By Anna Winterbottom

Hybrid wisdom within the Early East India corporation global provides a brand new studying of the English East India corporation 1660-1720. It indicates how cutting edge works – protecting average heritage, ethnography, theology, linguistics, drugs, and agriculture - have been created amid early sleek struggles for supremacy in Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic.

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30 However, as an investigation of Baron’s life will reveal, these people were in an ideal position to span cultures. Métissage was multi-directional. As well as the importance of Eurasians like Baron in both the settlements of European companies and the courts of Asian rulers,31 contemporaries like Zheng Chenggong (1624– 1662, known as Coxinga or Koxinga to the Europeans), Zheng Zhilong’s son by his Japanese consort, who bridged Asian cultures were also vital to intercultural contacts. Focusing on people who spanned cultures can highlight connections as well as disjunctures between the techniques of gathering and using knowledge in different cultures in this period.

In this sense, the knowledge that the Royal Society assembled was thoroughly hybrid in its origins. At the same time, information was being presented in increasingly standardised ways, including through articles in the journal Philosophical Transactions, as well as being incorporated into natural histories, dictionaries, maps, tide tables, and astronomical charts. 95 His account argues that the exchange of natural philosophical information was based on trust, the social basis of which in the English context was the possession of gentlemanly status.

46 Baron had approached an English Ambassador in Paris and suggested to him a scheme for reopening the English trade with Japan. This suggestion was extremely well timed, following up as it did on an initiative led from Bantam (the EIC headquarters in Java) to reopen the English trade with Japan, which had been abandoned almost 50 years previously. 47 Although the EIC hoped that Japan would provide a market for the English broadcloths that had been rejected across Asia, they were also aware that any entry into the Japanese trade would involve establishing bases in the entrepôts 32 Hybrid Knowledge discussed above, in order to acquire commodities that could be profitably exchanged.

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