Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion, and Exile, 1550-1850 9789048544257

Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550-1850 brings together eleven original

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Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion, and Exile, 1550-1850

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Keeping Family

in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion, and Exile, 1550–1850

Keeping Family

in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion, and Exile, 1550–1850

Introduced and edited by Heather Dalton

Amsterdam University Press

Cover illustration: Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz, ‘X. From Spaniard and return backwards, hold yourself suspended in mid air’ (X. De español y torna atrás, tente en el aire), circa 1760, Mexico. LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Cover design: Coördesign, Leiden Lay-out: Crius Group, Hulshout isbn 978 94 6372 231 5 e-isbn 978 90 4854 425 7 doi 10.5117/9789463722315 nur © The authors/Amsterdam University Press B.V., Amsterdam 2020 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the written permission of both the copyright owner and the author of the book. Every effort has been made to obtain permission to use all copyrighted illustrations reproduced in this book. Nonetheless, whosoever believes to have rights to this material is advised to contact the publisher.

For my goddaughter, Francesca, and her sisters, Sian and Anna.

In loving memory of your mother, Lawrie Sale (née Gale), who, like her forbears, kept family across the Atlantic.

Table of Contents

List of Images, Maps, and Tables




Introduction: Keeping Family


Heather Dalton

Part 1 Surviving Slavery, Transportation and Forced Labour 1 Shaping Family Identity among Korean Migrant Pottersin Japan during the Tokugawa Period


2 Forced Separations


3 ‘If I Should Fall Behind’


Susan Broomhall

Severed Family Ties and New Beginnings for Mauritian Convicts Transported to Australia between 1825 and 1845 Eilin Hordvik

Motherhood, Marriage, and Forced Migration in the Mid-NineteenthCentury Leeward Islands Jessica Roitman

Part 2 On the Road: Mobility, Wellbeing, and Survival 4 The Witch Who Moved to the Wilderness


5 Independence, Affection and Mobility in Eighteenth-Century Scotland


Religious Control, Distance, and Family Survival in Finland, 1670–1707 Raisa Maria Toivo

Katie Barclay

Part 3 In the Absence of Family, Support in Unfamiliar Environments 6 Relationships Lost and Found in the Mid-Sixteenth-Century Iberian Atlantic


7 ‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


An Englishman’s ‘Suffering Rewarded’ Heather Dalton

Community and Isolation in the English Houses at Tunis and Tripoli, 1679–1686 Nat Cutter

Part 4 Managing Kinship-Based Businesses and Trading Networks 8 New Christian Family Networksin the First Visitation of the Inquisition to Brazil


9 Intimate Affairs


The Case of the Nunes Brothers (1591–1595) Jessica O’Leary

Family and Commerce in a Trans-Mediterranean Jewish Firm, 1776–1790 Francesca Bregoli

Part 5 Ensuring the Survival of Maritime Families 10 ‘These Happy Effects on the Character of the British Sailor’


11 Maintaining the Family


General Index


Index of Persons


Family Life in Sea Songs of the Late Georgian Period Gillian Dooley

Community Support for Merchant Sailors’ Families in Finland, 1830–1860 Pirita Frigren

List of Images, Maps, and Tables

Figures 1.1 Hyakubasen monument at Hōon Temple, Hiekoba. Photography by Y. Yanagawa, 2018. Side inscription on the Hyakubasen monument at Hōon 1.2 Temple. Photography by R. Vrolijk, 2018. Hagiyaki Tea bowl, Edo period (seventeenth-eighteenth 1.3 century), h. 11cm. National Museum of Korea. Jeung 7060. The porcelain torii of Tōzan Shrine, Arita. Designated 1.4 as Japanese Government Tangible Cultural Properties, April 28, 2000. Wikimedia. Photographic portrait of Constance Trudget née Couronne 2.1 (1824–1891). Papers of Edward Duyker. National Library of Australia MS 9061/11.

32 33 42 50 74

Tables Population of St. Eustatius (J. Roitman). 82 3.1 Risto’s family tree with connections to the Sawo family 4.1 (R. M. Toivo).110 Maps Finland’s main roads in the seventeenth century with 4.2 Risto’s domiciles marked with a red cross (R. M. Toivo).


Acknowledgements Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850 was initially inspired by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Award project I held at the University of Melbourne from 2014 to 2017: ‘Creating the Atlantic World: transnational relationships and family ties in trading networks and voyages of discovery, 1480–1580’. My aim to approach the sixteenth-century Atlantic World through a wide lens – not as an isolated ocean, but as an ocean linked to other places – was further expanded by research, reading, and attending conferences around the world during the period of my fellowship. Three events in particular stand out: attending ‘Emotions, Families and Households in Early Modern Europe’ (a panel at Emotions: Movement, Cultural Contact and Exchange, 1100–1800, organised by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the
 Freie Universität in Berlin in July 2016); giving a paper at ‘Strangers in the City: Migration, Identity and Place 1200–1700’ (a panel at the 13th International Conference on Urban History, organized by the European Association for Urban History in Helsinki in August 2016); and arranging ‘Keeping it in the family: mobility, exchange, and adaptation in an age of discovery, trade expansion and settlement’ (a panel at Mobility and Exchange 1400–1800, organized by the Australia and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies in Wellington in February 2017). My intention to capture some of the interesting ideas I had been exposed to at these and other gatherings was compounded by the variety of interesting and creative responses to my call for contributions for Keeping Family. The result is this collection of essays, exploring how people created, maintained, sustained and reformed family, or at least the idea of family, against often overwhelming odds. It is a pleasure to see this book in print and I thank all ten authors for their hard work and patience. I am particularly grateful to Katie Barclay for her much needed advice regarding the introduction to this collection, and to the anonymous reviewers of my first draft for their thoughtful feedback. I also want to acknowledge the timely guidance and support Erika Gaffney at AUP has provided since receiving my book proposal in March 2018 – thank you. Heather Dalton Melbourne, March 2020

Introduction: Keeping Family Heather Dalton

The aim of Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850 is to come to new understandings of the foundations of our interconnected world and of the families who contributed to it. During the era covered, 1550 to 1850, family networks transcending national ties and traditional boundaries relating to gender, class, religion, and race were central to the project of discovery, trade expansion, settlement, and ultimately empire building. It was a period of great flux, and roles and relations within and outside households were increasingly affected by travel. The essays in this collection investigate families where separations occurred in order to trade, or to maintain the maritime and military infrastructure and settlements that enabled that trade to flourish. While many individuals and family units chose to uproot, travel and labour in unfamiliar surroundings, others, such as slaves and convicts, were forced to do so. Moreover, while some travelled within their own countries, others went much further, crossing multiple oceans. Each of the eleven essays looks at how families and family businesses were kept going over distance and how relationships were maintained while dealing with change and separation. Some also reveal how individuals created new family after losing contact with their kin. Keeping Family stands at the crossroads of two branches of social history: family and migration. Since the late 1960s historians have increasingly studied the practices, rituals and relationships that have given meaning to the lives of ordinary people.1 In 1996 M.E. Bratchel pondered whether the family should be ‘analysed primarily as a political, a social or an economic force’.2 Seventeen years later, the editors of William and Mary Quarterly’s special issue ‘Centering Families in Atlantic Histories’ accepted that it could be both and were confident defining family as ‘cultural, economic, legal, 1 The first issue of the Journal of Family History appeared in 1976. Other publications and journals followed, including History of the Family (1996) and Family & Community History (1998). 2 Bratchel, 4.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_intro


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political, social – and even biological … an idea, an ideology, a strategy, an economic or political unit, and a lived experience’.3 The history of the family has continued to be challenged, enriched by discussions regarding the effectiveness of family networks and categories such as class, race and gender. Histories of family and migration, inextricably intertwined with histories of empire, bring those issues of definition to the fore. As Phillip Buckner and R. Douglas Franci explain in the introduction to their edited collection, Canada and the British World: Culture, Migration, and Identity (2006), migration history in the Anglophone world grew out of an attempt by John Darwin at Oxford University, Rob Holland at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, and Carl Bridge at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at the University of London ‘to break the mould in which imperial history was being written’. 4 By 1999 Alison Games recognized that although many historians had been drawn to the topic of migration, there was more to be learned from focusing in on ‘the reconstructed experiences of real individuals who lived in precarious colonial communities’.5 Sarah Gibson’s essay in Canada and the British World reconstructed such experiences through letters, as do several of the essays in this collection.6 In ‘Self-Reflection in the Consolidation of Scottish Identity: A Case Study in Family Correspondence, 1805–50’ Gibson points out that while the letters of the Brodie family may be ‘terse in describing the economic and social upheavals,’ they can be illuminating when it comes to expressing ways of ‘retaining affective ties with emigrated relatives’. She points out that historians of colonialism had ‘turned to the historical category of the self as another analytical tool with which to describe social and cultural change’.7 Perhaps it was this focus on ‘the self’ that led Sarah Pearsall to lament on the ‘headlong flight from family history,’ which had occurred as historians focused on individuals. She pointed out that although early modern people may have been ‘increasingly individualized,’ they ‘were deeply grounded in families and communities’. By focusing on the medium of family letters crisscrossing the late eighteenth-century Atlantic, Pearson’s 2008 book reveals how the self is negotiated through family, pointing out that across time and space such letters reveal that ‘claims of enduring love, news shared, 3 4 5 6 7

Hardwick, Pearsall and Wulf, 205. Buckner and Franci, 8. Games (1999), 6, 10. Buckner and Franci, 8. Gibson, 30–32.

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carping, bickering, requests for money’ are universal themes.8 Such letters also highlight the fluidity between business/political/public and domestic/ private spheres, especially in relation to family networks. While it was once warned that equating women’s history with the family could lead to the delegation of both to the private sphere, this has not turned out to be the case. Indeed, in 1988 Louise Tilly pointed out that in order to examine the lives of ordinary women and their relationship to institutions, historians needed to ‘move closer to family history’.9 For example, in 2007 a special issue of History of the Family presented ‘new research on the ways in which women and their families survived economically and socially without a male household head (temporarily or permanently) and the ways in which society responded to such families’.10 In her study of family in the French Atlantic, published in 2016, Jennifer Palmer surmised that, while ‘gender continued to usurp race as the primary category that structured household relations’, ‘empire also caused gender hierarchies to break down and transformed gender roles within the family’.11 As Ann Laura Stoler and other scholars (including Adele Perry, Elizabeth Buettner, Annette Burton, and Adele Pinch) have demonstrated, intimate relationships were not simply personal – they were political. The family was and is a key site in which the meanings of race, gender, power, culture and rule are produced, negotiated and challenged.12 As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century there is no trace of that ‘headlong flight’ from family history Pearson feared, particularly when it comes to looking at how families have been affected by migration and vice versa.13 It is now understood more than ever that the idea of who we are is bound up with the idea of where we belong and that, for most individuals, that belonging is rooted in family. Because of this, there is recognition that relationships within the family, and between families, not only have an effect on individuals, they impact the structure of societies. Many of the authors in this collection, including the editor, are first or second generation migrants and live or have lived in societies affected by the trauma of forced exile or stolen generations.14 We understand that people 8 Pearsall, 242, 1. See also Ishiguro (2019). 9 Tilly, 313. 10 Heijden, Schmidt and Wall. 11 Palmer, 4–5. 12 For gender, intimacies and empire see, for example: Perry (2001); Stoler (2002); Buettner (2004); Ghosh (2006); Finn (2020); and Levine (2004). 13 For example: Payton and Varnava (2019). 14 For example: Cassidy (2006); Nogrady (2019).


