The Tobacco Lords Trilogy

Davis Margaret Thom
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Glasgow 's position on the River Clyde , where the trade winds first hit Europe, gave its merchants a two to three week advantage over other ports in Britain and Europe and the United States of america.

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The advantage was enhanced by the French monarchy granting to Glasgow in a monopoly for the importation of tobacco into French territories. The deepening of the Clyde in provided a further advantage, because Glasgow ships were built specifically for the Atlantic crossing and were generally bigger than those of other ports.

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However, the main advantage of the Glasgow merchants seems to have been their extensive and personally supervised networks across Britain, Europe, and the Americas. The tobacco trade was part of broader trade that linked exports of consumer and manufactured goods from Britain and Europe with the North American and Caribbean colonies. Operated with slave labour, these colonies supplied tropical goods, like tobacco, sugar and rum.

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Merchants carried these goods back to West Africa to exchange for slaves which they transported on to America and the Caribbean, establishing the so-called triangular trade. From , Glasgow became the centre of an economic boom which lasted nearly fifty years.

The Tobacco Lords personified this boon and were the nouveau riche of the mid-eighteenth century. Arguably the most successful of these merchants was John Glassford , who entered the tobacco trade in and had soon acquired a fleet of vessels and many tobacco stores across New England.

Time and place: Margaret Thomson Davis | The Sunday Times

Celebrated in his lifetime, Glassford was the most extensive ship owner of his generation in Scotland, and one of the four merchants who laid the foundation of the commercial greatness of Glasgow through the tobacco trade. Tobias Smollett wrote [1] of a meeting with Glassford in Glasgow merchants made such fortunes that they adopted the style of aristocrats in their superior manner and in their lavish homes and churches. The merchants' Calvinist background made sure, however, that display was always of rich but sober materials — black silk clothes, though startlingly set off by scarlet cloaks , black three-cornered hats, silver - or even gold -tipped ebony canes, mahogany furniture, and classical architecture in their domestic and public use.

Their mansions were laid out on the western boundaries of the 18th century city, where they gave their names to later streets in what modern Glasgow now calls the Merchant City.

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Bronze statue of Vasco da Gama at his birthplace, Sines, Portugal. Although this arrangement is common in Southern Europe , it is rare in Northern Europe ; the 18th-century intellectual life, referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment , was a key influence in gaining the name. When a covert police operation in Other streets recall the triangular trade more directly, with modern streets bearing names like Virginia Street and Jamaica Street. Are you sure you want to continue?

Other streets recall the triangular trade more directly, with modern streets bearing names like Virginia Street and Jamaica Street. Some idea of the grandeur of the Tobacco Lords' houses - which often dramatically punctuated the ends of the streets named after them — can be had in the original core of Glasgow.

In the same area was the grand house of Alexander Speirs. St Andrew's in the Square still survives today and is considered one of the finest classical churches in Britain, [8] Today it is Glasgow's Centre for Scottish Culture, promoting Scottish music, song and dance. During the s tensions grew between Britain and her American colonies, amongst which were economic stresses arising out of the perceived unfairness of the tobacco trade. These debts, as much as the taxation imposed by Westminster, were among the colonists' most bitter grievances. The English merchants simply sold American tobacco in Europe and took a commission.

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The Scots bought the crop at pre-arranged prices, and made large and potentially risky loans to their customers. What does this price mean?

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The Tobacco Lords Trilogy by Margaret Thomson Davis (Paperback, 1994)

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See details and exclusions. Buy it now. Add to basket. Be the first to write a review About this product. All listings for this product Buy it now Buy it now. Pre-owned Pre-owned. Last one Free postage. See all About this product Product Information Beginning during the Rebellion of , this story is an evocation of Glasgow and its people.