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Letter about the pepper trade written in 1710 by the East India Company to the British monarch
(Catalogue ref: SP 34/30/68)
To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
This humble request of the United Company of English Merchants trading to the East Indies

Most humbly shows

That the Company have received advice from their factors at Bombay by their last ships and since then have also heard from other agents in Persia that the Dutch East India Company have made several attacks on our traders. They are trying to take over the whole pepper trade on the Coast of Malabar as you can see from the documents we have attached to this letter.

That if they take over the pepper trade on that coast they might well take over all the other pepper production in India because they have allied with the Samorine, the most powerful of the princes in the pepper country.

That the Company have at very great expense tried to keep a settlement at Benjar on the island of Borneo but have recently been driven out of there by attacks by the natives who have been stirred up by servants of the Dutch East India Company.

That there is no other part of India where pepper grows out of Dutch hands, except the island of Sumatra and there the Company has lost several thousands of pounds trying to set up a settlement. In fact it would be better for the company financially to give up this settlement were it not for the fact that the Company are more concerned for the Benefit of the Nation than themselves. ......

Therefore the company most humbly ask that your Majesty should give thought to the points we have made and that you shall take any action which your great wisdom suggests is the correct action.
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