Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 108-132

The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685.

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'Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 108-132', in The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685, (London, 2002) pp. 99-119. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol36/pp99-119 [accessed 13 April 2024]

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Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 108-132

108. [p. 112] William Helme [Nevis]

London, July 21, 1679
This accompanyes the ship Providence of London, John Estes, Master, on whom we have laden a cargo of dry goods amounting to the vallew of 4, 189£ 00s 09d. Invoice and Bill of Ladeing for the same goes heerwith and is consigned unto yourself. God sending them to your hand in safety, you will find them a p.rcell of extraordnary goods, well sorted and as fashonable goods as this citty affords. & We desire you upon their arrivall to open them all and call over the Invoice and see that you find all things right. You will not finde that distinct prices are put upon most of the fine goods. Soe that upon calling them over, you may take of the part of the prices for sale and marke them as you see good for distinction in the prices for sale. And this cargo being soe large we conceive you may doe well to make a sortment of goods and put in the hands of some trusty p.rson at M.tsarratt and another p.rcell for St. Christopher. And dispose of as much as you cann to good paymasters before Xtmass that we may have the benefitt of the next cropp. You see we repose a large trust in you which we hope you will endevor to discharge with care and dilligence. & As our adventures have been extraordinary this last year, we hope we may expect supplyes from you in returne answerable.

This ship we have hired to lade at Nevis or any the Leward Islands and lade upon her 60 working dayes, besides 30 more on demaridge. And pray what you lade for accompts, let it be in large hhds. well filld. The Abraham we expect to heare of every day, God sending her safe. We shal put another Master in her, and endeavor to gett servants to send out upon her and some wines from Madera, which is the onely comodety we futurely designe to meddle with, unless a small sortment of goods be wanting to help off with any goods that lyes upon your hands. You need make but one acco.t of merchandize for these & the former p.rcell of goods being for the same acco.t which will avoide great trouble. Suddenly after this, Mr. Clayton will follow in a ship of ours, which we judg may carry about 60 to 70 tunns. That tunnidge by whom shall send a sortment of goods that are wanting in this cargo to sute it. But we designe her to discharge at M.tsarratt and to relade there, if possible you could pr.cure a freight for her in a readiness from any p.rson or p.rsons that hath goods there lyeing ready to lade. We had thoughts to have ordered her

[p. 113] for New England, but are informed it will be to late to seize that coast; and by reason of this ships ladeing at Nevis, we judge it will be more easy to pr.cure a freight at M.tsarratt and Antigua then at Nevis. And if possible we could have a sloop to assist her in ladeing for her more speedy dispatch. But that we shall refer to Mr. Rob.t Helmes as well as all other things relateing to our affaires, whose advice and directions we desire you still to follow.

Thomas Westcott being now neer out of his time is the reason we consigne these goods to yourself only. But untill his time is fully expired, he will give you his best assistance we question not, and at the expiration therof to render a just accompt of all our concernes in his hands, to yourself or Mr. Robert Helmes. Pray endeavor the utmost you cann to make us speedy returnes of this & all other our concernes. And endevor to avoid makeing bad debts, though you should keep our goods by for such as are able and honest. Spare not to trust, though you stay the longer with them. ...

109. William Helme [Nevis]

London, July 21, 1679
... You must now make itt your indevors to please all people in the disposition of these goods. And these being once disposed, your next business will be to put a period to our accompts, & to gather in our debts as fast as you cann, which will require at least two or three yeares time. And by that time I have a brother will be fitt to joyne with you. And it's my resolution to put the whole trade, in your hands, of dry goods, to mannidge for yourselves (and your brother and I). If not, I will myself advance a stock for you to carry it on upon your own accompts. And this I assure you we will doe for your incouragement. In the interim, I hope you will use your dilligence to mannidge our interest to our most & best advantage, & further our returns with all possible expedition. Wee have taken care to supply some linnen that are wanting in this cargo, and after that shall give you noe trouble of any other comodities but wines and lumber for our own occations. And haveing soe large a quantity of goods as this is, we conceive it may be convenient to send a supply to St. Christophers and another to M.tsarrat which you may very well doe, and find enough for Nevis markett also and make what sales you possible can at either places before Christmas, [p. 114] that wee may reap the fruits of the next cropp. Pray follow your brothers directions in all things; Thomas Westcotes time expires in Decemb. Next. I should be glad to doe him any kindness I cann, and I doubt not but he will use his dilligence untill his time is fully expired. Pray continue to follow our former instructions in shiping all or as much as possible you cann of our sug.r in cargo hhds. either upon our own or hired shipps. And faile not to give us timely advises what quantities you lade on any our shipps and what elce relates to our concernes.

You need not make distinct acco.tts for our severall cargoes of dry goods, but let this & the formers be brought all into one acco.t of merchandize, which wil be less troublesome to you, and will give us the same satisfaction as long as it's all for the same acco.t. Pray be more frequent in your advises and let us know how our goods vends and at what rates, espetially wines and grose goods.

I have noething further to add, haveing none of yours to answer, which am now in dayly expectations off. Capt. Deane ariveing this day, but not a line from any you which is strange. The Abraham parted with them 14 dayes since at sea, soe hope the next post may bring advise of his arrivall at Leverpoole. ...

110. [p. 115] Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, July 24, 1679
My Deare Freind,
... This now accompanyes the ship Providence whom we have hired, and have laden upon her a very large cargo of dry goods, amounting to the valew of 4,189£ 00s 9d, well sorted and as good fashonable goods of all sorts as cann be bought for money. French linens are only wanting, which cannot now be had heer, but we are makeing pr.vition for a supply of that commodity to follow speedely, as I shall heer after give you an accompt. I beleive you will blame me for running out soe much money & haveing adventured soe largely the last year. But, being resolved to conclude all adventures of dry goods or any other comodityes unless small matters in lumber and wines, servants & c. to draw of with, I have been the more bold. And I hope (God sending these goods safe to hand) by your prudent manadgment they will turne to a good acco.t. If not, there is nothing that is perishing but will keep. And haveing soe great a quantity of all sorts, you may make a good sutable sortement of goods for M.tsarratt & another for St. Christophers and keep sufficient for Nevis. & Doubtless if you doe this in time before other shipps arrive, which will soon follow after this, you may find a good markett & vent for good part of these goods before Xmass. And we may hope for some of the pr.ceeds the next cropp, and because hoes, bills, and axes is a comodety that cannot soe well be supplyed from hence, we have ordered a p.rcell of that comodety from Bristoll, which you will receive from Mr. John Cary, God sending them safe. Your assistance and directions to your brother will be wanting in regarde he will have his hands soe full & soe much the more because Tho. Westcotes time expires in December Next. Soe that you must think upon some other trusty p.rson to assist your brother in the manadgment, it being too weighty for him alone. In regarde you have taken resolutions to stay this year, I have sent you a sute of clothes made upp of the newest mode with stockings, buckles & cravets & cuffs; and for garters, hats or what may be omitted for want of time, you may supply yourself with out of the cargo. And if the sute happens not to fitt you well, its made bigg enough and easd into alter as you please. I received your uncoppied lines p.r your kinsman and endevord to have served him with Capt. Lawrence his shipp and, in order thereunto, [p. 116] appoynted a meeting with the rest of the owners who were all inclynable to sell to loss. And we fixt the price 500£ which was as much as she is now worth (though she lyes us in a great deal more mony), which price I had resolved to have given to have put in your kinsman. But in reason and justice, wee could not put out Lawrence without giveing him the refuse, and he being unwilling, as I found afterwards, to put himself out, prevailed with the rest of the owners to hold their parts and hath bought 1/4th part of our 7/16 and desired mee to hold the other 3/16 which I could not reasonably refuse, hee haveing alwayes demeaned himself with a great respect to us. & Being disappoynted of serving your kinsman with this ship, I pr.fered him if he could find any other shipp and freinds to hold with him, to come in on your accompt & mine, as farr as 300£ will goe, which is as much as I can reasonably doe at pr.sent. But as yett he hath done noething. When we have called something of our concernes home, I will come in any pr.portion you shall desire, which pray give me your advise in, but never after will hold stock of a ship more then I am already concerned in, for I can foresee noething but loss by them.

