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English Private Trade in the Western Indian Ocean, 1720-1740

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The paper first situates the trade carried on by private European traders in the overall framework of the Indian Ocean trade in the early-modern period. It then discusses in some detail the trading network of private English merchants in the Western Indian Ocean with special reference to the Surat-Mocha link in the 1720s and the 1730s. The evidence base is provided mainly by the private papers of Sir Robert Cowan, governor of Bombay between 1729 and 1734 and a major English private trader, operating in collaboration with Henry Lowther, chief of the English factory at Surat. Cette contribution replace tout d'abord les activités commerciales menées par les négociants européens dans le cadre général du commerce de l'Océan indien au cours de la période moderne. Elle examine ensuite avec quelque détail le réseau commercial établi par des négociants anglais privés dans le secteur occidentalde l'Océan indien, plus particulièrement les relations instituées entre Surat et Moka dans les années 1720-1730. Les données présentées ont été tirées principalement de la correspondance privée de Sir Robert Cowan, gouverneur de Bombay (1729-1734) et grand négociant privé, associé à Henry Lowther, responsable du comptoir de Surat.

Affiliations: 1: Delhi School of Economics


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