Global markets & trade

People have bartered and traded for goods and commodities for centuries. We delve into the history of global trade and the building of empires - from the countries, people and ships involved, to the legacies they left behind.

Italian explorer, John Cabot, is famed for discovering Newfoundland and kick-starting transatlantic trade between England and the Americas.

Anthony Jenkinson was a 16th century English merchant and explorer. He wrote maps and works on Russia and met Ivan the Terrible several times.

The humble cup of tea was the most popular working-class drink by the mid-19th century.

The British Empire was at its largest in 1919. At this point, there was truth in the saying that the Sun never set on the British Empire. 

The South Sea Bubble was the financial collapse of the South Sea Company in 1720. The company was formed to supply slaves to Spanish America.

The Spice Islands (Malaku, or the Moluccas) are a small group of islands to the north-east of Indonesia, between Celebes and New Guinea. They include Halmahera (the largest), Seram, Buru, Ambon, Ternate, and Tidore and the Aru and Kai island groups. They were known for being the largest producers of mace, nutmeg, cloves and pepper in the world.

The campaign to end slavery began in the late 18th century. Alongside the work of famous campaigners and formerly enslaved people living in London, one of the key events in the abolition movement was a rebellion on the island of Haiti.

The first Royal dockyard was constructed during the reign of King Henry VII, when trade between continents was burgeoning. 

The East India Company employed Asian seamen known as 'Lascars' in the 17th century, who served on European ships.

The search for new markets during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I helped to boost England’s maritime confidence.

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