[Merchants.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of Guinea.]269

[Merchants.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of Guinea.]

good for the Support of their Trade, which otherwise would sink. Besides, it brings English Manufactures into a better Reputation than those of our Neighbours, which this Company hath really effected in several Commodities bought in Holland, as Says, Muskets, Knives, &c. being now all exported of our own making. And of these differences in and between the Commodities sent by the Company, and those sent by private Traders, the Natives of Guinea (who are a sagacious People) are very sensible, by the ill dealings they have met with in that kind from some private Traders; which hath been a thing very disadvantageous to our English Manufactures and Trade. But these Mischiefs have been removed ever since the settling of this Company, and the Prohibition of Interloping Traders.

This may be reckoned the most beneficial Trade that belongs to the Crown, as well by the Commodities exported as imported, as by the Negro Trade for the Support of our American Plantations. The Goods exported are, Says, Perpetuanos, Broad Cloths, Welsh Plains, and other woollen Manufactures in great abundance; besides Quantities of most other English Goods and Stuffs. The large Consumption of which doth not only enable the Tenant the better to pay his Rent, and maintain his Family, but also sets abundance of poor People to work. And besides these Goods of our own Growth, vast Quantities of foreign Commodities are sent them, which were imported by the East India Company, and other Merchants, as Iron, Copper, Cowries, Slesias, Sheets, Manilloes, Roysados, Chints, Rombargars, Coral, Callicoes, Piccanies, Cloths, Amber, Powder, Muskets, Batteries of all sorts, Turkey Carpets, Brandy, Strong Waters, Spirits, Ginghams, Taffeties, Beads of all sorts, and made into Bracelets, Buckshaws, Knives, Tallow, &c.

Goods exported.

The Commodities imported are, Gold, Gold Dust, Elephants Teeth, Hides, Ambergrease, Wax, Red-wood, Malegutta or Guinea Pepper, with divers other good and rich Commodities, besides the great Quantities of Negro Slaves for the Supply of our American Plantations; by whose Labour, and the Planters Industry, the King and his Subjects are very much enriched.

Commodities imported.

This Company, for the Negociation of their Affairs, have settled several Factories, as at Gambo, Rio Nuno, Rio Grande, Sierra Liona, Serbro, Cestos, Achin, Anta, Cormendu, Cape Corso, Acara, Carmentine, Ardra, Benin, Callabar, and in time, through the Success of good Management, without doubt will have many more important Places.

Their Factories.

From the Gold brought from Guinea by the Company, our Gold Coin called Guineas took their Name; and as an Encouragement to the Company to bring over Gold, and to coin it, they are permitted by their Charter to have their Stamp, which is the same as the others coined, but with an Elephant on the Arms side.

Guinea Coin.

This Company consisteth of a Governour, Sub-Governour, Deputy Governour, and Court of Assistants, consisting of 36, annually chosen out of the Members of the Company on the 10th of January; to whom the Management of the Affairs of the said Company is committed. But of these any six or sever, chosen out of the Court of Assistants, may negotiate the Business; whose Transactions are to be reported to the Court for their Approbation: and these have their Meetings weekly, or oftner, at their House called the African-House in Leadenhall-street.]

The Government.

This Company hath of late been settled by Act of Parliament; whereby it is allowed to any others, not of the Company, to trade to Guinea, by License obtained from the said Company, paying usually 20 per Cent.

J. S.

For some further History of this African Company. It was reduced to a very low Ebb Anno 1708. and to recover itself, the Members thereof endeavoured in the Parliament of Queen Anne, Anno 1708-9. to obtain an Act to trade in a joint Stock, exclusively to all other Traders.

The Case of this Company An. 1708.

Then they set forth a Memorial touching the Nature and State of the Trade to Africa. And therein was shewed, how that ever since they got first footing on the Coast of Africa in the Reign of King James I. they traded thither by Companies, one after another, with joint Stocks, and endeavoured all along to erect Forts and Settlements for the foresaid Ends. But for want of a Parliamentary Sanction, their Measures were always disturbed; and the Progress of the Trade and Acquisitions interrupted chiefly upon account of a dividend Interest: Which was always more or less kept up among themselves, both at Home and Abroad. So that the Trade of Africa hath been often wholly relinquished for Years together, by reason of the Intrusion, and irregular Proceedings of Interlopers. While the Trade of Africa was laid open, before the Restoration of King Charles II. the Dutch Company took such Advantages of the separate Traders, that their Losses were computed to about 300000l. as appeared by their Petition to the King. Whereupon his Majesty Anno 1662. granted a Charter to the present Company's Predecessors. And they [called then the Royal African Company] paid 34000l. to their Predecessors for the few Forts and Settlements which remained in their Possession at the time of surrendring their Charter; namely, two on the North Coast, viz. James Island and Scerra Leon; and one upon the Gold Coast, viz. Cape Corse Castle: then in an ordinary Condition, and out of Repair.

Their Memorial.


That in the Year 1672. it was established by a new Charter, with exclusive Privileges. Then they purchased and repaired a considerable number of Forts, Factories and Settlements on the Coast of Africa; contracted many Alliances with the Natives, and renewed the same from time to time: they introduced and encouraged the making of several sorts of Woolen and other Manufactures, proper for the Trade of Guinea, and formerly manufactured in England; and reduced the making thereof to a staple and settled Goodness. They exported yearly upwards of 70000l. worth of the said Woolen and other Manufactures: and gave far better Prices for the same, than what usually is now given for the like. They furnished the Western Plantations with constant Supplies of great numbers of Negroes; the Produce of whose Labours hath added very much to the public Revenues and Riches of this Kingdom. They imported considerable Quantities of Gold Dust, Elephants Teeth, Red Wood, and other Goods, fit for being manufactured at Home, &c.

A new Charter, A. 1672.

So that their Trade did not only produce an annual Dividend of certain Profits to all the particular Adventurers in the Joint-Stock, besides a Multiplication of their Capital; but likewise several other publick and national Advantages to the whole Kingdom.

But for twenty Years past, they have struggled with many Obstructions and Difficulties for want of a Confirmation by Act of Parliament. Otherwise the British Interest on the Coast of Africa had been by this time in a much more flourishing Condition, than could be consistent with a precarious Constitution: Which permitteth of the pernicious Consequences, that must necessarily attend a dividend Interest: Especially, in a Trade where we have all the Stratagems and united

Their need of a Confirmation by Act of Parliament.