South Sea Company

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British company founded in 1711 to trade, chiefly in slaves, with Spanish America. The resulting speculation mania that led to ruin for many investors was known as the South Sea Bubble. Company dissolved in 1753.

From the description of Records of the South Sea Company, 1712-1753. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70982201

The South Sea Company was founded in 1711 to trade (mainly in slaves) with Spanish America, on the assumption that the War of the Spanish Succession, then drawing to a close, would end with a treaty permitting such trade. The company's stock sold well, but the Treaty of Utrecht made with Spain in 1713, was less favourable than had been hoped, imposing an annual tax on imported slaves and allowing the company to send only one ship each year for general trade. The success of the first voyage in 1717 was only moderate, but King George I of Great Britain became governor of the company in 1718, creating confidence in the enterprise, which was soon paying 100 percent interest. In 1720 there was an incredible boom in South Sea stock, as a result of the company's proposal, accepted by Parliament, to take over the national debt. The company expected to recoup itself from expanding trade, but chiefly from the foreseen rise in the value of its shares. By September the market had collapsed, and by December South Sea shares had plummeted in value, dragging other, including government, stock with them. Many investors were ruined, and the House of Commons ordered an inquiry, which showed that at least three ministers had accepted bribes and speculated. Many of the company's directors were disgraced, but the company itself survived until 1853, having sold most of its rights to the Spanish government in 1750.

From the guide to the South Sea Company: Letters of attorney, 1731-1739, (Senate House Library, University of London)

From the guide to the South Sea Company: Receipt, 1737 April 6, (Senate House Library, University of London)

From the guide to the South Sea Company: Dividends and stocks, 1712-1731, (Senate House Library, University of London)

From the guide to the South Sea Company, 1712-1783, (Senate House Library, University of London)

The South Sea Company was a British joint stock company founded in 1711. In 1713, it was granted a monopoly on trade with Spain's American colonies in return for assuming the national debt accrued during the War of the Spanish Succession. In 1731 John Hanbury was Director, and John Eyles a Subdirector, of the company, which had been reorganized following the 1720 bubble in South Sea stock.

From the description of Letter : South Sea House, London, to the Lords of Trade, 1731 October. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702194794

Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and Lord Treasurer, initiated a scheme for the funding of national debt through the South Sea Company, founded in 1711 to trade with Spanish America, on the assumption that the War of the Spanish Succession would end with a treaty permitting such trade. The Treaty of Utrecht, 1713, was less favourable than had been hoped, but confidence in the Company remained artificially high, eventually leading to the collapse of the stock market in 1720 (the South Sea Bubble) and the ruin of many investors. The Company, however, survived until 1853.

