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1698ff, African Company Case, Abstract
An abstract of the case of the Royal African Company of England: n.a.,fol., 2p, n.p., 1712? (See the related LLMC title 57025a. The gravamen of the
chartered company’s case is that independent merchants should be contributing to the upkeep of its infrastructure of forts, etc. along the African
coast, since they were essential to the existence of any British trade. The Company, originally chartered in 1660 as the Company of Royal Adventurers
Trading to Africa, was granted a monopoly over English trade with West Africa. With the help of the Royal Army and Navy it established forts on the West
African Coast. These originally served as staging and trading stations, but fairly rapidly evolved into depots for the slave trade. By 1668 the
original company was heavily in debt, but had managed to spin off a separately-subscribed company called the Gambia Adventurers. In 1672 the original company
re-emerged with a fresh royal charter as the Royal African Company, and by 1678 the revived company had absorbed the Gambia Adventurers. Starting in
the 1680 the major activity of the Royal African Company had become the transporting of African slaves to the New World. By the time of the Glorious
Revolution in 1680, the Company had effectively lost its monopoly on West African trade due to the activities of uncooperative independents. In 1698
Parliament affirmed that fact in an act that officially opened up the West African trade to all merchants. In exchange, however, all independents were
required to pay a 10% levy to the Company on all goods exported from Africa to help maintain the infrastructure of forts, etc., which made the trade
possible. This contribution requirement was a constant source of friction between the Company and the independent merchants; sometimes referred to as
the Separate Traders to Africa {See LLMC Title No. 57025b}. The Royal African Company was dissolved in 1752. Its successor was the African Company of
Merchants, also known as the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa. This latter chartered company was very active in the area that became modern Ghana
from 1752 until is dissolution in 1821. The print text of this title was scanned from the Lincoln’s Inn Library pamphlet volume MP106.)
Title:   An abstract of the case of the Royal African Company of England.
OCLC Number:   367799339
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