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The 18th-century port

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Introduction


Dramatic growth

Launch of the HMS Alexander at Deptford in 1778.
View full size imageThe launch of HMS Alexander at Deptford in 1778. © NMM
During the 18th century the volume of London's trade grew dramatically.

Imports and exports increased because of the industrial and agricultural revolutions and the expansion of Britain's overseas interests.

London also became a major centre for shipbuilding and the making of scientific and navigational instruments.

By the end of the century the Thames could not cope with the huge numbers of vessels trying to use the port.

Maritime London timeline

Britain and the world timeline

Science and technology




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