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removed from their families often struggle to find their identities and feel bereft not just of kin but of culture, and that new families, communities and even nations formed by those people can reflect that trauma for generations. Building on this, the aim of this collection is to contribute to a rethink of the nature of family and its intersection with trade, travel and empire building. Family here is considered in its widest sense, encompassing common law husbands and wives, mistresses, children (legitimate and illegitimate), apprentices, servants and slaves. As the editors of ‘Centering Families in Atlantic Histories’ point out, the concept of household ‘is more applicable across comparative cultural contexts’ and, in the three hundred year period covered by this volume, households were the ‘key building blocks of society and indeed politics’.15 While the way identity is formed and reformed in new environments, especially around hybridity, is a staple of migration history, this collection goes further. The essays do not simply register the strain inherent in separation and exile, they examine the family as a site where emotional practices are performed, and pragmatic decisions are made, to ‘keep family’ by sustaining or reinventing longstanding connections or investing in new connections. Many of the people discussed in these essays are not just trying to ‘keep family’ in places considered to be geographically marginal, they are also socially marginalized – even when much wealth is at stake. Several of the essays in this collection – Jessica O’Leary’s, Nat Cutter’s, and Francesca Bregoli’s in particular – demonstrate that studies of family firms and business networks are no longer limited to the realm of economic or business history. Although the idea of a trading network is commonly associated with economic history, it is increasingly understood that relationships matter – that the efficiency and profitability of a trading network depended on the strength of personal ties between people. The role of emotions in maintaining trust and status quo on the one hand, and in driving change on the other, or simply surviving, is at their core.16 In investigating trading networks through the prism of extended family, some of the essays in this collection enrich our knowledge of trading communities, and all initiate a rethink of the nature of the family in this early period of European expansion. The eleven case studies utilise a variety of methodological approaches to investigate the tension between the robustness and/or fragility of family ties, 15 Hardwick, Pearsall and Wulf, 211. 16 See, for example: Barclay (2014) and (2020); Lydon (2019); Ruys, Champion and Essary (2019). See also, Barclay, Meek and Thomson (2019); Tarantino and Zika (2019).

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each one focusing on the experiences of an individual, family or household in or traveling between the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. Between 1550 and 1850 individuals and families began to travel further. In the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries, this movement was generally piecemeal and, in the case of Northern Europe in particular, was overseen by guilds and then larger overseas companies. This changed when, as Alison Games explains in relation to Britain, ‘a shift in the state’s conception of its role in overseas affairs’ led it take an interest ‘in mobilising the bodies of subjects, whether in the army, the navy, bound in the hold of a ship, or part of a colonial enterprise’.17 This may have occurred in mid seventeenth-century England, yet, it occurred later in other places, such as Scandinavia. While some of the essays are set in locations commonly associated with long distance trade, imperial expansion and/or the exile of slavery or transportation, others are not. It is notable that both of the essays located in pre-industrial Finland illustrate the importance of trading networks: firstly, to survival on the Finish frontier in the seventeenth century; and secondly, to stoking the imperial ambitions of larger nations and thus affecting Finnish seafaring families in the nineteenth. The imperial project may have influenced different regions in different ways at different times yet, as this collection reveals, individuals leaving, maintaining and creating families across distance were central to its progress. These collected essays illustrate that, while there were acute differences in the backgrounds to families separating and coming together at different times in very different places, there were also common experiences. Because of this, Keeping Family is structured around themes rather than locales, taking a transnational approach. While nationality is relevant when looking at family and migration, transnational family and business relationships were key to settlement and the establishment of new communities.18 While some of the essays deal with eras before the establishment of nation states, scholars have pointed out that, contrary to Christopher Bayly’s argument that the term ‘transnational’ is not applicable before the formation of nation states, there were groups displaying characteristics associated with contemporary transnationalism as early as the fifteenth century.19 The families investigated in this volume demonstrate such characteristics, even if they do not cross national borders: personal mobility; membership of networks transcending distance; adaptability to a variety of locales and 17 Games (2008), 292. 18 Sheaves, 25. 19 Bayly, Seed et al, 1441–1464.


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cultures; and a continuing connection to their place of origin. This last point is important for, as Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks has pointed out, interactions and relationships between individuals who are mobile affect those within their network who are not and so even fixed locations can be ‘saturated with transnational relationships’.20 Keeping Family is divided into five parts: ‘Surviving slavery, transportation and forced labour’; ‘On the road: mobility, wellbeing, and survival’; ‘In the absence of family, support in a hostile environment’; ‘Managing kinship-based businesses and trading networks’; and ‘Maintaining the maritime family’. The essays within each part are in date order. The authors have employed different methodologies and a variety of sources, each one offering an account of their specific approach. Many of the essays rest on meticulous research in Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, or Latin language archives. However, in the interests of accessibility and brevity, all quotes have been translated into English. The three essays in Part 1 challenge commonly held assumptions regarding the location and circumstances of cases of slavery, transportation and forced labour. In ‘Fractured feelings’, Susan Broomhall explores the legacy of forced labour in a location rarely featured in English language histories. Her study focuses on a Korean family taken to Japan during the Imjin Wars of the last years of the sixteenth century. This was a time when many Koreans were taken back to Japan as forced labourers. Craftspeople were very much in demand and the family, who were potters, were encouraged to set up a workshop where they flourished. A monument erected in the early eighteenth century, by a fourth generation descendent of Korean potters, encapsulates the challenges as well as the opportunities managed by this uprooted family. Broomhall considers the wording on this still-standing monument, placing it in historical context. She examines how this family perpetuated its identity, purpose and sense of honour – as Koreans who survived and eventually thrived in Japan – through manufacturing and cultural traditions. When we think of eighteenth and nineteenth penal transportation, we generally think of convicts sent from the British Isles to America and Australia, or of political prisoners sent from France to Devil’s Island and New Caledonia, or British Burma to the Andaman Islands. Eilin Hordvik’s ‘Forced Separations’ reveals a hitherto rarely considered aspect of transportation. While recent studies have revealed that convicts were sent to Australia from Britain’s other colonies, Hordvick’s essay breaks new 20 Wiesner-Hanks (2011), 357–379 and (2012), 201.

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ground. In examining the experiences of convicted felons transported from the Indian Ocean colony of Mauritius to Australia, Hordvick reveals the pre-convict status of offenders as slaves, as well as freed slaves, indentured labourers and apprentices. Her essay investigates how proximity and the tenuous nature of relationships in their owner’s or employer’s household made these people vulnerable to accusation; why transportation often meant the permanent severing of family ties in Mauritius; and how individuals, couples and families fared in Australia as convicts and, ultimately, as free citizens’ (for those who had been enslaved in Mauritius became free in Australia). Hordvick not only explores the importance of patronage in finding employment, forming new relationships and creating new families in the Australian penal colonies, she explores issues of racial identity that resonate for descendants today. Movement is an integral part of family life and has become part of what the geographer Elizabeth Thomas-Hope calls ‘societal meaning’. She emphasises that the modern (and the pre-modern) history of the Caribbean is essentially the history of migration, of arrival and departure and, in this sense, of the continuing interplay between the global and the local.21 Jessica Roitman’s ‘If I should fall behind’ centres on Mathilda Percival, a young, free woman of colour, who leaves her husband and child on the Dutch Caribbean island of St Eustatius in 1860 to work on the Danish island of St Thomas. The essay explores how people of colour, women in particular, maintained family relationships at a time when the recently freed lived in conditions very like those of their enslaved neighbours and travel between the islands was essential if a living was to be made. An exploration of gender relations, within and outside the family and in relation to migration, whether forced or otherwise, is central to Roitman’s essay, as it is to the other two in this section – and indeed, the majority of the volume’s essays. For transported convicts and their families, the separation was enduring and usually permanent. The essays in Part 2, ‘On the road: mobility, wellbeing, and survival’, represent the dichotomy inherent in a life on the road. In ‘The witch who moved to the wilderness’, Raisa Maria Toivo looks at why and how an extended household, with a close nuclear family at its core, moved around Finland in order to avoid persecution, at the same time expanding their household and prospering. In the case of the individuals in ‘Family, mobility and emotion in eighteenth-century Scotland’, relationships are not centred on conventional households. Katie Barclay takes on board the point made by Hardwick, Pearsall and Wulf that the historical importance of conventional 21 Hope, 88.


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family should not be assumed, ‘not only because demographic accidents or migration sometimes made kin unavailable but because men and women might prefer for many reasons to build ties instead or as well with other people’.22 Looking at an itinerant couple, and then a couple and their adopted child, Barclay explores how family, emotion and gender relationships were shaped when there was not a stable place of belonging. She shows how family-like structures were formed in relation to landladies, networks of hospitality, and travel. Court records are key to both these essays, revealing how the lack of a stable base could, on the one hand, provide the opportunity of escaping prejudice and prosecution, yet, on the other, expose individuals, especially women and children, to exploitation, neglect and violence. The essays in Part 3, ‘In the absence of family, support in a hostile environment’, explore the vulnerability of individuals living far away from family. In both cases, young men in trading environments flounder and are supported by older men who, having been through the same experience, understand the importance of providing support away from home. Although the circumstances and eras are very different, in both essays relationships that transcend national ties and traditional boundaries relating to class are central to individual survival, and ultimately to the project of national expansion. In ‘Suffering rewarded’ Robert Tomson, a young English ­apprentice, finds himself alone and subject to the Inquisition in 1550’s Mexico after his master’s family is wiped out by contagion. While Tomson’s record of his experiences, including his subsequent marriage to a rich heiress, implies Godly intervention, Spanish notary evidence suggests that it was Anglo-Iberian mixed race familial networks that sustained him and a Mexican-Iberian who married him. In ‘Grieved in my soul that I suffered you to depart from me’ Nat Cutter examines the letters of English people living together in the ‘English House’ in Ottoman Tunis and Tripoli in the 1680s. In these Muslim-dominated cities, merchants, consuls and servants created surrogate families within their household and endeavoured to protect themselves and the more vulnerable members of their communities from harm. Patrick Manning argues that ‘the expanded terrestrial and maritime communication of the early-modern world led to the creation of new families and also brought the expansion, displacement, division and destruction of previously existing families’ and, in both these essays, the protagonists not only lived close by those who they classed as different from themselves, they had family ties with them.23 22 Hardwick, Pearsall and Wulf, 208. 23 Manning, 30.

