Chapter

‘Into speyne to selle for slavys’: English, Spanish, and Genoese Merchant Networks and their Involvement with the ‘Cost of Gwynea’ Trade before 1550

HEATHER DALTON

in Brokers of Change

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.003.0005

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

‘Into speyne to selle for slavys’: English, Spanish, and Genoese Merchant Networks and their Involvement with the ‘Cost of Gwynea’ Trade before 1550

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In 1541, Roger Barlow, an English merchant who had traded with Spain's Atlantic settlements from Seville in the 1520s, presented Henry VIII with a cosmography containing his personal account of the Rio de la Plata, inserted into an English translation of the 1519 edition of the Suma de Geographia by Martin Fernandez de Enciso. Despite the fact that both men had been involved in the buying and selling of West African slaves, Barlow translated Enciso's short description of the slave markets in Guinea without comment. This chapter explores how the trading network of English, Spanish and Genoese merchants Barlow belonged to had traded in slaves and associated products, such as pearls and sugar, since the 1480s. In doing so, they were instrumental in linking the ‘Guinea of Cape Verde’ to the wider Atlantic world.

Keywords: Atlantic slave trade; Roger Barlow; Thorne; Seville; Cubagua; pearls; Guinea; Cape Verde; São Tomé; Bristol

Chapter.  16389 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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