Women's investment activities and record keeping

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Women were very much involved on shore in the C17th maritime business. Getting involved in collecting freight, assuring ships, and purchasing investment goods for adventuring in their husband’s ships, either on their husband’s behalf, or on their own account. This involvement was not restricted to wives of masters of ships and other senior officers, but extended to more junior officers, and to the wives of common men and sailors. Much of this business activity required literacy and numeracy, although there are also examples of illiterate women acting in the business affairs of their living husbands.

The examples below show the breadth of commercial engagement by wives and widows of mariners, and also by wives, widows and landladies involved in Thames shore trades.

Our examples include Joane Reed, the land lady of an anchorsmith, who kept the accounts of that anchorsmith, whose premisses were in the same building as her. Her involvement in record keeping is intriguing, since one of the anchorsmith's workers was clearly literate, but the responsibility for the books was in the hands of Joane Reed.

Our examples also include evidence of women preserving their husbands records, both books of account and journals, for more than ten years after the creation of the records. The specific examples are those of Margaret Hare, widow of Josias Hare (commander of the ship John and Mary), who preserved her husband's journal; and Martha Cock, wife of John Cock (master of the Laurell Tree, who consulted her husband's book of accounts while he was away in Carolina.


Distiller's wife sent adventure to sea with master of the Sara Bonadventure [1634]

Jane Hendell, fifty year old wife of James Hendell, distiller of Saint Olaves in the borough of Southwark, Surrey. Sent an adventure with the master of a ship called the Sara Bonadventure. Deposed January 1635.

"Within the tyme arlate the arlate William Hyatt was master of the shipp the Sara Bonadventure, which shee knoweth to bee true for that within that tyme shee dyned aboard that shippe and sent an adventure to sea with him the sayd Hyatt.[1]

Uppon the firste day of September laste was twelve monethes, the arlate William Yeames and William Hyatt came to this examinate’s husbandes house beinge a distiller of stronge water, and called for stronge waters to drincke, and there treated concerninge some worke that the said Hyatt was desirous that the said Yeams being a shipp carpenter shoulde doe uppon the said shippe the Sara Bonadventure and from this examinate’s house they wente to a taverne called the King’s Head in Southwarke and carried this examinate alonge with them to that taverne to bee a witnes to their bargaine, and at that taverne it was aggreed betweene the said Hyatt and Yeames in this examinate’s presence, that the said Yeams should cutt tenn ports in the said shippe and lay her gunroome and calke her above water and grave her belowe and above and finde all stuffe and materialls for the same, but whether hee was to doe any other worcke or noe shee cannott now remember, but shee sayeth that for that worcke which the said Yeams then aggreed with the said Hyatt to doe to the said shippe the said Hyatt did aggree with him that he should have sixteene poundes, and shee sayeth that the said Hyatt intreated this examinate dwelling neere the yard where the said Yeams wrought uppon the sayd shippe, to sea the worcke, and shee sayeth that shee was aboard the said shippe and dyned aboard her after the worcke was donn, and sawe that all the worcke had bin donn uppon the said shippe that was aggreed uppon in this examinate’s presence as aforesaid, as alsoe an overplus of worcke, but the perticulers therof shee remembreth not, nor the vallue therof, and shee sayeth that at the same tyme when the bargaine aforesaid was made betweene the said Yeams and Hyatt, they did aggree that one James Corbett then an apprentice to the said Yeames should goe carpenter in the said shippe in a voyage to the Westerne Islandes, but shee doeth not well remember what wages the said Hyatt caused to give the said Yeames for his foresaid servant, but to her now best remembrance it was thirty shillings a moneth, And she sayeth that after the said shippe returned from her voyage, the said Hyatt came to this examinate and intreated her to speake to the said Yeames to forbeare the monies that were due to him for the worcke that hee had donn uppon the said shippe, untill he had delivered his goods and receive his freighte and then hee would pay him the same, And this shee affirmeth to bee true, who formerly was a shipp carpenter’s wife and often sawe Yeames and his servants at worcke uppon the said shippe and was present when Corbett was bounde an apprentice to him the said Yeames."[2]

Grocer's mother (wife of a plasterer) and grocer's own wife present at discussions of ship's debts [1633]

The wife of a plasterer, Ellens Piggens, and mother of a grocer, was present at discussions of the debts of a ship named the Hope for Grace, as was the grocer's own wife. They were both asked to bear witness to the payment of a shipwright in full satisfaction of work done to the ship.

