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Sir James Lancaster.
|Sir James Lancaster.|
|© National Maritime Museum, London|
|Repro ID: BHC2828|
|Description: Sir James Lancaster (c. 1555-1618) commanded the first East India Company voyage in 1601. The Company spent £40,000 to acquire and fit out the fleet of five vessls for the voyage. £6,860 was spent on purchasing English wares to be used for sale or barter, and £21,700 was provided for acquiring goods in the Indies. This later figure was supplied in Spanish rials of eight (the most acceptable currency in the Indies) as well as specially minted coins of equal weight and quality bearing Elizabeth's arms. These special coins were minted because Elizabeth refused to counterfeit coins of a foreign prince, even though Phillip II was an enemy of England.|
|Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London|