When please God the Abraham arrives, we resolve to displace the Master and had taken such resolutions ever since his departure & not without just grounds, which I shall not now trouble you with, in which you know sufficient though not soe much as we have since learned. In order therunto, we have kept James Rivett at home & out of employment these 5 mo., haveing quitted his ketch on purpose. I could wish your kinsman had been then in the way or that wee had knowen where he had been. We should have thought of noe other. But before he came home, it was to late. Wee fixt upon Mr. Rivett as being an injenious man & one very well acquainted about all the coste of Scotland & Ireland, which are the onely places to pr.cure servants. By her we designe as many as we can pr.cure, and to touch att Madera to take in 100 pipes of wine. The servants it shall pr.cure we intend to leave to the Masters disposition with your approbation. By which means we hope to have the effects laden upon the same bottome according to the Act as soone as wee have an accompt of the ships arrivall. Wee shal loose noe time but fitt her out with all convenient speed.

I shall now give you an accompt of a voyage we are sending Mr. Clayton upon & how we have disposed of the ketch. Shee pr.veing insufficient to pr.ceed upon another voyage, have disposed 1/2 part of her to a young man for 70£, but is able to pay but 35£ downe; the other we must trust him for, and hold the other 1/2 part ourselves. Hee intends her for a coaster, being not fitt for any long voyadg. And unless we had soe disposed her, she must have laien & rotted by the walls. None elce would meddle with her. As for Mr. Clayton, as I formerly writt you, if he succeeded in the last designe, we were und.r an obligation to him to gett him a better vessell. And although all things went well on his part, yet we shall loose as much by the ketch as we shall gaine by the designe. However, to fulfill [p. 117] our pr.mise with him, have now bought a pinke for him that is not about 2 yeares old, English built, & a very strong bote that will burthen well and sayle at a very easy charge. & If it's possible for any vessell to gett money in that trade, doubtless she will. She will stand us insett to sea & well found about 690£ and I beleive will not bring less then 70 tunns that tunnidge. Sayles with tenn hands. Wee have p.rswaded Clayton to hold 1/ 8 part to make him that more dilligent, which is more then we could well expect, considering the designe we putt him upon in which there is great hazzerd unless manadged with great secresie and prudence, and indeed more danger of the bottome then the goods shee carryes out because she is as well lyable here upn return as there, if discovered. Wee have ordered for her ladeing in France these following goods: viz., 25 or 30 tunns of the best Nants brandy, good part of which wee send English barrells from hence to draw itt in; a large quantety of dowles, viz. about 60 ps. of all sorts, which wee send also trunks from hence to pack it upp in as English goods laden from hence; and about 10,000 @ of canvis, and will send crocus or matts to cover the bales as if they went from hence; also 100 reames of paper, with about 20 ps. of black allemodes & lutestring, 8 doz Coddebeck hatts, and 50 ps. kentings. This wil be what we shall lade from Nants. From hence we will putt some cheire hoops, packt staves, and a little Germany linen and brandy, as we did last to culler the rest, & a little beer. The cargo she takes in France wee judge will amount to 1,200£ and if it were to be bought heer would not be bought for above double the money, all things there being soe cheap since the pr.hibition. Which doth incourage us the more in goeing upon itt. Viz., the best Nants brandy for little more then 12d a gallon. Linnens also much cheaper then formerly. Now our designe is to order the ship directly for M.tsarratt, to unlade there as comeing from London, direct (because wee judg it will not be soe safe for her to goe to Nevis). And upon your first notice of her arrivall there, we desire you to goe up to M.tsarratt yourself and carry up a sloope with you. & In that sloope to take my linens and dry goods out first & send some trusty p.rson down in the sloop with them to Nevis. Leave such necessary instructions with your brother to open them & disperse them that in case any discovery should be made afterwards no one should be able to prove them to be the same goods – which is hard to doe. And afterwards to be landing some of the lumber. And when the sloop returnes to you, to send down some of the beer & some of the brandy in beer cask, and so to take out the rest by degrees and send some to Antigua, & land some at M.tsarratt. But by all meanes would not have you be absent untill the ship is discharged and gone – that in case any distrust should arise, you can better cleare the poynt then any other p.rson cann & wil find more favor. Now as to the reladeing of her, it was our first designe to send her away imediatly for New England for lumber & c. as you should direct; but upon inquiry, it wil happen to be at that season of the yeare that she will not be able to seize the coast without great difficulty & hazzerd. Soe that if possible you can pr.pare a loading for her upon freight either at M.tsarratt or Antigua, though you were at the charge of hireing a sloope or to give her a dispatch, it would doe best. & Soe let her returne for London. But we desire that little or none of our own effects should be laden upon her, if possible it can be avoyded, least it should be in danger heer. And what you doe soe lade, let it be shipt in other mens names and consigned some other p.rson heere. But we had much rather she should be wholly lett to freight if possible, the adventure of the ship being enough for us to hazzerd. This designe [p. 118] we refer to your mannadgment there to dispose of the ship as you see good. But if things should soe fall out that you think fitt to send her to New England, it will doe well to send same blew linen and ozzenbrigges with her to pr.chase her ladeing of lumber & c., which as I am informed turnes very well to accompt. I shall trouble you noe further on this subject, but referr all things to yourself.

I take notice of what you write as to the lead, that it will not vend. But when others by yoar example sees the benefitt of itt, twil not lye long on hand. ... Be carefull this letter comes to veiw of noe other p.rson, least a discovery should be made by that meanes.

