About the Presenter:
Grant Walker is the Education Specialist on the staff of the Naval Academy Museum. In this capacity, he works directly with midshipmen who seek to enhance their education through the study and use of artifacts in the Museum’s permanent collection. A 1973 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he served several tours of duty in Europe and earned an MA in National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. In 1987 Grant was assigned to the Naval Academy as an Instructor of History, where for six years he taught courses in Western Civilization, American Naval Heritage, and Modern Art and Music. He began working in the Museum immediately after his retirement from the Army in 1993, designing the old Class of 1951 Gallery of Ships as well as the present exhibit, “Ship Models from the Age of Sail.” An authority on sailing men-of-war, he is nearing completion of a two-volume study of the Naval Academy Museum’s collection of ancient ship models entitled, Colonel Rogers’ Fleet: Dockyard Ship Models at the United States Naval Academy Museum.
The French East Indiaman Duc de Duras, better known as the Bonhomme Richard, was certainly not what John Paul Jones had in mind when he uttered his famous declaration, “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." Simply put, speed was not a major consideration in her design; nor, for that matter, was firepower. Far more important was her ability to regularly sail half way around the world and return again safely, dependably, and profitably. This was so because, as Jones must have known full well, the Duc de Duras was not a purpose-built warship, but rather an armed merchantman, and an aging one at that – when placed under Jones’ command she was already fourteen years old and a veteran of four grueling voyages to the Far East and back.
appreciate how the Duc de Duras/Bonhomme Richard was designed and
built, it would be useful to understand what an East Indiaman was in the first
place, and how, when, and why the French came to build them. From there, we can
take a look at the specifics of the ship’s construction and how Jones modified
her before embarking on his famous voyage devoted to bringing America’s
Revolution to English waters.
the SILK ROAD
The market in Europe for goods produced in the Far East – and by that I mean principally China, the Indian subcontinent, and the Spice Islands of present-day Indonesia – dates at least as far back as the last days of the Roman Republic in the West and the more-or-less contemporary establishment of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) in China. In particular, the craze among Rome’s ruling elite for shimmering, brilliantly colored Chinese silk cloth fostered an intense trade along several land corridors that are collectively referred to today as the Silk Road. Stretching many thousands of miles across the forbidding deserts and frozen mountains of central Asia, traders – principally nomads and caravan merchants –herded their pack animals laden with silk and perfumes, precious metals and gems, medicine, glass and other luxury goods along an east-west axis that linked the eastern shores of the Mediterranean with the South China Sea (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The Silk Road in ancient times. There was a sea component, but the principal routes traversed Central Asia on foot or, more literally, on the backs of pack animals.
Those who traveled the entire length of the Silk Road, like the famous Marco Polo (1254-1324), were few and far between. Most travelers were traders who generally conveyed their pack trains only within the confines of their own territory. When they encountered the lands of another clan or ethnic group, they sold their goods across the border. In this way the precious cargos were gradually transported across vast distances, one relatively short stretch at a time. Of course, a fee or tax had to be paid each time the goods crossed one of the innumerable borders along the way, adding enormously to their price by the time they finally reached the West.
The journey was slow, laborious, and fraught with danger, not only from the route’s immense physical barriers but also from the constant threat posed by bandits. Nonetheless, for fully fifteen hundred years the overland Silk Road remained the principal, at times the only, means of communication and trade between Europe and the Far East.
By about the year 1400, however, it finally collapsed, a victim of a confluence of chaotic events that effectively stopped trade along the entire length of the route. These include the triad of catastrophic ills that beset Western civilization in the 14th century – the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Church Schism – as well as the dramatic expansion of Islam that culminated in the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and, in China, the replacement of the Mongol Empire (1207-1360) by the Ming Dynasty, with its pronounced distrust of foreign influences.
The Portuguese Seaborne Empire
The effort to establish a sea route to the East began with Portugal’s Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) who, as you all know, was famous for sending small expeditions of one or two ships ever further south along west coast of Africa in the mid 1400s. Combining religious and commercial zeal, he was motivated in large part by a desire to outflank the Muslim world and thus gain direct access to India and the Indies. Following his efforts, another Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Diaz, was the first to reach Africa’s southern tip in 1488, while his countryman Vasco da Gama bested him by rounding what is today called the Cape of Good Hope and sailing east into the Indian Ocean, reaching India in 1498 (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The route taken by Vasco da Gama on his first voyage to India in 1497-98.
