Lewis Prydyth

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Lewis Prydyth
Person Lewis Prydyth
First name Lewis
Middle name(s)
Last name Prydyth
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Cooper
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 Lewis Pridith
Has signoff text Lewis Prydyth
Signoff image (Invalid transcription image)
Language skills English language
Has interpreter
Birth street
Birth parish
Birth town
Birth county
Birth province
Birth country
Res street
Res parish Saint Andrew Hubbard
Res town London
Res county
Res province
Res country England
Birth year 1615
Marriage year
Death year
Probate date
First deposition age 43
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/72 f.293v 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) May 17 1658
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 Shore based trade
Silver Ship litigation in 1650s
Role in Silver Ship litigation None

Biographical synthesis

Lewis Prydyth (alt. Pridith) (b.ca.1615; d.?). Cooper.

Resident in the parish of Saint Andrew Hubbard in 1658.

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty

Forty-three year old Lewis Prydyth deposed in the High Court of Admiralty on May 17th 1658.[1]

Lewis Prydyth stated that he was a "wyne cooper by trade imployed by Mr Alexander Bence the producent in this cause to open certayne chests of sugar videlicet twelve chests of sugar of fifteene which were brought ashoare from aboard the Oporto Merchant the voyage in question". He remembered well "that two of the sayd chests were very much dammaged soe that the sugar which remayned in them unwasted was congealed in a lumpe togeather as hard as clay by reason of salt water and oyle which they had receaved, and nine more of the sayd twelve chests of sugar were alsoe damnified very much by the like meanes."

Prydyth was sent aboard the Oporto Merchant by Mr Bence to "view the stowage of the sugars in question". Prydyth observed "that the water that lay above the kilson of the shipp and in the dennage under the sayd chest" and heard members of the ship's company say that "the reason why soe much water was in the sayd shipp was for that a pype of oyle was staved at the ladeing of the shipp which oyle (as they sayd) leaked out and came amongst the ballast and dennage of the sayd shipp and thereby choaked the shipps pumpe that it could not voide the water soe well as otherwise it would have done". Prydyth ordered the disputed fifteen chests of sugar to be removed and "did observe that the water lay then among the dennage above the killson or plumbes of the shipp in the hold in puddles, and there continued after the sayd sugars were removed from their dennage."[2]

Prydyth observed that "the fifteene chests of sugar aforesayd or the most of them were stowed abaft the mast and all of them in the ground tyre, and this deponent observed that they that lay neerest the pumpe by the mast were most damnified, soe that it was evident that the dammage which happened to them came by the water that was in the sayd shipp, which as the sayd seamen sayd could not be pumped out by reason the pumpe was choaked in manner aforesayd." Moreover, "the covers of all the fifteene chests were drye, but that divers of them were wett five or sixe inches deepe toward the bottome, soe that the dammage happened only in the bottoms of them by reason of the water aforesayd And saith that hee this deponent beleeveth that all the rest of the sayd shipps ladeing, which lay above the sugar in question were dry and well conditioned for that hee knew divers of their owners and heard none of them complayne of any damage." The view of members of the ship's company who unloaded the sugar was that the damage amounted to £5 per chest of sugar for the fifteen chests in question. According to Prydyth, Mr Bence requested Joseph Careswell to inspect the sugars or to send a man to do so and "the sayd sugars were kept at Chesters Key in a warehouse above a weeke at the charge of the sayd Bence in expectation of the sayd Careswells coming to view them."[3]

Prydyth stated that his observation of the sugar in the Oporto Merchant took place between December 18th and 23rd 1657. He added that "it is usuall for sugars to bee weighed by the officers of the Custome house when they are landed and therefore beleeveth there could noe losse or dammage happen to the sayd sugars after their unladeing for that hee knoweth they were brought ashoare the same day they were unladen and that one John the servant of Mr ffowler a Cooper (imployed to that purpose) came with them in the lighter."[4] The Mr Fowler named by Lewis Prydyth would have been Alexander Fowler, a winecooper of Saint Olave Hart Street, who worked for Alexander Bence, and the servant John would have been John Tuffley.

Comment on sources


Allegation made in the High Court of Admiralty, dated May 4th 1658, given by Proctor Budd on behalf of Alexander Bence[5].

The allegation concerns fifteen chests of sugar for which freight is demanded on the ship the Oporto Merchant. The first article of the allegation claims that much sugar in every chest was wett and damnified, to of them were almost out, and "that which remayned in the said two chests was like clay and worth very little or nothing and 8 or 9 other chests were all most half out". Article two alleges that the sugars were"wett aswell with oye as with water". Article three alleges that there were several pipes of oil and that one or more of these pipes came to some misfortune and a good quantity of oils leaked out and "ran into and mamongst the ballast". Article four alleges that the pump was blocked up or stopped so that it could not conveniently be used. The article continues that wehen the sugars were removed from the ship in the River Thames, there was so much ol and water where the sugars were stored that the oil and water continued in the same place. Article five alleges that the sugars were stowed by the mast "all together in the ground tiere", and that those that lay nearest the pump by the mast were most damnified. Article six alleges that all the sugars that remayned in any of the chests undamnified "were those that lay in the uppermost of the chests and the covers of the said chests remayned dry and well conditioned", as were all other goods brought home in the ship that lay on top of the sugars. Article seven alleges that after the ship arrived in the River Thames Carswell and his company did nothing to remove the sugar to a drier place or to clense the pump. It alleges that damages was caused to the extent of £70, £60, or at least £50. Article eight alleges that Carswell and Company forced Alexander Bence's coopers to wait before they could view the sugars and that this "cost the said Alexander Bence in warehouse roome a weekes charges extraordinary to keepe the said sugars for them to viewe the said damage". Artcle nine argues that even if a storm happened, the dryness of other goods above the sugars shows that the damage to the sugars was due to ill stowage.[6].
  1. HCA 13/72 f.293v
  2. HCA 13/72 f.293v
  3. HCA 13/72 f.294r
  4. HCA 13/72 f.294v
  5. HCA 24/113 Item 119 IMG_110_10_3589-3592
  6. HCA 24/113 Item 119 IMG_110_10_3589-3592