Reference Number: L0447
Date: 25 November 1762
Extent: 1 item
Provenance: Purchased from Mr Worrall in 1987

Description: Printed Ship and Goods ‘SG’ Policy for the ship ‘Nelly’ to sail from London to Madeira, Master, Robert Salmon. The policy is taken out by James Gordon and probably documents the trade in Madeira wine to British colonies and to Colin Mackenzie. The Gordons of Letterfourie in Banffshire, started developing a merchant business in Madeira wine through James Gordon in 1730. He was joined by his brother Alexander Gordon and they established the business in London and Madeira, later returning to London and Scotland, leaving James Duff, their nephew, in charge in Madeira. Duff became a partner from 1769. It is likely that both James and Alexander were subscribers to Lloyd’s. See a similar policy for 1763: L0579/1/29. In the eighteenth century, British merchants dominated the trade in wine from the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira. Geographically, Madeira was an important crossroads in trade networks as the direction of prevailing winds made Madeira made it a natural and important stopping-off place for ships heading from Britain to both the Americas and to India. Ships put in at Madeira to take on fresh provisions and to pick up Madeira wine. The network operated by the Gordons, centred on Madeira, London and Banffshire, extended across the globe: India, the West Indies, North America and the Baltic were key nodes operated from their London counting house. The Gordons’ main market was the West Indies. A manuscript clause defines cheaper premiums if the ship returns with an East or West India or Africa convoy. It is noted on the back of the policy that an agreement of a West India convoy was made on the 27 May 1763 and that the return for convoy had been entered on 8 June 1763.

Notes: For more information on ship and voyage policies see the Underwriting Souls exhibition “insuring the Guipuzcoa”