The exploits of these intrepid sailors were made possible by a technological innovation in shipbuilding. I refer to the invention or introduction of a ship type called a caravel, first adopted by the Portuguese in the 15th century . Generally built with a low profile and shallow draft, their chief innovation was their sail rig. Unlike the lumbering carracks, which were powered mainly by square sails and thus could sail to within only about 70 degrees from the direction of the wind, caravels were rigged with triangular fore-and-aft sails known as lateen sails (Figure 3).
|Figure 3. Drawing of a 3-masted caravel from a book published in 1516. Compared to the relatively massive carracks, the low profile an shallow draft of caravels reduced windage/leeway - a major consideration when sailing in contrary currents and winds.|
These enabled them to sail much higher, or closer into the face of the wind – to within 45-50 degrees – a huge advantage that permitted them not only to sail around the southern tip of Africa to India and beyond, but to get back again!
In short order, the Portuguese established a vast trading empire with major outposts in Goa on the west coast of India, Malacca on the Malaysian Peninsula, Macao on China’s southern coast, and Nagasaki in Japan. Having evicted Turkish and Egyptian traders from the area, they went on to monopolize East-West trade for much of the 16th century. At home, the crown got immensely rich, while Portuguese traders and their families who settled in the colonies lived like potentates.
To prevent other European powers from infringing on Portugal’s trade monopoly, Lisbon managed to keep its newly discovered sea routes to the Far East a closely guarded secret for a hundred years. But in the summer of 1592 the Madre de Deus, a huge Portuguese carrack on its way back from India, was captured by the English and sailed back to England. Packed in her hold was an enormous fortune in gold and silver, diamonds, pearls, and spices – cloves, pepper, and cinnamon – plus bolts of costly silk and calico cloth and fifteen tons of ebony. Altogether, the cargo was valued at some five hundred thousand pounds, equal to half the money in England’s royal coffers!
Imagine how news of the ship’s unbelievably rich cargo must have whetted the appetites of England’s merchants to break the Portuguese trade monopoly. Yet they had no knowledge of how to reach the Indies, or even where exactly they lay. Their prayers must have seemed answered when, only three years later, a Dutchman named Jan Huyghen van Linschoten published the first of three books containing not only a detailed, illustrated account of his travels in the fabulous Portuguese East, but also a series of maps charting how to get there. The cat was out of the bag.
The East India Companies
Within a decade of the appearance of Van Linschoten’s books, the English, Dutch, and French had all sent successful trade expeditions to the Far East. In England, Elizabeth I granted a royal charter on the last day of December 1600 to a joint-stock company known as the East India Company. A century later (1708) it merged with a rival English company to form the Honourable East India Company, or HEIC.
The Dutch, too, sent several expeditions to the Far East in the 1590s. After several early disasters, in 1599 a squadron of ships under the command of a merchant sailor named Jacob Van Neck returned to Amsterdam from Bantam in the East. The following year another Dutch trading venture returned a profit of 400 percent! Spurred on by a desire for even further riches, in 1602 the States-General granted a 21-year trade monopoly to the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), hereafter referred to as the Dutch East India Company.
Not to be outdone by their Protestant neighbors, France sent its first state-sponsored expedition to the Far East in 1603, and shortly thereafter King Henry IV issued a 15-year charter to the Compagnie des Indes Orientales, or the French East India Company. Unlike its English and Dutch counterparts, the French company was funded entirely by the crown and did not issue stock to private investors.
For a variety of reasons, the French company failed to flourish and was soon disbanded, leaving the field, as it were, to the English and Dutch. As a result, events in the region during the first half of the 17th century were dominated by a grand struggle between these two traditional antagonists to establish control of the Eastern trade. Both set out first and foremost to destroy the Portuguese commercial empire, which they accomplished in a mere two decades. In effect, after about 1625 the Portuguese Empire in Asia ceased to exist.
In the second half of the century, friction between the Dutch and English East India Companies for control of the Orient and its lucrative trade was one of the major causes of the three Anglo-Dutch Wars, a period of near-constant naval and commercial warfare fought between 1652 and 1674. At their conclusion, the Dutch remained for the most part entrenched in the East Indies, whereas the HEIC had turned its efforts in large measure to controlling trade along the coasts of India and China.
