Trade & Commerce

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.

Boots and shoes

Receipt made up in 1796 by the shoemaker John Edwards for the footwear of Carteret Priaulx and his brothers. Anthony Priaulx, a 'bad boy,' wore out his dancing shoes as he was 22 at the time. The brothers, sons of Thomas Priaulx and Rebecca Le Marchant, were: the oldest, Carteret (1758-1822), Thomas (1762-1844), John (1768-1829), and Anthony, the youngest (1774-1820). A J T Edwards was a shoemaker in the Commercial Arcade in Guernsey in 1841. He had a large family; the census gives him as being born in England c 1800, and his wife Charlotte, aged 33, as also born in England. From a Scrapbook of receipts in the Library.

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