How Global Developments Affected Elizabeth Marsh’s Opportunities as a Woman

The experience readers obtain when interacting with the written adventure of great heroes and heroine brings imaginations to reality of the ordeals and accomplishments which various personalities encountered in their day-to-day activities. However, such experience is inseparable from the pieces of writings by most biographers for their role in sharing informative experience through an inside out approach.For instance, tracing the life of Elizabeth Marsh reveals the woman in motion for most of her life; travelling dozens of cities and towns in various continents following her immediate and extended family members alongside her peculiar whim(Colley, 2009).The heroine figure of curious and enterprising Elizabeth Marsh has borne the weight of mobility since conception to withstand misfortune and misery in her life.

Elizabeth Marsh earlier mobility began when her own parents embarked on a voyage from Jamaica to Portsmouth inducting her early life to a scene shaped by land and sea. Firstly, Elizabeth Marsh travel across the seashores in various continents was possible through the sea transport that made it easyto navigate from one continent to another. At this early, it is important to review briefly the circumstances just before her birth setting foot into her mobility in latter stages. Elizabeth’s father owned Kingston as one of the Royal Navy fleet navigating across the Atlantic to deter smuggling in the region and attacks on British merchant ships.This voyage across the Atlantic from Kinston, Jamaica to Portsmouth inaugurated a life spent in a successionof cosmopolitan cities and riverside towns(Colley, 2009). This was possible with through marine transport which made it possible for merchants to trade their products cross continents. Further, her interaction with the cosmopolitan ports and the lower decks of Royal Navy warships at sail participated in the realization of her mobile life(Colley, 2009). These emotive accounts of her strangest travel across continents were possible through the advancement of sea transport especially during her 1755 migration to the Mediterranean and settling in Menorca.

On the other hand, her mobility was realized trough consequential effects of external occurrences beyond her contribution and control. In particular, global animosity arising from hostility of different regions such as the French invasion drove her way out-in Gibraltar to her eventual place in Morocco(Colley, 2009). Alternatively, her own personal contribution saved her from sexual enslavement common in Morocco, by sustaining a special encounter with the acting Sultan Muhammad. Unlike other nominal Europeans, she pierced through the tag of under-educated daughter of a shipwright to penetrate the heart of the complex palace at Marrakaeh, write and publish on Maghreb in English(Colley, 2009). This subsequently earned her the accolade of the first woman of European origin to write and publish in Morocco.

Morocco as one of her temporal residence arose at a time when the world witnessed adjustments and shifts in political power, economic and militarized aggression cutting across continents. In particular, the work of forging economic and cultural connections across very long distances was not only carried out by Western powers but extended to other regions such as the Morocco(Colley, 2009). This is seen in the Sultan order to seize a British fleet of vessels using his corsair ships in itself setting the motion of events which shaped the life of Elizabeth Marsh. Additionally, Elizabeth’s life is cusped between consequential events emerging from the intertrade between Europe and other nations. For example, for a time when Marsh and her husband settled in Bengal, they benefited from the extra-European centre of enterprise in different ways- dhaka’stestile manufacturing, drawing and trade(Colley, 2009).

The global developments enhancing the mobility of the Elizabeth Marsh family influenced from both ends, positively and negatively to the migration of Elizabeth Marsh. In practice, the British and Spanish varieties gave in to James Crisp and afforded him access to Caribbean products and ultimate slaves, profitable Bengal’s textiles(Colley, 2009). This led to eventual union of with Elizabeth after the seizure of British vessels by the Sultan’s corsair ships. However, empire imposed changes on the world, taking away Jame’s investment during the Seven Years War and condemning him into bankruptcy(Colley, 2009). Such disruptions from the aggressive invasions took him down to a point of fleeing to India where Elizabeth Marsh followed her. The mentioned cases merged with her intensely curious nature that made her disregard the usual limits of polite womanhood and assume the capacity to tackle crisis in a new dawn.

At one point in time, Marsh mobility calmed in London around mid ‘60’s preoccupied in marriage and childbirth. Although comparatively satisfied with the life in London, her husband’s engagement in trade sparked her quest for other destinations. Her subsequent plot to emigrateto Florida did not materialize with her husband fleeing India owing to bankruptcy. This led to rearrangements of her planned emigration to Florida by preferring to join the husband in 1771. Around this time, the globe was blossoming with better marine transport easing her transport past Cape town to Madras. Much as can be said about the impact of global circumstances external factors to her voyages, most arose from her own choices and whim.

Accomplishing the voyages across the sea and traversing subcontinents to compose the woman Elizabeth Marsh was, emerged through multiplicity of determinants. Firstly, her extended family composed of shipbuilders, mariners, and makers of charts and maps linking her to the Royal Navy, a pioneer organization approaching global reach(Colley, 2009). This made it possible for her access communication to various world nations through her uncle and brother, by then British administrators of distance and assemblers of information. Simultaneously, her engagement with James Crisp, then a merchant in the British East India company dealing in long-distance trade with internationally demanded commodities opened up the entire world to reach her. The family attachment to the marine and transnational trading led to her involvement in colonial land speculation and migration schemes which affected and swept her into movements across the world(Colley, 2009).

Moreover, global development undertaken across Europe and Russia connected and shaped opportunities which Marsh readily exploited. Topping the list is the emergence of the sea as the prime vehicle linking continents and emerging as an emblem of connectivity under global change through enhanced maritime reach, transoceanic and transcontinental commerce(Colley, 2009). Around the 18thcentury , Britain, France and Russia were emerging as influential with the British navy possessing maritime advantages allowing its nationals explore and invade sea transport and intercontinental migration. Furthermore, the ambitious commerce in Britain and the growing volume of overseas migration impinged on her experience to encourage more consciousness of the world’s expanse(Colley, 2009).This worked in her favor as a primary influencing factor in her quest in later voyages.


The powerful influence of Elizabeth Marsh was inherent in her abilities to inspire attachments. This is evident in the consequential attachment to sea transport, spouse, sultan and possibly adopting to the changing tide of international trade. This earned interest in the land speculation and navigation aided by the attachment to her extended family that majorly prioritized marine activities such as distance administration, shipbuilding and navigation. Although her mobility rose consequentially through her own choices, the significant portion emerges from the global developments which swept her into destination expanse.


  • Colley, L. (2009). The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
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