'Such a promise of extraordinary Profits' The British Russia Company's Iran

Friday, October 11, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Event Type

Research Brown Bag Series

 Matthew P. Romaniello 

104 E. O. Wattis Building | Friday, October 11, 1pm 

In September 1740, Mungo Graeme wrote to his uncle in Edinburgh from Rasht, Iran. Graeme begged for his uncle’s assistance to depart Iran for his return to Astrakhan across the Caspian Sea.  In 1739 Graeme and a fellow British merchant, John Elton, had arrived in Iran in hopes of securing the Russia Company’s trade in the region on a permanent footing.  Elton returned to Russia with samples of silk as proof of the trade’s viability, but left Graeme behind to secure the necessary paperwork with the Iranian authorities.  Elton, however, also left Graeme with his debts, which then prevented Graeme from leaving Iran without settling Elton’s bill.  This talk will use the Graeme-Elton exploratory mission to discuss the larger project of British trade in Iran in the eighteenth century, drawing upon the recent book, Enterprising Empires: Russia and Britain in Eighteenth-Century Eurasia (Cambridge, 2019). 

British Russia

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