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In Part 4, Francesca Bregoli and Jessica O’Leary look at how very different kinds of family trading networks were initiated, adapted and maintained over distance. Both essays clearly demonstrate that if the family could not be kept intact, then the business would fail, and visa versa. In ‘New Christian family networks in the First Visitation of the Inquisition to Brazil’, O’Leary places two exiled Jewish brothers, João and Diogo Nunes, in the broader commercial network of New Christian merchant families controlling the sugar trade in north-eastern Brazil during its rapid expansion on the cusp of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using Inquisition records, O’Leary shows how the success of the Nunes family in running sugar mills and trading sugar across the Atlantic meant they were hounded by the Inquisition, yet they survived because the Portuguese state intervened in order to keep their family network working. In ‘Intimate Affairs’ Bregoli investigates processes that allowed Jewish merchants in the eighteenth-century Mediterranean area to sustain familial and commercial obligation during long absences. Exploring the letters from the Tunis-based Joseph Franchetti to his sons and associates in Livorno and Smyrna, she demonstrates that while the father was concerned about both his family and his business, the two cannot be separated. Franchetti alternately chides, advises, instructs, expresses affection and reminds his son of the relatives they have left behind. In worrying about honour, religious adherence and profit, his letters reveal that the intersection of family and trade was a constructed practice underpinned by a deeply held morality. Part 5 focuses on mariner families in Britain and Finland. In Atlantic Families Sarah Pearsall cites a ballad by Charles Dibdin which ‘issued a siren song of paradoxes calling men to sea: “where men lose their lives, a sure fortune to gain”’.24 In ‘These happy effects on the character of the British sailor’ Gillian Dooley looks at why and how such ballads were created and circulated in Georgian Britain. The intention of such ballads was often to not only encourage men to go to sea, but to reassure families that they should support them in doing so. Just as soldiers were encouraged to see it as part of their duty to part from wives and sweethearts while remembering and identifying ‘with their domestic ties’, so were mariners.25 Although the Navy’s urgent need for manpower is often epitomised by the image of the press-ganged sailor torn from his wife and children, volunteers greatly outnumbered press-ganged men. As Dooley points out, ballads emphasising 24 C. Dibden, ‘Tight Lads of the Ocean,’ Songs and Ballads, 156 in Pearsall, 55. 25 Hurl-Eamon, 2.


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the mariner’s longing for home and family and the importance of a wife’s support were as much part of the musical repertoire of the middle-class drawing room as they were of the sailor’s tavern. They served to reassure those waiting at home that both sailors and officers were serving a disciplined, domesticated navy safely underpinned and strengthened by a network of families. It was important that fears about the social disruption which might well result from long absences and family separations were allayed if Britain’s maritime power was to continue growing. It did continue to grow, as did international trade. Finnish shipping companies responded to this by building larger wooden vessels. From the early nineteenth century, merchant shipping became profitable in Finland because a population boom among the landless poor meant there was a ready supply of cheap labour. In ‘Maintaining the family: community support for merchant sailors’ families in Finland, 1830–1860’ Pirita Frigren looks at how families survived as increasing numbers of men went to sea, many of them never to return. She demonstrates that in order to keep their families together, women shared households with other maritime families, cooperated with neighbours and promoted their own issues within a local community that, in return, provided them with support. These maritime essays make an apt conclusion to this volume for they highlight the fact that the growth of trade and empire relied as much on those who went voluntarily as those who were forcefully transported. It took ingenuity, strength and effort to keep existing families together, and to create and maintain new ones – especially in new and difficult circumstances. Sarah Pearsall’s conclusion that the Atlantic economy would not have grown as it did, ‘had it not been for the strength of many intimate personal connections between members of families’, is just as true for the Mediterranean, Baltic, Indian and Pacific Ocean economies.26 Indeed, families were central to the project of national expansion and empire building – and not merely precursors of it or peripheral to it. While colonial or mercantile authorities may have had an interest in encouraging the formation of families to establish the status quo, movement in itself could challenge categories such as class, gender or race. Away from familiar supports and restrictions, family life could and often did undergo a transformation, which meant that frontiers in particular were ‘defined by changing family relationships’.27 As this collection illustrates, the family,

26 S. Pearsall, 33. 27 Manning, 300.

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in all its guises, both as a public institution and as a site of intimacy, was the primary site for negotiation and adaptation.

Works Cited Barclay, K. Love Intimacy and Power: Marriage and Patriarchy in Scotland, 1650–1850 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014). ––– ‘The Emotions of Household Economics.’ In The Routledge History Handbook of Emotions Europe 1100–1700, ed. A. Lynch and S. Broomhall (London: Routledge, 2020), 185–199. Barclay, K., J. Meek and A. Thomson. Eds. Courtship, Marriage and Marriage Breakdown: Approaches from the History of Emotion (New York: Routledge: 2019). Bayly, Christopher, Patricia Seed et al, ‘AHR Conversation: On Transnational History’, The American Historical Review 111/ 5 (2006): 1441–1464. Bratchel, M.E. ‘Italian Merchant Organisation and Business Relationships in Early Tudor London’ in Merchant Networks in the Early Modern World, ed. Sanjay Subrahmany (Aldershot: Variorum, 1996). Buckner, Phillip and R. Douglas Franci. ‘Introduction’ in Canada and the British World: Culture, Migration, and Identity. Eds. Phillip Buckner, and R. Douglas Francis (UBC Press, 2006), 1–9. Buettner, Elizabeth. Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Cañizares-Esguerra, Jorge. Ed. Entangled Empires: The Anglo-Iberian Atlantic, 1500–1830 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). Cassidy, Julie. ‘The Stolen Generations – Canada and Australia: The Legacy of Assimilation.’ Deakin Law Review 11/1 (2006): 131–177. Available at: https://ojs., accessed 9 June 2020. Evans, Tanya. Fractured Families: Life on the Margins in Colonial New South Wales (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2015). Finn, Margot. ‘Anglo-Indian Lives in the Later Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century,’ Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 33, 1 (March 2010): 49–65. Games, Alison, Migration and the origins of the English Atlantic world (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999). ––– The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560–1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). Gibson, Sarah Katherine. ‘Self-Reflection in the Consolidation of Scottish Identity: A Case Study in Family Correspondence, 1805–50’ in Canada and the British World: Culture, Migration, and Identity, eds. Phillip Buckner, and R. Douglas
Francis (UBC Press, 2006), 29–44.


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Ghosh, Durba. Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). Hardwick, Sarah, M. S. Pearsall and Karin Wulf. ‘Introduction: Centering Families in Atlantic Histories,’ The William and Mary Quarterly 70/2 (2013): 205–224. Heijden, Manon van der, Ariadne Schmidt and Richard Wall, ‘Broken Families: Economic Resources and Social Networks of Women who Head Families’. History of the Family 12 (2007): 223–232. Hope, Elizabeth Thomas. Explanation in Caribbean Migration: Perception and the Image: Jamaica, Barbados, St. Vincent (London, Macmillan, 1992) in Mary Chamberlain, ‘Gender and the Narratives of Migration’, History Workshop Journal 43 (1997), 87–108. Hurl-Eamon, Jennine. Marriage and the British Army in the Long Eighteenth Century: ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). Ishiguro, Laura Mitsuyo. Nothing to Write Home About: British Family Correspondence and the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2019). Levine, Philippa. Ed. Gender and Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Lydon, J. Imperial Emotions: The Politics of Empathy Across the British Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). Manning, Patrick. ‘Frontiers of Family Life: Early Modern Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds’ in Expanding Frontiers in South Asian and World History: Essays in Honour of John F. Richards, eds. Richard Eaton, Munis Faeuqui, David Gilmartin and Sunil Kumar (Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 299–318. Nogrady, Bianca. ‘Historical separations still affect Indigenous children.’ Nature 570 (2019): 423–424. Palmer, Jennifer L. Intimate Bonds: Family and Slavery in the French Atlantic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). Payton, Philip and Andrekos Varnava. Eds. Australia, Migration and Empire, Immigrants in a Globalised World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Pearsall. Sarah M. S. Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press. 2008). Perry, Adele. On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849–1871 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001). Ruys, J. F., M. W. Champion and K. Essary. Eds. Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400–1800 (London and New York: Routledge, 2019). Sheaves, Mark. ‘The Anglo-Iberian Atlantic as a Hemispheric System? English Merchants Navigating the Iberian Atlantic.’ In Entangled Empires: The AngloIberian Atlantic, 1500–1830, ed. Cañizares-Esguerra (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), 19–41. Stoler, Ann Laura. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).

Introduc tion: Keeping Family


Tarantino, Giovanni and Charles Zika. Eds. Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe (London: Routledge, 2019). Tilly, Louise A. ‘Women’s History and Family History: Fruitful Collaboration or Missed Connection?’ In Family History at the Crossroads: A Journal of Family History Reader, eds. Tamara K. Hareven, andAndrejs Plakans (1988), 303–313. Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E. ‘Crossing Borders in Transnational Gender History’, Journal of Global History 6 (2011): 357–379. ––– ‘Early Modern Women and the Transnational Turn’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 7 (2012): 191–202. ––– Mapping Gendered Routes and Spaces in the Early Modern World (Routledge 2015). Wilson, Kathleen. ‘Rethinking the Colonial State: Family, Gender, and Governmentality in Eighteenth-Century British Frontiers’. American Historical Review 116/5 (2011), 1294–1322.


Shaping Family Identity among Korean Migrant Pottersin Japan during the Tokugawa Period Susan Broomhall

Abstract This chapter considers the management of family through analysis of manufacturing and cultural traditions among Koreans relocated to Japan during the Japanese invasions of the Korean peninsula during the period of the Imjin Wars (1592–98). In particular, it examines the monument created by Jissen, a fourth-generation son of the Fukaumi family who had come to Japan to work in ceramics during the period of the invasions. Potters were particularly desirable labourers during this period and Korean family-run operations were critical to the development of Japanese porcelain manufacture. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, when Jissen raised the temple monument to his great-grandparents, changing tea ceremony practices had brought Aritaware increased attention from the Japanese nobility, and then from a wider European clientele. This chapter analyses how his monument helped construct the identity of a translocated family, and gave meaning to dynasty, house and household in Tokugawa Japan. Keywords: ceramics, Korea, Japan, household, dynasty

This essay considers the management of family through analysis of manufacturing and cultural traditions among Koreans relocated to Japan during the Japanese invasions of the Korean peninsula from 1592–98, known as the Imjin Wars. In particular, it examines the monument created by Jissen, a fourth-generation son of the Fukaumi family who had come to Japan to work in ceramics during the period of the invasions. Potters were

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch01


Susan Broomhall

particularly desirable labourers brought to Japan during this period and Korean family-run operations were critical to the development of Japanese porcelain manufacture. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the family’s descendant celebrated the founding significance of his great-grandfather and great-grandmother with a temple monument. By this period, changing tea ceremony practices had brought Aritaware increased attention, first among the Japanese nobility and then to a wider European clientele. This chapter analyses how Jissen’s textual and material artefact helped to construct the identity of a translocated family, giving meaning to dynasty, house and household in new ways that were shaped by their presence in Tokugawa Japan. In Hōon Temple (Hiekoba, Saga prefecture, Kyūshū), an eighteenthcentury stone monument tells the story of Korean potters who came to Japan at the end of the sixteenth century.1 It was erected by Jissen, a son of the Fukaumi dynasty central to the establishment of the ceramic industry in Arita and the production of the then world-famous porcelain known as Aritaware.2 The monument’s inscription, now too worn to be read on the physical surface, is known by a transcription held among historical documents in the Takeo City Library.3 (Fig. 1.1 and 1.2) Its textual presentation of the Fukaumi dynasty forms the central source for this essay’s exploration of what family signified in cultural and practical terms for these potters in early eighteenth-century Japan. The text recounts: Their real name is unknown. The Korean Fukaumi family came from Korea during the Bunroku campaign. Fukaumi Sōden followed the orders 1 My sincere thanks to Mr Remco Vrolijk at the Hirado Dutch Trading Post, Ms Osaki Yōko, curator at the Arita Folk and History Museum, Mr Kubota Hitoshi of the Gallery Baek Pasun, Arita, and Ms Yanagawa Yuko and S.E. Rife, in Arita, for their site advice, and translation and research assistance, and to Heather Dalton and Amalya Ashman for feedback on draft versions of this essay. Historical names in this document follow Korean and Japanese language conventions, citing family name before generational and given names. The names of modern scholars are presented in the order used in the relevant publication. 2 It should be noted that in modern signage at the temple, erected March 1999 (Heisei 11), Jissen’s name is written as Sousen, following the pronunciation suggested by the now modernised characters. However, in this text, I have followed advice from the curator Ms Osaki, on the likely original character pronunciation, which gives Jissen. 3 The transcript appears in後藤家御戦功記 (Memoirs of the battle victories of the Goto clan) in the Takeo-city Library Historical Documents Museum (武雄市図書館 歴史資料館), within the武雄鍋島家歴史資料目録 (続編)(Takeo-Nabeshima Clan Historical Documents Catalogue) at shelfmark: 目録番号B-20(-2). This transcription published in Nakashima, 142.

