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Cossart Gordon & Co. was established in 1745 and is the oldest company in the Madeira Wine trade. Francis Newton, a young Scot sailed from Gravesend in Britain and arrived in Madeira on September 12th 1745, founding the company. He was joined by his younger brother Thomas from 1758 to 1763 and then by another Scot, Thomas Gordon of Balmaghie also in 1758. Thomas Murdoch joined the firm in 1791 that came to be called Newton, Gordon, Murdoch & Co.
By 1850 the firm was said to be shipping "half the growth of the island" and Newton's contacts in America through his brother Andrew (who left Scotland for Virginia) were proving to be highly successful and the company acquired an unequalled reputation as suppliers of fine Madeiras. The colonies in North America were at the time the largest and most discerning market, so much so in fact that the best production was widely known as "America Madeira". Madeira played such an important part in the American life that it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776.
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