ST HELENA | Portfolio of letters and documents relating to the East India Company, 1670s-80s
ST HELENA | Portfolio of letters and documents relating to the East India Company, 1670s-80s
ST HELENA | Portfolio of letters and documents relating to the East India Company, 1670s-80s
ST HELENA | Portfolio of letters and documents relating to the East India Company, 1670s-80s
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ST HELENA | Portfolio of letters and documents relating to the East India Company, 1670s-80s

Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000 GBP

ST HELENA | Portfolio of letters and documents relating to the East India Company, 1670s-80s

Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000 GBP

Lot Details

Description

EAST INDIA COMPANY--ST HELENA.

Nine documents relating to the early settlement and government of the island, comprising:


i) letter signed by John Banks and Nathaniel Herne, Governor and Deputy of the East India Company, to Thomas Lewis, transmitting an order for the Falcon and two other ships to sail immediately, 1 page, 16 March 1673, integral address leaf; ii) "A true acct of all the blacks & neat cattle belonging to the Hon. Company on this theire Island of Ste Hellena [and] Officers and Souldiers ... their wives children and serv[an]ts both Blacks & whites & of their Cattle ...25 March 1681", 4 pages, 5 witness signatures; iii) contemporary copy of a similar list, 5 pages, March 1680; iv) muster roll of East India Company officers and soldiers on St Helena, witness signature, 3 pages, 23 April 1686; v) "the humble petition of the poore inhabitants of the Iland St Hellena", complaining of the privileges given to soldiers and requesting deeds for land grants, with 64 copy signatures, and a note of an order of council ("...it be referred unto the Co[mit]tees for Shipping to consider..."), 2 pages, 1 June 1681, with integral address panel and remains of seal; vi) "Generall Accompt of the Joynt Stock of the Et: I: Comp:", 1 page; vii) muster roll, 1 page, 26 November 1688, witness signature; viii) list of 12 soldiers and 3 planters returning from St Helena on the Beaufort, 30 June 1688, 1 page, docketed; ix) East India Company, 10th By-Law, printed broadsheet, 4 November 1709; various sizes but chiefly broadsheet or folio, most items with contemporary docketing, in a later portfolio, several items bound out of order, fold tears strengthened, portfolio lacking spine with item (i) loose


A UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO AN EARLY BRITISH COLONY. The East India Company was chartered by Cromwell to govern St Helena in 1657, and colonisation began the following year. It was a key port of call for East Indiamen on the return leg to Britain back up through the Atlantic, but was a somewhat threadbare colony maintained only for its strategic importance. The 1681 census details a population of 140 soldiers and 331 settlers, with 104 black slaves, whilst the petition (item v) describes the tension between impoverished settlers and soldiers. Settlers depended on slave labour but this was a small colony that was unable to sustain itself - especially after invasive species (rats and goats) laid waste to the native ecosystem - very different in scale from the vast slave populations that worked the sugar plantations of the Caribbean.


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Condition Report

Condition is described in the main body of the catalogue, where appropriate.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations
Online bidding closed10 Dec 2019 | 03:44 PM GMT