111. Daniel Danvers [Liverpool]

London, July 24, 1679
Sir,
Yesterdays post brought me an accompt of the Abrahams arrivall with you. I hope this p.rcell of sugars will answer your expectations. If they doe not, I shal be discouraged from sending you more unless the ship I have already ordered. But hope there will be noe such occation but that they wil be to content. Mr. Cleveland I have not seen lately, but the last time he & I discoursed about the price, we both considrd to referr it to John Fleet to settle betwixt us. If he be not gone from Battersey tomorrow on, I will goe thither, and discourse him about it & for the price. I pr.sume Mr. Henthorne continues to take the halfe, & doubt not but you have given him notice of itt before this comes to hand. Pray let the weights be dewly taken of all the sugar, & the distinct marks & numbers of every p.rcell a pare. There is 40 hhds. marked HF from my own plant. The difference of price I referr to you & Mr. Henthorne to make as in conscience you finde it deserves. There is also 13 hhds. WF from my plant. The whole was 23 hhds. but by a disaster the rest were lost. Pray inquire into these 2 p.rticulers. Hereinclosed I send you coppies of the severall Invoices, soe that, if you find any extraordinary cost that you deeme may be by damadge, pray take notice of itt, that the Master & Company may make allowance & please to give me advice if any such occation be. Pray press the M.r to send me up an acco.t of his disbursements & wages this voyage. & Pay him 50£ but noe more without my further order. I have his bill from Nevis for 39£ odd money more. As soone as I have his acco.t, will give you my further orders for payment of what may ere due to him. ...

112. [p. 120] Daniel Danvers [Liverpool]

London, July 29, 1679
Sir,
In my last I sent you the invoices of what sugar we have on bord the Abraham, requesting your kindness in giveing her a speedy discharge. I also acquainted you that Mr. Cleveland & I concluded the last time we discourst to refer the price to your brother & Mr. Fleete to settle betwixt us, who are as competent judges of this markett price as any I know. And you may judge if there be any favor showne, it will be on your part (as Im sure it is). In order to come to a full complyance (the ship not being then arrived but dayly expected), I requested Mr. Clevelands comp. with Mr. Danvers & Mr. Fleet at my house the Friday following, which was Friday Last was senight. They were all pleased to promise me, as your Lady did also, but all fayled. My occations, speedely after calling me into the country, I had not the opportunety seeing Mr. Cleveland since, but told Mr. Fleet what discourse had past betwixt him and I, & requested him when he mett Mr. Cleveland to settle the price, and whatever they did I should be content to stand to. But your brother never moveing of it to him, noething was done. As soone as I returned, which was on Saterday Last, I went to Battersey intending to have found Mr. Cleveland there to have put an end to the business, but he being gon I discourst Mr. Danvers about it, who appoynted to meet Mr. Fleet & myself yesterday about it, which was accordingly done, and as formerly Mr. Cleveland & I concluded to doe. I referrd myself to them to settle the price, which they did at 24s 9d there, that is 23s 3d heer, which I will not say they have done in your favor, but am sure I should have made 3d more of them had they been now at this markett. However, I was content to submitt to what they thought fitt, as Mr. Danvers will give you an acco.t p.r this post. At my comeing home, I found a letter from Mr. Terry of the 24th Instant wherin he tells me the ship was that day gott up to Leverpoole, and that he addressed himself to you, but that you would not meddle without further advise from Mr. Cleveland. At which I am not a little surprized, haveing taken no orders for discharge of the shipp that lyes upon charge, you haveing never given me the least intimation to the contrary but that you would abide by your former agreement of 18d p.r c.t above London markett price, although I freely left you to your liberty before [p. 121] the shipps arrivall. And now the ship is arrived I thinke comon justice will oblidge you to itt. Had you before desired to acquitt yourself, I should have been as free to doe itt as yourself. But at this juncture I know not what to doe, it being a sudden surprize upon mee contrary to expectation. Yet if you will not stand to the agreement we have made, I shall only desire you to discharge the shippp & howse the goods in some good warehowse. And for what you shal be in disburse, I will desire Mr. Henthorne to satisfy, as also a bill of 53£ 15s which I yesterday drew upon you payable to Mr. James Rivett for valew received of him heer. Pray pr.sent my service to Mr. Cleveland, his Lady & your own likewise & tell them I cannot but take itt unkindely they would not see mee. You know it was by your incouridgment I have ordered these shipps to your markett, soe remote from any my acquaintance and concernes that doth give me noe small disadvantage, if you fall from your agreement. ...

113. [p. 122] Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, July 31, 1679
Gentlemen,
This day I received your advisement of the loss of the sloope Astrea, and the great disappointm.t you have p.r that unhappy accident. I shall follow your directions & supply your wants with as much speed as possible. I cannot but admire you should impute anything to my forgetfulness for in payment of Mr. Steeds mony which I long since p.d & have the Companyes discharge for itt. If they have omitted to advise therof, it's not my fault; the mony had been p.d long before. If the Comp. would have received itt, which they refused to doe for want of Mr. Steeds order, as I formerly advised, I shall give Mr. Meede an acco.tt of it by the first opportunity. But least I should omitt it, you may please to advise them what I now write for their satisfaction. I have writ you more at large p.r this conveyance to which refer you. ...

114. [p. 123] Anthony Henthorne [Chester]

London, August 1, 1679
Sir,
Yesterday I received yours with the bill for 207£ 07s, as also an acco.t from you that Mr. Clayton had advised you of the Abraham arrivall, which Mr. Danvers might have done a week sooner if he had been pleased soe to doe. I have received two letters from the Master wherin he adviseth Mr. Danvers would not meddle with the sugar. Soe that he had done noething in order to her discharge nor could not for want of money. Which I now intreate you to supply him with, & discharge the ship & the howse [&] the goods; and in case Mr. Danvers relinguishes, you may have the whole p.rcell if you like them at the price his brother Danvers & Mr. Fleete hath fixt, that is 24s 9d p.r c.t. It is I am sure 3d p.r c.t in your favor according as this markett governes; if not, pray howse them on our acco.tt & what you are in disburse shal be allowed off. I further desire you, in case Mr. Danvers should not pay a bill, I have drawen upon him for 53£ 15s payable to Mr. James Rivett, that you will please to honor the s.d bill with payment. It had been but faire in Mr. Danvers to have let me known his minde before the shipps arrivall when I soe frankly left him to his liberty, as you well know I did you alsoe. I seek noe advantages nor would not have any taken of mee, as I am well assured you swore to doe. I writt to Mr. Danvers at least a fortnight befor the shipps arivall, & requested his care in giveing her a speedy discharge. Had he given me an awnswer to the contrary, I should not have expected it from him. But since he did not, I thought him oblidged to the bargain, as much as I esteemed myself. Which should it have happend that your markett had been 5s better then this, [p. 124] I should not have expected 1d more then 18d. And as it was bindeing to me in justice, it ought to be soe to him & you. Sir, pray let me receive your awnswer. ...

115. Nicholas Lee [Nantes]

London August 15, 1679
Sir,
I have rec.d yours with the acco. of what you have bought, w.ch is all to comone. Butt desire you if you can without prejiduce to chang 40 reams of the parchment paper for 40 reams of the same sort but somewhat thicker & better. And also to buy 10 reams post paper more, w.ch let be better also. And get all the eges of the paper cutt even, w.ch suppoce is now usually done, unless desired.

