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What did the English have to offer Asia? The answer is, very little apart from silver.

England made woollen textiles. But for humid climates they were simply not suitable. The Company’s merchants knew this, but the monopoly charter obliged them to export a percentage of their cargoes in English products. So the ships carried the woollen cloth along with unwrought metals, looking-glasses and re-exported goods like coral and ivory. Guns were rarely traded though this was one area where England was technically superior.

  broadcloth   spanish coins
   

Samples of English broadcloth suitable for the market at Mokha, 1721
G/17/1 f.119
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

Spanish silver coins
Courtesy of Ed Cumming,
Weymouth Underwater Archaeological Group
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

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