Company's profits by allowing it a greater autonomy. In 1712, another act renewed the status of the Company, though the debts were repaid. By 1720, 15% of British imports were from India, almost all passing through the Company, which reasserted the influence of the Company lobby. The license was prolonged until 1766 by yet another act in 1730.
At this time, Britain and France became bitter rivals, and there were frequent skirmishes between them for control of colonial possessions. In 1742, fearing the monetary consequences of a war, the government agreed to extend the deadline for the licensed exclusive trade by the Company in India until 1783, in return for a further loan of £1 million. The skirmishes did escalate to the feared war, and between 1756 and 1763 the Seven Years' War diverted the state's attention towards consolidation and defence of its territorial possessions in Europe and its colonies in North America. The war also took place on Indian soil, between the Company troops and the French forces. Around the same time, Britain surged ahead of its European rivals with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Demand for Indian commodities was boosted by the need to sustain the troops and the economy during the war, and by the increased availability of raw materials and efficient methods of production. As home to the revolution, Britain experienced higher standards of living, and this spiralling cycle of prosperity, demand and production had a profound influence on overseas trade. The Company became the single largest player in the British global market, and reserved for itself an unassailable position in the decision-making process of the Government.
William Pyne notes in his book The Microcosm of London (1808) that
On the 1st March, 1801, the debts of the East India Company amounted to £5,393,989 their effects to £15,404,736 and their sales increased since February 1793, from £4,988,300 to £7,602,041. [emphasis added]
Saltpetre Trade
Sir John Banks, a businessman from Kent who negotiated an agreement between the King and the Company began his career in a syndicate arranging contracts for victualling the navy, an interest he kept up for most of his life. He knew Pepys and John Evelyn and founded a substantial fortune from the Levant and Indian trades. He also became a Director and later, as Governor of the East Indian Company in 1672, he was able to arrange a contract which included a loan of £20,000 and £30,000 worth of saltpetre for the King 'at the price it shall sell by the candle'[citation needed] - that is by auction - where an inch of candle burned and as long as it was alight bidding could continue. The agreement also included with the price 'an allowance of interest which is to be expressed in tallies.'[citation needed] This was something of a breakthrough in royal prerogative because previous requests for the King to buy at the Company's auctions had been turned down as 'not honourable or decent.'[citation needed] Outstanding debts were also agreed and the Company permitted to export 250 tons of saltpetre. Again in 1673, Banks successfully negotiated another contract for 700 tons of saltpetre at £37,000 between the King and the Company. So urgent was the need to supply the armed forces in the United Kingdom, America and elsewhere that the authorities sometimes turned a blind eye on the untaxed sales. One governor of the Company was even reported as saying in 1864 that he would rather have the saltpetre made than the tax on salt. [2]
The British East India Company developed a triangular commerce among China, India and Britain that enabled the English to drink tea and wear silk.
The basis for the monopoly
Opium Trade
In the eighteenth century, illegal opium was highly sought after by Chinese drug addicts, and so in 1773, the Company assumed the British monopoly of opium trading in Bengal. As opium trade was illegal in China, Company ships could not carry opium to China. So the opium produced in Bengal was sold in Calcutta on condition that it be sent to China [3].
Despite the Chinese ban on opium imports, reaffirmed in 1799, it was smuggled into China from Bengal by traffickers and agency houses averaging 900 tons a year. The proceeds from drug-runners at Lintin were paid into the Company’s factory at Canton and by 1825, most of the money needed to buy tea in China was raised by the illegal opium trade. In 1838, the Chinese imposed a death penalty on opium smuggling which was then close to 1400 tons a year, and sent a new governor, Lin Zexu to curb smuggling. This finally resulted in the Opium War of 1840, eventually leading to the British seizing Hong Kong and opening of the Chinese market to British drug traffickers.
Colonial monopoly

Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, became the first British Governor of Bengal.
The Seven Years' War (1756 – 1763) resulted in the defeat of the French forces and limited French imperial ambitions, also stunting the influence of the industrial revolution in French territories. Robert Clive, the Governor General, led the Company to an astounding victory against Joseph François Dupleix, the commander of the French forces in India, and recaptured Fort St George from the French. The Company took this respite to seize Manila[2] in 1762. By the Treaty of Paris (1763), the French were forced to maintain their trade posts only in small enclaves in Pondicherry, Mahe, Karikal, Yanam, and Chandernagar without any military presence. Although these small outposts remained French possessions for the next two hundred years, French ambitions on Indian territories were effectively laid to rest, thus eliminating a major source of economic competition for the Company. In contrast, the Company, fresh from a colossal victory, and with the backing of a disciplined and experienced army, was able to assert its interests in the Carnatic from its base at Madras and in Bengal from Calcutta, without facing any further obstacles from other colonial powers.
Local resistance
However, the Company continued to experience resistance from local rulers. Robert Clive led company forces against French-backed Siraj Ud Daulah to victory at the Battle of Plassey in 1757, thereby snuffing out the last known resistances in Bengal. This victory estranged the British and the Mughals, since Siraj had effectively been a Mughal feudatory ally. But the Mughal empire was already on the wane after the demise of Aurangzeb, and was breaking up into pieces and enclaves. After the Battle of Buxar, Shah Alam, the ruling emperor, gave up the administrative rights over Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Clive thus became the first British Governor of Bengal. Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan, the legendary rulers of Mysore (in Carnatic), also gave a tough time to the British forces. Having sided with the French during the war, the rulers of Mysore continued their struggle against the Company with the four Anglo-Mysore Wars. Mysore finally fell to the Company forces in 1799, with the slaying of Tipu Sultan. With the gradual weakening of the Maratha empire in the aftermath of the three Anglo-Maratha wars, the British also secured Bombay and the surrounding areas. It was during these campaigns, both against Mysore and the Marathas, that Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, first showed the abilities which would lead to victory in the Peninsular War and at the Battle of Waterloo. A particularly notable engagement involving forces under his command was the Battle of Assaye. Thus, the British had secured the entire region of Southern India (with the exception of small enclaves of French and local rulers), Western India and Eastern India. The last vestiges of local administration were restricted to the northern regions of Delhi, Oudh, Rajputana, and Punjab, where the Company's presence was ever increasing amidst the infighting and dubious offers of protection against each other. Coercive action, threats and diplomacy aided the Company in preventing the local rulers from putting up a united struggle against it. The hundred years from the Battle of Plassey in 1757 to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 were a period of consolidation for the Company, which began to function more as a nation and less as a trading concern.
See also: Company rule in India in the History of South Asia series for the history of the Company's rule in India between 1757 and 1857.
Regulation of the company's affairs

Monopolistic activity by the company triggered the Boston Tea Party.
Financial troubles
Though the Company was becoming increasingly bold and ambitious in putting down resisting states, it was getting clearer day by day that the Company was incapable of governing the vast expanse of the captured territories. The Bengal famine, in which one-sixth of the local population died, set the alarm bells ringing back home. Military and administrative costs mounted beyond control in British administered regions in Bengal due to the ensuing drop in labour productivity. At the same time, there was commercial stagnation and trade depression throughout Europe following the lull in the post-Industrial Revolution period. The desperate directors of the company attempted to avert bankruptcy by appealing to Parliament for financial help. This led to the passing of the Tea Act in 1773, which gave the Company greater autonomy in running its trade in America. Its monopolistic activities triggered the Boston Tea Party in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, one of the major events leading up to the American War for Independence.
Regulating Acts
East India Company Act 1773
By this Act (13 Geo. III, c. 63), the Parliament of Great Britain imposed a series of administrative and economic reforms and by doing so clearly established its sovereignty and ultimate control over the Company. The Act recognized the Company's political functions and clearly established that the "acquisition of sovereignty by the subjects of the Crown is on behalf of the Crown and not in its own right."
Despite stiff resistance from the East India lobby in parliament, and from the Company's shareholders, the Act was passed. It introduced substantial governmental control, and allowed the land to be formally under the control of the Crown, but leased to the Company at £40,000 for two years. Under this provision, the governor of Bengal Warren Hastings was promoted to the rank of Governor General, having administrative powers over all of British India. It provided that his nomination, though made by a court of directors, should in future be subject to the approval of a Council of Four appointed by the Crown - namely Lt. General John Clavering, George Monson, Richard Barwell and Philip Francis. He was entrusted with the power of peace and war. British judicial personnel would also be sent to India to administer the British legal system. The Governor General and the council would have complete legislative powers. Thus, Warren Hastings became the first Governor-General of India. The company was allowed to maintain its virtual monopoly over trade, in exchange for the biennial sum and an obligation to export a minimum quantity of goods yearly to Britain. The costs of administration were also to be met by the company. These provisions, initially welcomed by the Company, backfired. The Company had an annual burden on its back, and its finances continued steadily to decline.
East India Company Act (Pitt's India Act) 1784
This Act (24 Geo. III, s. 2, c. 25) had two key aspects:
• Relationship to the British Government - the Bill clearly differentiated the political functions of the East India Company from its commercial activities. For its political transactions, the Act directly subordinated the East India Company to the British Government. To accomplish this, the Act created a Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India usually referred to as the Board of Control. The members of the Board of Control were the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a Secretary of State, and four Privy Councillors, nominated by the King. The Act specified that the Secretary of State, "shall preside at, and be President of the said Board".
• Internal Administration of British India – the Bill laid the foundation of the British centralized bureaucratic administration of India which would reach its peak at the beginning of the twentieth century with the governor-generalship of George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Baron Curzon.

The expanded East India House, Leadenhall Street, London, as rebuilt 1799-1800, Richard Jupp, architect (as seen c. 1817; demolished in 1929)
Pitt's Act was deemed a failure because it was immediately apparent that the boundaries between governmental control and the Company's powers were obscure and highly subject to interpretation. The government also felt obliged to answer humanitarian voices pleading for better treatment of natives in British occupied territories. Edmund Burke, a former East India Company shareholder and diplomat, felt compelled to relieve the situation and introduced before parliament a new Regulating Bill in 1783. The Bill was defeated due to intense lobbying by Company loyalists and accusations of nepotism in the Bill's recommendations for the appointment of councillors.

Act of 1786
This Act (26 Geo. III c. 16) enacted the demand of Lord Cornwallis, that the powers of the Governor-General be enlarged to empower him, in special cases, to override the majority of his Council and act on his own special responsibility. The Act also enabled the offices of the Governor-General and the Commander-in-Chief to be jointly held by the same official.
This Act clearly demarcated borders between the Crown and the Company. After this point, the Company functioned as a regularized subsidiary of the Crown, with greater accountability for its actions and reached a stable stage of expansion and consolidation. Having temporarily achieved a state of truce with the Crown, the Company continued to expand its influence to nearby territories through threats and coercive actions. By the middle of the 19th century, the Company's rule extended across most of India, Burma, Malaya Singapore and Hong Kong, and a fifth of the world's population was under its trading influence.
Charter Act 1813
The aggressive policies of Lord Wellesley and the Marquis of Hastings led to the Company gaining control of all India, except for the Punjab, Sind and Nepal. The Indian Princes had become vassals of the Company. But the expense of wars leading to the total control of India strained the Company’s finances to the breaking point. The Company was forced to petition Parliament for assistance. This was the background to the Charter Act of 1813 (53 Geo. III c. 155) which, among other things:
• asserted the sovereignty of the British Crown over the Indian territories held by the Company;
• renewed the Charter of Company for a further twenty years but,
o deprived the Company of its Indian trade monopoly except for trade in tea and the trade with China;
o required the Company to maintain separate and distinct its commercial and territorial accounts; and,
• opened India to missionaries.
Charter Act 1833
The Industrial Revolution in Britain, and the consequent search for markets, and the rise of laissez-faire economic ideology form the background to this act.
The Act:
• divested the Company of its commercial functions;
• renewed for another twenty years the Company’s political and administrative authority;
• invested the Board of Control with full power and authority over the Company. As stated by Kapur ‘Professor Sri Ram Sharma, thus, summed up the point: "The President of the Board of Control now became Minister for Indian Affairs".
• carried further the ongoing process of administrative centralization through investing the Governor-General in Council with, full power and authority to superintend and, control the Presidency Governments in all civil and military matters.
• initiated a machinery for the codification of laws;
• provided that no Indian subject of the Company would be debarred from holding any office under the Company by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent or colour. However, this remained a dead letter well into the 20th century.
Meanwhile, British influence continued to expand; in 1845, the Danish colony of Tranquebar was sold to Great Britain. The Company had at various stages extended its influence to China, the Philippines, and Java. It had solved its critical lack of the cash needed to buy tea by exporting Indian-grown opium to China. China's efforts to end the trade led to the First Opium War with Britain.
Charter Act 1853
This Act provided that British India would remain under the administration of the Company in trust for the Crown until Parliament should decide otherwise.
The end
The efforts of the company in administering India emerged as a model for the civil service system in Britain, especially during the 19th century. Deprived of its trade monopoly in 1813, the company wound up as a trading enterprise. In 1858, the Company lost its administrative functions to the British government following the 1857 uprising which began with what the Company's Indian soldiers called the Sepoy Mutiny or Indian Rebellion of 1857. India then became a formal crown colony. In the early 1860s, all of the Company's Indian possessions - including its armed forces - were appropriated by the Crown. The Company was still managing the tea trade on behalf of the British government (and supplying Saint Helena). When the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act came into effect, the Company was dissolved on January 1, 1874. The Times reported, "It accomplished a work such as in the whole history of the human race no other company ever attempted and as such is ever likely to attempt in the years to come."
In 1987, coffee merchants Tony Wild and David Hutton created a public limited company called "The East India Company" and in 1990 registered versions of the Company's coat of arms as a trademark, although the Patent Office noted 'Registration of this mark shall give no right to the exclusive use of the words "The East India Company"' [4]. By December 1996, this company had a website at It sold St Helena coffee branded with the Company name and also produced a book on the history of the Company. This company has no legal continuity with the original Company, even though it claims on its website to have been founded in 1600.
East India Club
On the eve of the demise of the East India Company, the East India Club in London was formed for current and former employees of the East India Company. The Club still exists today and its club house is situated at 16 St. James's Square, London.

Downman (1685)

Lens (1700)

Rees (1820)

Laurie (1842)

National Geographic (1917)

The flag had a Union Flag in the canton after the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.

Post 1801 the flag contains the Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the canton.

The East India Company flag changed over time. From the period of 1600 to 1707 (Act of Union between England and Scotland) the flag consisted of a St George's cross in the canton and a number of alternating Red and White stripes. After 1707 the canton contained the original Union Flag consisting of a combined St George's cross and a St Andrew's cross. After the Act of Union 1800, that joined Ireland into the United Kingdom, the canton of the East India Company's flag was altered accordingly to include the new Union Flag with the additional St Patrick's cross. There has been much debate and discussion regarding the number of stripes on the flag and the order of the stripes. Historical documents and paintings show many variations from 9 to 13 stripes, with some images showing the top stripe being red and others showing the top stripe being white.
At the time of the American Revolution the East India Company flag would have been identical to the Grand Union Flag. The flag probably inspired the Stars and Stripes (as argued by Sir Charles Fawcett in 1937). [5] Comparisons between the Stars and Stripes and the Company's flag from historical records present some convincing arguments. The John Company flag dates back to the 1600s whereas the United States adopted the Stars and Stripes in 1777 [6].
The stripes and gridlike appearance of the flag gave rise to several pieces of imperial slang. Most notably is the phrase 'riding the gridiron'; this referred to travelling on a ship flying the company flag to / from India.
• List of BEIC directors
• East India Companies
• Swedish East India Company, founded 1731 and ceased 1813

• West India Companies
• Other trading companies:
• East India Company College 1805-1858
• Robert Brooke 1744-1811
• East India Company Cemetery in Macau
One of Somerset's lawyers, Francis Hargrave, stated "In 1569, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a lawsuit was brought against a man for beating another man he had bought as a slave overseas. The record states, 'That in the 11th [year] of Elizabeth [1569], one Cartwright brought a slave from Russia and would scourge him; for which he was questioned; and it was resolved, that England was too pure an air for a slave to breathe in.' "

James I
James I of England
King James VI and I
King of Scots, King of England, and King of Ireland

Reign 24 July 1567 - 27 March 1625 (Scotland)
24 March 1603 - 27 March 1625 (England)

Born June 19, 1566

Edinburgh Castle

Died March 27, 1625

Theobalds House

Buried Westminster Abbey

Predecessor Mary, Queen of Scots (Scotland)
Elizabeth I (England)

Successor Charles I

Consort Anne of Denmark

Issue Henry Frederick, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Stuart, Charles I, Robert Stuart

Royal House Stuart

Father Lord Darnley

Mother Mary, Queen of Scots

James VI and I (James Stuart) (June 19, 1566 – March 27, 1625) was King of Scots, King of England, and King of Ireland. He was the first to style himself King of Great Britain. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567; from the 'Union of the Crowns', he ruled in England and Ireland as James I, from 24 March 1603 until his death. He was the first monarch of England from the House of Stuart, succeeding the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, who died without issue.
James was a successful monarch in Scotland, but experienced difficulties in England. He was involved in many conflicts with the more active and hostile English Parliament. His taste for political absolutism, his inability to manage the kingdom's funds and his cultivation of unpopular favourites established the foundation for the English Civil War, after which James's son and successor, Charles I, was tried and executed. During James's own life, however, the governments of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland were relatively stable. He also exercised a degree of religious tolerance during his reign, but after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, strict penalties were reimposed on Roman Catholics [1].
Under James, much of the cultural flourishing of Elizabethan England continued; science, literature and art, contributed by individuals such as Sir Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare, grew by leaps and bounds during his reign. James himself was a talented scholar, writing works such as Daemonologie (1597), The True Law of Free Monarchies (1598), Basilikon Doron (1599) and A Counterblaste to Tobacco (1604). King James was known by the epithet "the wisest fool in Christendom."
Childhood as King James VI of Scotland
James was the only child of Mary I, Queen of Scots and of her second husband, Henry Stuart, Duke of Albany, more commonly known as Lord Darnley. James was a descendant of Henry VII through his great-grandmother Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. (Margaret Tudor was mother of Margaret Douglas, the future countess of Lennox and mother of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.) James's mother was an insecure ruler, as both she and her husband, being Roman Catholics, faced a rebellion of Protestant noblemen. Their marriage, furthermore, was a particularly difficult one. While Mary was pregnant with James, Lord Darnley secretly allied himself with the rebels and murdered the Queen's private secretary, David Rizzio.
James was born on 19 June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, and as the eldest son of the monarch and heir-apparent, automatically became Duke of Rothesay and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. He received the name Charles James, the first name in honour of his godfather Charles IX of France, thus becoming the first British monarch to have more than one forename.
James's father was murdered on 10 February 1567 at the Hamiltons' house, Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, perhaps to avenge Rizzio's death. Mary's marriage on 15 May of the same year to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who was widely suspected of murdering the Duke of Albany, contributed further to her unpopularity. In June 1567, the Protestant rebels arrested Mary and imprisoned her in Loch Leven Castle. Mary was forced to abdicate the throne on 24 July in favour of James, who was still a baby.
British Royalty

House of Stuart

James VI & I
Henry, Prince of Wales

Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia

Charles I

Robert, Duke of Kintyre

Charles I

Charles II

James II & VII

Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Mary, Princess Royal

Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans

Charles II

James II & VII

Mary II


James Francis Edward Stuart

Charles Edward Stuart

Henry Benedict Stuart

Mary II & William III

William III


William, Duke of Gloucester

James was formally crowned as James VI, King of Scotland at The Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling, on 29 July 1567 at the age of thirteen months. In deference to the religious beliefs of most of the Scottish ruling class, he was brought up as a member of the Protestant National Church of Scotland, and educated by men with Presbyterian sympathies.
During his minority, power was held by a series of regents, the first of whom was James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray, his mother's illegitimate half-brother. Historian and poet George Buchanan was responsible for James' education.
In 1568, Mary escaped from prison, leading to a brief period of violence. Lord Moray defeated Mary's troops at the Battle of Langside, forcing her to flee to England where she was imprisoned by Elizabeth I. Lord Moray was assassinated by one of Mary's supporters in 1570. He was succeeded by James's paternal grandfather, Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, who was killed in battle in 1571. The subsequent regent, John Erskine, 1st Earl of Mar, died (of natural causes) in 1572. Last and most effective of the regents was James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, who during the two previous regencies had been the most powerful Scottish nobleman. When Lord Morton was executed in 1581 for his ostensible part in the murder of James's father, power was thenceforth held by the King himself.
Catholic uprising
James faced a Roman Catholic uprising in 1588, and was forced to reconcile with the Church of Scotland, agreeing to the repeal of the Black Acts in 1592. James, fearing that dealing too harshly with the Catholic rebels might anger many English Catholics, agreed to pardon some of his opponents, which angered the Protestant Church. In 1600, a conspiracy was formed by John Ruthven, 3rd Earl of Gowrie (son of the Earl of Gowrie, executed in 1584). Upon the failure of the plot, Lord Gowrie and his associates were put to death; and even the Protestant nobles began to be repressed by the King.
Ascent to the throne of England
Relationship with Elizabeth I
In 1586, James VI and Elizabeth I became allies under the Treaty of Berwick. James sought to remain in the favour of the unmarried Queen of England, as he was a potential successor to her Crown. Because Henry VIII had feared that the English Crown would go to a Scot, in his will, he excluded Margaret Tudor, James's great-grandmother, and her descendants from the line of succession. Although technically excluded by the will—which, under an Act of Parliament, had the force of law—both Mary, Queen of Scots, and James were serious claimants to the English Crown, as they were Elizabeth I's closest relatives.
Also in 1586, Mary was suspected of being implicated in the Babington Plot, a scheme which sought to put her on the throne of England after murdering Elizabeth. Elizabeth had previously spared Mary's life after the Ridolfi Plot but could no longer tolerate the danger she posed. Consequently, Mary was executed in 1587. But for the will of Henry VIII, James was the Heir Presumptive to the English Crown.
Following Mary's execution and the decline of her sympathisers in Scotland, James managed to reduce significantly the influence of the Roman Catholic nobles in Scotland. He further endeared himself to Protestants by marrying Anne of Denmark and Norway—a princess from a Protestant country and daughter of Frederick II of Denmark and Norway—by proxy in 1589. Another marriage ceremony, this time with both parties personally present, occurred on 23 November 1589 in the Old Bishops' Palace in Oslo during James's visit to the Kingdom of Norway.
The couple produced eight living children and one who was stillborn. Only three survived infancy: Henry, Prince of Wales who died of typhoid in 1612 aged 19; Charles, who was to succeed his father as Charles I; and Elizabeth, later Queen of Bohemia.
Witch trials and Sodomy Act
James returned from Denmark via Leith on 1 May, and soon after, he attended the trial of the North Berwick Witches, in which several people were convicted of having used witchcraft to create a storm in an attempt to sink the ship on which James and Anne had been travelling. James became obsessed with the threat that witches and witchcraft might pose to him and his country. During this period, he wrote a treatise on demonology, as a result of which hundreds of Scottish men and women were put to death for witchcraft, their bodies later being found in what was then called Nor Loch, now Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.
Intent on strengthening the Church of England and reaffirming the Buggery Act 1533, James adopted a severe stance towards sodomy. His book on kingship, Basilikon Doron 1598, lists sodomy among those “horrible crimes which ye are bound in conscience never to forgive.”
Proclaimed James I of England
Upon the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, under the terms of Henry's will, the Crown should have passed to Lady Anne Stanley, a descendant of Henry VIII's sister Mary Tudor. (Elizabeth's second cousin once-removed, Viscount Beauchamp, son of Lady Catherine Grey, was more senior, but he was considered illegitimate because his parents' marriage was annulled.)
As neither Beauchamp nor Lady Anne nor any other was powerful enough to defend a claim, an Accession Council met and proclaimed James King of England. He and his wife were crowned on 25 July 1603 at Westminster Abbey. Scotland and England remained separate states (see Personal union); it was not until 1707 that the Acts of Union merged the two nations to create a new state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Early reign in England
Political challenges
James' chief political advisor was Robert Cecil, 1st Baron Cecil of Essendon, the younger son of Elizabeth I's favoured minister, Lord Burghley. He was created Earl of Salisbury in 1605. Cecil's place as James I's primary advisor ought to have provided continuity between the parliament of Elizabeth and that of James. However, James I embroiled himself in numerous conflicts with Parliament. Being accustomed to a timid Scottish Parliament, he did not like working with its more aggressive English counterpart.
Before James's accession to the English throne, he had written The True Law of Free Monarchies, in which he argued that the divine right of kings was sanctioned by the apostolic succession. This appears to have been the primary factor in James's difficulty in sharing power with his government. His written work would earn him the title 'The Scottish Solomon'; however, historians such as J.P. Kenyon suggest that the title was often used sarcastically, citing a rumour that Henry IV of France, upon hearing the title used, commented 'that he hoped he was not David the fiddler's son' - a reference to Mary Stuart's music-loving secretary, David Rizzio, and to the fact that the biblical Solomon, with his fabled wisdom, was the son of King David, a harpist and composer.
On October 20th, 1604, James proclaimed himself "King of Great Britain", the first monarch to do so [2], although the United Kingdom of Great Britain would not exist until the Acts of Union in 1707.

James I
In 1605, Parliament voted four subsidies to the King, who still considered this to be inadequate revenue. He imposed customs duties without parliamentary consent, although no monarch had taken so bold a step since the reign of Richard II (1377-1399). The legality of such an action was challenged in 1606 by the merchant John Bates; the Court of Exchequer, however, ruled in the King's favour. The decision of the court was denounced by Parliament. Relations between James I and Parliament were also soured by the latter's refusal to pass the King's plan to allow free trade between England and Scotland.
In the last session of the first Parliament of his reign (which began in 1610), Lord Salisbury proposed the Great Contract, which would have led to the Crown giving up feudal dues in return for an annual parliamentary subsidy. The plan failed because of factionalism in Parliament. Frustrated by the members of the House of Commons and by the collapse of the Great Contract, James dissolved Parliament in 1611.
With the Crown deep in debt, James openly sold honours and titles to raise funds. In 1611, he used letters patent to invent a completely new dignity: that of Baronet, which one could become upon the payment of £1,080. One could become a Baron for about £5,000, a Viscount for about £10,000, and an Earl for about £20,000. James created new dignities to reward his courtiers. In total, sixty-two individuals were raised to the English Peerage by James, in contrast to Elizabeth, who created only eight new peers during her 45-year reign.
The Addled Parliament
In 1612, Lord Salisbury, one of James's chief advisors, died. James then began to involve himself in matters previously handled by his ministers but his personal government was disastrous for his finances, and a new Parliament had to be called in 1614 in order to obtain the imposition of new taxes. This Parliament, the second of James's reign, was known as the Addled Parliament because it failed to pass any legislation or impose any taxes. James dissolved Parliament when it became clear that no progress could be made.
Subsequently, James ruled without a Parliament for seven years. Faced with financial difficulties he sought to enter into a profitable alliance with Spain by marrying his eldest surviving son, Charles, Prince of Wales, to the daughter of the King of Spain. The proposed alliance with a Roman Catholic kingdom was not well-received in Protestant England. James's unpopularity increased with the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Religious challenges
Upon James I’s arrival in London, he was almost immediately faced by religious conflicts in England. He was presented with the Millenary Petition, a document which it is claimed contained one thousand signatures, by Puritans requesting further Anglican Church reform. He accepted the invitation to a conference in Hampton Court, which was subsequently delayed due to the Plague. In 1604, at the Hampton Court Conference, James was unwilling to agree to most of their demands. He did, however, agree to fulfil a request which was to have far-reaching effect by authorizing an official translation of the Bible, which came to be known as the King James Bible (published in 1611).
During this year, James broadened Elizabeth's Witchcraft Act to bring the penalty of death without benefit of clergy to any one who invoked evil spirits or communed with familiar spirits. That same year, he ended England's involvement in the twenty year conflict known as the Anglo-Spanish War by signing the Treaty of London.
In 1612, the Baptist leader Thomas Helwys presented the King with a copy of his book, ‘A Short Declaration on the Mystery of Iniquity’, possibly the first ever English text defending the principle of religious liberty. He died in prison for his pains. In that same year, two other Protestant dissenters, Bartholomew Legate and Edward Wightman, were burnt at the stake for heresy. “Both men emerge as the victims of a complex series of events: the king's desire to be seen as orthodox in the light of the Vorstius affair; the in-fighting for control of the ecclesiastical establishment on the elevation of George Abbot to the archbishopric of Canterbury; and the campaign of the emerging anti-Calvinist group around Bishop Richard Neile against puritans”[2].
Relationships with Roman Catholicism
Though James was careful to accept Catholics in his realm, his Protestant subjects encouraged him not to give the Catholics equal rights. In the early years of his reign, many of his subjects did not know his policies — only that he had an extreme Protestant background — and there were a number of plots to remove him from power, such as the Bye Plot and the Main Plot.
Gunpowder, treason and plot
In 1605, a group of Catholic extremists led by Robert Catesby developed a plan, known as the Gunpowder Plot, to cause an explosion in the chamber of the House of Lords, where the King and members of both Houses of Parliament would be gathered for the State Opening. The conspirators sought to replace James with the Spanish Infanta, who was Catholic and one of the other possible heirs to the throne after Elizabeth. One of the conspirators, however, leaked information regarding the plot, which was consequently foiled.
Terrified, James refused to leave his residence for many days. Guy Fawkes, whose responsibility had been to execute the plot, was tortured on the rack until he revealed the identities of the other conspirators, all of whom were executed or killed during capture. Fawkes is still annually burned in effigy during Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night), celebrated in the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, to commemorate the failed plot. James's care not to strongly enforce anti-Catholic doctrine thereafter ensured that there were no more plots after 1605.
Later years
Continuing problems with Parliament
The third and penultimate Parliament of James' reign was summoned in 1621. The House of Commons agreed to grant James a small subsidy to signify their loyalty, but then, to the displeasure of the King, moved on to personal matters directly involving the King. The practice of selling monopolies and other privileges was also deprecated. The House of Commons sought to impeach Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, who was implicated in the sale of such privileges during his service as Lord Chancellor, on charges of corruption. The House of Lords convicted Bacon, who was duly removed from office. Although the impeachment was the first in centuries, James did not oppose it, believing that sacrificing Bacon could help deflect parliamentary opposition. In the end, James released Bacon from prison and granted him a full pardon.
Thirty Years' War
From 1618 onwards, the religious conflict known as the Thirty Years' War engulfed Europe. James was forced to become involved because his daughter, Elizabeth, was married to the Protestant Frederick V, Elector Palatine, one of the war's chief participants. He was also put under pressure to join the religious war because England, at the time, was one of the major Protestant nations.
A new constitutional dispute arose as a result. James was eager to aid his son-in-law, the Elector-Palatine, and requested Parliament for a subsidy. The House of Commons, in turn, requested that the King abandon the alliance with Spain. When James declared that the lower House had overstepped its bounds by offering unsolicited advice, the House of Commons passed a protest claiming that it had the right to debate any matter relating to the welfare of the Kingdom. James ordered the protest torn out of the Commons Journal, and dissolved Parliament.
Relationship with Spain
In 1623, the Duke of Buckingham and Charles, the Prince of Wales, travelled to Madrid in an attempt to secure a marriage between the latter and the Infanta. They were snubbed, however, by the Spanish courtiers, who demanded that Charles convert to Roman Catholicism. They returned to England humiliated, and called for war with Spain. When James's Spanish marriage plot failed, a humiliated Prince Charles and George Villiers urged James and his parliament to go to war. From a financial perspective, James could not afford to go to war with Spain. England would eventually join the war after James had died.
The Church in Scotland
In Scotland, James's attempt to move the Church, whose form of worship tended to be based on free-form Calvinism, in a more structured High Church direction with the introduction of the Five Articles of Perth, met with widespread popular resistance. Always the practical politician in Scottish matters, the king, while insisting on the form of the law, did little to ensure its observance.
Personal relationships

Miniatures such as this by Nicholas Hilliard, 1603–1609, were often created as love tokens.
It was said of him in the streets, "Elizabeth was King: now James is Queen" (Rex fuit Elizabeth, nunc est regina Jacobus), and this quote has survived[3]. Growing up, James did not have any parents, for his father, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, was murdered and his mother, Mary I of Scotland was forced to flee when she married the suspected murderer, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell. His grandfather was assassinated during his boyhood, and he had no siblings. However, throughout his life he had deep emotional relationships with his male courtiers, beginning with his older relative Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox. At the same time, he was not much interested in his wife. At first, James and Queen Anne were close, but gradually they drifted apart. After the death of their daughter Sophia, they agreed to live separately.
His behavior with the late Lennox and his distancing himself from his wife attracted wide attention. Francis Osborne noted in a memoir, not published until many years later during Cromwell’s day, that "The love the King showed men was amorously conveyed as if he had mistaken their sex and thought them ladies, which I have seen Somerset and Buckingham labour to resemble in the effeminateness of their dressings; though in whorish looks and wanton gestures they exceeded any part of womankind my conversation did ever cope withal. Nor was his love, or whatever posterity will please to call it… carried on with a discretion sufficient to cover a less scandalous behaviour; for the king’s kissing them after so lascivious a mode in public, and upon the theater, as it were, of the world, prompted many to imagine some things done in the tiring house that exceed my expressions no less than they do my experience, and therefore left them upon the waves of conjecture, which hath in my hearing tossed them from one side to another."
A diary entry by Sir Simonds D'Ewes after speaking with James said, "I discoursed with him of the things that were secret, as of the sin of sodomy, how frequent it was in the wicked city (London), and if God did not provide some wonderful blessing against it, we could not but expect some horrible punishment for it; especially it being, as we had probable cause to fear, a sin in the prince as well as the people, which God is for the most part chastiser of himself, because no man else indeed dare reprove or tell them of their faults."
Responding to deflect the growing criticism over his sexuality James adopted a severe stance towards sodomy using English law. His book on kingship, Basilikon Doron, lists sodomy among those “horrible crimes which ye are bound in conscience never to forgive”. Jeremy Bentham in an unpublished manuscript denounced James as a hypocrite after his crackdown. King James also singled out sodomy in a letter to Lord Burleigh giving directives that Judges were to interpret the law broadly and not issue any pardons saying that "no more colour may be left to judges to work upon their wits in that point."
Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox
At the age of thirteen, James made his formal entry into father Edinburgh. Upon arriving he met the thirty-seven year old, married, of five children, French lord Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox who Sir James Melville described as "of nature, upright, just, and gentle". The two became extremely close and it was said by an English observer that "from the time he was fourteen years old and no more, that is, when the Lord Stuart came into Scotland… even then he began… to clasp some one in the embraces of his great love, above all others" and that James became "in such love with him as in the open sight of the people oftentimes he will clasp him about the neck with his arms and kiss him".
The King first made Stewart a gentleman of the bedchamber, then went on to the Privy Council, earl and finally duke of Lennox. In Presbyterian Scotland the thought of a Catholic duke irked many and Lennox had to make a choice between his Catholic faith and his loyalty to James. At the end Lennox chose James and the king taught him the doctrines of Calvinism. The Scottish Kirk remained suspicious of Lennox after his public conversion and took alarm when he had the earl of Morton tried and beheaded on charges of treason. The Scottish ministry was also warned that the duke sought to “draw the King to carnal lust.”
In response the Scottish nobles plotted to oust Lennox. They did so by luring James to Ruthven Castle as a guest but then kept him as prisoner for ten months. The Lord Enterprisers forced him to banish Lennox. The duke journeyed back to France and kept a secret correspondence with James. Lennox in these letters says he gave up his family "to dedicate myself entirely to you"; he prayed to die for James to prove "the faithfulness which is engraved within my heart, which will last forever." The former duke wrote "Whatever might happen to me, I shall always be your faithful servant… you are alone in this world whom my heart is resolved to serve. And would to God that my breast might be split open so that it might be seen what is engraven therein."
James was devastated by the loss of Lennox. In his return to France Lennox had met a frosty reception as an apostate Catholic. The Scottish nobles had thought that they would be proven right in their convictions that Lennox's conversion was artificial when he returned to France. Instead the former duke remained Presbyterian and died shortly after, leaving James his embalmed heart. James had repeatedly vouched for Lennox's religious sincerity and memorialized him in a poem called "Ane Tragedie of the Phoenix", which said he was like an exotic bird of unique beauty killed by envy.
Following Esme’s death James married Anne of Denmark in 1589 to produce heirs for the throne. The two had eight children with the last being born during 1607. By then James had lost interest in his wife and it was said that she led a sad, reclusive life, appearing at court functions on occasion.
Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset
A few years later after the controversy over his relationship with Lennox faded away and he began a relation with Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset. In 1607, at a royal jousting contest, seventeen-year-old Robert Carr, the son of Sir Thomas Carr or Kerr of Ferniehurst, was knocked from a horse and broke his leg. According to the Earl of Suffolk, Thomas Howard, James fell in love with the young man, and as the years progressed showered Carr with gifts. Carr was made a gentleman of the bedchamber and he was noted for his handsome appearance as well as his limited intelligence. His downfall came through Frances Howard, a beautiful young married woman. Upon Carr’s request James stacked a court of bishops that would allow her to divorce her husband in order to marry Carr. As a wedding present Carr was named earl of Somerset.
During the next two years the relationship between Carr and James became troubled as Carr increasingly preferred his wife. In 1615 James fell out with Carr. In a letter James complained, among other matters, that Carr had been “creeping back and withdrawing yourself from lying in my chamber, notwithstanding my many hundred times earnest soliciting you to the contrary” and that he rebuked James “more sharply and bitterly than ever my master Buchanan durst do.”
At this point public scandal erupted when the underkeeper of the tower revealed that Carr’s new wife had poisoned Sir Thomas Overbury, his best friend who had opposed the marriage. James angered over Carr’s attachment to his wife exploited the opportunity and forcefully insisted that they face trial.
On the eve of the trial, Carr threatened to reveal publicly that the King had slept with him. The next day, as he gave testimony before the Lords in Westminster Hall, two men were stationed beside him with cloaks, ready to muffle him in case of an indiscrete outburst. This was done on instructions of the King to the Lieutenant of the Tower. Carr, however, conducted himself with dignity. His wife confessed to the deed and they were sentenced to death. The King reprieved them both but held them in the tower for seven years and then pardoned them and granted the pair a country estate.[4]
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
The last of James’s three male favourites was George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, the son of a Leicestershire knight. They had met in 1614, around the same time that the situation with Carr was deteriorating. Buckingham was described as exceptionally handsome, intelligent and honest. In 1615 James knighted him and eight years later he was the first commoner in more than a century to be elevated to a dukedom.
The King was blunt and unashamed in his avowal of love for Buckingham:
I, James, am neither a god nor an angel, but a man like any other. Therefore I act like a man and confess to loving those dear to me more than other men. You may be sure that I love the Earl of Buckingham more than anyone else, and more than you who are here assembled. I wish to speak in my own behalf and not to have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had John, and I have George.
Contemporary commentators, such as the homosexual Théophile de Viau did not mince words in describing the king's relationship. In his poem, Au marquis du Boukinquan, de Viau writes: "Apollo with his songs / debauched young Hyacinthus, … And it is well known that the king of England / f***s the Duke of Buckingham."
Buckingham became good friends with James’s wife Anne, she addressed him in affectionate letters begging him to be “always true” to her husband. In a letter to James, Buckingham said "sir, all the way hither I entertained myself, your unworthy servant, with this dispute, whether you loved me now… better than at the time which I shall never forget at Farnham, where the bed’s head could not be found between the master and his dog." James in some letters addressed him as his spouse saying that "I desire only to live in this world for your sake… I had rather live banished in any part of the earth with you than live a sorrowful widow’s life without you… God bless you, my sweet child and wife, and grant that ye may ever be a comfort to your dear dad and husband."[5] A few years later James died with Buckingham at his side.
Queen Anne died on 4 March 1619 at Hampton Court Palace and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
James lapsed into senility during the last year of his reign. Real power passed to Charles and to the Duke of Buckingham, although James kept enough power to ensure that a new war with Spain did not occur while he was King. James died at Theobalds House in 1625 of 'tertian ague' probably brought upon by kidney failure and stroke, and was buried in the Henry VII Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey. Charles, Prince of Wales, succeeded him as Charles I. James had ruled in Scotland for almost sixty years; the only English, Scottish or British monarchs to have surpassed this mark have been Victoria and George III.

James I wore the insignia of the Order of the Garter for the above portrait by Daniel Mytens (1621).
Almost immediately after James I's death, Charles I became embroiled in disputes with Parliament. The disputes escalated until the English Civil War began during the 1640s, culminating in Charles I's execution for treason. The following Parliamentary period lasted for eleven years, 1649-1660. The Stuart dynasty was restored in 1660 with Charles I's son, Charles II coming to the throne. Some historians, particularly whig historians, blame James for the Civil War. However, the general view now is that Charles I was more responsible for the state of affairs in 1640 than his predecessor.
Religious and Literary
James I’s religious tolerance, compared with that of his predecessors, permitted the continued existence of Catholicism in England and Scotland, the continuation of Calvinism in Scotland and the growth of Puritanism in England, while encouraging liturgical formality and ‘’High Church’’ practices.
On the other hand, James’s paranoia over witchcraft eventually contributed, during the Parliamentary period, to the appointment of Matthew Hopkins, known as the Witch-finder General, and the execution of many people, mostly women, often for no greater crime than being widowed and owning a cat.[citation needed]William Shakespeare continued to write under James I as he had in the reign of Elizabeth. It is not surprising that one of his most popular plays, Macbeth, shows a would-be monarch beset by witches. Shakespeare’s witches, however, fulfil a prophetic role; it is personal ambition that causes the ensuing chaos, not spells and incantations.
The king also designed the British flag in 1603 by combining England's red cross of St. George with Scotland's white cross of St. Andrew. [3] Some conclude that the term Union Jack may have come from James' name, Jac meaning Jacobus which is Latin for James, i.e. King Jac's Union [4].
In the Virginia Colony in the New World, the Jamestown Settlement, established in 1607, and the James River were named in honour of James I. In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale named his new promising "Citie of Henricus" (sic) in honour of his son, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died in 1612. Although Henricus was wiped out in the Indian Massacre of 1622, its naming survives as Henrico County, Virginia in modern times.
Name Birth Death Notes
Henry, Prince of Wales
19 February 1594
6 November 1612

Unnamed child July 1595 July 1595
Elizabeth Stuart
19 August 1596
13 February 1662
married 1613, Frederick V, Elector Palatine; had issue

Margaret Stuart 24 December 1598
March 1600
Charles I
19 November 1600
30 January 1649
married 1625, Henrietta Maria; had issue

Robert, Duke of Kintyre
18 February 1602
27 May 1602

Unnamed son May 1603 May 1603
Mary Stuart 8 April 1605
16 December 1607

Sophia Stuart 22 June 1606
28 June 1606

1607 Colony of Virginia is founded – the first permanent English settlement in North America. Virginia soon becomes one of the main areas for the arrival of enslaved Africans.
1620 The first imported Africans were brought as indentured servants, not slaves. They were required, as white indentured servants were, to serve nine years. Many were brought to the British North American colonies, specifically Jamestown, Virginia in 1620
1625 Barbados becomes an English Caribbean colony.
Qyeen for 13 Days
6 July–19 July 1553[19]
Born October 1537 Bradgate Park
daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Lady Frances Brandon Lord Guildford Dudley London
21 May 1553
no children
Died 12 February 1554
Tower of London
aged 16 (beheaded)
Lady Jane Grey (1537 – February 12, 1554), a great-granddaughter of Henry VII of England, reigned as uncrowned queen regnant of the Kingdom of England for nine days in July 1553.
Though Jane's accession, pursuant to the Will of King Edward VI, may have breached the laws of England, many powers of the land proved willing to accept her as Queen of England, even if only as part of a power-struggle to stop Henry's elder daughter, Princess Mary, a Roman Catholic, from acceding to the throne. Jane's brief rule ended, however, when the authorities revoked her proclamation as queen. The subsequent Marian régime eventually had her executed for treason.
Popular history sometimes refers to Lady Jane as "The Nine Days' Queen" (July 10 – July 19, 1553) or, less commonly, as "The Thirteen Days' Queen" (July 6 – July 19, 1553) — owing to uncertainties as to when she succeeded to the throne. Historians have taken either the day of her predecessor's death (July 6) or that of her official proclamation as Queen (July 10), as the beginning of her short reign.
Lady Jane had a reputation as one of the most learned women of her day, and the historical writer Alison Weir describes her as one of "the finest female minds of the century".
Early life and education
Jane was born at Bradgate Park near Leicester on an unknown date in 1537, the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset and his wife Lady Frances Brandon. She had two younger sisters: Lady Catherine Grey and Lady Mary Grey. Jane was well educated, knowing Latin, Greek and Hebrew as well as modern languages. Through the teachings of her tutors, she became a devoted Protestant.
Jane had a difficult childhood. Frances Brandon was an abusive and domineering woman who felt that Jane was "too weak and too gentle". Her daughter's meekness and quiet, unassuming manner irritated the bold Frances who sought to 'harden' the child with regular whippings. Devoid of a mother's love and craving affection and understanding, Jane turned to books as solace and quickly mastered the arts and the languages. At the tender age of 9, she was sent to live as the ward of Queen Catherine Parr, sixth wife and eventual widow of Jane's great-uncle, Henry VIII of England. Queen Catherine was a warm and loving woman who took the young Jane under her wings. Having never experienced any demonstration of love from her own mother, Jane basked in the warm affection she received from her Aunt Catherine and blossomed into a fine young woman. Her spirits rose and she learned to assert herself. Unfortunately, Queen Catherine died shortly after the birth of her only child, leaving the young Jane bereft of a maternal figure again.
Catherine's husband, Thomas Seymour, attempted to marry her off to his own nephew, Edward VI, but Edward had, by this time, begun to distrust almost all of his relations. In particular, he hated Thomas Seymour for his avarice and political scheming. Edward rejected the offer of his cousin's hand in marriage due to both personal and health reasons. Frances Brandon then offered Jane to Guildford Dudley, the fifth son of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, chief Councillor to Edward VI. Jane was alarmed at the prospect of becoming a daughter-in-law to John Dudley, a man she had learned to both fear and hate. She protested, and had to be strongly pressured by her parents before she agreed to marry Guildford.
This marriage eventually had a tragic effect on her life, and events following this union led Jane to her untimely and early death.
Claim to the throne
Jane's claim to the throne came through her mother, Lady Frances Brandon, the daughter of Mary Tudor (herself a daughter of King Henry VII of England) and of her second husband, Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The will of Edward VI excluded Lady Frances (who lived until 1559), so the succession passed over her and directly to her daughter Jane.
According to male primogeniture, the Suffolks — Brandons and later Greys — comprised the junior branch of the heirs of Henry VII. The 1543 Act of Succession restored both Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession, although the law continued to regard both of them as illegitimate. Furthermore, this Act authorised Henry VIII to alter the succession by his will. His last will re-enforced the succession of his three surviving children, then declared that, should none of his three children leave heirs, the throne would pass to heirs of his younger sister, Mary. Henry's will excluded the descendants of his elder sister Margaret Tudor, whose claims had primacy over those of the Suffolks, owing in part to Henry's desire to keep the English throne out of the hands of the Scots monarchs, and in part to a previous Act of Parliament of 1431 barring foreign-born persons, including royalty, from inheriting property in England.
Several Protestant nobles had become wealthy when Henry VIII closed the Catholic monasteries and divided the Church's assets among his supporters. John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, figured prominently among the Protestant nobility, and in the last years of Edward's reign had acted as Edward's principal advisor and chief minister. Northumberland, when it became clear that Edward VI would not survive long, led the faction that feared accession by Mary Tudor. This fear stemmed from the knowledge that Mary would certainly revoke the religious changes made during Edward's reign, and that she might reclaim from the nobility all former church and monastic properties in order to restore them to the Roman Catholic Church. Many Englishmen also expressed concern that Mary favoured for herself a Spanish marriage which might bring in Spanish nobles to rule England in place of Northumberland and his colleagues. Northumberland arranged for his son Guildford Dudley to marry the Protestant (and anti-Catholic) Jane, hoping through him to gain control over his new daughter-in-law and the reins of England. When informed by her parents of her betrothal, Jane refused to obey: she regarded Guildford as ugly and stupid. Historians do not know what made this seemingly quiet and obedient girl turn against precedent to refuse her parents' marriage arrangements. Jane's refusal notwithstanding, her parents forced her into submission.
The question of the succession had arisen as a result of the religious unrest that had occurred during the reign (1509–1547) of Henry VIII. When Henry's Protestant son and successor Edward VI lay dying (1553) at the age of 15, his Roman Catholic half-sister Mary held the position of Heir Presumptive to the throne. However, Edward VI named the (Protestant) heirs of his father's sister Mary Tudor (not his own half-sister Mary) as his successors in a will composed on his deathbed, perhaps under the persuasion of Northumberland. He knew that this effectively left the throne to his cousin Jane Grey, who (like him) staunchly supported Protestantism and had a very high level of education.
At the time of Edward's death, without Edward's will (which had dubious legal standing, since it ran contrary to the Act of Succession of 1543), the crown would have passed, under the terms of both the Act of Succession of 1543 and of Henry VIII's will, to Mary and her male (not female) heirs. Should Mary die without male issue, the crown would pass to Elizabeth and her male heirs. And should Elizabeth die without male issue, the crown would pass not to Frances Brandon but rather to any male children she might have produced by that time. In the absence of male children born to Frances, the crown would pass to any male children Jane might have. Jane thus did not feature in the line of succession prior to the last draft of Edward's will of June 1553. Only in the last draft did Edward finally include Jane Grey as his heir presumptive, knowing the line of succession included no Protestant-born male children. This may have contravened customary testatory law because Edward, then just 15 years old, had not legally reached the legal testatory age of 21. But more importantly, many contemporary legal theorists believed the monarch could not contravene an Act of Parliament, even in matters of the succession; Jane's claim to the throne therefore remained obviously weak.

