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A Brief History of Tea - Part Three
Courtesy of The UK Tea Council.

The First Step to American Independence - The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party is famous in the history of American Independence. As an early example of American rebellion against British Rule, it represents one of the significant events leading ultimately to the American War of Independence. On 16 December 1773, replica rolex watches between thirty and sixty men, disguised as Indians, boarded ships owned by the British East India Company. Once aboard, they smashed open the tea cargoes from wooden chests and threw them overside. Washed up on shore next morning, the cargo was of course worthless. Other ports followed suit and every patriotic American gave up tea drinking and turned to coffee.

What led to this incident? To raise money, particularly for military purposes, the British Government would levy tax on imported products such as tea. At that time, tea drinking was as popular in the American colonies as it was in Britain and in 1773 Americans were outraged by the imposition by Lord North of tax on tea in both Britain and America. This resentment was further fueled by lack of American representation in the British Parliament, giving rise to the famous slogan "No taxation without representation."

At the same time, the Tea Act of 1773 gave the East India Company the right to ship tea from China directly to America. This was enacted to counter the American practice of buying replica watches uk (and sometimes smuggling) tea in from Holland and even direct from China via the Dutch, a practice which reduced trade for the East India Company. This Act put many American tea importers out of business as they incurred a tax the locals didn't want. The Americans decided that the British had interfered once too often and the Boston Tea Party took place.

Tea Clippers - the Greyhounds of the 19th Century Oceans

Until the mid 1800's, cargo ships including those carrying tea, usually took between twelve and fifteen months to make passage from ports in the East to those in London. East India Company ships, jewelry distributor given exclusive control of the tea trade by Act of Parliament in 1832, raced to be the first ships to land tea in Britain.

The Americans were the first to design a new type of clipper. Recognizing that the old ships had to carry too much weight, they designed a more streamlined vessel (based on the old Baltimore clippers) capable of carrying greater cargo (providing it was loaded correctly) at a greater speed. The new, faster clipper was born - so called because they were designed to "clip"; or get the last ounce of speed from the wind. The first of these three masted, full-rigged vessels was the 750 ton Rainbow launched in New York in 1845. Every line promised speed - from the sharp, curving stem to the slim, tapering stern, with tall raking masts carrying a huge area of sail. The journey time of the slow East Indian clippers was halved.

The first British built clipper, the Stornaway, was launched for the traders Jardine Matheson in 1850 in Aberdeen. Many others followed: the "Lightning", fake watches online an American built ship, covered 4.36 sea miles in 24 hours an average of eighteen miles per knot (this according to users), a record at this time and nearly as fast as a modern ocean liner.

Perhaps the most famous clipper ever built was the British clipper Cutty Sark. The Cutty Sark was built in 1868 and only carried tea on just eight occasions.

By the middle of the 19th Century, the races between the tea clippers had become a great annual competition. The race began in China where the clippers would leave the Canton River, race down the China Sea, across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the Atlantic, past the Azores and into the English Channel. The clippers would then be towed up the River Thames by tugs rolex replica watches and the race would be won by the first ship to hurl ashore its cargo at the docks. The first cargo home fetched as much as an extra sixpence per pound - and gained a cash bonus for Captain and crew.


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