Augustine Heard & Company
After Van Reed competed against Thomas Glover, an agent of Jardine, Matheson & Company in 1863-1864 for privileged position in the trade with Satsuma han, Heard secured in autumn 1867 agreements with the domain allowing Heard's agents and ships to serve among the chief middlemen transporting goods for Satsuma. The domain established a set of warehouses at Hyôgo no tsu (Kobe), to be used by both domain and Heard agents once the port opened to foreign trade as a treaty port on January 1, 1868. In general, the agreement consisted of Heard's agents overseeing the sale of Satsuma goods at Hyôgo, and also bringing in foreign goods to be sold by Satsuma's agents. Heard would also oversee the overseas sale of Satsuma goods, and the overseas purchasing for Satsuma of ships, arms, and the like. Furthermore, Heard company ships would be able to fly the Shimazu clan flag, allowing them to trade at "domestic" Japanese ports not open to foreign traders, giving Satsuma one-quarter of the resulting profits.
- Robert Hellyer, Defining Engagement, Harvard University Press (2009), 198-200.