It was during this period of the Anglo-Dutch Wars that France once again became heavily involved in efforts to establish a commercial empire in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In the 1660s the French were Europe’s leading consumers of Eastern goods, particularly spices and textiles. With no presence in the region, however, they were forced to purchase these items from England and the Netherlands at inflated prices. In an effort to cut out these middlemen and deal directly in the Asian market, in 1664 France’s able Finance Minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, persuaded King Louis XIV to charter a second French East India Company with an initial investment of 15 million livres. Further, to build and maintain the ships for the new enterprise, Colbert caused a port and dockyard to be constructed on the French Atlantic coast whose name – Lorient – literally means “the East” (le Orient).
Having found themselves frozen out of much of the market in the East Indies and China as a result of their late start, the French instead spent decades in a costly and ultimately fruitless campaign to colonize the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. They did manage to acquire the small but strategically important islands of Bourbon and Île-de-France (today's Réunion and Mauritius), but the effort nearly bankrupted the company. They were far more successful in India, where they established major trading posts in Pondicherry and Chandernagor. The French enterprise at last began to flourish in the early 18th century after it received an additional infusion of government funds, until by the 1720s it controlled a fleet of some 35 East Indiamen, as many as 20 of which were annually sent to the Far East, second only to the British (Figure 4.
Figure 4. Territorial possessions and routes followed by ships of the French East India Company.
The uneasy peace between England and France following the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713 was broken in 1744 with France’s entry into the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). During the last years of this conflict the French generally got the better of the British in India, but the tables were turned during the Seven Years’ War when, in 1756-57, forces of the British East India Company under the command of the remarkable Robert Clive first re-took the British fort at Calcutta from a native army numbering 30,000 men, and then attacked and ousted the French from their principal base at nearby Chandernagor. French forces fought on bravely elsewhere on the sub-continent, but by 1761 every one of the former French military posts in India was in English hands.
Thereafter, denied its Indian bases of operations, the French East India Company quickly fell into financial ruin. As a result, it was officially disbanded in 1769, only four years after the launching of the Duc de Duras. The company’s assets, to include its ships, were purchased the next year by the state, with the King agreeing to pay off all its debts. This explains how and why in 1779 Louis XVI was able to offer John Paul Jones command of a 14-year-old armed merchantman built by the French East India Company.
Because they were designed first and foremost as cargo carriers, East Indiamen, whether British, Dutch, or French, were generally classified either according to their length or their tonnage rather than the number of guns they were authorized to carry. In the first half of the 18th century, for example, Dutch East Indiamen were generally built in three distinct classes – those measuring 130 feet, 145 feet, or 160 feet in length. In England, most British East Indiamen in the first half of the century averaged about 500 tons burthen; by the 1770s HEIC ships of 750-800 tons became the norm, rising to some 1200 tons during the Napoleonic Wars of the 1790s and early 1800s.
The French, too, classified their East Indiamen according to tonnage. Specifically, between 1758 and 1765 a number of 900-ton ships were constructed in the Company’s yards at Lorient on the south coast of Brittany; among these was the Duc de Duras, Jones’ future command. Launched on 28 November 1765, she was built, like the others, to the plans of the constructeur Antoine Groignard, a rising star in the French Royal Navy until he began working for La Compagnie des Indes in 1755. From then until 1770 nearly all the Company’s new ships were built according to his designs.
Groignard settled on a figure of 900 tons for his 1750s ships because he believed Indiamen of this size could be easily converted from profitable cargo carriers during peacetime to effective warships during times of war. This would prove to be especially fortuitous for Jones in 1779 when he set about modifying his new command to prepare her for her new combat role.
No plans of the Duc de Duras have survived, but that is not to say that scholars today have no idea how she was designed and built. This is because her principal dimensions are known, along with those of several of Groignard’s other 900-ton ships, including the nearly identical Duc de Pantièvre. Better yet, the plans of the Massiac of 1758, another Groignard design of the same length as the Duc de Duras, are still in existence. Using these and the plans of the Bertin of 1760, a 1200-ton Indiaman also designed by Groignard, the pre-eminent French naval scholar, M. Jean Boudriot, was able to reconstruct a sheer draught of the ship’s hull, to include the arrangement and length of the decks, the number and placement of her guns and gunports, as well as her hull lines from the keel to the top of the sides (Figure 5). Using these plans, several excellent models have been constructed, two of which are in the Naval Academy Museum’s permanent collection.
