Alexander Hamilton (sailor)
In his early years he travelled widely through Europe, the Barbary coast, the West Indies, India and South-east Asia. On his arrival in Bombay in 1688 he was briefly pressed into the employ of the English East India Company in a local war, and then set up as a private country trader, operating from Surat. He was appointed commander of the Bombay Marine in June 1717, in which post he suppressed piracy.
The main extant source of information on Hamilton is his own book, A New Account of the East Indies (1727). The term then covered a much wider geographic area than it does today - 'most of the countries and islands of commerce and navigation, between the Cape of Good Hope and the island of Japan.' Illustrated with lively anecdotes, it provides a valuable insight into life in early modern Asia.
- Tony Ballantyne, ‘Hamilton, Alexander (b. before 1688, d. in or after 1733)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 1 Sept 2008.
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