Painting sometimes claimed to depict Lady Jane Grey; by an unknown 16th century artist.
Edward VI died on July 6, 1553. Northumberland had Lady Jane Grey proclaimed Queen of England on July 10, 1553, just four days later — once she had taken up a secure residence in the Tower of London (English monarchs customarily resided in the Tower from the time of accession until their coronation). According to some fictional accounts, [attribution needed] Northumberland tricked Jane into putting on the crown; however, she refused to name her husband as king by letters patent and deferred to Parliament. She offered to make him a duke instead.
Northumberland faced a number of key tasks in order to consolidate his power. Most importantly, he had to isolate and, ideally, capture Mary in order to prevent her from gathering support around her. Mary, however, advised of his intentions, took flight, sequestering herself in Framlingham Castle in Suffolk.

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (le Supplice de Jeanne Grey) by the French Romantic painter, Paul Delaroche, 1833.
The Protestant rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt in late January 1554 sealed Jane's fate, although she had nothing to do with it directly. Wyatt's rebellion started as a popular revolt, precipitated by the imminent marriage of Mary to the Catholic Prince Philip (later King of Spain, 1556–1598). But Jane's father (the Duke of Suffolk) and other nobles joined the rebellion, calling for Jane's restoration as Queen. Philip and his councillors pressed Mary to execute Jane to put an end to any future focus for unrest. Five days after Wyatt's arrest the execution of Jane and Guildford took place.
On the morning of February 12, 1554, the authorities took Guildford Dudley from his rooms at the Tower of London to the public execution place at Tower Hill and had him beheaded. A horse cart carried his remains back to the Tower of London, past the rooms where Jane remained as a prisoner. Jane was then taken out to Tower Green, inside the Tower of London, for a private execution. With few exceptions, private executions applied to royalty alone; Jane's private execution occurred on the orders of Queen Mary, as a gesture of respect for her cousin. John de Feckenham, who had failed to convert Jane, stayed with her during the execution. Jane had determined to go to her death with dignity, but once blindfolded, could not find the executioner's block. She had begun to panic when an unknown hand, possibly de Feckenham, helped her find her way and retain her dignity in the end.
The "traitor-heroine of the Reformation" was merely 16 years old at the time of her execution. Apparently, Frances Brandon made no attempt, pleading or otherwise, to save her daughter's life; Jane's father already awaited execution for his part in the Wyatt rebellion. Jane and Guildford are buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula on the north side of Tower Green. Queen Mary lived for only four years after she ordered the death of her cousin.
Henry Suffolk was executed a week after Jane, on 19 February 1554. Merely three weeks after her husband's death and not even a month since her daughter's, Frances Brandon shocked the English court by marrying her chamberlein, Adrian Stokes. She was also fully pardoned and allowed to live at Court with her two surviving daughters. She is not known to have mentioned Jane ever again and was indifferent to her child in death as she was in life.

1603-1625 • Dutch East India Company, founded 1602 and ceased 1798
• Virginia Company, founded 1606 and ceased 1609
• London Virginia Company, founded 1606 and ceased 1622
• Dutch West India Company, founded 1621 and ceased 1791
• Levant Company (merger of the Turkey and Venetian Companies) (1605)
• Jamestown Settlement, in 1607. The Popham Colony, which was also founded in 1607 in present-day Maine, was abandoned after one year. The Cuper's Cove settlement was founded in Newfoundland in 1610. The Plymouth Colony was founded in 1620, and, after the 1620s, a series of colonies were established along the northeast coast of North America, including the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was founded in 1630. The early colonies consisted of English farmers and gentlemen, as well as some hired foreigners (mainly woodcutters from Poland)
• Some time between 1600 and 1650 - Mahican Confederacy founded
• 1607 - Settlement of Jamestown, Virginia
• 1607 - Settlement of Popham Colony in Maine
• 1608 - Popham Colony dissolved
• 1608 - French establish colony at Quebec
• 1609 - Henry Hudson, hired by the Dutch, explores the present-day Hudson River
• 1609-1614 - First Anglo–Powhatan War
• 1609 - The United Provinces (the Netherlands) lay claim to the Hudson Valley area
• 1610 - Santa Fe becomes the capital of Nuevo México (New Mexico)
• 1611 - Settlement of Henricus, Virginia
• 1612 - Tobacco cultivation introduced to Jamestown by John Rolfe
• 1614 - The Dutch found Fort Nassau, later replaced by Fort Orange (today's Albany, New York)
• 1618 - Wolstenholme Towne, Virginia, founded about 1618
• 1619 - First African slaves arrive at Jamestown
• 1619 - Virginia House of Burgesses established
• 1620 - Mayflower Compact signed off the shore of Plymouth, Massachusetts

Edward Colston was the son of a wealthy merchant born in Bristol in 1636. He made his money initially by trading with Spain and other Mediterranean countries. However, although he went to great lengths to keep it a secret, Colston became a member of the Royal African Company in 1680 and took a very active part in the planning and financing of slaving ventures to Africa, his name appearing in the company records for 11 years.
Although closely involved with the slave trade, Colston was a popular benefactor to the City of Bristol, providing money for various charities throughout his life despite the fact that he lived in London from the time he was 18 until his death.
Azariah Pinney 1661-1720
Azariah Pinney 1661-1720
He was banished from England in 1685 because he was involved in a rebellion. He left England with £15 and sailed to the Island of Nevis in the West Indies. He was a clever businessman and he managed to make money and buy land. Using slaves he turned this land into a sugar plantation. When he die he left his sons £23,000.
John Pinney 1 1686-1720
Though he died young he added to the family fortunes. He married a rich young girl who owned a plantation next to his father's. In those days anything owned by a woman immediately belonged to her husband when they married.
John Frederick Pinney 1718-1762
He only visited Nevis twice. He left managers in charge and lived the life of a country gentleman in England. He lived well, on the money made for him by his slaves working on his plantation. When he died he left £16,000.
John Pinney II 1740-1818
He was a cousin of John Frederick who had never married. He went to Nevis in 1764. He expressed concerns about the 'rights and wrongs' of owning slaves but recognising the money he could make, convinced himself that owning slaves was acceptable. In a letter dated 1765 he wrote:
"Since my arrival I've purchased 9 Negro slaves in St Kitts ( another West Indian island)) and can assure you I was shocked at the first appearance of human flesh for sale. But surely God ordained 'em for the use and benefit of us' otherwise his Divine Will would have been made manifest to us by some particular sign or token"
For twenty years he stayed in the West Indies making his plantations as profitable as possible. He left Nevis in 1783 and came home to Bristol worth about £70,000.
In Bristol, he set up in business as a sugar merchant. He made even more money than he had as a plantation owner. He owned grand houses in the country and had a smart new town house built - 'The Georgian House' - now owned by Bristol Museum.
When he died he left £340,000
Bristol's location on the Atlantic side of Britain also aided it's participation in the slave trade. For outwardly respectable merchants 'out of sight was out of mind' ; their lust for money overcame any doubts they may have had about the moral legitimacy of the trade. Amongst the leading Bristol merchants of the time who benefited substantially from the slave trade were John Pinney and Edward Colston. But how exactly did the trade operate ?
The Trade Triangle.
The trading in slaves revolved around three separate strands of a complete voyage:

The Outward Passage
The Middle Passage
The Return Passage
The complete round trip took about 12 months and the conditions on board were hard and dangerous. Many captains of slave ships ( or 'blackbirds' as they were sometimes called ) had a reputation for cruelty, and both crew and African slaves suffered.

British colonial grants in North America (1621-1639)

This article provides a listing and map of British colonial grants in North America during the years 1621 to 1639.
Grants prior to 1621 (and not shown on the map) include Sir Humphrey Gilbert's 1578 grant for Newfoundland, the Society of Merchant Venturers, the London and Bristol Company, the Virginia Company (the London Company and the Plymouth Company) and the Plymouth Council for New England. The previously existing Jamestown Settlement, founded in 1607 by the London Company, is denoted as J.
Such grants were usually in the form of land patents, which specified the right to establish colonial settlements within a specified region. Often such patents were granted by the Crown, but at times such patents were granted secondarily, as in the case of the grant of the Province of Maine by the Plymouth Council for New England.
Often such grants were overlapping and apparently contradictory. This feature was often by design, resulting in competitive colonization within a certain area by two or more private ventures.
List of British land grants shown on map
• Nova Scotia Colony (NSc) - 1621
• Province of Maine (Me/NH) - 1622
• Massachusetts Bay Company (MBC) - 1629
• Province of New Hampshire (NH) - 1629
• Plymouth Colony (PC) - 1630
• Maryland Colony (Md) - 1632
• Territory of Sagadahock (TS) - 1635

French Company (1609)

Charles I
(19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. He famously engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England. As he was an advocate of the Divine Right of Kings, many in England feared that he was attempting to gain absolute power. There was widespread opposition to many of his actions, especially the levying of taxes without Parliament's consent.
Religious conflicts permeated Charles' reign. He married a Catholic wife, Henrietta Maria, over the objections of Parliament and public opinion. Charles further allied himself with controversial religious figures, including the ecclesiastic Richard Montagu, and William Laud, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Laud produced changes in the liturgy of the Church of England which many of Charles' subjects felt brought the Church of England too close to Roman Catholicism. Charles' later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to war that weakened England and helped precipitate his downfall.
The last years of Charles' reign were marked by the English Civil War, in which he was opposed by the forces of Parliament—who challenged his attempts to augment his own power—and by Puritans, who were hostile to his religious policies and apparent Catholic sympathy. The first Civil War (1642 - 1645) ended in defeat for Charles, after which the parliamentarians expected him to accept their demands for a constitutional monarchy. Instead, he remained defiant, provoking a second Civil War (1648 - 1649). This was considered unacceptable, and Charles was subsequently tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared. Charles' son, Charles II, became King after restoring the monarchy in 1660.
Charles is also the only person to be canonized by the Church of England since the English Reformation. [citation needed]
Early life
The second son of James VI, King of Scots and Anne of Denmark, Charles was born at Dunfermline Palace, Fife, on 19 November 1600. He was an underdeveloped child (he is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the nation's shortest king) who was still unable to walk or talk at the age of three. When Elizabeth I died in March 1603 and James VI became King of England as James I, Charles was originally left in Scotland in the care of nurses and servants because it was feared that the journey would damage his fragile health. He did make the journey in July 1604 and was subsequently placed under the charge of Alletta (Hogenhove) Carey, the Dutch-born wife of courtier Sir Robert Carey, who taught him how to walk and talk and insisted that he wear boots made of Spanish leather and brass to help strengthen his weak ankles. As an adult Charles was 5 feet 4 inches (162 cm) tall.
British Royalty

House of Stuart

Image:J1&2,C1&2 Arms.png

Charles I
Charles II

James II & VII

Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Mary, Princess Royal

Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans

Charles was not as well-regarded as his elder brother, Henry, Prince of Wales; Charles himself adored Henry and tried to emulate him. In 1605, as was then customary in the case of the Sovereign's second son, he was created Duke of York in England. Two years before, in 1603, he was created Duke of Albany in Scotland. When his elder brother died of typhoid in 1612, Charles became heir apparent and was subsequently created the Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in November 1616. His sister Elizabeth married in 1613 to Frederick V, Elector Palatine and moved to Heidelberg.
The new Prince of Wales was greatly influenced by his father's favourite courtier, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, who took him on an expedition to Spain in 1623 to look for a suitable bride, and settled on the daughter of the Spanish King Philip III, Infanta Maria Anna of Spain. No marriage occurred, however, as the Spanish demanded the Prince of Wales' conversion to Roman Catholicism. Upon their return in October, both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Buckingham demanded that James I declare war on Spain.
With the encouragement of his Protestant advisors, James summoned Parliament so that he could request subsidies for his war effort. James also requested that Parliament sanction the marriage between the Prince of Wales and Princess Henrietta Maria of France, whom Charles met in Paris whilst en route to Spain. It was a good match since she was a sister of Louis XIII (their father, Henry IV, had died during her childhood). Parliament agreed to the marriage, but was extremely critical of the prior attempt to arrange a marital alliance with Spain. James was growing senile and as a result was finding it extremely difficult to control Parliament—the same problem would later haunt Charles during his reign. During the last year of his reign, actual power was held not by him but by his eldest son and the Duke of Buckingham.
Early reign
Charles ascended the throne on 27 March 1625 and on 13 June of that year was married to Henrietta Maria, nine years his junior, by proxy. His first Parliament, which he opened in May, was opposed to his marriage to Henrietta Maria, a Roman Catholic, because it feared that Charles would lift restrictions on Roman Catholics and undermine the official establishment of Protestantism. Although he agreed with Parliament that he would not relax restrictions relating to recusants, he promised to do exactly that in a secret marriage treaty with Louis XIII. The couple were married on 13 June 1625, in Canterbury. Charles was crowned on 2 February 1626 at Westminster Abbey, but without his wife at his side due to the controversy. They had nine children, with three sons and three daughters surviving infancy.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck: Charles I painted around 1635
Distrust of Charles' religious policies was increased by the controversy surrounding the ecclesiastic Richard Montagu. In a pamphlet, Montagu argued against the teachings of John Calvin, immediately bringing himself into disrepute amongst the Puritans. A Puritan member of the House of Commons, John Pym, attacked Montagu's pamphlet during debate, prompting Montagu to request the aid of Charles I in a pamphlet entitled "Appello Caesarem" (Latin "I appeal to Caesar", a reference to an appeal against Jewish persecution made by Saint Paul the Apostle). Charles I offered the cleric his protection, leading many Puritans to take a hostile view towards him.
Charles' primary concern during his early reign was foreign policy. Frederick V, Elector Palatine, his sister Elizabeth's husband, had lost his hereditary lands in the Palatinate to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, leading to the Thirty Years' War, originally only a war to keep the Catholic Habsburgs hegemonic as the elected Kings of Bohemia, which spiralled out of control into a civil and confessional war between Protestants and Catholics in Europe. Charles was committed to help his brother-in-law regain the Palatinate by waging a war with the Catholic Spanish King Philip IV, whom he hoped he could force to intercede with the Emperor on his behalf.
Parliament preferred an inexpensive naval attack on Spanish colonies in the New World, hoping that the capture of the Spanish treasure fleets could finance the war. Charles, however, preferred more aggressive (and more expensive) action on the Continent. Parliament only voted to grant a subsidy of £140,000; an insufficient sum for Charles. Moreover, the House of Commons agreed to allow the King to collect tonnage and poundage (two varieties of customs duties), but only for a period of one year, although previous Sovereigns since 1414 had been granted the right for life. In this manner, the House of Commons hoped to keep a check on Charles's power by forcing him to seek the renewal of the grant each year.
Charles's allies in the House of Lords, led by the Duke of Buckingham, refused to pass the bill. Although no Parliamentary authority for the levy of tonnage and poundage could be obtained, Charles continued to collect the duties anyway.
Tyranny or personal rule?
In January 1629, Charles opened the second session of the Parliament which had been prorogued in June 1628. Charles saw a conspiracy at work, due to the recent assassination of Buckingham, calling his commons 'seditious'. Members of the House of Commons began to voice their opposition in light of the Rolle case. Rolle was an MP who had his goods confiscated for not paying tonnage and poundage. This was seen by many MPs as a breach of the Petition of Right, who argued that the freedom from arrest privilege extended to goods. When he requested a parliamentary adjournment in March, members held the Speaker, John Finch, down in his chair whilst three resolutions against Charles were read aloud. The last of these resolutions declared that anyone who paid tonnage or poundage not authorised by Parliament would "be reputed a betrayer of the liberties of England, and an enemy to the same". Though the resolution was not formally passed, many members declared their approval. The fact that a number of MPs had to be detained in Parliament is relevant in understanding that there was no universal opposition towards the King. Afterwards, when the Commons passed further measures displeasing to Charles, he dissolved parliament.
Charles resolved not to be forced to rely on Parliament for further monetary aid. Immediately, he made peace with France and Spain. The following eleven years, during which Charles ruled without a Parliament, have been known as both the Eleven Years Tyranny or simply as the Personal Rule. (Charles' rule without Parliament constituted a valid but nevertheless exceptional exercise of the royal prerogative. In former times such rule would have been considered just but by the middle of the 17th century it was held by many to be an exercise of absolute power).

Sir Anthony van Dyck, Charles I's court painter, created the famous "Charles I, King of England, from Three Angles", commonly known as the "Triple Portrait". This oil painting, of around 1636, was created in order that the Italian sculptor, Bernini, could create a marble bust of Charles
Even without Parliament Charles still had to acquire funds in order to maintain his treasury. Thus, relying on an all but forgotten feudal statute called 'The Distraint of Knighthood' passed in 1278, requiring anyone who earned £40 or more each year to present himself at the King's coronation so that he may join the royal army as a knight, Charles fined all individuals who failed to attend his coronation in 1626. He also reintroduced the obsolete feudal tax known as ship money which was even more unpopular. A writ issued in 1634 ordered the collection of ship money in peacetime, notwithstanding statutes of Edward I and Edward III that had prohibited the levying of such a tax except during wars. This first writ of 1634, however, did not encourage much opposition on legal grounds, but a second writ of 1635 did. Charles' third writ demanding ship money, issued in 1636, made it clear that the ancient prohibition on collecting ship money during peacetime had been swept away. Many attempted to resist payment, but Charles' judges, whose tenure depended on his "good pleasure," declared that the tax was within the King's prerogative. This action of demanding ship money to be raised in peacetime was a major cause of concern among the ruling class; however, it must be noted that it was the attempted enforcement of the Anglican and increasingly Arminian styled prayer book under Laud that precipitated the rebellion in Scotland, which ended Personal Rule in 1640.[1]
Religious conflicts
Charles wished to move the Church of England away from Calvinism in a more traditional and sacramental direction. This goal was shared by his main political adviser, Archbishop William Laud. Laud was appointed by Charles as the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633 and started a series of unpopular reforms in the Church to make it more ceremonial. Laud attempted to ensure religious uniformity by dismissing non-conformist clergymen and closing Puritan organisations. This was actively hostile to the Reformist tendencies of many of his English and Scottish subjects. His policy was obnoxious to Calvinist theology, and insisted that the Church of England's liturgy be celebrated with all of the ceremony and vestments called for by the Book of Common Prayer. Laud was also an advocate of Arminian theology, a view whose emphasis on the ability to reject salvation was viewed as heretical and virtually "Catholic" by strict Calvinists.
To punish those who refused to accept his reforms, Laud used the two most feared and most arbitrary courts in the land, the Court of High Commission and the Court of Star Chamber. The former could compel individuals to provide self-incriminating testimony, whilst the latter could inflict any punishment whatsoever (including torture), with the sole exception of death.
The lawlessness of the Court of Star Chamber under Charles I far exceeded that under any of his predecessors. Under Charles' reign, defendants were regularly hauled before the Court without indictment, due process of the law, right to confront witnesses, and their testimonies were routinely extracted by the King and his courtiers through extensive torture.
The first years of the Personal Rule were marked by peace in England, to some extent due to tighter central control. Several individuals opposed Charles' taxes and Laud's policies, however the overall trend of the early Personal Rule period is one of peace. When, however, Charles attempted to impose his religious policies in Scotland he faced numerous difficulties. The King ordered the use of a new Prayer Book modelled on the English Book of Common Prayer, which, although supported by the Scottish Bishops, was resisted by many Presbyterian Scots, who saw the new Prayer Book as a vehicle for introducing Anglicanism to Scotland. When the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland abolished Episcopalian government (that is, governance of the Church by Bishops) in 1638, replacing it with Presbyterian government (that is, governance by Elders and Deacons), Charles sought to put down what he saw as a rebellion against his authority.
In 1639, when the First Bishops' War broke out, Charles sought to collect taxes from his subjects, who refused to yield any further. Charles's war ended in a humiliating truce in June of the same year. In the Pacification of Berwick, Charles agreed to grant his Scottish subjects civil and ecclesiastical freedoms.
Charles' military failure in the First Bishops' War in turn caused a financial and military crisis for Charles, which caused the end of Personal Rule. Due to his financial weakness, Charles was forced to call Parliament into session by 1640 in an attempt to raise funds. While the ruling class grievances with the changes to government and finance during the Personal Rule period were a contributing factor in the Scottish Rebellion, it was mainly due to the key issue of religion that Charles was forced to confront the ruling class in Parliament for the first time in eleven years. In essence, it was Charles' and Laud's confrontational religious modifications that ended what the Whig historians refer to as "The Eleven Years of Tyranny".
The "Short" and "Long" Parliaments
Disputes regarding the interpretation of the peace treaty between Charles and the Church of Scotland led to further conflict. To subdue the Scots, Charles needed more money; therefore, he took the fateful step of recalling Parliament in April 1640. Although Charles offered to repeal ship money, and the House of Commons agreed to allow Charles to raise the funds for war, an impasse was reached when Parliament demanded the discussion of various abuses of power during the Personal Rule. As both sides refused to give ground on this matter, Parliament was dissolved in May 1640, less than a month after it assembled; thus, the Parliament became known as the "Short Parliament".
In the meantime, Charles attempted to defeat the Scots, but failed miserably. The humiliating Treaty of Ripon, signed after the end of the Second Bishops' War in October 1640, required the King to pay the expenses of the Scottish army he had just fought. Charles took the unusual step of summoning the magnum concilium, the ancient council of all the Peers of the Realm, who were considered the King's hereditary counsellors. The magnum concilium had not been summoned for centuries, and it has not been summoned since Charles's reign. On the advice of the peers, Charles summoned another Parliament, which, in contrast with its predecessor, became known as the Long Parliament.

Sir Anthony van Dyck. Equestrian portrait of Charles I with Seignior de St. Antoine
The Long Parliament assembled in November 1640 under the leadership of John Pym, and proved just as difficult for Charles as the Short Parliament. Although the members of the House of Commons thought of themselves as conservatives defending the King, Church and Parliamentary government against innovations in religion and the tyranny of Charles's advisors, Charles viewed many of them as dangerous rebels trying to undermine his rule.
To prevent the King from dissolving it at will, Parliament passed the Triennial Act, to which the Royal Assent was granted in February 1641. The Act required that Parliament was to be summoned at least once every three years, and that when the King failed to issue proper summons, the members could assemble on their own. In May, he assented to an even more far-reaching Act, which provided that Parliament could not be dissolved without its own consent. Charles was forced into one concession after another. He agreed to bills of attainder authorising the executions of Thomas Wentworth and William Laud. Ship money, fines in destraint of knighthood and forced loans were declared unlawful, and the hated Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission were abolished. Although he made several important concessions, Charles improved his own military position by securing the favour of the Scots. He finally agreed to the official establishment of Presbyterianism; in return, he was able to enlist considerable anti-parliamentary support.

Henrietta Maria (c. 1633) by Sir Anthony van Dyck
In November 1641, the House of Commons passed the Grand Remonstrance, denouncing all the abuses of power Charles had committed since the beginning of his reign. The tension was heightened when the Irish rebelled against Protestant English rule and rumours of Charles' complicity reached Parliament. An army was required to put down the rebellion but many members of the House of Commons feared that Charles might later use it against Parliament itself. The Militia Bill was intended to wrest control of the army from the King, but Charles refused to agree to it. However, Parliament decreed The Protestation as an attempt to lessen the conflict.
When rumours reached Charles' that Parliament intended to impeach his Catholic Queen, Henrietta Maria, he took drastic action. His wife persuaded him to arrest the five members of the House of Commons who led the anti-Stuart faction on charges of high treason, but, when the King had made his decision, she made the mistake of informing a friend who in turn alerted Parliament. Charles entered the House of Commons with an armed force on 4 January 1642, but found that his opponents had already escaped. By violating Parliament with an armed force, Charles made the breach permanent. Many in Parliament thought Charles's actions outrageous as did the corporation and City of London which moved firmly behind Parliament. Charles no longer felt safe in London and he went north to raise an army against Parliament; the Queen, at the same time, went abroad to raise money to pay for it.
Civil war
The English Civil War had not yet started, but both sides began to arm. After futile negotiations, Charles raised the royal standard (an anachronistic mediæval gesture) in Nottingham on 22 August 1642. He then set up his court at Oxford, whence his government controlled roughly the north and west of England, Parliament remaining in control of London and the south and east. Charles raised an army using the archaic method of the Commission of Array. The Civil War started on 25 October 1642 with the inconclusive Battle of Edgehill and continued indecisively through 1643 and 1644, until the Battle of Naseby tipped the military balance decisively in favour of Parliament. There followed a great number of defeats for the Royalists, and then the Siege of Oxford, from which Charles escaped in April 1646. He put himself into the hands of the Scottish Presbyterian army at Newark, and was taken to nearby Southwell while his "hosts" decided what to do with him. The Presbyterians finally arrived at an agreement with Parliament and delivered Charles to them in 1647. He was imprisoned at Holdenby House in Northamptonshire, until cornet George Joyce took him by force to Newmarket in the name of the New Model Army. At this time, mutual suspicion had developed between the New Model Army and Parliament, and Charles was eager to exploit it.
He was then transferred first to Oatlands and then to Hampton Court, where more involved but fruitless negotiations went on. He was persuaded that it would be in his best interests to escape — perhaps abroad, perhaps to France, or perhaps to the custody of Robert Hammond, Parliamentary Governor of the Isle of Wight. He decided on the last course, believing Hammond to be sympathetic, and fled on 11 November. Hammond, however, was opposed to Charles, whom he confined in Carisbrooke Castle.
From Carisbrooke, Charles continued to try to bargain with the various parties, eventually coming to terms with the Scottish Presbyterians that he would allow the establishment of Presbyterianism in England as well as Scotland for a trial period. The Royalists rose in July 1648 igniting the Second Civil War, and as agreed with Charles the Scots invaded England. Most of the uprisings in England were put down by forces loyal to Parliament after little more than skirmishes, but uprisings in Kent, Essex and Cumberland, the rebellion in Wales and the Scottish invasion involved the fighting of pitched battles and prolonged sieges. But with the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Preston, the Royalists lost any chance of winning the war.
Trial and execution
Charles was moved to Hurst Castle at the end of 1648, and thereafter to Windsor Castle. In January 1649, in response to Charles' defiance of parliament even after defeat, and his encouraging the second Civil War while in captivity, the House of Commons passed an Act of Parliament creating a court for Charles's trial. After the first Civil War, the parliamentarians still accepted the premise that the King, although wrong, had been able to justify his fight as honourable. It was now felt that by provoking the second Civil War even while defeated and in captivity, Charles showed himself incorrigible, dishonourable, and responsible for unjustifiable bloodshed.
The idea of trying a king was a novel one; previous monarchs had been deposed, but had never been brought to trial as monarchs. The High Court of Justice established by the Act consisted of 135 Commissioners (all firm Parliamentarians); the prosecution was led by Solicitor General John Cook.
His trial on charges of high treason and "other high crimes" began on 2 January 1649, but Charles refused to enter a plea, claiming that no court had jurisdiction over a monarch. He believed that his own authority to rule had been given to him by God when he was crowned and anointed, and that the power wielded by those trying him was simply that which grew out of a barrel of gunpowder. The court, by contrast, proposed that no man is above the law. Over a period of a week, when Charles was asked to plead three times, he refused. It was then normal practice to take a refusal to plead as pro confesso: an admission of guilt, which meant that the prosecution could not call witnesses to its case. However, the trial did hear witnesses. Fifty-nine of the Commissioners signed Charles' death warrant, on 29 January 1649. After the ruling, he was led from St. James's Palace, where he was confined, to the Palace of Whitehall, where an execution scaffold had been erected in front of the Banqueting House.

This contemporary German print depicts Charles I's decapitation
When Charles was beheaded on 30 January 1649, it is reputed that he wore two shirts as to prevent the cold January weather causing any noticeable shivers that the crowd could have been mistaken for fear or weakness. He put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke.
Phillip Henry records that moments after the execution, a moan was heard from the assembled crowd, some of whom then dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, thus starting the cult of the Martyr King. However no other eyewitness source including Samuel Pepys records this. Henry's account was written during the Restoration, some 12 years after the event. Henry was 19 when the King was executed and he and his family were Royalist propaganda writers.[2]
There is some debate over the identity of the man who beheaded the King, who was masked at the scene. It is known that the Commissioners approached Richard Brandon, the common Hangman of London, but that he refused, and contemporary sources do not generally identify him as the King's headsman. Ellis's Historical Inquiries, however, names him as the executioner, contending that he stated so before dying. It is possible he relented and agreed to undertake the commission, but there are others who have been identified. An Irishman named Gunning is widely believed to have beheaded Charles, and a plaque naming him as the executioner is on show in Galway, Ireland. William Hewlett was convicted of regicide after the Restoration.[3] In 1661, two people identified as "Dayborne and Bickerstaffe" were arrested but then discharged. Henry Walker, a revolutionary journalist, or his brother William, were suspected but never charged. Various local legends around England name local worthies. An examination performed in 1813 at Windsor suggests that the execution was done by an experienced headsman.
It was common practice for the head of a traitor to be held up and exhibited to the crowd with the words "Behold the head of a traitor!"; although Charles' head was exhibited, the words were not used. In an unprecedented gesture, one of the revolutionary leaders, Oliver Cromwell, allowed the King's head to be sewn back on his body so the family could pay its respects. Charles was buried in private and at night on 7 February 1649, in the Henry VIII vault inside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The King's son, King Charles II, later planned an elaborate royal mausoleum, but it was never built.
Ten days after Charles's execution, a memoir purporting to be from Charles's hand appeared for sale. This book, the Eikon Basilike (Greek: the "Royal Portrait"), contained an apologia for royal policies, and proved an effective piece of royalist propaganda. William Levett, Charles's groom of the bedchamber, who had accompanied Charles on the day of his execution, would later swear in a statement that he had witnessed the King writing the Eikon Basilike. John Cooke published the speech he would have delivered if Charles had entered a plea, while Parliament commissioned John Milton to write a rejoinder, the Eikonoklastes ("The Iconoclast"), but the response made little headway against the pathos of the royalist book.
Various prodigies were recorded in the contemporary popular press in relation to the execution - a beached whale at Dover died within an hour of the King; a falling star appeared that night over Whitehall; a man who had said that the King deserved to die had his eyes pecked out by crows.

Memorial to Charles I at Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
With the monarchy overthrown, power was assumed by a Council of State, which included Oliver Cromwell, then Lord General of the Parliamentary Army. The Long Parliament (known by then as the Rump Parliament) which had been called by Charles I in 1640 continued to exist until Cromwell forcibly disbanded it in 1653. Cromwell then became Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland; a monarch in all but name: he was even "invested" on the royal coronation chair. Upon his death in 1658, Cromwell was briefly succeeded by his son, Richard Cromwell. Richard Cromwell was an ineffective ruler, and the Long Parliament was reinstated in 1659. The Long Parliament dissolved itself in 1660, and the first elections in twenty years led to the election of a Convention Parliament which restored Charles I's eldest son to the monarchy as Charles II.
Upon the Restoration, Charles II added a commemoration of his father—to be observed on 30 January, the date of the execution—to the Book of Common Prayer. In the time of Queen Victoria this was however removed due to popular discontent with the commemorating of a dead monarch with a major feast day of the Church; now, 30 January is only listed as a "Lesser Festival". There are several Anglican/Episcopal churches dedicated to Charles I as "King and Martyr", in England, Canada, Australia and the United States. The Society of King Charles the Martyr was established in 1894 by one Mrs. Greville-Negent, assisted by Fr. James Fish, rector of St Margaret Pattens, London. The objectives of the SKCM include prayer for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, promoting a wider observance of 30 January in commemoration of Charles' "martyrdom", and the reinstatement of his feast day in the Book of Common Prayer. King Charles is regarded as a martyr by some Anglicans for his notion of "Christian Kingship", and as a "defender of the Anglican faith".
The Colony of Carolina in North America was named for Charles I. Carolina later separated into North Carolina and South Carolina, which eventually declared independence from England during the formation of the United States. To the north in the Virginia Colony, Cape Charles, the Charles River, Charles River Shire and Charles City Shire were named for him. Charles City Shire survives almost 400 years later as Charles City County, Virginia. The Virginia Colony is now the Commonwealth of Virginia (one of the four U.S. states that are called commonwealths), and retains its official nickname of "The Old Dominion" bestowed by Charles II because it had remained loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War.
Style and arms
The official style of Charles I was "Charles, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc." (The claim to France was only nominal, and was asserted by every English King since Edward III, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.) The authors of his death warrant, however, did not wish to use the religious portions of his title. It only referred to him as "Charles Stuart, King of England".
Whilst he was King, Charles I's arms were: Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland).
Charles I's ancestors in three generations
Charles I of England Father:
James I of England
Paternal Grandfather:
Henry Stuart, Duke of Albany
Paternal Great-grandfather:
4th Earl of Lennox

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Margaret Douglas

Paternal Grandmother:
Mary I, Queen of Scots
Paternal Great-grandfather:
James V of Scotland

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Marie de Guise

Anne of Denmark
Maternal Grandfather:
Frederick II of Denmark
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Christian III of Denmark

Maternal Great-grandmother:
Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg

Maternal Grandmother:
Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Ulrich III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth of Denmark

[edit] Marriage and Issue

Painting of Charles I's children. The future Charles II is depicted at centre, stroking the dog
Charles was father to a total of nine legitimate children, two of whom would eventually succeed him as king. Several other children died in childhood.
Charles is also believed to have had a daughter, prior to his marriage with Henrietta Maria. Her name was Joanna Brydges, born 1619-20, the daughter of a Miss Brydges ("a member of a younger branch of the ancient Kentish family of that name" ), possibly from the line of Brydges of Chandos and Sudeley. Joanna Brydges who was provided for by the estate of Mandinam, Carmarthenshire, was brought up in secrecy at Glamorgan, Wales. She went on to become second wife to Bishop Jeremy Taylor, author of "Holy Living" and "Holy Dying" and chaplain to both Archbishop Laud and Charles I. The Bishop and his wife Joanna Brydges left for Ireland, where Jeremy Taylor became Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore in 1660. Joanna Brydges and Jeremy Taylor had several children, including two daughters, Joanna Taylor(Harrison) and Mary Taylor (Marsh).[4][5][6]
Name Birth Death Notes
Charles James, Duke of Cornwall 13 March 1629
13 March 1629

Charles II, King of England
29 May 1630
6 February 1685
Married Catherine of Braganza (1638 - 1705) in 1663. No legitimate issue. Believed to have fathered such illegitimate children as James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, who later rose against James II.
Mary, Princess Royal
4 November 1631
24 December 1660
Married William II, Prince of Orange (1626 - 1650) in 1648. Had issue.
James II, King of England
14 October 1633
16 September 1701
Married (1) Anne Hyde (1637 - 1671) in 1659. Had issue;
Married (2) Mary of Modena (1658 - 1718) in 1673. Had issue.
Elizabeth, Princess of England 29 December 1635
8 September 1650
No issue.
Anne, Princess of England
17 March 1637
8 December 1640
Died young. No issue.
Catherine, Princess of England 29 January 1639
29 January 1639

Henry, Duke of Gloucester
8 July 1640
18 September 1660
No issue.
Henrietta Anne, Princess of England
16 June 1644
30 June 1670
Married Philip I, Duke of Orléans (1640 - 1701) in 1661. Had issue
Preceded by
James I/VI
King of England
27 March 1625–30 January 1649
Succeeded by
Commonwealth of England, Oliver Cromwell (de facto)
Charles II (de jure)
King of Scots
27 March 1625–30 January 1649
Succeeded by
Charles II (de jure)
The Covenanters, (de facto)
King of Ireland
27 March 1625–30 January 1649
Succeeded by
Charles II (de jure)
Council of State, Oliver Cromwell (de facto)
New Title Duke of Albany
1603–1625 Merged in crown
New Title Duke of York
Preceded by
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Lord of the Isles, Duke of Rothesay and Earl of Chester
1612–1625 Succeeded by
Charles II of England

Earl of Carrick
1612–1625 Vacant
Title next held by
John Stewart, 1st Earl of Carrick

1641 - Massachusetts becomes the first colony to legalize slavery.
1636-1721 Edward Colston Colston was a Bristol merchant who was involved in the transatlantic slave trade as an official of the London-based Royal African Company (a trading company that specialised in the trade with Africa).
1625-1649 • Massachusetts Bay Company (1629)
• Providence Island Company
Item 20 of The Grand Remonstrance,[6] a list of grievances against Charles I and presented to him in 1641, contains the following:
"20. And although all this was taken upon pretence of guarding the seas, yet a new unheard-of tax of ship-money was devised, and upon the same pretence, by both which there was charged upon the subject near £700,000 some years, and yet the merchants have been left so naked to the violence of the Turkish pirates, that many great ships of value and thousands of His Majesty's subjects have been taken by them, and do still remain in miserable slavery."
The seventeenth century was perhaps the bloodiest in Ireland's history. Two periods of civil war (1641-53 and 1689-91) caused huge loss of life and resulted in the final dispossession of the Irish Catholic landowning class and their subordination under the Penal Laws.
In the mid-seventeenth century, Ireland was convulsed by eleven years of warfare, beginning with the Rebellion of 1641, when Irish Catholics rebelled against English and Protestant domination, in the process massacring thousands of Protestant settlers. The Catholic gentry briefly ruled the country as Confederate Ireland (1642-1649) against the background of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms until Oliver Cromwell re-conquered Ireland in 1649-1653 on behalf of the English Commonwealth. Cromwell's conquest was the most brutal phase of a brutal war. By its close, up to a third of Ireland's pre-war population was dead or in exile. As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all lands owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to British settlers. Several hundred remaining native landowners were transplanted to Connacht.
Ireland became the main battleground after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when the Catholic James II left London and the English Parliament replaced him with William of Orange. The wealthier Irish Catholics backed James to try to reverse the remaining Penal Laws and land confiscations, whereas Protestants supported William to preserve their property in the country. James and William fought for the Kingdom of Ireland in the Williamite War, most famously at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, where James's outnumbered forces were defeated. Jacobite resistance was finally ended after the Battle of Aughrim in July 1691. The Penal Laws that had been relaxed somewhat after the English Restoration were re-enacted more thoroughly after this war, as the Protestant elite wanted to ensure that the Irish Catholic landed classes would not be in a position to repeat their rebellions of the 17th century.

Commonwealth and Protectorate
Oliver Cromwell (April 25, 1599–September 3, 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for making England a republic and leading the Commonwealth of England. He was a mid-gentry yeoman farmer for the first forty years of his life; a religious conversion experience made religion the central fact of his life and actions. A brilliant soldier (called "Old Ironsides") he rose from the ranks to command the army. Politically he took control of England, Scotland, and Ireland as Lord Protector, from December 16, 1653 until his death. Cromwell is a very controversial figure in English history—a regicidal dictator to some historians (such as David Hume and Christopher Hill(only in his later works, as he originally championed Cromwell)) and a hero of liberty to others (such as Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner.)
Cromwell's career is full of contradictions. He was a regicide who debated whether to accept the crown himself and decided not to—though ironically he had more power than Charles I. He was a parliamentarian who ordered his soldiers to dissolve parliaments. Under his rule, the Protectorate advocated religious liberty of conscience but allowed blasphemers to be tortured. He advocated equitable justice but imprisoned those who criticised his raising taxation outside the agreement of Parliament. Admirers hail him as a strong, stabilising and stately leader who brought international respect, overthrew tyranny and promoted republicanism and liberty. In a BBC poll of 100 Greatest Britons, he was voted number 10. Cromwell's critics ridiculed him as an overly ambitious hypocrite who betrayed the cause of liberty, imposed puritanical values and showed scant respect for the nation's traditions. When the Royalists returned to power, his corpse was dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.
Early years: 1599–1640
Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on 25 April 1599. He was descended from Catherine Cromwell (born circa 1482), an older sister of Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell. Catherine was married to Morgan ap Williams, son of William ap Yevan of Wales and Joan Tudor. The family line continued through Richard Cromwell (c. 1500–1544), Henry Cromwell (c. 1524–January 6, 1603), then to Oliver's father Robert Cromwell (c. 1560–1617), who married Elizabeth Steward or Stewart (1564–1654) on the day of Cromwell's birth. Thus Thomas was Oliver's second great-granduncle.
Records survive of Cromwell's baptism and of his attendance at Huntingdon grammar school. He went on to study at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, which was then a recently founded college with a strong puritan ethos. He left in June 1617 without taking a degree, immediately after the death of his father. Early biographers claim he then attended Lincoln’s Inn, but there is no record of him in the Inn’s archives. He is likely to have returned home to Huntingdon, given that his mother was widowed, his seven sisters were unmarried, and there was hence a need to take charge of the family.[1]
The crucial event of the 1620s was his marriage to Elizabeth Bourchier (1598–1665) on 22 August 1620. They had seven children; his successor Richard Cromwell (1626–1712) was the third son.[2] Her father Sir James Bourchier was a London merchant who owned extensive land in Essex and had strong connections with puritan gentry families there. The marriage brought Cromwell into contact with Oliver St John and also with leading members of the London merchant community, and behind them the influence of the earls of Warwick and Holland. Membership of this godly network would prove crucial to Cromwell’s military and political career. At this stage, though, there is little evidence of Cromwell’s own religion. His letter in 1626 to Henry Downhall, an Arminian minister, suggests that Cromwell had yet to be influenced by radical puritanism.[3] However, there is evidence that Cromwell went through a period of personal crisis during the late 1620s and early 1630s. He sought treatment for valde melancolicus (depression) from London doctor Theodore Mayerne in 1628. He was also caught up in a fight amongst the gentry of Huntingdon over a new charter for the town, as a result of which he was called before the Privy Council in 1630.[4]
In 1631 Cromwell sold most of his properties in Huntingdon—probably as a result of the dispute—and moved to a farmstead in St Ives. This was a major step down in society and seems to have had a major emotional and spiritual impact. A 1638 letter is a conversion account of how after having been "the chief of sinners", he had been called to be among "the congregation of the firstborn".[5] By 1638, it is likely that Cromwell was a committed puritan, firmly associated with the Independent vision of religious freedom for all Protestants. He had also established important family links to leading godly families in Essex and London. In his own eyes, he had come through a period of crisis by virtue of God’s providence.
[edit] Member of Parliament: 1628–1629 and 1640–1642
Cromwell became the Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in the Parliament of 1628–1629, as a client of the Montagus. He made little impression—records for the Parliament are largely complete, and show only one speech (against the Arminian Bishop Richard Neile) that was poorly received.[6]
Charles I ruled without a Parliament for the next eleven years (having dissolved Parliament, of which Cromwell was a member, in 1629). When Charles was facing a Scottish rebellion known as the Bishops War, he was forced by shortage of funds to call a Parliament again in 1640. This parliament only lasted 4 weeks. As in 1628, it is likely that he owed his position to the patronage of others, which would explain the fact that in the first week of the Parliament he was in charge of presenting a petition for the release of John Lilburne, who had become a puritan martyr after being arrested for importing religious tracts from Holland. For the first two years of the Long Parliament, Cromwell was linked to the group of aristocrats in the Lords he had already established links with in the 1630s, such as the earls of Essex, Warwick and Bedford, and Viscount Saye and Sele.[7] At this stage, the group had an agenda of godly reformation: the executive checked by regular parliaments, and the moderate extension of liberty of conscience. In May 1641, for example, it was Cromwell who put forward the second reading of the Annual Parliaments Bill, and who later took a role in drafting the Root and Branch Bill for the abolition of episcopacy.[8]
Cromwell himself, though intensely religious, was little concerned with the outward forms of religion, and did not affiliate himself with any confessional group, such as the independents or Presbyterians. Instead he sought a broad religious liberty in the belief that all the Protestant faiths contained some elements of God's truth, and hoping they would coalesce.[9]
Military Commander: 1642–1646

Oliver Cromwell
Failure to resolve the issues before the Long Parliament led to armed conflict between Parliamentarians and Royalists in the autumn of 1642. Support for Parliament tended to be concentrated in London, the South-East and the Midlands, whereas the Royalists gathered most of their support from the North, the West Country and Wales.[10]
Before joining the Parliamentary Army, Cromwell's only military experience was in the trained bands, the local county militia. Now 43 years old, he recruited a cavalry troop in Cambridgeshire after blocking a shipment of silver from Cambridge colleges that was meant for the king. Cromwell and his troop fought at the indecisive battle of Edgehill in October 1642. The troop was recruited to be a full regiment in the winter of 1642/3, making up part of the Eastern Association under the Earl of Manchester. Cromwell gained experience and victories in a number of successful actions in East Anglia in 1643, notably at the battle of Gainsborough on July 28.[11] After this he was made governor of Ely and made a colonel in the Eastern Association.
By the time of the Battle of Marston Moor in July, 1644, Cromwell had risen to the rank of Lieutenant General of horse in Manchester's army. The success of his cavalry in breaking the ranks of the Royalist horse and then attacking their infantry from the rear at Marston Moor was a major factor in the Parliamentarian victory in the battle. Cromwell fought at the head of his troops in the battle and was wounded in the head. Marston Moor secured the north of England for the Parliamentarians, but failed to end Royalist resistance. The indecisive outcome of the second Battle of Newbury in October meant that by the end of 1644, the war still showed no signs of ending. Cromwell's experience at Newbury, where Manchester had let the King's armed slip out of an encircling manouvre, led to a serious dispute with Manchester, whom he believed to be less than enthusiastic in his conduct of the war. Manchester later accused Cromwell of recruiting men of "low birth" into the army, to which he replied: "If you choose godly honest men to be captains of horse, honest men will follow them... I would rather have a plain russet-coated captain who knows what he fights for and loves what he knows than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else".[12] At this time, Cromwell also fell into dispute with Major-General Lawrence Crawford, a Scottish Covenanter Presbyterian attached to Manchester's army, who objected to Cromwell's encouragement of unorthodox Independents and Anabaptists. Cromwell's differences with the Scots (at that time allies of the Parliament) would later develop into outright enmity in 1648 and in 1650-51.
Partly in response to the failure to capitalise on their victory at Marston Moor, the Parliament passed the Self-Denying Ordinance in early 1645. This forced members of Parliament such as Manchester to choose between civil office and military command. All of them — with the exception of Cromwell, who was exempted — chose to renounce their military positions. The Ordinance also decreed that the army be "remodeled" on a national basis, replacing the old county associations. In April 1645 the New Model Army finally took to the field, with Sir Thomas Fairfax in command and Cromwell as Lieutenant-General of cavalry, and second-in-command. By this time, the Parliamentarian's field army outnumbered the King's by roughly two to one. At the Battle of Naseby in June 1645, the New Model Army smashed the King's major army. Cromwell led his wing with great success at Naseby, again routing the Royalist cavalry. At the battle of Langport on July 10, Cromwell participated in the defeat of the last sizable Royalist field army. Naseby and Langport effectively ended the King's hopes of victory and the subsequent Parliamentarian campaigns involved taking the remaining fortified Royalist positions in the west of England. In October 1645, Cromwell besieged and took Basing House, where he was accused of killing 100 of the 300 man Royalist garrison there after they had surrendered.[13] Cromwell also took part in sieges at Bridgwater, Sherborne, Bristol, Devizes, and Winchester, then spending the first half of 1646 mopping up resistance in Devon and Cornwall. Charles I surrendered to the Scots on May 5, 1646, effectively ending the First English Civil War. Cromwell and Fairfax took the formal surrender of the Royalists at Oxford in June.
Cromwell had no formal training in military tactics, and followed the common practice of ranging his cavalry in three ranks and pressing forward. This method relied on impact rather than firepower. His strengths were in an instinctive ability to lead and train his men, and in his moral authority. In a war fought mostly by amateurs, these strengths were significant, and are likely to have contributed to the discipline of Cromwell’s cavalry.[14]
Politics: 1647–1649
In February 1647 Cromwell suffered from an illness that kept him out of political life for over a month. By the time of his recovery, the Parliamentarians were split over the issue of the king. A majority in both Houses pushed for a settlement that would pay off the Scottish army, disband much of the New Model Army, and restore Charles I in return for a Presbyterian settlement of the Church. Cromwell rejected the Scottish model of Presbyterianism, which threatened to replace one authoritarian hierarchy with another. The New Model Army, radicalised by the failure of the Parliament to pay the wages it was owed, petitioned against these changes, but the Commons declared the petition unlawful. During May 1647, Cromwell was sent to the army's headquarters in Saffron Walden to negotiate with them, but failed to reach agreement. In June 1647, a troop of cavalry under Cornet George Joyce seized the king from Parliament's imprisonment. Although Cromwell is known to have met with Joyce on 31 May, it is impossible to be sure what Cromwell's role in this event was.[15]
Cromwell and Henry Ireton then drafted a manifesto—the "Heads of Proposals"—designed to check the powers of the executive, set up regularly elected parliaments, and restore a non-compulsory episcopalian settlement.[16] Many in the army, such as the Levellers led by John Lilburne, thought this was insufficient demanding full political equality for all men, leading to tense debates in Putney during the autumn of 1647 between Cromwell, Ireton and the army. The Putney Debates ultimately broke up without reaching a resolution.[17] Cromwell would later have to use force to put down the most radical elements within the New Model in May of 1649. The debates, and the escape of Charles I from Hampton Court on 12 November, are likely to have hardened Cromwell's resolve against the king.
The failure to conclude a political agreement with the king eventually led to the outbreak of the Second English Civil War in 1648, when the King tried to regain power by force of arms. Cromwell first put down a Royalist uprising in south Wales and then marched north to deal with a pro-Royalist Scottish army (the Engagers) who had invaded England. At Preston, Cromwell, in sole command for the first time with an army of 9,000, won a brilliant victory against an army twice that size comprising the Scots allies of the king.[18]
During 1648, Cromwell's letters and speeches became drenched in biblical imagery, many of them meditations on the meaning of particular passages. For example, after the battle of Preston, study of Psalms 17 and 105 led him to tell parliament that "they that are implacable and will not leave troubling the land may be speedily destroyed out of the land". A letter to Oliver St John in September 1648 urged him to read Isaiah 8, in which the kingdom falls and only the godly survive. This letter suggests that it was Cromwell's faith, rather than a commitment to radical politics, coupled with parliament's decision to engage in negotiations with the king at the Treaty of Newport, that led him to realise that God had spoken against both the king and Parliament as lawful authorities. For Cromwell, the army was now God's chosen instrument.[19] The episode shows Cromwell’s firm belief in "Providentialism"—that God was actively directing the affairs of the world, through the actions of "chosen people" (whom God had "provided" for such purposes). Cromwell believed, during the Civil Wars, that he was one of these people, and he interpreted victories as indications of God's approval of his actions, and defeats as signs that God was directing him in another direction.
In December 1648, those MPs who wished to continue negotiations with the King were prevented from sitting by a troop of soldiers headed by Colonel Thomas Pride, an episode soon to be known as Pride's Purge. Those remaining, known as the Rump Parliament, agreed that Charles should be tried on a charge of treason. Cromwell was still in the north of England, dealing with Royalist resistance when these events took place. However, after he returned to London, on the day after Pride's Purge, he became a determined supporter of the King's trial and execution. He believed that killing Charles was the only way to bring the civil wars to an end. A court was duly constituted, and the death warrant for Charles was eventually signed by 59 of its members, including Cromwell. Charles was executed on January 30, 1649. This was the first time a monarch had ever been publicly executed in recorded history. The Royalists, meanwhile had regrouped in Ireland, having signed a treaty with the Irish Confederate Catholics. Preparations for an invasion of Ireland occupied Cromwell in the subsequent months. After quelling Leveller mutinies at Andover and Burford in May, Cromwell departed for Ireland from Bristol at the end of July.