|Figure 5 (above). The Duc de Duras. (Click for larger version)|
Basically, the Duc de Duras was designed as a two-decker, meaning she had two complete gundecks running from bow to stern. She measured 145’-0” between the stem- and sternposts and 36’-8” broad at her widest point; she had a depth in hold of 15’-0” (Figure 6). She further had a pronounced tumblehome, meaning that her sides curved inward as they rose above the waterline.
|Figure 6. Drawings of the modification of the Bonhomme Richard.|
Both her upper and lower decks were pierced by 26 gunports (Figure 6), but as the accompanying plans illustrate, before she was turned over to Jones only six ports on the lower deck (three per side) were actually left open, all the others having been covered over with strakes of horizontal planking. Moreover, the open, pierced ports were most likely left unarmed and used more for ventilation or as loading or ballast ports than as gunports. This may seem counter-intuitive, but keep in mind that East Indiamen were built first and foremost as merchantmen whose captains wished to devote every square inch of available space for the storage of their precious cargos. Guns got in the way, so they were often unrigged and stowed in the hold! They were relatively lightweight and short, anyway, designed more to ward off pirates than to engage in combat with enemy warships. So while the Duc de Duras was designed to mount a formidable battery of 26 18-pounder guns on the lower deck and another 26 8-pounders on the upper, in practice only her upper deck was armed.
Soon after he took command, and worried that she was not powerful enough to suit his purposes, Jones set about converting the Duc de Duras into a fully-fledged warship, just as Groignard had anticipated when he designed her and her “sisters” in the late 1750s. Beginning at the bow, he had some damage to the head from a previous collision repaired, moved the riding bitts from the upper deck to the lower, then blocked up the old hawse holes and had new ones opened on the lower deck to work the ship’s anchor cables. He also installed a pair of bow-chaser ports in the beakhead bulkhead. He considered having a pair of 8-pounder guns placed on the previously unarmed forecastle deck, but eventually changed his mind. He did, however, have the capstan there replaced with a new one.
The quarterdeck saw major renovations, as Jones nearly doubled its length, extending the break about twenty feet forward until it covered the mainmast. He then had the quarterdeck bulwarks raised and pierced by a total of ten gunports (five per side), though in the end he chose to arm only the six ports closest to the stern with a battery of 8-pounders. He also had the poop bulkhead moved forward a few feet until it covered the mizzenmast, probably to enlarge the Great Cabin below (Figure 7).
|Figure 7. The stern section of the Bonhomme Richard.|
On the upper deck, he had all the gunports enlarged to take his battery of 12-pounders (they were originally designed for 8-pounders). He also ordered two new pairs of gunports to be installed – one pair afore the foremost guns near the bow and the other in the Great Cabin at the stern. In the end, he armed only the latter.
On the ship’s lower deck, he retained the six open ports, uncovered eight more of the previously berthed up ports, and carved a new pair (again, one per side) in the gunroom at the after end of the deck, giving him a total of 16 ports for his heaviest guns. However, as you know by now, he was able to obtain only six 18-pounder guns, and these he chose to place in the three after-most pairs of gunports, presumably to trim the vessel by the stern (Figure 8).
|Figure 8. The three after-most pairs of gunports of the Bonhomme Richard.|
Thus, whereas the newly-renamed Bonhomme Richard was theoretically capable of mounting 58 guns, in practice she carried just 40 – six 18-pounders on the lower deck, twenty-eight 12-pounders on the upper deck, and six 8-pounders on the quarterdeck.
East Indiamen were primarily built of wood, but that is not to say that no iron went into their construction. Of course, one thinks first of the guns, which were usually inscribed with identifiable markings. Although I have been unable to learn precisely how the Bonhomme Richard’s guns were marked, I have included an image of cannon from a different French East Indiaman of approximately the same date (Figures 9 and 10). The gun carriages were wood, but each one also contained quite a few iron bolts and other fastenings.
|Figure 9. Guns carried on the Bonhomme Richard.|
|Figure 10. Markings of cannon from a French East Indiaman of approximately the same date as the Duc de Duras.|
The transverse deck beams of both wooden men-of-war and East Indiamen were traditionally supported on their outer ends by wooden knees of various sorts. By the late 18th century, however, in view of the frequent timber shortages that plagued the India Company’s dockyards, many of the knees were replaced by knees made of iron, and it is just possible that some of these may have survived. The same is true of the gunport hinges, some iron work on the rudder and masts, and of course the anchors. The ship’s firehearth was probably made of brick. Finally, hundreds of iron bolts along with wooden treenails were used to secure the ship’s horizontal hull planking to the vertical timbers of the frame.