I would intreat you to get the full quantthaty of vittre & partree that I have desired. And if you did forbeare imbaleing them until the shipp arrives, it ware not amiss, in regard I shall send 20 larg trunks to pack the doules & silks, and as much of the French canvis as they will containe. And the rest will either send coarse cloth or matt from hence to cover the bales with. For the ps. of silk for women leace, you may pleace to put up to the vent. The ship will sayle out of this River in 70 or 80 dayes, God willing, wind & weather p.rmitting. P.r her, shall send cask to draw of most of the brandy I designe w.ch shall be 30 tunns. I find I omitted sending you a bill for 400 crownes with the 600, w.ch made up 1,000 crownes as I show here thus. I have now heareinclosed. And either this weeks or next will remit you 1,000 crownes more, w.ch will make 5,000 crownes. And so shall stop. The vessell hath taken in the goods. Thus I see what is behind, which shall be remitted, upon yor first advice or if you desire more before it shall be done. I was sorry to heare of your indisposition, but hope you may be well recovered. ...

116. Nicholas Lee [Nantes]

London, August 21, 1679
Sir,
This accompanyes the ship Adventure, W.m Clayton, Mr., on whom I have ladn 20 empty trunks, [blank] punchons, [blank] barrells, & [blank] runletts. When please God the ship arrives with you its my request you will please to take the empty caske on shore. And lett them be well seasoned with great care, and examined very well & see they are thite and in good condition. And being soe seasoned, its my request that you fill them all with the brandy you have bought for my acco.tt, which I conceive may be about 30 tunns, as I judge these caske will contain. But be the quantity more or less, I desire they may be all filled. And pray take care the caske are all (sweet), & that they may be soe seasoned as it may not discoller nor give the brandy any ill relish. And the empty trunks I desire you will please to fill with the silks, paper, dowles, and as much of the finest canvis as they will contain. And being soe filled, lett them be covered with matts & cordes, which I have sent for the same purpose. & Likewise lett such bales as will not goe into the trunks be all covered with the cloth and corded with the same cords likewise. And lett all the dry goods be marked and numbred with a black inke marke large HBF and the brandy caske with the same marke cutt with an iron. And when you have soe ordered all the goods, please to put them on bord this shipp, takeing Bills of Loadeing for the same, and consigne them to Mr. Rob.t Helmes, merchant in Doublin, in Ireland, where the ship is ordered to land them. & Please to draw a p.rfect Invoice of all the goods with a few lines to s.d Helmes & one of the Bills of Ladeing and Invoice inclosed. The other 2 Bills of Loadeing please to send mee, with your acco.t, as soone as the ship is dispatched. And for what sayles or ought elce the Master hath occation for, please to furnish him therwith, & give him what dispatch you can. ...

117. [p. 126] William Freeman & William Baxter to John Bedingfield & George Liddell [Montserrat]

London, August 14, 1679
Wee have received yours by Capt. Lester with Bill of Ladeing for 6 hhds. of sugar, and an excuse that old debts come in very slow. W.ch we are too sensible off that after 3 years time we could have but 6 hhds. out of neer 100,000 lbs. sug.r debt. You were pleased to advise us by the ketch that we might expect neer our ballance this summer; & haveing the oppertunety of a ship of our own there to lade upon, we expected noe less. Pray please to adjust & settle our acco.ts with Mr. Helmes our partner. & Send us the acco.t with what is remainening dew to us. For if any debts standing out (except they are insalvant ones) after soe long time, it must be your faults, since the law is open. Our first createing a trade there was a designed kindness to you both, which wee had continued had not your disagreement betwixt yourselves occationed our desisting. & Now we hope you will doe us justice, in makeing us a speedy returne of what is our dew. If any bad debts, we have left it to Mr. Rob.t Helmes to make you what allowance he shall judg convenient upon that accot that soe we may put a period to this long winded acco.t. Which pray fayle not to doe, & send us our Acco.t Currant. ...

118. Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, August 14, 1679
Gentlemen,
I have received yours of the 19th June p.r Mr. Lester, and take notice you order 49£ 10s more to be p.d to the Royall Comp. for acco.t of Mr. Steede that you say you had formerly ordered. But I have p.rused your letters & cannot finde any such order that ever came to my hand. It shall be forthwith p.d, but pray futurely make noe such mistakes as you have in omitting to advise of this. As also the paym.t of your bill to Capt. Elliot which you never advised off. That caused mee to make some demurr in the payment untill Elliot arrived himself; if you doe, you cannot impute itt to me.

Yesterday rec.d a letter from Edw. Dendy with Bill of Ladeing & Invoice for 30 hhds. of sugar laden on the Old Head of Kingsale for our accompts which comes to a very low markett. (fn. 1) Yet the freight being low, will come out well; & if you had this year taken into consideration the lowe freights, & shipt all your sugar, and charged bills for what negros you had bought, itt would have turned better to accompt. But when freights are high, it will not. W.ch I referr to your future consideration.

I hope this next yeare you will shipp considerably on that acco.t, haveing don nothinge this last two yeares, but rather drawen out, as you will finde by my last acco.t sent you. The sloope you have ordered is makeing ready with all expedition & is built by Boyse. (fn. 2) He makes some small alterations of the dementions you sent, which he saith wil be to her advantage in sayleing. Shee will measure upwards of 40 tunns, and will come to 400 or upwards sett to ton. May be ready [p. 127] about the latter end of the next moneth. Mr. Helmes his kinsman will goe master of her. She will be a very fine vessell, but when will gett the money she will stand us in, I know not. I doubt those freights will hardly doe itt. H. Polgreen is also arrived. What the annatto is worth, I know not, being a comodety I am not versed in. The booke shall be sent, & paked as you order. & I will doe what I can to secure Mr. Carpenters debt with Capt. Haddock, but doubt I cannot stop the papers for itt, unless Sir Richard Haddock wil be soe generous to pay it of his owne accorde. He hath left his widdow very poore, as I am informed. ...

119. Robert Helme [Nevis]

[London, mid-August 1679]
Sir, Heerinclosed is some few lines to Mr. Liddle & John Beddingfeild, which please to p.ruse. & We intreate you to settle our acco.ts with them & whatever allowance you shal thinke fitt to make them for bad debts (after you have examined how our acco.ts stands with them, and what debts are realley standeing out that of right belongs to our acco.ts) or what further allowance you judge convenient to make them for, takeing all the debts upon themselves and to make us a speedy returne of the ballance. We shal be content with it, being our desires to put a period to this long winded acco.t that we question whether ever may be done after your comeing off. Wherfore pray omitt not to settle it and come to some agreement with them out of hand. There is behinde, according to the acco.ts they have sent us, ninety odd thowsand of sugar, be it more or less. You wil find it when you make itt upp with them. ...

120. John Bramley [Montserrat]

London, August 14, 1679
Sir,
I have received yours by Capt. Lester and take notice of the pr.vition you are makeing for paym.t of my debt, as also your complaint of my attorneys, which am sorry you should have cause for and had much rather my business could be done without giveing them that trouble, espetially my worthy freind Mr. Fox who hath had the greatest share of itt. & Indeed, all the contests we have seen in poynt of interest hath been soe thrivelous that its not worth contending for, but that every man ought to have his just right, let the valew be ever soe small. & For my own parte, I would sooner suffer a greater loss then resigne a tittle of what I know in justice to bee my dew.

