MRP: Venice

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Editorial history

26/12/11, CSG: Created page

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See Constantinople

See Livorno
See Messina
See Naples
See Zante



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Fairfax & Barnsley, Livorno factors, 1641 & 1643

SP 46/85/1/fo 56 to Fairfax and Barnslie: indigo sales; wishes to charge a bill on Anthonio Returno, their correspondent in Venice; Abbot's bankruptcy; Abbot with his father and brothers; has lost £150,000; 16 Apr. 1641. [this is Antonio Rettano/Retano, an important merchant active in Venice, frequently as an for Dutch and English merchants]

SP 46/84/fo 232 Fairfax and Barnsley: favourable exchange at Venice; goods bought in the Mary Rose; Leghorn; 1 Aug. and 20 Aug. 1643

SP 46/84/fo 236 Fairfax and Barnsley to Warner: the Mary Rose arrived at Genoa after a tedious voyage; takes advantage of the favourable exchange at Venice; prices of pepper and lead; Leghorn; 11 July and 1 Aug. 1643

SP 46/84/fo 341 Fairfax and Barnsley: favourable exchange at Venice; goods bought in the Mary Rose; Leghorn; 1 Aug. and 20 Aug. 1643

Early nineteenth century description of Venice to Morea and onwards trade


Formery called Peloponnesus, is a peninsula joined to the rest of Greece by an isthmus, called the Isthmus of Corinth, and surrounded by islands called the islands of the Archipelago. First, respecting the islands situate on the Mediterranean side. Zante, Cephalonia, and Corfu, are the principal of the seven constituting the Ionian republic, which formerly belonged to Venice, but now form an anomalous kind of state under the protection of Great Britain...

...[of the seven Ionian islands] Zante alone, exports (chiefly to England,) 7,000,000lbs. of oil, 60,000 barrels and 4000 casks of wine - Cephalonia exports nearly similar quantities of these articles. Zante is the most fertile, as well as the most beautiful, of these islands...

...With respect to the Morea itself, it is sufficient to observe, that in all parts of the Peninsula, provisions are plentiful and cheap, and money of more value than in any other part of the Mediterranean: in consequence of which there is no good market for any considerable quantity of manufactured goods. lead and tin are always in demand, but only in small quantities at any one port. Ships that taje cargoes of fish to Venice or Trieste, where there is always a great consumption, may take in ballast and run down the Gulf of Venice and load immediately in the Morea, instead of waiting in those ports for a cargo. It would be a difficult task to attempt giving a particular description of the various articles the produce of the Morea, they being so very numeroud; currants, fustic, cotton, volonia for tanning, and olive oil are among the principal; besides these, are to be reckoned some sorts of fruits, gums, drugs, madder, &c. &c.

Currants, it has been observed, are a considerable article of export from the Morea; Petrasso is one of the best ports to ship them from; the fruit is rather larger and more free from and or gravel, than that of either Zante or Corfu. They are shipped in various sized casks, from twenty hundred weight to fifty pounds. The quantity shipped must weight above five hundred weight net, otherwise, they are liable to seizure. The casks are always included in the weight of the fruit, and paid for as such; the Morea currants have the preference in most countries, except England, where the Zante currants are more merchantable."[1]

Mentions of Venice in Wiki


Law suits

See C6/85/17 f. 1[2]

- The London merchant Gyles Davies exhibited in 1654 in Chancery a Bill of Complaint against the brothers and London merchants Nathaniell and Samuell Barnardiston, together with co-defendants James Muddiford (alias Modyford), Anthony Issackson and John Williams, together with confederates unknown.

Attached to the Bill of Complaint was a schedule of charges and costs C6/85/17 f. 2, which Davies claimed were due unto him from the defendants for services he had performed as a factor for them six years before, in 1647 and 1648.

At that time Gyles Davies and been located in Gallata, Constantinople, and the Barnardiston brothers had been located in Smyrna, both within Turkey. Davies claimed in his Bill that he had been the legally empowered factor of the Barnardiston brothers, and that he had been consigned in Gallata a parcel of Venetian paper and silks to sell, barter, or exchange. Davies had allegedly made a provisional bargain for their sale when he received a new letter of instruction to transfer the goods to William Gough, another merchant. In the absence of legal authority he had not done so. Subsequently the Barnardiston brothers refused to pay his charges and costs, contrary to the practice of merchants in Turkey.


See 3rd April 1663, Letter from Daniel Pennington to Sir GO, London, Letter 2

- "in y:e Interim for á present exepedition, I pray doo ee y:e favour as to employe them in á very good dymond or Dymonds or else in some Granats w:ch y:e Jewes from Allep have often traded in to great proffitt & from thence send them to Venice I see noe Cause but they may bee sent hither to Convey thither w:th as little expence of tyme, Charge, & hazard as by Carravan if you please to make á tryall & y:t it take, it may hereafter prove of advantage to us both"


See Charles Longland will

- "Smith and Xolls Cork and others and also to gett my due from those that are debtors to use thier best diligence in selling my goods especially my Jewells either at Venice (?) or Paris which I conceive will be the best markets for them"

- "N:o 8. Bundle of Margerites of Venice which were also valued at nothing"

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Suggested secondary sources

  1. Joseph Blunt, The merchant's and shipmaster's assistant: containing information useful to the American merchants, owners, and masters of ships (New York, 1822), p. 411. See, viewed 27/12/11
  2. C 6/85/17 Short title: Davies v Barnardiston. Plaintiffs: Giles Davies. Defendants: Nathaniel Barnardiston, Samuel Barnardiston, James Middiford, Anthony Isaacson and John Williams. Subject: money matters, Middlesex. Document type: bill, plea, schedule. 1655