As I have noted elsewhere, the Naval Academy Museum has not one, but two fine scale models of the Bonhomme Richard, both constructed according to the plans drawn by Jean Boudriot. The smaller of the two, a fully rigged model, was built by a Frenchman named Alain Benoit and purchased for the Academy by the USNA Class of 1955. The other, an unrigged or hull model, was built by Mr. Robert Cook and donated to the Museum by Mrs. Alice Roddis in 1996.
Both models were built plank-on-frame, with much of the horizontal planking removed to reveal the frame timbers beneath. The Benoit model, made at the scale of 1:96 (one inch on the model equals 96 inches on the ship), shows the ship after Jones had modified her. It is fully masted and rigged and has all the guns installed, giving a good impression of how the Bonhomme Richard appeared on the day of her legendary engagement with the British Serapis (Figure 11).
Figure 11. Alain Benoit’s model of the Bonhomme Richard.
The 1:48 Cook-Roddis model, on the other hand, is a sort of working model that illustrates her appearance both before and after she was turned over to Jones. Cook managed to accomplish this feat by posing her on a slipway as if she were under construction. The model’s port side shows the ship as the Duc de Duras before Jones got his hands on her, while the starboard side shows her as the Bonhomme Richard, complete with all the major changes he made to her. In this way, at a glance, one can see the effect of Jones’ modifications (Figures 12 and 13).
Figure 12. Bob Cook’s model . The port side (pictured above) depicts the Duc de Duras.
Figure 13. The starboard side of the Cook-Roddis model shows the Bonhomme Richard after Jones’ modifications.
Both modelers, as noted above, chose to leave off the greater part of the ship’s horizontal hull planking beneath the waterline, permitting the viewer to see the vertical timbers of the frame that gave the hull its rounded shape or body. These, as you can see, were each composed of separate floors, futtocks, and top timbers that were scarphed or joined together to make the massive frames that reached from the keel clear to the top of the sides.
Befitting a cargo carrier, the hulls of the two models illustrate her large hold with little deadrise off the keel and relatively flat floors. The models also agree that the ship was made with an open gallery protected by a ballustered railing at the stern for the enjoyment of the captain and his guests, while the gallery below was closed by a single tier of windows, called “lights.” Boudriot was not sure if she carried one stern lantern or three, but he guessed one, so both model makers fitted her with but a single lantern.
The two-tiered quarter galleries (really just elaborate privies for the use of the officers) are shown nicely but not overly decorated with carved moldings and a railing carried around from the stern.
The Benoit model shows all the ship’s masts and rigging, but there are no sails. For those, we should refer to the marvelous series of paintings by the celebrated painter and author, Mr. William Gilkerson. The Naval Academy Museum also has a contemporary painting of the action with the Serapis that was completed by Thomas Mitchell and exhibited in 1780.
This paper is an attempt to provide the reader with a reasonably detailed account of what East Indiamen were in general, and how, where, and why they were built and employed in the 17th and 18th centuries by the leading European powers. More specifically, it examines the construction history of the Duc de Duras, the French East Indiaman turned over to John Paul Jones by France’s Louis XVI and modified by him to become the Bonhomme Richard, one of the most famous ships in the annals of America’s naval past. How much of her remains are still lying on the ocean floor off Flamborough Head is an open question, but if pieces of her are there, it is hoped this paper will in some way aid in their discovery.
Return to course syllabus
Supplementary powerpoint presentations
The Silk Road
The Portuguese Seaborne Empire
East India Companies
Portraits of the Bonhomme Richard
Naval Academy Museum Exhibit
 The term Silk Road was not actually coined until the 19th century when a German explorer named Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen dubbed it die Seidenstrasse. Irene Franck and David M. Brownstone, The Silk Road: A History (New York and Oxford: Facts On File Publications, 1986), p. 2.
