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Indigo from Dover to Calais

16 October 1631

Indigo blue has been an important export product of India for about 5000 years. Indigo is superior to the blue dye extracted from the woad plant, which was cultivated in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Around 1600 a lobby of woad growers in France, England, and Germany tried to prevent the importation of indigo. This became a rear guard action in 1608 when the British East India Company obtained a foothold in India and a monopoly on the indigo trade. According to this deed of 16 October 1631, 200 and 300 pounds were paid for 12 crates of indigo going from Dover to Calais and Amsterdam, respectively.