"In the moneth of September last past was twelve moneths the arlate Mathewe Graves and Alexander Heard beinge at the house of this deponents father in lawe Ellis Piggens a plasterer scituate in Cheswell street within the parish of Saint Giles Cripplegate London, the sayd Graves and Herd had speech and conference about some worke (as it was sayd) donne by the sayd Graves uppon the arlate shipp the Hope for Grace, and the sayd Herd did then and there affirme that the sayd Graves had donne him a greate deale of wronge and dammage in not performinge the worke uppon the sayd shipp within the tyme limited, and that he had therby lost a voyage which he had undertaken for merchants, and that another man had made a voyage to the same place where he was bounde since the tyme limited for the doeinge of the worcke was expired, and afterwards the sayd Heard layd downe some gould, and did bidd the sayd Graves to take the sayd gould in full staisfaction for all the worke donne by him uppon the sayd shipp or else to lett it alone, and then the sayd Graves tooke up the sayd gould and sayd that he would take it in parte of payment, bu the sayd Heard bidd him to take it as he tendred it in full satisfaction or else to lay it downe agayne, but the sayd Graves would not laye it downe agayne but sayd he would take it in part, and soe caryed it awaye agayne with him there beinge then an there present, this deponent and his said father in lawe and his mother and this deponents wife whome the said Heard entreated to beare witnes that he payd Gravesthe sayd money in full said satisfaction"[3]

Mariner's widow had his journal at home, nine years after his death [1684]

Margaret Hare, the widow of another mariner, who has been commander of the John and Mary, searched her deceased husband’s records, at the request of the wife of Anthony Couch, who had made a similar request to Martha Cock as above. The year of her examination was 1684, but the journal she found and read covered 1672 and 1673, twelve years earlier.

"This deponent being the widdow of Josias Hare, late comander of the ship John and Mary about nine yeares since deceased did at the request of the wife of Anthony Couch (a prisoner as is sayd in Lisbon) search in her said deceased husband's journall to see what time the said Anthony Couch entred aboard and when discharged. And shee sayth that in the journall for a voyage to the Canaryes shee did find that Anthony Couch did enter into the service of the said shipp in the middle of 1672 and was discharged therefrom in May following 1673"[4]

Merchant's wife privy to commercial conversations with her husband and other merchants [1627; 1630]

Alice Beauchampe recalled a conversation in her husband's house three years earlier at which William ffreeman had confessed and acknowledged that he and his brother, Edmond freeman, had joint ownership of a quarter part of a ship

"In November laster was three yeares the arlate William ffreeman in the then house of this examinats husband in Saint Michaells Lane London in the presense and heareing of this examinate and her said husband did confesse and acknowledge that hee the said William ffreeman, and his said brother Edmond ffreeman had a fourth parte of the shippe whereof Jeremy Hales was master) bettwixte them share and share a like"[5]

Wapping land lady does accounts of an anchorsmith [1655]

Signature of Joane Read; HCA 13/70 f.698v

Deposition of Joane Read, fifty year old woman living in Wapping in the parish of Saint Mary Matsellon alias Whitechapel. Deposed November 22nd 1655. She was the landlady of an anchor smith named Jeremiah Cotts and did his accounts for him.

"Shee this deponent liveth in howse whereof the arlate Jeremia Cotts shopp is a part and shee hath done for these 14 or 15 yeares shee being landlady of the sayd Cotts shopp and by reason of her soe being in howse the sayd Cott doth usually imploy this deponent to sett downe such wares as hee delivereth out and are bought of him for the use of shipps (hee being an anchor smith) and by this meanes shee well knoweth that in the moneths of July August and September one thousand sixe hundred fiftie three there were delivered to the arlate Mr Keech (who was then reputed to be master of the arlate shipp the Minories) for the use of the sayd shipp nayles and other iron worke amounting to the value of sixe pounds two shillings three pence sterling which nayles and Iron worke this deponent entred into the sayd Cott's booke as sold at that rate, and sawe the sayd iron worke weighed and the sayd nayles and it delivered to the sayd Keech at severall tymes within the moneths aforesayd"[6]