Half-Crown coin of Oliver Cromwell, 1658. The inscription reads OLIVAR.D.G.RP.ANG.SCO.ET.HIB&cPRO (OLIVARIUS DEI GRATIA REIPUBLICÆ ANGLIÆ SCOTIÆ ET HIBERNIÆ ET CETERA PROTECTOR), meaning "Oliver, by the Grace of God Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland et cetera". The "et cetera" refers to the residual claim of England to the throne of France; which even Cromwell was not prepared to renounce.
Irish Campaign: 1649–50
See also: Cromwellian conquest of Ireland and Irish Confederate Wars
Cromwell led a Parliamentary invasion of Ireland from 1649–50, with the twin aims of eliminating the military threat posed by the alliance of the Irish Confederate Catholics and English Royalists (signed in 1649) to the Commonwealth and punishing the Irish for their rebellion of 1641. The English Parliament had long planned to re-conquer Ireland since 1641 and had already sent an invasion force there in 1647. Cromwell's invasion of 1649, however, was much larger and, with the civil war in England over, could be regularly reinforced and re-supplied. By the summer of 1649, the Irish-Royalist alliance was judged to be the biggest single threat facing the Commonwealth. Cromwell wrote, "I had rather be overthrown by a Cavalierish interest than a Scotch interest; I had rather be overthrown by a Scotch interest than an Irish interest and I think of all this is the most dangerous".[20]
Cromwell's nine month military campaign was brief and effective, though it did not end the war in Ireland. Before his invasion, Parliamentarian forces held only outposts in Dublin and Derry. When he departed Ireland, they occupied most of the eastern and northern parts of the country. After his landing at Dublin on August 15, 1649 (itself only recently secured for the Parliament at the battle of Rathmines), Cromwell took the fortified port towns of Drogheda and Wexford to secure logistical supply from England. At the siege of Drogheda in September 1649, Cromwell's troops massacred nearly 3,500 people after the town's capture—comprising around 2,700 Royalist soldiers and all the men in the town carrying arms, including some civilians, prisoners, and Roman Catholic priests.[21] At the Siege of Wexford in October, another massacre took place under confused circumstances. While Cromwell himself was trying to negotiate surrender terms, the New Model Army soldiers broke into the town, killed 2,000 Irish troops and up to 1,500 civilians and burned much of the town.[22] These actions still have resonance in Irish nationalist historical memory. The two atrocities, while horrifying in their own right, were not exceptional in the war in Ireland since its start in 1641, but are well-remembered even today. In part this is because of a concerted propaganda campaign by the Royalists, which portrayed Cromwell as a tyrant who indiscriminately slaughtered civilians wherever he went. This theme has been continued in histories and literature up to the present day. James Joyce, for example, mentioned Drogheda in his novel Ulysses: "What about sanctimonious Cromwell and his ironsides that put the women and children of Drogheda to the sword with the bible text God is love pasted round the mouth of his cannon?".
After the fall of Drogheda, Cromwell sent a column north to Ulster to secure the north of the country and went on to besiege Waterford, Kilkenny and Clonmel in Ireland's south-east. Kilkenny surrendered on terms, as did many other towns like New Ross and Carlow, but Cromwell failed to take Waterford and at the siege of Clonmel in May 1650, he lost up to 2000 men in abortive assaults before the town surrendered.[23] One of his major victories in Ireland was diplomatic rather than military. With the help of Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery, Cromwell persuaded the Protestant Royalist troops in Cork to change sides and fight with the Parliament[24] At this point, word reached Cromwell that Charles II had landed in Scotland and been proclaimed king by the Covenanter regime. Cromwell therefore returned to England from Youghal on May 26 1650 to counter this threat.[25] The Parliamentarian conquest of Ireland dragged on for almost three years after Cromwell's departure. The campaigns under Cromwell's successors Henry Ireton and Edmund Ludlow mostly consisted of long sieges of fortified cities and guerrilla warfare in the countryside. The last Catholic held town, Galway, surrendered in April 1652 and the last Irish troops capitulated in April of the following year.[26]
Debate over Cromwell's actions in Ireland
The extent of Cromwell's alleged brutality in Ireland has been strongly debated. Though there were some atrocities committed, it was not an act of genocide against the Irish. It is clear that Cromwell saw the Irish Catholics in general as enemies. During the civil wars, the Parliamentarian side in particular nursed a hatred towards the Catholic Irish, who were long seen as "savages" and inferior by the English. A desire for revenge for the massacres of the 1641 Irish Rebellion against English rule added to the general climate of Protestant hostility.[27] Cromwell's hostility to them was religious as well as political. He was passionately opposed to the Roman Catholic Church, which he saw as denying the primacy of the Bible in favour of papal and clerical authority, and which he blamed for tyranny and persecution of Protestants in Europe.[28] Cromwell's association between Catholicism and persecution were deepened with the Irish Rebellion of 1641. This rebellion was marked by massacres by native Irish Catholics of English and Scottish Protestant settlers in Ireland, which were wildly exaggerated in puritan circles in Britain (from 4,000 killed to 120,000). These factors contributed to Cromwell's harshness in his military campaign in Ireland.[29]
In September 1649, he justified his sack of Drogheda as revenge for the massacres of Protestant settlers in Ulster in the Irish Rebellion of 1641, calling the massacre "the righteous judgement of God on these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands with so much innocent blood".[30] Drogheda had in fact never been held by the rebels in 1641—many of its garrison were in fact English Royalists. Addressing the Irish defenders of New Ross in 1649, who were negotiating the surrender of the town, Cromwell stated, "I meddle not with any man's conscience, but if by liberty of conscience you mean the liberty to exercise the Mass... where the Parliament of England has authority, that will not be allowed of." In a letter to the Irish Catholic Bishops later that year he wrote, "you are part of the Anti-Christ and before long you must have, all of you, blood to drink."[31] Moreover, the records of many churches such as Kilkenny Cathedral accuse Cromwell's army of having defaced and desecrated the churches, another case of a desecrated church by Cromwell is widely reported in southern Galway in Killeely part of parish of Clarinbridge.
On the other hand, on entering Ireland, Cromwell demanded that no supplies were to be seized from the civilian inhabitants, and that everything should be fairly purchased; "I do hereby warn....all Officers, Soldiers and others under my command not to do any wrong or violence toward Country People or any persons whatsoever, unless they be actually in arms or office with the they shall answer to the contrary at their utmost peril". Several English soldiers were in fact hanged for disobeying these orders.[32]
With regard to the massacre at Drogheda, Cromwell's orders followed military protocol of the day, in which a town or garrison was first given the option to surrender and receive just treatment, and the protection of the invading force. The refusal of the garrison at Drogheda to do this, even after the walls had been breached, meant that Cromwell's orders—"In the heat of the action, I forbade them to spare any that were in arms in the town"—was severe, but not unusual by the standards of the day.[33] Cromwell wanted his severity at Drogheda to act as a deterrent to Irish resistance, saying "it will tend to prevent effusion of blood for the future, which are satisfactory grounds for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret".[34] Moreover, where Cromwell negotiated the surrender of fortified towns, as at Carlow, New Ross, and Clonmel, he respected the terms of surrender and protected the lives and property of the townspeople.[35]
Cromwell never accepted that he was responsible for the killing of civilians in Ireland, claiming that he had acted harshly, but only against those "in arms". In fact, the worst atrocities committed in Ireland, such as mass evictions, killings and deportation for slave labour to Bermuda and Barbados, were carried out by Cromwell's subordinates after he had left for England.[36]
William Petty estimated in his demographic survey of Ireland in the 1650s that the war of 1641–53 had resulted in the death or exile of over 600,000 people, or around one third of Ireland's pre-war population.[37] In the wake of the Cromwellian conquest, the public practice of Catholicism was banned and Catholic priests were executed when captured. In addition, roughly 12,000 Irish people were sold into slavery under the Commonwealth[38] All Catholic-owned land was confiscated in the Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652 and given to Scottish and English settlers, the Parliament's financial creditors and Parliamentary soldiers. The remaining Catholic landowners were allocated poorer land in Connacht. Under the Commonwealth, Catholic landownership dropped from 60% of the total to just 8%. (see Plantations of Ireland).[39]
Cromwell is still a figure of hatred in Ireland, his name being associated with massacre, religious persecution, and mass dispossession of the Catholic community there. A traditional Irish curse was malacht Cromail ort or "The curse of Cromwell upon you". This saying is still occasionally heard in parts of Ireland.
Scottish Campaign: 1650–1651
Cromwell left Ireland in May 1650 and several months later, invaded Scotland after the Scots had proclaimed Charles I's son as Charles II. Cromwell was much less hostile to Scottish Presbyterians, some of whom had been his allies in the First English Civil War, than he was to Irish Catholics. He described the Scots as, "a people fearing His [God's] name, though deceived".[40] He made a famous appeal to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, urging them to see the error of the royal alliance—I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.[41]
His appeal rejected, Cromwell's veteran troops went on to invade Scotland. At first, the campaign went badly, as Cromwell's men were short of supplies and held up at fortifications manned by Scottish troops under David Leslie. Cromwell was on the brink of evacuating his army by sea from Dunbar. However, on September 3 1650, in an unexpected battle, Cromwell smashed the main Covenanter army at the battle of Dunbar, killing 4,000 Scottish soldiers, taking another 10,000 prisoner and then capturing the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.[42] The victory was of such a magnitude that Cromwell called it, "A high act of the Lord's Providence to us [and] one of the most signal mercies God hath done for England and His people[43] The following year, Charles II and his Scottish allies made a desperate attempt to invade England and capture London while Cromwell was engaged in Scotland. Cromwell followed them south and caught them at Worcester in September. At the subsequent Battle of Worcester, Cromwell's forces destroyed the last major Scottish Royalist army. Many of the Scottish prisoners of war taken in the campaigns died of disease, and others were sent to penal colonies in Barbados. In the final stages of the Scottish campaign, Cromwell's men, under George Monck sacked the town of Dundee. During the Commonwealth, Scotland was ruled from England, and was kept under military occupation, with a line of fortifications sealing off the Highlands, which had provided manpower for Royalist armies in Scotland, from the rest of the country. The north west Highlands was the scene of another pro-royalist uprising in 1653-55, which was only put down with deployment of 6,000 English troops there.[44] Presbyterianism was allowed to be practised as before, but the Kirk (the Scottish church) did not have the backing of the civil courts to impose its rulings, as it had previously.[45]
Cromwell's conquest, unwelcome as it was, left no significant lasting legacy of bitterness in Scotland. The rule of the Commonwealth and Protectorate was, the Highlands aside, largely peaceful. Moreover, there was no wholesale confiscations of land or property. Three out of every four Justices of the Peace in Commonwealth Scotland were Scots and the country was governed jointly by the English military authorities and a Scottish Council of State.[46] Although not thought of by Scots in an extremely favourable manner, his name is not met with the same hatred there as it does in Ireland.
The Commonwealth: 1649-1653
The Rump Parliament
After the execution of the King, a republic was declared, known as the Commonwealth of England. A Council of State was appointed to manage affairs, which included Cromwell among its members. His real power base was in the army; Cromwell tried but failed to unite the original group of 'Royal Independents' centred around St John and Saye and Sele, but only St John was persuaded to retain his seat in Parliament. From the middle of 1649 until 1651, Cromwell was away on campaign. In the meantime, with the king gone (and with him their common cause), the various factions in Parliament began to engage in infighting. On his return, Cromwell tried to galvanise the Rump into setting dates for new elections, uniting the three kingdoms under one polity, and to put in place a broad-brush, tolerant national church. However, the Rump vacillated in setting election dates, and although it put in place a basic liberty of conscience, it failed to produce an alternative for tithes or dismantle other aspects of the existing religious settlement. In frustration, Cromwell eventually dismissed the Rump Parliament in 1653.[47]
Barebone's Parliament
After the dissolution of the Rump, power passed temporarily to a council that debated what form the constitution should take. They took up the suggestion of Major-General Thomas Harrison for a "sanhedrin" of saints. Although Cromwell did not subscribe to Harrison's apocalyptic, Fifth Monarchist beliefs – which saw a sanhedrin as the starting point for Christ's rule on earth – he was attracted by the idea of an assembly made up of a cross-section of sects. In his speech at the opening of the assembly on 4 July 1653, Cromwell thanked God’s providence that he believed had brought England to this point and set out their divine mission: “truly God hath called you to this work by, I think, as wonderful providences as ever passed upon the sons of men in so short a time”.[48] Sometimes known as the Parliament of Saints, the assembly was also called the Barebone's Parliament after one of its members, Praise-God Barebone. The assembly was tasked with finding a permanent constitutional and religious settlement (Cromwell was invited to be a member but declined). However, the assembly’s failure to do so led to its members voting to dissolve it on 12 December 1653.[49]
The Protectorate: 1653-1658
After the dissolution of the Barebone's Parliament, John Lambert put forward a new constitution known as the Instrument of Government, closely modelled on the Heads of Proposals. It made Cromwell Lord Protector for life to undertake “the chief magistracy and the administration of government”. He had the power to call and dissolve parliaments but obliged under the Instrument to seek the majority vote of a council of state. However, Cromwell's power was also buttressed by his continuing popularity among the army, which he had built up during the civil wars, and which he subsequently prudently guarded. Cromwell was sworn in as Lord Protector on 15 December 1653.
The first Protectorate parliament met on 3 September 1654, and after some initial gestures approving appointments previously made by Cromwell, began to work on a moderate programme of constitutional reform. Rather than opposing Parliament’s bill, Cromwell dissolved them on 22 January 1655. After a royalist uprising led by Sir John Penruddock, Cromwell (influenced by Lambert) divided England into military districts ruled by Army Major Generals who answered only to him. The fifteen major generals and deputy major generals—called "godly governors"—were central not only to national security, but Cromwell's moral crusade. The generals not only supervised militia forces and security commissions, but collected taxes and ensured support for the government in the English and Welsh provinces. Commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth were appointed to work with them in every county. While a few of these commissioners were career politicians, most were zealous puritans who welcomed the major-generals with open arms and embraced their work with enthusiasm. However, the major-generals lasted less than a year. Many feared they threatened their reform efforts and authority. Their position was further harmed by a tax proposal by Major General John Desborough to provide financial backing for their work, which the second Protectorate parliament—instated in September 1656—voted down for fear of a permanent military state. Ultimately, however, Cromwell's failure to support his men, sacrificing them to his opponents, caused their demise. Their activities between November 1655 and September 1656 had, however, reopened the wounds of the 1640s and deepened antipathies to the regime.[50]
During this period Cromwell also faced challenges in foreign policy. The First Anglo-Dutch War which had broken out in 1652, against the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, was eventually won by Admiral Robert Blake in 1654. As Lord Protector he was aware of the contribution the Jewish community made to the economic success of Holland, now England's leading commercial rival. It was this—allied to Cromwell’s toleration of the right to private worship of those who fell outside evangelical puritanism—that led to his encouraging Jews to return to England, 350 years after their banishment by Edward I, in the hope that they would help speed up the recovery of the country after the disruption of the Civil Wars.[51]
In 1657, Cromwell was offered the crown by Parliament as part of a revised constitutional settlement, presenting him with a dilemma, since he had been "instrumental" in abolishing the monarchy. Cromwell agonised for six weeks over the offer. He was attracted by the prospect of stability it held out, but in a speech on 13 April 1657 he made clear that God's providence had spoken against the office of king: “I would not seek to set up that which Providence hath destroyed and laid in the dust, and I would not build Jericho again”.[52] The reference to Jericho harks back to a previous occasion on which Cromwell had wrestled with his conscience when the news reached England of the defeat of an expedition against the Spanish-held island of Hispaniola in the West Indies in 1655—comparing himself to Achan, who had brought the Israelites defeat after bringing plunder back to camp after the capture of Jericho.[53]
Instead, Cromwell was ceremonially re-installed as "Lord Protector" (with greater powers than had previously been granted him under this title) at Westminster Hall, sitting upon King Edward's Chair which was specially moved from Westminster Abbey for the occasion. The event in part echoed a coronation, utilising many of its symbols and regalia, such as a purple ermine-lined robe, a sword of justice and a sceptre (but not a crown or an orb). But, most notably, the office of Lord Protector was still not to become hereditary, though Cromwell was now able to nominate his own successor. Cromwell's new rights and powers were laid out in the Humble Petition and Advice, a legislative instrument which replaced the Instrument of Government. Cromwell himself, however, was at pains to minimise his role, describing himself as a constable or watchman.
Death and posthumous execution

Oliver Cromwell's death mask at Warwick Castle.
Cromwell is thought to have suffered from malaria (probably first contracted while on campaign in Ireland) and from "stone", a common term for urinary/kidney infections. In 1658 he was struck by a sudden bout of malarial fever, followed directly by an attack of urinary/kidney symptoms. A Venetian physician tracked Cromwell's final illness, saying Cromwell's personal physicians were mismanaging his health, leading to a rapid decline and death, which was also hastened by the death of his favourite daughter Elizabeth Cromwell in August at age 29. He died at Whitehall on 3 September 1658, the anniversary of his great victories at Dunbar and Worcester.[54]
He was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son Richard. Although Richard was not entirely without ability, he had no power base in either Parliament or the Army, and was forced to resign in the spring of 1659, bringing the Protectorate to an end. In the period immediately following his abdication, the head of the army, George Monck took power for less than a year, at which point, Parliament restored Charles II as king.
In 1661, Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and was subjected to the ritual of a posthumous execution. Symbolically, this took place on January 30; the same date that Charles I had been executed. His body was hung in chains at Tyburn. Finally, his disinterred body was thrown into a pit, while his severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Abbey until 1685. Afterwards the head changed hands several times, before eventually being buried in the grounds of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1960.[55]

Plaque commemorating the reinterment of Cromwell's head at Sidney Sussex College.
[Posthumous reputation
During his lifetime, some tracts painted him as a hypocrite motivated by power—for example, The Machiavilian Cromwell and The Juglers Discovered, both part of an attack on Cromwell by the Levellers after 1647, present him as a Machiavellian figure.[56] More positive contemporary assessments—for instance John Spittlehouse in A Warning Piece Discharged—typically compared him to Moses, rescuing the English by taking them safely through the Red Sea of the civil wars.[57] Several biographies were published soon after his death. An example is The Perfect Politician by the anonymous "L.S.", which described how Cromwell "loved men more than books" and gave a nuanced assessment of him as an energetic campaigner for liberty of conscience brought down by pride and ambition.[58]
In the early eighteenth century, Cromwell’s image began to be adopted and reshaped by the Whigs, as part of a wider project to give their political objectives historical legitimacy. A version of Edmund Ludlow’s Memoirs, re-written by John Toland to excise the radical puritan elements and replace them with a Whiggish brand of republicanism, presented the Cromwellian Protectorate as a military tyranny. Through Ludlow, Toland portrayed Cromwell as a despot who crushed the beginnings of democratic rule in the 1640s.[59]

Statue of Oliver Cromwell outside the Palace of Westminster, London.
Thomas Carlyle began a reassessment of Cromwell in the 1840s by presenting Cromwell as a hero in the battle between good and evil and a model for restoring morality to an age Carlyle believed to be dominated by timidity, meaningless rhetoric, and moral compromise. Cromwell's actions, including his campaigns in Ireland and his dissolution of the Long Parliament, according to Carlyle, had to be appreciated and praised as a whole. However, readers were free to interpret Carlyle selectively. His picture of Cromwell appealed to nonconformists, who saw him as a champion of denominational independence, and to working-class radicals (including some Marxists), who saw him as a man of the people who had stood up against monarchical and aristocratic oppression.[60] Nonconformist churches supported a campaign to have Cromwell's statue erected outside the Palace of Westminster. In 1899, when commemorative events to mark the anniversary of Cromwell's birth took place, they were all organised by the Congregational and Baptist churches. At the London ceremony David Lloyd George said that he believed in Cromwell because "he was a great fighting dissenter".[61]
By the late nineteenth century, Carlyle’s portrayal of Cromwell, stressing the centrality of puritan morality and earnestness, had become assimilated into Whig and Liberal historiography. The civil war historian Samuel Rawson Gardiner concluded that "the man—it is ever so with the noblest—was greater than his work".[62] Gardiner stressed Cromwell’s dynamic and mercurial character, and his role in dismantling absolute monarchy, while underestimating Cromwell’s religious conviction.[63] Cromwell’s foreign policy also provided an attractive forerunner of Victorian imperial expansion, with Gardiner stressing his “constancy of effort to make England great by land and sea”.[64]
Late twentieth-century historians have re-examined the nature of Cromwell’s faith, and of his authoritarian regime. Austin Woolrych explored the issue of "dictatorship" in depth, arguing that Cromwell was subject to two conflicting forces: his obligation to the army and his desire to achieve a lasting settlement by winning back the confidence of the political nation as a whole. Woolrych argued that the dictatorial elements of Cromwell's rule stemmed not so much from its military origins or the participation of army officers in civil government as from his constant commitment to the interest of the people of God, and his conviction that suppressing vice and encouraging virtue constituted the chief end of government.[65] Historians such as John Morrill, Blair Worden and J.C. Davis have developed this theme, revealing the extent to which Cromwell’s writing and speeches are suffused with biblical references, and arguing that his radical actions were driven by his zeal for godly reformation.[66]
Locally Cromwell has retained popularity in Cambridgeshire, where he was known as "Lord of the Fens". In Cambridge, he is commemorated in a painted glass window portrait in the Emmanuel United Reformed Church; St Ives, Cambridgeshire has erected his statue in the town centre.
Richard Cromwell (4 October 1626 – 12 July 1712) was the third son of Oliver Cromwell, and the second Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, for little over eight months, from 3 September 1658 until 25 May 1659. Richard Cromwell's enemies called him Tumbledown Dick.
Early years and family (1626-1653)
Richard was born in Huntingdon on 4 October 1626, the son of Oliver Cromwell and his wife Elizabeth. Little is known of his childhood. Early biographers claim that he attended Felsted School in Essex. There is no record of him attending university. In May 1647, he became a member of Lincoln’s Inn. It is possible that he served as a captain in Thomas Fairfax’s lifeguard during the late 1640s, but the evidence is inconclusive. In 1649 Richard married Dorothy Maijor, daughter of Richard Maijor, a member of the Hampshire gentry. He and his wife then moved to Maijor’s estate at Hursley. During the 1650s they had nine children, five of which did not survive to adulthood. Richard was named a JP for Hampshire and sat on various county committees. During this period Richard seems to be have been a source of concern for his father, who wrote to Richard Maijor saying “I would have him mind and understand business, read a little history, study the mathematics and cosmography: these are good, with subordination to the things of God. Better than idleness, or mere outward worldly contents. These fit for public services, for which a man is born”.
Move into political life (1653-1658)
In 1653, Richard was passed over from being a member of the Barebones Parliament (his younger brother Henry was a member). When his father was made Lord Protector in the same year, he was also not given any public role. However, he was elected to both the first and second Protectorate parliaments. Under the Protectorate’s constitution, Oliver Cromwell was required to nominate a successor, and from 1657 he involved Richard much more heavily in the politics of the regime. He was present at the second installation of his father as Lord Protector in June, having played no part in the first installation. In July he was appointed Chancellor of Oxford University, and in December was made a member of the Council of State.
Lord Protector (1658-1659)
Oliver Cromwell died on 3 September 1658, and Richard was informed on the same day that he was to succeed him. Some controversy surrounds the succession. A letter by John Thurloe suggests that Oliver nominated his son verbally on 30 August, but other theories claim either that he nominated no successor, or that he put forward Charles Fleetwood, his son-in-law.
Richard was faced by two immediate problems. The first was the army, which questioned his position as commander given his lack of military experience. The second was the financial position of the regime, with a debt estimated at £2 million. A new Parliament was called as a result in November 1658, to discuss possible solutions. The army began to fear that Parliament would make military cuts to reduce costs, and by April 1659 the army’s general council of officers had met to demand higher taxation to fund the regime’s costs. Parliament did not act on this suggestion, exacerbating matters by pursuing a senior officer who was alleged to have mistreated a royalist prisoner. When Richard refused a demand by the army to dissolve Parliament, troops were assembled at St James’s. Richard eventually gave in to their demands and on 22 April, Parliament was dissolved and the Rump Parliament recalled. In the subsequent month Richard did not resist and refused an offer of armed assistance from the French ambassador, although it is possible he was being kept under house arrest by the army. On 25 May, after the Rump agreed to pay his debts and provide a pension, Richard delivered a formal letter resigning the position of Lord Protector. He continued to live in Whitehall Palace until July, when he was forced by the Rump to return to Hursley.
Final years (1659-1712)
During the political difficulties of the winter of 1659, there were rumours that Richard was to be recalled as Protector, but these came to nothing. In July 1660 Richard left for France, never to see his wife again. While there he went by a variety of pseudonyms, including “John Clarke”. He later travelled around Europe, visiting various European courts. In 1680 or 1681 he returned to England and lodged with the merchant Thomas Pengelly in Finchley in Middlesex, living off the income from his estate in Hursley. He died on 12 July 1712.

1650 - Connecticut legalizes slavery.
1649-1660 In the 17th century, slavery was used as punishment by conquering English Parliament armies against native Catholics in Ireland. Between the years 1659 and 1663, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland by the New Model Army, under the command of Oliver Cromwell, thousands of Irish Catholics were forced into slavery. Cromwell had a deep religious dislike of the Catholic religion, and many Irish Catholics who had participated in Confederate Ireland had all their land confiscated and were transported to the British West Indies as slaves.
The Church was later implicated in slavery. Slaves owned by the Anglican Church's Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts on its sugar plantations in the West Indies had the word "society" branded on their chests with red-hot irons.
The Catholic gentry briefly ruled the country as Confederate Ireland (1642-1649) against the background of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms until Oliver Cromwell re-conquered Ireland in 1649-1653 on behalf of the English Commonwealth. Cromwell's conquest was the most brutal phase of a brutal war. By its close, up to a third of Ireland's pre-war population was dead or in exile. As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all lands owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to British settlers. Several hundred remaining native landowners were transplanted to Connacht.
The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
(1649-53) refers to the re-conquest of Ireland by the forces English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Cromwell landed in Ireland with his New Model Army on behalf of the English Parliament in 1649. Since the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Ireland had been mainly under the control of the Irish Confederate Catholics, who in 1649, signed an alliance with the English Royalist party, which had been defeated in the English Civil War. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country - bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars. He passed a very harsh series of Penal laws against Roman Catholics and confiscated almost all of their land. The Parliamentarian reconquest of Ireland was extremely brutal, and it has been alleged that many of the army's actions during the reconquest would today be called war crimes. Cromwell is still a hated figure in Ireland. However, several historians claim that many of the actions taken by Cromwell were within the then-accepted rules of war, or were exaggerated or distorted by later propagandists.[1] These claims are contested by many other historians.[2] The Parliamentarian campaign, which Cromwell largely headed, is estimated to have resulted in the death or exile of up to a third of the Irish population.
• 1 Overview
• 2 The Royalist and Parliamentarian armies
• 3 Campaign of 1642
• 4 Battle of Edgehill
• 5 The winter of 1642-43
• 6 The Plan of Campaign, 1643
• 7 Victories of Hopton
• 8 Adwalton Moor
• 9 Cromwell and the Eastern Association
• 10 Siege and relief of Gloucester
• 11 First Battle of Newbury, September 20, 1643
• 12 Hull and Winceby
• 13 The "Irish Cessation" and the Solemn League and Covenant
• 14 Newark and Cheriton (March 1644)
• 15 Plans of campaign for 1644
• 16 Cropredy Bridge
• 17 Campaign of Marston Moor
• 18 Independency
• 19 Lostwithiel
• 20 Operations of Essex's, Waller's and Manchester's Armies
• 21 Second Newbury
• 22 The self-denying ordinance
• 23 Decline of the Royalist cause
• 24 The new-model ordinance
• 25 Victories of Montrose
• 26 Inverlochy
• 27 Organisation of the New Model Army
• 28 First Operations of 1645
• 29 Rupert's Northern March
• 30 Cromwell's Raid
• 31 Civilian strategy
• 32 Charles in the Midlands
• 33 Dundee
• 34 Auldearn
• 35 Campaign of Naseby
• 36 Effects of Naseby
• 37 Fairfax's Western Campaign
• 38 Langport
• 39 Schemes of Lord Digby
• 40 Montrose's Last Victories
• 41 Fall of Bristol
• 42 Philiphaugh
• 43 Digby's Northern Expedition
• 44 End of the First War
• 45 References
• 46 Footnotes
• 1 Background
• 2 The battle of Rathmines and Cromwell’s landing in Ireland
• 3 The Siege of Drogheda
• 4 Wexford, Waterford and Duncannon
• 5 Clonmel and the conquest of Munster
• 6 Scarrifholis and the destruction of the Ulster Army
• 7 The Sieges of Limerick and Galway
• 8 Guerrilla warfare, famine and plague
• 9 The Cromwellian Settlement
• 1 Origins of the war — wars in three kingdoms
• 2 Scottish Royalists
• 3 The Irish intervention
• 4 Tippermuir, Aberdeen and Inverlochy
• 5 Triumph and disaster for the Royalists
• 6 The end of the Scottish Civil War
• 7 Scotland and the Second and Third English Civil Wars
o 7.1 Second Civil War
o 7.2 Montrose's defeat and death
o 7.3 Third Civil War
• 8 From occupation to restoration

Charles II
(29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. His father Charles I had been executed in 1649, following the English Civil War; the monarchy was then abolished and England, and subsequently Scotland and Ireland became a united republic under Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector (see Commonwealth of England and The Protectorate), albeit with Scotland and Ireland under military occupation and de facto martial law. In 1660, shortly after Cromwell's death, the monarchy was restored under Charles II. He was popularly known as the "Merry Monarch" in reference to the liveliness and hedonism of his court.
The exact date at which Charles became King is vague due to the uncertain political situation of the time. His father was executed on 30 January 1649, making him in theory King Charles II from that moment. He was immediately proclaimed King in Scotland on 5 February and Jersey on 16 February 1649—but also recognised in a few British colonies (especially the Colony and Dominion of Virginia). In Scotland Charles was for some time King in title only. It took two years of negotiation with the Presbyterians before he was finally crowned King of Scots in Scone on 1 January 1651. However, his reign there was shortlived as he was soon driven out by the republican armies, led by Oliver Cromwell. His coronation in England would not be until after Cromwell's death and the monarchy's restoration in May 1660, he spending most of the intervening time exiled in France.
Much like his father, Charles II struggled for most of his life in his relations with Parliament, although the tensions between the two never reached the same levels of hostility. He was only able to achieve true success towards the end of his reign, by dispensing with Parliament and ruling alone. Unlike his father's however, this policy did not lead to widespread popular opposition, as he avoided the imposition of any new taxes, thanks in part to money he received as a result of his close relationship with the French king, Louis XIV. The principal conflicts of his reign revolved around a number of interlinked issues in domestic and foreign policy, most of which were related to the conflict between Protestants and Catholics then raging across Europe. As a consequence of this, Charles' reign was racked by political factions and intrigue, and it was at this time that the Whig and Tory political parties first developed.
He famously fathered numerous illegitimate children, of whom he acknowledged fourteen, but no legitimate children who lived. Charles was also a patron of the arts, and he and his court were largely responsible for the revival of public drama and music, after their virtual prohibition under the earlier Protectorate. Some historians, such as Maurice Ashley, believe that Charles was secretly a Roman Catholic for much of his life like his brother James while others, such as Antonia Fraser, disagree. All that is known for certain is that he had converted to Roman Catholicism by the time of his death.

Charles presented with the first pineapple grown in England (1675 painting by Hendrik Danckerts).
Early life
British Royalty

House of Stuart

Image:J1&2,C1&2 Arms.png

Charles I

Charles II
James II & VII

Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Mary, Princess Royal

Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans

Charles II
Charles, the eldest surviving son of Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France, was born Charles Stuart in St. James's Palace on 29 May 1630. At birth, he automatically became (as the eldest surviving son of the Sovereign) Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay; shortly after his birth, he was crowned Prince of Wales. Due to the disruption caused by the English Civil War, he was never formally invested with the Honours of the Principality of Wales.
During the 1640s, when the Prince of Wales was still young, his father Charles I fought parliamentary and Puritan forces in the English Civil War. The prince accompanied his father during the Battle of Edgehill and, at the age of fifteen, participated in the campaigns of 1645, when he was made titular commander of the English forces in the West Country. In 1647, due to fears for his safety, he left England, going first to the Isles of Scilly, then to Jersey, and finally to France, where his mother was already living in exile. (His cousin, Louis XIV sat on the French throne.) In 1648, during the Second Civil War, Charles moved to The Hague, where his sister Mary and his brother-in-law Prince of Orange seemed more likely to provide substantial aid to the Royalist cause than the Queen's French relations. However Charles was neither able to use the royalist fleet that came under his control to any advantage, nor to reach Scotland in time to join up with the royalist "Engagers" army of the Duke of Hamilton, before it was defeated at the Battle of Preston.
At the Hague, Charles II had an affair with Lucy Walter (whom, some alleged, he secretly married). Their son, James Crofts (afterwards Duke of Monmouth and Duke of Buccleuch), was to become the most prominent of Charles's many illegitimate sons in English political life, and famously led a rebellion on Charles' death, aimed at placing himself (a staunch Protestant) on the throne instead of Charles' Catholic brother James.
Charles I was captured in 1647. He escaped and was recaptured in 1648. Despite his son's efforts to save him, Charles I was executed in 1649, and England was proclaimed a republic.

Charles II when Prince of Wales by William Dobson, circa 1642 or 1643.
At the same time, however, Scotland recognized Charles as his father's successor—even the Covenanters (led by the Marquess of Argyll), the most extreme Presbyterian group in Scotland, proved unwilling to allow the English to decide the fate of their monarchy. Consequently, on 5 February 1649, Charles II was proclaimed King of Scots in Edinburgh. He would not be allowed to enjoy the powers that followed from his title until such time as he signed the Solemn League and Covenant (an agreement between England and Scotland that the Church of Scotland should not be remodelled on Anglican lines but should remain Presbyterian – the form of church governance preferred by most in Scotland – and that the Church of England and the Church of Ireland should be reformed along the same lines) (see also Treaty of Breda (1650)). Upon his arrival in Scotland on 23 June 1650, he formally agreed to the Covenant; his abandonment of Anglicanism, although winning him support in Scotland, left him unpopular in England. Charles himself soon came to despise his Scottish hosts (or "gaolers", as he came to see the dour Covenanters), and supposedly celebrated at the news of the Covenanters' defeat at Dunbar in September 1650. Nevertheless, the Scots remained Charles's best hope of restoration, and he was crowned King of Scots at Scone on 1 January 1651. With Cromwell's forces threatening Charles's position in Scotland, it was decided to mount an attack on England. With many of the Scots (including Argyll and other leading Covenanters) refusing to participate, and with few English royalists joining the force as it moved south into England, the invasion ended in defeat at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, following which Charles is said to have hidden in the Royal Oak at Boscobel House, subsequently escaping to France in disguise. Parliament put a reward of £1,000 on the king's head, and the penalty of death for anyone caught helping him. Through six weeks of narrow escapes Charles managed to flee England. (See also Escape of Charles II.)
Impoverished, Charles could not obtain sufficient support to mount a serious challenge to Cromwell's government. Despite the Stuart familial connections through Henrietta Maria and the Princess of Orange, France and the United Provinces allied themselves with Cromwell's government, forcing Charles to turn to Spain for aid. He attempted to raise an army, but failed due to his financial shortcomings.
Monarchical Styles of
King Charles II of England

Reference style
His Majesty

Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sire

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Monarchical Styles of
King Charles II of Scotland

Reference style
His Grace
Spoken style Your Grace
Alternative style Sire

After the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, Charles' chances of regaining the Crown seemed slim. Oliver Cromwell was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son, Richard Cromwell. However, the new Lord Protector, with no power base in either Parliament or the New Model Army, was forced to abdicate in 1659. The Protectorate of England was abolished, and the Commonwealth of England re-established. During the civil and military unrest which followed, George Monck, the Governor of Scotland, was concerned that the nation would descend into anarchy. Monck and his army marched into the City of London and forced the Long Parliament to dissolve itself. For the first time in almost twenty years, the members of Parliament faced a general election.
A predominantly Royalist House of Commons was elected. The Convention Parliament, soon after it assembled on 25 April 1660, received news of the Declaration of Breda (8 May 1660), in which Charles agreed, amongst other things, to pardon many of his father's enemies. It also subsequently declared that Charles II had been the lawful Sovereign since Charles I's execution in 1649.
Charles set out for England, arriving in Dover on 23 May 1660 and reaching London on 29 May (which is considered the date of the Restoration, and was Charles' thirtieth birthday). Although Charles granted amnesty to Cromwell's supporters in the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, this made specific provision for people to be excluded by the indemnity through act of Parliament. In the end 13 people were executed: they were hanged, drawn and quartered; others were given life imprisonment or simply excluded from office for life. The bodies of Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton and John Bradshaw were subjected to the indignity of posthumous executions.
Cavalier Parliament

Charles II was restored as King of England in 1660.
The Convention Parliament was dissolved in December 1660. Shortly after Charles's coronation at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661, the second Parliament of the reign—the Cavalier Parliament—assembled. As the Cavalier Parliament was overwhelmingly Royalist, Charles saw no reason to dissolve it and force another general election for seventeen years.
The Cavalier Parliament concerned itself with the agenda of Charles' chief advisor, Lord Clarendon (Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon). Lord Clarendon sought to discourage non-conformity to the Church of England; at his instigation, the Cavalier Parliament passed several acts which became part of the "Clarendon Code". The Conventicle Act 1664 prohibited religious assemblies of more than five people, except under the auspices of the Church of England. The Five Mile Act 1665 prohibited clergymen from coming within five miles of a parish from which they had been banished. The Conventicle and Five Mile Acts remained in effect for the remainder of Charles' reign. Other parts of the Clarendon Code included the Corporation Act 1661 and the Act of Uniformity 1662.
Charles agreed to give up antiquated feudal dues which had been revived by his father; in return, he was granted an annual income of £1,200,000 by Parliament. The grant, however, proved to be of little use for most of Charles' reign. The aforesaid sum was only an indication of the maximum the King was allowed to withdraw from the Treasury each year; for the most part, the amount actually in the coffers was much lower. To avoid further financial problems, Charles appointed George Downing (the builder of Downing Street) to reform the management of the Treasury and the collection of taxes.
Foreign policy
In 1662 Charles married a Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza, who brought him the territories of Bombay and Tangier as dowry. During the same year, however, he sold Dunkirk—a much more valuable strategic outpost—to his first cousin King Louis XIV of France for £40,000.
Appreciative of the assistance given to him in gaining the throne, Charles awarded North American lands then known as Carolina—named after his father—to eight nobles (known as Lords Proprietors) in 1663.
The Navigation Acts (1650) which hurt Dutch trade and started the First Dutch War (1652-1654), were also responsible for starting the Second Dutch War (1665-1667). This conflict began well for the English, with the capture of New Amsterdam (later renamed New York in honour of Charles' brother James, Duke of York, the future James II of England/James VII of Scotland), but in 1667 the Dutch launched a surprise attack upon the English (the Raid on the Medway) when they sailed up the River Thames to where the better part of the English Fleet was docked. Almost all of the ships were sunk except for the flagship, the Royal Charles, which was taken back to the Netherlands as a trophy. (The ship's nameplate remains on display, now at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.) The Second Dutch War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Breda in 1667.
As a result of the Second Dutch War, Charles dismissed his advisor Lord Clarendon , whom he used as a scapegoat for the war. Clarendon fled to France when impeached by the House of Commons for high treason (which carried the penalty of death). Power passed to a group of five politicians known as the Cabal—Thomas Clifford, 1st Baron Clifford, Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Baron Ashley (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury) and John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale.
In 1668, England allied itself with Sweden, and with its former enemy the Netherlands, in order to oppose Louis XIV in the War of Devolution. Louis was forced to make peace with the Triple Alliance, but he continued to maintain his aggressive intentions. In 1670, Charles, seeking to solve his financial troubles, agreed to the Treaty of Dover, under which Louis XIV would pay him £200,000 each year. In exchange, Charles agreed to supply Louis with troops and to convert himself to Roman Catholicism "as soon as the welfare of his realm will permit." Louis was to provide him with 6,000 troops to suppress those who opposed the conversion. Charles endeavoured to ensure that the Treaty—especially the conversion clause—remained secret. It remains unclear if Charles ever seriously intended to follow through on the conversion clause.
Meanwhile, by a series of five acts around 1670, Charles granted the British East India Company the rights to autonomous territorial acquisitions, to mint money, to command fortresses and troops, to form alliances, to make war and peace, and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the acquired areas in India. Earlier in 1668 he leased the islands of Bombay for a paltry sum of ten pounds sterling paid in gold.[1]
Great Plague and Fire
In 1665, Charles II was faced with a great health crisis: an outbreak of Bubonic Plague in London commonly referred to as the Great Plague. Believed to have been introduced by Dutch shipping vessels carrying cotton from Amsterdam, the plague was carried by rats and fleas and the death toll at one point reached up to 7000 per week. Charles, his family and court fled London in July 1665 to Oxford. Various attempts at containing the disease by London public health officials all fell in vain and the disease continued to spread rapidly.
On 2 September 1666, adding to London's woes was what later became famously known as the Great Fire of London. Although effectively ending the spreading of the Great Plague due to the burning of all plague-carrying rats and fleas, the fire consumed about 13,200 houses and 87 churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. Charles II is famously remembered for joining the fire-fighters in combating the fire.
At the time, a comet was visible in the night sky. The supposition of the day claimed it was God's message, and that the above crises were as a result of God's anger. Blame was placed upon Charles and his Court, but later the people shifted their blame to the hated Roman Catholics. The situation was not helped by Charles's brother, James II's conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1667.
Conflict with Parliament

Half-Crown of Charles II, 1683. The inscription reads CAROLUS II DEI GRATIA (Charles II by the Grace of God).
Although previously favourable to the Crown, the Cavalier Parliament was alienated by the king's wars and religious policies during the 1670s. In 1672, Charles issued the Royal Declaration of Indulgence, in which he purported to suspend all laws punishing Roman Catholics and other religious dissenters. In the same year, he openly supported Catholic France and started the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
The Cavalier Parliament opposed the Declaration of Indulgence on constitutional grounds (claiming that the King had no right to arbitrarily suspend laws) rather than on political ones. Charles II withdrew the Declaration, and also agreed to the Test Act, which not only required public officials to receive the sacrament under the forms prescribed by the Church of England, but also forced them to denounce certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as "superstitious and idolatrous." The Cavalier Parliament also refused to further fund the Anglo-Dutch War, which England was losing, forcing Charles to make peace in 1674.
Charles' wife Queen Catherine was unable to produce an heir, her pregnancies instead ending in miscarriages and stillbirths. Charles' heir-presumptive was therefore his unpopular Roman Catholic brother, James, Duke of York. In 1678, Titus Oates, a former Anglican cleric, falsely warned of a "Popish Plot" to assassinate the king and replace him with the Duke of York. Charles did not believe the allegations, but ordered his chief minister Thomas Osborne, 1st Earl of Danby to investigate. Danby was highly sceptical about Oates' revelations, but reported the matter to Parliament. The people were seized with an anti-Catholic hysteria; judges and juries across the land condemned the supposed conspirators; numerous innocent individuals were executed.
Later in 1678, Lord Danby was impeached by the House of Commons on the charge of high treason. Although much of the nation had sought war with Catholic France, Charles II had secretly negotiated with Louis XIV, trying to reach an agreement under which England would remain neutral in return for money. Lord Danby was hostile to France, but reservedly agreed to abide by Charles' wishes. Unfortunately for him, the House of Commons failed to view him as a reluctant participant in the scandal, instead believing that he was the author of the policy. To save Lord Danby from the impeachment trial in the House of Lords, Charles dissolved the Cavalier Parliament in January 1679.
A new Parliament, which met in March of the same year, was quite hostile to the king. Lord Danby was forced to resign the post of Lord High Treasurer, but received a pardon from the king. In defiance of the royal will, Parliament declared that a dissolution did not interrupt impeachment proceedings. When the House of Lords seemed ready to impose the punishment of exile—which the House of Commons thought too mild—the impeachment was abandoned, and a bill of attainder introduced. As he had had to do so many times during his reign, Charles II bowed to the wishes of his opponents, committing Lord Danby to the Tower of London. Lord Danby would be held without bail for another five years.
Later years
Another political storm which faced Charles was that of succession to the Throne. The Parliament of 1679 was vehemently opposed to the prospect of a Catholic monarch. Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (previously Baron Ashley and a member of the Cabal, which had fallen apart in 1672) introduced the Exclusion Bill, which sought to exclude the Duke of York from the line of succession. Some even sought to confer the Crown to the Protestant Duke of Monmouth, the eldest of Charles's illegitimate children. The "Abhorrers"—those who opposed the Exclusion Bill—would develop into the Tory Party, whilst the "Petitioners"—those who supported the Exclusion Bill—became the Whig Party.
Fearing that the Exclusion Bill would be passed, Charles dissolved Parliament in December 1679. Two further Parliaments were called in Charles' reign (one in 1680, the other in 1681), but both were dissolved because they sought to pass the Exclusion Bill. During the 1680s, however, popular support for the Exclusion Bill began to dissolve, and Charles experienced a nationwide surge of loyalty, for many of his subjects felt that Parliament had been too assertive. For the remainder of his reign, Charles ruled as an absolute monarch.
Charles' opposition to the Exclusion Bill angered some Protestants. Protestant conspirators formulated the Rye House Plot, a plan to murder the King and the Duke of York as they returned to London after horse races in Newmarket. A great fire, however, destroyed much of Newmarket and caused the cancellation of the races; thus, the planned attack could not take place. Before news of the plot leaked, the chief conspirators fled. Protestant politicians such as Algernon Sydney and the Lord William Russell were implicated in the plot and executed for high treason, albeit on very flimsy evidence.
Charles suffered an apopleptic fit and died suddenly on Wednesday, 6 February 1685 (at the age of 54) at 11:45am at Whitehall Palace of uremia (a clinical syndrome due to kidney dysfunction). He is purported to have said to his brother, the Duke of York on his deathbed: 'Let not poor Nelly starve.' and to his courtiers: 'I am sorry, gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying.'[2] He was buried in Westminster Abbey 'without any manner of pomp'[2] and was succeeded by his brother who became James II of England and Ireland, and James VII of Scotland.

