he East India Company and the Organization of its Shipping in the Early Seventeenth Century

By K. N. Chaudhuri, published February 1963


The article traces the history of shipbuilding by the East India Company in the Thames at Blackwall and Deptford, making use of the extensive archive of material in the India Office Library.   By 1621 the Company employed 2,500 seamen, in 10,000 tons of shipping. They were larger than the average merchant vessel, designed as they were for deep-sea voyages. The Company set up its own iron foundries and storehouses. Despite discussion about building in the ‘Country’, ship building was not transferred to India. The vessels were armed against pirates and military encounters with Dutch or Portuguese vessels. The article explains the rates of employment, provisioning and sailing instructions.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | East India Company | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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