Widow of a mariner needed to recover a book from the papers of another deceased mariner John Norris [1603]

Jeremy White, a twenty-nine year old London haberdasher, originally from Gloucestershire, was required by the High Court of Admiralty to produce a handwritten book formally belonging to a now deceased Ratcliffe mariner. White had acquired the book from the home of Jane Pinder, the widow of a mariner named Simon Pinder, who in turn had acquired the book from a deceased mariner named John Norris. White had asked Jane Pinder for the book, perceiving that there were clean pages within it. However, the book also contained notes of relevance to a court case brought by John Trigges, the now husband of Jane Pinder, on Jane’s behalf.

[Regarding the allegation and book exhibited] "He affirmed that aboute three yeares past one John Norris a mariner beinge att sea died and by his will gave all that he had as he remembreth to Simon Pinder and Jane his wiffe who is nowe wife to the articulated John Triggis, and thereuppon this examinate was requested by the said Jane Pinder, nowe Jane Trigges whether togeather with a gold smithe called George [?Jole] to appraise such goods as the said John Norris had in his house in Ratcliffe and in perusinge such bookes and papers as were in the said house amongst the rest the booke exhibited nowe shewed unto him at the tyme of his examination was founde in an upper cubbard, and the same booke this examinate intreated the said Jane Pinder to bestowe uppon him for that there was cleane paper therein which he had occasion to use, and she accordingly gave it unto him and the same booke he ever since kepte untill he was served with a proces to appeare in this Court and then he delivered the said booke to the said Joane for that she sayd it concerned her, And he sayth that the severall notes sett downe in the 2nd and 6th leaves of the said booke firmed in the name per me William Jones in some places and in one place by Mr William Jones were in the said booke so written and sett downe as by the said booke appeareth when the said booke came to this examinates handes"[7]

Wife of mariner received letters from her mariner husband, master of a ship, who was imprisoned at Alicante [1643]

Susanna Sherwin, the literate wife of Thomas Sherwin, master of the Scipio, received several letters from her husband in Alicante, where he had been imprisoned. Following the death of her husband, Susanna received a letter from Sherwin’s chief mate, sent from Venice, addressing some anchors which had gone missing there.

"In the yeares 1633 and 1634 and part of the yeare 1635 the arlate Thomas Sherwin since deceased was master of the arlate shippe the Scipio, which shee knoweth to bee true, for that all that tyme shee was the wife of the said Thomas Sherwin and was divers tymes within that tyme aboard the said ship with her said husband…Within the tyme arlate the said Thomas Sherwin sett saile with the said shippe from this port of London bounde upon a voyage to the Streights, and puttinge into Allecante outwards bounde that voyage the said Thomas Sherwin as appears by his letters written to this examinate from thence and from his speeches since was there arrested and imprisoned, but his shippe rideing then without commander there, [?XXXXed] and sett saile from thence on her intended voyage under the command of the arlate Humphrey Barrett being then the said Sherwin’s chief mate...Since the said voyage was ended shee hath often heard the said Barrett confesse that hee caused the said anchors to bee put on shoare at Venice and lefte them ther in the hands of one Yates a merchant, and shewed this examinate a noate which hee said hee had from the said Yates for the receipte of those anchors, and that noate the said Barrett the nexte voyage carried forth with him in the said shippe being the bounde to Venice, and from Venice that voyage the said Barrett wrott a letter to this examinate her husband being then dead whereby hee did advise her that it was not known but that those anchors were her husbandes, and that one of them was souled, and that the party with whom he the said Barrett lefte those anchors was dead, but had lefte sufficient to pay every body."[8]

Wife of master of ship searched her husband's book of accounts at home in his absence [1684]

Master’s books were important records, and were kept for years after specific voyages were completed. We learn from the examination of Martha Cock, wife of mariner John Cock, master of the Laurell Tree, that she searched her husband’s book in his absence, for details of the service of an Anthony Couch, who had sailed on her husband’s ship the Laurell Tree. The book she searched may have been a combined book of accounts, wage book and journal, since she identified the date of Anthony Couch entering into service, and found details of the actual voyage and the insufficiency of the proffered cargo at Barbados. The year of her examination was 1684, but the records she accessed were from 1673/74, ten years earlier.

