The Swedish East India Company
The town of Cadiz in southern Spain, from manuscript X 389
Uppsala University Library holds a number of manuscripts on the subject of trade, or Swedes’ voyages abroad, providing information about the Swedish East India Company. Some of these have been digitalised as part of a project initiated by Gothenburg University Library.
BROWSE THE MANUSCRIPTS
- Journaler öfver Flere Skepps Resor til och ifrån Ost-Indien (Journals of several ships’ voyages to and from the East Indies), Christopher Henric Braad (?), 1730s-1760s. With extracts from 20 log books to show the variation of the compass with its changes, and a list of the Swedish East India Company’s ships from 1732 to 1765, their times of departure and return, and their officers. [L 183 fol.]
- Journal öfver resan med skeppet Stockholms slott till och från Canton i China (Journal of the voyage of the ship Stockholms Slott to and from Canton in China), commanded by Captain C. G. Ekeberg. Copied or produced by Lieutenant Friedrich Giöran Hierta, 1765-1767. [L 184 fol.]
- Handlingar rörande Swenska handelen til Ost-Indien (Documents relating to Swedish trade with the East Indies),Christopher Henric Braad, 1748-1762. With extracts from diaries, purchase and sale invoices, and crew manifests. [L 185 fol.]
- Berättelse om resan med skeppet Hoppet (Narrative of the voyage of the ship Hoppet), under the command of Captain Fr. Petterson from Gothenburg to Canton in China, Christopher Henric Braad, 1748-1749. With views of locations passed. [X 389]
- Skeppsjournal under samma resa med skeppet Hoppet (Ship’s log of the same voyage of the ship Hoppet) under the command of Captain Fr. Petterson from Gothenburg to Canton in China, Christopher Henric Braad, 1748-1749. Copied. [X 390]
- Annotationer på de curieusiteter jag sedt och funnit uti Canton i China under mitt wistande därstedes [...] (Notes from the same travel on what has been seen in Canton, China), Christopher Henric Braad, 1748-1749. [X 391] (Digitized at Uppsala University Library)
ABOUT THE SWEDISH EAST INDIA COMPANY
The Swedish East India Company was modelled on the great English and Dutch East India companies. The profit-making company was based on monopoly sales of goods from the East Indies, such as spices, tea, silk and porcelain.
The Swedish company was founded in 1731 and operated until 1813, based originally in Gothenburg and during its final years in Stockholm. The company’s ships transported metal goods from Sweden. These were exchanged in Cadiz for Spanish silver piastres, which were negotiable in China. The route then led via the Cape of Good Hope to the city of Canton in China, where the Swedes had a factory. The ship spent four to five months in Canton before sailing back westwards. With the wind in the right direction, the return voyage to Gothenburg took six months. There, the valuable luxury goods were sold at auction at the company’s warehouses.
Gothenburg University Library also contains more documents from the Swedish East India Company. You can search the Gothenburg University Library’ archive here.
The Section for Manuscripts and Music at Uppsala University Library are happy to assist you with your searches. You can request a document and study it the same day, here in the Special Reading Room in the Library.