Saturday, July 15, 2023

British Imports and Exports, Pre-Brexit

Very pre-Brexit.

Very, very pre-.
Via the website of Pascal Bonenfant:

The following information about Imports and Exports is taken from London in 1731 by Don Manoel Gonzales. The full text is available from Project Gutenberg. The lists of traded items are taken verbatim from that document.

CountryControlled byBritain exportsBritain imports
Germany Hamburg/German Merchants broad-cloth, druggets, long-ells, serges, and several sorts of stuffs, tobacco, sugar, ginger, East India goods, tin, lead, and several other commodities prodigious quantities of linen, linen-yarn, kid-skins, tin-plates, and a great many other commodities
Russia Russia Company coarse cloth, long- ells, worsted stuffs, tin, lead, tobacco, and a few other commodities hemp, flax, linen cloth, linen yarn, Russia leather, tallow, furs, iron, potashes, etc., to an immense value
Norway and Denmark Eastland Company guineas, crown-pieces, bullion, a little tobacco, and a few coarse woollens vast quantities of deal boards, timber, spars, and iron
Sweden Eastland Company gold and silver, and but a small quantity of the manufactures and production of England near two-thirds of the iron wrought up or consumed in the kingdom, copper, boards, plank, etc.
Turkey and the Eastern Mediterrean Turkey/Levant Company broadcloth, long-ells, tins, lead, and some iron (also sugar sourced from France and Lisbon) raw silk, grogram yarn, dyeing stuffs of sundry kinds, drugs, soap; leather, cotton, and some fruit, oil, etc.
India and China East India Company great quantities of bullion, lead, English cloth, and some other goods tea, china ware, cabinets, raw and wrought silks, coffee, muslins, calicoes, and other goods
Africa Royal African Company [slaves]1 gold dust and other commodities, as red wood, elephants' teeth, Guinea grain
Canary Islands Canary Company baize, kerseys, serges, Norwich stuffs, and other woollen manufactures; stockings, hats, fustians, haberdashery wares, tin, and hardware; as also herrings, pilchards, salted flesh, and grain; linens, pipe- staves, hoops, etc. wines, logwood, hides, indigo, cochineal, and other commoditiesi, the produce of America and the West Indies
Canada Independent Merchants woollen goods and haberdashery wares, knives, hatchets, arms, and other hardware beaver-skins, and other skins and furs
Italy Independent Merchants broad-cloth, long-ells, baize, druggets, callimancoes, camlets, and divers other stuffs; leather, tin, lead, great quantities of fish, as pilchards, herrings, salmon, Newfoundland cod, etc., pepper, and other East India goods raw, thrown, and wrought silk, wine, oil, soap, olives, some dyer's wares, anchovies, etc.
Spain Independent Merchants broad-cloth, druggets, callimancoes, baize, stuff of divers kinds, leather, fish, tin, lead, corn, etc. wine, oil, fruit of divers kinds, wool, indigo, cochineal, and dyeing stuffs
Portugal Independent Merchants broad-cloth, druggets, baize, long- ells, callimancoes, and all other sorts of stuffs; as well as tin, lead, leather, fish, corn, and other English commodities great quantities of wine, oil, salt, and fruit, and gold, both in bullion and specie
France Independent Merchants Wool [mostly smuggled], tobacco, sugar, tin, lead, coals, a few stuffs, serges, flannels, and a small matter of broad-cloth wine, brandy, linen, lace, fine cambrics, and cambric lawns, to a prodigious value; brocades, velvets, and many other rich silk manufactures
Flanders Independent Merchants serges, a few flannels, a very few stuffs, sugar, tobacco, tin, and lead fine lace, fine cambrics, and cambric-lawns, Flanders whited linens, threads, tapes, incles, and divers other commodities, to a very great value
Holland Independent Merchants broad-cloth, druggets, long-ells, stuffs of a great many sorts, leather, corn, coals, and something of almost every kind that this kingdom produces; besides all sorts of India and Turkey re-exported goods, sugars, tobacco, rice, ginger, pitch and tar, and sundry other commodities of the produce of our American plantations great quantities of fine Holland linen, threads, tapes, and incles; whale fins, brass battery, madder, argol, with a large number of other commodities and toys; clapboard, wainscot, etc.
Ireland Independent Merchants fine broad-cloth, rich silks, ribbons, gold and silver lace, manufactured iron and cutlery wares, pewter, great quantities of hops, coals, dyeing wares, tobacco, sugar, East India goods, raw silk, hollands, and almost everything they use, but linens, coarse woollens, and eatables woollen yarn, linen yarn, great quantities of wool in the fleece, and some tallow
Sugar Plantations2 Independent Merchants all sorts of clothing, both linen, silks, and woollen; wrought iron, brass, copper, all sorts of household furniture, and a great part of their food sugar, ginger, and several commodities, and all the bullion and gold they can meet with
Tobacco Plantations3 Independent Merchants clothing, household goods, iron manufactures of all sorts, saddles, bridles, brass and copper wares; and notwithstanding they dwell among the woods, they take their very turnery wares, and almost everything else that may be called the manufacture of England not only what tobacco is consumed at home, but very great quantities for re-exportation
1. The Africa Company did not export as such. Instead it gathered and sold African slaves for use on plantations and paid for imports with the proceeds.
2. 3. Sugar and Tobacco Plantations are listed in the same way as countries, demonstrating the enormous wealth these entities generated.