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ship building

The Company made London an important financial and ship-building centre. It bought land in places like Blackwall on the River Thames to build its own ships. Soon it had the largest private fleet in England. But each ‘East Indiaman’ had a limited life expectancy - 4 voyages to Asia over 8 to 10 years. Hiring ships made better commercial sense.

Blackwall Yard was eventually sold to private owners who continued to build specifically for the Company. By 1806 the Company had its own dockyard and enormous blocks of warehouses in the city of London.

Between 1600-1833 the Company made about 4600 ship voyages from London. It was England’s (later Britain’s) single biggest commercial enterprise. Though for Asia it was initially a relatively small player.

  blackwell yard   earl of abergavenny

Blackwell Yard on the River Thames 1784.
© National Maritime Museum, London
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

The Earl of Abergavenny off Southsea by Thomas. Luny 1801
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

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