This statue of Charles II stands in the Figure Court of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Charles II left no legitimate issue. He did, however, have several children by a number of mistresses (many of whom were wives of noblemen); many of his mistresses and illegitimate children received dukedoms or earldoms. He publicly acknowledged fourteen children by seven mistresses; six of those children were borne by a single woman, the notorious Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, for whom the Dukedom of Cleveland was created. His other favourite mistresses were Nell Gwynne and Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth. Charles also acknowledged children by Lucy Walter, Elizabeth Killigrew, Viscountess Shannon and Catherine Pegge, Lady Greene. The present Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, Duke of Richmond and Gordon, Duke of Grafton and Duke of St Albans all descend from Charles in direct male line. Charles' relationships, as well as the politics of his time, are depicted in the historical drama Charles II: The Power and The Passion (produced in 2003 by the British Broadcasting Corporation).
Diana, Princess of Wales was descended from two of Charles' illegitimate sons, the Duke of Grafton and the Duke of Richmond (who is also a direct ancestor of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales). Thus Diana's son Prince William of Wales, currently (2006) second in line to the British Throne, is likely to be the first monarch descended from Charles I since Queen Anne.
Charles II's eldest son, the Duke of Monmouth, led a rebellion against James II, but was defeated at the battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685, captured, and executed. James II, however, was eventually dethroned in 1688 in the course of the Glorious Revolution. James was the last Catholic monarch to rule England.
Charles, a patron of the arts and sciences, helped found the Royal Society, a scientific group whose early members included Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and Sir Isaac Newton. Charles was the personal patron of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect who helped rebuild London after the Great Fire in 1666. Wren also constructed the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which Charles founded as a home for retired soldiers in 1681. Since 1692, a statue of Charles II in ancient Roman dress (created by Grinling Gibbons in 1676) has stood in the Figure Court of the Royal Hospital.
The anniversary of Charles' Restoration (which is also his birthday) — 29 May — is recognised in the United Kingdom as "Oak Apple Day", after the Royal Oak in which Charles is said to have hid to escape from the forces of Oliver Cromwell. Traditional celebrations involved the wearing of oak leaves, but these have now died out. The anniversary of the Restoration is also an official Collar Day.

A monument to Charles II who contributed to the restoration of the Lichfield Cathedral following the English Civil War today stands outside its south doors.
Style and arms
The official style of Charles II was "Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc." (The claim to France was only nominal, and had been asserted by every English King since Edward III, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.) His arms were: Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland).
The children of Charles II
Charles left no legitimate heirs but fathered an unknown number of illegitimate children. He acknowledged fourteen children to be his own, including Barbara Fitzroy, who almost certainly wasn't his child.
1. By Marguerite or Margaret de Carteret
1. Some accounts say that she bore Charles a son named James de la Cloche in 1646. James de Carteret/de la Cloche is believed to have died sometime around the year 1667.
2. By Lucy Walter (1630 - 1658)
1. James Crofts "Scott" (1649 - 1685), created Duke of Monmouth (1663) in England and Duke of Buccleuch (1663) in Scotland. Ancestor of Sarah, Duchess of York.
2. Mary Crofts (born c. 1651 - ?), not acknowledged. She married a William Sarsfield and later a William Fanshaw and became a faith healer operating in Covent Garden.
3. By Elizabeth Killigrew (1622 - 1680)
1. Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria Boyle (Fitzcharles) (1650 - 1684)
4. By Catherine Pegge, Lady Green
1. Charles Fitzcharles (1657 - 1680), known as "Don Carlos", created Earl of Plymouth (1675)
2. Catherine Fitzcharles (born 1658, died young)
5. By Barbara Palmer (1640 - 1709) (née Villiers), Countess of Castlemaine and Duchess of Cleveland
1. Anne Palmer (Fitzroy) (1661 - 1722)
2. Charles Fitzroy (1662 - 1730) created Duke of Southampton (1675), became 2nd Duke of Cleveland (1709)
3. Henry Fitzroy (1663 - 1690), created Earl of Euston (1672), Duke of Grafton (1709), also 7th Great-Grandfather of Lady Diana Spencer, mother of Prince William of Wales
4. Charlotte Fitzroy (1664 - 1718), Countess of Lichfield
5. George Fitzroy (1665 - 1716), created Earl of Northumberland (1674), Duke of Northumberland (1683)
6. Barbara (Benedicta) Fitzroy (1672 - 1737) - She was acknowledged as Charles' daughter, but was probably the child of John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough
6. By Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn (1650 - 1687)
1. Charles Beauclerk (1670 - 1726), created Duke of St Albans
2. James Beauclerk (1671 - 1681)
7. By Louise Renée de Penancoet de Kéroualle (1648 - 1734), Duchess of Portsmouth (1673)
1. Charles Lennox (1672 -1723), created Duke of Richmond (1675) in England and Duke of Lennox (1675) in Scotland. Ancestor of Lady Diana Spencer, The Duchess of Cornwall, and Sarah, Duchess of York.
8. By Mary 'Moll' Davis, courtesan and actress of repute
1. Mary Tudor (1673 - 1726), married to Edward Radclyffe (1655 - 1705), the Second Earl of Derwentwater from 1687 - 1705. Upon Edward's death, she married Henry Graham (son and heir to Col. James Graham), and upon his death she wed James Rooke in 1707. Mary bore four children to Edward, which continued the house of Derwentwater.
9. Other mistresses
1. Cristabella Wyndham
2. Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin
3. Winifred Wells - one of the Queen's Maids of Honour
4. Mrs Jane Roberts - the daughter of a clergyman
5. Mary Sackville (formerly Berkeley, née Bagot) - the widowed Countess of Falmouth
6. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Kildare
7. Frances Teresa Stewart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox
1661 - Virginia officially recognizes slavery by statute.
1662 - A Virginia statute declares that children born would have the same status as their mother.
1663 - Maryland legalizes slavery.
1664 - Slavery is legalized in New York and New Jersey.
1660 It replaced the first charter to the company known as the Company of Royal Adventurers
1655 England seizes Jamaica from Spain.

Edward Colston by Michael Rysbrack, c.1726. Colston (1636-1721) was a Bristol merchant who was involved in the transatlantic slave trade as an official of the London-based Royal African Company (a trading company that specialised in the trade with Africa).
1702-1713 War of the Spanish Succession. In 1713 Britain gains all of St. Kitts, and the right (asiento) to import enslaved people to Spanish America is granted to the South Sea Company.
Guns for Slaves
The slave trade had a major impact on Britain's economy. Ships loaded with goods left Britain for the West African coast. There, commodities were bartered for all manner of tropical products, including humans. Military supplies were regularly shipped to forts in West Africa. Royal African Company schedules reveal a methodical record-keeping system for exchanging brass rods, cutlery and guns manufactured in Birmingham. The historian F. W. Hackwood argues that the West African slave trade was the chief supporter of the gun industry in Wednesbury and Darlaston, and gunsmiths in the Midlands produced most of the 150,000 guns which British ships exchanged annually for Africans.

Triangular Trade
Ships rarely travelled empty. British shipbuilders constructed specially built vessels for the slave trade. Ships designed to carry human cargo from Africa would be converted to hold raw materials such as rum, tobacco, molasses and sugar, collected from the West Indies. To complete the cycle known as the 'triangular trade', these raw materials were then brought back to England to be turned into manufactured goods. These goods were then sold on at considerable profit in Britain and Europe. There can be little doubt that such a system of trade substantially boosted the development of Britain's commerce and manufacturing.
1680-1686 Between 1680 and 1686, an average of 5000 slaves a year were transported across the Atlantic.
1660-1685 1672 (24 Sept)The King Grants the Right to Trade in Africa CO 268/1, ff. 8 10
This is an extract from the royal charter granted to the Royal African Company by King Charles II in 1672. It replaced the first charter to the company (then known as the Company of Royal Adventurers), granted in 1660.

In the 1672 charter the king states that 'the Trade of the said Regions, Countries and places is of great advantage to Our [the king's] subjects of this kingdome, and for the improvement thereof'. Members of the company to whom the grant was made included the king's brother, the Duke of York (later James II).

The Royal African Company of England their CHARTER
Charles the Second by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland Defender of ye Faithe. To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting. Whereas all and singular ye Regions, Countries, Dominions and Territories, Continents, Coasts and places, now or at any time heretofore, called or knowne by the name or names Guiny, Buiny, Angola, or South Barbary, or by any of them, or which are or have been reputed, esteemed or taken to bee parcel or member of any Region, Country, Dominion, Territory, or Continent called Guiny, Buiny, Angola, or South Barbary, And all and singular Ports and Havens, Rivers, Creeks, Islands, and places in the parts of Africa to them or any of them belonging, and the sole and only Trade and Trafique thereof are the undoubted Right of Us, Our Heires and Successors, and are, and have been enjoyed by us, and by our Predecessors, for many yeares past, as in Right of this Our Crown of England. And whereas the Trade of the said Regions, Countries, and places is of great advantage to Our subjects of this kingdome, and, for the improvement thereof, divers attempts have been made, and several Charters granted, by Our Royal Progenitors, to several persons, with such Powers and Authorities as were then conceived proper for the carrying on of the said Trade. But all the said endeavors have proved ineffectual until Wee by Letters .......
And of Our more especial Grace certain knowledge, and meer motion Wee have given and granted, and for Us, Our Heires and Successors doe hereby owe and grant unto
Our Dearest Brother James Duke of Yorke & Anthony Earle of Shaftesbury, Mr. John Buckworth, S[i]r. John Banks, John Bence esq. William Earl of Craven, Mr. James Cartwright, Mr. Samuel Dashwood, S[i]r. Richard Ford, Mr. Thomas Farrington, Capt Ferdinando Gorges, Mr. Edward Hopegood, Mr. John Jefferys, Sir. Andrew King, Charles Modyford esquire, Mr. Samuel Moyer, Mr. Peter Proby, Mr. Gabriel Roberts, S[i]r. John Shaw, Mr. Benjamin Skut, Sir. Robert Viner, Mr. Thomas Vernon, Mr. Nicholas Warren, and Mr. Richard Young, their Executors and Assignes.
All and singular the Regions, Countrys, Dominions, Territories, Continents, Coasts, and Places, lying and being within the limits and bounds hereafter menc[i]oned (that is to say) Beginning at ye Port of Seilley in South Barbary inclusive, and extending, from thence, to Cape De bona Esperanza inclusive, with all the Islands neer adjoyning to those Coasts, and comprehended within the Limits aforesaid. Which Regions, Countrys, Dominions, Territories, Continents, Coasts, places and Islands have been heretofore called or known by the name of South Barbary, Guinny, Binny, or Angola, or by some or any other name or names which are or have been reputed esteemed or taken to bee part, parcell or Member of any Country, Region, Dominion, Territory or Continent within the limits aforesaid. And all and singular Ports, Harbors, Creeks, Islands, Lakes, and places in the parts of Africa to them or any of them belonging or being under the the obedience of any King, State; or Potentate of any Region, Dominion or Country within the limits aforesaid. To have & to hold all and singular the said Regions, Countrys, Dominions Territories, Continents, Islands, Coasts, and places aforesaid. And all and singular other the premisses within ye limits aforesaid to the said James Duke of York, Anthony Earle of Shaftesbury, Mr. John Buckworth, S[i]r John Banks, John Bence esq. William Earl of Craven, Mr. Jarvis Cartwright, Mr. Samuel Dashwood, S[i]r. Richard Ford, Mr. Thomas Farrington, Capt Ferdinando Gorges, Mr. Edward Hopegood, Mr. John Jefferies, S[i]r. Andrew King, Charles Modyford esq, Mr. Samuel Moyer, Mr. Peter Proby, Mr. Gabriel Roberts, S[i]r. John Shaw, Mr. Benjamin Skut, S[i]r. Robert Viner, Mr. Thomas Vernon, Mr. Nicholas Warren, and Mr. Richard Young, their Executors and assignes, from the making of these Our Letters Patents, for and during the terme, and unto the full end and terme of One thousand yeares. Yeilding and paying Rendering therefore unto us, Our Heirs, and Successors Two Elephants whenever Wee, Our Heires, or Successors, or any of them, shall arrive, land or come into the Dominions, Regions, Countries, Territories, Plantations, and places before menc[i]oned or any of them. Nevertheless Our will and pleasure is, and wee doe hereby declare the true intent and meaning of these presents to bee, That this Our present Grant and Demise of ye Regions Countrys, Dominions, Territorys, Continents, Islands Coasts, and places aforesaid. And all the benefit, commodity, profit, and advantage made, and to bee made and gotten out of ye same, or by reason of the terme aforesaid shall bee, and shall bee interpreted to bee, in Trust, and for ye sole use, benefit, and behoofe of the Royal African Company of England hereafter mentioned and their successors and after in any by these presents incorporated or mentioned to bee incorporated

Despite several attempts, no English settlements were successfully established in North America or in the West Indies during the reign of Elizabeth I. But in the 17th century the English began to acquire territory in the New World.
The English colonies expanded rapidly. Settlers from the British Isles sailed across the Atlantic to seek a new life. The most famous were the Pilgrim Fathers, who left from London in the Mayflower, arriving in New England in 1620.
Tobacco plantations were established in Virginia, and sugar was grown on English islands in the Caribbean, such as Barbados.
The development of a plantation system and the growth of the Atlantic economy brought further demands for African labour. This increased the scale of the trade in enslaved people.
Expansion of the English trade

Sir Robert Rich
The trade involved a number of prominent people. For example, Sir Robert Rich (later the Earl of Warwick) owned plantations in Virginia.
Rich was one of the founders of the London-based Company of Adventurers to Guinea and Benin. The Company was established to trade with West Africa and supply enslaved Africans to the Americas.
Other companies and groups of merchants followed suit. Charles I granted a licence to another syndicate of London merchants in 1632 for the transportation of enslaved people from West Africa.
This trade became a profitable enterprise. It soon attracted support from the City of London, especially following the English capture of Jamaica in 1655.
The moral implications of selling Africans into slavery were of secondary importance to the creation of wealth. For those involved, slave trading and plantation slavery were regarded as simply another form of business.
The Royal Adventurers

Samuel Pepys, 1633-1703 invested in the Royal Adventurers into Africa, which was involved in the transatlantic slave trade
With the Restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, following the turmoil of the Civil War and Cromwell’s Commonwealth, English trade with Africa and the Americas was reorganized.
In 1660, the king granted a charter to the Royal Adventurers into Africa. Supporters of the new company included:
• members of the royal family
• important nobles
• major London merchants.
Samuel Pepys also became a shareholder.
Rise and fall
The company quickly established its trade in gold, enslaved people and African goods. Some of the gold brought from West Africa was minted into coins, which were soon popularly known as 'guineas'.
In 1665, it was estimated that the company earned £100,000 from the trade in enslaved Africans, which had become an important part of its activities. Thousands were transported in company ships to the West Indies.
But the company’s finances were never on a sound footing. Private traders removed any advantage of the monopoly over the African trade. In 1672, the Royal Adventurers ceased trading.
The Royal African Company

James, Duke of York, was the governor of the Royal African Company as well as being its largest shareholder. He was also a major investor in the Royal Adventurers into Africa
The end of the Royal Adventurers was swiftly followed the same year by the creation of the Royal African Company (RAC). James, Duke of York, was the governor and the company’s largest shareholder.
The company, like the Royal Adventurers, maintained its connections with the City of London. The RAC had 15 lord mayors of London and 25 sheriffs of London among its shareholders.
Between 1672 and 1689, the company transported nearly 90,000 enslaved Africans to the Americas. However, just as with the Royal Adventurers, the monopoly of the RAC was undermined by private traders.
Competition from Bristol

The Royal African Company: Report and Petition, 1708.
Many of these 'interlopers' came from Bristol, which had a natural advantage for the Atlantic trade. By the end of the 17th century, Bristol had become an important centre for the England’s Caribbean trade and a major centre for sugar processing.
Despite its difficulties, the RAC’s business flourished. In 1698, it lost its official monopoly and the number of ports and individuals involved in the slave trade grew enormously as a result. The RAC continued to trade, however, and its fortunes revived in the early 18th century.
Consumer demand and the trade in enslaved people

Making sugar.
The slave trade was fuelled by the massive demand for sugar in Europe. The craze for sweetened tea, coffee and chocolate meant that sugar was at a premium.
Planters in the West Indies were anxious to increase production to maximize their profits. This resulted in a growing demand for enslaved African labour:
• to replace those killed by the harsh conditions
• to supply the new plantations.
Other important consumer goods, like tobacco and cotton, were also produced using slave labour.
The role of Britain and London in perspective

Liverpool taken from the opposite side of the river.
Between 1662 and 1807 British and British colonial ships purchased an estimated 3,415,500 Africans. Of this number, 2,964,800 survived the 'middle passage' and were sold into slavery in the Americas.
The transatlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration in human history and completely changed Africa, the Americas and Europe. Only Portugal/Brazil transported more Africans across the Atlantic than Britain.
The ports compared
Between 1699 and 1807, British and British colonial ports

The West Indiaman Britannia. Trade with the West Indies steadily decreased after the abolition of slavery
mounted 12,103 slaving voyages:
• 3,351 from London
• 2,105 from Bristol
• 5,199 from Liverpool.
Until the 1730s, London dominated the British trade in enslaved people. It continued to send ships to West Africa until the end of the trade in 1807. Because of the sheer size of London and the scale of the port’s activities, it is often forgotten that the capital was a major slaving centre.

King Charles II encouraged the expansion of the slave trade. He granted a charter to a group of men, the Royal Adventurers, who later became the Royal African Company (RAC). The king and the Duke of York backed this enterprise by investing private funds. The charter stated that the Company 'had the whole, entire and only trade for buying and selling bartering and exchanging of for or with any Negroes, slaves, goods, wares, merchandise whatsoever'. The king therefore gave full support to this system of trading.
The first Royal African Company ships sailed from Liverpool and Bristol to develop their commercial activity along the West African coast. Over the next two centuries, these two cities grew from the profits of the slave trade.
The trading rights granted to the Royal African Company by Charles II were limited to the territories shown; they ended at the Cape of Good Hope, where the trading rights of the East India Company began. This document provides a fascinating glimpse of European contact with Africa at this date. Many of the place names are identified below the transcript.
Accompt of the Limits & Trade for ye African Company. The Royal African Compa[ny]'s Limits for Trade granted them by His Ma[jes]ties Charter, doe begin at Sally in South Barbary neer Tangier; and end at Cabobuen Esperança, where the limits of the East India Company take place.
Barbary. The Trade for Barbary, is hitherto followed, by particular persons, because the Royal Company have not thought fit, as yet, to take it up. From thence comes Bees-wax, Copper, Goatskins, Gold, Oyles, Corne, Feathers, Jumms, and many other Comodities.
Canary Islands. The Canary Islands are within the Company's charter, but they have not alsoe, hitherto, thought fit to take up that Trade, but leave it, to bee followed by particular persons.
Guinny. Next begins the North Coast of Guinny, neer the Cape de Verde Islands.
River Gambia In the River Gambia, upon James Island, the Compa[ny] have built a Fort, where seaventy men, at least, are kept. And there is a Factory from whence Eliphants Teeth, Bees-wax, and Cowhides are exported in very considerable quantities. The River Gambia is very large, and runs up very high (much higher than any discovery hath bin made) and it is supposed the Gold comes most from places, at the head of this River.
Rio Noons, Riopongo Calsamança, Rio Grande & Catchao. The Company have several small factorys in this River, vizt, at Rio Noones, Riopongo, and Calsamança, and doe trade by their Sloops, to Rio Grande and Catchao, for those Commodities, and alsoe for Negro's.
Sieralion. The next River, where the Compa[ny] doe trade at, is Sieralion, where a factory is setled, for buying the same Comodities.
Sherbero. Thence they sail into another River called Sherbero, where alsoe a factory is setled, and the Trade there is cheifly for Red-wood, useful in dying; of which sometimes Three hundred Tonns per ann, may bee got, and some Elephants Teeth.
Cape Mount & Cestos. Thence they trade to Cabe Mount, and Cestos, for Elephants-teeth; and there hath been formerly a factory setled alsoe.
Graine & Luaqua - Coast. And all along by Ships staying, sometimes a day, sometimes more, they trade in the Graine and Luaqua Coast, for Guiny-grains, or Mallaguette (which is phisic for Negro's) and for quaqua-cloths which are carried to sell at the Gold-coast, and for Teeth.
Cape Trespontes. Then, at Cape Trespontes begins the Trade for Gold, and soe along that coast, they have several Factories, but their names are not laid downe in ye Mapps, vist. Ashinee, Abinee, Dixiscove, Anashan, Anto, Succondee, Anamaboo, Wyamba, and Aga.
Cormentine. They had Cormentine, but it was taken from them in the first Dutch - warr, when Mr Selroyn was Agent; at the same time the English took Cabo-Corso, from ye Dutch.
Cabo-Corso-Castle. At Cabo-Corso-Castle is now their Cheife port, and place of Trade, having there about one hundred English besides Slaves. It's the Residence of their Agent General, who furnisheth, from thence, all their several under-factories with goods, and receives from them, Gold, Elephants-Teeth, and Slaves.
Castel de Mina. Neer Cabo-Corso is the Great Castle called the Mina, belonging to the Dutch.
Acra. Then, more Leewardly, the Company hath another factory at Acra, for gold, to be sent thence to Cabo-corso.
Ardra. Their next place of Trade is at Ardra only for Slaves, which are there very plentifull, and a factory is setled there alsoe.
Benin. Next follows Benin, where a factory is setled for buying cloths made of Cotton, of which they procure great quantitys, and bring them to Cabo-corso, to sell there, and on the Gold-Coast.
New & Old Calabar. Then, more Leewardly, lyeth he Bite, whither many Ships are sent to Trade at New and Old Calabar, but those places being very unhealthy, there are noe factories setled, and only a Trade used by the Masters of Ships for Slaves and Teeth, which are there to bee had in great plenty, and alsoe in the Rivers Cameroones and Gaboones, which are neer.
Angola. A Trade for Angola is begun, and they have Ordered a factory to settle neer the Portugal's cheife Citty at Sunio Whence it's hoped quantities of Slaves may bee got and much Copper.
They have not yet discovered any other places within the limits of their Charter.
The Slaves they purchas[e]d are sent, for a Supply of Servants, to all His Ma[jes]tie's American Plantations which cannot subsist without them.
The Gold and Elephants Teeth, and other Commodities, which are procured in Africa, are all brought into England. The Gold is always coined in His Ma[jes]tie's Mint. And the Elephants = Teeth, and all other goods, which the Company receives, either from Africa or the Plantations, in returne for their Negros, are always sold publicly at a Candle.

Modern equivalents of place names
Sally Salé - just north of Rabat, Morocco.

Barbary [States] North of Africa - now parts of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Cabo buen Esperança Cape of Good Hope.

Guinny Guinea. Refers to a stretch of the west coast of Africa, never very well-defined, but much larger than the area of the coast now occupied by Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.

Rio Noons Rio Nunez. River estuary - now in Guinea.

Rio-pongo Rio Pongo. River estuary - now in Guinea.

Calsamança Casamance. This appears to refer to the river rather than the region of this name - now in Senegal.

Rio Grande Appears to be the Corubal river, now in Guinea-Bissau.

Catchao Cacheu (town and river - now in Guinea-Bissau) or Catió (town in Guinea-Bissau). The former is more likely, as it is south of the Rio Grande/Corubal, whereas Cacheu is north, and the list seems to be running generally north to south.

Sieralion Sierra Leone. This reference appears to be to the river.

Sherbero Sherbro river. Now in Sierra Leone.

Cape Mount Grand Cape Mount. Now in Liberia.

Cestos Cess river. Now in Liberia. The river used to be called Cestos, but is now the Cess (although there is still a Cestos Point).

Graine Grain Coast. Now in Liberia.

Luaqua Probably 'Quaqua' (not located).

Cape Trespontes Perhaps Cape Three Points, in Ghana.

Cormentine Kormantyn (Cormantyn or Kormantine), Dutch fort, built 1631, W of Saltpond - now in Ghana.

Cabo-Corso-Castle Cape Coast Castle, Ghana.

Castel de Mina Elmina, in Ghana. This was a British fort in the 17th century.

Acra Accra. Now in Ghana.

Ardra Probably Ouidah, now in Benin.

Benin Benin - kingdom and city (not the modern country).
London and the Slave Trade
All over Britain families benefited from the Atlantic slave trade. Bristol and Liverpool were the most important ports. Approximately 1.5 million enslaved people - about half those taken by the British from Africa - were carried in ships from Liverpool. London was also one of the main trading centres (particularly in earlier years of the slave trade) because of the transport links provided by the River Thames and the London docks. Merchants based in Blackheath, Deptford and Greenwich handled some 75% of sugar imports.
A number of Londoners closely involved with the Atlantic slave trade developed their businesses in this prime location. For example, Ambrose Crowley, an iron merchant, produced manacles and irons for tethering slaves on ships. John Angerstein, a Blackheath merchant and founder of Lloyd's of London, owned estates in Grenada. The Pett family, master shipbuilders in Deptford, built many of the ships that were involved in the Atlantic trade. Woodlands from their estate (today's Petts Wood) provided timber for their shipbuilding business. The East India Company also had ships built at Deptford
• English Royal African Company,
The Royal African Company was a slaving company set up by the Stuart family and London merchants once the former retook the English throne in the English Restoration of 1660. It was led by James, Duke of York, Charles II's brother.
Originally known as the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa, it was granted a monopoly over the English slave trade, by its charter issued in 1660. With the help of the army and navy it established trading posts on the West African coast, and it was responsible for seizing any rival English ships that were transporting slaves.
It collapsed in 1667 during the war with the Netherlands — the very war it started by having company Admiral Robert Holmes attacking the Dutch African trade posts in 1664 — and re-emerged in 1672.
In the 1680s it was transporting about 5000 slaves per year. Many were branded with the letters 'DY', after its chief, the Duke of York, who succeeded his brother on the throne in 1685, becoming James II. Other slaves were branded with the company's initials, RAC, on their chests.[1]
Between 1672 and 1689 it transported around 90,000-100,000 slaves. Its profits made a major contribution to the increase in the financial power of those who controlled London.
In 1698, it lost its monopoly. This was advantageous for merchants in Bristol, even if the Bristolian Edward Colston had already been involved in the Company. The number of slaves transported on English ships then increased dramatically.
The company continued slaving until 1731, when it abandoned slaving in favour of trafficking in ivory and gold dust. It was dissolved in 1752, its successor being the African Company.
The Royal African Company's logo depicted an elephant and castle.
From 1668 to 1722 the Royal African Company provided gold to the English Mint. Coins made with this gold bear an elephant below the bust of the king and/or queen. This gold also gave the coinage its name--the guinea.

• French East India Company, founded 1664 and ceased 1769
In the history of French trade, the French West India Company was a chartered company established in 1664. Their charter gave them the property and seignory of Canada, Acadia, the Antilles, Cayenne, and the terra firma of South America, from the Amazon to the Orinoco. They had an exclusive privilege for the commerce of those places, and also of Senegal and the coasts of Guinea, for forty years, only paying half the duties.
The stock of the company was so considerable, that in less than 6 months, 45 vessels were equipped; with which they took possession of all the places in their grant, and settled a commerce. Yet, the company only subsisted nine years. In 1674, the grant was revoked, and the various countries reunited to the King's dominions, as before; the King reimbursed the actions of the adventurers.
This revocation was owing partly to the poverty of the company, occasioned by its losses in the wars with England, which had necessitated it to borrow large sums; and even to alienate its exclusive privilege for the coasts of Guinea, but also to its having in good measure answered its end, which was to recover the commerce of the West Indies from the Dutch, who had taken it away from them. The French merchants being so accustomed to traffic to the Antilles, by permission of the company, were so attached to it, that it was not doubted they would support the commerce after the dissolution of the company.
• Hudson's Bay Company, founded 1670 and still operating as a Canadian corporation
• Royal African Company (1672)

James II
6 February 1685 –
23 December 1688[25]
Born 14 October 1633
St. James's Palace
son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France (1) Anne Hyde
3 September 1660
8 children

(2) Mary of Modena Dover 1673 7 children
Died 5 September 1701
aged 67
William III and Mary II
William III
13 February
Born 4 November 1650
The Hague
son of William II, Prince of Orange and Mary Stuart St James's Palace
4 November 1677
no children[26]
Died 8 March 1702 Kensington
Aaged 51 Mary II
13 February
Born 30 April 1662
St James's Palace
daughter of James II and Anne Hyde 28 December 1694
aged 32 1689-1702 Greenland Company (1693)
8 March
Born 6 February 1665
St James's Palace
daughter of James II and Anne Hyde George of Denmark
St James's Palace
28 July 1683
17 children
Died 1 August 1714
aged 49
England and Scotland entered into legislative and governmental union under the Acts of Union 1707, though retained separate legal systems and other trappings of statehood. From this time on the titles King of England and Queen of England are technically incorrect (though still in wide usage).
Monarch Birth Marriages Death
George I
1 August

28 May 1660
son of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Sophia of Hanover
Sophia of Celle
1 November 1682
2 children 11 June 1727
aged 67
George II
11 June
30 October 1683
son of George I and Sophia of Celle Caroline of Ansbach
22 August 1705
8 children 25 October 1760
Palace of Westminster
aged 76
George III
25 October

24 May 1738
Norfolk House
son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
St James's Palace
8 September 1761
15 children 29 January 1820
Windsor Castle
aged 81
George IV
29 January

12 August 1762
St James's Palace
son of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (2)[27] Caroline of Brunswick
St James's Palace
8 April 1795
1 daughter 26 June 1830
aged 67
William IV
26 June

21 August 1765
Buckingham Palace
son of George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
Kew Palace
13 July 1818
2 children 20 June 1837
Windsor Castle
aged 71
20 June

24 May 1819
Kensington Palace
daughter of Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Albert, Prince Consort
St James's Palace
10 February 1840
9 children 22 January 1901
Osbourne House
aged 81
Although he was the son and heir of Victoria, Edward VII inherited his father's names and is therefore counted as inaugurating a new royal house.
Monarch Birth Marriages Death
Edward VII
22 January
9 November 1841
Buckingham Palace
son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort[29]
Alexandra of Denmark
10 March 1863
6 children[29]
6 May 1910
Buckingham Palace
aged 68[29]

The house name Windsor was adopted in 1917, during the First World War. It was changed from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha because of war-time anti-German sentiment. The heirs of Elizabeth II, by royal proclamation, will remain part of the House of Windsor (even though their legal surname is Mountbatten-Windsor).
Monarch Birth Marriages Death
George V
6 May
3 June 1865
Marlborough House
son of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark[31]
Mary of Teck
6 July 1893
St James's Palace
6 children[32]
20 January 1936
Sandringham House
aged 70[31]

Edward VIII
20 January –
11 December 1936[33]

23 June 1894
son of George V and Mary of Teck[33]
Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor
3 June 1937
no children[33]
28 May 1972
aged 77[34]

George VI
11 December

14 December 1895
Sandringham House
son of George V and Mary of Teck[35]
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Westminster Abbey
26 April 1923
2 children[36]
6 February 1952
Sandringham House
aged 56[37]

Elizabeth II
6 February
21 April 1926
daughter of George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon[39]
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Westminster Abbey
20 November 1947
4 children[40]

1702-1714 • South Sea Company (1711)
North America
1739 Stono Rebellion
1741 New York Insurrection
1805 Chatham Manor
1800 Gabriel Prosser (Supressed)
1811 Charles Deslandes (Supressed)
1815 George Boxley (Supressed)
1816 Fort Blount Revolt
1822 Denmark Vesey (Supressed)
1831 Nat Turner's rebellion
1839 Amistad
1854 Pottawatomie Massacre
1859 John Brown

Numerous slave rebellions, and insurrections took place in North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. There is documentary evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving ten or more slaves. Three of the best known are the revolts by Gabriel in Virginia in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, and Nat Turner at Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831.
Slave resistance in the antebellum South finally became the focus of historical scholarship in the 1940s, when historian Herbert Aptheker started publishing the first serious scholarly work on the subject. Aptheker stressed how the rebellion was rooted in the exploitative conditions of the Southern slave system. He traversed libraries and archives throughout the South, managing to uncover roughly 250 similar instances, though none of which reached the scale of the Nat Turner uprising.
John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (West Virginia was not yet a state), was an attempt by a handful of white men, led by John Brown, who had conducted several massacres of pro-slavery settlers in Kansas, to cause a slave revolt in the South. It failed in its attempt to cause a revolt; in fact, the first man they killed was a local slave.
List of North American slave revolts
• New York Revolt of 1712 (1712)
• Stono Rebellion (1739)
• New York Slave Insurrection of 1741
• Gabriel's Rebellion (1800)
• Chatham Manor Rebellion (1805)
• Louisiana Territory Slave Rebellion, led by Charles Deslandes (1811)
• George Boxley Rebellion (1815)
• Fort Blount Revolt (1816)
• Denmark Vesey's Uprising (1822)
• Nat Turner's slave rebellion (1831)
• Black Seminole Slave Rebellion (1835-1838)
• Amistad Seizure (1839)
• John Brown raids Harpers Ferry, Virginia (1859)
South America and Caribbean
• Slave revolt around 1570, led by Gaspar Yanga near Veracruz, Mexico; the group then escaped to the highlands and built a free colony
• Quilombo dos Palmares in Brazil most famously led by Zumbi.
• The most successful slave uprising in the Americas was that in Haiti, which began in 1791 and was eventually led by Toussaint L'Ouverture.
• Panama also has an extensive history of slave rebellions going back to the 16th Century. Slaves were brought to the isthmus from many regions in Africa now in modern day countries like the Congo, Senegal, Guinea, and Mozambique. Immediately before their arrival on shore, or very soon after, many enslaved Africans revolted against their captors, or participated in mass maroonage, or desertion. The freed Africans founded communities in the forests and mountains, organized guerrilla bands known as Cimarrones, and began a long guerrilla war against the Spanish Conquistadores, sometimes in conjunction with nearby indigenous communities like the Kuna and the Guaymí. Despite massacres by the Spanish, the rebels fought until the Spanish crown was forced to concede to treaties that granted the Africans a life without Spanish violence and incursions. The leaders of the guerrilla revolts included Felipillo, Bayano, Juan de Dioso, Domingo Congo, Antón Mandinga, and Luis de Mozambique.
• Tacky's War (1760)
• Suriname, constant guerrilla warfare by Maroons, in 1765-1793 by the Aluku led by Boni
• Berbice, 1763 slave revolt, led by Cuffy
• Curaçao, 1795 slave revolt, led by Tula
• Barbados, 1816 slave revolt, led by Bussa
• Guyana, The Demerara Rebellions of 1795 and 1823
• Jamaica's Baptist War, 1831-1832, led by the Baptist preacher, Samuel Sharpe.
Olaudah Equiano

Black Britain's political founding father

Olaudah Equiano, the first political leader of Britain's black community was born in Essaka, an Igbo village in the kingdom of Benin, in 1745. His father was one of the province's elders who decided disputes. When he was about eleven, Equiano was kidnapped along with his sister, and after six months of captivity he was brought to the coast where he encountered white men for the first time.
Sold to slave-traders, Equiano was transported to Barbados. After a two-week stay in the West Indies Equiano was sent to the English colony of Virginia. He was later purchased by Captain Henry Pascal, a British naval officer. He was renamed Gustavas Vassa, and was beaten until he answered to his new name. He stayed in London with two relatives of his master, two women who taught him to read and sent him to school. He was sold without warning to a Captain James Doran, who took him to Montserrat, and sold him to a merchant called Robert King. Equiano saved whatever money he could, and in 1766 purchased his freedom. In 1767 he went back to London, and worked closely with Granville Sharpe and Thomas Clarkson in the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Equiano spoke at a large number of public meetings where he described the cruelty of the slave trade.
Equiano was also a close friend of Thomas Hardy, secretary of the London Corresponding Society. Equiano became an active member of this political society that campaigned in favour of universal suffrage.
In 1787 Equiano helped his friend, Ottobah Cugoano, to publish an account of his experiences, Narrative of the Enslavement of a Native of America. Copies of his book were sent to George III and leading politicians. He failed to persuade the king to change his opinions and like other members of the royal family remained against abolition of the slave trade.
Equiano published his own autobiography, The Life of Olaudah Equiano the African in 1789, 'a detailed account of an African's movement out of slavery', and the most important single literary contribution to the campaign for abolition. It was highly effective in arousing public opinion. He travelled throughout England promoting the book. It became a bestseller and was also published in Germany (1790), America (1791) and Holland (1791). He also spent over eight months in Ireland where he made several speeches on the evils of the slave trade. While he was there he sold over 1,900 copies of his book. In Equiano's lifetime, his narrative went through eight British editions; six more followed in the 22 years following his death. He had won widespread recognition as principal spokesman of Britain's black community.
On 7th April 1792 Equiano married Susannah Cullen from Fordham, Cambridgeshire at St Andrew's Church, Soham in Cambridgeshire. The couple had two children, Anna Maria and Johanna. However, Anna Maria died when she was only four years old.
View marriage certificate
Olaudah Equiano was appointed to the expedition to settle former black slaves in Sierra Leone, on the west coast of Africa. However, he died on 31st March, 1797 before he could complete the task. Equiano, for his time, was exceptionally widely travelled. He had a shrewd grasp of the political realities of his day. He had a fluent pen, a persuasive tongue and absolute integrity. He was committed to the abolition of the slave trade, which he felt would move his community out of degradation to dignity. He put all his gifts and energy to the service of his community in their struggle against slavery. He made and outstanding contribution to that struggle.

James Somerset or Somersett was a young African slave who was purchased by Charles Stuart in Virginia in 1749. Stuart was involved in English government service and traveled as part of his duties accompanied by Somerset, who at the time did not have a first name.
In 1769, Stuart along with Somersett traveled to England. While in England, Somersett met and became involved with people associated with the anti-slavery movement in England including the well known activist Granville Sharp. During this period, Somersett was christened with the name James in a church ceremony.
In 1771, Somersett ran away. Stuart posted a reward and Somersett was recaptured. Stuart then had Somersett put on board a ship bound for Jamaica where Somersett was to be sold. Somerset's god-parents from the christening ceremony discovered Somerset's condition and location. Going before the King's Bench, they obtained a writ of habeas corpus requiring the ship's captain to produce Somersett in court, which was done.
By this time in England, the general public had a poor opinion of the institution of slavery and the time was ripe for a decision to be forced as to whether slaves in England were in fact free. Somersett sued for his freedom, supported by anti-slavery groups, from Stuart, supported by planters from the West Indies who were interested in continuing the practice of slavery, in a trial before the King's Bench, the highest court in England.
In Somersett's Case, the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, Lord Mansfield, issued a judgment which concluded:
"...The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political; but only positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory: it's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged."
While Somersett's case provided legal precedent that the state of slavery was unlawful in England itself, serfdom having died out there centuries before, it did not end British participation in the slave trade or slavery in other parts of the British Empire. It was not until 1807 that Parliament decided to suppress the slave trade, and slavery continued to exist in various parts of the British Empire until it was finally abolished by Act of Parliament in 1833. However, because of the Somersett case, there has never been a law passed to make slavery illegal in Britain - it has never been legal.
However there may be an argument that the illegality of slavery in England and Wales now rests on a statutory footing following the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998. That Act introduced the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms into domestic English law. Under Article 4(1) of the Convention, no-one may be held in slavery or servitude. Under section 6(1) of the Act, it is unlawful (subject to certain exceptions) for a public authority to act in a way incompatible with a Convention right. Under section 6(3) a court or tribunal counts as a public authority. Thus there is an argument that when applying the law, a court, as a public authority, cannot infringe the prohibition of slavery. Under section 6(2), an exception allows public authorities, including courts, to infringe Convention rights pursuant to Acts of Parliament (primary legislation) which are in themselves incompatible with Convention rights, or to statutory instruments (secondary legislation) made under such an Act. However, nothing in section 6(2) allows the courts to infringe Convention rights pursuant to the doctrines of the common law, which are not legislation. Therefore if a court would be acting incompatibly with Convention rights by recognising slavery, the court cannot do so, even if the common law would allow such a course. That may mean that the purported owner could not rely on his alleged ownership of the supposed slave in any court of law, effectively rendering his rights of ownership ineffectual. This interpretation of the law is not, however, beyond all doubt.
Penal transportation was the deporting of convicted criminals to a penal colony, such as in Australia, typically from countries such as the United Kingdom (then including Ireland).
A sentence of transportation could apply for life or for a specific period of time. The penal system required the convicts to work, either on government projects (road construction, building works, mining, etc) or assigned to free individuals as a source of unpaid labour. Women were expected to work as domestic servants and farm labourers.
A convict who had served part of his time might apply for a ticket of leave permitting some prescribed freedoms. This enabled some convicts to resume a more normal life, to marry and raise a family, and a few to contribute to the further development of the colonies. Some used the freedom to revert to their previous ways. But exile was an essential component of the punishment. At one time, returning from transportation was a hanging offence.

This notice on a bridge in Dorset warns that damage to the bridge can be punished by transportation.
Transportation punished both major and petty crimes in Britain and Ireland from the 17th century until well into the 19th century. At the time it was seen as a more humane alternative to execution, which would most likely have been the sentence handed down to many of those who were transported, if transportation hadn't been introduced. From the 1620s until the American Revolution the British colonies in North America received transported British criminals, effectively double the period that Australian colonies subsequently received convicts. The American Revolutionary War brought an end to that means of disposal, and the British Government was forced to look elsewhere.
The gaols became more overcrowded and dilapidated ships were brought into service, the 'hulks' moored in various ports as floating gaols.
In 1787 penal transportation from Britain commenced to New South Wales, a colony (now a state) in Australia. The First Fleet's arrival there is considered the founding event in Australia's history.
Transportation from Britain ended officially in 1868, although it had become unusual several years earlier.
In British colonial India, freedom fighters were transported to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman islands.
Notable people who were transported
• Five of the Cato Street Conspirators
• James Townsend Saward, English barrister and forger
• The Monmouth Rebels
• The Tolpuddle Martyrs
• The Luddites
Transportation in popular culture
As part of British, Irish and Australian history penal transportation has featured in a number of books, plays, films and especially in Folk music from the times of Transportation. Two of the most famous Folk songs from Britain and Ireland; Botany Bay and The Black Velvet Band describe transportation to Australia.

(July 5, 1853 – March 26, 1902 Cecil John Rhodes
Rhodes wanted to create a secret society that would bring the whole world under British rule.[3] So, he set aside much of his will for the establishment of this secret society. The exact words are as follows:
To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity.
The Rhodes-Milner Round Table Groups, were founded in September 1909 in a conference at the Estate of Lord Anglesey, Plas Newydd in Wales. The framework of the organisation was devised by Lionel Curtis, but the overall idea was due to Lord Milner.
They were designed to promulgate the idea of the formation of a Federal World Government, based on the unification of the British Empire and the United States of America. Although they failed in this task, it can be argued that they set the blueprint for future organisations such as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and The Bilderberg Group.
Some people believe that the Round table groups were connected to a secret society called the Society of the Elect, which South African diamond baron Cecil Rhodes is believed to have set up with similar goals. Rhodes, who was connected to the Freemasons, was believed by some to have formed this secret society in his lifetime. Others believe that his project failed to attract converts, and was still-born at its inception.
Rhodes first formalised his idea with William T Stead, editor of the Pall Mall Gazzette when he and Stead agreed on the structure of the secret society. Like Weishaupt's Illuminati, this proposed secret society had an elaborate hierarchical structure, based on that of the Jesuits, which comprised: at the top, the position of "General of the Society"—a position modelled on the General of the Jesuits—to be occupied by Rhodes, with Stead and Lord Rothschild as his designated successors; an executive committee called the "Junta of Three", comprising Stead, Milner and Reginald Baliol Brett (Lord Esher); then a "Circle of Initiates", consisting of a number of notables including Cardinal Manning, Lord Arthur Balfour, Lord Albert Grey and Sir Harry Johnston; and outside of this was the "Association of Helpers", the broad mass of the Society. One of the puzzles surrounding this meeting is whether the "Society of the Elect" actually came into being. Carrol Quigley claims in Tragedy and Hope (1966) that Rhodes's "Society of the Elect" was not only "formally established" in 1891, but also that its "outer circle known as the 'Association of Helpers'" was "later organised by Milner as the Round Table".
In several of his wills, Rhodes left money for the continuation of the project. However in his later wills, Rhodes abandons the idea and instead concentrates on what became the Rhodes scholarships, which enabled American, German and English Scholars to study for free at Oxford university.
The groups are a collection of small discussion and lobbying groups in every major capital city of the world coordinated by a headquarters in London. In 1910, The Round Table Journal:A Quarterly Review of the Politics of the British Empire was founded by Lord Milner and members of Milner's Kindergarten (Lionel Curtis, Philip Kerr and Geoffrey Dawson) to unify the political thinking of the groups internationally. After World War II the journal was renamed The Round Table Journal:A Quarterly Review of British Commonwealth Affairs to reflect changing post war realities.
By 1915 Round Table groups existed in seven countries, including England, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and a rather loosely organized group in the United States (George Louis Beer, Walter Lippmann, Frank Aydelotte, Whitney Shepardson, Thomas W. Lamont, Erwin D. Canham and others).

