'Junkzelone - what vast profit the Honourable Company may make by settling that place'


These pages are taken from a notebook belonging to John Scattergood, a merchant of Madras with extensive trading interests in China, the East Indies and Persia. In this notebook, he describes the island of Junkzelone - now Phuket, off the coast of modern Thailand - with the intention of encouraging its exploitation by the East India Company. In doing so, he provides an insight into the way the company might begin its operations in a new country or location.

In the first extract, Scattergood comments with typical British arrogance on the local inhabitants and their system of government.

The second extract describes how tin is being mined on the island. The notebook goes on to identify Junkzelone's other natural resources - sugar cane, indigo, rice, coconut (both for copra and to make arrack), pepper, cotton, betel nuts, timber and elephants - together with their markets and, in some cases, likely profits.

As Scattergood declares:

' Let any reasonable person Judge w[ha]t vast advantage must people make [that] settle here, when they can have Slaves, Provisions, clothing, & all sorts of work done at very cheap rates, and their produce of the ground to sell well…'

C 106/171, no. 68 (c. 1700-19)


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