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of Ienobu Gotō (the lord of the Takeo domain) and went with the monk from Kōfuku Temple to Takeo where he lived several years in front of the temple gate, where he made pottery. From Ienobu Gotō he honourably received land in Uchida village where he would produce pottery such as bowls and incense burners. The temple monk gave Sōden the Japanese name of Shintaro. 4

This monument stood alongside two others dedicated to family members: one for Heizaemon (Buddhist name: Sōkai), the son of Shintaro (Buddhist name: Sōden); and another for Heizaemon’s second son, Tankyū, who was Jissen’s father.5 These were not the only monuments made in remembrance of the region’s late-sixteenth-century Korean ceramicists. For example, the nineteenth-century Japanologist Ernest Satow reported that towards the end of that century, in front of the shrine Giyoku-san-Gun that stood on the hill south-west of the village of Tsuboya near Kagoshima, ‘stand a couple of lanterns of white ware with a blue design, presented by the potters belonging to sixteen out of the seventeenth families [of Korean origin], as may be seen by the names inscribed on the pedestals’.6 What makes the first monument remarkable in the broader context of these commemorative sites, however, was that it also celebrated the life of a woman whom Jissen named as his great-grandmother, Hyakubasen (Buddhist name: Banryōmyōtaidōba). It noted that she ‘passed away on the 10th day of the 3rd month in the 2nd year of Meireki [1656] at the age of 96’, and that the ‘monument has been erected by Jissen, great-grandson of Sōden at the commemoration of the 50th year of Hyakubasen’s death’. The monument provides a rare narrative commemorating both male and female ancestors among the Korean ceramic families who came to Japan at the end of the sixteenth century. In the sections to follow, I explore contemporary meanings of family in Korea and Japan and then in the cross-cultural disruptions of the Imjin Wars. I consider the politics of repatriation and the need for identity meaning-making of those families who remained in Japan as a new ceramic industry was developing. Finally, I analyse how Jissen’s monument made use of multiple frames for familial identity that gave meaning to dynasty, house and household. 4 This quoted text reflects the meaning of the original, now antiquated, eighteenth-century Japanese text, as recorded in Nakashima’s 1936 publication and the Takeo City Library transcription, rather than a word-for-word translation of the original. 5 Explanation on the signboard next to the monument. A family tree is provided in Nakashima. 6 Satow, 202.


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Figure 1.1  Hyakubasen monument at Hōon Temple, Hiekoba. Photography by Y. Yanagawa, 2018.

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Fig. 1.2  Side inscription on the Hyakubasen monument at Hōon Temple. Photography by R. Vrolijk, 2018.



Susan Broomhall

Conceptualizing the Family in Cross-Cultural Contexts What could ‘keeping family’ mean in such a cross-cultural context? What were the forms in which it could be expressed and, in doing so, dynastic identity sustained, and potentially re-formulated, in changing contexts? This chapter analyses the performance of textual and material artefacts in constructing translocated family expressions, practices and memories in Tokugawa Japan. A key initial clarification is that the English conceptualization of family does not convey comparable meaning in the East Asian contexts explored here. The nature of the ancestral monument that is this chapter’s focus might be understood more effectively through the Japanese concept of ie (家), as a place-based, multi-generational unit, comprised vertically of nuclear families, which incorporates elements of meaning found in the English terms family, household and in the dynastic term, House.7 As this essay explores, what is expressed in this monument was both family and dynasty created and defined by place, as well as a physical, place-based house with individuals in it comprising a household. These distinctions will be reflected through variations in the terminology used throughout the essay, as family, dynasty, house and household. I interpret expressions of family in text and material sources as performances of identity. Following Judith Butler’s formulation of ‘performativity’, these performances were embedded in the gender ideologies of their period, and were active components of identity enactments designed for specific contexts.8 Recent literature on European transnational families during this period, particularly at the elite level, has begun to emphasize the significance of gender in shaping the differentiated nature of work; in sustaining the identity of women and men in subordinate and leading positions within a dynastic or familial hierarchy.9 This case offers an opportunity to explore the dynamics of an unusual family identity construction, as a male descendant sought to honour his great-grandmother. In this case, we have no confirming evidence of Hyakubasen’s existence. In the contemporary Korean conventions of genealogy, of which Jissen may or may not have been aware, growing neo-Confucian influences meant that emphasis was increasingly placed on paternal lineage. However, there were particular reasons why Jissen might have wanted to commemorate the life of both a particular female and male ancestor. And certainly, more broadly, scholars of Korean genealogical 7 See discussion in Berentsen, 23. 8 Butler. 9 Cruz and Galli Stampino; Broomhall and Van Gent; Geevers and Marini.

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narratives have noted that such textual genealogies could include information that appears legendary rather than strictly historical in regards in order to purposefully draw attention to significant ancestors in the lineage.10 In the same way, these articulations of identity were also generated within the particular affective conventions, rhetorical and material, of neo-Confucianism and Buddhism that were vital to Korean and Japanese cultures of this period. Emotions were central to the politics of family and identity. A strongly affective tone characterizes many sources of evidence for this essay – in family memory, expressions of longing for home and for repatriation, affirmations of sustained loyalties, declarations of new affiliations, or in demands for better protection and support for the industry and its workers.11 Analysis of the precise vocabulary of this affective rhetoric is not the focus here, but expressions of identity were framed by the affective tone of contemporary articulations in important ways. Moreover, the visual and material forms of the objects that these potters produced not only embodied their affective response to exile, they also provoked powerful emotional responses in their Korean and Japanese consumers. The potters’ hybrid identity informed their artistic expression and emotional responses to it. They were firstly descendants of Koreans who had arrived in Japan in circumstances that were highly complicated by the wars raging between these countries. These Koreans formed part of marginal and relatively isolated communities within Japan. Thus, performances of dynasty and family were mediated in particular ways in each community through their status as individuals of certain social, faith and ethnic identities. Finally, these potters and their descendants were dependent upon the rhetorical and social mechanisms of particular textual genres and behavioural acts. These genres and acts shaped when and how performances of dynasty and family could occur in their host culture of Japan.12 This means that this chapter examines family identity through textual, material and ritual performances. I interpret these as socio-material assemblages that were both ontologically and epistemologically performative and productive. They were also unstable, made for particular contexts in spaces, assemblages and times, for different individuals who shaped what family meant for them in their own circumstances.13 10 Kang, H. (1991); Rogers; Paik. 11 This has been explored in Kim Haboush’s work on ‘the language of affect’. This term is used in analysis (2016) 117–118 but her emphasis on the significance of emotional rhetoric is apparent through the study. 12 For further explorations of emotions in contemporary Asian contexts, see Broomhall (2016 and 2019). 13 My thinking on material assemblage has been shaped by Miller; Bennett, and Vaujany and Mitev.


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Family narratives of identity were expressed through grieving mechanisms, treasured objects and memory sites. These informed what notions of family and which individuals who comprised its members were remembered, in both individual and collective experiences and understandings of self and identity.

The Pottery Wars, 1592–98 The period in which Jissen’s ancestors had arrived in Japan at the end of the sixteenth century was a turbulent one. In 1592 (Bunroku 1), the Japanese daimyō, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, launched a vast campaign into Joseon Korea. The intention was to use Korea as a base for a more ambitious military engagement with Ming dynasty China. Having rejected Hideyoshi’s diplomatic overtures to comply with his vision, the Joseon kingdom faced the might of the Japanese navy and, more devastatingly, its army. In a rapid manoeuvre, Japan landed massive numbers of troops on the Korean mainland, wreaking widespread destruction across Joseon society. However, by May 1593, Japanese supply lines were overstretched and under counter-attack from the Korean navy, most notably by famed figure, Admiral Yi Sun-Sin and his turtle ships. The Japanese withdrew. In March 1597 (Keichō 2), Hideyoshi launched a second campaign. Once again, it immediately produced devastating results on the Korean peninsula but the intervention of military support from Ming China, to whom Korea held a tributary relation, would prove decisive. When Hideyoshi died in September 1598, Japanese troops were rapidly withdrawn by the following month. These invasions represented the most serious military conflict among East Asia nations until the late nineteenth century, leading more than one recent scholar to conceptualize them as the first major East Asian war.14 There are many surviving eye-witness accounts and narratives of the devastation wrought on the Joseon kingdom by Japanese forces. These document demographic, economic, and cultural impacts, as well as extreme acts of violence of the kind recounted in this work by government official Song Chemin: Let us just cite some of the most horrendous atrocities that the enemy thugs have inflicted: they abducted our wives and sisters and by tens these beasts took turns in raping them, leading to the deaths of many; they cut off the heads of our fathers and brothers and boiled our children; 14 A vast literature covers all aspects of the war, usefully analysed by Swope (2007). See also Swope (2009) and Lewis (2015).

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they burned our villages and pillaged our homes, they commandeered our oxen and horses and carried off our slaves to do their work; they plundered our good fields and razed the graves of our ancestors, filling Heaven and Earth with unspeakable evil and brutality.15

Many of these accounts were intended to achieve a specific purpose and worked their provocative emotional rhetoric accordingly.16 Song’s exhortation letter sent to the people of Jeolla Province, written around August 1592, for example, was a highly crafted document intended, like many others of this genre, to spur popular participation in Korea’s countering force, the Righteous Army (K: euibyeong).17 A significant aspect of the particular devastation of this conflict was the capture by the Japanese of many thousands of Koreans who were taken back to Japan. While scholarly attention has focused on the neo-Confucian scholars and potters among these captives, partly because of the impact they are perceived to have had on subsequent Japanese cultural traditions, many more were peasants put to work as farm labourers. A government official captured by the Japanese, Kang Hang, described a scene of newly arrived captured Koreans that he claimed to have witnessed in Ōzu, Iyo Province, where ‘people formed themselves into throngs that roamed the streets from morning till night, crying and wailing loudly.’18 An important part of Korean national traditions of remembrance of these events has been the commemoration as national heroes of those who resisted capture or rape. One of the best known captive narratives, by Chong Huiduk, included an account of the death of his mother, wife, sister-in-law, and a younger sister in 1597, who, he says, threw themselves overboard off Chilsan on the southwestern coast of Korea, rather than be captured by the enemy boat they saw approaching.19 Not all of these dramatic narratives were produced by Korean survivors. A Japanese Buddhist priest, Keinen, who served as a physician in the Japanese invasion force, recorded this memory of slave raids in Korea: Among the many kinds of merchants who have come over from Japan are traders in human beings, who follow in the train of the troops and 15 Song Chemin, Exhortation letter Sent to the People of Cheolla Province [August 1592] in Kim Haboush (2009), 133. 16 For analysis of presentations of the war in different genres, see Kim Haboush (2016). 17 ‘Open Letters: Patriotic Exhortations from the Imjin War’ in Kim Haboush (2009), 122. 18 Kim Haboush and Robinson, 42. 19 Chong Huiduk, Haesangnok. Kugyok haehaeng cho’ongkae sokp’yon, vol. 7 (Seoul: Minkoj Ch’ujinhwoe, 1977), 226–227 cited in Kim, K., 24.