De Beers,
British South Africa Company
support of the Irish nationalist party, led by Charles Stewart Parnell

• British North Borneo Company (1881)
• Royal Niger Company (1886)
• British South Africa Company (1889)

Out of British History and Politics was born the “joint-stock company,” the form used by large corporations today. This method of pooling capital was briefly attempted by the Russia Company, which was chartered in 1553; and was also used for the first two decades of its existence by the Turkey Company. But it was most fully developed by the British East India Company. Initially, the company raised capital one voyage at a time; next, it tried raising capital for limited periods of eight to fifteen years. In 1613, the company issued its first permanent stock, and by 1650 that method of raising capital became the norm, with profits periodically divided among shareholders.
With pooled capital, the corporation for the first time become a single unified entity rather than merely a federation of independent merchants. This internal consolidation made the joint-stock corporation ideally suited for the emergence of a key defining principle of the corporation form, the idea that a corporation represents a separate legal identity from its owners. Essentially, a corporation is a “Charter” between the state and a group of people in which the state says: You can create a separate entity and do business under that name, and the law will deal with the entity rather than with you as individuals. What made the separation even more significant is that shares in joint-stock companies could be sold to third-party investors.
The separation of the legal identity of the corporation from that of its owners has a profound impact in many ways, opening up the possibility of such corporate characteristics as corporate immortality (which doesn’t mean, of course, that a corporation is immune from extinction, but merely that it is not constrained by the finite lifespans of its mortal owners) and limited liability (the ability of owners to escape responsibility for corporate errors, misdeeds, and debts). Of course, neither immortality nor limited liability were inevitable features of joint-stock companies. Indeed, both of those features were deliberately withheld from corporations in the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. Another key feature of these companies apart from legally separating liability from individuals was the opportunity for Monarchs, Politicians, and Wealthy people to profit from trading activities that they may publicly declare to immoral, illegal, or inhumane, by declaring that their interest/investment in the company was nothing more than a financial investment, and not a reflection of their beliefs or practices, which were largely Christian.
Although scholars disagree about how the legal doctrine of limited liability first emerged in England, one of the first verifiable early sightings was an act of Parliament in 1662 that applied to gentlemen who owned shares in the East India Company or two smaller corporations.
Besides pioneering the use of joint-stock capital and limited liability, the East India Company is historically significant because it was quite simply the most powerful corporation that has ever existed. Imagine a private company so unaccountable it conducts its own criminal trials and runs its own jails, so dominant it possesses an army larger than any other organized force in the world, and so predatory that for more than two centuries it squeezes the economy of the richest country in the world until observers report that some regions have been “bled white.” The King is dependent on periodic “loans” from the company. A third of Parliament owns stock in it, and a tax on its tea constitutes ten percent of the government’s revenues. A 250,000-man army (twice the size of Britain’s) fights the company’s wars, and the four out of five soldiers in that army who are “sepoys,” i.e. Indians, are kept in line by punishments such as “blowing away” strapping an offending soldier across the mouth of a cannon and firing the weapon.
At the time of the American Revolution, the British East India Company was nearly two centuries old, having received its charter on December 31, 1600 via a signature by Queen Elizabeth. “The Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies,” as it was formally known or simply “The Company” received the largest grant of any of the trading companies: everything east of the Cape of Good Hope. Despite the queen’s largess, the company’s early years were difficult. A rival group of Dutch investors had gotten a head start and had access to ten times more capital than the English. In 1623, the Dutch captured ten employees of the British East India Company in Indonesia, tortured them on the rack, and executed them. Reluctantly—since Indonesia (known in those days as “East India”) was considered a more lucrative source for trade goods than India—the English retreated to the safer shores of India, whose coastline was large enough to absorb the trading settlements of multiple European powers.
India in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a patchwork of small kingdoms engaged in constantly shifting alliances. Officially, the Mogul Empire extended across vast regions, but its actual authority was tenuous. Within this web of politics and intrigue, the Company sought alliances with various Indian princes and conducted military campaigns to outflank its European rivals. At the same time, the company’s own employees sometimes became the enemy. Consider the case of Samuel White, who came to India in 1676 at an annual salary of £20. White developed a colourful side business: using Company ships to transport elephants for the King of Siam. Eventually, he added to that the additional job of fortifying a port that the king intended to make available for the French, who happened not only to be allied with Siam but also were perpetual rivals of the British.
Using the small fleet of ships which he had armed for the King of Siam (directly against the interests of the East India Company), White proceeded to betray both of his employers by declaring his own private war on the kingdoms of Burma and Hyderabad. He seized ships belonging to those states and sold their cargoes as his own private property. In a two-year period, White’s extra-curricular activities earned him over £30,000, a vast fortune for the times.
White was hardly the first employee of the East India Company to engage in the forbidden activity of “free trading.” He just happened to be one of the more audacious and successful. Though the local administrators of the Company in India tended to tolerate such activity, so long as it did not interfere too greatly with the Company’s own revenue streams, the attitude of the central management was considerably harsher, as vividly described by historian Ramkrishna Mukherjee:
Sir Josiah Child, as Chairman of the Court of Directors, wrote to the Governor of Bombay, to spare no severity to crush their countrymen who invaded the ground of the Company’s pretensions in India. The Governor replied, by professing his readiness to omit nothing which lay within the sphere of his power, to satisfy the wishes of the Company; but the laws of England, unhappily, would not let him proceed so far as might otherwise be desirable. Sir Josiah wrote back with anger: “That he expected his orders were to be his rules, and not the laws of England, which were a heap of nonsense, compiled by a few ignorant country gentlemen, who hardly knew how to make laws for the good of their own private families, much less for the regulating of companies, and foreign commerce.”
Eventually, the Company sent a ship to escort White back to the port of Madras, where he would presumably be tried and imprisoned. Under cover of night, he slipped away from the escort and sailed to the Siamese port of Mengui, where he stopped just long enough to inform the Siamese that the escort ship “had come to seize the town.” In response, the Siamese attacked the British, killing some eighty Englishmen.
Even more impressive than White’s talent for evasion was his sense of timing. By a stroke of luck, the arrival of his renegade ship in London coincided with the flight from the throne of James II, a supporter of the East India Company. His successors, William and Mary, placed more power in Parliament, which at that time was in a mood against the Company. Judging the temper of the times to be favourable, White sued the East India Company for £40,000, but his luck had finally run out: before the case came to trial, he died.
White’s story provides a glimpse into an era when corporate enterprise was not yet fully cloaked in the trappings of legitimacy. If White was barely a step above piracy, the same could be said for the Company itself. Indeed, as the British gradually succeeded in outmanoeuvring their opponents and taking over larger and larger portions of the Indian subcontinent, income from trade was dwarfed by revenues gained from taxing crops and local crafts via a middle stratum of tax collectors, fee assessors, and mandated buyers of crops and goods.
Far from enhancing the prosperity of areas under its umbrella, Pax Brittanica, by all accounts, proved highly ruinous to the unlucky inhabitants of India. In 1773, a Parliamentary committee investigating the Company wrote, “In the East, the laws of society, the laws of nature have been enormously violated. Oppression in every shape has ground the faces of the poor defenceless natives; and tyranny in her bloodless form has stalked abroad.”
In the same year, an anonymous pamphleteer wrote, “Indians tortured to disclose their treasure; cities, towns and villages ransacked, jaghires and provinces purloined: these were the ‘delights’ and ‘religions’ of the Directors and their servants.”
To guard its own revenues, the East India Company issued edicts prohibiting local trading or the development of local industries. Typically the extraction of revenues exceeded sustainable levels, to the point where entire regions became economically broken and socially ruined—reduced from relative health to destitute poverty.
The following list of British East India Company directors is taken from the “Alphabetical List of Directors of the East India Company from 1758 to 1858”, compiled by C.H. & D. Philips and published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, October 1941.
"The figures indicate the year of election to the Court of Directors and, unless the name of the month in any particular year is given, the month is assumed to be that of April. It is important to remember that throughout the period the year of office was from April to the following April. When a span of years is shown the election dates given are inclusive.”
“An asterisk placed after a year indicates that the director concerned was elected deputy chairman for that year, two asterisks, that he was chosen chairman, three, that he was first elected deputy and later in the same year appointed chairman. The abbreviations d., disq., respectively stand for died, disqualified.
This list has been compiled from MSS. records, in particular the Court Minutes and Home Miscellaneous Series, volume 764, at the India Office, amplified and checked by information mainly taken from the Annual Register, the Asiatic Annual."
Directors of the British East India Company 1785-1885
Director’s name Dates of directorship

Lt.-Col. Patrick Vans Agnew
May 1833, 35–8, 40–2, d. Jun 1842.
Alexander, Josias du Pre Earl of Caledon
Aug 1820–2, 24–7, 29–32, 34–7, 39, d. Aug 1839.
Alexander, Henry Mar 1826–26, 28–31, 33–6, 38–41, 43–6, 48–51, 53, d. Jan 1861.
Allan, Alexander 1814–17, 19–20, d. Oct 1820.
Amyand, George 1760, 63, d. Aug 1766.
Astell, MP 1841, William Thornton Jan 1800–1800, 02–05, 07–09*–10**, 12–15, 17–20, 22–3*–4**–5, 27–8**–9*30**, 32–5, 37–40, 42–5, d. Mar 1847.
Astell, John Harvey MP Jul 1851, 52–8.
Atkinson, Richard Jan 1784–84–5, d. Jun 1785.
Baillie, John May 1823, 25–8, 30–3, d. May 1833.
Bannerman, John Alexander 1808–11, 13–16, disq. Mar 1817.
Baring, Francis
1779–82, 84–7, 89–91*–2**, 94–7,99–1802,04–07,09–10, d. Oct 1810.
Baron, Christopher 1759, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, d. Nov 1767.
Barrington, Fitzwilliam 1759, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67.
Barwell, William 1758,59,61,62,63,64,66.
Bayley, William Butterworth July 1833–5 37–9*–40** 42–5 47–50,52–8, d. May 1860.
Bebb, John Nov 1804, 06–09, 11–14, 16*–17**–19, 21–4, 26–9, disq. Apr 1830.
Becher, Richard 1775–8, 80, disq. Mar 1781.
Bensley, William Oct 1781–4, 86–9, 91–4, 96–9, 1801–4, 06–09, d. Jan 1810.
Boddam, Charles 1769, 72, 73, 74–5, 77–80, 82–4, d. Dec 1784.
Boehm, Edmund 1784–7, d. 1787.
Booth, Benjamin 1767, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75–8, 80–3, d. Apr 1807.
Bosanquet, Jacob (1) 1759
Bosanquet, Jacob (2) Aug 1782–3, 85–8, 90–3, 95–7*–8**, 1800–02*–03**, 05–08, 10*–11 **–12**–13, 15–18, 20–3, 25–6, disq. Mar 1827.
Bosanquet, Richard 1768, 69, 71, 72.
Boulton, Henry Crabb 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64*, 65**, 67, 68**, 69, 70, 72, 73**, d. Oct 1773.
Boyd, John 1758, 59*, 60, 61, 63, 64, d. Aug 1766.
Browne, John 1758, 59, 60, 62, 63.
Bryant, Jeremiah Feb 1841–41, 43–5, d. Jun 1845.
Burgess, John Smith 1773, 74, 76–9, 81–4, 86–9, 91 **–2*–4, 96–9, 1801–3, d. May 1803.
Burrow, Christopher 1758, 60, 61.
Burrow, Robert 1762, 63, 64.
Campbell, Archibald M. Feb 1796–96, d. Sept., 1796.
Campbell, Robert Jul 1817, 19–22, 24–7, 29–30*–31**–32, 34–7, 39–42, 44–7, 49–52, d. 1858.
Carnac, James Rivett Mar 1827–27–28,30–3,35*–6**–7**–8, disq. Dec 1838.
Caulfield, James 1848–51, d. Nov 1852.
Chambers, Charles (1) 1763, 64, 65, 66, 68.
Chambers, Charles (2) 1770, 73.
Cheap, Thomas Aug, 1777, 78, 80–3, 85–8, 90–3*.
Clarke, William Stanley Mar 1815–15–16, 18–21, 23–6 28–31 33–4*–5**–6, 38–41, 43, d. Jan 1844:
Clerk, Robert Jul 1812, 14–15,d. Jul 1815.
Cockburn, James 1767, 68, 70, 71.
Colebrooke, George 1767, 68*, 69**, 70**, 72**.
Cotton, John Apr 1833–33–34, 36–9, 41– 2*–3**–4, 46–9, 51–3, d. Jul 1860.
Cotton, Joseph 1795–8, 1800–3, 05–08, 10–13, 15–18,20–3, disq. May 1823.
Creed, James . 1758, 61, d. Feb 1762.
Creswicke, Joseph 1765,66,67, 68, d. Jun 1772.
Cruttenden, Edward Holden 1765, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, d. Jun 1771.
Cuming, George 1764,65,66,67,69,70,71,72, Dec 73, 74–7, 79–82, 85–7, d. Dec 1787.
Currie, Frederick 1854–6, 57*, 58**, d. Sep 1875.
Cust, Peregrine 1767,68,69*.
Cutts, Charles 1758,59,60,61,63,64,65,66.
Daniell, James Oct 1809, 11–14, 16–19, 21–4, resigned Apr 1825.
Darell, Lionel 1780–3 85–8 90–3 95–8 1800–3, d. Oct 1803.
Davis, Samuel Oct 1810–12, 14–17, 19, d. Jul 1819.
Dempster, George 1769, 72, d. Feb 1818.
Dent, William Jan 1851–51–53, d. Dec 1877.
Dethick, Thomas 1772
Devaynes, William 1770,71, 72, 73, 74–5, 77*–89*–80**, 82–3*–4*–5**, 878*–9**–90*, 92–3**–4**–5, 97–1800, 02–05, defeated Apr 1807.
Dorrien, John 1758,60,61,62*,63**.
Drake, Roger 1758*, d. Jun 1762.
Ducane, Peter 1764,66,67,68,69,71,72,73.
Dudley, George 1758, 59, 60, 62, 64, 65*, 66**,67,70,71*, d. Nov 1777.
Dupre, Josias 1765, 66, d. Oct 1780.
Eastwick, William Joseph Jun 1847, 49–52, 54–8*.
Edmonstone, Neil Benjamin Oct 1820–2, 24–7, 29–32, 34–7, 39–41, d. Jun 1841.
Ellice, Russell Feb 1831, 32–5, 37–40, 42–5, 47–50, 52*–3**, 54–8.
Elphinstone, William Fullarton
Dec 1786–9, 91–4, 96–9, 1801–04**,06**–09,11–13*–14**, 16–19, 21–4, resigned Apr 1825.
Ewer, Walter Dec 1790, 92–4, disq. Apr 1795.
Farquhar, Robert Townsend Mar 1826–26–28, d. Mar 1830.
Fergusson, Robert Cutlar Feb 1830–30–31, 33–5, disq. Jun 1835.
Fitzhugh, Thomas Aug 1785, 87–90, 92–5, 97–9, d. Jan 1800.
Fletcher, Henry 1769, 71, 72, 73, 74–5, 77––80, 82***–83**, resigned Nov 1783.
Forbes, John Apr 1830, 31–4, 36–9, d. Feb 1846.
Fraser, Simon Feb 1791–91, 93–6, 98–1801,03–06, d. 1807.
Freeman, William George 1769, 74–6, 78–81.
Galloway, Archibald Sep 1840, 42–5, 47–8*– 49**–50, d. Apr 1850.
Gildart, Richard 1759
Godfrey, Peter 1759**,60.
Gough, Charles 1759, 60, 61, 62, d. Feb 1774.
Grant, Charles
May 1794–5,97–1800,02–04*05**, 07*–08*–09**–10,1215**,17–20,22–3, d. Oct 1823.
Gregory, Robert 1769,70,71,72,75–8,80–2**, resigned Aug 1782.
Hadley, Henry 1758, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65.
Hall, Richard 1773, 74, 76–9, 81–4, 86, d. Dec 1786.
Harrison, John 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73*, 74*–5**7, 79–82.
Harrison, Samuel 1759,61,62, d. May 1765.
Hawkesworth, John 1773, d. Nov 1773.
Hogg, James Weir Sep 1839–42, 44–5*– 6* *–7 , 49–50*–1 *–2**, 54–8, d. May 1876.
Hudleston, John 1803–6, 08–11, 13–16, 18–21, 23–5, disq. Mar 1826.
Hunter, John 1781–4, 86–9, 91–4*, 96–9, 1801–2, d. Jan 1803.
Hurlock, Joseph 1768, 70, 71, 72, 73.
Inglis, Hugh 1784–7,89–92,94–6*–7**,99*1800**–02, 04–07, 09–11*12*, d. 1812.
Inglis, John May 1803–04, 06–09, 11–14*, 16––19,21–2, d. Aug 1822.
Irwin, James Apr 1795, 97, d. Mar 1798.
Jackson, John 1807–10,12–15, 17–20, d. Jun 1820.
Jackson, William Adair Jan 1803–03–04, d. Nov., 1804.
James, William
1768, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74–6*, 78*–9**––80–1*,83, d. Dec 1783.
Jenkins, Richard Jun 1832–5, 37–8*–9**–40, 42–5,47–50,52–3, d. Dec 1853.
Johnstone, George Jan 1784–84–85, d. 1787.
Jones, Robert 1765, 66, 67, 68, d. Feb 1774.
Lascelles, Peter 1770, 72, 73, 74–5.
Lemesurier, Paul 1784–7, 89–92, 94–7, 99–1802, 04–05, d. Dec 1805.
Lindsay, Hugh 1814–17, 19–22, 24–6*–7**, 29–32, 34–7, 39–42, 44, d. May 1844.
Loch, John 1821–4, 26–8*–9**, 31–3**–4, 36*–9, 41–4, 46–9, 51–3.
Lumsden, John Jan 1817, 18, d. Dec 1818.
Lushington, James Law Jul 1827–8, 30–3, 35–7*–8**, 40–1*–2**–3,45–7*–8**,503, d. May 1859.
Lushington, Stephen 1782–5, 87–9*–90**, 92–5**, 97–8*–9**–1800, 02–05, d. Jan 1807.
Lyall, George 1830–3,35–8,40*–1**–3,45–8, 50, disq. Jan 1851.
Macnaghten, Elliot Jun 1842–3, 45–8, 50–3, 54*, 55**, 56–8.
Mangles, Ross Donnelly 1847–50, 52–3, 54, 55, 56*, 57**, 58, d. Aug 1877.
Manship, John 1758, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, Dec 73, 74–7, 79–82, 84–7, 89–92, 94–7, 99–1802, 04–07, 09, disq. May 1809.
Marjoribanks, Campbell 1807–10, 12–15, 17–18*–19**20, 22–4*–5**, 27–30,32*3**–5, 37–40, d. Sep 1840.
Marjoribanks, Dudley Coutts
Masterman, John Nov 1823–5,27–30,325, 37–40, 42–5, 47–50, 52–3.
Melville, William Henry Leslie Jul 1845–6, 48–51, 53–5.
Metcalfe, Thomas Theophilus 1789–92,94–7,99–1802,04–07, 09–12, d. Nov 1813.
Michie, John 1770, 71, 72, 73, 74–5, 77–80, 83–6**, 88*, d. Nov 1788.
Millet, George Jan 1806–06–07, 09–12, d. 1812.
Mills, Charles (1) Aug 1785–6, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801 ***, 03–06, 08–11, 13–14, disq. Mar 1815.
Mills, Charles (2) Aug 1822–4, 26–9, 31–4, 36–9, 41–4, 46–9, 51–8, d. 1872.
Mills, William 1778–81, 83–5, disq. Aug 1785.
Moffat, James 1774–7, 79–82, Dec 1784–5,87–90, d. Dec 1790.
Money, William 1789–92, 94–5, d. Feb 1796.
Money, William Taylor Dec 1818, 20–3, 25, disq. Mar 1826.
Moore, James Arthur May 1850, 52–3, d. Jul 1860.
Morris, John 1814–17, 19–22, 24–7, 29–32, 34–7, disq. Jan 1838.
Motteux, John 1769, 1784–6*–7**.
Muspratt, John Petty Mar 1824, 25–8, 30–3, 35–8, 40–3, 45–8, 50–3, d. Aug 1855.
Newnham, Nathaniel 1758, d. Feb 1760.
Oliphant, James Jan 1844–44–46, 48–51, 53*, 54**, 55–6, disq. Apr 1857.
Pardoe, John 1765, 66, 67, 68.
Parry, Edward Apr 1797–97–98, 1800–03,0506*–07**–08**, 10–13, 1518, 20–3, 25–7, d. Jul 1827.
Parry, Richard Aug 1815–17, d. Jul 1817.
Parry, Thomas Oct 1781, 83–6, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801, 03–06, d. 1806.
Pattison, James Mar 1805, 06–09, 11–14, 16–17*–18**–19, 21*–2**–4, 26–7*–9, disq. Apr 1830.
Pattle, Thomas 1787–90, 92–4, disq. Apr 1795.
Peach, Samuel 1773, 74, 76–9, 81, disq. Oct 1781.
Peel, Laurence 1857, d. Jul 1884.
Phipps, Thomas 1758
Pigou, Frederick 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74–7.
Plant, Henry 1758
Plowden, Richard Chicheley 1803–06, 08–11, 13–16, 18–21, 23–6, 28–9, d. Feb 1830.
Plowden, William Henry Chicheley 1841–4, 46–9, 51–3, d. Mar 1880.
Pollock, George 1854–5, 58, d. Oct 1872.
Prescott, Charles Elton Jun 1820, 22–5, 27–30, 32, d. Jun 1832.
Prinsep, Henry Thoby Jul 1850–1, 53–8, d. Feb 1878.
Purling, John 1763, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70*, 71**, 77–80.
Raikes, George Mar 1817, 18–21, 23–6, 28–31, 33–6, disq. Jul 1836.
Ravenshaw, John Goldsborough Jul 1819–22, 24–7, 29–31*2**, 34–7, 39–40, d. Jun 1840.
Rawlinson, Henry Creswicke 1856–8, d. Mar 1895.
Raymond, John 1758, 59, 60, d. 1768.
Reid, Thomas Nov 1803, 05–08, 10– 13,15*–16**–18,20*–1**–3, d. Mar 1824
Robarts, Abraham Mar 1786–86, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801, 03–06, 08–11, 1315, disq. Oct 1815.
Roberts, John 1764, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 75*–6**–8, Nov 80–3,85–8,90–3,95–8,1800–01*–02**–03*, 05–08,d. Feb 1810.
Robertson, Archibald Jun 1841–2, 44–7, d. Jun 1847.
Robinson, George Abercrombie 1808–11,13–16,18–19*–20**–1, 23–5*–6**, 28, disq. Mar 1829.
Rooke, Giles 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64.
Rous, Thomas 1758, 60*, 61*, 62**, 64**, 65, 66*, 67**, 70, 71, d. Jul 1771.
Rous, Thomas Bates 1773,74,76–9.
Rumbold, Thomas 1772, 75–6–7, res. Aug 1777.
Saunders, Thomas 1765,66,67*.
Savage, Henry 1758, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74–7, 79–82.
Scott, David (1) Dec 1788–91, 93–5*–6**, 98–1800*–01 **, resigned Apr 1802.
Scott, David (2) 1814–17, 19–20, disq. Aug 1820.
Scrafton, Luke 1765, 66, 67, 68.
Seward, Richard 1759, 61, 62, 63.
Shank, Henry 1831–4,36–9,41–4,46–9,51–3.
Shepherd, John Jun 1835–6, 38–41, 43*–4**– 6, 48–9*–50**–51**, 53–8, d. Jan 1859.
Smith, George Apr 1795, 97–1800, 02–05*, 07–10, 12–15, 17–20, 22–5, 27–30, 32–3, disq. Jul 1833.
Smith, Martin Tucker Dec 1838, 40–3, 45–8, 50–8, d. Oct 1880.
Smith, John (see Burgess, John Smith)
Smith, Joshua 1771,72, d. Jul 1775.
Smith, Nathaniel 1774–5, 77–80, 82*–3***–4**5*, 87*–8**–90, 92–4, d. May 1794.
Smith, Richard 1759, 60, 61, 62, 64.
Smith, Samuel 1783–6, disq. Jul 1786.
Snell, William 1762, 63, 64, 67, 68, 69.
Sparkes, Joseph 1773, 74, 76–9, 81–4, 86–9, d. Mar 1790.
Stables, John 1774–6, 78–81, disq. Oct 1781.
Steevens, George 1758, 59, 60, 62, 63, d. 1763.
Stephenson, John 1765,66,67,68, d. Apr 1794.
Stuart, James 1826–9, 31–2, d. Apr 1833.
Sulivan, Laurence 1758**, 60**, 61**, 63*, 64, 69, 71, 72*, 78–80*–81**, 83–5, d. Feb 1786.
Sykes, William Henry
Jul 1840–2, 44–7, 49–52, 54–5*–6**–8, d. Jun 1872.
Tatem, George 1772, 73, 74, 76–9, 81–4, Jul 1786, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801, d. Jul 1807.
Taylor, John Bladen Jan 1810, 11–14, 16–19, d. 1819.
Thelusson, George Woodford Sep 1796–7, 99–1802, 04–07, d. Dec 1811.
Thornhill, John Oct 1815–16, 18–21, 23–6, 28–31, 33–6, 38–40, d. Feb 1841.
Thornton, Robert Dec 1787–8, 90–3, 95–8, 1800–03 05–0£ 10–13** disq. Apr 1814.
Thornton, William (1) 1759, 61, 62, 63, 64.
Thornton, William (2) (see Astell, William Thornton)
Toone, Sweny Mar 1798–98–1800, 02–05, 07–10, 12–15, 17–20, 22–5, 27–30, disq. Feb 1831.
Townson, John Mar 1781, 81–3, 85–8, 90–3, 95–6, d. Apr 1797.
Travers, John 1786–9, 91–4, 96–9, 1801–04, 06–09, d. Oct 1809.
Tucker, Henry St. George 1826–9,31–3*–4**,36–9,41–4, 46*–7**–9,51, d. Jun 1851.
Tullie, Timothy 1758, 60, 61, 62, 63, d. Aug 1765.
Twining, Richard 1810–13, 15–16, disq. Jan 1817.
Vansittart, Henry 1769, d. 1770.
Verelst, Harry 1771, d. 1785.
Vivian, John Hussey 1856–8.
Walton, Bourchier 1759,60,61,62, d. Jun 1779.
Ward, Edward 1762, d. Sep 1762.
Warden, Francis Jul 1836, 38–41,43–6,48–50, disq. Jul 1850.
Warner, Richard 1760, 61, 62, 63.
Waters, Thomas 1759, 60, 61, 62, d. Sep 1764.
Webber, William 1762, 63, 64, 65, d. Apr 1779.
Wheler, Edward 1765, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73**, 74**–6.
Whiteman, John Clarmont May 1844–7, 49–52, d. Aug 1866.
Wier, Daniel 1768, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74–6.
Wigram, William May 1809–12, 15–18, 20–2*3**,25–8,30–3*,35–8,40–3, 45–8, 50–3.
Wilkinson, Jacob 1782–3, resigned Nov 1783.
Williams, Stephen Mar 1790,91–4, 96–9, 1801–4, d. Mar 1805.
Willock, Henry Jan 1838, 39–42, 44*–5**–7, 49–52, 54–8.
Willoughby, John Pollard 1854–8, d. Sep 1866.
Wombwell, George 1766, 67, 68, 75–7**–8**, 80, d. Nov 1780.
Woodhouse, John 1768, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74–6, 78–81, Jan 1784–84–86, 88–90, disq. Feb 1791.
Williams, Robert 1809–12, d. Jul 1812.
Young, William Mar 1829–29–31, 33–6, 3841, 43–6.
The Atlantic slave trade, started by the Spanish, was the purchase of people in and transported from West Africa and Central Africa, into slavery in the New World. The trade relied on kidnapping persons in Africa to make them ready for the arrival of the foreign slave-ships. The slave-trade is sometimes called the Maafa by African and African-American scholars, meaning holocaust or great disaster in Kiswahili. The slaves were one element of a three-part economic cycle—the Triangular Trade and its Middle Passage—which ultimately involved four continents, four centuries and millions of people. Research published in 2006 reports the earliest known presence of African slaves in the New World. [1] A burial ground in Campeche, Mexico, suggests slaves had been brought there not long after Hernán Cortés completed the subjugation of Aztec and Mayan Mexico. Contemporary historians estimate that some 10 to 12 million individuals arrived from Africa, via government permits, to Europe, North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. [citation needed] However some put the number taken/lost (bought from Africans) from Africa from 25 to 40 million. [2]
Triangular trade
European colonists practiced Indian slavery, enslaving many of the natives of the New World. For a variety of reasons Africans replaced Indians as the main population of slaves in the Americas. In some cases, such as on some of the Caribbean Islands, disease and warfare eliminated the natives completely. In other cases, such as in South Carolina, Virginia, and New England, the need for alliances with native tribes coupled with the availability of African slaves at affordable prices (beginning in the early 18th century for these colonies) resulted in a shift away from Indian slavery. It is often falsely claimed that Indians made poor slaves compared to Africans, explaining the shift to using Africans. The reasons had more to do with economics and politics.
The first side of the triangle was the export of goods from Europe to Africa. A number of African kings and merchants took part in the trading of slaves from 1440 to about 1900. For each captive, the African rulers would receive a variety of goods from Europe. Many of them were confronted with the dilemma of trading with Europe or becoming slaves themselves. Five times the number of slaves were transported to the Americas compared to those transports to Europe. This is because the slaves were exposed to new diseases and also because of malnutrition. The third and final part of the triangle was the return of goods to Europe from the Americas. The goods were the products of slave-labour plantations and included cotton, sugar, tobacco, molasses and rum.
Labour and slavery

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade originated as a shortage of labour in the American colonies and later the USA. The first slaves used by European colonizers were Indigenous peoples of the Americas 'Indian' peoples until African slaves were available in quantity at affordable prices. It was also difficult to get Europeans to emigrate to the colonies, despite incentives such as indentured servitude or even distribution of free land (mainly in the English colonies that became the United States). Massive amounts of labour were needed, initially for mining, and soon even more for the plantations in the labour-intensive growing, harvesting and semi-processing of sugar (also for rum and molasses), cotton and other prized tropical crops which could not be grown profitably — in some cases, could not be grown at all — in the colder climate of Europe. It was also cheaper to import these goods from American colonies than from regions within the Ottoman Empire. To meet this demand for labour European traders thus turned to Western Africa (part of which became known as 'the Slave coast') and later Central Africa as the new source for slaves. An estimated 6.5 million people migrated to the Western hemisphere between 1492 and 1776, and more than five out of every six migrants was African. [3] While the first Africans to arrive in the American colonies were indentured servants (as were many British arrivals), it seems that there were not enough willing to come voluntarily.
African slave market
Europeans sometimes bought slaves who were captured in wars between African kingdoms and chiefdoms, or from Africans who had made a business out of capturing Africans and selling them. Europeans provided a large new market for an already-existing trade, and while an African held in slavery in his own region of Africa might escape or be traded back to his own people, a person shipped away was sure never to return. African people were transported from these markets to the coast and sold at European trading ports in exchange for muskets and manufactured goods such as cloth or alcohol.
Europeans rarely entered the interior of Africa, due to fear of disease and moreover fierce African resistance. They would be brought to coastal outposts where they would be traded for goods. Enslavement also became a major by-product of war in Africa as nation states expanded through military conflicts in most cases through deliberate sponsorship of benefiting European nations. During such periods of rapid state formation or expansion (Asante or Dahomey being good examples), slavery formed an important element of political life which the Europeans exploited: As Queen Sara's plea to the Portuguese courts revealed, the system became sell to the Europeans or be sold to the Europeans. In Europe, convicted criminals could be punished by enslavement and with European demands for slaves, this punishment became more prevalent. Since most of these nations did not have a prison system, convicts were often sold or used in the scattered local domestic slave market.
The majority of European conquests occurred toward the end or after the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. One exception to this is the conquest of Ndongo and Kongo in Angola where warriors, citizens and even nobility were taken into slavery after the fall of the state.

African versus European slavery
"Slavery", as it is often referred to, in African cultures was generally more like indentured servitude: "slaves" were not made to be chattel of other men, nor enslaved for life. African "slaves" were paid wages and were able to accumulate property. They often bought their own freedom and could then achieve social promotion - just as freedmen in ancient Rome - some even rose to the status of kings (e.g. Jaja of Opobo and Sunni Ali Ber). Similar arguments were used by western slave owners during the time of abolition, for example by John Wedderburn in Wedderburn v. Knight, the case that ended legal recognition of slavery in Scotland in 1776. Regardless of the legal options open to slave owners, rational cost-earning calculation and/or voluntary adoption of moral restraints often tended to mitigate (except with traders, who preferred to weed out the worthless weak individuals) the actual fate of slaves throughout history.
African kingdoms of the era
There were over 173 city-states and kingdoms in the African regions affected by the slave trade between 1502 and 1853, when Brazil became the last Atlantic import nation to outlaw the slave trade. Of those 173, no fewer than 68 could be deemed "nation states" with political and military infrastructures that enabled them to dominate their neighbors. Nearly every present-day nation had a pre-colonial forbear with which European traders had to barter and eventually battle. Below are 38 nation states by country with populations that correspond to African-Americans:
• Mali: Bamana Empire, Kenedougou Kingdom and Songhai Empire
• Burkina Faso: Mossi Kingdoms
• Senegal: Jolof Empire, Denanke Kingdom, Kingdom of Fouta Tooro, Kingdom of Khasso and Kingdom of Saalum
• Guinea-Bissau: Kaabu
• Guinea: Kingdom of Fouta Djallon and Mali Empire
• Sierra Leone: Koya Temne and Kpaa Mende
• Cote d'Ivoire: Gyaaman Kingdom and Kong Empire
• Ghana: Asante Confederacy and Mankessim Kingdom
• Benin: Kingdom of Dahomey
• Nigeria: Aro Confederacy, Kingdom of Benin, Igala, Nupe and Oyo
• Cameroon Kingdoms: Bamun and Mandara kingdom
• Gabon: Orungu
• Equatorial Guinea: Otcho
• Republic of Congo: Anziku and Loango
• Democratic Republic of Congo: Kuba Kingdom, Luba Empire, Lunda Kingdom and Matamba
• Angola: Kingdom of Kongo and Kingdom of Ndongo
There were eight principal areas used by Europeans to buy and ship slaves to the Western Hemisphere.
• Senegambia: Present day Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea
• Sierra Leone: Present day Sierra Leone and Liberia
• The Windward Coast: Present day Cote d'Ivoire
• The Gold Coast: Present-day Ghana
• The Bight of Benin or the Slave Coast: Togo, Benin and Nigeria west of the Benue River
• The Bight of Biafra: Nigeria south of the Benue River, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea
• Central Africa (sometimes called Kongo in slave ship logs): Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo) and Angola
• Southeast Africa: Mozambique and Madagascar.
The number of slaves sold to the new world varied throughout the slave trade. The minimum and least disputed number is 10 million. As for the distribution of slaves from regions of activity, the Senegambia provided about 5.8%, Sierra Leone 3.4%, Windward Coast 12.1%, Central Africa 14.4%, Bight of Benin 14.5%, Bight of Biafra 23%, Gold Coast 25% and Southeast Africa 1.8%.
Ethnic groups
The different ethnic groups brought to the Americas closely corresponds to the regions of heaviest activity in the slave trade. Over 45 distinct ethnic groups were taken to the Americas during the trade. Of the 45, the ten most prominent according to slave documentation of the era are listed below.
1. The Gbe speakers of Togo, Ghana and Benin (Adja, Mina, Ewe, Fon)
2. The Akan of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire
3. The Mbundu of Angola (includes Ovimbundu)
4. The BaKongo of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
5. The Igbo of Nigeria
6. The Yoruba of Nigeria
7. The Mandé speakers of Upper Guinea
8. The Wolof of Senegal
9. The Chamba of Nigeria
10. The Makua of Mozambique
Human toll
The trans-Atlantic slave trade resulted in a vast loss of life for African captives both in Africa and in America. Around 20 million Africans died during the brutal process, which turned human beings into property. The savage nature of the trade, where most of the slaves were procured during African wars, led to the destruction of individuals and cultures. For every African captive arriving in the New World two died during capture, storage, transport or "seasoning". The exact number of dead may never be known, but records of the period and modern research paint a grim picture. The following figures do not include deaths of African slaves as a result of their actual labour, slave revolts or diseases they caught while living among New World populations.
African conflicts
According to American Holocaust, 50% of African deaths (10 million) occurred in Africa as a result of wars between native kingdoms, which produced the majority of slaves. This includes not only those who died in battles, but also those who died as a result of forced marches from inland areas to slave ports on the various coasts. The practice of enslaving enemy combatants and their villages was widespread throughout Western and West Central Africa, although wars were rarely started to procure slaves. The slave trade was largely a by-product of tribal and state warfare as a way of removing potential dissidents after victory or financing future wars. However, some African groups proved particularly adept and brutal at the practice of enslaving such as Kaabu, Asanteman, Dahomey, the Aro Confederacy and the Imbangala war bands.
Port factories
After being marched to the coast for sale, Africans waited in large forts called factories. The amount of time in factories varied, but Milton Meltzer's Slavery: A World History states this process resulted in 4.5% of deaths during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. In other words, around 900,000 Africans would have died in ports such as Benguela, Elmina and Bonny.
Atlantic shipment
After being captured and held in the factories, slaves entered the infamous Middle Passage. Meltzer's research puts this phase of the slave trade's overall mortality at 12.5%. Around 2.5 million Africans died during these voyages where they were packed into tight, unsanitary spaces on ships for months at time. Measures were taken to stem the onboard mortality rate such as mandatory dancing above deck and the practice of force-feeding any slaves that attempted to starve themselves. The conditions on board also resulted in the spread of fatal diseases. Other fatalities were the result of suicides by slaves who could no longer endure the conditions by jumping over board.
Seasoning camps
Meltzer also states that 33% of Africans would have died in the first year at seasoning camps found throughout the Caribbean. Many slaves shipped directly to North America bypassed this process; however most slaves (destined for island or South American plantations) were likely to be put through this ordeal. The slaves were tortured for the purpose of "breaking" them (like the practice of breaking horses) and conditioning them to their new lot in life. Jamaica held one of the most notorious of these camps. All in all, 6.6 million Africans died in these camps reducing the final number of Africans to about 10 million.
New World destinations
African slaves were brought to Europe and the Americas to supply cheap labour. Central America only imported around 200,000. Europe topped this number at 300,000, North America, however, imported 500,000. The Caribbean was the second largest consumer of slave labour at 4 million. South America, with Brazil taking most of the slaves, imported 4.5 million before the end of slavery.
European competition
The trade of enslaved Africans in the Atlantic has its origins in the explorations of Portuguese mariners down the coast of West Africa in the 15th century. The first Europeans to use African slaves in the New World were the Spaniards who sought auxiliaries for their conquest expeditions and labourers on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola (mod. Haiti-Dominican Republic) where the alarming decline in the native population had spurred the first royal laws protecting the native population, (Laws of Burgos,1512-1513). After Portugal had succeeded in establishing sugar plantations (engenhos) in northern Brazil ca. 1545, Portuguese merchants on the West African coast began to supply enslaved Africans to the sugar planters there. While at first these planters relied almost exclusively on the native Tupani for slave labour, a titantic shift toward Africans took place after 1570 following a series of epidemics which decimated the already destabilized Tupani communities. By 1630, Africans had replaced the Tupani as the largest contingent of labour on Brazilian sugar plantations, heralding equally the final collapse of the European medieval household tradition of slavery, the rise of Brazil as the largest single destination for enslaved Africans and sugar as the reason that roughly 84% of these Africans were shipped to the New World. As Britain rose in naval power and controlled more of the Americas, they became the leading slave traders, mostly operating out of Liverpool and Bristol. By the late 17th century, one out of every four ships that left Liverpool harbour was a slave trading ship Other British cities also profited from the slave trade. Birmingham was the largest gun producing city in Britain at the time, and guns were traded for slaves. 75% of all sugar produced in the plantations came to London to supply the highly lucrative coffee houses there.

Reproduction of a handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1769.
The slave trade was part of the triangular Atlantic trade, then probably the most important and profitable trading route in the world. Ships from Europe would carry a cargo of manufactured trade goods to Africa. They exchanged the trade goods for slaves which they would transport to the Americas, where they sold the slaves and picked up a cargo of agricultural products, often produced with slave labour, for Europe. The value of this trade route was that a ship could make a substantial profit on each leg of the voyage. The route was also designed to take full advantage of prevailing winds and currents: the trip from the West Indies or the southern U.S. to Europe would be assisted by the Gulf Stream; the outward bound trip from Europe to Africa would not be impeded by the same current.
Even though since the Renaissance some ecclesiastics actively pleaded slavery to be against the Christian teachings, as now generally held, others supported the economically opportune slave trade by church teachings and the introduction of the concept of the black man's and white man's separate roles—black men were expected to labour in exchange for the blessings of European civilization, including Christianity.
Economics of slavery
Slavery was involved in some of the most profitable industries in history. 70% of the slaves brought to the new world were used to produce sugar, the most labour intensive crop. The rest were employed harvesting coffee, cotton, and tobacco, and in some cases in mining. The West Indian colonies of the European powers were some of their most important possessions, so they went to extremes to protect and retain them. For example, at the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, France agreed to cede the vast territory of New France to the victors in exchange for keeping the minute Antillian island of Guadeloupe.
Slave trade profits have been the object of many fantasies. Returns for the investors were not actually absurdly high (around 6% in France in the eighteenth century), but they were higher than domestic alternatives (in the same century, around 5%). Risks—maritime and commercial—were important for individual voyages. Investors mitigated it by buying small shares of many ships at the same time. In that way, they were able to diversify a large part of the risk away. Between voyages, ship shares could be freely sold and bought. All these made the slave trade a very interesting investment (Daudin 2004).
By far the most successful West Indian colonies in 1800 belonged to the United Kingdom. After entering the sugar colony business late, British naval supremacy and control over key islands such as Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados and the territory of British Guiana gave it an important edge over all competitors; while many British did not make gains, some made enormous fortunes, even by upper class standards. This advantage was reinforced when France lost its most important colony, St. Dominigue (western Hispaniola, now Haiti), to a slave revolt in 1791 and supported revolts against its rival Britain, after the 1793 French revolution in the name of liberty (but in fact opportunistic selectivity). Before 1791, British sugar had to be protected to compete against cheaper French sugar. After 1791, the British islands produced the most sugar, and the British people quickly became the largest consumers of sugar. West Indian sugar became ubiquitous as an additive to Chinese tea. Products of American slave labour soon permeated every level of British society with tobacco, coffee, and especially sugar all becoming indispensable elements of daily life for all classes. [citation needed]
Effect on the economy of Africa

Cowrie shells were used as money in the slave trade
No scholars dispute the harm done to the slaves themselves, but the effect of the trade on African societies is much debated due to the apparent influx of capital to Africans. Proponents of the slave trade, such as Archibald Dalzel, argued that African societies were robust and not much affected by the ongoing trade. In the 19th century, European abolitionists, most prominently Dr. David Livingston, took the opposite view arguing that the fragile local economy and societies were being severely harmed by the ongoing trade. This view continued with scholars until the 1960s and 70s such as Basil Davidson, who conceded it might have had some benefits while still acknowledging its largely negative impact on Africa. Historian Walter Rodney estimates that by c.1770, the King of Dahomey was earning an estimated £250,000 per year by selling captive African soldiers and even his own people to the European slave-traders. Most of this money was spent on British-made firearms (of very poor quality) and industrial-grade alcohol.
Effects on Europe’s Economy
Eric Williams has attempted to show the contribution of Africans on the basis of profits from the slave trade and slavery, and the employment of those profits to finance England’s industrialization process. He argues that the enslavement of Africans was an essential element to the Industrial Revolution, and that European wealth is a result of slavery. However, he argued that by the time of its abolition it had lost its profitability and it was in Britain's economic interest to ban it. Most modern scholars disagree with this view. Seymour Dreshcer and Robert Antsey have both presented evidence that the slave trade remained profitable until the end, and that reasons other than economics led to its cessation. Joseph Inikori have shown elsewhere that the British slave trade was more profitable than the critics of Williams would want us to believe.
The demographic effects of the slave trade are some of the most controversial and debated issues. Tens of millions of people were removed from Africa via the slave trade, and what effect this had on Africa is an important question. Walter Rodney argued that the export of so many people had been a demographic disaster and had left Africa permanently disadvantaged when compared to other parts of the world, and largely explains that continent's continued poverty. He presents numbers that show that Africa's population stagnated during this period, while that of Europe and Asia grew dramatically. According to Rodney all other areas of the economy were disrupted by the slave trade as the top merchants abandoned traditional industries to pursue slaving and the lower levels of the population were disrupted by the slaving itself.
Others have challenged this view. Joseph E. Inikori argues the history of the region shows that the effects were still quite deleterious. He argues that the African economic model of the period was very different from the European, and could not sustain such population losses. Population reductions in certain areas also led to widespread problems. Inikori also notes that after the suppression of the slave trade Africa's population almost immediately began to rapidly increase, even prior to the introduction of modern medicines."Ideology versus the Tyranny of Paradigm: Historians and the Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on African Societies," by Joseph E. Inikori African Economic History. 1994. Shahadah also states that the trade was not only of demographic significance, in aggregate population losses but also in the profound changes to settlement patterns, epidemiological exposure and reproductive and social development potential.
Legacy of racism
Maulana Karenga states that the effects of slavery where "the morally monstrous destruction of human possibility involved redefining African humanity to the world, poisoning past, present and future relations with others who only know us through this stereotyping and thus damaging the truly human relations among peoples." He cites that it constituted the destruction of culture, language, religion and human possibility.
End of the Atlantic slave trade

François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture
Virtually every major reform pertaining to the abolition of the slave trade and slavery took place in the immediate aftermath of a major armed rebellion and/or victory by enslaved or formerly enslaved Africans. Although in Britain, the U.S. and in other parts of Europe, moral, economic and political opposition developed against the slave trade, this was largely ineffective unless combined with the political factor of African rebellions. The single most significant event in the history of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery was the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), led by Toussaint L'Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines (later Jacques I). Prior to the Haitian Revolution there were no major reversals in the almost three-hundred-year-old trend of an increasing abduction of Africans across the Atlantic. After the Haitian Revolution, there was an immediate, terminal and rapid decline. This is because the Haitian Revolution and other uprisings created such significant military and political fears and costs for the European/American colonial powers that the continued importation of an African population became unsustainable, as the fears and costs outweighed stability and profitability.
In Europe, led by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and establishment Evangelicals such as William Wilberforce, the Abolitionist movement was joined by many and began to protest against the trade, but until the Haitian revolution, they were successfully opposed by the owners of the colonial holdings. Denmark, which had been very active in the slave trade, was the first country to ban the trade through legislation in 1792 - one year after the start of the victorious insurrection in Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti). Denmark's legislation only took effect in 1803, as the Haitian Revolution moved towards its final victory. Britain banned the slave trade in 1807], imposing stiff fines for any slave found aboard a British ship, just three years after the final victory of the slave rebellion in Haiti. The Royal Navy, which then controlled the world's seas, moved to stop other nations from filling Britain's place in the slave trade and declared that slaving was equal to piracy and was punishable by death.

The United States outlawed the importation of slaves on January 1, 1808, the earliest date permitted by the constitution for such a ban.
For the British to end the slave trade, significant obstacles had to be overcome. In the 18th century, the slave trade was an integral part of the Atlantic economy: the economies of the European colonies in the Caribbean, the American colonies, and Brazil required vast amounts of man power to harvest the bountiful agricultural goods. In 1790, the British West Indies islands such as Jamaica and Barbados had a slave population of 524,000 while the French had 643,000 in their West Indian possessions. Other powers such as Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark had many slaves in their colonies as well.
Despite these high populations more slaves were always required because harsh conditions and demographic imbalances left the slave population with fertility levels well below what was necessary to replenish or increase the labour force. Between 1600 and 1800, the English imported around 1.7 million slaves to their West Indian possessions. That there were well over a million fewer slaves in the British colonies than had been imported to them means that the African population of the British West Indian colonies had, in effect, declined by two-thirds during the slave-trading period. This not only illustrates the conditions which the African labourers endured, it also puts paid to the myth that Africans were somehow 'immune' to ill-treatment in comparison to the exterminated aboriginal population. The continued importation of Africans by the colonial powers was not the result of African 'immunity' to ill-treatment, but rather of the availability of a supply of abduction victims in Africa.
British influence
After the total victory of the Haitian Revolution in 1804, the British realised it was a military necessity to prevent the importation of potential African insurgents into the Caribbean. However, in order to maintain the economic competitiveness of their colonies, they were also compelled to induce other colonial and slave-trading powers to do the same. Therefore, the British campaign against the slave trade by other nations was an unprecedented foreign policy effort. Denmark, a small player in the international slave trade, and the United States (which also had a deep fear of African insurrection) banned the trade during the same period as Great Britain. Other small trading nations that did not have a great deal to give up, such as Sweden, quickly followed suit, as did the Dutch, who were also by then a minor player.
Four nations objected strongly to surrendering their rights to trade slaves: Spain, Portugal, Brazil (after its independence), and France. Britain used every tool at its disposal to try to induce these nations to follow its lead. Portugal and Spain, which were indebted to Britain after the Napoleonic Wars, slowly agreed to accept large cash payments to first reduce and then eliminate the slave trade. By 1853, the British government had paid Portugal over three million pounds and Spain over one million pounds in order to end the slave trade. Portugal had abolished slavery on the February 12, 1761; from this date onwards any slave entering in Portugal would be given freedom. However, the banning of slavery in the Portuguese colonies faced much opposition by the plantation owners who would have their profits reduced, and the law that was being enforced in Portugal did not take effect in the colonies where it faced opposition. Brazil, however, even after its independence, did not agree to stop trading in slaves until Britain took military action against its coastal areas and threatened a permanent blockade of the nation's ports in 1852.
For France, the British first tried to impose a solution during the negotiations at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, but Russia and Austria did not agree. The French people and government had deep misgivings about conceding to Britain's demands. Britain demanded that other nations ban the slave trade and that they had the right to police the ban. The Royal Navy had to be granted permission to search any suspicious ships and seize any found to be carrying slaves, or equipped for doing so. It is especially these conditions that kept France involved in the slave trade for so long. While France formally agreed to ban the trading of slaves in 1815, they did not allow Britain to police the ban, nor did they do much to enforce it themselves. Thus a large black market in slaves continued for many years. While the French people had originally been as opposed to the slave trade as the British, it became a matter of national pride that they not allow their policies to be dictated to them by Britain. Also such a reformist movement was viewed as tainted by the conservative backlash after the French Revolution. The French slave trade thus did not end until 1848.
Coolie (variously spelled Cooly, Kuli, Quli, etc.) is:
• A contemporary racial slur for people of Asian descent, including people from India, Central Asia, etc.[1]
• A historical term for manual labourers from Asia, particularly China and India, in the 19th century and early 20th century.

Coolie, a 1983 film made in India starring Amitabh Bachchan and Waheeda Rehman
The word coolie can be traced back to the Hindi-Urdu word qūlī (क़ूली, قولی), which means "(day-)labourer", and perhaps ultimately to Kulī, an aboriginal tribe in Gujarat [2] [3] or to the Tamil word kuli ("wages") (Encyclopædia Britannica). Another form closely related to the Hindi-Urdu qūlī is the Bengali kuli.
The Chinese word 苦力 (Pinyin: kǔlì) was originally a transcription of the Hindi, and it literally means "bitterly hard (use of) strength."
Coolieism and coolitude
"Coolieism", meaning the state of being a coolie and the institution that created it, was used as a legal term in the 19th term and remains a scholarly term today.[4]
Poet and semiologist Khal Torabully coined the word "coolitude" to give more transcultural scope to this condition in the poetic work Cale d'étoiles-Coolitude (Azalées éditions, 1992). He extended this status to humans throughout the world regardless of ethnicity who are "without the speech of his/her voyage". He refers to a poetics of relation between cultures, and moves from essentialism. This concept is much in keeping with a postcolonial and postmodern construction. Though this word reminds one of terms such as "servitude", Torabully had in mind the necessity to move from the derogatory word coolie, as portrayed in "négritude" which gave more positive connotations to the word "nigger". But coolitude moves further as it propounds for an exchange between cultures and imaginaries on an egalitarian basis, as developed in the coral imaginary. This neologism is sometimes restricted by confusion with similar impromptu words referring to "coolness" in the slang sense, though they share non-violent values, as Torabully's concept also reactivates ahimsa.

19th century United States illustration showing a harsh depiction of Asians now called "the coolie stereotype"
When it first entered the English language, "coolie" was a designative term describing a low-status class of workers rather than a pejorative term for them. However, in the wake of centuries of colonialism and the social inequalities thereof, it has taken on not only the characteristics of a slur in the general sense but also that of a racial epithet. In this last sense, it has been applied to Asian people regardless of their professions or socio-economic standing with obviously insulting intent.
For example, by the 1850s in Trinidad, the annual Muhurram or Hosay festival that came over from India was being called "the Coolie Carnival." Through the Caribbean, as well as in Sri Lanka, South Africa, and elsewhere, the word soon came to denote any person of Indian origin or descent.[5]
By the mid to late 19 century in the United States, the term "coolie" and other trappings of the "coolie stereotype" were already being used to mock (for example) Chinese-American launderers or restaurateurs who owned their own businesses.[6][7]

East Indian coolies on a Trinidad cacao estate, circa 1903.
The term coolie was applied to workers from Asia, especially those who were sent abroad to most of the Americas, to Oceana and the Pacific Islands, and to Africa (especially South Africa and isles like Mauritius and Réunion). It was also applied within Asian areas under European control such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
After slavery was abolished, there was a severe lack of labour in many European colonies. Although labourers were supposed to be recruited by voluntary negotiation, its evident that trickery and was common and outright kidnapping occurred as well.[8]
Most Indian indentured labour was recruited for the British colonies through "Colonial Agents" who travelled to India. In India, they engaged the services of arkatias or recruiters who knew the places to find likely enlistees. A male/female ration of 10:4 was sought, but women proved difficult to recruit for overseas and allegations of deception and kidnapping seem plausible. "Emigration Depots" were set up in Kolkata, Madras and Mumbai although the latter was closed rather quickly when abuses were made public in India.
Many voluntary emigrees came from among the very poor people of Madras, Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar. Once established, this system gained momentum as British policies destroyed domestic or cottage industry, crafts and family farms through taxation and the zamindar system. Famines continued to flow out of India for decades.
Around 1845, after the end of the first Opium War (1840-1842), a center for emigration at Shantou organised a network for transporting Chinese from Guangdong, Amoy, and Macao to the Americas, especially to the silver mines in Peru and the sugar plantations of Cuba and other West Indian islands.
Indentured labourers from Indochina were recruited primarily by France and sent to other French colonies.
Coolieism in British Empire
In the British Empire, coolies were indentured labourers who lived under conditions often resembling slavery. The system, inaugurated in 1834 in Mauritius, involved the use of licensed agents after slavery had been abolished in the British Empire. Thus, indenture followed closely on the heels of slavery in order to replace the slaves. The labourers were however only slightly better off than the slaves had been. They were supposed to receive either minimal wages or some small form of payout (such as a small parcel of land, or the money for their return passage) upon completion of their indentures. Unlike slaves, these imported servants could not be bought or sold.
In India and South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi led a campaign against such indentured servitude. Many of the servants who had gone to Africa remained there permanently, effectively becoming immigrants.