"She is aged near forty and wife of John Cock of Wapping Wall near London formerly commander of the ship Laurell Tree...This deponent's husband beinge now absent at Carolina shee this deponent thereto requested by the wife of the said Anthony Couch did search in her said husband's book and did there find that Anthony Couch entred himselfe in the service of the said shipp Laurell Tree upon the fourteenth day of March 1673 English style in a voyage shee was then about to make from here to the Maderas and so to Barbadoes at which two places shee arrived but at the last place not meeting with a cargoe according to expectation shee proceeded and came to Jamaica and to home. And shee sayth that by the said book shee finds that the said Anthony Couch was discharged upon or about the seaventh of March following 1674 same style"[9]

Widow of master of ship sorted out accounts with suppliers to her husband's ship after his death [1648]

Susanna Gosling, after the death of her husband Thomas Gosling the elder, master of the Merchant Adventure, was left to sort out the accounts of her husband with the ship’s owners. She had access to her husband’s papers, including an invoice from one of his suppliers. She organised a meeting with the ship’s owners to agree the accounts, and shared a copy of the invoice with the owners.

"About Whitsuntide last past was a twelvemoneth and after the said Thomas Golsing the elder his death, and when his said sonne was preparing to goe out with the said shipp, this deponent being the relict of the said Thomas Goslinge the elder, and desirous to have his accompts with the owners cleared, having received the first schedule lilate of Mr Greene for such goods taken up by her said husband for the said shipps use, this deponent endeavoured a meeting amongest the said owners, that soe her husbands accompts might be stated, and procured Mr Lee a merchant for his brother a part owner livinge at Rotterdam, and Mr Andrewes of Ipswich for his brother another owner, and Mr Church an owner and also the arlate Alderman Witham another owner to meete at his the said Alderman Witham his house in Aldermanbury, and then and there this deponent made them acquainted with the first schedule lilate touching the delivery of the goods therein mentioned and showed the same unto them"[10]

Widow of master of ship needed to get her husband's accounts in order [1642]

Susan Hempson was the widow of a mariner (first name unknown), who had been master of a ship named the Royal Merchante. Her husband had business dealings with a linnen draper, and Susan had not yet got her husbands accounts in order.

"Shee this examinate using the shoppe where the interrate Richard Clarcke lived hath knowen the said Clarcke as shee beleeveth for the space of these twelve yeares laste paste…Her husband deceased and the interrate Clarcke have often had dealeings togeather and soe shee beleeveth they had the voyage in question, but for what shee saieth shee knoweth not, but beleeveth it was for such commodityes as the said Clarcke tradeth in hee beinge by profession a lynnen draper, and that the said Clarcke the voyage in question outwards bounde did adventure some commodityes with her said husband since deceased whoe wente out master of the interrate shippe the Royall Merchant, but to what value shee knoweth not, neither doth shee knowe whether there were any debts betweene her husbande and the said Clarcke or what haveinge not yet perused or examined over her husband's accounts nor had any accounte of the said Clarcke about any such thinge. And shee this examinate hath alsoe had dealeings with the said Clarcke and hath had and boughte things of him but never had or boughte any thinge of him uppon truste but payd him ready money for the same...For his parte shee never received any monies, pearles or other goodes whatsoever by the interrate shippe the Golden Angell or any other shippe or shipps uppon accounte betweene her husband deceased and the foresaid Clarcke since the departure of the interrate shippe the Royall Merchante...Shee never received any peeces of eight of or from the interrate Henry Trewen or any such man"[11]

Wife of master's mate received a note from her husband detailing investment in goods on his ship [1640]

Not all written communications between husbands and wives were in the form of letters. For example, Elizabeth Tyson, the literate widow of James Sladd, mariner, received a note from her husband on his setting out to sea, listing her husband’s investment in goods. James Sladd had been master’s mate of the Abigall of London, which was cast away returning to London from Saint Christophers. The investment, on the behalf of both Sladd and friends, came to the large sum of £100.

