Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol CymruNational Botanic Garden of WalesNational Botanic Garden of Wales

Wales on the World Stage

The Middleton Hall estate has been associated with many people who have had a profound effect on significant events and movements in world history.

From the instigation of the East India Company in the early 17th century the Middleton family were a critical part of the early development of a global trade in plants for health, with the EIC being the oldest of several similar European companies formed to exploit this trade and probably the largest early example of a joint-stock company.

The East India Company was at the birth of investment banking and Sir William Paxton developed his agency business on its back, reaping the financial rewards of its success as it increased control over India in the 18th and early 19th centuries and drove the expansion of the British Empire in Asia.

As well as Paxton’s banking exploits he invested in the industrial development of Wales, influencing world economies and the further growth of British Empire in the later 19th century.

Edward Hamlin Adams’ family were Caribbean colonists and plantation owners whose wealth had been built on the exploitation of slaves producing sugar to satisfy expanding European markets.

And most recently Alice Abadam, granddaughter of Edward Hamlin Adams, was at the forefront of the fight for women’s right to vote and has been described as

“one of the suffragette movement’s most prolific public speakers in early 20th century […] she both reflected upon the culmination of a marathon struggle and euphorically anticipated the dawn of a glowing future. […] She travelled all over the British Isles speaking on women’s suffrage and often addressed two meetings a day.”

Discover more about the history and global importance of the East India Company on the British Library’s “Trading Places” web pages http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/trading/tradingplaces.html