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buy up men and women, young and old alike. Having tied these people together with ropes about the neck, they drive them along before them; those who can no longer walk are made to run with prods or blows of the stick from behind. The sight of the fiends and man-devouring demons who torment sinners in hell must be like this, I thought.20

Other contemporary Japanese evidence comes from those who participated in these acts. The letters home of one military official, Ōshima Tadayasu, reported that his retainer Kakuemon was returning home with two slaves, one as a gift for his daughter. He outlined his plans to gain other slave children to present as gifts among his social network.21 Among these captured Koreans were many families involved in ceramic manufacture who were seen by various participating daimyō as valuable assets to bring to their lands. Korean ceramics were held in particularly high esteem among the contemporary Japanese elite, where the cultural performance of the tea ceremony, and its attendant ceramic utensils, were highly valued and an integrated component of political culture.22 This was no more so than for Hideyoshi himself, who was well known for travelling accompanied by his tea masters, the most famous practitioners of the era, Sen no Rikyū and later Furuta Oribe.23 Hideyoshi’s tea master, Rikyū, was significant in introducing to Japan the rustic aesthetics of wabi cha.24 The power of these tea masters as style-makers was well acknowledged. The Korean captive scholar Kang Hang noted the immense authority of what he perceived as the surprising aesthetic choices of Oribe, Rikyū’s successor as Hideyoshi’s tea master: ‘There is a man named Hotta Oriba who determines the best in Japan in everything. […] Even for a broken gourd to fill with charcoal and a bucket for drawing water, if one were to be praised by Oribe, the evaluation could not be disputed.’25 Accordingly, the ‘Korean things’ (J: kōraimono) favoured by Rikyū began to dominate wabi cha practice and the elite world of tea-related ceramics by the end of the sixteenth century.26 As Nam-lin Hur points out, these tea bowls and utensils were not the highquality ceramic styles favoured by Korean elites but, in keeping with the 20 Elisonas, 293. 21 Nelson, 481. 22 See Cort (1982); Pitelka (2016). 23 Bodart; Hirota; Murai; Kumakura; Ludwig; Plutschow (2003); Iten. 24 Cort (1992); Haga; Hur (2015). See Pitelka (2005), chapter 1 on the historiographies developed around Rikyū and the development of raku specifically in late sixteenth-century Japan. 25 Kim Haboush and Robinson, 33. 26 Hayashiya; Covell.

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wabi cha aesthetic, were made from a coarse form of celadon, producing faded greys, blues and greens. This pottery, made for everyday use in the Joseon kingdom, was known as buncheong ware. In Japan, these items were prized and soon subjected to increasing forms of precise classification.27 While some daimyō engaged in the war captured Korean potters, others took the opportunity to coax them back to their estates in Japan, providing, in some cases, housing, lands and even income.28 Jissen’s monument identified the same war as the time when his Korean ancestors arrived in Japan, recording that the ‘Fukaumi family came from Korea during the Bunroku campaign.’ It does not indicate how many members of the family arrived, focusing instead on the family’s patriarch. The monument explains that ‘Sōden Fukaumi followed the orders of Gotō Ienobu and went with the monk from Kōfuku Temple to Takeo where he lived several years in front of the temple gate, where he made pottery.’ This priest, Bessō, from Kōfuku, appears to have attended Gotō while on campaign in Korea and may have attracted Fukaumi to come to Japan to continue his ceramic work.29 Jissen’s narrative made no mention of any forced relocation to the area, indeed suggesting a positive relationship between Fukaumi and the local daimyō, lord of the Takeo domain: ‘From Gotō Ienobu he honourably received land in Uchida village where he would produce pottery such as bowls and incense burners which he donated to Ienobu and the monk.’ Jissen’s interpretation of the family’s arrival as a positive experience, and one based on Japanese recognition of his ancestor’s specialist skills, was significant in shaping the narrative that surrounded the family’s later experiences in Japan. As the next section explores, in the politics of the seventeenth century, remaining in Japan was a controversial act deeply invested with strong emotions in both Korea and Japan.

Repatriation and the Politics of Identity Upon their retreat, Japanese troops left the Joseon kingdom in disarray, and returned to Japan to find significant numbers of Koreans who had arrived there, by choice or force, during the preceding decade. From the beginning of the re-instatement of diplomatic relations, leading to the formal 27 Hur (2015), 5; Hayashiya, 33–46. 28 A recent study by Maske analyses the work of Korean potters brought to Chikuzen by the Kuroda lords to produce Takatori ware. 29 Nakashima, 1985, 137.


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re-establishment of diplomatic ties under the Kiyū Agreement of 1609, Joseon missions made repatriation of abducted Koreans a priority. The shōguns, Tokugawa Ieyasu and his son, Hidetada, supported these attempts.30 Indeed, as early as 1599, Ieyasu had authorized the daimyō of Tsushima, Sō Yoshitoshi, to look at restoration of relations with Korea, taking with him a number of Korean captives to repatriate as part of his goodwill overtures. In these efforts, the daimyō was advised by a Zen Buddhist monk, Keitetsu Genso, one of a number among the Rinzai Zen sect in Tsushima, whom scholars note were significant to these diplomatic efforts because they, like Korean elites, were familiar with the Chinese language.31 Just as a monk appears to have assisted the Fukaumi family’s transition to Japan during the war, Buddhist clergy, it seems, were later involved in the movement of Koreans in the opposite direction. Why then did some Koreans, such as the Fukaumi family, not return to the ceramic production in Korea whence they had come? How did they and their descendants, such as Jissen, conceptualise their identity in Japan? Throughout the war, Korean intellectual and political elites, steeped in the pedagogical training of neo-Confucianism, critiqued their Japanese adversaries as culturally inferior ‘island barbarians.’ Kim Seongil, who had been deputy ambassador in Japan before the war and was then made chief recruiter for the army in Gyeongsang, used a deeply emotive rhetoric to stir his fellow Koreans to action, specifically to join the righteous army in defence of their homelands. To do so, he distinguished the Chinese cultural influences that set Koreans apart as superior to ‘the Japanese thugs’: Suppose you sustain your life by some wretched means. Can you live in the view of Heaven? On your death will you face the sages and wise men of old in the netherworld? Can you sully that body of yours trained to honor propriety and music? Can you accept the [barbarian] custom of shaving your hair and tattooing your body? Can you bear to turn over to Japanese thugs the dynastic mantle that we have guarded for two hundred years? … Can you bear the transformation from civilized to barbarous, from human (illyu) to beast (keŭmsu)? … These grass-clothed, wormlike island barbarians are impossibly disgusting.32

The attitude that Korea was superior culturally to Japan remained present among Joseon off icials after the war, judging by the commentaries of 30 Yi Ch’aeyoen; Lee, H.; Lee, J.M. 31 Toby, 26, 28, fn. 18. On the importance of Tsushima in these contacts, see Lewis (2005). 32 Kim Seongil, Letter of Exhortation (14 June 1592) cited in Kim Haboush (2009), 124–129.

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successive envoys on diplomatic missions.33 These documents intended for home audiences must be read, though, in their own political context, as the Korean elite sought, by affirming their neo-Confucian identity and affiliation to the Ming dynasty, to re-assert itself at home and re-situate itself in the wider East Asian context. Some calls to return came from those who had already undertaken the journey. Among the more notable examples was Kang Hang, a Joseon government official who had been captured with his family off the coast of the Jeolla Province in 1597 and later returned in 1600. He produced an important series of commentaries for Joseon authorities based on his observations of Japan. As JaHyun Kim Haboush and Kenneth R. Robinson observe, prisoners of war displayed complex performances of identity and attestations of loyalty. Kang offered readers accounts of his own multiple attempts to escape, carefully distinguishing himself from other captured Koreans who ‘were halfway to being acculturated as Japanese.’34 Among Kang’s writing was ‘an exhortation to Koreans still held prisoner in Japan’ that evoked longing and sorrow, grief and nostalgia: How much more determination must we have to return to our roots, we humans verily made of benevolence. Climbing this hill or that mountain, we recall our parents’ loving gaze; standing by this stream or that embankment transports us to where we played and fished as children. Such sights as a cold rain or a deep fog saddens us; the rooster’s crow or the dog’s bark plunges us into grief. Our ancestors’ weed-covered graves would be empty of an offering even of barley; our villages under tall trees would be desolate, overgrown by three-year-old millet. Ah! Frustration! How can we sit and endure? … To point toward our country from the land beyond the sea makes mountains and rivers look distant. Gazing at the white clouds on the horizons sets one’s heart in turmoil.35

Given these cultural and emotional encouragements to return to their Joseon homeland, why did individuals and families who were separated from relatives and ancestors choose a different path? Interestingly, it appears that potters’ ceramics could serve as the site for emotional exploration and performance of their experiences of exile. One contemporary tea bowl, 11 cm high, believed to have been produced 33 See Kang, E. and Hur (2000). 34 Kim Haboush and Robinson, xi, 42. 35 Kim Haboush and Robinson, xv, 25–26.


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Figure 1.3  Hagiyaki Tea bowl, Edo period (seventeenth-eighteenth century), h. 11cm. National Museum of Korea. Jeung 7060.

in Hagi (Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan), where Korean potters established ceramic workshops under the daimyō Mōri Terumoto, contains several lines of hangeul; that is, Korean script. This inscription displays the word ‘Joseon’ and the lines: ‘The sound of dog barking is heard in the distance. Oh! How I wish to go back to my homeland.’36 (Fig. 1.3) In style, these lines are similar to the work of Kang, particularly with its reference to the sound of the dog’s bark. Possibly such phrasing formed a trope, but, even as a trope, we cannot discount that it could still have been a meaningful performance of identity and of belonging and longing in exile, for Korean potters and their descendants. However, for some Koreans in Japan, there was considerable appreciation of their skills and expertise among Japanese patrons and clients. This was particularly so of Korean neo-Confucian scholars, whose support and respect from local daimyō made them influential figures in Japan’s own adoption of Neo-Confucianism.37 Although Kang eventually returned to Korea, other

36 Inscription included in Koo. 37 Kim, H.; Boot.

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captives chose not to.38 Hong Ho-yeon was taken to Japan as a twelve-year-old and later served as adviser to the Nabeshima daimyō, Katsushige. Upon Katsushige’s death in 1657, Hong is famed for performing the act of a loyal vassal, junshi, ritually disemboweling himself at the age of seventy-six in order to die with his lord.39 Japan’s Korean potters, however, generally producing functional ceramics, did not enjoy high status in Korea and may well have found higher appreciation of their skills in their new land. When, in 1618, the Joseon government issued a call for Koreans in Japan to return, the statement suggested that not all the Koreans in Japan had arrived by force and hinted at a number of motivations for their movement: Korea has suffered much, and twenty years have now passed. Many who went to Japan have suffered hunger and poverty. We pity them. Upon returning to Korea, those who were guilty of crimes will be forgiven, those owing military service will be released, and outcasts will be received to live freely in the security of their homeland. Let this land be their paradise … The time is right for those in Japan to return. If they can do so they will be given the above privileges. Let this communique be announced abroad without fear of government reprisals. 40

Korean potters produced bowls and utensils highly appreciated in Japan. Most of the Korean families were settled on the island of Kyūshū and began to produce pottery now known broadly as Karatsuware. The high iron content of the local clay which produced a light grey colour after firing, combined with the influences of Korean rustic pottery traditions, were attractive to tea masters seeking the wabi aesthetic.41 At least some of these small family-run operations appeared to have received attractive benefits such as lands and protections under local lords. On some occasions, Koreans may have even been protected against native Japanese competition. A 1637 record from Nabeshima’s estates was aimed at ‘controlling the number of Japanese pottery workers in order to protect the Korean potters and also to prevent the cutting down of trees’ required as fuel for the kilns. 42 Near monopoly conditions, however, did not necessarily ensure that Koreans themselves were treated well. Depending on the lord and kilns that they 38 Hong is discussed further in Bong, 326–328. 39 Lee, J.M., 183–184. 40 Translation from Nakashima (here written as Nakajima), Kyūshū: Hizen tōji shi kankōkai, 1955, 62–63 in Becker, 21. 41 Koo. 42 Translation from Nakajima, Kyūshū, 60, 62 cited in Becker, 22, and Koh, 155.


