Henry Seckford: Sixteenth Century Merchant, Courtier and Privateer

By Susan Maxwell, published November 1996


Henry Seckford was a vigorous, thrusting and quite ruthless merchant and businessman, always seeking the best route to personal profit whilst at the same time serving others. Henry Seckford was hedging his bets too. From the evidence it seems he turned from the Spanish wine trade to more speculative ventures in less sure markets – and even further afield. When Thomas Cavendish, also inspired by that same dream of untold wealth, looked for investors in 1585 for his Cathay voyage, it was only natural that he should turn to his own kinsmen and near neighbours in Suffolk, the brothers Henry and Humphrey Seckford. Their quests for new markets matched his own aspirations and there was the prospect of a quick return on their investment if he succeeded in opening up trade in the East.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Tudors | English Channel | The Armada | Pacific | East India Company | Other (location)
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Navies | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Science & Exploration | Strategy & Diplomacy

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