The Economic Activities of a Global Merchant-Banker in Chile: Huth & Co. of London, 1820s-1850s

Manuel Llorca-Jaña


This article deals with Huth & Co.’s activities in Chile during the 1820s-1850s. Huth was the only London merchant-banker that decided to go global before 1850, and also the only one to open a branch in Chile. The analysis of how his branches operated should take this into account, yet Huth’s activities in Chile have only previously been examined using a bilateral approach to examine the economic relations between Chile and Britain. This situation was mainly due to the fact that the richest collection of primary material on Huth & Co. (the Huth papers at University College London) had been ignored by scholars working on Anglo-Chilean economic relations during the first half of the nineteenth-century. The main focus of this paper is on the information that we were made unaware of due to this restricted investigative approach. Among them are the connections established between Huth’s branches in Chile and the USA, Asia, continental Europe and the rest of Latin America; and the important trade in Spanish quicksilver.

Palabras clave

Chile; Britain; merchant-bankers; international trade; nineteenth century; Huth & Co

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