What the 17th Century Shipping Lists Can Tell Us.

 

By David Shapton

 

Table 5 Vessels Entering Dundee - By Port of Registration
Registration Barks   Ships   Others  
At
1616
1696
1616
1696
1616
1696
Dundee
28
18
30
30
   
Broughty Ferry  
12
     
1
Tayport
1
7
 
1
   
Arbroath      
2
   
Montrose      
1
   
Barreldstoun (Stonehaven)
1
         
Anstruther
1
         
Aberdour  
1
 
3
   
Alloa  
3
       
Bridgness      
1
   
Crail  
1
     
2
Earlsferry  
1
       
Elie      
2
   
Elphinstone  
6
 
4
   
Grangepans  
1
       
Leith  
1
       
Limekilns  
3
 
1
   
Woodhaven  
4
     
2
Hull      
1
   
Newhaven          
1
Yellmouth  
1
       
Cokerie      
1
   
Gotenburg      
1
   
Kristiansand (Norway)      
1
   
Luipkee    
1
     
Unidentified
1
8
2
1
   
TOTALS
32
67
33
50
 
6
 

Cargo Types

Cargo types changed between 1616 and 1696 and the examples in Table 6 reveals that: -

  • Apples, onions and peas appear in 1616 but not in 1696: does this reflect a change in local agriculture or diet?
  • More pitch and tar are entered in 1616 than 1696: does this reflect a decline in shipbuilding and/or repair?
  • More wine and woad (a dyestuff) were entered in 1616: does this reflect a decline in "luxury" goods?
  • More timber was entered in 1616: was less being used in 1696?
  • More salt was entered in 1696, mostly from local sources whereas 1616 imports were from La Rochelle: does this reflect an industrial use of salt rather than use in foodstuffs?
  • Coal imports of around 1,300 tons were made in 1696: what is the significance of this and was it all used domestically?
  • 49,200 steingis were imported in 1616 - is this related to a building programme?
  • Arrowshafts and powder are not usual entries but not all imports may have been declared
Table 6 Number of Entries for Different Cargo Types
Cargo Type
1616
1696
Cargo Type
1616
1696
General Cargo
7
8
Pitch & Tar
8
1
Apples
2
0
Salt
7
18
Ash
1
0
Takill (Ropes)
1
0
Fish etc
1
3
Timber
23
9
Glass
2
0
Vittals
0
2
Grain
2
2
Wax
1
0
Hemp & Lint
3
0
Wine
12
1
Malt
0
1
Woad
9
0
Metals (iron, Copper, Pewter & Lead)
11
3
Coal
0
72
Onions
5
0
Peas
2
0

 

Notes on Cargoes

1616 Types of Timber Dealls & Planks
6,954
   
Nine Ells
1,138
Twelve Ells
566
Pieces of Oak
110
Stengis
49,200
Treenails
1,000
Trees
124
Wood or Burnwood 48.5 fathoms
Also  
Arrow Shafts 500
Powder (probably Gunpowder) 230 lb
Coal (1,307) 1696 Tons
 

Plus an amount in 6 cargoes of "Coal & Salt".

Range of tonnage of coal cargoes: Minimum 4 tons. Maximum 40 tons.

0 - 9 tons 13 cargoes

10 - 19 tons 26 cargoes

20 - 29 tons 16 cargoes

30 - 39 tons 16 cargoes

40 - 49 tons 1 cargo

Audit Record

One other feature of the Lists is worth reporting. For about three decades it was the custom to leave a space of a page or so in the entries for September. The following year, around February when the accounts of the shoremaster (or piermaster as he is sometimes called) had been accepted and passed, a formal entry was made in the space that had been left.

Upon the tenth day of february 1619 John fullerton piermaster has made compt (account) of his whole intromission (dealings with funds) with the shore duties and casualties (incidental payments) belonging to his office in the year of god one thousand six hundred and auchtine yearis (1618) his charge is found to extend to five hundredth (hundred) three score one pound (561) eight shillings and his discharge is found to extend to : five deleted : the sum of six hundred nineteen (pounds) and one shilling and 4 (pence) So rests the town restand (indebted or owing) to the compter (the one who keeps accounts) one hundred merks his fee and pains (for his trouble) compted (accounted) and --- paid and the rest is ordained to be paid be (by) the next shoirmaster (shoremaster)

W Auchinlec provost

Robert Clayhilles baillie

T Halyburtone baillie

James Wedderburn baillie

N Fergusson Dean of Gild and auditor

J Kyd auditor

James Man the sr (senior) auditor

Androw painter shoirmaster

William hill auditor

Transcript of Page 40A "The Complete buik of David Wedderburne Merchant of Dundee 1587 - 1630 together with the shipping lists of Dundee 1580 - 1618": AH Millar FSA Scot Edinburgh: Printed at University Press by T & A Constable for Scottish History Society 1898.

Andrew Painter was no doubt the man who had to pay John Fullerton the outstanding amount. With regard to James Man, it is most likely that he was "James Man senior" than that he was the senior auditor.

Although the Shipping Lists say nothing about expenditure by the piermaster or shoremaster, an extract from the next century - a page from 1753 - 4 - gives a fair idea of how his monies were disbursed: -

The Shore of Dundee's Revenue
The Shore of Dundee's Revenue. Martinmass 1753 to Martinmas 1754
   
To cash paid the Expence of cleaning the Harbour
£47 6s 4d
To Do repaid Andrew Mitchell what he had laid out in setting up the West Beacon including a Boatfreight and sixpence paid for saving the Iron Work of the old one
£4 0s 0d
To Do (Ditto) allowed him for a pound of candles attending the Sluice at night
£0 0s 5d
To Do paid Mrs Mathew per accot
£1 2s 10.5p
To Do paid James Muir per accot
£4 0s 0d
To Do paid Bell & Hon per accot
£2 8s 0d
To Do paid Andrew Todd per accot £0 2s 3d
To Do paid William Mitchell per accot £0 6s 4d
To Cash paid by Provt Wardropers orders for removing a part of the Sleek next the Shorewalk & laying down rubbish & levelling it for a road. £0 6s 6d
To cash paid for taking up stones fallen of the West Head £0 1s 0d
Paid expence of a Fire on the King's Birthday £0 5s 3d
Stampt paper for Andrew Cook's bond £0 6s 5d
To cash paid Andrew Mitchell 46 weeks Wages at 5 shillings per week from 1st Jan 1754 to the 12th Nov thereafter. £11 10s 0d
To interest of £50 allowed by Order of Council for advance of money to clean the Harbour £2 5s 0d
To salary as Factor on this branch of the Revenue from Martinmas 1753 to Martinmas 1754 £32 Scots £2 13s 4d
To Cash paid for a book for the Accot herein stated £0 5s 6d
Total for Year £72 17s 4d