ETCHES, John




Author Tags: 1700-1800

In 1785, John Cadman Etches, George Dixon, Nathaniel Portlock and five others formed the King George’s Sound Company, otherwise known as Richard Cadman Etches & Company because John’s brother, Richard Cadman Etches, was the main investor. The company obtained a five-year trading license from the South Sea Company. John Cadman Etches served as supercargo on James Colnett’s Prince of Wales from 1786 to 1788. He and his brother Richard met with John Meares in Macao and formed a new partnership in January of 1789 called the Associated Merchants of London and India Trading to the Northwest Coast of America. John Etches was apprehended at Nootka Sound by Martínez in May of 1789 when English ships were confiscated by the Spanish. He published his side of the story in An Authentic Statement of All the Facts Relative to Nootka Sound (London: Debret, 1790).

It has been suggested by historians that Britain used the so-called Nootka Incident to challenge Spanish claims on trans-Pacific trade and Spain's pretensions to sovereignty in the Pacific Northwest. On May 15, 1790, the British Parliament voted one million pounds to prepare for war with Spain, resulting in a treaty known as the Nootka Convention on October 28, 1790.

[BCBW 2004] "1700-1800" "English"