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Royal Havana Company Collection

Identifier: MS Group 025

Scope and Content

This collection includes notes about shipments of tobacco aboard the frigate San Cristóbal and the brigantine Santo Tomás, and a letter penned by Martín de Aróstegui, defending his role as president of Royal Havana Company. Aróstegui also talks in the letter about the construction of navy ships Rayo and El Fénix, which in 1749 sailed from Havana. Both ships were of good use to the Spanish navy, and especially Rayo was used in the Battle of Trafalgar, then taken by the British, and unfortunately sunken during a hurricane.


  • 1749



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Founded in 1740, Royal Havana Company was a collaboration between the Spanish Crown and businessmen based in Cuba. The primary goal of the company was the administration of the island's three biggest industries: shipbuilding and trading of sugar and tobacco. Martín de Aróstegui (1698-1764), was the president of Royal Havana Company, from its inception in 1740, until 1752, when accused of embezzlement and excessive recruitment of employees, and he was removed from this post by King Ferdinand VI. Eventually shipbuilding costs proved higher than expected, causing the Spanish government to conclude this enterprise after completion of ships under contract.


0.01 Linear feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


Royal Havana Company was a Spanish company based in Havana, Cuba, which specialized in shipbuilding and trading of tobacco and sugar. This collection includes notes about shipments of tobacco, and a letter penned by Martín de Aróstegui, defending his role as president of Royal Havana Company.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at

Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased in 2012.


A Guide to the Royal Havana Company Collection
Finding aid created by Ana D. Rodríguez
November 2014
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America