Indian female "Coolie woolwashers" in 19th century South Africa
The permanent settlement of formerly indentured Indians created problems, particularly in Africa. The Natal province of the Union of South Africa and Kenya amassed clusters of such immigrants. In the Transvaal, after the conclusion of the Second Boer War, the deficiency of native African labor in the Rand mines led to the enactment of an ordinance in February 1904 that provided for the import of Chinese laborers.
The Boer element in the Transvaal was bitterly opposed to this ordinance, alleging it would introduce a new factor into the already serious racial tensions of South Africa. This issue was largely responsible for the Liberal triumph in the United Kingdom general election, 1906, by which time over 50,000 Asian labourers already had been imported.
The decision to put an end to indentured servitude first affected Natal and Mauritius in 1910. Other regions followed in 1917.
Coolieism in the Americas
Chinese immigration to the United States was almost entirely voluntary, but working and social conditions were still harsh:
In 1868, the Burlingame Treaty repealed the century old prohibition law of the Chinese government and opened a floodgate of Chinese immigration. But a mere decade later, the American economy was in a slump and Chinese labourers were hired as scabs when white workers went on strike. During these years of unemployment and depression, anti-Chinese sentiment built around the country, fuelled by demagogues such as Denis Kearney of San Francisco, who would rail in front of crowds that "To an American, death is preferable to life on a par with the Chinese."[11]
Although Chinese labour contributed to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the United States and of the Canadian Pacific Railway in western Canada, Chinese settlement was discouraged after completion of the construction. California's Anti-Coolie Act of 1862 and Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 contributed to the oppression of Chinese labourers in the United States.
According to the Constitution of the State of California (1879):
The presence of foreigners ineligible to become citizens of the United States is declared to be dangerous to the well-being of the State, and the Legislature shall discourage their immigration by all the means within its power. Asiatic coolieism is a form of human slavery, and is forever prohibited in this State, and all contracts for coolie labour shall be void. All companies or corporations, whether formed in this country or any foreign country, for the importation of such labour, shall be subject to such penalties as the Legislature may prescribe.
Indentured Chinese servants also labored in the sugarcane fields of Cuba well after the 1884 abolition of slavery in that country. Before the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Havana had Latin America's largest Chinatown.

Newly arrived Indian coolies in Trinidad.
In South America, indentured laborers worked in Peru’s silver mines and coastal industries (i.e., guano, sugar, and cotton) from the early 1850s to the mid-1870s; about 100,000 people immigrated as indentured workers. They infamously participated in the War of the Pacific, looting and burning down the haciendas where they worked, subsequent to the fall of Lima to the invading Chilean army in January 1880.
Between 1836 and 1917, at least "238,000 Indians were introduced into British Guiana, 145,000 into Trinidad, 21,500 into Jamaica, 39,000 into Guadeloupe, 34,000 into Surinam, 1,550 into St. Lucia, 1,820 into St. Vincent, 2,570 into Grenada. In 1859, there were 6,748 Indians in Martinique." Although these were incomplete statistics, Eric Williams (see references) believed they were "sufficient to show a total introduction of nearly half a million Indians into the Caribbean" (Williams 100).
Modern use
As shown in this 21st century photo of a train station in India, the term "coolie" is still sometimes designative rather than pejorative.
• The word qūlī is now commonly used in Hindi to refer to luggage porters at hotel lobbies and railway and bus stations. Nevertheless, the use of such (especially by foreigners) may still be regarded as a slur by some.
• In the Persian language, a similar term, which is pronounced [kaʊ li], means "gypsy."
• In the Dutch koelie, which refers to a worker who performs very hard, extolling labour, has no particular ethnic connotations.
• In 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch pulled a line of tee shirts from stores across the United States after complaints that they depicted racist caricatures of Asian Americans. A typical criticism of the said "These are the kind of images we saw in California newspapers a century ago" and "It smacks of Charlie Chan and the coolie stereotype".
• Some Guyanese who identify as of African ancestry use "coolie" as a slur against those Guyanese they perceive as of Indian ancestry. Other Guyanese use "coolie" self referentially. Likewise in Trinidad and Tobago the word is a slur but is sometimes said self-referentially. In 2006, for example, Senator Surendranath Capildeo proudly admitted to being a "coolie to the bone".
An Indentured Servant is a bonded labourer — a labourer under contract to work for an employer for a specific amount of time, usually seven to eight years, to pay off a passage to a new country or home. Typically the employer provided little if any monetary pay, but was responsible for accommodation, food, other essentials, and training. Upon completion of the term of the contract the labourer sometimes received a lump sum payment such as a parcel of land and was free to farm or take up trade of his own.
The term comes from the medieval English "indenture of retainer" — a contract written in duplicate on the same sheet, with the copies separated by cutting along a jagged (toothed, hence the term "indenture") line so that the teeth of the two parts could later be refitted to confirm authenticity.

Indentured servitude is not identical with involuntary servitude and slavery. However, there have been multiple occasions where the indentured servitude has been abused. For example, indentured servants may be forced to purchase goods or services from the employer in exchange for an extension to the period of their indenture. In these circumstances, the system can represent a form of unfree labour.
The labour-intensive cash crop tobacco was farmed by indentured labourers in the 17th century. It was the legal basis of the apprenticeship system by which skilled trades were taught.
United States
In the United States, employers usually paid for European workers' passage across the Atlantic Ocean, reimbursing the ship owner who held their papers of indenture. In return, the servants agreed to work for a specified number of years. The agreement could also be an exchange for professional training: after being the indentured servant to a blacksmith for several years, one would expect to work as a blacksmith on one's own account after the period was over. During the 17th century most of the white labourers in Maryland and Virginia came from England this way. Their masters were bound to feed, clothe, and lodge them. Ideally, an indentured servant's lot in the establishment would be no harder than that of a contemporary apprentice, who was similarly bound by contract and owed hard, unpaid labour while "serving his time." At the end of the allotted time, an indentured servant was to be given a new suit of clothes and set loose.
Indentured servitude was a method of increasing the number of colonists, especially in the British colonies. Convict labour only provided so many people, and since the journey across the Atlantic was dangerous and disease-ridden, resulting in deaths on every journey, other means of encouraging settlement were necessary. In fact contract-labourers were so important a group of people and so numerous that they were mentioned in the United States Constitution:
"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons".
The system was still widely practiced in the 1780s, picking up immediately after a hiatus during the American Revolution. Fernand Braudel (The Perspective of the World 1984, pp 405f) instances a 1783 report on "the import trade from Ireland" and its large profits to a ship owner or a captain, who:
"puts his conditions to the emigrants in Dublin or some other Irish port. Those who can pay for their passage—usually about 100 or 80 [livres tournois]— arrive in America free to take any engagement that suits them. Those who cannot pay are carried at the expense of the ship owner, who in order to recoup his money, advertises on arrival that he has imported artisans, labourers and domestic servants and that he has agreed with them on his own account to hire their services for a period normally of three, four, or five years for men and women and 6 or 7 years for children."
In modern terms, the ship owner was acting as a contractor, hiring out his labourers. Such circumstances affected the treatment a captain gave his valuable human cargo. After indentures were forbidden, the passage had to be prepaid, giving rise to the inhumane conditions of Irish "coffin ships" in the second half of the 19th century.
Indentured servitude was also used by the Hudson's Bay Company, in what is now Canada, to staff the coal mines around Nanaimo well into the late 1800s.
The Caribbean
Most of the European settlers who came to the Caribbean islands during the 16th and 17th centuries did so as indentured servants. Commoners, most of whom were young men, with dreams of owning their land or striking it rich quick would essentially sell years of their freedom in exchange for passage to the islands. The landowners on the islands would pay for a servant’s passage and then provide them with food and shelter during the term of their service. The servant would then be required to work in the landowner’s (master) field for a term of bondage (usually four to seven years). During this term of bondage the servant was considered the property of the master. He could be sold or given away by his master and he was not allowed to marry without the master’s permission. An indentured servant was normally not allowed to buy or sell goods although, unlike an African slave, he could own personal property. He could also go to a local magistrate if he was treated badly by his master. After the servant’s term of bondage was complete he was freed and paid “freedom dues”. These payments could take the form of land or sugar, which would give the servant the opportunity to become an independent farmer or a free labourer. - - Indentured servitude was a common part of the landscape in England and Ireland during the 1600s. During the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland in 1600s, many Irish were also kidnapped and taken to Barbados. The term Barbadosed was coined for these actions , and Redlegs for the group concerned. Many indentured servants were captured by the English during Cromwell’s expeditions to Ireland and Scotland, who were forcibly brought over between 1649 and 1655. - - After 1660, the Caribbean saw fewer indentured servants coming over from Europe. On most of the islands African slaves now did all the hard fieldwork. Newly freed servant farmers that were given a few acres of land would not be able to make a living because sugar plantations had to be spread over hundreds of acres in order to be profitable. The landowners’ reputation as cruel masters in dealing with the large slave populations became a deterrence to the potential indentured servant. Even the islands themselves had become deadly disease death traps for the white servants. Africans, on the other hand, were excellent workers: they often had experience of agriculture and keeping cattle, they were used to a tropical climate, resistant to tropical diseases, and they could be "worked very hard" on plantations or in mines. Yellow fever, malaria and the diseases that Europeans had brought over contributed to the fact that during the 17th century between 33 to 50 percent of the indentured servants died before they were freed. - - When slavery ended in the British Empire in 1838, plantation owners turned to indentured servitude for inexpensive labour. These servants emigrated from a variety of places, including China and Portugal, though a majority came from India. This system was pioneered at Aapravasi Ghat in Mauritius and was not abolished until 1917. As a result, today Indo-Caribbeans form a majority in Guyana, a plurality in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, and a substantial minority in Jamaica.
Australia and the Pacific
In the article on the history of Vanuatu, it states that:
During the 1860s, planters in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Samoa Islands, in need of labourers, encouraged a long-term indentured labour trade called "blackbirding." At the height of the labour trade, more than one-half the adult male population of several of the Islands worked abroad.
Over a period of 40 years, from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, labour for the sugar cane fields of Queensland, Australia included an element of coercive recruitment and indentured servitude, of the 62,000 South Sea Islanders (from Melanesia, mainly the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with a small number from the Polynesian and Micronesian islands such as Samoa, Kiribati and Tuvalu).
The question of how many Islanders were kidnapped or blackbirded is unknown and remains controversial. The question of whether Islanders were legally recruited, persuaded, deceived, coerced or forced to leave their homes and travel by ship to Queensland is difficult. Official documents and accounts from the period often conflict with the oral tradition passed down to the descendants of workers. Stories of blatantly violent kidnapping tended to relate to the first 10–15 years of the trade.
Lists of Slaves
Surname Given Name Colony Date of Birth Date of Servitude
Gabriel William Barbados 1643
Gaby Abraham Virginia 1662
Gaddis Ja. Georgia 1716 1738
Gaddis John Georgia 1717 1738
Gaddish Alexander Maryland 1747
Gaile Elias Virginia 1611 1625
Gale William Virginia 1672 1685
Galland Elizabeth Virginia 1663 1679
Gallant Rose Pennsylvania 1746
Galley John [Barbados] 1659
Gandi William Maryland 1646 1663
Ganring Bryan Virginia 1686 1699
Gantlett George South Carolina 1671
Gany Henry Virginia 1604 1619
Gardiner Colonel Barbados 1659
Gardiner Peter Maryland 1747 1699
Grove Richard Virginia 1595 1623
Relative Shares of World Manufacturing Output (%)
1750 1800 1830 1860 1880
Britain 1.9 4.3 9.5 19.9 22.9
India 24.5 19.1 17.6 8.6 2.8
Source: Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (Vintage Books, 1989), 149.
Table 2.2 shows the devastation suffered by India’s manufacturing sector and the corresponding ascent of Britain’s from 1750, shortly before the East India Company extended its control over most of the subcontinent, to 1880, two decades after Parliament finally terminated the charter of the Company and converted India into a formal colony.
While the impact of the East India Company on India can be generally be compared to a process of slow bleeding, its effect within England was to create a perpetual struggle that corrupted Parliament and produced fierce conflict within the monied classes. Within months of the first issuing of the East India Company’s charter, wealthy interests not included among the two hundred owning families initiated action in Parliament to nullify the franchise. In a pattern that was to repeat itself for the next two centuries, the Company’s representatives responded by bribing members of Parliament and providing open-ended loans to the monarch. In 1709, the company’s rivals finally won out, gaining authorization to replace the East India Company. The British government ordered the old company to relinquish its stations in India to the new company. But on the ground, the order proved impossible to enforce. In a standoff, the old company ordered its agents to stay at their posts, and eventually the new franchise had no choice but simply to merge with the old one. It was as though nothing had happened.
As for the trading companies, they had already begun to collapse, one at a time, unable to ward off the encroachments of independent merchants. In 1606 the Spanish Company vanished; in 1667 the French Company; in 1689 the Eastland Company and the Merchant Adventurers; in 1750 the Royal African Company; in 1752 the Levant Company. The demise of the Royal African Company, whose initials were branded on the chests of thousands of men, women, and children, was typical. Despite government backing and participation by numerous prominent Englishmen, the RAC could not outmanoeuvre the smaller, family-owned slaving enterprises such as the Browns of Rhode Island and the Hob houses of Bristol.
The East India Company defied the trend, becoming increasingly wealthy and politically influential throughout the eighteenth century as it gradually assumed control of most of the Indian subcontinent, and then began expanding its ambitions even farther: toward China and toward America. Inevitably, those ambitions led to conflict and even war. The Opium War in China, which led to the acquisition of Hong Kong, was the result of a standoff between the government of China and the East India Company over the company’s shipments of opium into southern China. And in the America colonies, as we’ll see in the next chapter, an attempt by the East India Company to expand its tea business at the expense of independent American merchants in ports like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York was a principle cause of the merchant-led rebellion known as the Boston Tea Party.
Yet despite the crucial role played by the East India Company in British politics and the events that precipitated the American Revolution, there are other aspects to the story of how British corporations affected the politics and culture of pre-Revolutionary America. Of these, the most striking example is the brief and tragic story of the Virginia Company.

The brutal history of Virginia Company,
“a prison without walls” (1607-1624)
How’s this for a prime time concept? Take a few dozen British gentlemen, the types who like to search for gold and challenge each other to duels, but who have never done anything useful or practical in their lives. Make sure each brings along one or two footmen to powder his wig, shine his buckles, and prepare his afternoon tea. Add a few specialized workers, such as jewellers and glassmakers, and a few with more down-to-earth skills but just a few. Then fill up the rest of a ship with half-starved street vagabonds, poor children, the widows of executed thieves, and various petty criminals. Transport the group across the Atlantic Ocean and drop it off on some land under the control of a pre-existing nation of indigenous people. Check back in a few years’ time and count how many people are still alive. That, in a nutshell, describes the dismal story of the Jamestown colony, the one and only business venture of the London-based Virginia Company.
In the National Geographic, the article, “Unsettling Discoveries at Jamestown: Suffering and surviving in 17th-century Virginia,” described recent excavations on the banks of the James River, 60 miles from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay near the city of Newport News, Virginia. Here, the first permanent settlement on the Atlantic coast was established in 1607.
In 1992, archaeologist William Kelso discovered the site of the original James Fort, and his excavations confirmed in graphic detail the desperate accounts penned by survivors of the Starving Time, the winter of 1609-1610. The butchered bones of horses, cats, dogs, rats, and snakes indicated the downward spiral that the Virginia settlers had found themselves in. There were also many haphazard graves, hastily dug. Some contained multiple human bodies. Overall, of the 215 settlers who began the winter, only 70 were alive by spring.
Yet even as the first wave of settlers was starving to death, promoters continued to issue breathlessly optimistic new tracts, with titles such as “Good News from Virginia.” The new land, it was reported, “bringeth forth all things in abundance, as in the first creation, without toile or labour.” Cedars grew taller than in the Azores. Game was plentiful. And as for grapevines, “in all the world the like abundance is not to be founde.” As for the native inhabitants, they were reported to be “most gentle, loving, and faithful, void of all guile, and treason.” Such people, it was thought, would take to the gentle hand of English rule, the “faire and loving meanes suting to our English Natures,” as readily as the primitive Britons had taken to the civilizing influence of the Romans.
Excitement about the Company ran high, and was tinged with the idea of adventure. One did not have to join the expedition to qualify. “Adventurer” included anyone who purchased a £12 share in the company, and the list included not only wealthy aristocrats and merchants but also such notables as William Shakespeare. Members of the Drapers’ Guild were especially active. Of course, the organizers were frank about the goal of the Company: to make a profit, mainly from the discovery of precious metals or minerals, or at least by the production of useful goods like glass, furs, potash, pitch, tar, and sassafras, considered a cure for syphilis. It was also whispered though officially the idea was a no-no, since King James I had recently made peace with Spain that the location of the planned settlement would be ideal for launching piracy missions on the rich and poorly guarded Spanish colonies of the West Indies. Some organizers even saw the potential for the English to join forces with rebel Caribbean groups such as the Cimarron’s, a group of fugitive slaves, and the Chichimici, a nation of Indians in northern Mexico, and eventually to dislodge the Spanish from their lucrative colonies. If that long-shot scenario came to pass, the Virginia Company might produce returns beyond all imagining.
To its backers, prospects that investing in the Virginia Company would pay off seemed greatly enhanced by the availability of a virtually unlimited conscript workforce Britain’s dispossessed rural tenants, imprisoned beggars, and petty criminals. Thousands of English people were transported to Jamestown, most against their will. They worked under harsh conditions of forced labour, with poor food and shelter, and brutal punishment. Only one out of five people sent to the colony survived to see the end of their seven-year period of servitude. Among transported children, the survival rate was only one in ten.
The Virginia Company’s aggressive and careless use of indentured servants had its roots in the conditions of severe stress that characterized English society at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Under feudalism, the nobility had made their earnings on the backs of the peasantry. But in the 1400s and 1500s, many nobles concluded that they could do even better by getting rid of the peasants. The ongoing practice of “enclosure” converted peasant subsistence lands into sheep pastures, driving countless people from the countryside into rural vagabondage or urban destitution. The scope of enclosure was vast: aerial photographs and archaeological excavations have revealed more than a thousand deserted settlements, lending support to estimates that nearly a quarter of the land in England was affected by enclosure. Meanwhile, the English conquest of Ireland, and the banishment of Gypsies and Africans, created further waves of social disruption.
To lose one’s land was to become by definition a criminal. Under Henry VIII (1509-1547), vagabonds were whipped, had their ears cut off, or were hanged. During the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553) they were branded on the chest with the letter V. The Beggar Act of 1598 required first-time offenders to be whipped until bloody; second-time offenders were banished to work the oars of galleys or to serve time in the poorhouse.
The organizers of the Virginia Company presented their idea of converting the excess population of England into a new colonial workforce as a neat solution to two problems: gaining a foothold in the New World, while at the same time ridding the England of its unwanted people. Perhaps even more immediate on the minds of British leaders was fear of rebellion. During the Midlands Revolt, a large-scale uprising that took place in 1607, the same year that the James River settlement was founded, a group of peasants called Levellers took action to fill in (i.e. level) the ditches used to enclose and drain peasant fields.
Edward Hakluyt, who spent twenty years promoting the ideas that led to the Virginia Company, was quite frank in calling it a “prison without walls.” In 1609 the company applied to the city of London “to ease the city and suburbs of a swarme of unnecessary inmates, as a continual cause of death and famine, and the verey originall cause of all the plagues that happen in this kingdome.”
At the request of the company, Parliament in 1618 passed a bill allowing the Virginia Company to capture English and Scottish children as young as eight years of age. John Donne, one of the leaders of the company, promised in 1622 that the Virginia Company “shall sweep your streets, and wash your dores, from idle persons, and the children of idle persons, and imploy them.”
Historian John Van der Zee describes children “driven in flocks through the town and confined for shipment in barns.” Those who survived the Atlantic passage encountered regimentation and institutionalized cruelty as routine aspects of everyday life. Each person, including children, received a military rank, and those who violated the detailed rules were tied “neck and heels” for the first offence, whipped for the second, and forced to work on a convict galley for the third. Such methods of discipline had been devised by Maurice of Orange for training Dutch soldiers; they were introduced to the Virginia colony by Sir Thomas Gates and Sir Thomas Gale. Even petty crimes were harshly punished. Stealing an ear of corn or a bunch of grapes while weeding a garden was punishable by death. For stealing two or three pints of oatmeal, one worker had a needle thrust through his tongue and was then chained to a tree until he died of starvation.
Speaking out against the leadership of the company earned even worse punishment. For making “base and detracting” statements against the governor, the Company managers ordered one servant to have his arms broken, his tongue pierced with an awl, and finally to be beaten by a gauntlet of 40 men before being banished from the settlement. For complaining that the Company’s system of justice was unfair, a man named Thomas Hatch was whipped, placed in the pillory, had an ear cut off, and sentenced to an additional seven years of servitude.
But of all the offences an employee of the Company could commit, the worst judging by the severity of the punishment was merely to quit. When one group of runaways was found living among the Indians, Governor Dale responded with a frenzy of executions: “Some he appointed to be hanged, some burned, some to be broken upon wheels, others to be staked, and some to be shot to death.”
Although some accounts describe the children sent to the Virginia Colony as “apprentices,” the implication that young people were being educated in a trade in exchange for their uncompensated labour is deceptive. According to historian Edmund S. Morgan, “Almost all servants were … in a condition resembling that of the least privileged type of English servant, the parish apprentice, a child who (to relieve the community of supporting him) was bound to service by court order, until he was twenty-one or twenty-four, with no obligation on his appointed master’s part to teach him a trade or pay him.” Ill treatment of children is reflected in the death rate. In 1619, several hundred children between the ages of eight and sixteen were shipped from the London poorhouse to Virginia. Of these the names of 165 were recorded; six years later, only 12 of the group remained alive.
Degrading treatment of servants appears to have known few if any limits. Elizabeth Abbott was beaten to death by her masters, John and Alice Proctor. A witness counted five hundred lashes inflicted on Abbott prior to her death. A second servant of the Hintons, Elias Hinton, was beaten to death with a rake. It is not recorded what offences the two had committed.
In some ways, the ill treatment of servants in the Virginia colony merely reflected the harshly enforced class structure that characterized the times. But the corporate organization of the company actually made conditions for servants worse in Virginia than in England, since the absolute power enjoyed by the company’s managers over their workers led to the abandonment of English laws and customs that traditionally had given servants at least a small degree of control over their own lives. Buying and selling of servants became a common, and even a casual, practice. A Dutch sea captain observed Virginia landowners playing cards, with their servants as gambling stakes. An English sea captain reported seeing servants “sold here upp and downe like horses.” In a remarkably short time, the grandees of the Virginia Company had organized “a system of labour that treated men as things.”
Exacerbating the difficulties faced by the Virginia Company was a major dispute among its investors over company strategy. One group, consisting of large merchants, was content to let the company remain unprofitable for a long period. A second group, led by Lord Robert Rich, had obtained privateering commissions from small nation-states such as Savoy, and saw the colony as a convenient base for preying on Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. A third group, led by Sir Edwin Sandys, favoured more aggressive programs to wring a profit out of the colony. Finally, the investors managed to unite in support of Sandys’ plan, which included creative new incentives for the privileged members of the colony, transporting more servants and labourers, and initiating a diversity of economic projects including production of lumber, silk, wine, and glass.
As part of the Sandys plan, the Company made an effort to coax free settlers not to abandon the colony by forming a governing body consisting of the governor, his appointed councillors, and 22 burgesses elected by the landowning settlers. The Virginia General Assembly convened for the first time in 1619the same year that African slaves were first brought to the colony. Thus, the Virginia Colony, despite its record as a deadly work camp for the English poor and as the starting place for the 244-year holocaust of African slavery, gets credit as the New World’s “cradle of democracy” for establishing the first legislative body among Europeans in America. To the north, the Massachusetts Bay Company similarly spawned a representative legislature among its most privileged members. And as more settlements were organized, the use of legislatures expanded accordingly. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut all modelled themselves after Massachusetts; the southern colonies (except Georgia), after Virginia. Pennsylvania and Delaware, both organized by William Penn, adopted legislatures modelled after those of Virginia and Maryland. In 1682, the Duke of York, responding to a petition, authorized the governor to call an assembly in New York like those of the New England colonies.
Sandys’ plan might be termed the “Enronization” of the Virginia Company because of the way the officers of its spin-off subsidiaries managed to enrich themselves while the company itself collapsed. As described by historian Edmund Morgan:
The company reserved a “quitrent” of a shilling a year on every fifty acres granted. The amount was small … but land was abundant. …[I]t would yield a small income in quitrents to the company, increasing with the arrival of every new settler. …[I]n order to speed up settlement, [Sandys] induced various members of the company to join in sub corporations or associations to found “particular plantations” peopled by tenants on the same terms. Investors in these associations obtained a hundred acres for every share of stock in the company plus fifty acres for every tenant…. In other ways, too, the company encouraged the formation of special-interest groups within itself. …It seems evident that while the Virginia Company was failing in London, a number of its officers in the colony were growing rich. …[W]e can see not only the fleeting ugliness of private enterprise operating temporarily without check, not only greed magnified by opportunity, producing fortunes for a few and misery for many. We may also see Virginians beginning to move toward a system of labour that treated men as things.
Eventually, the bitter splits among the Virginia Company’s investors led to an outside investigation of the company. A stockholder named Samuel Wrote had made a few calculations. Out of 3,570 people sent to the colony under Sandys, joining 700 people already there, only 900 remained alive just three years later. Approximately 350 people had been killed by Indians but that left 3,000 deaths unaccounted for. Most, it appears, had died of starvation, disease, abuse, or simply overwork on the tobacco plantations. “It consequentlie followes that wee had then lost 3000 persons within those 3 yeares,” noted the disgruntled Wrote.
Wrote and others asked the king for an official investigation, and after receiving the commission’s findings the king moved quickly in 1624 to revoke the charter of the Virginia Company and place the colony under direct governmental control. Overall, since the founding of the colony, 6,000 adults and children had gone to the Jamestown colony. Of those, an estimated 4,800 had died.
The Virginia Company was not an anomaly, but instead just one island of misery in an archipelago that circled the Atlantic rim, from Ireland to West Africa to the Caribbean to the coast of North America. Around this circle, a cross-ethnic culture emerged among the conscript workforces of sailors and plantation workers. News travelled around the circle. Thus, in 1619, a request from the Virginia Company to the London Common Council for a shipment of children from Bridewell prison sparked a revolt among the children. Despite the glowing reports being fed to investors about conditions in the colony, more accurate reports about the deadly conditions in Virginia had apparently reached the inhabitants of Bridewell.
This subculture of resistance resurfaces repeatedly throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most dramatically in street battles between sailors and press-gangs. During the Stamp Act protests of 1765, British General Thomas Gage noted that the rebellion was “composed of great numbers of Sailors headed by Captains of Privateers.”
By themselves, the indentured servants and conscript sailors who rebelled throughout the eighteenth century in port cities like Boston and New York were not sufficiently organized to pose a serious threat to the established order. As we’ll see in the next chapter, the spirit of rebellion that produced the American Revolution did not gain critical mass until it was picked up by more privileged members of society, including intellectuals like Tom Paine and merchants like John Hancock. But the connections are undeniable. Groups like Sam Adams’ Sons of Liberty, made up of small and well-to-do merchants, consciously modelled themselves after the Sons of Neptune, a group of New York sailors. Men with one foot in each world such as George Hewes, a shoemaker and former sailor who “was mixed up in every street fight, massacre, or tea party that occurred in the Boston of his day,” carried the notions of freedom and equality with them as they crossed the boundaries that separated one class from another. There is no doubt that the eloquent ideas that flowed from the quill of Thomas Jefferson had gestated among generations of indentured servants, plantation workers, and conscripted sailors. These ideas are the legacy of the men, women, and children who suffered and died of starvation, overwork, and brutal treatment on the tobacco plantations of the Virginia Company and the ships of the East India Company.
n which the citizens of Boston demonstrate the use of the hatchet as an anti-monopoly device (1770-1773)
In prowling the library stacks for books on the history of corporations, one of the most entertaining things I found was the works of Roland Marchand, a professor at the University of California and a historian of corporate public relations. Marchand was a collector of images, especially the sort of magazine ads created by corporations to link themselves with patriotic icons such as the Statue of Liberty, the American flag, or the Bill of Rights. These days we may see those ads as campy and nostalgic, but as argued by Marchand in books such as Creating the Corporate Soul and Advertising the American Dream, they were part of a concerted campaign by large corporations throughout the twentieth century to overcome anti-corporate sentiments that had old roots in American culture.
At times, those corporate efforts seemed almost transparently opportunisticany national crisis provided the excuse for more PR. An example is the corporate response to a speech by President Franklin Roosevelt in early 1941 advocating increased American support for Britain against Nazi Germany. To underline his vision of what was at stake, Roosevelt outlined four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The speech inspired Norman Rockwell to paint a famous series of illustrations, one for each of the freedoms, and Rockwell’s sentimental imagery eventually helped sell over $133 million in U.S. War Bonds.
But corporate executives saw an opportunity to make headway in their private “war within a war” to defeat New Deal interference in the economy and align their interests with the country’s aroused patriotic sentiments. Moving quickly in response to Roosevelt’s speech, public relations agencies launched an ad campaign that promoted a “fifth freedom”free enterprise. Armour and Company led the charge with a series of editorials explaining how the “modern corporation works for the nation as a wholenot merely for its own stockholders.” According to the ads, such a system “exalts the individual, recognizes that he is created in the image of God, and gives spiritual tone to the American system.” Other ads extolled “the simple economics of our American way of life.”
Since World War II, this sort of attempt to link corporations with the basic imagery of American patriotism has become virtually routine. And it has been successful to such an extent that today it almost sounds absurd to say something like, “One of the basic reasons for the American Revolution was colonial opposition to corporate power.”
In general, corporate image advertising is softly focused and the political message is subtle. But not always. An example of a not-so-subtle campaign was the $600,000 deal between Philip Morris and the National Archives to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights in 1991 with a travelling exhibit that brought one of the original copies of the Bill of Rights to all 50 states. The motivation behind the campaign could not have been more obvious. Faced with mounting restrictions on its ability to advertise its cigarettes, Philip Morris wanted to promote the idea that corporations, just like people, should be entitled to the free speech protections of the Constitution.
As I read books like Ray Raphael’s A People’s History of the American Revolution and Benjamin Woods Labaree’s The Boston Tea Party, I found little evidence that defending corporate prerogatives was anywhere to be found among the values and interests that the American rebels were fighting for. Quite the contrary. To a surprisingly degree, the American Revolution was directly and explicitly an anti-corporate revolt. Part of the backdrop for that revolt were the long-standing anti-corporate sentiments among lower class people such as indentured servants and conscript sailors. In the eighteenth century, following with the legislative suppression of corporate enterprise in Britain after the Bubble Act of 1719, anti-corporate views also became common among both French and English intellectuals, and some of those thinkers influenced cosmopolitan Americans such as Benjamin Franklin. Among British and French thinkers, corporate enterprise was considered synonymous with monopoly a way for privileged elites to profit at the expense of the general public. This aspect of anti-corporate sentiment was a pervasive theme in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Smith wrote, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or some contrivance to raise prices.”
While travelling in England, Benjamin Franklin became friends with Smith, who read to him drafts of Wealth of Nations. Smith’s objections to corporations also included practical concerns. According to Smith, a core flaw of the corporation as an institutional form was the intrinsic lack of functional accountability caused by separating ownership from management a problem he famously phrased as that of “other people’s money.” Smith wrote: “The directors of such companies … being the managers rather of other people’s money than their own, it cannot well be expected that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private guild frequently watch over their own…. Negligence and profusion, therefore, must always prevail, more or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company.”
In support of his opinion, Smith cited a study by French economist Andre Morellet, who inventoried 55 European corporations that had all failed due to mismanagement.
In France, a group of laissez-faire economic thinkers known as the Physiocrats condemned corporations as manifestations of illegitimate royal privilege. So did the influential French economist Jacques Turgot, on similar grounds. During Benjamin Franklin’s visit to France in the 1760s, Franklin visited with both the Physiocrats and Turgot. Franklin’s 1769 book Positions to be Examined Regarding National Wealth shows these influences.
But while the anti-corporate sentiments of intellectuals and working class people provide a supportive, and perhaps necessary, context for the American Revolution, neither of those groups was in a position to mount a concerted rebellion of the sort that broke out in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia in 1773. That rebellion required a third group to mobilize: the merchant community.
Merchant resentments about British rule centered around concrete economic issues. As formalized in the Navigation Acts, British law aimed at maintaining the American colonies as producers of raw materials for British manufacturing and as captive markets for British goods. The Acts discouraged American manufacturing, prohibiting, for example, the casting of iron pots, as well as the development of infrastructure projects that might enhance any production other than raw materials for export.
Still, despite the unhappiness of the merchants with the subordinate economic role to which they were assigned, it appeared that the British were succeeding at keeping a lid on rebellious spirits. Among historians of the American Revolution, the years 1770 to 1773 are known as the “quiet period.” By rescinding all but the tea tax, the British leadership had shrewdly defused popular anger in the colonies caused by a series of taxes levied in 1770. Even the lingering tea tax was largely symbolic, since most tea consumed in the colonies actually arrived via Holland-based smugglers rather than legitimate British traders. Hard-core agitators such as Samuel Adams found themselves stymied. “Taxation without representation” was too abstract an issue to motivate people to rebel, when the item being taxed was plentifully available, tax-free. The pragmatic Lord Townsend, it appeared, had nixed the possibility of a revolt in the American colonies.
At the crux of these developments was the Boston Tea Party, the event that triggered a severe British crackdown, which in turn precipitated the American move to declare independence. The conventional depiction goes something like this: On a dark winter’s night in 1773, a band of “Mohawks,” decked out in the white man’s notion of Native American attire, mounts a mission of creative vandalism, a symbolic protest to dramatize their objection to “taxation without representation” by a tyrannical king. They board three ships bobbing at anchor in Boston Harbour. From the hold of each ship, they drag chests of tea onto the deck, chop them open, and unceremoniously toss bales of tea into the harbour.
It’s a piece of drama that captures America’s characteristic view of itself as a nation of plucky freedom fighters, teasing the arrogant masters into overreacting. Even today, when our military forces encircle the world, we still cast ourselves as the scrappy underdog—the wise-cracking GI defying Hitler’s war machine, the gladiator leading a slave revolt against Caesar, the tow-headed farm boy going one-on-one against Darth Vader. Those are all quintessentially American heroes. Even if the movie is set in ancient Rome or in a galaxy “far, far away,” the villains are easy to spot by their upper-class British accents.
What’s wrong with the conventional story? For starters, there was nothing symbolic about the event. The objective of the “Mohawks” was to destroy tea on a massive scale, and that mission succeeded quite fully. The scope of the destruction far surpassed the level of damage that would have been inflicted if the action had been intended merely to score a political point in theatrical fashion. In a three-hour period, the Bostonians turned approximately 120,000 pounds of dry tea into “harbour tea.” So much was dumped that the tea piled up in the shallow water and threatened to spill back onto the decks. The tea that was destroyed represented about 10 percent of the entire quantity consumed in the tea-happy American colonies per year and as much as 50 percent of the amount normally imported from England rather than smuggled from Holland and elsewhere.
Second, the Boston Tea Party can’t be explained merely as an outburst of nationalism. After all, colonial Americans still identified themselves as British. Nor was it an anti-monarchal uprising like the French Revolution, at least at the outset. Looking closely at the events that led up to that night, we see that it was a highly targeted attempt to block the British East India Company from carrying out a specific plan to monopolize American commodities markets, starting with tea. When respectable American businessmen including John Hancock, one of the richest men in America took the uncharacteristically radical action of dressing up in disguise and committing wholesale vandalism, the motivating force was not abstract. It was literally to defend their businesses. In other words, it was a highly pragmatic economic rebellion against an overbearing corporation, rather than a political rebellion against an oppressive government. Or more accurately, it was a rebellion against a corporation and a government that were thoroughly intertwined.
To understand why anti-corporate sentiments could run so strong even in the highest stratum of the American business community in 1773, it is important first to note that the corporate form, characterized by a charter and joint-stock ownership, was not the typical way businesses were organized in the colonies. Most businesses were owned by families or partnerships. They had no corporate charters, nor did they need them.
In the late 1760s, the East India Company entered a period of deepening crisis. During that decade, the shareholders twice voted to increase their annual dividend, first from 6 to 10 percent and then from 10 percent to 12.5 percent. Those increases squeezed profits at an inopportune time, because revenues suddenly came under serious pressure. Because of a famine in Bengal in 1769 and 1770, the Company’s tax collectors couldn’t extract as much revenue as usual from the Bengali peasantry. And in the American colonies, smuggled Dutch tea continued to crowd out English imports.
In 1772 a Europe-wide economic depression caused tea sales on the Continent to plunge. As the Company’s cash reserves dwindled, various suggestions for dealing with the crisis reached its managers. Among them was the proposal by a stockholder named Robert Herries, outlining a way for the Company to solve two problems at once—both the revenue shortfall and a glut of warehoused tea equal to three years of English domestic consumption. In a nutshell, Herries’ idea was that the Company should sell tea at drastically reduced prices on the European continent.
After considering the proposal, the managers concluded that tea dumped on the Continent would simply be smuggled back into England where it would erode domestic prices. They liked the dumping idea, but they had a different destination in mind: the American colonies, where they could undersell the Dutch smugglers. To assist the East India Company with the plan, Parliament agreed to suspend the duties on tea shipments normally collected at the British end, but Foreign Minister North insisted that the colonists still pay the tax collected on the American side.
When news of the plan reached America, intense agitation broke out in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Pamphleteers brought forth the familiar argument that “taxation without representation” was fundamentally unjust. Still, the business community, not normally disposed toward any sort of radical action, would not have become involved except for a second aspect of the policy—the plan by the East India Company to sell its tea exclusively through specially commissioned local consignees.
To the Tradesmen,
Mechanics, &c. of the
Province of Pennsylvania
… Hereafter, if they succeed, they will send their own Factors and Creatures, establish Houses amongst us. Ship us all other East-India goods; and in order to full freight their Ships, take in other kind of Goods at under Freight, or (more probably) ship them on their own Accounts to their own Factors, and undersell our Merchants, till they monopolize the whole Trade. Thus our Merchants are ruined, Ship Building ceases. They will then sell Goods at any exorbitant price. Our Artificers will be unemployed, and every Tradesman will groan under the dire Oppression.
The East India Company, if once they get Footing in this (once) happy country, will leave no Stone unturned to become your Masters. They are an opulent Body, and Money or Credit is not wanting amongst them They have a designing, depraved, and despotic Ministry to assist and support them. They themselves are well versed In Tyranny, Plunder, Oppression and Bloodshed. Whole Provinces labouring under the Distresses of Oppression, Slavery, Famine, and the Sword, are familiar to them. Thus they have enriched themselves, thus they are become the most powerful Trading Company in the Universe. …
excerpts from a broadside signed “A Mechanic,” Philadelphia, December 4, 1773
In other words, the East India Company planned to replace independent local merchants with a company-owned distribution system. Today, we would call the approach “vertical integration” where the oil company owns the wells, the refineries, and the gas stations. The colonists didn’t have such a term, but the implications of the British plan were readily grasped. In Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, pamphleteers laid out the scenario in precise detail, warning that if the British were to succeed in bringing the tea distribution system under the sole control of the East India Company, they would inevitably repeat the same scheme for other imported commodities.
Here was an issue that could move even well-to-do segments of the community to rebel. In selecting the consignees for Boston, Governor Hutchinson had committed a particularly foolish blunder. Hutchinson had named five men to be the local consignees: two were his own sons, one was his nephew, and the last two were personal friends. Notably absent from the list was the richest man in Boston, John Hancock. When Hancock learned that he had been excluded, he patched up a quarrel with Sam Adams and became one of Adams’ strongest supporters.
When the cargo ship Dartmouth arrived in Boston Harbour, a crowd of over 5,000 assembled at the Old South Meeting-house and voted unanimously in support of the proposition “that the tea should be returned to the place from whence it came.” Although the ship’s captain agreed to return to England without unloading the tea, the British officials refused to issue a pass allowing the ship to leave harbour. On the night of December 16, 1773, approximately 150 men assembled at the home of Benjamin Edes, founder of the Boston Gazette and Country Journal. They came from a broad range of backgrounds, reflecting the wide spectrum of support for the action. Some were apprentices, some were tradesmen, and some were wealthy owners of businesses. By dawn, the entire shipment of tea had been destroyed.
What is perhaps most interesting about the incident is the way in which the Boston establishment, which once had taken great pains keep its distance from the rebellious subculture of indentured servants and conscripted sailors, now embraced that culture at least in symbolic fashion. For example, in 1770, only three years prior to the Boston Tea Party, John Adams had defended the redcoats who participated in the Boston Massacre against charges that they had committed murder. In court, Adams had appealed to racist prejudices in claiming that the appearance of the Afro-Indian sailor Crispus Attucks “would be enough to terrify any person.”
Yet in 1773, when Adams penned a rebellious letter to Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson at the height of the tea crisis, he needed a pseudonym to maintain his anonymity and to signify the determination of the colonists. And the man whose name he selected was the same one that he had previously sought to discredit: Crispus Attucks.
The response of the British to the Boston Tea Party was predictable. Provoked and angry, Parliament struck back by passing the Intolerable Acts, a set of bare-knuckled reprisals that closed Boston Harbour and banned the Massachusetts assembly. George III vowed to bring the colonists to their knees. But instead of accomplishing the desired result of isolating and pacifying one radical city, the crackdown generated sympathy for Boston and drew the normally fractious colonies into a coordinated response. The American Revolution was underway.
How the framers of the American system restrained corporate power (1787–1850)
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. Thomas Jefferson, 1816
When I first read this quote by Thomas Jefferson about crushing “the aristocracy of our monied corporations” in the cradle, I assumed that Jefferson was engaging in a mere flight of rhetoric, not literally proposing that corporations be eliminated. Indeed, by 1816 getting rid of the corporation was no longer a viable political option, but it is worth noting that a man of Jefferson’s political longevity could actually recall a time when such institutional infanticide would in fact have been quite possible. Immediately following the Revolutionary War, the corporate presence in America had fallen virtually to nil. At the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, only six business corporations other than banks existed in the United States: one for organizing a fishery in New York, one for conducting trade in Pennsylvania, one for conducting trade in Connecticut, one for operating a wharf in Connecticut, one for providing fire insurance in Pennsylvania, and one for operating a pier in Boston.
Although these circumstances provided the opportunity to abolish the corporation entirely, that was not what the elite American leadership had in mind. Their idea was to transform the corporate form, not get rid of it. Their vision was to subordinate corporations to democratic oversight, then make use of this tamed institution as a tool for meeting the pent-up need for infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
Such a notion of “good” corporations derived directly from the experience of Washington and Franklin, among others. Both men had been involved in corporations that used indentured workers to prepare frontier land for settlement by clearing farmsteads and building roads. Canals in particular were viewed favourably by Franklin, who later encouraged canal developer and steamboat pioneer Robert Fulton. Fulton himself differentiated his efforts from those of the “India or Guinea Company … who blindly extirpate one half of the human race to enrich the other.”
The question, therefore, was not whether there would be corporations in the new nation, but how to authorize corporate activity while preventing any single corporation from getting too large and gaining too much political influence.
At the Constitutional Convention, James Madison twice proposed putting the federal government in charge of corporations “in cases where the public good may require them and the authority of a single state may be incompetent.” But among the delegates, a significant contingent had been instructed by their home states to oppose any federal involvement in authorizing corporations, under the belief that granting such powers to a central government created the risk that an American version of the East India Company might come into being. The best preventative against such a development, it was felt, was to keep the power to charter corporations as close to the local level as possible.
Into this standoff, Benjamin Franklin attempted to interject a compromise, a scaled-back version of Madison’s idea. Under Franklin’s scheme, the federal government would have incorporating powers, but those powers would be limited to authorizing postal roads and interstate canals. The delegates rejected this milder proposal as well: Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia voted aye, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina voted no. In the end, the final text of the Constitution contained no mention of corporations whatsoever.
During the next two years, as the states considered whether to ratify the Constitution, five recommended adding an amendment expressly prohibiting the federal government from granting charters that would grant any “exclusive advantages of commerce.”
For the most part, the states got their wish. Only in the twentieth century did the federal government attempt to issue charters, and even then only for certain quasi-public entities, such as Amtrak. The lone exception prior to the twentieth century was the Bank of the United States, a political tug-of-war that went back and forth four times: chartered in 1791, charter revoked in 1811, chartered again in 1816, second charter expired in 1832 and not renewed.
The Birth of the Charter System
After the Constitutional Convention, the system that emerged for chartering corporations flipped the English system upside down. Instead of the monarch using corporate charters to grant special monopoly privileges to men of wealth, the American system placed the chartering function in the hands of the various state legislatures and placed an emphasis on restrictions and accountability measures, rather than on privileges. State constitutions and statutes reinforced the restrictive stance toward corporations.
Under this system, charters tended to be granted sparingly, in keeping with the widespread belief that the potential for corporations to accumulate power rendered them inherently dangerous to democracy.
In 1809, an opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court stated that a charter should not be granted if the applicant’s “object is merely private or selfish; if it is detrimental to, or not promotive of, the public good….” In effect, this meant that most corporate charters were reserved for quasi-public projects like toll roads, bridges, canals, banks, and other sorts of infrastructure. Charters were not issued in situations where non-chartered businesses already operated. Nor were state legislators inclined to grant a corporate charter unless they were convinced that such a measure was necessary. For example, in Pennsylvania in 1833 the legislature split over whether to issue a charter to a coal company. The opposition argued that the coal industry had become sufficiently established to attract private financing without the need for a charter.
According to historian Louis Hartz, public wariness toward corporate entities in the first decades of the nineteenth century was “one of the most powerful, repetitious, and exaggerated themes in popular literature.” Note that this anti-corporate sentiment should not be confused with anti-business sentiment. In the public mind, the use of the corporate form was associated with monopoly privileges of one sort of another. In 1835, a representative of the National Trades Union, wrote:
We entirely disapprove of the incorporation of Companies, for carrying on manual mechanical business, inasmuch as we believe their tendency is to eventuate in and produce monopolies, thereby crippling the energies of individual enterprise, and invading the rights of smaller capitalists.
Typical of that sort of “invading” was an attempt in 1801 by several of New York’s wealthy merchants (including a brother-in-law of Alexander Hamilton named John Church) to get a charter that would allow them the exclusive right to provide bread to the city, hiring previously independent bakers to perform the work. When they caught wind of this bald attempt to drive them out of business, the bakers employed the full force of Jeffersonian rhetoric, arguing that if the legislature granted such a charter “the independent spirit, so distinguished at present in our mechanics, and so useful in republics, will be entirely annihilated.”
During the 1820s and 1830s, conflicts over corporate charters became a common occurrence. Beginning in 1827, political parties calling themselves the Workingmen’s Parties and comprising independent artisans began to rally around the anti-corporate theme, only to decline after the mid-1830s as Andrew Jackson’s Democrats adopted their ideas. Typical of Democrat Party rhetoric is the following speech by Democratic legislator and journalist Gideon Wells in 1835:
The unobtrusive work-shop of the Mechanic, the residence of freedom, is beginning to be abandoned, because he cannot compete with incorporated wealth…. What encouragement do our laws hold out to the poor but industrious artisan, who enters upon the threshold of manhood with no fortune but his trade, and no resources but his own hands? … [Such legislation] paralyzes industry, is unaccompanied by wealth; and it is destroying that equality of condition, which is the parent of independence. Competition on the part of individuals is hopeless, when they find capital entering the field, under privileged laws, and private enterprise is compelled to yield to the unjust influence which partial legislation establishes.
A New Jersey editorialist of the 1830s wrote: “Legislatures ought cautiously to refrain from creating the irresponsible power of any existing corporations or chartering new ones. . . .” Otherwise the citizenry would become “mere hewers of wood and drawers of water to jobbers, banks, and stockbrokers.”
Legal writers echoed the same themes, as reflected by the words of attorney Theodore Sedgwick in his 1835 book, What Is Monopoly:
Every corporate grant is directly in the teeth of the doctrine of equal rights, for it gives to one set of men the exercise of privileges which the main body can never enjoy…. Every such grant is equally adverse to the fundamental maxim of free trade for it carries on its face that no one but the corporators are free to carry on the trade in question, with the advantages which the charter confers.
The prevalence of such attitudes made it politically feasible to organize opposition to the issuing of new charters, as happened in 1838 when fifty-one journeymen carriage makers petitioned the Massachusetts legislature in opposition to a proposed charter for the Amherst Carriage Company:
We being journeymen at the Coach chaise and harness manufacturing business, do look forward with anticipation to a time when we shall be able to conduct the business upon our own responsibility and receive the profits of our labour, which we now relinquish to others, and we believe that incorporated bodies tend to crush all feable enterprise and compel us to worke out our dayes in the Service of others.
As shown in Table 5.1, charters controlled corporations along all conceivable dimensions. Of particular note were limits on lifespan, rejection of liability shields, measures that limited corporate expansion, and enforcement mechanisms.
The charter system took direct aim at the tendency of the corporation to accumulate wealth and power over time by placing restrictions on the term of each charter. Terms of twenty to thirty years were typical for most corporations, after which time the directors would have to seek a new charter. Banks, which were considered the form most subject to abuse, were kept on a tight leash with terms as short as three years.
The doctrine of “limited liability”the notion that investors can’t be held responsible for debts or settlements against a company is often mentioned as an essential part of the very definition of the corporation, it should be noted that limited liability has not always been part of the repertoire of corporate attributes, either in England or America.
In England, limited liability was not a consistent feature of corporate law until the late eighteenth century and wasn’t universally available until 1855it did appear from time to time. For example, Parliament passed a law in 1662 granting limited liability to “noblemen, gentlemen and persons of quality” in relation to the East India Company, the Guiney Company, or the Royal Fishing Trade.
Prior to the Civil War, state legislatures in the United States explicitly rejected limited liability. For example, in 1822, Massachusetts passed a law that read, “Every person who shall become a member of any manufacturing company … shall be liable, in his individual capacity, for all debts contracted during the time of his continuing a member of such corporation.”
Instead of such “unlimited liability” requirements, most states used a “double liability” formula, which made shareholders liable for twice the value of their investment in the company. Until the end of the 1870s, seven state constitutions applied the principle of double liability to all shareholders in banks. In addition, some states required that shareholders in manufacturing and utilities companies be specifically liable for employee wages.
Restrictions on Expansion
Perhaps the most significant restrictions were those that restricted corporations from expanding without specific permission by a state legislature. These worked in various ways:
Corporations were prohibited from engaging in any activities not specified in its charter. Under the legal principle known as ultra vires, any contract that dealt with activities beyond a corporation’s charter would not be enforced by the courts. For example, the Illinois Supreme Court ordered the Pullman Palace Car Company to divest itself of its company-owned town, Pullman, Illinois, based on the fact that owning a town was not specified among the activities permitted in the corporation’s charter.
• Corporation could not own stock in other corporations.
• Most states placed limitations on the amount of capital a corporation could raise.
• Most corporations were not allowed to operate outside their home state, and in some cases outside of their home county.
• Corporations were typically forbidden to own property not directly needed for their authorized activities.
The Corporate Death Penalty
Anti-corporate sentiment also made it possible for state attorneys general to wield the stick of charter revocation, the equivalent of a death penalty for scofflaw corporations or for corporations that did not live up to the performance requirements in their charters. For example, in Massachusetts or New York a turnpike corporation could suffer revocation merely for “not keeping their roads in repair.” From 1839 to 1849 the Ohio legislature dissolved several corporations, including turnpikes, banks, and insurance corporations. In one year alone, 1832, Pennsylvania revoked the charters of ten banks. Charter revocation actions brought by state attorneys general were a commonplace in the nineteenth century, and even as late as 1940 they occurred in many states.
The Charter System Collapses
The charter system reflected an utterly different political consciousness toward corporations than exists today less cowed, more assertive. Implicit in this approach to dealing with corporations was a different way of drawing the line between public and private and than we are now accustomed to. The charter system was an assertion that for democracy to thrive, democratic power must trump corporate power. In other words, democracy should not apply just too public spaces to spaces not claimed by private interests. If only the sidewalks and not the skyscrapers are considered to lie within the purview of democracy, then democracy is weak indeed.
While much of the rhetoric surrounding charter fights may create the impression that public attitudes were anti-business, it would be more accurate to say that because of the quasi-public nature of the corporation the public believed corporations should be reserved mainly to facilitate the building of crucial infrastructure such as canals, wharves, water works, toll roads, banks and, beginning in the 1840s, railroads. By 1800, there were 335 business corporations in the country. Of these, 76 percent were toll roads, canals, docks, bridges, water supply companies, or other public services; 20 percent were banks or insurance companies. Expansion continued. Pennsylvania alone chartered 2,333 business corporations between 1790 and 1860.
Meanwhile manufacturing and retailing companies, which tended to organize under non-corporate formats, mainly partnerships, demonstrated dramatic growth. The volume of manufactured goods grew by an average of 59 percent per decade from 1809 to 1839, then by 153 percent in the 1840s and 60 percent in the 1850s. By 1860, America’s manufacturing industry had achieved the second highest per capita manufacturing output (after Great Britain) in the world. Clearly, the absence of corporate ownership in manufacturing did not inhibit growth.
For a time, it seemed that America had found a working balance where the corporation was allowed to perform certain functions for which it was well suited, but where corporate political power was kept firmly under the thumb of democracy. Yet as attractive as this finely balanced combination might be, it was not to last. Beginning in the 1850s, and particularly after the Civil War, legislators sympathetic to the wishes of the rapidly growing railroad corporations effectively dismantled the restrictive features of the charter system, replacing it with a non-restrictive system of automatic chartering known as “general incorporation.” By the 1880s the old system was in near collapse, and by 1900 it had effectively vanished. A revolution had occurred, a dismantling of a key institutional framework. In its place, a new system was created, a revolutionary reinventing of the corporation. Even today, the impact of this quiet revolution is little appreciated, and the specifics of how it took place are even less understood. Perhaps the reason we fail to appreciate the depth of the revolution is that the role of its leaders is somewhat obscured. Without revolutionaries, we can’t see revolution. And the robber barons those spoilsmen in black coats and top hats hardly look like revolutionaries. If they are remembered by history, it is mainly for their energy and unscrupulousness, not as genetic engineers creating a far more virulent strain of an old institution. The following chapter looks at one such man, and the role he played in the corporate revolution.
Typical Controls in Corporate Charters Prior to the Civil War
Activities Each corporation was limited to performing a specific function, such as operating a school or a bridge.
Lifespan Typically, charters of incorporation were issued for terms ranging from 20 to 50 years, after which they would have to be renewed. Banks were subject to especially tight restriction, with some states limiting terms to 3 to 10 years.
Property ownership Most states limited corporations to owning only property that was directly needed for the authorized activity.
Size Charters directly limited on the amount of capital that an individual corporation could control. Some charter provisions also had an indirect effect on size, including restrictions on property ownership, the requirement for unanimous shareholder consent in major decisions, geographic restrictions, and limits on permitted activities.
Geographic Most corporations were not allowed to operate beyond the borders of the state in which they were incorporated. Sometimes a corporation was even restricted to a single county.
Inter-company ownership As a rule, corporations were not allowed to own stock in other corporations.
Performance criteria In addition to stating what sort of activities were allowed, charters also frequently specified project completion dates and output requirements. Sometimes the two were combined; e.g. an iron company being required to reach a certain tonnage of production within three years.
Profits Charters sometimes limited the profit a corporation could earn. In addition, many charters required that profits from a company be used to buy back stock, so that eventually all stockholders would be eliminated and the company would in effect become a public entity under the supervision of the state legislature. Under the Turnpike Corporation Act of 1805, Massachusetts authorized the legislature to dissolve turnpike corporations once their receipts equalled the cost of construction plus 12 percent.
Public privilege Charters for turnpikes typically exempted farmers, worshippers, and poor people from paying tolls.
Shareholder restrictions and protections for minority owners In some cases incorporators had to be citizens of the state. Some charters prevented a single powerful individual from controlling the corporation; some required a minimum number of shareholders. Some charters required that the corporation use a voting formula that increased the leverage of small investors. Most required unanimous consent for key decisions, such as issuing new stock or selling the company.
Special restrictions on banking Bank charters were limited to three to ten years. Banks had to get special approval to merge. In some states banks were required to direct their loans to local industries. Banks were also required to lend money to the state government if requested. Maximum interest rates were designated. Both Illinois and Indiana actually banned private banking corporations in their state constitutions. Wisconsin and four other states amended their constitutions to require that all bank charters be approved by popular vote.
Shareholder liability Limited liability the principle that shareholders can’t be held responsible for judgments against a corporation or for unpaid corporate debts wasn’t a widespread feature of the corporation until after the Civil War. Some charters required full shareholder liability. Others capped liability at twice the value of a person’s stockholdings.
Ultra vires In addition to other restrictions, corporations were subject to the general ban on activities not expressly permitted in their charter. This doctrine of limited authorization, known as ultra vires, translates as “beyond the powers.” Courts would not enforce any contract outside the scope of a corporation’s charter.

