British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

of gentlemen of the greatest eminence and abilities (for knowledge of Japan) that should our attempt meet with success, it may open a very extensive and valuable source of commerce to this country; and that it may not be limited by any Charter that Government may please to grant us, we propose, that in addition to our present subscription for fitting out two ships, that our nominal capital be two hundred thousand pounds to be divided into shares of one hundred pounds each, to be filled up as circumstances may require, after the success of the first undertaking is made known; this will give an opportunity to everyone who may wish to become an adventurer to subscribe; and of extending the present system to any possible magnitude that we can expect to spring from our discoveries.

Some time ago Mr. Bolts1 assisted by the Imperial Asiatic Company proposed to make this attempt; they built a ship at Marseilles, and procured some of the people who were round with Captain Cook; they made offers to a Mr. Dixon, a man of great abilities, and complete from his experience for such an undertaking; not meeting with encouragement here he accepted the offer, but the affairs of the Company stopped it; but the ship being built and all nearly ready, Mr. Bolts proposed it to the French Ministry, who we now understand have promised him the most liberal support, and they will prosecute the attempt this season. From our knowledge of Dixon, should our proposals meet with the protection and patronage of Government, from his predilection for this his native country, we might retain him in our service, sensible he would be a valuable acquisition to it, but should we not be able to retain him, we have not a doubt of gaining our point provided we can but get the start of them.

We therefore most humbly entreat that Government will be pleased to take the proposals into consideration, fully persuaded that should we succeed, the attempt must prove productive of a source of commerce of the highest importance to this country.


16
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE OF COR­ RESPONDENCE OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 6 May 17852

The Committee, taking into consideration the reference of Court made the 3 instant, 'whether a permission under any, and what, regulations may be granted for a ship or ships to proceed to the coast of America and Asia', find, that Mr. Richard Cadman Etches of

____________________
1
William Bolts was a Dutch adventurer who had been arrested and deported, whilst in the Bengal Civil Service, for private trading. Since 1778 he had been working for the establishment of an Austrian trading company in Asia.
2
H.M.S. 494/5, PP. 369 ff.

-24-

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