Transatlantic Trade

in the 100 years before the American Revolution ( 1775-1783 ) the west coast of Scotland, focused around Glasgow and beyond into our area, saw a massive expansion of trade and economy with the transaltantic trade of sugar, tobacco and other key products.1
Tobacco was a highly significant commodity and the Glasgow elite were all merchants. The effect was seen hereabouts with Oban and Inveresregan on Loch Etive being sites for processing the raw materials for onward sale.

This area has long been a significant area of politics and trade, with high status Campbell estates of Lochnell, Barcaldine, Inverawe and Breadalbane
1707 (Union) increased many opportunities and the legalities of trading, wit anti smuggling laws introduced, which were unlikely to be appreciated around Loch Etive
1728 (Royal bank of Scotland invented the overdraft) and the Lochetty (LochEtive) trading company was formed
Initially Duncan Campbell of Lochawe / John Campbell of Lossit / John Campbell of Barcaldine joined Colin Campbell of Inveresregan who had already established trading into the area.
Each of these had significant land assets, as well as mineral and timber concessions in the 1720s.
Another trade enterprise in the 1700s was iron founderies - the first in GlenKinglas, that then moved to Bonawe, and remains today as a Historic Environment Scotland visitor attraction.
These men had trading posts in Bonawe, Dunstaffnage bay and on the island of Kerrara that were benefitting from the fortunes being made in Glasgow from international trading.
It took just 20 days for to get tobacco from Virginia to Glasgow, and thence up to our area, where William Fogo, the successor to Campbell of Barcaldine part of the enterprise, set up tobacco mills at Inveresregan in 1730 (Oban 1735) - Fogo was a somewhat shady dealer of wines, spirits and tobacco, and Charles Hunter wrote a lovely book on the Smuggling on Loch Etive exploring these years.
There was significant benefits to the local economy around these mills, with many "packmen" buying goods from the company and selling it on locally and nationally. The early day travelling salesmen.
Our local estates did a good trade in pack horses, and the carts of tea and tobacco, other goods likely had illegal spirits hidden amongst them.

in 1751 James Fisher of Inveraray was the trading partner of Colin Campbell of Inveresregan. They had significant activities in the area, with records indicating them having to sue residents of Lismore, Bonawe and Oban for outstanding debts. ??NAMES??2

The iron foundry at Bonawe focused attention at this crossing point of Loch Etive by 1753.
The siting was important because of the well established coppice forestry all around that was ideal for the hundreds of charcoal furnaces in surrounding glens to feed the furnaces, smelting the iron ore brought in by boat from England The Hollow Mountain By Marian Pallister
Thomas Pennant was one of our 1700s travellers and comments on the "considerable iron foundry" at Bonawe, worrying that the activity there "…will soon devour the beautiful woods of the country"
Around 600 workers were at Bonawe in its day .. local and Irish skilled migrants
As political relations with France deteriorated in the latter part of the 1700;s this foundry became busier "a military life-line" with 42,000 cannonballs produced at Bonawe in 1781 alone.
All this had to have had a significant effect on our local communities .. so many ships, so much industrial activity, so many carts in and out.

The Tobacco was sold internationally from the West coast,
in the 1760's 100 tonnes was traded through Oban .. how much more in Inveresragan or was that included in this .. need to find the source of this figure
The ships would return full of many goods needed for the new colonies.
As the Revolutionary wars entrenched trade became more impossible, and after the War of Independence 1775 America began to trade directly to Europe.
The Glasgow barons began to falter and sell out ..
Loch Etive Trading Company operated from 1605-1784 : Colin Campbell of Inveresregan being a significant trader3

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