East Indiaman was a general name for any sailing ship operating under charter or licence to any of the East India Companies of the major European trading powers of the 17th through the 19th centuries. The term is therefore used to refer to vessels belonging to the Danish, Dutch (Oostindiëvaarder), English, French, Portuguese, or Swedish (ostindiefarare) East India companies. Some of the East Indiamen chartered by the British East India Company were known as "tea clippers". In Britain, the Honourable East India Company held a monopoly granted to it by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1600 for all English trade between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, which was progressively restricted during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, until the monopoly was lost in 1834. English (later British) East Indiamen usually ran between England, the Cape of Good Hope and India, where their primary destinations were the ports of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. The Indiamen often continued on to China before returning to England via the Cape of Good Hope and Saint Helena. When the company lost its monopoly, the ships of this design were sold off. A smaller, faster ship known as a Blackwall Frigate was built for the trade as the need to carry heavy armaments declined.
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