 Xinru Liu argues that the Mongolian conquest of China in the 13th century destroyed many of the principal trade routes well before the rise of the Ming Dynasty a century and a half later. See Xinru Liu and Lynda Norene Shaffer, Connections Across Eurasia: Transportation, Communication, and Cultural Exchange on the Silk Roads (NewYork: McGraw-Hill, 2007), pp. 223-39.
 There are countless written histories of Prince Henry the Navigator and the voyages of exploration conducted by Portuguese sailors in the 15th century. Two recent works are Aileen Gallagher, Prince Henry the Navigator: Pioneer of Modern Exploration (New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2003), and Peter E. Russell, Prince Henry “the Navigator”: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000). The latter is available in Nimitz Library.
 Rob Gardiner, ed., Cogs, Caravels and Galleons: The Sailing Ship, 1000-1650 (London: Conway Maritime Press, 1994), pp. 91-8.
 The pre-eminent 20th-century scholar of the Portuguese trade empire was without question C. R. Boxer. His crowning achievement was The Portuguese Seaborne Empire (London: Hutchinson Press, 1969).
 Russell Miller, The East Indiamen (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, “The Seafarers”), pp. 8-9.
 Ibid., p. 26.
 Jean Sutton, Lords of the East: The East India Company and its Ships (London: Conway Maritime Press, 1981), p. 9. For far more rousing accounts of the founding of the Company and the first successful voyages, see Miller, pp. 16-25 and John Keay, The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company (London and Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), pp. 3-23.
 Els M. Jacobs, In Pursuit of Pepper and Tea: The Story of the Dutch East India Company (Amsterdam: Netherlands Maritime Museum, 1991), pp. 7-22.
 Holden Furber, Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600-1800 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1976), pp. 201-02.
 Miller, pp. 32-7 and 46-50.
 Boxer, The Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th Century (Greenwich: National Maritime Museum, 1974), pp. 59-60. To my mind, this is the best succinct account of the numerous naval engagements fought during the three Anglo-Dutch Wars.
 Miller, pp. 103-04.
 Ibid., pp. 104-08.
 Rob Napier, Reconditioning an Eighteenth-Century Ship Model – Valkenisse: Retourschip of 1717 (Florence, OR: SeaWatch Books, 2008), p. 45.
Sutton, pp. 43-6.
 Jean Boudriot, Bonhomme Richard, 1779 (Paris: Published by the Author, 1987), p. 12.
 Ibid., p. 18.
 Boudriot, John Paul Jones and the Bonhomme Richard, trans. David Roberts (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987), pp. 16-21.
Boxer, Charles R. The Dutch Seaborne Empire. London: Hutchinson, 1965.
Boxer, Charles R. The Portuguese Seaborne Empire. London: Hutchinson, 1969.
Boudriot, Jean. Bonhomme Richard, 1779. Paris: Published by the author, 1987.
Boudriot, Jean. John Paul Jones and the Bonhomme Richard: A Reconstruction of the Ship and an Account of the Battle with H.M.S. Serapis. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987.
Franck, Irene M. and David M. Brownstone. The Silk Road: A History. New York and Oxford: Facts on File Publications, 1986.
Gardiner, Rob. Cogs, Caravels and Galleons: The Sailing Ship, 1000-1650. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1994.
Garrigues, André. Musée de la Compagnie des Indes: Guide de Visiteur. Morbihan, France, 1997.
Gilkerson, William. The Ships of John Paul Jones. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Academy Museum, the Beverley R. Robinson Collection, and the Naval Institute Press, 1987.
Goddio, Franck. Griffin: On the Route of an Indiaman. London: Periplus Publishing, 1999.
Keay, John. The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company. London: Harper Collins, 1991.
Lawton, John. Silk, Scents & Spice: Retracing the World’s Great Trade Routes. Paris: UNESCO, 2004.
Liu, Xinru. Connections Across Eurasia: Transportation, Communication, and Cultural Exchange on the Silk Roads. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2007.
Miller, Russell. The East Indiamen. From the series, “The Seafarers.” Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1980.
Napier, Rob. Valkenisse: Retourschip of 1717. Florence, OR: Seawatch Books, 2008.
Sutton, Jean. Lords of the East: The East India Company and Its Ships. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1981.
Thurber, Holden. Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600-1800, vol. II. Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota Press, 1976. See Chapter 4, “East India Companies,” esp. pp. 201-11.
Last revision 2/28/2011