The man who reinvented the corporation (1850-1880)
“An electric brain and cool quiet manner.”
Congressman Albert Riddle, describing
Assistant Secretary of War Tom Scott
Unlike most of the other institutions that shape the human world, the modern corporation did not have a charismatic founder or advocate. In contrast to other realms where the signature of a single mind is clearly imprinted, the corporation lacks the mark of any particular historical personality. There was never a Mohammed to take divine dictation, no Saint Paul to journey forth and establish chapters, no Martin Luther to nail a manifesto to the door of the old establishment, no Jefferson to pen an announcement of freedom.
Or was there?
In the decade following the Civil War, three railroads fed into New York City—the Central, the Pennsylvania, and the Erie. The Central was nicknamed “The Empire” because of the autocratic style of its chairman, Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Pennsylvania was known as “The Republic” because of the close ties between its vice president, Tom Scott, and the Pennsylvania legislature. But it was the notorious Erie, run by a pair of brilliant financiers named Jay Gould and “Diamond” Jim Fisk, that captured the attention of the public. Gould and Fisk ran the Erie from offices in the Opera House Palace on West Twenty-Third Street, “decorated in Oriental splendour of silken hangings, mirrors, rich rugs, marble statuary and carved oaken furniture” and joined by secret passageways to their private houses and stables. From these opulent quarters they launched operettas and musical revues, in addition to a series of stock frauds, takeover intrigues, and monopolistic predations.
In typical American fashion, the public focused on Gould and Fisk’s personal morality and flamboyant excesses, and on the melodrama of their feuds with other railroad barons. But events of far more significance were occurring behind the scenes, engineered by Tom Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad. To this day, Scott remains an obscure historical figure. He rarely spoke in public and left few written records. Though known and feared within the railroad industry in his own day, Scott preferred to operate outside the public eye. Perhaps because he never named a university or a foundation after himself, his name has faded into the recesses of nineteenth century history.
The fact that Scott has been forgotten is not as striking as the fact that the significance of his invention is scarcely recognized. We remember Edison for inventing the electric light bulb, Whitney for the cotton gin. But in the end, Scott’s innovation may outrank any other of the nineteenth century. More than any other person, Scott is responsible for the institution that has increasingly dominated the world since the late 1800sthe corporation in its modern incarnation.
To grasp the importance of Scott’s creative accomplishment, it is worth noting for starters that no one saw it coming. Both Adam Smith and Karl Marx failed to predict the re-emergence of the corporation as a dominant institution. In Wealth of Nations (1776), Adam Smith saw the corporation as a decrepit and ill-conceived institution, a remnant of medieval privilege that was too prone to mismanagement to be useful for any but a handful of contingencies. In The Communist Manifesto (1848), Karl Marx ignored corporations altogether. Smith was thinking mainly about the situation in Britain, where virtually all the giant trading companies had collapsed by the mid-1700s. For the most part, the Industrial Revolution in England flourished under quite simple institutional forms, mainly family-owned enterprises, partnerships, and unincorporated joint-stock companies.
In America, the corporation had experienced a revival, but as late as 1850 the charter system, a legal containment vessel created by state legislatures to restrain corporate power, appeared to be in good working order. For six decades, the charter system had succeeded in preventing the emergence of politically overbearing corporations like the East India Company. Yet the system was not getting in the way of rapid economic growth.
The fissures that ultimately cracked the containment vessel originated without notice in the back rooms and committee chambers of state capitols during the early 1850s, as lobbyists for the newly emerging railroad corporations began exacting concessions from state legislatures. Scott, a legislative manipulator without peer, was responsible for one such concession, which at the time seemed hardly earth-shattering. It was quite simple: convincing the Pennsylvania legislature to relax the long-standing prohibition against one corporation owning stock in another corporation. Perhaps it is fitting that Scott was a math prodigy in his youth. This inconspicuous change one corporation owning stock in another is something like the introduction of the zero by unknown Arab mathematicians a minimalist placeholder, but nevertheless a monumental invention.
Tom Scott spent his entire career with the Pennsylvania Railroad. The son of a tavern keeper at a stagecoach stop, he began as a station master in 1850. The charter of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which originally was a state-owned enterprise (in the 1830s, the state supplied the locomotives, private companies the other cars) but later was spun off into private ownership, contained restrictions that were typical of the era. It required that the public have access to the records of the railroad, gave the state the option of buying the railroad entirely if it chose to do so, and specified that the governance of the corporation would take place via a quasi-town meeting every year of stockholder “citizens.” The corporation was prohibited from owning land not directly connected to its business. It was not allowed to conduct any business not specified in the charter which limited its ability to creatively expand. Every twenty years it had to return to the legislature for charter renewal.
With so many limitations built into its charter, the notion that the Pennsylvania Railroad might very soon grow into the largest corporation in the world, with transcontinental aspirations, was inconceivable. So was the idea that the Pennsylvania Railroad would politically dominate the state, since opposition to the railroad was widespread. That opposition derived partially from competing transportation interests, especially the immense wagons drawn by six-horse teams that transported goods across the state. Their proprietors held mass meetings along the lines of the turnpikes to protest the introduction of railways, and frequently state legislators were elected solely on the anti-railroad issue. In addition, popular sentiment opposed corporations in principle, tracing partially to the failure of numerous chartered banks during the financial panic of 1837 and again during the panic of 1857.
Early hostility toward the Pennsylvania Railroad also rose out of widespread beliefs that the company had swindled local governments. Some counties had initially helped finance railroad construction by issuing bonds, only to find themselves forced to raise taxes when the Pennsylvania Railroad failed to pay dividends on the bonds. In Allegheny County, the commissioners defied a court order to levy taxes for the payment of interest on the bonds, and the commissioners went to prison for contempt of court.
At the local level, decisions on where to site railroad tracks frequently triggered intense political conflict, since it was clear that the location of railroads would determine the future survival or extinction of whole communities. In Erie, a two-inch difference in the gauges of two connecting tracks made it necessary for passengers and freight trains to leave one train and board another. The community became divided between the “Shanghais,” who favoured laying new, standardized tracks, and the “Rippers,” so named because of their practice of repeatedly ripping up the new tracks. Members of the factions ceased all social intercourse and refused to attend church services together. According to one historian, “when the contest had reached white heat, the women of the town turned out in a body and burned a railroad bridge.”
This was the charged climate that Tom Scott encountered when he became the Pennsylvania Railroad’s lobbyist in the state legislature. Scott’s top priority was repealing the tonnage tax levied on the railroad by the state, but his efforts in the legislature were at first unsuccessful: “…public sentiment was so strong against any legislation in favour of corporations that the only reward received was a succession of humiliating defeats.”
To overcome the opposition, Scott used every tool at his disposal. He began by organizing supporters at the individual county level across the state, and followed up by purchasing advertisements in nearly every Pennsylvania newspaper, whether friendly or unfriendly to the railroad. When the legislature convened, Scott was still far short of majority support in either house, and at that point he began making deals, mainly consisting of promises to build railroad lines to provide service to particular communities in return for the support of the local delegation. The proposed legislation used the ingenious device of allowing the railroad to divert taxes owed to the state to the construction of local spur lines. In this way, Scott turned the railroad’s main liability into a political asset a tactic that drew an outraged response from opponents in the legislature. Such tactics were highly effective in swaying individual legislators.
When the tonnage repeal finally came to a vote, all eyes were on the state senate. Scott personally oversaw the debate from a side room in the senate hall. The measure squeaked by on a close vote, but public outrage was immediate and intense. Revocation of the tonnage tax proved disastrous to the legislators who had supported Scott. Democratic leaders used the tonnage tax repeal as a “war cry” to recover political power in the state. In the following election, all but one of the legislators outside Philadelphia who had supported the bill were defeated for re-election. But when the following session of the legislature attempted to undo the repeal, they found that the legislation had been written as a contract between the state and the railroad, and that it could not be repealed without consent from both parties. Scott, anticipating the backlash, had made sure that the measure was it virtually irrevocable.
Outraged legislators opened an investigation into allegations that Scott had used bribes to win repeal. Scott’s allies in the senate made it possible for him to personally select five of the seven members of the investigating committee. Scott succeeded in ducking every effort of the committee to subpoena him to testify. At one point even Abraham Lincoln got involved in the game of cat-and-mouse. When Scott’s allies told President Lincoln that Scott needed to avoid testifying, Lincoln asked Secretary of War Stanton to assist Scott, and Stanton complied by ordering Scott on official business out of harm’s way until the legislature had adjourned for the year.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Scott was called to Washington to become Assistant Secretary of War, and as Washington scrambled to regroup following the North’s early losses, his mastery of transportation infrastructure and logistics proved an exceptional asset to the North. Scott’s energies were legendary. On one occasion he worked for 36 hours straight “without sleep or rest,” personally telegraphing the instructions to coordinate the movements of troops on every train of the Pennsylvania Railroad west of Harrisburg. On another occasion, he engineered the movement in record time of 23,000 Union soldiers over 1,200 miles of fragmented rail lines in order to shore up vulnerable front line positions.
Scott’s mastery of the railroad infrastructure were a key part of the North’s success in parlaying its coherent system of railroads into a pervasive military advantage against the South, whose fragmented system crippled its ability to supply and deploy its armies. Scott returned to his position with the Pennsylvania no longer a despised manipulator but as “Colonel Scott,” war hero. According to Pennsylvania historian McClure, “For nearly twenty years, beginning with 1860, Scott enjoyed the personal confidence of the leaders of State and nation of every political faith, and neither of the two great parties ever nominated an important State ticket without very full conference with Scott.”
According to historian Matthew Josephson, Scott’s clout in the post-War era grew steadily, transforming the Pennsylvania Railroad into a political juggernaut, “a single force so formidable that the government became its subject rather than its master.”
No longer did Scott have to struggle to achieve passage of desired legislation. “At the bidding of the railroad,” wrote Josephson, “the Pennsylvania legislature passed necessary measures with reasonable speed. When Mr. Scott, according to legend, had ‘no further business’ for the legislature, it would promptly adjourn. Thus all the uncertainties and hazards of democratic institutions, such as an imperialistic industrial organization could not have safely endured, were erased….”
Having gained an unassailable position within Pennsylvania politics, Scott began to look at wider vistas. The war had given him a panoramic view of both the Northern and the Southern railroad infrastructures, and after returning to Pennsylvania he began to map the grand vision that was to shape the remainder of his career. The vision was to forge a nationwide railway system running from New York to Washington, D.C., then south into the heart of the old Confederacy, and finally west along the southern tier of states to California.
Scott recognized that the actual building of the railroad lines was not the real problem. Far more difficult would be the highly charged politics surrounding railroad policy in the states of the former Confederacy. The Southern railroad lines had originally been built largely by slave labourers, under a system where a plantation owner would loan a work group of slaves to a railroad in exchange for a combination of cash and stock. The entire system was a jumble of small, fragmented lines. In contrast to states like Pennsylvania, where railroad interests dominated state governments, economic interests opposed to railroad integration had the upper hand in most Southern states. Historian Scott Reynolds Nelson describes the tangled Southern transportation hubs:
Well into the 1850s, southern railroads were largely adjuncts to canals, rivers, and sailing ships. Legislators wrote charters that prevented railroad officers from forwarding goods to other railroads or steamships. Many charters allowed city councils to define where railroads had right of way and thus allowed town merchants to choose the location of railroad junctions and company wharves. These charter restrictions ensured that gaps between railroads were large enough for merchants to take advantage of breaks in transit.
In order to consolidate this system into a seamless whole, Scott had to win at a complex political game. Not only did he have to politically outmanoeuvre the transport, warehousing, and merchant interests that benefited from the balkanization of the railroads, but in doing so he also had to conceal the hand of the Pennsylvania Railroad. To reveal that a large Northern railroad was ultimately behind the consolidation of Southern lines would ignite the local suspicions that Yankee capitalists were plotting to colonize the Southern economy. And it wouldn’t take much for determined opponents to block the takeover of a Southern railroad. For example, under the law of North Carolina and the charter of the North Carolina Railroad, any merger involving the North Carolina Railroad had to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both companies’ stockholders and a two-thirds majority in each of the state legislatures.
The solution to the problem was a device that Scott had used earlier in Pennsylvania: the holding company. In that way, Scott would need only to own at most one half of the stock of a company and possibly even less, depending on the degree to which ownership in a given company was fragmented in order to have sufficient leverage to choose a majority of directors. He could then dictate policies to the company through its board, standardizing rates, finances, track specifications, and equipment among multiple lines.
In Pennsylvania itself, Scott had already begun purchasing controlling interests in other companies to rapidly expand westward. Historians T. Lloyd Benson and Trina Rossman have described this means of expanding into western Pennsylvania and Ohio as “a complicated spree of leases, stock buyouts, loans, and construction projects involving at least fourteen separate companies. The result was an administrative and financial rat’s nest of unparalleled size.”
The use of the holding company in Pennsylvania had been a basic business device to make expansion cheaper and faster. But as he mapped out his strategy for expanding into the South, it is clear that Scott envisioned the technique as a political tactic. By using a Pennsylvania holding company to buy up Southern lines, he could create an integrated system without the need to secure charters from potentially hostile Southern legislatures.
To lay the groundwork for his Southern thrust, Scott sought and received a charter from the state of Pennsylvania for a corporation that initially was named the Overland Contract Company. To ensure both secrecy and maximum flexibility, he convinced the legislature to drop the usual requirement that charters define the specific activities to be undertaken by a company. Instead, he chartered the Overland Contract Company in 1871 as a general purpose company with the power to revise its own name and charter as needed. Less than two weeks later the directors of the corporation met in New York City, where they changed the name to the Southern Railway Security Company and configured it as a holding company designed to quietly buy up controlling interests in small railroad companies along the desired route of a future north-south line.
The ruse was only partially successful Scott’s Southern-based rivals discovered that, despite the company’s name, the true owners of the Southern Railway Security Company were actually Yankee railroad men and their New York banker partners, and they sought to publicize that information in order to discredit the Southern Railway Security Company and rally Southern opposition. Scott responded by literally buying his own sympathetic pressing city after city across the South, he purchased local newspapers and ordered editors to support his plans. When William Johnston, a prominent legislator and former commissary-general of the Confederacy, wrote a circular attacking Scott’s scheme (“…we shall be unworthy of our sires if we not only quietly submit but seemingly invite the secret power of monopoly to become our master”), Johnston found himself frozen out of newspaper coverage. And when a house committee in Virginia attempted to investigate charges of railroad bribery, even the Richmond press declined to cover the hearings.
Scott responded with similar directness when the Ku Klux Klan began terrorizing crews of black freedmen working to connect the pieces of his railroad system together. Rather than fight the Klan, he simply invited the various wizards and dragons (mainly ex-officers of the Confederate Army) to a lavish oyster dinner, where his lieutenants offered the Klansmen positions on the boards of various subsidiaries.
To speed up the building of track through the hill country of north Georgia, Scott’s managers leased the entire population of the state penitentiary—393 convicts—at no charge. In North Carolina, convicts performed the dangerous work of tunnelling through mountain ranges. Many of these workers were former slaves imprisoned for the trumped-up offence known as “theft of services,” i.e. not fulfilling one or another of the provisions of their sharecropper contracts.
During the crisis surrounding the disputed Presidential election of 1876 between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, Scott emerged as a key power broker. Although Tilden, the Democratic candidate, appeared to have won by a 250,000-vote margin, the situation in the Electoral College was close enough to set off a frenzy of horse-trading for electoral votes.
For months, political and business leaders convened secret meetings, as various parties sought to negotiate a complex set of agreements now known as the Compromise of 1877. According to labour historian Philip Foner, Scott himself made the “actual determination” that Rutherford Hayes would be president. On March 2, 1877, Hayes was riding from Columbus, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., in Scott’s private luxury railroad car when he received the telegram confirming his selection as President of the United States by a commission of five Supreme Court judges and ten Congressmen. The most notorious provision of the deal that put Hayes in the White House was the promise by Hayes that in return for receiving the votes of Southern electors, his administration would withdraw the remaining Federal troops from the South. That withdrawal enabled the old Southern establishment to re-establish itself, opening the door to the creation of the Jim Crow system of sharecropping, racially separated public facilities and services, and black disenfranchisement. Another tenet of the deal provided that Tom Scott’s Texas and Pacific railroad project, connecting the lines of the Southern Railway Security Company to the West Coast, would receive tens of millions of acres of public land and huge federal subsidies.
As it turned out, the Federal troops were needed to quell a massive labour uprising that broke out in the summer of 1877 at the Baltimore & Ohio station in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and quickly spread to the Pennsylvania Railroad. One issue was pay cuts to railroad workers, another was the dangerous use of “doubleheaders”trains with twice the normal number of cars. The strike spread to numerous cities, involving 100,000 workers and shutting down half the nation’s railroad capacity. In St. Louis alone, sixty factories were shut down, and the city was run for a period of time by a committee of strikers. Urging that the strikers be given “a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread,” Scott repeatedly telegraphed President Hayes for troops. The exact death toll from the suppression of the strike is unknown but is estimated at 90 people or more. In the wake of the strike, armouries were built in many cities as forts for the national guard in any future uprisings.
That a figure such as Scott would have amassed so much power was precisely what the framers of the American system of government had feared. Scott represented the first generation of a business oligarchy whose power rivalled that of the country’s democratically elected leadership. The abolitionist leader Wendell Phillips allegedly said of Scott that when he “trailed his garments across the country, the members of twenty legislatures trembled like dry leaves in a winter’s wind.”
But it was not the personal power amassed by Scott that makes him an important historical figure. It was his liberation of the corporation from state restrictions in effect reinventing the corporation as a far more dynamic entity. Prior to the Civil War, corporations were rooted in place, which meant that each was firmly under the control of the state legislature that issued and periodically renewed its charter. No matter what restrictions the state legislature wrote into a corporation’s charter, the corporation had to put up with those restrictions or face charter termination.
What Tom Scott devised was an escape route. Let’s say a company in Missouri didn’t like the restrictions contained in its charter. By having its lawyers incorporate a new corporation in New Jersey, and then selling its stock to the New Jersey corporation, the Missouri company could effectively free itself from Missouri’s jurisdiction without physically moving.
As mundane as that shift might sound, the impact was profound, because once corporations had the ability to shop for the most sympathetic legal venue, they possessed the ability to exert leverage on state legislatures to ease restrictions of other sorts.
Scott was ahead of his time. His innovation of the holding company was not yet legal on a general basis in any state. Even in Pennsylvania, he had only been able to do it by special action by the compliant Pennsylvania legislature. Two decades later, a New York attorney named William Nelson Cromwell succeeded in making Scott’s invention a universal option available to any corporation. In the meantime, industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller tried with mixed success to accomplish the same results using a different mechanism known as the trust. Under this roundabout and legally vulnerable structure, the stockholders of a number of individual corporations exchanged their stock for “trust certificates” controlled by a central board of trustees. The trust allowed a group of companies to operate in concert for purposes of controlling output and setting prices, without technically violating the rules against cross-company ownership.
Tom Scott had also experimented with trusts, but he discovered a drawback of the device: the need for trust, which, as historian Scott Reynolds Nelson notes, “was no guarantee among capitalists.” Nelson recounts Scott’s experience creating a trust with Andrew Carnegie, his one-time protégé:
[O]nly a few months before Scott incorporated the Southern, he had trusted his closest associate Andrew Carnegie in a deal that allowed Scott and Carnegie to take over the Union Pacific. This was a deal not protected by a holding company. After the two men became directors, Carnegie saw the price of the stock skyrocket, and he secretly sold the shares that had been entrusted to him by Scott and the Pennsylvania’s president. Carnegie had been speculating; he assumed he could buy the stock back before the next election of directors at a lower price and make a healthy profit. But enemies of the Scott alliance discovered the sale, bought Carnegie’s stock, called a special meeting of the Union Pacific board, and deposed Scott and Carnegie. This failure was Tom Scott’s most public humiliation.
Another drawback of trusts for businessmen trying to create functional interstate entities was that many states saw the device as a blatant challenge to their authority, and they quickly counterattacked by taking action to dissolve corporations that had joined into trusts. During the 1880s, the attorney general of the state of Louisiana was seeking to revoke the charters to some local cotton oil companies that had put themselves under the control of the Cotton Oil Trust. The main motive of the trust was to gain greater leverage in setting the price for cotton oil, exactly the opposite of the interests of Louisiana’s cotton farmers.
To defend itself, the Cotton Oil Trust hired Cromwell, who copied Tom Scott’s old trick of convincing a willing state in this case Rhode Island to make a one-time exemption to the general rule against a corporation in one state holding stock in a corporation located in another. This way, the charters of the local companies participating in the Cotton Oil Trust would no longer be subject to dissolution if attacked by the state of Louisiana. The manoeuvre engineered by Cromwell used an asset transfer rather than a stock transfer, but the effect of frustrating state regulators was identical. As the confrontation between the Louisiana attorney general and the Cotton Oil Trust drew to a climax, Cromwell quietly transferred all the assets of the Louisiana corporations to a newly minted Rhode Island corporation created solely for that purpose. He then announced to the attorney general of Louisiana that the case was moot because the corporations no longer existed.
The trick had worked, but Cromwell didn’t stop with his one-time victory in the Cotton Oil Trust case. Instead, he sent several lawyers connected with his firm to approach the New Jersey legislature; based on their lobbying, the legislature loosened the incorporation statutes so that any corporation chartered in New Jersey could hold stock in any other corporation in America.
Scott died in 1881, so he did not live to see the legislation that made his innovation of the out-of-state holding company become a routine feature of corporate law. The revision of New Jersey’s corporate statutes in 1888 and 1889 immediately made that state the venue of choice for corporations wishing to escape more restrictive regulation in other states. By 1901, 71 percent of all United States corporations with assets of $25 million or greater were using New Jersey as their home base. According to corporate lawyer Charles Bostwick, “[S]o many Trusts and big corporations were paying tribute to the State of New Jersey that the authorities had become greatly perplexed as to what should be done with [its ] surplus revenue... .”
Other states had two choices: either attempt to compete with New Jersey in a “race to the bottom,” or watch locally chartered corporations move their legal home to New Jersey. In 1899, Delaware followed New Jersey, and when Governor Woodrow Wilson tightened the New Jersey law in 1913, Delaware pulled ahead as the corporate venue of choice, a position it retains to this day. A half-dozen other states followed New Jersey and Delaware to relax their corporate statutes. Observing the wreckage to state authority over corporations, journalist Lincoln Steffens dubbed New Jersey “the traitor state.” By making it easy for corporations to hold stock in other corporations, New Jersey’s law opened the door for a huge wave of acquisitions, particularly during the period 1897 to 1903. During that six-year span of time, a dramatic transformation of the American business landscape took place. Some 2,650 separate firms disappeared into larger corporate entities, as industry after industry became dominated by a handful of immense, politically powerful corporations incorporated in states with corporate-friendly statutes. By 1903, some 250 large corporations had emerged as dominant. Such entities as International Paper (1898), National Sugar Refining Company (1900), U.S. Steel (1901), and International Harvester (1902) were all formed in this period by merging smaller companies into large corporations. In 1890, the aggregate amount of capital in publicly traded companies was a mere $33 million; in 1903, it surpassed $7 billion. Industry after industry had seen a remarkable concentration of market share. U.S. Steel controlled 62 percent of the steel market, International Harvester controlled 85 percent of the agricultural implement market, American Can Company controlled 90 percent of the can market, etc. In a remarkably short span of time, the structure of the American economy had radically changed.
The effects of the legal revolution that had disassembled the “containment vessel” for corporate power the state-issued charter could now be seen. In its place, the law now provided a suit of protective armour. Instead of protecting democracy from corporate power, the legal system now shielded corporations from legislative power.
Just as the legal system was bent, little by little, to accommodate the needs of the corporation, American culture also shifted as well, often in ways that seemed perfectly harmless, but that often affected the most fundamental gestures and rhythms of daily life. Consider this: even the standardized time that we set our clocks by is a corporate product, created in 1883. Prior to that year, every city and town in the United States established its own time. Meanwhile, every railroad company internally synchronized its own train schedules. As historian Alan Trachtenberg described the situation, “By early 1883 there were about fifty such distinct universes of time, each streaming on wheels through the countryside, oblivious of the others.”
Standardization into four continental time zones came neither from an act of Congress nor from an executive order by the President, but rather from a joint decision by the country’s railroad corporations. Precisely at noon on November 18, 1883, synchronized by telegraph, all the railroad stations in the country set their clocks according to four standardized zones. There was scattered resistance, especially, for reasons unknown, among the clergy. One minister exhorted his congregation to follow “God’s time not Vanderbilt’s.” In Tennessee a preacher punctuated that point by taking out a hammer and smashing his watch on the pulpit. But most people accepted the change quite readily, setting their clocks by railroad time and going on with their lives. Time zones, of course, are harmless. Yet the episode feels vaguely creepy or maybe funny, it’s hard to tell like a sort of Dadaist coup. The message seems to be, “You can keep your silly democracy. But don’t forget: we own the clocks!”
The corporation acquires nine powerful attributes (1860-1900)
For better or for worse, we human beings are stuck with the attributes that nature gave us.
Corporations aren’t like us. Since their powers are determined by the framework of laws, it is possible to engineer them with all sorts of qualities, including some attributes outside the realm of human possibility. In theory, that programming can go either way: Society can make corporations stronger by removing restraints and adding new legal powers, or weaker by doing the reverse. The key lesson is this: corporations are only as powerful as they are legally designed to be.
As described in the previous chapters, the engineers of the American political system deliberately created a framework of laws to keep corporations politically weak. That framework was subsequently undermined by the ingenious manoeuvres of Tom Scott and other businessmen, lawyers, and sympathetic legislators.
So extensive were the changes in the legal framework that the corporation of 1900 was quite different from the corporation of 1860. As shorthand, I’ll call the corporate institution that existed before the Civil War the classic corporation. And I’ll call the corporation that emerged by the end of the nineteenth century the modern corporation. This chapter compares the attributes of these two institutions, as summarized in Table 7.1.
As the table shows, the differences were extensive and highly significant. The difference between the classic version and the modern one was like the difference between C-3PO from Star Wars, the fussy, awkward, highly specialized droid who possesses excellent manners but little else, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator a more powerful being: more robust, more focused, faster, more adaptable.
Differences between the Classic Corporation (before 1860)
and the Modern Corporation (after 1900)
Attribute Classic Corporation Modern Corporation
Birth Difficult: requires a custom charter issued by a state legislature Easy: general incorporation allows automatic chartering
Lifespan Limited terms, usually 20-30 years No limits
Shifting” Corporations not allowed to own stock in other companies; restricted to activities specified in charter Corporations free to pursue acquisitions and spin-offs
Mobility Usually restricted to home state No restrictions
Adaptability Restricted to activities specified in charter Allowed to pursue multiple lines of business and initiate or acquire new ones at company’s discretion
“Conscience” Actions constrained by shareholder liability and by threat of charter revocation Fewer constraints due to limited liability, disuse of charter revocation, and tort reforms
“Will” Managerial action hampered by legal status of minority shareholders and of corporate agents Legal revisions enable consolidation of management’s power
Size Limited by charter restrictions Asset limits removed; anti-trust laws generally not effective
Constitutional Rights Functional only Steady acquisition of constitutional rights from 18861986
Change #1: Creating Corporations Gets Easier
By 1902, anyone in the United States could receive a corporate charter merely by filing some papers with the state. The new system represented a dramatic change from the incorporation regime that existed prior to the Civil War, when charters required specific legislative approval, and many charters contained special provisions unique to that entity.
The Spread of General Incorporation
Requirements in State Constitutions
1846 New York 1864 Nevada 1875 Maryland
1846 Iowa 1864 Louisiana 1876 Colorado
1848 Illinois 1865 Missouri 1876 Texas
1848 Wisconsin 1866 Nebraska 1889 Idaho
1849 California 1867 Alabama 1889 North Dakota
1850 Michigan 1868 North Carolina 1889 South Dakota
1851 Ohio 1868 Georgia 1889 Montana
1851 Maryland 1870 Tennessee 1889 Washington on
1851 Indiana 1871 Arkansas 1890 Mississippi pi
1855 Kansas 1872 West Virginia 1895 Utah
1857 Minnesota 1874 Pennsylvania 1897 Delaware
1857 Oregon 1875 New Jersey 1902 Virginia
Source: Liggett v. Lee (1933), dissent by Louis Brandeis, footnote 4.
This new system of automatic approval for new corporate charters, known as general incorporation, had first been introduced in the late 1700s as a means of allowing churches to receive charters without the need to seek specific approval from the state legislature. The goal was to let churches enjoy the functional benefits provided by corporate ownership of land and property while at the same time avoiding the potential impingement on religious freedom that might have resulted if church charters were subject to the political process.
In 1811, the first general incorporation statute was passed by the state of New York for certain types of business corporations, including manufacturing, textiles, glass, metals, and paint. It allowed companies with capital of up to $100,000 to be automatically incorporated for a life span of up to 20 years. But for decades, charters issued under general incorporation laws continued to contain a variety of restrictive clauses, which explains why corporations in states such as New York began fleeing to New Jersey in the 1890s, even though both had general incorporation standards. Though New York began offering general incorporation much earlier, New Jersey was quicker to drop most restrictive features from its law. Only when truly modern-style general incorporation, with no restrictions, was introduced by New Jersey and then by Delaware, West Virginia, and other states, did it become impossible any longer for states to control corporations the way they had when a customized charter was required for each new corporation.
Change #2: Corporations Acquire an Unlimited Lifespan
The classic corporation was chartered for a limited term and had to periodically apply to have its charter extended—every six to fifty years, depending on the type of business. After the advent of general incorporation statutes, states gradually began to replace limited terms with perpetual terms (almost half had done so by 1903). Thus, a key difference between the classic corporation and the modern corporation is that the latter, at least in theory, enjoys an unlimited lifespan. This does not mean that modern corporations can never go bankrupt, or that one corporation can’t absorb another. According to a study by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the average Fortune 500 company survives about forty to fifty years before it vanishes, sometimes due to bankruptcy but more typically through being swallowed up by a bigger fish. If we consider the acquisition of one company by another to be a continuation of both companies’ lives, the estimates of corporate life spans become significantly longer, especially for the largest corporations. Among the top 25 corporations on the Financial Times Global 500 list for 2002, the median age is 113 years. Only six companies among the top 25 are younger than 50 years (Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Intel, Vodafone Group, Cisco, and Home Depot).
From a social and legal perspective, perpetual existence creates tremendous difficulties in holding corporations accountable for criminal behaviour; in addition, it allows corporations to benefit indefinitely from behaviour that once was legal but now is not. For example, despite the destruction of the Nazi and the Japanese fascist regimes, a number of German, Japanese, and even American corporations that benefited from the use of slave labour in the 1930s and 1940s can be found in today’s Global 500 list, including IBM (#12), Siemens (#57), Daimler-Chrysler (#81), Deutsche Bank (#100), Ford (#157), BMW (#167), Bayer (#175), BASF (#187), Volkswagen (#211), General Motors (#308), Mitsubishi (#380), and Mitsui (#472). IBM bears a particularly heavy historical burden due to evidence uncovered by historian Edwin Black describing how IBM’s data processing technology helped the Nazi regime implement its genocidal policies.
With many corporations having roots extending earlier than the American Civil War, it is not surprising that at least one Canadian and seven American companies on the Global 500 list also benefited from the use of slave labour prior to 1865, including American International Group (#11), Morgan Chase (#44), Fleetboston (#109), Lehman Brothers (#283), Union Pacific (#285), Gannett (#212), and Tribune (#327).
The point here is not that corporations that engaged in murderous practices in the past deserve to be smeared with the broad brush of history. Rather, it is to suggest how the legal attribute of indefinite existence makes the corporation truly a different sort of social actor than you or me. For example, when evidence emerged that former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim had played a leadership role in military units responsible for World War II atrocities, much of the world responded by ostracizing Waldheim. In contrast, a corporation such as IBM, whose close involvement with the Nazi regime produced suffering on a vastly larger scale than anything Waldheim could ever have done, suffers no lingering reproach other than calls for reparations.
While perpetual existence allows corporations to outlive their own crimes and atrocities, it also has a very practical benefit in ordinary political and legal affairs. Consider for example the anti-trust litigation against Microsoft initiated by the United States Justice Department under the administration of Bill Clinton. Such cases typically last at least a decade and often more, which gives a company such as Microsoft the chance to roll the dice with a new Administration. In Microsoft’s case, a new Administration arrived in time to apply a more lenient philosophy to the case, and the company slipped the noose.
Change #3: Corporations Learn to Shape-Shift
As useful as it is, corporate immortality becomes even more potent when used in combination with the modern corporation’s ability to dramatically morph in any number of ways. Corporate governance expert Ralph Estes has termed this morphing ability “indefinite entity,” described by Estes as “the ability to disguise itself, to run and to hide, or to reorganize into a whole new entity. . . sell off divisions and subsidiaries, be taken over and absorbed into a different company, or . . . rename itself and emerge as, seemingly, a completely different company.” Estes cites the example of Drexel Burnham Lambert:
Its image befouled with six felonies plus the legacy of junk bond king Michael Milkin, Drexel used a tax loophole to give itself a whole new identity as the spanking clean New Street Capital Corporation. Drexel, with its felonies, couldn’t get a license to run a gambling casino in Puerto Rico it wanted to take over. New Street could even though it emerged out of Drexel’s hide.
Prior to the Civil War the sort of manoeuvring described by Estes would have been far beyond the capacities of any company. Under the charter system, a classic corporation was not allowed to own stock in another, which ruled out hostile takeovers, as well as spin-offs from one corporation to another. Charters tended to be quite specific about the activities that a given corporation was allowed to undertake. In order to go beyond the terms of its charter, a corporation had to return to the state legislature and receive approval for a charter amendment.
By 1900, all those restrictions had vanished. As noted in the previous chapter, the key changes that undermined the antebellum charter system were Tom Scott’s innovation of the holding company as a political tool in Pennsylvania in 1871, and the 1889 and 1890 legislative changes in New Jersey that made the holding company an option for any corporation chartered in that state.
By loosening their corporate statutes, New Jersey and the states that mimicked New Jersey created a new environment in which, according to historian Lawrence Friedman, “the corporation had torn free of its past it could be formed almost at will, could do business as it wished, could expand, contract, dissolve.”
Change #4: Corporations Gain Mobility
A key feature of the classic corporation was the way it tied each corporation firmly to the chartering state. That connection was reinforced by a number of factors, including a prohibition on one corporation owning stock in another, and ultra vires, a legal doctrine under which any contract outside the activities permitted in a corporation’s charter was considered null and void by the courts. While ultra vires lingered in theory into the 1930s, judges had mainly abandoned attempting to enforce it by 1900. Of course, once a corporation could both act beyond the legal definitions of its charter and change its legal location to a venue far removed from the communities where it conducted its operations, the ability of states to hold corporations accountable was greatly diminished. Indeed, the ability of corporations to go “venue shopping” encouraged states to compete with each other to create the most permissive corporate atmosphere. For example, when Connecticut’s legislatures held the line with strict corporate rules, including a provision requiring that a majority of the board of directors of any company be Connecticut residents, the state “drove from her borders not only foreign enterprises but also her own industries.” New Jersey, with a combination of low taxes and loose statutes, became “the favourite state for incorporations.” Another corporate favourite was West Virginia, a “Snug Harbour for roaming and piratical corporations,” the “tramp and bubble companies of the country.”
Change #5: Corporations Become More Adaptable
Charters issued by legislatures prior to the Civil War were quite specific about the activities that a corporation could pursue. Just as corporate charters restricted the mobility of corporations, they also made it illegal for a corporation to alter its activities without seeking a change in its charters. After the Civil War, those restrictions were lifted, often a decade or two after the change from special chartering to general incorporation. For example, New York switched to general incorporation in 1844, but the statutory change that permitted incorporation “for any lawful purpose” came in 1866. Illinois made the conversion to “any lawful purpose” in 1872, Massachusetts in 1874, Maine in 1876. Other states followed shortly.
The removal of clauses that defined and limited what a company was permitted to do, combined with new rules permitting holding companies, opened the door to the creation of two kinds of corporations that were not permitted under the classic corporation system. One was the conglomerate, a holding company that owned a diversity of companies. The other was the vertically integrated company, which attempted to control the entire lifespan of a certain product group from production through distribution and retail. Both approaches led to immense, potentially monopolistic corporations.
Change #6: Corporations Shed Their “Conscience” Mechanisms
Science fiction writers who have imagined the introduction of intelligent automatons into society have recognized the need for building as least a rudimentary “conscience” mechanism into robots and androids. Isaac Asimov imagined a solution in which robots were programmed with simple rules, such as “A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
Because corporations are complex systems, in which large numbers of people and machines interact with the real world in a myriad of ways, the challenge of programming a “conscience”i.e. mechanisms to ensure that human beings aren’t trampled is difficult. But that does not mean it is impossible, and indeed a major preoccupation of the law since its inception is the development of various ways of protecting people from being harmed not just by corporations but by institutions in general.
Much of this sort of programming is simply an extension of the legal provisions that protect humans from hurting each other, such as civil and criminal laws. Of course, criminal law never had any teeth in the first place when it came to corporations because of the obvious uselessness of the corporal disincentives that the law has traditionally relied on: flogging, imprisonment, and so forth. Instead, the designers of the classic corporation had relied on the limitations contained in corporate charters and on the ultimate sanction of charter revocation. But by around 1875, general incorporation had largely replaced the system of individually issued charters, and charters ceased to provide a means for controlling corporate behaviour.
The end of the charter system also marked the full arrival of the doctrine of limited liability, which ended any legal incentive for corporate shareholders to concern themselves with the behaviour of the businesses in which they owned an interest. As described in chapter 5, investors in some British corporations had enjoyed limited liability as early as the 1660s, but limited liability protection as a universal feature did not exist in Britain until 1855. Even then, Parliament required that a company “announce its members’ irresponsibility” by appending the phrase “LLC” (limited liability company) to its official name. In America, limited liability was highly controversial prior to the Civil War. For example, in Maine, the law changed back and forth nine times between 1823 and 1857between no liability and full liability, depending on whether the Whigs or the Democrats had a majority of the legislature. Between about 1810 and 1860, judges began to develop a doctrine that conferred limited liability on shareholders in the absence of any charter provision to the contrary. Usually, however, charters were not silent. Some required that shareholders be exposed to unlimited liability for debts or legal settlements against a corporation; others required “double liability,” which meant that a shareholder’s exposure was limited to twice the amount of their investment.
Of course, the ultimate effect of shielding stockholders from risk is to shift potential losses onto society at large. Such a shift also occurred in areas of civil law such as the law of torts, as summarized by political scientist Arthur S. Miller:
As with constitutional law, so with the private law of contracts, of property, and of torts. Judge-made rules in those fundamental categories had the result of transferring the social costs of private enterprise from the enterprise itself to the workingman or to society at large. Tort law provides apt illustration. Under its doctrines, a person who wilfully or negligently harms another’s person or property must answer by paying money damages. The analogue of contract, which is a consensual obligation, a tort is a non-consensual legal obligation. Who, then, bore the costs, in accidents and in deaths, of the new industrialism? Not the businessman. Not the corporation. The worker himself. (Often those workers were children.) And who bore the costs of pollution and other social costs? Society at large. How did this come about? In tort law judges created doctrines of “contributory negligence,” “assumption of risk,” and the “fellow servant rule,” all of which served to insulate the enterprise from liability. By “freely” taking a job, said the judges, the workers “assumed the risk” of any accident that might occur.
Change #7: Unleashing the Corporate Will
In the context of corporate law, legal scholar Paul Vinogradoff has defined will as
…the faculty of taking resolves in the midst of conflicting motives; a governing brain and nerves, in the shape of institutions and agents; a capacity for the promotion and the defence of interests by holding property, performing acts in law, and exercising rights of action in courts.
One of the least noted differences between the legal framework of the classic corporation and that of the modern corporation is the relative status of shareholder and management. According to legal historian Gregory Mark, shareholders played a dominant role in the classic corporation, but in the modern corporation a clear trend developed toward managerial supremacy. With managers winning the role of “governing brain,” decision-making became far more streamlined and definitive, and managers could undertake strategic manoeuvres such as mergers and acquisitions without fear of being blocked by a small minority of balky shareholders.
The elevation of the power of management occurred as a result of a variety of legal changes. In 1890, New York became the first state (followed by New Jersey in 1896 and Delaware in 1899) to rescind the common law doctrine known as “the rule of unanimous consent.” That doctrine required that any fundamental change of corporate purposes, especially the sale of corporate assets required unanimous approval by the shareholders. In practice, the rule of unanimous consent significantly hampered the creation of large corporate conglomerates, at least in cases where ownership of a corporation whose assets were being acquired were widely dispersed. Combined with the removal of restrictions that had been built into the charters of the classic corporation, the elimination of unanimous consent allowed the modern corporation a new degree of nimbleness, despite the fact that the size of the largest corporations at the end of the nineteenth century was far beyond that of earlier firms.
Court decisions also served to make shareholders subordinate to managers. A key case was the decision by the federal district court in St. Louis in 1884 involving Jay Gould’s Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway. Setting a new precedent that dramatically increased the powers of management over shareholders, the court agreed to Gould’s request that his representatives be appointed receivers for the railroad company. Prior to that time, prevailing doctrine gave control over bankruptcy proceedings to impartial receivers, who were to balance the interests of stockholders, workers, and creditors. The St. Louis court’s decision, however, affirmed and legally reinforced the control of management over a corporation’s fate.
Change #8: Removing Restrictions on Size
In many cases the charters of the classic corporation placed explicit limits on size. For example, the 1818 charter of a Massachusetts company, the Main Flour Mills, limited the total property the corporation might hold to $50,000, of which the land could not exceed $30,000 in value.
Nineteenth Century Statutory Limits on Amount of Invested
Capital a Single Corporation Could Control
NY until 1881 $2,000,000 ME 1867-1876 $200,000
NY 1881-1890 $5,000,000 ME 1876-1883 $500,000
PA until 1863 $500,000 ME 1883-1891 $2,000,000
PA after 1863 $5,000,000 ME after 1891 $10,000,000
AL until 1876 $200,000 VT $1,000,000
AL 1876-1896 $1,000,000 NH $1,000,000
AZ after 1864 $5,000,000 MA 1851-1855 $200,000
IL 1852-1857 $300,000 MA after 1855 $500,000
IL after 1857 $1,000,000 MI 1846-1885 $100,000
ME 1862-1867 $50,000 MI after 1885 $5,000,000
Source: Liggett v. Lee (1933), dissent by Louis Brandeis, footnotes 422.
In addition to the size limits in corporate charters, most state constitutions featured limits on the amount of investment capital that a single corporation could control, as shown in Table 7.3.
Many common charter provisions also effectively limited the size of corporations: (1) restrictions on the activities that a particular corporation could pursue; (2) prohibitions against owning land not directly connected to current activity; (3) prohibitions against owning stock in other corporations; (4) geographic restrictions; (5) requirements in some states that excess profits be used to buy back stock, so that eventually stockholders would be eliminated and a corporation in effect return to public ownership. In addition, the doctrine of unanimous shareholder consent for major decisions such as acquisitions or asset sales provided a brake on rapid conglomeration, because it allowed a small minority of dissident shareholders to block such action.
With the modern corporation, all those constraints were lifted, opening the door to the wave of mergers around 1900 that produced the immense corporations still characteristic of the American economy.
It might be argued that the framework of anti-trust laws beginning with the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 and followed by the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914 and the Celler-Kefauver Act in 1950functions to place a ceiling on size. And anti-trust legislation has indeed produced occasional results, most notably the break-up of Standard Oil in 1911, American Tobacco, also in 1911, and AT&T in 1982. Of course, to deal with the complexity of business, such legislation must be written in broad terms, which means that enforcement and judicial interpretation are both highly subject to political ideology. Under the Warren Court in the 1960s, the Supreme Court viewed the intent of anti-trust legislation as incorporating broad goals. These included the traditional goal of curbing monopoly pricing power, but also two key social goals: (1) concern for the viability of locally controlled industries and small businesses, and (2) other social effects, such as undue political influence. Thus, the Warren Court in the 1962 Brown Shoe case blocked the merger of two shoe companies, Brown and Kinney, even though the merger would have given Brown only 5.5 percent of total U.S. shoe production and allowed Brown to move from fourth to third among U.S. shoe companies.
With the arrival of the Burger court in 1974, followed by the Reagan Administration in 1981, judicial and executive anti-trust philosophy shifted dramatically. In 1982, the Justice Department relaxed the standards for mergers, citing the need to allow American corporations to compete internationally, especially against large Japanese companies. The head of the AntiTrust Division, William F. Baxter, rejected the idea that large corporations “by virtue of their size have something called economic power.”
The result of this more lenient policy on mergers has been a rapidly accelerating trend toward concentration. In 1980, there were only three acquisitions larger than one billion dollars in value. In 1986, there were 34 such mergers. As late as 1992, total U.S. merger activity remained under $100 billion. But in the late 1990s, acquisitions exploded, topping $1 trillion in 1998. In 2000, a single merger, the $166 billion acquisition of Time-Warner by America Online, was larger than all mergers and acquisitions in the United States from 1970 through 1977.
By any measure, corporations dominate the world economy, and among the largest corporations, an overwhelming majority are based in Japan and the United States. According to Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, 37 of the top 100 economies in the world, measured on a value-added basis, are corporations. That analysis, however, may understate the economic clout of corporations. A different comparison, which compares the revenues of corporations against the budgets of governments, finds that 66 of the 100 largest economic entities in the world are corporations; only 34 are governments. Among the top 200 companies, ranked by sales, 58 Japanese firms accounted for 39 percent of total sales, while 59 US firms accounted for 28 percent of sales. Ranked by market value, however, 19 of the top 25 firms worldwide were U.S.-based (see Table 7.4).
Change #9: Corporations Win Constitutional Rights