Depositions relating to the coyage and casting away of the Abigall of London appear in HCA 13/55 , HCA 13/56 and HCA 13/57. The voyage was a traumatic one. According to Richard Bristowe, boatswain’s mate on the outward voyage, but boatswain on the homewards leg, the two master’s mates, the purser, and the boatswain all died, although the master survived[12]

"Her husband gave her a noate of what goods hee had laden aboard the said shippe for his owne accounte and his friends for whome hee was intrusted which noate shee deliverd to the partie producent and out of which noate shee believeth the arlate schedule was extracted"[13]

Wife paid a bill of exchange for her husband [1624]

Jana fflouney, the literate wife of Charles fflouney, who bought the ship the Jonathan, paid on her husband’s behalf (and in his absence) a bill of exchange for £50 as part payment for the ship.

"Shee paid him the said Wiseman about fifty pounds here in London uppon a bill of exchange for her husband, which shee beleeveth was parte of the price for the said shippe"[14]

Widow running a ship chandler's shop in the Precinct of Saint Catherines near the Tower of London [1658]

Strong agency amongst women in marine affairs is not restricted to wives of mariners. There are examples of shops, yards and workshops all being run by women on the Thames shoreline in the C17th. Mary Dell, a widow, ran a ship chandler’s shop in the Precinct of Saint Catherines near the Tower of London. She had servants working for her, and was involved in subscribing her name to documents, including receipts for goods received back from customers.

"Hee saith the sayd schedule is as hee beleeveth, subscribed with the propper hand of the said producent [Mary Dell], and beleeveth that some of the foresaid goods were by her received back againe"[15]

Wife of master of ship involved in the assurance of her husband's ship [1650]

We learn from a merchant employed by the wife of John Plover of Ipswich, master of the 250 ton burthen ship the Eagle of Ipswich, that she had been involved multiple times in matters concerning the assurance of her husband’s ship. The merchant, William Startute, describes himself as the paymaster of the assurance policy. One of the conversations between Startute and John Plovr's wife took place at the Mermaid tavern in Cornill, near the Royal Exchange. This was a tavern frequently used by merchants and mariners for commercial discussions about contracts of affriaghtment and assurance policies.

"Hee this examinate tendered to the interrogated Mr Gilbert Morewood (since deceased) the pollicie of assurance mentioned in the said interrogatorie, dated the 15th of December 1648, drawne up in the name of the interrate john Plover of Ipswich, upon the body, tackle, apparrell, ordnance, munition, artillery, boate and other furniture of and in the good shipp the Eagle of Ipswich of the burthen of 250 tonnes, the said John Plover master. And for and on the behalfe of the said Plover, this deponent was the person that appeared in that matter to the said Gilbert Morewood and procured him to become an assurer, and upon this deponent's showing the said Mr Morewood the said pollicie, and agreement with him for the summe for premium, hee the said Mr Morewood subscribed that hee as content with that assurance for £150, as under the said pollicie is set downe and contained, and hee this deponent paid the said Mr Gilbert Morewood the premium, and was by him the said Mr Morewood taken notice of to be paymaster thereof, and for such hee was written downe in the said pollicie"[16]

"The wife of the said Plover consented and gave order to this deponent to make the said intimation, in this manner videlicet, the said Plovers said wife comeing somwhat before the said 24th of August 1649 to this deponent to his house in Thames streete London and bringing the rest of the premium money that was due to the said Mr Morewood for six monethes, this deponent told her that nowe hee conceived the shipp was out of danger, and therefore shee should doe well to take off the assurance and save money, and that shee might reviewe it againe about three or foure monethes after if shee sawe cause, and that at a better rate, or to that effect, which motion shee well approved, and gave this deponent order to take it off and make the intimation aforesaid, which accordingly did bona fide, with honest intention and without any manner of fraude or deceipt...After the said notice soe given by this deponent to the said Plover his wife of the said intimation, and ceasing of the said Mr Gilbert Morewoods said adventure, there was a newe pollicie procured by her and such as shee imployed upon the said shipp, which shee said was subscribed by the interrate Mr Alderman Dethick as an assurer, and after the procureing thereof this deponent asking her for £50 which her husband ought him, shee showed him the said newe pollicie and said here is your money secured, and this was at the Maremaide taverne in Cornhill. And after the premisses a losse happening to the said shipp after the 24th of August 1649, the said assurers upon the said newe pollicie as shee told him came to composition with her, and paid her £60 per centum for her money assured"[17]

Wife of master of ship conducted correspondence regarding assurance of her husband's ship [1655]

Isabell Seaman, the literate wife of Captain Seaman, master of the Sampson, received several letters sent by her husband from Livorno, enquiring about the policy of assurance on his ship. This Isabell pursued in London by calling on a Mr Hoxton, Justice of the Peace, to make enquiries.

