Managing a Global Enterprise in the Eighteenth Century: Anthony Calvert of The Crescent, London, 1777–1808

By Gary Sturgess and Ken Cozens, published May 2013


Camden, Calvert & King, a major London shipping firm of the late eighteenth century, was one of the first medium-sized enterprises in Britain to operate on a global scale. They are well known to historians of the African slave trade and Australian convict transportation, but they also sent vessels to the Continent and the Americas, to the East Indies and the Pacific, as well as contracting vessels to government and investing in privateering. This article documents the career of Anthony Calvert, who was managing partner of this and three related firms over more than thirty years. None of Calvert’s own records have survived, and the article reconstructs his business affairs from a wide variety of sources, looking at his personal life and his management style, the rise and decline of his business concerns, the diversity of his interests, and the extent of the personal and financial risk faced by him, his partners and their employees

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Filed under: Atlantic | Eighteenth Century | Other (Eighteenth C) | Indian Ocean | East India Company | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Biography | Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines

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