Document ReferenceMS 454
TitleShipping register, later used as a scrapbook, 1799-1851
Extent1 volume
AbstractVolume of shipping accounts later used as a scrapbook for newspaper cuttings, poetry and ephemera, 1799-1851.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers.
Admin HistoryThe volume described here was probably compiled by a merchant shipping agency between 1799 and 1800. It records the names of men, ships, ports and sums of money. The volume bears on its cover a manuscript title 'Scrap Book Nov[ember] 5th 1818', apparently recording its change of use, although the material inserted dates back at least to 1806. Its new users had no interest in the original content, cutting out some pages and pasting over others with later newscuttings. The last dated material in the volume comes from 1851.

It has not as yet been possible to identify either the shipping agency in question or the person responsible for using the volume as a scrapbook. A manuscript letter cover, reused in the scrapbook, bears the names 'Rev Dr Mayo', but without further details.
Custodial HistoryThe volume was acquired by the University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts in February 1988.
DescriptionThe collection comprises a single volume. The volume was originally used as a register for shipping accounts. This can only clearly be seen from June 1799, when one can read occasional original pages free from subsequent scrap book insertions.

For use as a register, the pages of the volume were ruled into columns. There is no clear explanation as to the meaning of the columns, but sufficient content is available to suggest their purpose. Further research into this internal evidence would confirm these conjectures.

Entries begin with surnames. These are commonly repeated many times, and may indicate agents or even ships' captains or owners. The date within the month is then given, followed by a unique reference number, which seems to relate to the first name. The name of the ship is then given, followed by another surname, possibly the receiving agent. Further columns supply the names of two ports, presumably the origin and destination of the ship. These are sometimes within the British Isles, but include places around the world, from St Petersburg to New York.

The next column contains single letters, almost always 'A', but sometimes 'C' or 'L'. Two other columns of figures follow, and then, perhaps, a note of the ship's cargo, usually a single letter (commonly 'S') but sometimes a word such as 'grain', 'skins', 'coffee' etc. The last column contains cumulative sums of money, given in pounds, shillings and pence. Notes occasionally appear in the right margin, usually relating to the payment of the sums recorded.

The volume was later used as a scrapbook into which about one hundred cuttings from newspapers, including the 'The London Chronicle', were pasted between 1808 and 1851. The newspaper cuttings cover a wide variety of subjects, particularly fairs and festivals, hoaxes and bizarre stories, murders and murder trials, high society, and London's Great Exhibition of 1851. There are also cuttings of letters to newspapers and of poetry.

Two entries in manuscript are also present. One of these is an acrostic, the other a copy of a humorous poem entitled 'On the Pad' about current female fashion.
MgtGroupBusiness records
ArrangementNo archival arrangement has been necessary.
TermShipping - Accounting
Ship registers
Scrapbooks and albums - 19th century
FindingAidsThis description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to the University of Nottingham.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

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