But to lay aside all disputes in that kinde & in order to come to a better understandeing, which may be more to both our satisfactions & advantage, I have by this ship writt you & my attorneyes, wherein I have made you some pr.posalls. The p.ts of which is that it's my desire you should take the sole mannadgment of the interest upon yourself, pr.vided you will render me an acco.t upon oath if I require itt. Which scruple I should not rayse neither, were it not upon acco.t of former contests. Nor doe I ever beleive I shall have cause to put you to itt, nor have I the least designe soe to doe, unless some further occation of contest should arise, which on my parte noe small matter shall occation. But however this request is soe reasonable that I should not refuse itt, if required by any p.rson I correspond with, to the best of my knowledge, which no man can exceed. & If you are pleased to take [p. 128] this upon you, I am contente you should buy & pr.vide all things for the use of the plant. or appoynt any other p.rson, alwayes pr.vided that I pay noe more for any commodety then you really pay yourself. And if you buy at any other island or place, I am content to run an equall risque with you. You or whom you order takeing receipt, Bill of Ladeing or declareing its for the use of the plant. & for our joynt interest; or in case of neither, if any considerable loss should happen, you will declare the same upon oath if I require itt; & in this you will have noe occation to confere with any of my attorneyes, unless you buy slaves, servants, horses or anything to a considerable valew. In such case, I would not have it done without my attorney Mr. W.m Fox his approbation. & My reason for it is because I am unwilling to be at any greate disbursement further, but to withdraw what I cann from my interest there, unless there be any absolute occation for any of the aforementioned, then I should be content therwith. Which I shall refer to his & your discretion. And for what sugar or any other commodety the plant. shall from time to time pr.duce, I am content it should be laden joyntly betwixt us, alwayes pr.vided it is laden for the ports of London or Leverpoole, where its my desire to have my part shipt. & In this case, I shall referr it to you to take freight there or, if you rather desire itt, I will contract freight heer, according as you shall advise. And in consideration of your trouble of the manadgment there, I will dispose of all goods that you shall send of, the pr.ceeds of the same commission free, and likewise will buy all other goods you shall order for supply of the same heer free alsoe. & If you think fitt to accept of these my pr.posalls, give me your awnswer possitive heerunto by your next. And in such case, I shall expect to be discharged of imploying any other p.rson, but such as you shall imploy joyntly betwixt us for the mannadgement of the same. & If you have any other scruples, please to discourse them with my attorney Mr. W.m Fox. And whatever he shall thinke fitt to be done, shal be allowed off by mee. & If you accept heerof, if you please to accept for the plant., use whatever goods or peeces of 8/8, slaves or elce that I have remainening undisposed off, which were sent by me for the use of the s.d plant. at the first cost & charge of the same heer. I doe heerby order & desire my attorny Mr. W.m Fox to deliver the same to you, only reserveing soe [p. 129] much of the money as will discharge Mr. Otto Curtis his sallery. But if you take any parte therof you must take the whole. Otherwise, I shal be a looser thereby. & In case you allow of these my pr.posalls, I desire there may be a full and p.rfect acco.t adjusted to Christmas Next. And from that time beginn your new acco.ts in this method joyntly betwixt us. I doubt not your allowance of these my pr.posalls, being soe moderate on both partes that I thinke you will not refuse them. By which meanes all our concernes may goe on the better. ...

121. Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, August 19, 1679
Sir,
Heerinclosed you have a coppy of my last to you which I desire you to p.ruse seriously & consider well its contents. This now accompanyes the ship Adventure, W.m Clayton, Mr., of which we have in the inclosed advised. She is now bound for Nants to take in the quantity of goods therein conteined. And we have ordered the Master to sayle directly for Mountsarratt, have sent English cask from hence to draw the brandy into, and twenty trunks to pack as much of the dry goods as they will conteine, to give the better culler. And heerinclosed you have a cockett for tenn thousand ells of Germany linnen, for which the canvis & dowles may well require, [&] another cockett for eighty hhds. of English aqua vitae, under which denomination brandy is now generally shipt out. In case of any discovery, you may make use of s.d cocketts for the clearing the ship, but would not have you part with them out of your own hands (soe as that they should appeare heer) for the valew of the ship and goods. Therfore be carefull of them & as soone as the ship is dispatcht, destroy them. Now, when please God the ship arrives at M.tsarratt, wee desire you to pr.sue the directions we have given you in the inclosed, that is to unlade her at M.tsarratt where we pr.sume there will be least danger, & at first discharge all the dry French goods, and send them down to Nevis to your brother, & leave or send such instructions to him as may be necessary for the unpacking the goods secretly by himself, that soe none may be capable to make proof of them to be the same goods in case of discovery. And order your sloop to returne to you againe, when you may return her with a ladeing of brandy, some beere & lumber, & soe be landeing some of the lumber at M.tsarratt in the interim & a little beer & brandy. And when the sloop returnes to you againe, send her with another ladeing to Antigua with lumber & brandy to some p.rson there. And in this nature you may pr.ceed untill you have discharged her. & Haveing soe discharged her, if you have a freight ready, to give her an imediate dispatch, either from M.tsarratt, Antigua, or St. Christophers to London, to let her soe returne; or in case a full freight doth not offer, I think you may adventure to let her runn for New England and give the Master instructions in case he cannot seize that coste for N. Yorke. And send by him as [p. 130] much blew linnen ozzenbridges, rum & molasses as may purchase a ladeing of lumber in either place, with letters of recomendation to your freinds in both places to assist him. But if a freight and dispatch can be had, it would be better, feareing least he may not be able to seize the coste. And either at her returne or if she freights directly home, if you can avoyd putting any of our own goods on bord, doe but rather lade her upon freight. Or if you judg a good freight may be obteined at Barbados, you may send him there if you judg convenient. All which we referr to your consideration & prudent mannadgment. But above all things, wee desire you to be at M.tsarratt dureing the time of the ships dischargeing there & to keep a strickt eye upon the Master that he may keep his men from converseing with any saylers or others whatever, & also from the sloops men (who you have to assist them in dischargeing). & If you have a freight ready, it will be convenient to keep a sloope to help to give her a dispatch. The goods being once a shore, I hope you will take such care to secure them that there may be no danger of them.

Inclosed you have an Invoice of what laden from hence, as also a coppy of the Masters instructions. And from Nants you will receive an acco.t & receipt for what laden from thence. We can say no more but referr the whole mannadgment to your discretion. ...

Wee have kept the ship something the longer here in hopes to dispatch the sloope you have given order for to be there in time to give you assistance. Which we doubt not of, if the builder be as good as his word. If you send her to New England, some of the sayle canvis may doe well there.

