Trade Expansion and Legal Quay: 1600 - 1800

The formation of trading companies such as the East India Company, Muscovy Company and the Africa Company allowed the British Empire to expand commercially across the world. All had their roots in London. This gallery also explores the 'Legal Quays' established by Elizabeth I in 1558, for the collection of customs dues on cargoes. Other displays explore the building of London's first wet docks at Rotherhithe for the whaling trade the landing of East India cargoes at Blackwall shipbuilding and related industries. There are displays about visitors from overseas such as Pocahontas and Prince Lee Boo. A touch-screen journey to China aboard the East Indiaman Falmouth introduces the concept of world trade, navigation and the perils of merchant voyages. A dramatised video shows business being conducted inside a typical 18th-century London coffee house.

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