On This Day: 10 April 1712

On Thursday 10 April 1712, goods taken in the South Seas by the private ships of War belonging to Bristol the, Duke and Dutchess, were sold at the Marine Coffee House in Burchin Lane, Cornhill by the Candle. The goods were summarised as being various linens, cinnamon, cloves, gum elemnia, bees’ wax, benjamen, rice and rattan canes. The goods could be viewed at Major Long’s Warehouse in Seething Lane. Gum elemnia was a tree resin used for treating ulcers, skin infections, head injuries and wounds. Gum Benjamin was another resin used in perfumes.

Major Long was Bowrey’s friend Nathaniel Long and Seething Lane is famous for being where Samuel Pepys lived in part of the Navy Office.

Auctions by candle were similar to standard (English) auctions except that the end of the lot was when a candle flame went out rather than the fall of the hammer. No one could know precisely when the sale would be completed. They were common in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Bowrey has not made any annotations in the small catalogue so we can assume that he did not buy anything at the auctions and, perhaps, only attend to support his friend.

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