Discharging frozen mutton and lamb from Australia on the Clan Macdougall.
View full size imageDischarging frozen mutton and lamb. © NMM
Australia is a vast country largely settled by British and other emigrants from the end of the 18th century (displacing the native Aboriginal people). With its fertile grazing and arable land and its huge mineral wealth, Australian exports to Britain and other industrialised countries were considerable.
The first major export from Australia was wool, brought over in huge quantities from the 1840s. With the development of refrigeration ships from the 1870s, frozen beef and mutton were also exported. Other exports included: animal hides,  wheat, gold, silver and copper. 
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Stories The hub of empire: Imperial trade