Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 12 February 1781

By Admms |

Taylor acted as a local proxy (or ‘attorney’ in eighteenth-century Jamaican parlance) for plantation owners living in England, acting on their behalf and managing their sugar estates/ One such absentee was his friend, Chaloner Arcedeckne, who owned the Golden Grove sugar estate in St Thomas in the East. Here, Taylor informs Arcedeckne about the sugars he has shipped from the plantation to the metropolitan market in an excerpt that reveals aspects of the work of an attorney and some of the complexities of shipping and marketing sugar.

[…] I hope the sugars will all arrive safe and to a good market, if I am able will inform you what we shall ship p the next fleet so that you may have time to insure and I would have given you advice of the 40 additional Hhds p. the pallas and the ten p. Chigish had I know it but a push was made for them & [Captain] Thompson would have been disapointed had the sugar not been made after having lain at Port morant Six Months. Mr Bourke has sent me Bills of exchange lading for ten hdds of sugar to Glasgow to be applyed to pay off part of the interst on Robt Arcedeckne’s bonds to your mother I have not been in Spanish Town these ten weeks so cannot say how your aunt is. Messrs Longs wrote me they were to have sent me the proceedings in Mr Cowells Bill by a capt Mr Fadrean but I do not find he is arrived. As rum sold very well I have ordered some to town to be sold to ease the press of bills to be drawn on you, it has encountered a very good market. […]

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1781/1, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Kingston, 12 February 1781)