Scarth Family Case Study: Conclusion



Figure 5. Tea canister, salt-glazed stoneware painted in enamel colours. Staffordshire, England. 1760-1770. C.69&A-1938. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.



The Scarth family had a multi-generational connection to the East India Company, each generation’s experience different in substance and in result. The Scarth family’s story shows an early ‘swing to the east’, perhaps earlier than many of their countrymen, trading first with the American colonies and then with China.[1]Scarth the elder spent his life trading East India Company tea and coffee, among other goods, to the colonies and securing a family fortune, with a city house in London and a country house in Ilford. His son spent his life in the employ of the East India Company, leaving his family in England while traveling to China to purchase tea and other goods. His orphan daughter, Elizabeth, never had the full advantage of her share of her father’s East India Company stock and commissions, due to her husband’s bankruptcy and her own early death. Her son, Frank Moore, Jonathan Scarth the elder’s great-grandson, however, had a highly successful military career, and in addition to his estate in Northchurch, he owned £4,500 of East India Company stock when he died, leaving his son the Scarth-East India Company legacy. 


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[1]Peter Marshall, ‘The First And Second British Empires: A Question Of Demarcation’, History 49, no. 165 (January 1964): 13–23.