PortCities London

The 19th-century port

Tea trade and the East India Docks

The East India Dock Company

The Repulse East Indiaman in East India Dock Basin, 1839
View full size imageThe East Indiaman Repulse in the East India Dock Basin, 1839. © NMM
Many businesses saw the advantages of the new enclosed docks. The East India Dock Company (formed in 1803) was given permission to build another dock at Blackwall to serve the vast shipping needs of the East India Company.

The docks were located on the Thames between Blackwall Reach and Bugsby's Reach. East Indiamen traded between Blackwall and Calcutta or other Indian ports, laden with the merchandise of two civilisations.

Valuable trade

Unloading tea ships in the East India Docks
View full size imageUnloading tea ships in the East India Docks, 1867. © NMM
The tea trade