"Isabell Seaman wife to the said Captaine Seaman liveing at Wapping in the County of Middlesex aged 47 yeares...After the returne of the shipp the Sampson interrate, (whereof this deponents husband Captaine Seaman interrate was commander) from Smyrna to Legorne, this rendent received severall letters from her said husband at Legorne, some or one whereof did import and require this rendent to enquire by her selfe or freinds, whether the policy entred in the Assurance Office here concerneing the trading voiage of the said shipp did stand good And saith, that none of the said letters did import any thing otherwise or contrary to what is predeposed saving that the said shipp Sampson was to be employed in the service of this Commonwealth against the Dutch. And that upon that occasion the said Captaine Seaman desired to knowe whether the said policy of assurance would stand and continue valid and effectuall till the said shipps returne for England, whereof this rendent being affirmatively assured returned an answer accordingly to her said husband...In prosecution of her said husbands order shee desired the interrate Mr Hoxton Justice of Peace to enquire on what condition the said policy of assurance stood, but as to the demannds made by the assurers to the said Justice Hoxton as is interrate shee saith shee is utterly ignorant thereof...To the best of this rendents remembrance shee never returned any answer to her said husband upon the report of the said Justice Hoxton, but having by some others of the freinds understood, that the said policy of assurance did stand firme and valid shee did as aforesaid intimate so much by letter unto her said husband then at Legorne...Shee never received any letter or letters from her said husband to the effect interrate. And further shee cannot depose...Shee hath no letter or letters remaining in her custodie to the effect interrate, nor doeth shee knowe where any such letter or letters are, adressed to her selfe or any other person whatsoever for or concerning the businesse aforesaid, nor hath shee or any other person of her knowledge kept any copie or copies of letters sent by her to her said husband concerning this or any other businesse, nor can shee recollect her memory so farr, as to be able to expresse the particular contents of the letters mutually sent and received to and from her said husband during the transactions in question otherwise then as aforesaid... Shee never heard her husband Captaine Seaman interrate say, that hee had ever expressed any forwardnesse, or made any voluntary proffer to engage his said shipp in the service interrate, but that hee was by authority and commannd from Mr Longland the then Agent of Legorne for this Commonwealth forced and impressed into the said service, and that to the effect and order by the said agents procurement was read and published at the maine mast of his said shipp then at Legorne."[18]

Wife of master of ship received money for him and cancelled a bond through the power of a letter of attorney from her husband [1631]

Nathaniel Goodlad, thirty-eight year old mariner, and presumed master of a ship, left a letter of attorney with his wife to receive money on his behalf. His wife received money in settlement of a debt to her husband, paid by the executor of a deceased mariner's estate, and also cancelled a bond her husband held under the hand of the deceased mariner for that debt.

"Richard Harris the elder late of Leigh in the Countye of Essex mariner deceased at the tyme of his decease did really and truelye owe and was indebted unto this examinate the somme of one hundred and fiftye pounds of lawfull money of England by bond, and likewise the somme of twentye five pounds for timber had of this deponent, and for the use of the sayd moneyes the somme of £12 more, in all one hundred fowerscore and seaven pounds sterlinge, which sayd somme of £187 Richard Harris the producent as executor of the sayd deceased s will hath since his death reallye payd and satisfyed unto this deponents wife in the absence of this deponent beinge then at sea, and theruppon the bond aforesayd is cancelled and delivered unto the sayd producent, who is likewise released and discharged of and from the rest of debts aforesayd by vertue of a leyyer of atturney lefte by this deponent with his wife which he hath and doth ratifye confirme and allowe of"[19]

Wife of master of ship received money for him and familiar with his books of account [1649]

Anne Jolley, the literate wife of Josua Jolley, master of the Desire of London, had received money on her husband’s behalf from one of the part-owners of her husband’s ship. Moreover, she was familiar with her husband’s book of accounts.

