Commerce and Consumption

Authored by: Ian W. Archer

The Elizabethan World

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415409599
eBook ISBN: 9781315736044
Adobe ISBN: 9781317565796


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In 1580, Richard Hakluyt, a Middle Temple lawyer, enthusiast for overseas exploration and uncle to his more famous namesake, the author of The Principall Navigations, drew up instructions for Charles Jackman and Arthur Pet, who were preparing an expedition to find a route to China by way of the north-east passage. Among these was a list of ‘things to be carried with you, whereof more or less is to be carried for a shew of our commodities to be made’. A huge range of the shop goods of London’s drapers, haberdashers, glovers, cutlers, pewterers, locksmiths, cordwainers and glassmakers was to be assembled to impress the Chinese with the trading potential of their English visitors: cloths and linens of various kinds, haberdashery wares (including caps, combs, buttons, girdles and ‘spectacles of the common sort; others of crystal trimmed with silver’), ‘gloves of all sorts … points of all sorts’, locks, keys and hinges ‘whereof if vent may be hereafter we shall set our subjects in work’ and ‘a garnish of pewter for a shew of a vent of that English commodity’. 1

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