The Levant Company's Factory in Aleppo
Among the enterprises of Tudor England was a powerful Company, whose purpose was to “traffic with the dominions of the Grand Seignior.”
The Crusades, which led to an attempt by the West to find new and less arduous trade routes to the riches of Asia, familiarized Europe with new commodities, new fruits like melons and lemons, new colours such as purple, new dress materials which included muslin, damask and cotton. When Crusaders ceased to journey home from the Levant the demand for such goods was satisfied by professional merchants, among whom the pioneers were men from Venice. Great difficulties encountered on the northern sea route to Archangel when trading with Russia, the Caspian Sea and Persia induced Tudor England to conclude a treaty with the Grand Seignior of Turkey in 1580; and before long there was formed the “Government Company of Merchants of England trading into the Levant Seas.” The first permanent charter was granted to the Levant Company in 1605.