Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Allegation of Sharp Practices by Jewish merchants trading from London, circa the 1630s

"Our merchants do much complain of some Portugal Jews here in London, that trade greatly for Spain, to their great prejudice. But this is not all: they do receive damage by them another way, as thus : a ship of London being laden with linen cloth at St. Malo, in France; this ship the French took, as she was homeward bound, and, searching what lading she had aboard, they find, by the bills of lading, some parcel of this linen cloth was consigned for Lisbon in Portugal, and to be first landed at Dover, to be shipped presently again to go for Spain. This landing of these French goods was only a deceit, to avoid the French king's edict, that no French commodity should go for Spain, under the penalty of forfeiture of the ship, and all the goods aboard her. This ship is carried to Boulogne, our merchants having near £6000 in her, which goods were to be brought up to London; but the other small parcels belonging to some Portugals have confiscated all. Our merchants complain ; but the French will not forego that advantage; so we lose all."

Cyprien (de Gamaches). The court and times of Charles the First. 1848

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