The Top 25 Corporations in the World,
Ranked by Market Value
Rank Company Country Market Value
($ billions)
1 General Electric USA 372
2 Microsoft USA 327
3 Exxon Mobil USA 300
4 Wal-Mart USA 273
5 Citigroup USA 255
6 Pfizer USA 249
7 Intel USA 204
8 British Petroleum United Kingdom 201
9 Johnson & Johnson USA 198
10 Royal Dutch/Shell Netherlands/UK 190
11 American International Group USA 188
12 IBM USA 179
13 GlaxoSmithKline PLC United Kingdom 145
14 NTT DoCoMo, Inc. Japan 138
15 Merck USA 131
16 Coca-Cola USA 130
17 Vodafone Group USA 127
18 SBC Communications USA 125
19 Verizon Communications USA 125
20 Cisco Systems USA 124
21 Procter & Gamble USA 117
22 Novartis Switzerland 114
23 Home Depot USA 114
24 Philip Morris USA 113
25 Total Fina Elf France 109
Source: Financial Times “Global 2002” list, May 13, 2002.
There can be no doubt that the changes that transformed the classic corporation into the modern corporation allowed greater business flexibility. For example, as described by historians John Mickelthwait and Adrian Wooldridge, “Nowadays, nobody finds it odd that, a century after its foundation, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company makes Post-it notes, or that the world’s biggest mobile-phone company, Nokia, used to be in the paper business.”
But the same changes that made corporations more flexible in their business operations also made them a far more potent force in the political realm. In order for make sure that this growing corporate power did not overwhelm the ability of state legislatures to control corporations, it would have made sense in the late nineteenth century for courts to affirm the constitutional authority of those legislatures to regulate corporations as they saw fit. Unfortunately, the opposite happened too place, as courts systematically developed doctrines that allowed corporations to block unwelcome state laws and taxes.
Although 1886 is universally considered the year in which corporations won their first Constitutional right, it should be noted that as early as 1819, the Supreme Court had begun to establish a legal status for corporations in America that exceeded the traditional legal status enjoyed by corporations in England.
In England, corporations had never been protected from state action, even when that action was of a highly arbitrary nature. Centuries of English legal tradition had established firmly the principle that corporate charters were revocable and alterable at any time. As described by Ron Harris, a historian of English constitutional law:
The larger the corporation and the more consequential the effects of its activities, the more likely was the State to interfere in its business at one point or another. Incorporation itself was not considered a protectable property right. The State could, at will, withhold an incorporation franchise which, in many cases, was of limited duration. Such withdrawal was not common, but it conformed to the Stuart conception of the constitution, which held that granting and revoking incorporation charters lay within the King’s prerogative and discretion. It also conformed to the post-1689 constitutional settlement which made the Parliament supreme and , as such, free to enact and repeal incorporation acts, according to changing circumstances or majorities.
In the United States, the case that marked the first departure from this principle of corporate subordination to the will of the state was the Dartmouth College v. New Hampshire (1819). Encouraged by Thomas Jefferson, among others, New Hampshire had enacted legislation converting Dartmouth College from a private college into a public one. Jefferson, had written to the governor, “The idea that institutions, established for the use of the nation, cannot be touched or modified … may perhaps be a salutary provision against the abuses of a monarch, but it is most absurd against the nation itself.” To make a corporate charter sacrosanct, said Jefferson, would amount to a belief that “the earth belongs to the dead, and not to the living.”
Seeking to block New Hampshire from taking over the college public, Dartmouth’s trustees went to court, arguing that the 1769 charter between the college and King George qualified as a contract entitled to protection under the contract clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 10), which prohibits states from “impairing the obligations of contracts.” The New Hampshire Superior Court agreed with the state. “These trustees are the servants of the public,” declared the court, “and the servant is not to resist the will of his master, in a matter that concerns that master alone.”
The trustees then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they had better luck. They were represented by the most renowned attorney of the day, Daniel Webster, a moving speaker. Though it was not recorded, Webster’s oratory” It is … a small college, and yet there are those who love it…”aroused such emotion that some members of the audience were said to have fainted, while Chief Justice John Marshall openly wept.
In its decision, the Court agreed with the trustees of Dartmouth that the charter they had received from King George in 1769 should be considered a contract protected by Constitution. This decision, Justice Story later wrote, was intended to protect the rights of property owners against “the passions of the popular doctrines of the day.”
Dartmouth cut two ways. In practical terms, legislatures quickly figured out how to get around the problem. They added a new clause to charters stating that the state reserved the right of revocation. Moreover, the ruling included a clear statement by Justice Marshall that corporations remained subordinate to state power. Marshall wrote that the corporation is an “artificial being, invisible, intangible and existing only in contemplation of law.” On the other hand, the case marked the beginning of a long process by which the Supreme Court steadily elevated the legal status of the corporation above anything that had previously existed in Anglo/American law. Thus, it opened the door for a steady erosion of state sovereignty over corporations, allowing them to begin carving out a legal zone of immunity from state legislatures.
By 1860, that process was still in its infancy. Most notably, corporations failed to win protection as “citizens” under the Comity Clause (Article IV, Section 2), which states: “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” That strategy was turned down by the Supreme Court in the 1839 Bank of Augusta decision. The 1844 Louisville, Cincinnati decision did give corporations the right to seek review of state laws in federal courts. But until the late 1870s, the attitudes of judges toward corporations remained consistent with Revolutionary Era attitudes of wariness toward corporate power.
By 1900, the prevailing judicial philosophy had shifted dramatically. A new generation of judges had embraced the corporation as the engine of American economic progress, and a series of cases had been decided giving corporations the right to challenge state legislation under the Fourteenth Amendment and federal legislation under the Fifth Amendment. The following chapters examine this sudden shift, including the role played by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field and the twists and turns of the Santa Clara decision, the strange case that gave corporations their first constitutional right.

Documentary Records

1492 - Present

Fifteenth Century Documents

• 1492 - Priviledges and Prerogatives Granted by Their Catholic Majesties to Christopher Columbus; April 30
• 1498 - The Letters Patents of King Henry the Seventh Granted unto Iohn Cabot and his Three Sonnes, Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius for the the Discouerie of New and Unknowen Lands; March 5

Sixteenth Century Documents

• 1578 - Letters Patent to Sir Humfrey Gylberte June 11
• 1584 - Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh; March 25

Seventeenth Century Documents

• 1603 - Charter of Acadia Granted by Henry IV of France to Pierre du Gast, Sieur de Monts; December 18
• 1606 - The First Charter of Virginia; April 10
• 1609 - The Second Charter of Virginia; May 23
• 1611 - The Third Charter of Virginia; March 12
• 1614 - General Charter for Those who Discover Any New Passages, Havens, Countries, or Places; March 27
• 1614 - Grant of Exclusive Trade to New Netherland by the States-General of the United Netherlands; October 11
• 1619/20 - Petition for a Charter of New England by the Northern Company of Adventurers; March 3
• 1620 - Charter of New England; November 3
• 1620 - Mayflower Compact; November 11
• 1621 - Charter of the Dutch West India Company; June 3
• 1621 - Ordinances for Virginia; July 24-August 3
• 1622 - A Grant of the Province of Maine to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason, esq., August 10
• 1624 - Warrant for William Ussling to Establish a General Company for Trade to Asia, Africa, America and Magellanica; December 21
• 1626 - Charter of Privileges which Gustavus Adolphus Has Graciously Given by Letters Patent to the Newly Established Swedish South Company; June 14
• 1626 - Notification of the Purchase of Manhattan by the Dutch; November 5
• 1629 - Charter of the Colony of New Plymouth Granted to William Bradford and His Associates; January 13
• 1629 - Grant of Land North of the Saco River to Thomas Lewis and Richard Bonighton by the Council for New England; February 12
• 1629 - The Charter of Massachusetts Bay; March 4
• 1629 - Sir Robert Heath's Patent 5 Charles 1st; October, 30
• 1629 - Grant of Hampshire to Capt. John Mason, November 7
• 1629 - Grant of Laconia to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason by the Council for New England; November 17
• 1632 - Charter of Maryland; June 20
• 1634 - Royal Commission for Regulating Plantations; April 28
• 1635 - Confirmation of the Grant from the Council for New England to Captain John Mason
• 1635 - Grant of the Province of New Hampshire to John Wollaston, Esq., April 18
• 1635 - Grant of the Province of New Hampshire to Mr. Mason, By the Name of Masonia; April 22
• 1635 - Grant of the Province of New Hampshire to Mr. Mason, By the Name of New Hampshire; April 22
• 1635 - Declaration for Resignation of the Charter by the Council for New England; April 25
• 1635 - The Act of Surrender of the Great Charter of New England to His Majesty; June 7
• 1635 - Grant of the Province of New Hampshire From Mr. Wollaston to Mr. Mason, June 11
• 1635 - Grant of His Interest in New Hampshire by Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Captain John Mason; September 17
• 1637 - Proclamation Against the Disorderly Transporting His Majesty's subjects to the Plantations Within the Parts of America; April 30
• 1637 - Commission to Sir Ferdinando Gorges as Governor of New England by Charles; July 23
• 1639 - Fundamental Orders; January 14
• 1639 - Grant of the Province of Maine; April 3
• 1639 - Fundamental Agreement, or Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4
• 1639 - Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire, August 4
• 1640 - William Bradford, &c. Surrender of the Patent of Plymouth Colony to the Freeman; March 2
• 1640 - Plantation Agreement at Providence; August 27 - September 6,
• 1641 - Government of Rhode Island-March 16-19
• 1641 - The Combinations of the Inhabitants Upon the Piscataqua River for Government, October 22
• 1643 - Patent for Providence Plantations - March 14
• 1643 - The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England; May 19
• 1643 - Government of New Haven Colony; October 27 - November 6
• 1649 - Maryland Toleration Act; September 21
• 1662 - Charter of Connecticut; April 23
• 1663 - Charter of Carolina : March 24
• 1663 - Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - July 15
• 1663 - A Declaration and Proposals of the Lord Proprietor of Carolina, Aug. 25-Sept. 4
• 1664 - The Concession and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, to and With All and Every the Adventurers and All Such as Shall Settle or Plant There; February 10
• 1664 - Grant of the Province of Maine; March 12
• 1664 - The Duke of York's Release to John Ford Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret; June 24
• 1665 - Concessions and Agreements of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina
• 1665 - Charter of Carolina; June 30
• 1669 - The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina : March 1
• 1672 - A Declaration of the True Intent and Meaning of us the Lords Proprietors, and Explanation of There Concessions Made to the Adventurers and Planters of New Caesarea or New Jersey; December 6
• 1674 - Grant of the Province of Maine; June 29
• 1674 - His Royal Highness's Grant to the Lords Proprietors, Sir George Carteret; July 29
• 1676 - The Charter or Fundamental Laws, of West New Jersey, Agreed Upon
• 1676 - Quintipartite Deed of Revision, Between E. and W Jersey: July 1
• 1680 - Duke of York's Second Grant to William Penn, Gawn Lawry, Nicholas Lucas, John Eldridge, Edmund Warner, and Edward Byllynge, for the Soil and Government of West New Jersey; August 6
• 1680 - Commission of John Cutt; September 18
• 1681 - Concessions to the Province of Pennsylvania - July 11
• 1681 - Charter for the Province of Pennsylvania; February 28
• 1681 - Province of West New-Jersey, in America; November 25
• 1682 - Duke of York's Confirmation to the 24 Proprietors; March 14
• 1682 - Penn's Charter of Libertie; April 25
• 1682 - Frame of Government of Pennsylvania; May 5
• 1683 - Frame of Government of Pennsylvania: February 2
• 1683 - The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America
• 1683 - The King's Letter Recognizing the Proprietors' Right to the Soil and Government ; November 23
• 1688 - Resolutions of The Germantown Mennonites; February 18
• 1688 - Commission of Sir Edmund Andros for the Dominion of New England; April 7
• 1691 - The Charter of Massachusetts Bay; October 7
• 1696 - Frame of Government of Pennsylvania

Eighteenth Century Documents

• 1701 - Charter of Privileges Granted by William Penn, esq. to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Territories, October 28
• 1701 - Charter of Delaware; October 28
• 1702 - Surrender from the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey, of Their Pretended Right of Government to Her Majesty; April 15
• 1709 - The Queen's Acceptance of the Surrender of Government; April 17
• 1712 - Charles II's Grant of New England to the Duke of York, 1676 - Exemplified by Queen Anne; October 30

• 1725 - Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts Bay; August 26
• 1732 - Charter of Georgia; June 9
• 1754 - Albany Plan of Union; June
• 1764 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Currency Act; April 19
• 1764 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Sugar Act; September 29
• 1764 - Petition from the Massachusetts House of Representatives to the House of Commons; November 3
• 1764 - Petition of the Virginia House of Burgesses to the House of Commons: December 18
• 1765 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Stamp Act, March 22
• 1765 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Quartering Act; May 15
• 1765 - Resolves of the Pennsylvania Assembly on the Stamp Act, September 21
• 1765 - Resolutions of the Congress of 1765; October 19
• 1765 - New York Merchants Non-importation Agreement; October 31
• 1765 - Connecticut Resolutions on the Stamp Act: December 10
• 1766 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Declaratory Act; March 18
• 1766 - Great Britain : Parliament - An Act Repealing the Stamp Act; March 18
• 1767 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Townshend Act, November 20
• 1768 - Boston Non-Importation Agreement, August 1
• 1768 - Resolutions of the Boston Town Meeting; September 13
• 1769 - Charleston Non-Importation Agreement; July 22
• 1768 - Massachusetts Circular Letter to the Colonial Legislatures; February 11
• 1768 - Circular Letter to the Governors in America; April 21
• 1773 - Virginia Resolutions Establishing A Committee of Correspondence; March 12
• 1773 - Resolutions of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Agreeing to the Virginia Proposal; May 28
• 1773 - The Philadelphia Resolutions; October 16
• 1773 - Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York; December 15
• 1774 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Boston Port Act : March 31
• 1774 - Circular Letter of the Boston Committee of Correspondence; May 13
• 1774 - Proceedings of Farmington, Connecticut, on the Boston Port Act; May 19
• 1774 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Administration of Justice Act; May 20
• 1774 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Massachusetts Government Act; May 20
• 1774 - Letter from the New York Committee of Fifty-One to the Boston Committee of Correspondence; May 23
• 1774 - Letter from Lieutenant-Governor Colden to the Earl of Dartmouth; June 1
• 1774 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Quartering Act; June 2
• 1774 - Proceedings of the Inhabitants of Philadelphia; June 18
• 1774 - The Association of the Virginia Convention; August 1-6
• 1774 - Great Britain : Parliament - The Quebec Act: October 7,
• 1774 - Declarations and Resolves of the First Continental Congress; October 14
• 1774 - The Articles of Association; October 20
• 1775 - Resolutions of the Provincial Congress of Virginia; March 23
• 1775 - Patrick Henry - Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death; March 23
• 1775 - The Mecklenburgh Resolutions; May 20
• 1775 - The Charlotte Town Resolves; May 31
• 1775 - Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms; July 6
• 1775 - Resolution of Secrecy Adopted by the Continental Congress, November 9
• 1776 - Constitution of New Hampshire; January 5
• 1776 - Constitution of South Carolina - March 26
• 1776 - Preamble and Resolution of the Virginia Convention, May 15
• 1776 - Draft Constitution for Virginia; June
• 1776 - Lee's Resolution; June 7
• 1776 - Virginia Declaration of Rights; June 12
• 1776 - The Constitution of Virginia; June 29
• 1776 - Constitution of New Jersey; July 2
• 1776 - Declaration of Independence; July 4
• 1776 - Plan of the Treaties with France of 1778; September 17
• 1776 - Treaties with France : Instructions to the Agent September 24
• 1776 - Constitution of Delaware; September 21
• 1776 - Constitution of Pennsylvania - September 28
• 1776 - Constitution of Maryland; November 11
• 1776 - Constitution of North Carolina; December 18
• 1777 - Constitution of Georgia; February 5
• 1777 - Constitution of New York; April 20
• 1777 - Constitution of Vermont; July 8
• 1777 - Articles of Convention Between Lieutenant-General Burgoyne and Major General Gates; October 16
• 1778 - France : Treaties of 1778 and Associated Documents
• 1778 - Exchange of Notes Referring to Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France of February 6, 1778
• 1778 - Constitution of South Carolina - March 19
• 1778 - Ratification of the Treaties with France - Debates in Congress; May 2-6
• 1778 - Treaty With the Delawares; September 17
• 1780 - An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery - Pennsylvania; March 1
• 1781 - Articles of Confederation; March 1
• 1781 - Articles of Capitulation; October 18
• 1782 - Contract Between the King and the Thirteen United States of North America, signed at Versailles July 16, 1782
• 1782 - Preliminary Articles of Peace; November 30
• 1783 - Declarations for Suspension of Arms and Cessation of Hostilities Jan. 20
• 1783 - Contract between the King and the Thirteen United States of North America February 25
• 1783 - Proclamation Declaring the Cesssation of Arms; April 11
• 1783 - The Paris Peace Treaty 1783 and Associated Documents
• 1784 - Report on Government for Western Territory; March 1
• 1784 - Treaty With the Six Nations; October 22
• 1785 - Treaty With the Wyandot, etc.; January 21
• 1785 - Treaty of Amity and Commerce With His Majesty the King of Prussia; September 10
• 1785 - Treaty With The Cherokee; November 28
• 1786 - Treaty With the Chocktaw; January 3
• 1786 - Treaty With the Chickasaw; January 10
• 1786 - Resolution of the General Assembly of Virginia, January 21
• 1786 - Treaty With the Shawnee; January 31
• 1786 - Treaty of Peace and Friendship With Morocco; June 28 and July 15
• 1786 - Constitution of Vermont; July 4
• 1786 - Proceedings of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government Annapolis Maryland; September 11-14
• 1787 - Report of Proceedings in Congress; February 21
• 1787 - Credentials of the Members of the Federal Convention. Commonwealth of Massachusetts; April 9
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Virginia Plan, Presented to the Federal Convention, Text A; May 29.
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Virginia Plan, Presented to the Federal Convention, Text B; May 29.
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Virginia Plan, Presented to the Federal Convention, Text C; May 29.
• 1787 - The Plan of Charles Pinckney (South Carolina), Presented to the Federal Convention, May 29
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Patterson Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text A; June 15
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Patterson Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text B; June 15
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Patterson Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text C; June 15
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Hamilton Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text. A; June 18
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Hamilton Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text. B; June 18
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Hamilton Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text. C; June 18
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Hamilton Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text. D; June 18
• 1787 - Variant Texts of the Hamilton Plan Presented to the Federal Convention, Text. E; June 18
• 1787 - Credentials of the members of the Federal Convention : State of New Hampshire; June 27
• 1787 - Madison's Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention : May - September
• 1787 - Notes of Alexander Hamilton in the Federal Convention; June 1 - 26
• 1787 - Notes of Rufus King in the Federal Convention; May 31 - August 8
• 1787 - Northwest Ordinance; July 13
• 1787 - United States Constitution; September 17
• 1787 - Letter of the President of the Federal Convention to the President of Congress, Transmitting the Constitution; September 17
• 1787 - Resolution of the Federal Convention Submitting the Constitution to Congress, September 17
• 1787 - Resolution of Congress Submitting the Constitution To the Several States; September 28
• 1787 - Circular Letter of the Secretary of Congress Transmitting Copy of the Constitution to the Several Governors; September 28
• 1787 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Delaware; December 7
• 1787 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Pennsylvania; December 12
• 1787 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New Jersey; December 18
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Georgia; January 2
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Connecticut; January 8
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Massachusetts; February 6
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Maryland; April 28
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of South Carolina; May 23
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New Hampshire; June 21
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26
• 1788 - Resolution of Congress Submitting Ratifications of the Constitution to a Committee; July 2
• 1788 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New York; July 26
• 1788 - Resolution of the Congress Fixing Date for Election of a President, and the Organization of the Government Under the Constitution, in the City of New York; September 13
• 1788 - Convention Defining and Establishing the Functions and Privileges of Consuls and Vice Consuls, signed at Versailles November 14, 1788.
• 1789 - Treaty With the Wyandot, etc., ; January 9
• 1789 - Treaty With the Six Nations; January 9
• 1789 - Resolution of the First Congress Submitting Twelve Amendments to the Constitution; March 4
• 1789 - Washington's First Inaugural Address; April 30
• 1789 - The Judiciary Act; September 24
• 1789 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of North Carolina; November 21
• 1790 - Washington's First Annual Message to Congress; January 8
• 1790 - Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Rhode Island; May 29
• 1790 - Treaty With the Creeks; August 7
• 1790 - Washington's Second Annual Message to Congress; December 8
• 1791 - Treaty With the Cherokee; July 2
• 1791 - Washington's Third Annual Message to Congress; October 25
• 1792 - Washington's Fourth Annual Message to Congress; November 6
• 1793 - Washington's Second Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1793 - The Proclamation of Neutrality; April 22
• 1793 - Washington's Fifth Annual Message to Congress; December 3
• 1794 - Treaty With the Cherokee; June 26
• 1794 - The Whiskey Rebellion; August 7
• 1794 - Treaty With the Six Nations; November 11
• 1794 - The Jay Treaty; November 19
• 1794 - Washington's Sixth Annual Message to Congress; November 19
• 1794 - Treaty With the Oneida, etc.; December 2
• 1795 - Greenville, Treaty of; August 3
• 1795 - Treaty of Peace and Amity With Algeria; September 5
• 1795 - Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation With Spain; October 27
• 1795 - Washington's Seventh Annual Message to Congress; December 8
• 1796 - Explanatory Article to Article 3 of the Jay Treaty May 5
• 1796 - Washington's Farewell Address
• 1796 - Treaty of Peace and Friendship With Tripoli; November 4
• 1796 - Washington's Eighth Annual Message to Congress; December 7
• 1797 - John Adam's Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1797 - Treaty of Peace and Friendship With Tunis; August 28
• 1797 - John Adam's First Annual Message; November 22
• 1798 - Explanatory Article to Article 5 of the Jay Treaty March 15
• 1798 - The Alien and Sedition Acts : July 6 and 14
• 1798 - Declaration of the Commissioners under Article 5 of the Jay Treaty October 25
• 1798 - John Adam's Second Annual Message; December 8
• 1798 - Virginia Resolution : December 24
• 1799 - Kentucky Resolution : December 3
• 1799 - John Adams' Third Annual Message; December 3

Nineteenth Century Documents

• 1800 - Convention With France; September 30
• 1800 - John Adam's Fourth Annual Message; November 22
• 1801 - Jefferson's First Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1801 - Jefferson's First Annual Message; December 8
• 1802 - Convention Regarding Articles 6 and 7 of the Jay Treaty and Article 4 of the Definitive Treaty of Peace January 8
• 1802 - Convention for Indemnification With Spain; August 11
• 1802 - Jefferson's Second Annual Message; December 15
• 1803 - Louisiana Purchase Treaty; April 30
• 1803 - Jefferson's Third Annual Message; October 17
• 1804 - Jefferson's Fourth Annual Message; November 8
• 1805 - Jefferson's Second Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1805 - Jefferson's Fifth Annual Message; December 3
• 1806 - Jefferson's Sixth Annual Message; December 2
• 1807 - An Act to Provide for Surveying the Coasts of the United States; February 10
• 1807 - Jefferson's Seventh Annual Message; October 27
• 1808 - Jefferson's Eighth Annual Message; November 8
• 1809 - James Madison's First Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1812 - Declaration of War With Great Britain; June 18
• 1813 - James Madison's Second Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1813 - Cartel for the exchange of prisoners of war with Great Britain; May 12
• 1814 - Treaty of Ghent with Great Britian; December 24
• 1815 - Treaty of Peace With Algeria; June 30 And July 3
• 1815 - Convention With Great Britian and Associated Documents; July 3
• 1816 - Treaty of Peace and Amity With Algeria; December 22 and 23
• 1817 - James Monroe's First Inaugural Address; March 4
• 1817 - Exchange of Notes Relative to Naval Forces on the American Lakes; April 28-29
• 1818 - Convention With Great Britian; October 20
• 1819 - Treaty of Amity, Settlement, and Limits With His Catholic Majesty; February 22
• 1819 - Constitution of Alabama; December 6
• 1821 - James Monroe's Second Inaugural Address; March 5
• 1823 - Monroe Doctrine; December 2
• 1824 - Convention of 1824 Amending the Treaty of August 1797, and March 26, 1799 With Tunis; February 24
• 1825 - Inaugural Address of John Quincy Adams; March 4
• 1826 - Cemetery in Algiers; March 21
• 1828 - Treaty With The Potawatami; September 20
• 1828 - Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation with Brazil; December 12
• 1829 - First Inaugural Address of Andrew Jackson; March 4
• 1829 - Treaty of Commerce and Navigation With Austria-Hungary; August 27
• 1832 - Convention of Peace, Amity, Commerce, and Navigation with Chile; May 16
• 1832 - Treaty With the Potawatami; October 26
• 1832 - South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, November 24
• 1832 - Andrew Jackson's Proclamation on Nullification, December 10
• 1833 - Second Inaugural Address of Andrew Jackson; March 4
• 1833 - Additional Convention to the Treaty of 1832 with Chile; September 1
• 1836 - The Texas Declaration of Independence : March 2
• 1836 - Address of the Honorable S. F. Austin, Louisville, Kentucky, March 7
• 1836 - Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Navigation and Commerce Between the United States and Venezuela; May 31
• 1836 - Treaty of Peace With Morocco; September 16
• 1837 - Inaugural Address of Martin Van Buren; March 4
• 1838 - Texas-American Convention to Terminate Reclamations; April 11
• 1838 - Texas-American Boundary Convention; April 25
• 1839 - Samoa: Commerce, Consular Rights, Shipping; November 5
• 1841 - Inaugural Address of William Henry Harrison; March 4
• 1841 - Convention with Peru for the Satisfaction of Claims of American Citizens; March 17
• 1842 - The Webster-Ashburton Treaty and Associated Documents; August 9
• 1843 - Convention for the surrender of Criminals With France and Associated Documents; November 9
• 1844 - Convention for the Mutual Abolition of the Droit d'Aubaine and Taxes on Emigration With the Grand Duchy of Hesse; March 26
• 1844 - Texas Treaty of Annexation; April 12
• 1845 - Convention for the Mutual Abolition of the Droit d'Aubaine and Taxes on Emigration With his Majesty the King of Bavaria; January 21
• 1845 - Inaugural Address of James Polk; March 4
• 1845 - Convention with Saxony for the Mutual Abolition of the Droit d'Aubaine and Taxes on Emigration; May 14
• 1845 - Joint Resolution of the Congress of the United States for the Annexation of Texas; March 1
• 1845 - Joint Resolution of the Congress of Texas; June 23
• 1845 - Ordinance of the Convention of Texas; July 4
• 1845 - Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Belgium : November 10
• 1845 - Treaty with the Two Sicilies; December 1
• 1846 - Convention for the Mutual Abolition of the Droit d'Aubaine and Taxes on Emigration With his Royal Highness the Duke of Nassau; May 27
• 1846 - Treaty with Hanover of Commerce and Navigation; June 10
• 1846 - Treaty with Great Britain, in Regard to Limits Westward of the Rocky Mountains; June 15
• 1846 - Laws for the Government of the Territory of New Mexico; September 22
• 1846 - Bill of Rights for the Territory of New Mexico; September 22
• 1847 - Declaration of Accession of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Oldenburg, Under the Twelfth Article of the Treaty with Hanover. March 10
• 1848 - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; February 2
• 1848 - Convention Relative to Disposal of Property and Consular Jurisdiction With Austria-Hungary; May 8,
• 1848 - Postal Convention with Great Britain; December 15
• 1849 - Claims Convention with Brazil; January 27
• 1849 - Inaugural Address of Zachary Taylor; March 5
• 1850 - Clayton-Bulwer Treaty; April 19
• 1850 - Fugitive Slave Act; September 18
• 1850 - Convention of Friendship, Commerce and Extradition Between the United States and Switzerland; November 25
• 1852 - Treaty with the Apache, July 1
• 1853 - Treaty with the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache; July 27
• 1853 - Convention With Great Britain; February 8
• 1853 - Inaugural Address of Franklin Pierce; March 4
• 1853 - Treaty for the Free Navigation of the Rivers Parana and Uruguay With Argentina; July 10
• 1853 - Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation With Argentina; July 27
• 1853 - Extradition Convention with Bavaria; September 13
• 1853 - Treaty With Mexico; December 30
• 1854 - Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan; March 31
• 1854 - Kansas-Nebraska Act; May 30
• 1856 - Extradition Convention with Austria-Hungary; July 3
• 1857 - Extradition Convention with Baden; January 30
• 1857 - Inaugural Address of James Buchanan; March 4
• 1858 - Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation with Bolivia; May 13
• 1858 - Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Belgium : June 17
• 1858 - Convention for Arbitration of Macedonian Claims with Chile; November 10
• 1859 - A Plea for Captain John Brown by Henry David Thoreau; October 30
• 1860 - Democratic Party Platform; June 18
• 1860 - Amendments Proposed in Congress by Senator John J. Crittenden, December 18
• 1860 - South Carolina : Declaration of Secession; December 24
• 1861 - Constitution of Alabama; January 7
• 1861 - Georgia : Declaration of Secession; January 29
• 1861 - Texas : Declaration of Secession; February 2,
• 1861 - Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America; February 8
• 1861 - Amendments Proposed by the Peace Conference, February 8-27
• 1861 - First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln; March 4
• 1861 - Constitution of the Confederate States of America; March 11
• 1861 - Extradition Treaty with Mexico; December 11
• 1861 - Postal Convention with Mexico; December 11
• 1862 - Treaty of Commerce and Navigation With the Ottoman Empire; February 25
• 1862 - Treaty With Great Britain for the Suppression of the Slave Trade; April 7
• 1862 - Homestead Act; May 20
• 1862 - Emancipation Proclamation; September 22
• 1863 - Additional Article to the Treaty for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade With Great Britain; February 17
• 1863 - Instructions For the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field by Francis Lieber; April 24
• 1863 - Convention with Belgium Relative to Import Duties and Capitalization of Scheldt Dues: May 20
• 1863 - Treaty for the Final Settlement of the Claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Companies With Great Britain; July 1
• 1863 - Convention with Belgium for the Extinguishment of the Scheldt Dues: July 20
• 1863 - Gettysburg Address; November 19
• 1863 - Agreement Concerning Admission of Tobacco with Austria-Hungary; December 24
• 1864 - Simonoseki Indemnities : October 22
• 1865 - Second Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln; March 4
• 1865 - Cape Spartel Lighthouse - May 31
• 1865 - Treaty with the Cheyenne and Arapaho; October 14
• 1865 - Treaty with the Apache, Cheyenne, and Arapaho; October 17
• 1867 - Russian Treaty; March 30
• 1867 - Treaty With the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache; October 21
• 1868 - Fort Laramie Treaty; April 29
• 1868 - Naturalization Treaty with Bavaria; May 26
• 1868 - Naturalization Convention with Baden; July 19
• 1868 - Naturalization Convention with Belgium: November 16
• 1868 - Convention with Belgium Concerning the Rights, Privileges, and Immunities of Consuls: December 5,
• 1870 - Consular Convention with Austria-Hungary; July 11
• 1870 - Naturalization Convention with Austria-Hungary; September, 20
• 1871 - Trade-Mark Convention with Austria-Hungary; November 25
• 1874 - Extradition Convention with Belgium: March 19
• 1874 - General Postal Union; October 9
• 1875 - Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Belgium: March 8
• 1878 - Agreement Concerning Trade-Marks with Brazil; September 24
• 1879 - United States, ex rel. Standing Bear, v. George Crook, a Brigadier-General of the Army of the United States.
• 1880 - Consular Convention with Belgium: March 9
• 1882 - Chinese Exclusion Act; May 6
• 1882 - Extradition Convention with Belgium: June 13
• 1884 - Trade-mark Convention with Belgium: April 7
• 1887 - Dawes Act; February, 8
• 1892 - Claims Convention with Chile; August 7
• 1896 - Extradition Convention With Argentina; September 26
• 1897 - Extradition Convention and Protocol with Brazil; May 14
• 1897 - Protocol in Regard to the Claim of Patrick Shields Against the Government of Chile; May 24
• 1897 - Convention with Chile to Revive the Convention of August 7, 1892, to Adjust Amicably the Claims of Citizens of Either Country Against the Other ; May 24
• 1898 - Treaty of Peace With Spain; December 10

Twentieth Century Documents

• 1900 - Extradition Treaty with Chile; April 17
• 1900 - Extradition Convention with Bolivia; April 21
• 1901 - Extradition Convention with Belgium: October 26
• 1902 - Protocol with Brazil Submitting to Arbitration the Claim of George C. Benner Et Al.; September 6
• 1903 - Agreement Between the United States and Cuba for the Lease of Lands for Coaling and Naval stations; February 23
• 1903 - Lease to the United States by the Government of Cuba of Certain Areas of Land and Water for Naval or Coaling Stations in Guantanamo and Bahia Honda; July 2
• 1903 - Convention for the Construction of a Ship Canal (Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty), November 18
• 1907 - Copyright Proclamation with Austria-Hunagary; September 20
• 1909 - Arbitration Convention with Austria-Hungary; January 15
• 1918 - Wilson's Fourteen Points; January 8
• 1921 - Treaty between the United States of America, the British Empire, France, and Japan, Signed at Washington; December 13
• 1922 - Treaty between the United of States of America, Belgium, the British Empire, China, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Signed at Washington February 6
• 1928 - Kellogg-Briand Pact; August 27
• 1933 - Additional Protocol to the General Convention of Inter-American Conciliation; December 26
• 1933 - Anti-war Treaty of Non-aggression and Conciliation (Saavedra Lamas Treaty); October 10
• 1933 - Inter-American Convention on Extradition; December 26
• 1933 - Inter-American Convention on the Nationality of Women; December 26
• 1933 - Inter-American Convention on the Rights and Duties of States; December 26
• 1934 - Treaty Between the United States of America and Cuba; May 29
• 1936 - Inter-American Declaration on the Juridical Personality of Foreign Companies; June 25
• 1936 - Monetary Stabilization; September 25
• 1936 - Declaration of Principles of Inter-American Solidarity and Cooperation; December 21
• 1940 - Havana Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, July 21-30
• 1941 - Atlantic Charter; August 9-12
• 1942 - Rio De Janiero Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, January 15-28
• 1942 - Master Lend-Lease Agreement; February 23
• 1942 - Anglo-American Mutual Aid Agreement : February 28
• 1942 - Mutual Aid Agreement Between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics : June 11
• 1943 - Casablanca Conference; February 12
• 1943 - The Quebec Conference, August 17-24
• 1943 - Fulbright Resolution; September 21
• 1943 - Moscow Conference; October
• 1943 - Connally Resolution, November 5
• 1943 - Cairo Conference; November
• 1943 - Tehran Conference, November 28-December 1
• 1944 - Declaration by the Secretary of the Treasury on Gold Policy; February 22
• 1945 - Yalta Conference, February 11
• 1945 - Agreement Relating to Prisoners of War and Civilians Liberated by Forces Operating Under Soviet Command and Forces Operating Under United States of America Command; February 11
• 1945 - Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance and Solidarity (Act of Chapultepec); March 6
• 1945 - Potsdam Conference, July 17-August 2
• 1945 - International Organizations Immunities Act, December 9
• 1945 - United Nations Participation Act, December 20
• 1946 - Participation in UNESCO, July 30
• 1947 - Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria, February 10
• 1947 - Treaty of Peace with Romania, February 10
• 1947 - Truman Doctrine; March 12
• 1947 - Participation in IRO, July 1
• 1947 - Rio De Janeiro Conference for the Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security, (The Rio Treaty) August 15-September 2
• 1948 - Bogota Conference of American States, Charter of the Organization of American States; March 30-May 2
• 1948 - American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (Pact of Bogota); April 30
• 1948 - Participation in WHO, June 14
• 1949 - North Atlantic Treaty; April 4
• 1949 - Waging Peace in the Americas : Address by Secretary Acheson; September 19
• 1949 - Amendment of United Nations Participation Act, October 10
• 1951 - Defense of Greenland: Agreement Between the United States and the Kingdom of Denmark, April 27
• 1951 - Defense of Iceland: Agreement Between the United States and the Republic of Iceland, May 5
• 1951 - Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines; August 30
• 1951 - Security Treaty Between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand (ANZUS); September 1
• 1951 - Military Facilities in the Azores: Agreement Between Portugal and the United States, September 6
• 1951 - Security Treaty Between the United States and Japan; September 8
• 1951 - Military Assistance Agreement Between the United States and Yugoslavia, November 14
• 1953 - Military Facilities in Spain: Agreement Between the United States and Spain, September 26
• 1953 - Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea; October 1
• 1953 - United States Use of Defense Facilities: Agreement Between the United States and the Kingdom of Greece, October 12
• 1954 - Caracas Declaration of Solidarity; March 28
• 1954 - Declaration of Caracas; March 28
• 1954 - United States Atomic Energy Commission. In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer; May 27 - June 29
• 1954 - Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty (Manila Pact); September 8
• 1954 - Protocol to the Manila Pact, September 8
• 1954 - Pacific Charter, September 8
• 1954 - Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of China; December 2
• 1959 - The Antartic Treaty, December 1
• 1960 - The U2 Incident; May 6-11
• 1960 - Declaration of San José; August 28
• 1960 - Act of Bogota; September 13
• 1960 - The RB-47 Airplane Incident : July-September
• 1961 - Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower
• 1963 - Equal Pay Act; June 10
• 1963 - Memorandum of Understanding Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Regarding the Establishment of a Direct Communications Link; June 20
• 1963 - I have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28
• 1964 - Tonkin Gulf Incident; August 5
• 1965 - Voting Rights Act; August 6
• 1967 - Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies; January 27
• 1970 - Protocol of Amendment to the Charter of the Organization of American States (Protocol of Buenos Aires); February 27
• 1971 - Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Measures to Improve the USA-USSR Direct Communications Link; September 30
• 1971 - Agreement on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Outbreak of Nuclear War Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics - September 30
• 1972 - Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas; May 25
• 1972 - Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missle Systems; May 26
• 1973 - War Powers Resolution; November 7
• 1984 - Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Expand the USA-USSR Direct Communications Link; July 17
• 1988 - Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Notifications of Launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles; May 31
• 1990 - Americans with Disabilities Act; July 26
Twenty-First Century Documents

• 2001 - Executive Order Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty And Delegating Certain Authorities to the Secretary of Defense And the Secretary of Transportation; September 14
• 2001 - Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People (As Delivered Before Congress) 9:00 P.M. EDT; September 20
• 2001 - Executive Order Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism; September 24
• 2001 - Executive Order Establishing the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council; October 8

Africa and Slavery - African History on the Internet
This annotated guide to Internet resources on slavery and the African Diaspora is part of Stanford University Libraries' "Africa South of the Sahara" Internet resource guide.

The African American: A Journey from Slavery to Freedom
This site presents brief essays on aspects of slave life, significant historical events related to slavery, and important figures in the history of African Americans during the Antebellum and Civil War periods. It includes a valuable list of Internet resources and suggestions for further reading.

The African-American Mosaic

This resource guide leads to documents in the Library of Congress collection that are relevant to black history and culture. Topics include colonization, abolition, migration, and the WPA interviews with former slaves.

African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Citizenship
This Online exhibit showcases the incomparable African-American holdings at the Library of Congress. It includes links to Library of Congress collections including the Frederick Douglass Papers, "From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909," and "Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860."

African American Women On-Line Archival Collections
This site offers primary documents related to African-American women from the Duke University Special Collections. It includes rare examples of letters written by female slaves to both their relatives and their white mistresses.

African American World
This site focuses on investigating the cultural contributions African Americans have made throughout history. The site presents comprehensive information on the history of black America, African-American art, and profiles of prominent intellectuals, social critics, and civil rights leaders important in African-American history. Other noteworthy components of the site include resources for children, a look at ongoing issues, and a detailed timeline.

Africans in America
This companion site to the PBS television series "Africans in America" examines the history of slavery in America in four chronological parts. It offers historical narratives, a resource bank of images and documents, and a teacher's guide to using the site and series in the classroom.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record

This site provides a collection of images related to American slave trade and slave societies. The images were compiled from a variety of sources and are comprised primarily of visual documents dating to the period of slavery. The exhibit is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and by the Digital Media Lab at the University of Virginia.

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

This site presents the Avery Center's archival and museum collections of primary documents relating to the history and culture of African Americans in Charleston and South Carolina. The site also offers a schedule of center programs, including conferences, lectures, and exhibits

Born in Slavery Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
This site contains transcripts from more than 2,000 first-person accounts of slavery collected in the 1930s under the sponsorship of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It also includes 500 photographs of former slaves.

The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925
These digitized texts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill libraries were compiled by the Library of Congress, and they reveal the development of Protestant Christianity within the African American community in the American South.

Digital History: African American Voices
This site offers links to primary documents related to slavery in America and essays on various aspects of the slave experience, including the middle passage, family life, economics, and abolition.

Documenting the Southern Experience in 19th-Century America

This site provides access to digitized texts, images, and audio files related to Southern history from the colonial period to the early 20th century. The collection of books, diaries, and letters offers a rich selection of sources on slavery and the African American experience. The site is sponsored by the University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Freedmen's Bureau Online
This site, which is searchable by type of document or by state, contains records on crimes, marriages, and labor from the Reconstruction period. It also offers links to related sites and an online bookstore specializing in relevant texts.

Freedom's Journal
his digitized collection of the first newspaper owned and produced by African Americans (1827-1829) is made available from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The site contains links to other 19th century African American newspapers, to David Walker's APPEAL TO THE COLOURED CITIZENS OF THE WORLD, and to SOLDIERS WITHOUT SWORDS, a PBS/WETA documentary on the history of African-American journalism.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition
This site provides access to resources from the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, a division dedicated to the examination of the Atlantic slave system and its destruction. The site addresses academic studies of the role of slavery, slave resistance, and abolition, and it links to information regarding curriculum, bibliographies, and calendar of events.

Making of America (MOA)
Cornell University Library's contributions

These digitized collections offer primary and secondary sources dealing with the social history of America from the Antebellum period through reconstruction.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
his site is noteworthy because of its comprehensive encyclopedia of people and places associated with the Underground Railroad. It also contains links to related sites useful for students and educators.

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War

his site serves as a companion to THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series on the reconstruction period in America. The site's features include a map detailing post-war developments in diverse regions of the country, an examination of African American participation in government, and a virtual road-trip with the films' production team.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
his companion site to WNET/Channel Thirteen's television series examines the institutionalization of segregation following emancipation. It includes essays on the history of "Jim Crow" laws, related stories, interactive maps, activities, teacher resources, and more.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
his site allows users to search the New York Public Library's invaluable holdings of books, art objects, and videos related to the African Diaspora and African American culture and history. Of special interest are links to Digital Schomburg: Images of African Americans from the 19th Century, and "Lest we forget: The Triumph over Slavery," an online version of the UNESCO traveling exhibition.

Slavery in America
his site for educators, on "Slavery and the Making of America," was created by series underwriters, New York Life. It includes an image gallery, lesson plans, an encyclopedia of topics relevant to slavery, and an interactive exhibition called "Roads to Freedom," which examines the ways slaves faced the challenges of escape.

Third Person, First Person
This online exhibit reveals rare documents that recount the experience of slavery in America during the late 18th and 19th centuries from the point of view of the enslaved. The project belongs to the Duke University Special Collections Library.

The Time of the Lincolns
Companion to film series ABRAHAM AND MARY LINCOLN: A HOUSE DIVIDED, this site includes a section entitled "Slavery & Freedom" which deals with four specific aspects of the history of slavery in the 19th century: abolition, the Underground Railroad, slavery in the North, and slavery in the South. The site includes links to primary documents, a virtual tour of a slave cabin, maps, and teacher resources.

Toward Racial Equality: HARPER'S WEEKLY Reports on Black America, 1857-1874

This site reveals a leading newspaper's treatment of African Americans and the issues that affected them in Antebellum society and the Reconstruction period. The site includes digitized editorials, news stories, news briefs, cartoons, illustrations, advertisements, and other texts as well as an interactive game about Reconstruction for classroom use.

Virginia Runaways

Part of the Virtual Jamestown project, this site provides a collection of ads placed by slaveholders searching for fugitive slaves. The site is searchable by gender, age, skill, and other variables and is a project of the University of Virginia's Virginia Center for Digital History.


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