122. Captain William Clayton [Commander of the Adventure]

London, August 24, 1679
Wee doe heerby order you to sayle with the first faire winde to the porte of Nants in France, and on your arrivall there to apply yourself to Mr. Nicholas Lee, and deliver our letters to him, & to receive on bord your ship all such goods as shall be laden by said Lee on bord you. & For the trunks & cask that wee have put on bord you heer, let them be landed at Nants, & delivered to said Mr. Lee, whome we have given orders to pack with goods. And being soe packt, you are to relade them againe. & For the dry goods, let them be soe stowed that they may be at hand to be first landed, espetially the silks, which take notice in what box or trunke they are packt in. Alsoe be very carefull that dureing the time of your ladeing at Nants or stay there, that neither yourself nor none of your company declare to any p.rson, viz.t not to Mr. Nicholas Lee, to what port you are bound to in the West Indies, but give out that you are first bound to Ireland to discharge your ladeing there. And give [p. 131] Mr. Nicholas Lee only 3 authentick receipts for such goods as you take on borde. & Take a p.rfect acco.t therof in your booke to see that all things are landed at your port of discharge as were receivd on borde. Pray bee carefull not to lett any of your men have knowledg of your goeing for France before you are cleer of England and afterwards such as you cann confide in you may injoyne them to injoyne the rest, that they make no discovery to any p.rson of your touching in France, but that all your ladeing was taken on bord in the River of Thames. Now when you have received from Mr. Nicholas Lee all such goods as we have ordered him to lade on bord you, & have your dispatches from him, you are then to sayle with the first faire winde directly to the island of M.tsarratt &, when please God you shall arrive there, you are to deliver my letter to the Governor, and give him an acco.t that you are lad.n with dry goods & some liquors from London, as beere & c., & that the ship and goods belong to mee & that you are to stay there untill you receive Mr. Robert Helmes his order to discharge at that port or elce to pr.ceed to Nevis, as he shal direct. & As soone as you have given the Governor this acco.t, repaire imediatly on bord your shipp & by the first conveniency give Mr. Rob.t Helmes or, in case of his absence, to Mr. W.m Helmes advice of your arrivall there & that you are to waite either his or his brothers comeing upp, or to receive their order for the discharge of your ship. And doe not send downe my letter to him unless by some safe hand. & In the meanetime, till you receive an order from Mr. Helmes, would not have you break bulk nor lande anythinge. But keep constantly on bord your shipp, & be sure to keep your men from converseing with any other ships men or letting them goe on shore. & As soone as you receive an order from Mr. Helmes, use all expedition to discharge your ladeing as hee shall direct, & follow such other orders as you shall receive from him or, in case of his absence, from W.m Helmes either in goeing to any other porte or in reladeing at that or any other island as he shall direct. & In case he shall order you to relade, be very circumspect dureing the time of your stay there that you give none of your men any oppertunety to make a discovery by discourseing with any other ships men, or by being ashore. And when you have reladen (if Mr. Helmes soe orders), then returne with all expedition for London, or otherwise as he shall order. And dureing your whole voyage, be oblidgeing to your comp. & let not them want liquor nor anything elce with moderation. The success of our voyage depends wholly upon your prudent mannadgment. Wherfore we doubt not but you will shew your double dilligence & soe oblidg your men that they may serve you with all integrity & secresye. & In case you should happen to be sick or indisposed, itts our order & desire that you communicate these our orders to your mate, who we hope is a p.rson qualifyed for such an undertakeing. & Please to injoyne him to the p.rformance heerof as occation shall require. & If Mr. Helmes shall thinke fitt to send you to New England, New Yorke, Barbados or any other place whatever, you are to observe and follow such orders as you shall receive from [p. 132] him dureing your whole voyage untill you returne to this port of London, or such other port of England as he shal direct. Thus wishing you a prosperouss voyage and successful therin, only desireing to hear of your p.rceedings by all conveyances. Which pray fayle not to advise us off. ...

123. Colonel Edmund Stapleton [Montserrat]

London, August 21, 1679
The foregoeing is a coppy of my last. Since which I writt you some uncoppied lines, & therewith sent you a coppy of Mr. Smiths conveyance of his land in M.tsarratt, in which hee is tide fast enough his wife should joyne with him in the sale. If you thinke she hath any right thereunto, or you desire it, must gett her to execute one of the same conveyances there, unless you would have this sent over. I have rec.d yours of the 16th June p.r H. Polgreen, & observe its contents, which shall endevor to effect. The severall incloseds have delivered. Your Lady and all your children are in very good health. I cannot yet p.rfect an accompt of your last yeares pay to send you, Mr. Bradshaw being ill, that I cannot gett an acco.t of the petty charges. I am endeavouring to gett warrants for this year just up, which shall effect as soone as I cann. And as soone as I have your orders for the disposition of the last yeares pay rec.d, shall follow them. I thought I had gott a good securety for 3,000£ for you, but the p.rson went off. Soe that all things yet stands as it did. As soone as I can light off an oppertunety, shal be placeing it out. This comes by Mr. Clayton, a ship belonging to myself and partners, who we designe shall loade at M.tsarratt. ...

Sir, Since the writeing the foregoeing lines I have receivd Mr. Bradshaws acco.t of charges that I heerwith sent you, as also the Acco.t Currant both of your own sallery and the 2 Foot Companyes pay. I hope they will not now complaine of a high charge, there being but 10 guinnyes given away, which indeed is the reason I have stayd something the longer for the money. ...

124. Colonel Edmund Stapleton [Montserrat]

[London, n.d.]
Sir,
... This comes by Mr. W.m Clayton, Master of the ship Adventure, which wholly belongs to myself, Mr. Helmes & my brother Baxter. What favor or kindness you can doe the Master in our concernes is to mee and shal be alwayes owned. Your planks by Mr. Lester is arrived, for which I can but returne my thankefulness. A line by him would have been welcome, but W.m Helmes writes me you were indisposed, & could not write, for which I am heartely sorry, but doubt not but these lines wil find you well recovered, [p. 133] for which my hearty wishes & dayly prayers shall not be wantinge. Heer is noe news worth your observation. ...

125. Colonel Abednego Mathew [St. Christopher]

[London, n.d.]
Sir,
... Since which I have receivd yours of the 5th of June and according to your order have p.d Mr. Crisp 100£ and taken his bill for the sume. Your other 2 drafts of 150£ shal be punctually p.d as soone as they come to hand. The 2 hides shall alsoe be sent p.r first. Your advice for stopping the cases and bords came to late. By my last I sent your Acco.t Currant. The ball.s then dew to you was 91£ 4s 01d as p.r the s.d Acco.t appeares. Since that which you have charged upon me 250£, as pr. your advice. Soe that you cann tell how the acco.t now stands. ...

126. John Combes [Nevis]

[London, n.d.]
Sir,
... This now serves to advise of the receipt of your 6 hhds. of sugar p.r Deane. An Acco.t of Sales you have heerwith; the money not yett received. As soone as it is, shal be p.d as you order and sooner if your mother draw upon me for itt. Our markett is very lowe, & both your p.rcells of sugar prooved very course. The prices they are sold at is the extent this markett will afford for such goods. ...

