1st Edition

The Portugal Trade A study of Anglo-Portugeuse Commerce 1700-1770

By H.E.S Fisher Copyright 2006
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Historians have long considered the ways in which the expansion of English trade beyond Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries contributed to the growth of English overseas trade as a whole, and to the coming of the Industrial Revolution. Their concentration on trade between England and her own colonies has led them, however, to neglect the importance of trade with the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. Dr Fisher’s examination of Anglo-Portuguese trade between 1700 and 1770, and of the commercial links between the English North American colonies and Portugal, thus gives a wider perspective to our knowledge of the English ‘Commercial Revolution’.

    This study, based on a wide range of primary sources in England and Portugal, analyses the impressive growth of English trade with Portugal to 1760 and its subsequent decline in the 1760s, particular attention being given to the role of the Brazilian market and Brazilian gold-mining in these movements. The business practice of the merchants engaged in the principal constituent branches of the trade—textiles, foodstuffs, wines, and gold—is made clear and compared, while the characteristic instability of international commerce is borne out in the examination of the seasonal and yearly fluctuations which took place. On a more general level, the concluding chapter explores the relationship between the Portugal trade and the development of the English economy during this period. This book was first published in 1971.

    Acknowledgements page ix

    List of Plates xi

    List of Text Figures xiii

    Abbreviations xv

    Introduction 1

    The Course of Anglo-Portuguese Trade 1700–1770

    1 Expansion to 1760 13

    2 Contraction in the 1760s 41

    Commercial Organization

    3 Textiles to Portugal and Brazil 53

    4 Foodstuffs to Portugal 64

    5 The Wine Trade 77

    6 The Employment of Merchant Shipping 87

    7 Bullion to England 92

    The Pattern of Fluctuations

    8 Seasonal and Yearly Fluctuations 109

    Foreign Trade and the Economy

    9 The Portugal Trade and English Economic Development 125

    Note on the use of the official English trade statistics 140

    Appendixes 141

    List of Sources and Works Consulted 153

    Index 163


    Fisher, H.E.S