From the guide to the South Sea Company: Notebook of Subscribers, [1711], 1720, (British Library of Political and Economic Science)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
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creatorOf Maitland, Alexander,. Maitland collection of South Sea Company and Mississippi Scheme papers, 1669-1774, bulk (1711-1720). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Log of the ship Lawrance, 1730-1731 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Gibbons, Grinling, 1648-1721. Estate paper, 1721. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Maitland collection of South Sea Company and Mississippi Scheme papers, 1669-1774, 1711-1720 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf South Sea Company. Letter : South Sea House, London, to the Lords of Trade, 1731 October. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Letter to Henry Remsen [manuscript], 1792 April 14. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf South Sea Company: Dividends and stocks, 1712-1731 Senate House Library, University of London
referencedIn Southwell, Robert, Sir, 1635-1702. Southwell papers, ca. 1660-1750 (bulk 1660-1700) Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn An accot. containing the amount of the sales of the real and personal estates of the late South Sea directors & ca. with the debts & effects got in and payments thereout to the 31st of December 1726. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Boswell's Life of Johnson : including Boswell's Journal of a tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a journey into North Wales, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1464-1897 (inclusive), 1724-1874 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf South Sea Company. A list of the names of His Majesty's subjects in ... South Sea annuities unsubscribed, 1750 June 6. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727. Newton papers. Indiana University
referencedIn [Powers of attorney and dividend warrants, 1702-1763]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Compton, Spencer, Earl of Wilmington, 1673?-1743. The Right Honble. Spencer Lord Wilmington's account of intrest [sic] & dividends &c. exclusive of the South Sea account. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
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referencedIn Great Britain. Sovereign (1714-1727 : George I). [Assignment, 1724 April 28, from the trustees of the South Sea Company to Edward Gibbon, Esq.]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Ainsworth, William Harrison, 1805-1882. The South Sea bubble : holograph, [not after 1868] / W. Harrison Ainsworth. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
creatorOf Dumaresq, Abraham. Log of the ship Lawrance, 1730-1731. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn West Indies collection, 1728-1883. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Great Britain. Sovereign (1714-1727 : George I). [Assignment, 1725 April 28, of several debts and effects to Edward Gibbon, Esq. from the trustees]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Smith, Thomas, at parish of Saint James, Westminster. Deed, 26 September 1720 to Thomas Smith at parish of St. James Westminster, son and heir of Thomas Smith, Esquire, deceased, to Susanna Dacres, and Elizabeth Moore, mother. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn [Powers of attorney, 1711-1752]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn England Office of the Exchequer. British Investment in South Seas Trade, Orders, 1721-1726. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Brydges family. Brydges family papers : Special subjects, 1500-1816, (bulk 1680-1800). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. The House being moved to appoint a committee to examine into the proceedings of the South Sea Company : 2 June 1733. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Nugent family. Nugent family papers : Accounts and financial papers, 1695-1803, (bulk 1700-1750). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf South Sea Company: Receipt, 1737 April 6 Senate House Library, University of London
referencedIn Southwell, Robert, Sir, 1635-1702. Southwell papers, ca. 1660-1750 (bulk 1660-1700). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Aislabie, John, 1670-1742. Act of Parliament: Receipt, 1720 Dec. 17. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Postlethwayt, Malachy, 1746-1750 Senate House Library, University of London
referencedIn Congreve, William. [Power of attorney, 1716 August 14, to Moses Beranger from Wm. Congreve]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Donald Hyde and Mary Hyde Eccles Autograph Collection, 1505-1957 (inclusive), 1702-1854 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Cowper, William Cowper, Earl, ca. 1665-1723. Note, September 1713. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn A state of the annuities pertaining to the South Sea Company : January 5, 1714. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Vernon, Edward, 1684-1757. Vernon-Wager papers, 1654-1773. Library of Congress
creatorOf South Sea Company. A list of the names of foreigners in ... South Sea annuities remaining unsubscribed, 1750 June 6. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
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referencedIn Southwell papers, ca. 1660-1750, 1660-1700 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Copies of parliamentary papers, 1620-1725 [manuscript], ca. 1725. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Johnsonian Miscellanies, extra-illustrated, 1538-1900 (inclusive);, 1738-1866 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf South Sea Company. South Sea Company dividend warrant, 1712 February 6. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
creatorOf South Sea Company: Notebook of Subscribers, [1711], 1720 British Library of Political and Economic Science
referencedIn Delafaye, Charles. Letterbook, 1719-1720. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Cotton, John Hynde, Sir, 1686-1752. [Power of attorney, 1714 September 23, from Sir John Hynde Cotton of Cambridge to William Cleeve of the South Sea House (London)]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
creatorOf South Sea Company: Letters of attorney, 1731-1739 Senate House Library, University of London
creatorOf South Sea Company. Records of the South Sea Company, 1712-1753. Library of Congress
creatorOf South Sea Company. Records, 1711-1846 [microform] / South Sea Company. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
referencedIn An accot. containing the amount of the sales of ye. real & personal estates of the late South Sea directors & ca. with the debts and effects got in & payments thereout to the 1st of February 1724 inclusive. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn South Sea Company: Parliamentary Reports, 1721 British Library of Political and Economic Science
creatorOf South Sea Company, 1712-1783 Senate House Library, University of London
referencedIn Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. The House being moved to appoint a committee to examine into the proceedings of the South Sea Company : 2 June 1733. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Compton, Spencer, Earl of Wilmington, 1673?-1743. An account of money paid in on the first & third money subscriptions to the South Sea Company with the profit and loss thereon. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Burnoll, Tho. South Sea Company dividend warrants received, 1721-1735. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Chandos, James Brydges, Duke of, 1674-1744. Power of attorney from James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, to John Page of London [manuscript], 1720 October 5. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Portland (Welbeck) Collection, 1571-1896 The University of Nottingham
referencedIn Cowper, Spencer, 1669-1728. Note, September 1715. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ainsworth, William Harrison, 1805-1882. person
associatedWith Aislabie, John, 1670-1742. person
associatedWith Bentinck family, Earls of Portland person
associatedWith Boswell, James, 1740-1795 person
associatedWith Brydges family. family
associatedWith Cavendish-Bentinck family, Dukes of Portland of Welbeck, Nottinghamshire person
associatedWith Chandos, James Brydges, Duke of, 1674-1744. person
associatedWith Conduitt, John, 1688-1737. person
associatedWith Congreve, William. person
associatedWith Cotton, John Hynde, Sir, 1686-1752. person
associatedWith Cowper, Spencer, 1669-1728. person
associatedWith Cowper, William Cowper, Earl, ca. 1665-1723. person
associatedWith Delafaye, Charles. person
associatedWith England Office of the Exchequer. corporateBody
associatedWith Eyles, John, Sir. person
associatedWith Gibbons, Grinling, 1648-1721. person
associatedWith Great Britain. 1713 Mar. 26. corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain. Board of Trade. corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain. Sovereign (1714-1727 : George I) corporateBody
associatedWith Grigsby, John. person
associatedWith Hanbury, John, 1664-1734. person
associatedWith Harley Robert 1661-1724 1st Earl of Oxford, statesman person
associatedWith Hart, Moses. person
associatedWith Hill, George Birkbeck Norman, 1835-1903 person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. person
associatedWith Keene, Benjamin, Sir, 1697-1757. person
associatedWith Knight, Robert, 1675-1744. person
associatedWith Lansdowne, William Petty, Marquis of, 1737-1805 person
associatedWith Lawrance (ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Lockyer, Charles. person
associatedWith Maitland, Alexander, person
associatedWith Maitland, Alexander, d. 1907 person
associatedWith Manners family of Rutland family
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727. person
associatedWith Nugent family. family
associatedWith Pelham-Holles, Thomas, 1693-1768. person
associatedWith Postlethwayt, Malachy, ? 1707-1767 person
associatedWith Smith, Thomas, at parish of Saint James, Westminster. person
associatedWith Southwell, Robert, Sir, 1635-1702. person
associatedWith Stanhope, William, ca.1690-1756. person
associatedWith Townshend, Charles, 1674-1738. person
associatedWith Vernon, Edward, 1684-1757. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
Great Britain
Jamaica
South America
Spain
Great Britain
Spain
Great Britain
Caribbean Area
Spain--America
Great Britain
Great Britain
Latin America
Great Britain
America
Subject
Corporations, British--History--Sources
Financial markets
Finance
South Sea Bubble, Great Britain, 1720
Slave trade
Trade (practice)
International trade
Stocks
Trade
Investments
Dividends
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Information

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