127. Lucas Jacobson [Nevis]

[London, n.d.]
Sir,
The foregoeing is a coppy of my last. Since which I have received yours p.r Capt. Deane with the 4 tunns of sugar on your owne acco.t and 3 tunns on acco.t of Mr. John Dunker and have disposed the same. (fn. 3) An Acco.t of Sales therof you have heerwith. The price is the utmost this markett will afford, being very low at pr.sent and this p.rcell of sugar very ordinary. Much worse than the former p.rcell. The pr.ceeds of Mr. Dunkers sugar shal be sent you out p.r first oppertunity in such comodityes as you order. ...

128. Nicholas Lee [Nantes]

[London, n.d.]
The foregoeing lines is a coppy desyned by the ship I intend which is still in port, and wil be cleered heer in 3 dayes, after which time you may expect her, God willing, by the first faire winde. Therfore please to order all things according for her dispatch. The ship will want a new sute of sayles, which you may pr.pare canvis of the best for (if not to be had upon all occations). Heerinclosed I send you a bill for one 1,000 crownes drawn p.r Claude Hayes on Monseiur de la Raunay of bills of Paris. Which makes in all 4,000 crownes I have remitted you. Please to advise of the receipt of this, as also the last bill of 400 crowns sent you, which was before omitted, & of the ships arrivall, which please God to send her well to you. I shall now forbear remitting any more money untill the ship is laden, and I have your acco.t of the same. ...

129. Richard Pickford & Obadiah Allen [Madeira]

London, August 27, 1679
Gentlemen,
We have receivd yours of the 1st & 19th of April, with your Acco.t Currant. In which we apprehend there may be some mistake in the goods by the Olive Branch for which you give us creditt but for 435$593 rs. If all that p.rcell of goods be sould, we judg they may amount [p. 134] to more money. But as to that p.rticuler wee shall referr to your Acco.t of Sales, which we request you will please to send by this shipp or some other conveyance, as well of that p.rcell as of all other our goods sold, and also an acco.t of what remaines unsold in your hands that we request you to dispose off as soone as you cann. And since you are pleased to desire us to desist our correspondency with you, we shall onely returne our thankefulness for your punctuall and oblidgeing correspondency dureing the time you held it with us, and should have been gladd it might have suted your conveniency to have continued itt. But since it doth not, wee shall forbear to give you any further trouble.

Our last was p.r the Thomas and Sarah, Timothy Tiddeman, wheron wee desired you to lade 70 pipes of wine, and consigned you a p.rcell of goods by s.d shipp, the receipt of which we should be glad to hear off. This now comes by our ship Abraham, James Rivett, Comander, on whome we have ordered De Gamma to lade 80 pipes of wine, being the remainder of 200 pipes bought by contract of him. And if the Master cannot purchase wines for some comodetyes wee have sent p.r him, wee request you, if he require it off you, to lade 20 or 30 pipes on bord her upon our acco.ts, but not unless he require itt.

Wee shall after Christmass send a shipp to you to take 100 or 140 pipes of wine, which, with a convenient creditt for Lisboa, wee doubt not but you will supply out of the effects we have formerly sent you. And when we have an acco.t from you of our goods being disposed, shall order the ballance to be laden. We doubt not but your justice will leade you to loade us of the best wines, of which we have great complaint of those by the Abraham, which we p.rceive you tooke pr.sident by De Gamma. But such pr.sidents we hope you will not heerafter make use off. He ought by our contract to have delivered us of the very best. And if he doth not deale soe candidly by us, the fault is his, though the loss is ours. But we shall futurely avoyd makeing such mistakes.

Since it hath been your pleasure to declyne our correspondency, we have by this oppertunety made an offer of our business to Mr. Henery Kirton and Thomas Deane who are recomended to us for industrious & injenious men. But haveing never had any experience of them, your oppinion would be a great favor to us. For although we resolve to draw off from business ourselves, yet we have some relations that will settle in itt, whome we desire to settle in a good correspondency. ...

130. [p. 135] Captain Matthew De Gamma [Madeira]

London, August 27, 1679
Sir,
This accompanyes our ship Abraham, James Rivett, Comander, on whome we desire you to loade 80 pipes of wine, which makes up the complement of 200 pipes wee contracted for with our deceased freind. 50 wherof were laden upon this shipp, and 70 more wee pr.sume you have laden upon the Thomas & Sarah that we gave orders for. And we now intreat you to loade us of the very best wines, which we have great complaints to the contrary. Of those 50 pipes you last laded on this shipp, as also of those laden p.r Mr. Pickford, which he injeniously confesses & tells us it was his ambition only to lade such as might something exceed yours, for that he would not lade good wines to put off your bad at the markett. Sir, wee desire you will pr.forme your contract on your part, as wee shall doe on ours, for we were to have of the very best wines and whatever you have been pleased to sell us in your former that you have sould us in the price of what other men shipt for, wee now tell you that with the advantage wee have made in the sales of our goods, the wines that Pickford laded came out much cheaper to us then yours. But that matters not whether cheaper or dearer. We expect noething but your p.rformance according to contract, as wee shall doe the like. Antonio Soaras Conscientia writes that we should pay the freight of what goods wee send to Lixboa; but if we should, must charge itt to your acco.t, for by our agreement we were to pay noe freight but to pay soe much money heere or invest the same into goods for you, if you should require us soe to doe. And this we writt you was our contract. Wee have laden for your acco.t on the shipp Goodwill & consignd them to Antonio Soarez Conscientia, a p.rcell of bays and goods as he directed, to the valew off 224£ 05s 02d starl., and shall by the next ship that goes send the remainder that is behinde for these 200 pipes this year.

Sir, In case the Master James Rivett should require of you fifty pipes of wine or any less quantety on our acco.ts, wee desire you will please to supply him, and we will p.r first send you goods to Madera or Lixboa as you shall order att the same price as wee have done for these 200 pipes. And further we request you to give the Master all possible dispatch, in regarde we have a great many passengers on bord the shipp that putts us to a great charge to victuall. Wee have in our last given answer to yours that we are not capable of serveing you heer in the disposition of your wines, or any other business, it being out of our way, for we meddle not with any business but what directly is our own concernes. Therfore we request you to thinke of some other p.rson.

If you please by the very first conveyance to make your pr.posalls to us of your lowest price for 200 pipes of wine to be laden this next year, in the same manner as the former, I mean the payment to be soe made, & if we like your pr.posalls, we may agree. But let them be such that we may have of the very best wines. [p. 136] For on no other tearmes we shall agree. And shall expect your complyance in the ladeing of such. ...

Please to consigne the wines to Mr. W.m Helmes.

