Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

being The Fellowship of English Merchants for 
discovery of new trades.’? Commonly known as the 
Muscovy or Russia Company, it was in its inception 
and for many years a joint stock company, the first of 
such companies to be formed in England or among 
the very first. It heads the lists of corporations 
whose aim was to carry English enterprise into distant 
lands beyond the sea ; for the Merchant Adventurers 
of England, who in the reign of Queen Elizabeth were 
at the height of their power and wealth, trafficked 
in the Low Countries and comparatively near home. 
The great chartered companies were employed for 
purposes of colonisation as well as for trade : their 
membership included men in all ranks of life, not 
merchants only, but statesmen and on occasion 
Royalties; and as Empire-making agencies they bore 
rich and abundant fruit in the seventeenth century. 
! Hakluayt, vol. iii, pp. 83-91.

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