Diaspora Cotton Bag: Melrose Tea
The image on this cotton bag has been taken from the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Panel CN04: Hong Kong and was stitched by Fok Yan Yi, Sara Houghton, Annie Morris, Maggie Sorton from the Les designs studio in Hong Kong.
Andrew Melrose (1789-1855) founded his tea company in 1812 on the Canongait in Edinburgh. The British tea trade with China was still in the gift of the East India Company then, but the monopoly grew ever less popular and by the time it terminated Melrose was importing tea via Jardine, Matheson & Co. When the clipper Isabella docked in Leith in 1834, it unloaded for Melrose the first legal tea shipment to arrive in Scotland from a private company. The trade boomed, sometimes reaching a thousand cases of tea per month for Melrose's company. The brand is still available today.
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