Trade & Commerce

L'Invention: fastest ship of her day

From an unknown newspaper [Guernsey Press?] of January 10th, 1939, in Carol Toms' scrapbook I., 'Famous L'Invention of Guernsey.' 'Fastest ship of her day, probably the first four master to carry yards on all her masts, the famous Guernsey ship L'Invention is picturised in the Guernsey Museum and a similar picture was used as Christmas cards by 'The Cachalot's' Club,' of Southampton.'

Southampton port

Trade with Southampton, 1428 and 1430, from Studer, Paul, The Port Books of Southampton, 1913. 27 merchants and ship-owners from the Channel Islands are mentioned in these books, and there are others whose names indicate a strong connection. Copies of these and similar volumes are available at the Library, as well as a comprehensive file of extracts. Please contact the Library for further information.

Shell-collecting, 1833

From the Strangers' Guide to Guernsey and Jersey, Guernsey: Barbet, 1833, pp. 39 ff. 'But it will answer no good purpose for the shell collector in Herm, to employ the language of science, in his research for shells; he must employ popular terms, inasmuch as the good people of Herm are utterly ignorant of the phraseology of the conchologist, and are in the habit of calling things by such names as strike their senses. They have their silver, pink, purple, yellow, rose, and blue shells. There are fine subjects on what the inhabitants call the 'best shell banks,' but which the native collectors pass over, because they do not consider them as shells. For instance, at times here, are very rich corals and corallines, cast up by the action of the sea, only to be discovered by those who are judges of the nature of their research.'

Table des Monnaies, Poids et Mesures en usage a Guernesey, published by Frederick Clarke

In the mid-19th century Frederick Clarke produced in his establishment in the States Arcade this little booklet, attempting to distil in four pages the labyrinthine system of weights and measures at that time employed in the island. Its difficulty was compounded by the sheer number of currencies that island merchants and traders had to deal with. The information is taken literally from schoolmaster Thomas du Frocq's Nouveau Precepteur of 1818, which is a (mainly) applied mathematics primer of tortuous complexity and much greater length.

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