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worked for, some Koreans had relative freedom of movement while others were isolated and held captive within gated compounds. 43 Those in the latter situations were poorly placed to hear of, or respond to, Joseon calls for repatriation. Moreover, the ceramic industry in Korea faced near collapse after the wars because of the destruction of sites, and removal by the Japanese of both workers and raw materials such as kaolin for porcelain production. Some kilns known for buncheong manufacture had been abandoned during the invasions and were never re-instated. High-quality blue and white porcelain manufacture, for example, was stifled by disruptions to the importation of cobalt as a result of the wars. By 1628, poor economic conditions forced the suspension of official pottery manufacture for a year. 44 Local potters responded to these conditions by developing new decorative styles, making Joseon ceramic manufacture progressively less familiar to the work that the Korean potters in Japan had left behind. As such, those Korean families who remained in Japan despite the calls to return home from the Joseon kingdom and its critiques of Japanese culture, had to find new ways to conceptualise themselves, their family and ancestral identities in terms that could be emotionally satisfying to themselves, and acceptable in their new environment. In Jissen’s narrative, this was found in the success of his ancestors in their economic, creative and familial endeavours, as the next section explores.

Ceramic Developments in Takeo and Hiekoba Jissen’s monument narrative describes the Fukaumi family’s initial settlement in Takeo and how Sōden first made his pottery in front of the gate of Kōfuku Temple. Then he received lands in Uchida village from Lord Gotō, making bowls and incense burners for the daimyō as well as the monk, Bessō, who had first supported him. Gotō operated under one of Japan’s most influential families, the Nabeshima. Nabeshima Naoshige, whose interests appear to have been commercial as well as cultural, had overseen the settlement of many Koreans to the Saga area of Hizen, in addition to bringing back a great deal of kaolin clay required for porcelain manufacture. 45 A series of climbing kilns built in the early seventeenth century by these small 43 Becker, 21. 44 Yoon. 45 Nakajima, Kyūshū, 60 cited in Becker, 24.

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family operations remains in the region today, including at Uchida where the Fukaumi family was based. 46 However, Jissen’s narrative continues that ‘Sōden passed away on the 29th day of the 10th month in the 4th year of Genna [1618]. The wife of Sōden left Uchida after the death of her husband and moved to Hiekoba at the foot of Mount Kurokami. The Korean potters who lived in Uchida moved with her to Hiekoba.’ This move was determined by a change in ceramic productions in the area. Another Korean potter, known in Japan as Kanegae Sampei (K: Ri Sam-pyeong), is said to have begun to develop a local porcelain product.47 However, sustained manufacture of the new product required more kaolin than Nabeshima’s supplies from Korea could support.48 Kanegae is credited to have discovered kaolin at the local mountain, Izumiyama, in the early 1600s. With financial support and protection from the Nabeshima family, by 1616, he and eight others were claimed to have established a traditional Joseon-style, multi-chambered kiln at Tengudani in Arita and brought together a large population of close to a thousand to work there.49 Archaeological work at the Tengudani sites have revealed shards of celadon and white porcelain, some with underglaze cobalt blue decoration, similar to contemporary styles from Korea.50 The Fukaumi family and their followers evidently numbered among these new arrivals to the area who came to work the new porcelain styles that were soon to be known internationally under the name Aritaware. The popularity of Aritaware, and sub-types such as Nabeshimaware, was aided by its exportation into Europe by the Dutch East India Company, particularly from the late 1650s and into the 1660s.51 Further archaeological work in 1990 on the nearby Tenjin-Yama kiln site has uncovered shards of shoki-imari (early style imari) from 1630 to the 1660s, intended for the export market.52 The rise in popularity of Aritaware is reflected in the rapid increase in kilns that were built in the area. From thirteen kilns operating under the supervision of the local administrative office in 1637, there were some 180 by 1672.53 The popularity of Aritaware acted in ways that continued 46 Such as the national historic sites, the Outani and Kotouge kilns in Old Takeo. 47 Koh, 154–155; Pope, 3–5; Koo. The existence of this figure is now disputed by scholars, but he plays a powerful role in 17th and 18th century histories of porcelain manufacture, as I am exploring in a future publication. 48 Koo. 49 Nakajima, Kyūshū, 94, 97 cited by Becker, 25; Yun; Koo. Nakashima suggests that Hyakubasen brought over 900 people with her to the area (1935), 153. 50 Yun. 51 Yun; Impey; Koo. 52 Signage at Kannon Hill, designated a Town Historic Site on 10 March 1965. 53 Yun; Koo.


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to restrict the movement of potters of Korean heritage. The most striking example was the capture by the Nabeshima dynasty of a series of potters who were taken to the remote valley of Okawachiayama, near Imari port, where they were kept in a guarded compound in order to make an exclusive porcelain known as Nabeshimaware (J: Nabeshima-yaki).54 Jissen thus recorded the transition of the family workshop from Takeo to Hiekoba under his great-grandmother, Hyakubasen. It was a narrative in which she was lovingly remembered: ‘She passed away on the 10th day of the 3rd month in the 2nd year of Meireki [1656] at the age of 96. The wife of Sōden had a gentle shaped face and calm expression and since she was widely respected people called her Hyakubasen.’ In Japanese, hyaku (百) means one hundred, and basen may be an adaptation of the Japanese word, obaasan, which can mean both aunt and grandmother, with the kanji used here (婆), meaning a respected older woman.55 In Hiekoba, where the Hōon Temple monument was erected, Jissen’s explicit mention of his great-grandmother made sense. It had been she who was responsible for the family’s association with the village, and for the family’s successful transition to a new and flourishing ceramic manufacture, of Arita porcelain. Indeed, Jissen went further in establishing his family’s claims: ‘She was a treasure and the beginning of the pottery town.’56

Multiple Family Identities Jissen’s monument made multiple performances of family for contemporaries, reflecting economic, spiritual, and cultural identity. Like other professional trades, ceramic manufacture operated through extended family units. While we know of some women, typically widows, who were noted for maintaining family workshops after the death of husbands, the precise role of female relatives, as well as other assistants beyond the nuclear family, within the day-to-day operations of these workshops appears little documented.57 54 For more on control of Nabeshima ware from Okawachiayama, see Arts, 73. 55 The most common Korean version of her name is Baek Paseon or Pasun. This appears to be a combination of a sense translation of hyaku (baek is Korean for one hundred), and a sound combination of the remaining part of her name. 56 A family tree provided is provided in Nakashima (1985). 57 See, for example, Pitelka (2005), 8, 81, on the wider groups involved in contemporary Raku workshops. Like Hyakubasen, for example, a woman known as Koma no Onna, the widow of a Korean potter who was known in Japan as Mouemon Nakazato, arrived in Japan in the late sixteenth century, and moved with her son to participate in the new porcelain industry in the early seventeenth century, see Becker, 27, 29. See also the widow of the Korean potter named Takatori Hachizō in Japan and documented in Maske, 16, 19, 56, fn. 27.

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Based on the gender-segregated practices of ceramic operations before the twentieth century, it seems unlikely that women were involved in artistic or even practical aspects of these manufactures. Their role may be attached to maintaining and holding together the household and House as a unit. This was an important role for familial ceramic operations usually passed from father to son, retaining a family name that reflected ancestral traditions. The Fukaumi were no different. Jissen made the conventional hereditary pathways from father to son explicit on the monument: Grandfather Heizaemon whose Buddhist name was Sōkai continued pottery and made the family flourish. He had two sons and seven daughters. My uncle is Sōkō [Kichizaemon], his son [Biku] left the family to become a monk at the Kōfuku Temple. I am Jissen, third son of father Tankyū.

Via the monument, Jissen traced a direct line from first to fourth generation, from Shintaro to Kichizaemon, in the still flourishing Fukaumi ceramic dynasty. Hyakubasen’s role in the dynasty’s operations was enabling that patriline to be maintained. A central aspect of the monument’s narrative, and of the Fukaumi family’s self-production of its past, was that in celebrating their success in Japan, it did not obscure their Korean ancestry. The identity of such potters as Korean, rather than Japanese, was encouraged by a series of policy decisions by local daimyō that tended to restrict freedom of movement and thus integration in wider Japanese society by these individuals. As noted above, by the mid-1630s, it was evident to Japanese officials that the local forests could not sustain ever-increasing ceramic production and kilns that demanded large amounts of fuel. In 1637, Nabeshima Katsushige issued orders to expel Japanese potters from the Hizen area. In the 1620s, the daimyō of Satsuma, Shimazu Iehisa, had provided financial incentives for Korean potters to settle Naeshirogawa and Kannogawa (Noshiroko), then attracting others from Ichiki.58 In order to preserve their unique ceramic aesthetics brought from Korea, Japanese were not permitted to enter Naeshirogawa nor were Koreans allowed to marry outside of the community. In such communities, Korean language, dress and customs were preserved for considerable lengths of time, fascinating later visitors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.59 By contrast to the Fukaumi, one of these visitors who visited 58 Koo. 59 See accounts by Tachibana Nankei in 1782 and Furukawa Koshoken in 1787 in Plutschow (2006), 75–121.


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Noshiroko in the early 1780s, physician and scholar Tachibana Nankei, noted that families retained Korean surnames. The scholar Furukawa Koshoken, in the same decade, recorded that despite multiple petitions to the daimyō, these people were not permitted to dress their hair in the contemporary Japanese manner. Both eyewitnesses regarded the pottery of the village as distinctly Korean in style and much in demand by the daimyō of Satsuma for himself, as highly valued gifts, and for sale.60 In 1887, British diplomat and Japanologist Ernest Satow visited what he termed ‘the Korean village of Tsuboya.’ He noted that: The account given of themselves by the Kaurai jin (as they are called) is that all the inhabitants of the village, peasants as well as potters, are descended from Koreans brought over during the period Keichiyau (1596–1615) by a Satsuma Samurahi named Ijifu-In. Until about three years ago they wore their hair tied up in a knot at the top of the head, but most of them now wear the Japanese queue, or cut their hair in the style which has been introduced from abroad. They informed me that in former days they dressed themselves in their own costumes on special occasions.61

The historiography of Jissen’s monument made little mention of hardships that the family may have faced, which at the very least would have likely involved restrictions to their movements and livelihoods under the daimyō’s control. Indeed, the inscription on the monument emphasizes that they were valued migrants, held in esteem by both Gotō and Bessō. The monument itself and the engraved text communicate that the family understood these loyalties, repaying lord and monk respectively with products of their prized ceramic manufacture. At least one of these loyalties, to the Buddhist faith, remained vital in Jissen’s own lifetime. The conversion to Catholicism by some of the Koreans in Japan has been noted in the literature, and Korean converts number among those Christians martyred after the repression of Christianity under Ieyasu from 1614.62 By contrast, this monument made explicit the close and continuing relationship of the Fukaumi family to the Buddhist religion from the first and through its successive generations. Fumio Tamamuro has explored how, during this period, the danka system gave Buddhist temples and clergy a determining role (and financial gain as a result) in ensuring 60 Plutschow (2006), 75–88. 61 Satow, 201. 62 Bong, 334.

