By Michael Greenberg

An account of the actions of British retailers in China within the an important years earlier than the Treaty of Nanking (1842), which remodeled the kinfolk among the Celestial Empire and the Western 'barbarians' and put them upon a footing that used to be to final for a hundred years. Mr Greenberg exhibits how this transformation used to be caused by means of the pressures of the increasing British economic climate of the early 19th century. a lot of the cloth relies at the papers of Jardine Matheson and Co., the single enterprise of pre-treaty days to outlive, and the biggest of the British organizations then tested in Canton.

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1 2. 1 83 3 . The Canton Register and Price Current was its full title. 40 BRITISH TRADE AND THE OPENING O F CHINA from India to China, there does not appear any room fo r com­ petition between them . . But the growth of a body of free adventurers under the wing of an exclusive commerce is not unlikely to lead to consequences of the first moment : and the division of British residents at Canton into two commercial classes so differently constituted and characterised cannot but add to the embarrassments incident to the relations between the British and the natives.

The enormously augmented opium shipments were, after 1821, not smuggled into Canton river at all but disposed of at the 'outer anchorages'. Opium clippers from India would call at Lintin or run up the Eastern Coast of China without coming within observation range of the Factory. Chinese Governmental logic might hold the English 'Chief' responsible for the numerous affrays in which his country1 A somewhat rhetorical estimate of the actual number of British residents, which was then under half that number.

In the season 1773-4 the Company issued few Bills on London on account of its financial difficulties in Europe. The Country traders, unable to remit their funds to England and attracted by the oriental rates of interest offered by hard-pressed Chinese merchants, lent them extensive 1 1 Chronicles, II, 4, 5 . On the Cohong system, see Chapter III below. THE H O NOURABLE C O MPANY AND THE PRIVATE ENGLISH 21 sums of money. B y 1 777 only four o f the eleven Hong merchants were solvent. 2 They argued that these debts represented fortunes accumulated in India, sent to China to be remitted home in Company's Bills, in the absence of which they had been forced to lend to the Chinese merchants, which procedure had been of advantage to the Company.

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