"She well knewe the sayd shipp the Desire and well knoweth that Mr John Clarcke dwellinge in Birchinge Lane London was owner of a sixteenth part of the sayd shipp, tackle and furniture at the tyme of her departure to sea on her last voyage to the Barbadoes and that the sayd Clarcke had a bill of sale of a sixteenth part of the sayd shipp made unto him by her sayd husband. And the sayd Clarcke sent forth some serges in the sayd shipp in her sayd last voyage. The premisses she knoweth to be true for that she hath seene her husband's booke of accompts, and hath for the use of her husband received some moneys from the sayd Mr Clerke as owner of a sixteenth part of the sayd shipp since her departure to sea on her last voyage wherin shee was cast away (as shee hath heard) in her passage from Antego to Virginia"[20]

Josua Jolley's accounts were made up by a merchant tailor living in the Minories named John Wilkes, who was Wilkes' brother-in-law, do preseumably the brother of Anne Jolley

"The premisses he knoweth to be true for that he this deponent was imployed by the sayd Joshua Jolley to assiste him in the makeinge up of his accompts ever since the sayd Jolley was master of her and knoweth that the sayd Clarke did pay the charges of settinge forth a sixteenth part of the sayd shipp and that the sayd Jollye hath accompted to the sayd Clarke in former voyages as owner of a sixteenth part of the sayd shipp. And further he cannot depose savinge he hath heard the sayd Jolly (beinge this deponents brother in lawe) saye and acknowledge that he hath made a bill of sale of the sayd sixteenth part of the sayd shipp tackle and furniture unto him the sayd John Clarke"[21]

Wife of presumed master of ship looks after his affairs when he is at sea [1633]

Kathleen Moulton, the literate wife of a mariner (and presumed master of a ship), deposes in the English High Court of Admiralty concerning the ownership of a ship in which her husband had a share. She makes it clear that she looks after his affairs at home when he is at sea.

"And this she affirmeth to bee true, who in the absense of her husband beeing a seaman useth to looke to his affaires at home"[22]

Wife of shipwright collected moneys oweing her husband from his customers [1639]

The wife of Mathew Graves, a Stepney shipwright with his own yard and dock, collected moneys oweing him from customers. According to Nicholas Woster, servant to a Captain Bell, Mathew Graves wife received money on two separate occasions on behalf of her husband. The first occasion was at Captain Bell’s lodgings in Drury Lane, where the owner of a ship named the Alethia, Leonard Guy, paid Mrs Graves the sum of £40. He asked for a receipt for that sum and for a further sum he had already paid. Mrs Graves refused, telling him to come to her house, where her husband would issue the receipt. On a second occasion, at the house of another woman in Limehouse, at which Captain Bell’s servant was also present, Mathew Graves and his wife were both present when Leonard Guy paid the sum of £80 for materials used on repairing his ship.

"Hee this examinate beeinge servant unto one Captaine Bell was present when the wife of the arlate Graves and the arlate Guy came to his masters lodgeinge togather scituate in Drury Lane London and then and there his master delivered the said Guy forty poundes sterlinge which forty poundes the said Guy presently payd and delivered to the said Graves his wife, and withall demannded a receite of her for that forty poundes and forty poundes more which the said Guy sayd hee had formerly payd her husband, but shee denyed to give him a recete for the same but willed him to come home to her husbands house and hee should give him a receite for the whole fowerscore, and there uppon they both departed and went out of the house togeather and that money was as hee conceriveth concerneing a shippe that lay then or [?XXXX] in Greaves his docke called the Alathia, which did and doth belonge to the Lord of Southampton and by his master and not very longe afterwards the said Guy did pay and deliver unto the said Graves at one Mrs [?Barnes] her house in Lymehouse the summe of fowerscore poundes sterlinge which hee heard the said Guy saye at the delivery of the said money was for stuffe and other materialls which were for the use of the said shippe the Alethia hee this examinate beinge presente when the said Guy payd the said Graves and his wife the foresaid money"[23]

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