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that local populations complied with the bafuku’s anti-Christian policies. This compliance could be demonstrated through parish membership and, importantly for our purposes, participation in memorial rites.63 Jissen’s monument could thus be interpreted as an attestation of the Fukaumi family’s conformity with contemporary Japanese government policy and expectations. Family members mentioned on the monument were referred to by their Buddhist name Shintaro, and only Hyakubasen and Heizaemon were also recorded by Japanese name forms. That the monument should emphasise the religious life of the family should be no surprise in the context of a shrine within a temple. However, Jissen had further reasons to celebrate the connections of the family to his Buddhist faith. His narrative made support from personnel at Hōon Temple central to the family’s initial establishment in Japan. It was a monastery to which the family were still attached. As the monument made clear, Biku, son of Kichizaemon, was now himself a monk there. Jissen also had personal reasons to emphasise the continuity of the family’s strong Buddhist connections, for he was himself a monk at the Yutoku Shrine Temple in Kashima. Hyakubasen too was central to the monument text that Jissen created. Indeed, he explicitly tied the erection of the monument to her. On the side of the stone plinth was written, ‘This monument has been erected by Jissen, great-grandson of Sōden at the commemoration of the 50th year of Hyakubasen’s death.’ However, there were more reasons why Jissen might have felt that such a shrine was required now. In the decades just before he commissioned the monument, the early history of the Aritaware, and its leading dynasties of producers, was beginning to be written in textual and in material form. Jissen’s desire to mark the fortunes of his ancestors may have been prompted by the erection of the Shinto Tōzan (Sueyama) Shrine in Arita, in 1658, rich with porcelain decorative elements. This shrine was dedicated to the Emperor Ōjin, Nabeshima Naoshige and to Kanegae Sampei, said to have had died in 1655. (Fig. 1.4) Jissen may have been spurred by the desire to stake his own family’s claim to participation in the foundations of the industry at Arita, in the narratives that were beginning to be forged. However, given that his great-grandfather had died by the time the family arrived in Hiekoba, Hyakubasen was the key ancestor who could be most closely connected to the move at this time. Jissen’s monument juggled elements of the family’s identity between Korean origins, Buddhist spiritual practices and participation in the ceramic history of Japan. Ritual honouring of ancestors, however, was a 63 Tamamuro.


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Figure 1.4  The porcelain torii of Tōzan Shrine, Arita. Designated as Japanese Government Tangible Cultural Properties, April 28, 2000. Wikimedia.

feature of both contemporary Korean as well as Japanese practices. In Joseon Korea, following Confucian principles, it was common to practise ritual honours for four generations of ancestors. Commoners’ elaborate mortuary ceremonies were in fact criticised during the sixteenth century by elites concerned that common people were attempting to raise their social status through such means.64 Additionally, after the wars of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the compilation of large-scale genealogies in Korea may have responded, as Eugene Y. Park proposes, to a desire to bring together families torn apart by war, and their popularity reflected cultural prestige that appears to operate from commoners to aristocrats.65 For Korean commoners, visible ancestor memorialisation and genealogical compilations could therefore be a mechanism to raise or display one’s rising social position. This should not imply that they could not also be deeply felt, however. Indeed, the rites of such remembrance rituals had been invoked by those who placed pressure on Korean migrants in Japan to return home. As we have seen above, the scholar Kang wrote of ‘ancestors’ 64 On these contestations, and the attempts to stop them, see Jung. 65 Kang, H.; Paik; Park (2008) and (2013), 170.

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weed-covered graves … empty of an offering even of barley.’66 At the same time, Japan had its own system of ancestor worship that combined elements of Shintoism and Buddhism. By the seventeenth century, as discussed above, mortuary rituals had become embedded in a bafukan policy to eliminate Christian practices. Jissen’s monument was situated comfortably within Japanese practices that honoured most significantly the ancestors of the specific household; that is, Sōden and Hyakubasen, who had founded this Japanese branch of a family of Korean origin. Jissen’s monument celebrated the coming together of a new and flourishing multi-generational unit, the dynastic House of Fukaumi, as well as documenting the physical movement by an earlier generation of family and household from lands in Takeo, and emplacing the current household within the social and physical landscape of Hiekoba, at the Hōon Temple.

Conclusion Jissen’s monument is not the only memorial site connected to Hyakubasen in the area. Local signage and pamphlets direct visitors in Arita to the Sairei-byō on Kannon Hill, close by the Hōon Temple. Here was, it seems, once a monument to Korean ancestors, which served as a festival shrine until local off icials banned these commemorations in the nineteenth century.67 The rituals associated with this monument have now been connected with Hyakubasen but they were not, it appears, directly linked to her commemoration. However, the House of Fukaumi’s celebration of their founding mother was maintained in another site in stone, her grave, which lies in Izumiyama-Kamikohira kyodo cemetery. The stone, engraved with ‘First generation–Fukaumi Hyakubasen,’ was moved here in the later nineteenth century and now forms part of an assemblage with a series of smaller stone plinths for subsequent generations of the family. Little public information is available about this site, which remains the private property of the Fukaumi family who still live in the area. However, it is possible that these monuments were assembled at the present site after the destruction of a significant number of Buddhist temples during the Meiji period, in an ideological movement known as haibutsu kishaku. In this period, the Fukaumi (sometimes Fukami) dynasty continued to flourish and be central to ceramic innovations and international developments. Fukami 66 Kim Haboush and Robinson, 25. 67 Signage at Hōon Temple and communication with Ms Osaki.


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Suminosuke numbered among the Arita potters who formed the Koransha porcelain factory in 1875, taking advantage of Western techniques, especially in kiln designs, and exhibiting ceramicware at international expositions. Suminosuke manufactured porcelain with blue sous couverte decoration, and his ceramics are now held in international gallery collections.68 In this context, the family may have wished to give thanks to the ancestors who had continued to protect the dynastic line through the centuries from beyond the grave. Hyakubasen continues to live on in new, and political resonant, forms today. Murata Kiyoko published a fictionalized account of Hyakubasen in her 1999 novel Ryuhigyotenka (Longing for Home). In 2013, the Korean Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation televised a 32-episode drama based on Hyakubasen’s story as Goddess of Fire: Jeonji. The Gallery Baek Pasun in Arita, opened in 2016, established an attached guesthouse for women and children, termed the ‘Japan-South Korea Friendship House.’ In April 2018, it was announced that Hyakubasen would be depicted in a statue at Incheon.69 This case study demonstrates how meanings of family, dynasty, house and household could transcend associations tied strictly or uniquely to one nation, and yet were entirely shaped in their cultural meanings by a significant sense of place. Jissen’s monument to his ancestors, particularly those of the first generation in Japan, performed a specific narrative of the family’s past and present for a particular time and place. It was grounded by a conceptualization of the Fukaumi as a new ie made in a new land. It explicitly aff irmed their Korean origins even as it cemented their Japanese-adopted name f irmly in the annals of Tokugawa ceramic history. This piece of stone signalled the vitality of their long-held Buddhist spiritual practices while effectively conforming to the politico-religious expectations of their new home. Its text as well as its location in Hōon Temple related a narrative of a household and a dynasty now successfully economically, socially and culturally embedded in Japan that had been profoundly shaped by movement from one place to another. Additionally, this decision undertaken, the monument tells us, by the unit’s founding mother, aunt, grand-mother, great-grandmother and revered older lady, Hyakubasen, complicated the conventional gendered performances of both memorial politics and ceramic succession that were 68 Koh, ‘The Place of the Pottery’, 157, 158. See for example, O1155644/vase-fukami-suminosuke/ (accessed 13 September 2018). 69 (accessed 13 September 2018).

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more usually oriented around paternal ancestors and transmission to sons. Jissen’s monument conveyed a pact made between past and present, homelands new and old, and the possibilities of multiple family identities and their insertion in the nascent histories of a new location and industry.

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Koh, Sung Jae. ‘The Place of the Pottery and Porcelain Industry in East Asian History.’ Journal of Korean Studies 1/1 (1969): 143–171. Koo, Tae-hoon. ‘Flowering of Korean Ceramic Culture in Japan.’ History Review (2008) online at asp?group_id=102438 (accessed 13 September 2018). Kumakura, Isao (trans. Paul Varley). ‘Sen no Rikyū: Inquiries into His Life and Tea.’ In Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu, eds. Paul Varley and Isao Kumakura (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1989), 33–69. Lee, Hoon. ‘The Repatriation of Castaways in Chosŏn Korea-Japan Relations, 1599–1888.’ Korean Studies 30 (2006): 67–90. Lee, Jeong Mi. ‘Cultural Expressions of Tokugawa Japan and Chosŏn Korea: An Analysis of the Korean Embassies in the Eighteenth Century.’ (PhD thesis, University of Toronto, 2008). Lewis, James B. Frontier Contact Between Choson Korea and Tokugawa Japan (London: Routledge, 2005). Lewis, James B, ed. The East Asian War, 1592–1598: International Relations, Violence and Memory (London: Routledge, 2015). Ludwig, Theodore. ‘Chanoyu and Momoyama: Conflict and Transformation in Rikyū’s Art.’ In Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu, eds. Paul Varley and Isao Kumakura (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1989), 71–100. Maske, Andrew L. Potters and Patrons in Edo Period Japan: Takatori Ware and the Kuroda Domain (Abingdon: Ashgate, 2011). Miller, Daniel, ed. Materiality (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005). Murai, Yasuhiko. ‘Furuta Oribe.’ Chanoyu Quarterly 42 (1985): 24–48. Nakashima, Hiroki. 肥前陶磁史考 (Examination of Hizen Porcelain History) (1936, reprinted Tokyo: Seichosha, 1985). Nelson, Thomas. ‘Slavery in Medieval Japan.’ Monumenta Nipponica 59/4 (2004): 463–492. Paik, Sungjong. ‘The Formation of the United Lineage in Korea.’ History of the Family 5/1 (2000): 75–89. Park, Eugene Y. ‘Imagined Connections in Early Modern Korea, 1500–1894: Representations of Northern Elite Miryang Pak Lineages in Genealogies.’ Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 21/1 (2008): 1–27. Park, Eugene Y. ‘Old Status Trappings in a New World: The “Middle People” (Chungin) and Genealogies in Modern Korea.’ Journal of Family History 38/2 (2013): 166–187. Pitelka, Morgan. Handmade Culture: Raku Potters, Patrons and Tea Practitioners in Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2005). Pitelka, Morgan. Spectacular Accumulation: Material Culture, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Samurai Sociability (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016). Plutschow, Herbert. A Reader in Edo Period Travel (Leiden: Global Oriental, 2006).


