Studies in English Commerce and Exploration in the Reign of Elizabeth

By Albert Lindsay Rowland; George Born Manhart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
THE TRADE AGAIN

We must now turn our attention to the volume of trade which was carried on by the Company with Turkey during this period of its history. Apparently the activity of Philip II immediately following the fiasco of the Armada of 1588 tended to reduce English trade into the Mediterranean because of the belief that Spain would send another fleet to the English Channel. As the years passed, however, and no such consummation of the plans of his Catholic Majesty occurred, English merchants became more willing to venture their cargoes in the Levant Seas and, indeed, a contempt for the might of the Don became a characteristic of the Englishman of the last years of the century. This was particularly true after the death of Philip, that implacable enemy of Elizabeth and her heretic subjects who, as long as he lived, loomed as an ominous cloud on the British horizon. In fact, with the founding of the East India Company and the active settlement of North America in the early years of the seventeenth century, the British Empire might be said to have begun.

When the Hector sailed into the Dardanelles, therefore, in August, 1599, she not only carried rich gifts for the Sultan, but was laden as well with a goodly cargo, the chief commodity of which was woollen cloth. "The Turks are much pleased at the arrival of this ship," says Capello, "as they consider it a confirmation of their alliance with England which they think is highly impor-

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