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Traders: the East India Company and Asia is a new permanent gallery exploring Britain’s maritime trade with Asia, focusing on the role played by the East India Company.
For over 250 years, the East India Company uniquely shaped trade between Britain and Asia. The gallery explores the influence of Company trade and power, tracing the changing relationships between Britain and Asia that this brought about.
This trade involved key commodities, different locations and many people. It had consequences that changed Britain and the world and still affect us today.
Hours: Open daily, 10.00–17.00 (last entry 16.30)
Location: National Maritime Museum, floor one - see floor plans
Collections online galleries
A selection of objects giving a sense of the maritime world of Asia as an established centre of bustling trade and wealth.
This section looks at the Company’s spice trade with Indonesia following its foundation in 1600.
This section explores how the Company became a textile merchant to the world in the 18th century.
By the late 18th century, the Company’s business focused on the tea trade with China. This trade also had a darker side: illegal opium smuggling.
Through a combination of war and rebellion in Asia and mounting criticism at home, the Company was brought to its knees in the 1850s.