131. Captain James Rivett [Commander of the Abraham]

London, August 24, 1679
Wee have receivd yours, whereby we finde you are in a posture of sayleing with the first faire winde, and that you onely want our orders for soe doeing, which wee suspended to give you in regard wee are in expectation of getting an order from Duke Lawderdell for 100 condemned p.rsons, actors in the late rebellion in Scotland, an answer therunto we are promised betwixt this and Munday Next. (fn. 4) & If we succeed, you must then goe for Edenbrough to take them in, which by the next post we shall give you an acco.t. But however wee are not willing to loose time upon these hopes. But in case a faire winde offers, wee desire you to imbrace itt, and p.rsue our former intended designe, which is to goe for Glasco in Scotland and there apply yourself to Mr. Walter Gibson for his advice and assistance, if he will please to take soe much trouble upon him. (fn. 5) If not, doe the best you can and there indevor to pr.cure as many lusty men and youth servants as you cann possibly pr.cure. And if beef is to be had reasonable att Bellfast, viz. for 17, 18 or 19s p.r barrell good, take in 200 barrells; but if dearer, not above 150 barrells, and 100 barrells of good pickled herrings, some Scotch cloth for Madera, and of what other victualling you thinke proper for your passingers and shipps company. (fn. 6) & For what charge you are at in Scotland, we sent you the last post a creditt from Mr. Fowles to the valew of 400£, which you may make use off or any parte as you find occation requires. & For beef or anything elce you purchase in Belfast, you may charge bill upon us for the same, if you suppose you have acquaintance there sufficient to gett a creditt, getting the best allowance you can for exchange of money. But if you thinke you shall want a creditt there, advise us by next post, and we will send you either bills or creditt to Mr. Walter Gibson in Glasco to meet you there. And God sending you safe to Scotland, its our desire you should make what dispatch you cann there. And haveing accomplisht the designe you goe upon there, and gott as many servants as you can take in, or as many as you can pr.cure there, and haveing effected all other business, itt's our order to you that you sayle without loss of time with the first faire winde to the island of Madera and deliver the inclosed letter to Matthew De Gamma whom we have given orders to lade 80 pipes of wine on bord you and to give you all possible dispatch. And being desirous to have 60 pipes more laden upon you, its our [p. 137] desire that you endeavor to dispose as much beef, herrings or any other comodety you have on bord that you finde will turne to good acco.t as will purchase s.d sixty pipes of wine. & For the better pr.cureing the same, and for helping of the goods the better to pr.cure such wines as may be of the best, we heerinclosed send you a creditt for Lisboa on Mr. W.m Baxter for 200 milrs, which you may make use off if you cannot effect your business without it. But if you can avoyde making use of it, doe. Now, if it shall happen upon your arrivall at Madera that such goods as you carry are not pr.per for the markett, or that you cannot vend them or part therof to good advantage, then it's our desire that you desire 50 or 60 pipes of wine more of De Gamma, which if he fayle to lade, then desire Mr. Pickford to lade 30 pipes. For we would not have you carry less then 140 or 150 pipes of wine, if possible. Which use your endeavors to doe & that they may be of the best. And for what goods you carry and doe not vend at Madera, we desire you to carry to Nevis. & Haveing dispatched your business at Madera, which we desire you to doe with all expedition (takeing into consideration the great charge you will lye att with soe may eaters on borde), it's our further orders that you sayle directly to the island of Nevis, and upon your arrivall there to apply yourself to Mr. Rob.t & Mr. William Helmes & deliver all our wines on bord to them, & take their advice & follow their directions in the disposition of your servants and all other goods. Which we refer to you to mannidge, in regarde would have our returnes brought back with you. And for any debts that you may happen to make that you cannot accomplish to bring us returnes off, or any servants or other goods that you may happen to have unsold, leave them in the hands of the said Robert or W.m Helmes, makeing their receipt for the same. And notwithstanding these our orders, if s.d Robert or W.m Helmes shall require you to deliver the several of her goods of ours on bord you or any part therof into their custody, you are to observe & follow their orders therein. And for the reladeing your shipp you are to observe & follow such orders & directions as from time to time you shall receive from the said Robert or William Helmes. Your ship being reladen by them or their order, togeather with the pr.duce of what you shall dispose off & receive effects upon our acco.tts, you are to returne to the port of Leverpoole or West Chester, as you shall receive further orders from us, unless Mr. Robert Helmes is pleased to order it otherwise, as we hope he will not. For what caske you shall have occation for our sugar, wee desire W.m Helmes or Mr. Robert Helmes to suply you therewith, as also convenient storidge roome to receive in. & What you dispose off, use your utmost endevors to bring us home the returnes off. ... [p. 138] ... Wee have just now receivd a letter from Mr. Pickford, which occations us to order you to take only the 80 pipes of wine of De Gamma. & What further occation you have to take to make up 150 pipes that you cannot purchase with goods, take them of Mr. Pickford. And also take his advise in the disposition of your goods. And if he desires to have any of the goods to dispose on our acco.tts, you may deliver them to him.

132. [p. 140] William Helme [Nevis]

London, August 29, 1679
Wee have receiv'd yours of the 12th of July adviseing of the arrivall of the Doublon, with our 600 barrells of beef, with your complaint of the dulness of the markett that comodety is arrived att. For which reason you designe to object against what you cann, which we hope is none, in regarde by a collaterall contract we are to receive it with all faults and abide by the loss whatever itt is. Soe that what you have objected against (if any) we feare wil be our greatest loss. If anything in that kinde should happen, you must receive itt or the pr.ceeds from whomsoever receivd it upon Mr. Allands accomp.t. We must be content with our bad marketts, for which this shal be a warninge to us how we ever meddle more with that commodety. God sending the dry goods and other comodetyes we have ordered safe to your hands, we desire you to dispose of as much as you cann to good paymasters. But rather then contract bad debts, keep our goods that are not p.rishable, but vend what possible you cann at any of the islands, viz. Antigua, M.tsarratt or St. Kitts, or any other which gives you a pr.spect of pr.sent or speedy payment, though you sell to the less pr.fitt. And we intreat you to use the utmost of your indeavors to make us considerable returnes this insueing yeare. Wee have been very largely in disburse but shall now withhold from sending anything more but wines, which you may expect a constant supply off. I am of oppinion if you could meet with trusty & carefull men to imploy, you might vend more of our goods at Antigua & M.tsarratt than at Nevis. Which we referr wholly to your discretion to act as you see fitt, and doubt not but att those places you might receive more sugar than at Nevis. ...

Footnotes

  • 1. Edward Dendy of Antigua. Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1680–1685, no. 769, p. 320.
  • 2. The vessel was christened the Africa and intended for use in the African slave trade.
  • 3. In 1684, John Dunker was a Proprietor of Tortola; formerly, the Governor of Curacao. Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1681–1685, no. 1527.
  • 4. John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, was one of the Lords of Trade and Plantations.
  • 5. On Walter Gibson, a malt-maker turned merchant who was the first to bring iron to Glasgow, see John M'Ure, A View of the City of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1736), pp. 169 (a 1668 list of seaadventurers trading to Europe, Africa and America), 248, and revised edition of the same, sub nom. The History of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1830), p. 169; John Gibson, The History of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1777), pp. 205; T.C. Smout, "The Development and Enterprise of Glasgow, 1556–1707," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, vol. 7 (1960), p. 206. While Provost, Gibson engaged in smuggling Nevis sugars directly into Scotland. T.C. Smout, "The Glasgow Merchant Community in the Seventeenth Century," The Scottish Historical Review, vol. 47 (1968), pp. 56, 67.
  • 6. Scotch Cloth formerly denoted a low-grade lawn. Wingate, ed., Fairchild's Dictionary, p 512.