Thursday, 24 November 2011

Port Royal, Jamaica, 1742

The anecdote below is from the murder trial of John Richardson, a rogue. It gives an insight into Caribbean trade. It also shows a Jew being swindled by a Christian Englishman. The tenor of the statement seems to be that there is nothing morally wrong with cheating a Jew.

From thence I went on board a Vessel which came from Guiney [Guiana?], and was bound for Jamaica; and as soon as I arrived, I took Lodgings at one Mr. William Torkman's at Port-Royal, where I had not been a Month, before I shipp'd myself on board with Capt. Trevisa, bound for Carthagena; but, before I went from Jamaica, I laid out the Money I brought with me in Goods, which I bought of a Jew Merchant, intending to sell them at Carthagena. The Jew seeing me able to buy Goods, asked me what Voyage I was going to make? I told him I was going to Carthagena, with Capt. Trevisa. He hearing that, offered me an hundred Pounds worth of'his own, and 'tis usual for the Merchants in those Places, to entrust Goods with Traders for half Profit. I accepted of his Goods, and we sailed from Jamaica to Carthagena; when we arrived there, I made a good Market of my Goods, but I took Care to return no more to Jamaica to give the Jew any Account of his Merchandize.

Select trials: at the Sessions-House in the Old-Bailey, for murder ... 1742

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