Nicolas de Ferrari

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Nicolas de Ferrari
Person Nicolas de Ferrari
First name Nicolas
Middle name(s)
Last name de Ferrari
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Merchant
Secondary shorebased occupation
Mariner occupation
Associated with ship(s)
Training Not apprentice
Is apprentice of
Was apprentice of
Had apprentice(s)
Citizen Unknown
Literacy Signature
Has opening text Nicholas de fferrari
Has signoff text Nicolas de Ferrari
Signoff image (Invalid transcription image)
Language skills English language, Italian language
Has interpreter
Birth street
Birth parish
Birth town
Birth county
Birth province
Birth country
Res street
Res parish Saint Olave Hart Street
Res town London
Res county
Res province
Res country England
Birth year 1600
Marriage year
Death year
Probate date
First deposition age 37
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/53 f.201v Annotate, HCA 13/60 f.33r Annotate, HCA 13/70 f.36r Annotate, HCA 13/72 f.4r Annotate
Chancery start page(s)
Letter start page(s)
Miscellaneous start page(s)
Act book date(s)
Personal answer date(s)
Allegation date(s)
Interrogatories date(s)
Deposition date(s) Jun 12, 1637, May 14 1645, Dec 15 1654, Mar 11 1657
How complete is this biography?
Has infobox completed Yes
Has synthesis completed No
Has HCA evidence completed No
Has source comment completed No
Ship classification
Type of ship N/A
Silver Ship litigation in 1650s
Role in Silver Ship litigation None

Biographical synthesis

Nicolas de Ferrari [alt. Nicholas de fferrari; Nicholas de fferaro; Nicholas fferaro] (b. ca. 1600; d. >1657). Merchant.

Born in Genoa. Italian and English speaker. Assisted High Court of Admiralty with interpretation of Italian speaking witnesses in his later years.

Resident in London in 1630, 1631, 1632 and part of 1633. On voyage to Angola, 1633 - 1636, in London 1637, 1645, 1654 and 1657.[1] In 1645 he was a merchant stranger, but may have subsequently changed his status.

He gave his parish of residence in 1637 as Saint Olave Hart street.[2]

Factor and servant for John and Vincent Delabarr, merchants of London and Dover, 1634-1637.[3]

Involved in English trade with Spain (and Angola and Brazil) in 1630s and 1640s.

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty

June 1637

Aged thirty-seaven, describing himself as a merchant of Saint Olaves Hart street London, Nicolas de Ferrari deposed on June 12th 1637 in the High Court of Admiralty. He deposed in a case concerning the seizure of the ship the Black Bucke (Master: John Baptista Soprani), which had been on a lengthy voyage to southern Spain, Angola, Brazil, and was heading towards the Canaries and then London, when seized by the Dutch.[4]

Ferrari had been factor on board the Black Bucke and had kept the books of accompt for the brothers John and Vincent Delabarr, London merchants, to whom he was servant. The Delabarrs owned the ship, which had been sent from London to Saint Lucar and Seville in February 1634, and then on to Angola and Rio de Plata in Brazil, before returning to London. De Ferrari described the two men as partners and stated that he used to sign both their names on their commercial correspondence.[5]

London merchant William Crosse, brother-in-law of John Delabarr, knew De Ferrari (referring to him as "Nicholas Ferraro". Crosse stated that De Ferrari was employed between 1630 and 1633 at John Delabarr's London counting house as Delabarr's servant "for to write letters and dispatches for him and his brother Vincent Delabarr to Italy". Crosse believed "fferaro did write most of these Italian letters for that hee did well understand and speake the Italian tongue."[6]

May 1645

Describing himself as a merchant stranger and aged forty-five, Nicolas de Ferrari deposed on May 14th 1645 in the High Court of Admiralty. He testified in a cause concerning a ship named the Santa Clara. De Ferrari was clearly familiar with Seville and with Spain, since he mentions having seen a document or register "from the Contraction House in Sivill in Spaine". The ship the Santa Clara (Master: ffrancisco Allecant) had undertaken a voyage from San Lucar to the East Indies. As was custom, the master of the ship had made an entry in the Contraction House of the particulars of goods to be taken in, by whom they were laded and to whom they were to be delivered, with a copy of the entry signed by "the Governor the Kings Officer and the Secretary of that place". This entry was by custom given full faith and credit by those to whom goods were signed, and obviated the need for bills of exchange.[7]


Aged fifty-two, Nicolas de Ferrari deposed on XXXX in the High Court of Admiralty, He stated that he t became acquainted with John Baptista Balby thirty yers ago "and became first acquainted with him in Genoa where hee the said producent and alsoe this deponent were borne and where hee this deponent alwaies lived till his comming for England"[8]

December 1654

Aged fifty-four, Nicolas de Ferrari deposed on December 15th 1654 in the High Court of Admiralty. He gave evidence in the claim of Doctor ffrancisco Benzi in the Prince and the Grimani.[9]

March 1657

Aged fifty-six and describing himself as a London merchant Nicolas de Ferrari deposed on March 11th 1657 in the High Court of Admiralty. His deposition concerned Lewis Scarletti, who had lived in Lisbon in Portugal as a merchant stranger for the last six years, and Antonia Maria da Conte, a Genoese merchant, likewise living as a merchant stranger at Lisbon for five or six years.[10]

Nicolas de Ferrari described himself as a native of Genoa, though residing in London. He mentions a Peter fferrari, resident in Rouen but "an Italian by extraction". However, it is not clear whether Peter fferrari and Nicolas de Ferarri are related.[11]

Comment on sources


SP 81/35/175 Folio 175: Evan and Lambert von Stockhem to Nic. Ferrari. 1629 Mar. 17/27
  1. HCA 13/53 f.337r
  2. HCA 13/53 f.201v
  3. HCA 13/53 f.201v
  4. HCA 13/53 f.201v
  5. HCA 13/53 f.201v
  6. HCA 13/53 f.337r
  7. HCA 13/60 f.33r
  8. HCA 13/65 ff.140r-149v IMG_3892
  9. HCA 13/70 f.36r
  10. HCA 13/72 f.4r
  11. HCA 13/72 f.4v