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Plutschow, Herbert. Rediscovering Rikyu and the Beginnings of the Japanese Tea Ceremony (Leiden: Brill/Global Oriental, 2003). Pope, John A. ‘The Beginnings of Porcelain in Japan.’ In 200 Years of Japanese Porcelain, ed. Richard S. Cleveland (St. Louis: City Art Museum of Saint Louis / Nelson Gallery – Atkins Museum, 1970), 3–5. Rogers, Michael C. ‘P’yŏnnyŏn T’ongnok: The Foundation Legend of the Koryŏ State.’ The Journal of Korean Studies 4 (1982–83), 3–72. Satow, Ernest. ‘The Korean Potters in Satsuma.’ Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 6/2 (1878) (republished Tokyo: The Hakununsha, 1889): 193–203. Swope, Kenneth M. ‘Perspectives on the Imjin War.’ Journal of Korean Studies 12/1 (2007): 154–161. Swope, Kenneth M. A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592–1598 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009). Tamamuro, Fumio. ‘Local Society and the Temple-Parishioner Relationship within the Bakufu’s Governance Structure.’ Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 28/ 3/4 (2001): 261–292. Toby, Ronald P. State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bafuku (1984, reprint Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991). Vaujany, François-Xavier de, and Nathalie Mitev, eds. Materiality and Space: Organizations, Artefacts and Practices (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013). Yi, Ch’aeyoen. Imjin woeran p’oryeo silgi yeonhu (Seoul: Pakijong publishers, 1995). Yoon, Yong-I. ‘Grandeur & Decline of Korea’s Pottery: From Koryo to Choson Period.’ Koreana: A Quarterly Journal of Korean Art and Culture 5/3 (1991), available online at (accessed 13 September 2018). Yun, Yong-I. ‘Koreans Shaped Base for Japan’s Pottery: Origin of Satsuma & Arita Wares.’ Koreana 5/3 (1991) online at (accessed 13 September 2018).

About the Author Susan Broomhall is Professor of History and a Foundation Chief Investigator in the Korea Research Centre at The University of Western Australia. She is a historian of early modern Europe, Asia and global interactions, whose research explores women, gender, emotions, science and technologies, knowledge practices, material culture, cultural contact and the heritage of the early modern world.


Forced Separations Severed Family Ties and New Beginnings for Mauritian Convicts Transported to Australia between 1825 and 1845 Eilin Hordvik Abstract The British Empire’s global expansion during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led to considerable cross-cultural pollination, which in turn significantly influenced social, political, and legal decision-making across the colonies. To maintain law and order, Mauritius, a British colonial possession in the Indian Ocean, introduced intra-colonial convict transportation, adding to the coerced labour pool circulating between colonies. For families of transported convicts, the separation was enduring and most often permanent. The Mauritian convicts shipped to the Australian penal colonies also lost their cultural and social frameworks. Subsequently, their experiences and life trajectories in the penal colonies often depended on their ability to forge new social connections, form personal relationships, or find patronage. Keywords: Colonial expansion, convict transportation, Mauritius, family, separation, patronage.

Colonial conquests, annexations, treaties, and spoils of war saw the rapid territorial and economic expansion of the British Empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An increase in the circulation of people performing both forced and free labour underpinned and propelled this global imperial expansion and enterprise. Discourses of domination saw an increased emphasis on law and order in many colonial settings. As a result, intra-colonial convict transportation became an essential element in maintaining social order and economic stability within the Empire’s

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch02


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many colonies.1 This form of maritime dislocation became inextricably intertwined with the unique convict experience, with husband separated from wife, wife from husband, parent/s from child or children, child from parents and the loss of extended family and other social networks. This forced movement of people across the British Empire had a devastating effect on the individual convict and their families, disrupting family networks and more often than not permanently severing family ties. In the Indian Ocean, a decisive British maritime victory over the French resulted in the annexation of the colony of Mauritius in 1810. 2 Within the broader historical context of British colonialism, this conquest virtually ended the struggle between Britain and France for supremacy in the region.3 Mauritius, a significant waypoint and geo-strategic island in the Indian Ocean, became a key link in the British imperial chain of ports and trade, stretching from the Caribbean to Europe and Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to the Australian penal colonies. 4 At the edge of the British Empire, Mauritius became part of a network of British intra-colonial convict transportation systems flowing in multiple directions across imperial spaces. This chapter examines the social impact of transportation on a small cohort of non-European convicts transported from the colony of Mauritius to the Australian penal colonies between 1825 and 1845.5 It explores their personal narratives and experiences and investigates devastating consequences of colonial authorities’ responses to desperate pleas and petitions to preserve precious family ties. These convicts represent the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, pluri-religious, multi-lingual and socially layered colonial society of Mauritius in the first half of the nineteenth century.6 The confluence of ethnic backgrounds in this former crowded multi-racial French slave colony of Africans, Mauritian-born Creoles, and Asians (mostly Indians and Chinese), meant that Mauritius was an interesting blend of cultural and social influences. Following a brief background to transportation, this chapter presents selected stories that illustrate how families were lost and 1 Schmidhauser, 331; Fawcett, 308. 2 For the history of Mauritius see Varma and Selvon. 3 Collins; Varma. 4 Toussaint, 1. Prior to the annexations of Mauritius, French corsairs (‘pirates’) had been a serious threat to British trading vessels in the Indian Ocean and the British East India Company had sustained heavy losses at the hands of these pirates operating from Mauritius. 5 Hordvik (2016). 6 The trial summaries, which followed these convicts to the Australian penal colonies are all in French, and held in various institutions around Australia: the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO); State Records of New South Wales (SRNSW), NRS series; National Library of Australia (NLA), Le Merle Collection (MAUR); State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW).

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new families created following transportation from Mauritius to Australia. It focuses on how the timing of the anti-slavery legislation and the availability of patronage impacted individual convicts’ lives.

Background to Transportation By the end of the eighteenth century, in popular culture and in contemporary public imaginings, convict transportation emerged as an important disciplinary mechanism. The conceptual keystone of convict transportation was the ‘holy trinity’ of punishment, work, and personal reform. For the criminal justice system, it became a practical alternative punishment to the death penalty, relieving the pressures on overcrowded prisons.7 Embedded in the deterrent and punitive purpose of convict transportation was the premise of forced dislocation from place of origin and separation from family networks and other familiar social and cultural connections. The ideological construct behind this punishment was not only to physically and geographically uproot the convict to an alien destination, but also to isolate and break down the individual outside their familiar social frameworks. The aim was to rebuild docile, pliable and obedient workers, an effective strategy also used in slave societies to cultivate compliant slaves.8 Unlike prison, this penal policy had the ‘twin objectives of fostering colonial growth and punishing offenders’.9 As an essential element in British empire building, the intrinsically mobile convict population became a form of human ‘commodity’, labouring mostly in road gangs, on infrastructure projects, working as farm labourers, in dockyards or as domestic servants. A third objective was the perceived power of transportation as an opportunity for individual redemption. The idea of work as punishment was a complex one, as the tension between punishment, utility and reformation became a moral balancing act of punishment and reward. The convict system rewarded ‘reformed’ felons with tickets of leave, certificates of freedom and conditional or absolute pardons, allowing more freedom of movement and freedom to

7 In a global context, transportation was overwhelmingly a colonial phenomenon. Within the British and other western empires, including Russia, the number of transported convicts stretches into the millions. Less than half of the 376,000 convicts transported within the British Empire between 1615 and 1940 were sentenced in English, Welsh and Scottish courts. Maxwell-Stewart, ‘“And All My Great Hardships Endured”?’, 69. 8 Maxwell-Stewart and Anderson, 265–298; Christopher and Maxwell-Stewart, 68–90. 9 Maxwell-Stewart (1999), 108.


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form social connections.10 Convicts who committed additional offences in the colonies were sent to secondary penal institutions such as Port Arthur in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). By the early nineteenth century, while ships were arriving in the Australian colonies from Britain with essential cargo to support the growing colony and much needed convict labour, other commercial vessels arrived from various British colonies in the Indian Ocean, including the slave colony of Mauritius. Among the much sought-after merchandise of sugar carried on board merchant vessels arriving from Mauritius between 1825 and 1845 was the additional ‘human cargo’ of convicts. These convicts’ haphazard mode of transport differed greatly from the converted and specially fitted out former whaler and merchant vessels transporting British convicts to Australia. Around twenty percent of the Mauritian cohort of convicts arriving on these vessels left dependent and adult children behind and many more would have left behind parents, wives, husbands and partners. Even though we know from the Mauritian trial records that many had wives and families, in the Australian convict records the column ‘married or single’ is often blank and the column for naming relatives often notes, ‘no relations’.11 The Mauritian female transportee, 60-year-old Christine (alias Justine), is an example of the need to be mindful of the accuracy of personal details of non-English speaking convicts.12 The Mauritian records show she was a mother of six adult children, three of whom are on record as having given statements to police in relation to the case of arson against their mother.13 However, her Australian indent states that she had no relations. On 31 December 1833, The Dart arrived in New South Wales on one of its commercial voyages from Mauritius. Among the convicts who disembarked was Paul Nanine.14 He had been convicted of burglary and sentenced to transportation for ten years. His Australian indent shows he was a 28-year-old free Mauritian Creole. He stated his occupation as house servant and cook. 10 For more information refer to tickets-of-leave. 11 SRNSW, Convict Idents 1788–1842; TAHO, CON 16/1/5. Christine, (alias Justine). An indent was information recorded about the convict on arrival in the penal colonies. CON refers to a convict’s conduct record. 12 TAHO, CON 16/1/5, Christine, (alias Justine). 13 SLNSW, DLADD 540/38–42, Court of Assizes, trial summary, Christine (alias Justine), 27 Nov. 1843, 57–61. 14 SRNSW, NRS 1155, 2/8255, 41; Full trial records in French concerning the Mauritian convicts are held in the National Archives of Mauritius (NAM). NAM, JB 259, Mauritian trial of Paul Nanine.

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When asked about his family in Mauritius, he said he had four children.15 The records highlight the human cost of the transportation system, especially on children, and as Clare Anderson concludes, it is not difficult to contemplate the devastating effect on family members of convicted transportees.16 On convict ships sailing from Britain, it was not uncommon for mothers (and, on rare occasions, fathers) to take the children with them on the journey to the penal colonies and a convict child’s passage was usually free. Lucy Frost points out, however, that little evidence exists offering ‘clear articulation of government policy’ with regards to children sailing on convict ships from Britain.17 With regards to intra-colonial transportation this was a much rarer occurrence.

Marcelin: A Bereaved Father Recreates Family Among the convicts disembarking from The Dart on the last day of 1833, along with the aforementioned Paul Nanine, were a married couple, Joséphine Ally and Marcelin Currac.18 They had been convicted of harbouring thieves and receiving stolen goods and the Mauritian Court of Assizes had sentenced them to transportation for seven years for their crimes.19 Joséphine is described as a washer and needlewoman and Marcelin as a bird stuffer and hairdresser.20 At the time of their arrival Joséphine was pregnant. Marcelin was an affranchi (‘freed slave’). In the Mauritian trial records, there is no mention of Joséphine’s status, so we must assume she was also free. The thieves the couple had harboured were mostly run-away slaves, known as maroons.21 They had committed multiple crimes and had operated undetected in and around Port Louis for about fifteen months. According to the Mauritian trial records, Joséphine and Marcelin were the ringleaders of this ‘enterprise’. The run-away slaves would sell the proceeds from their nocturnal jaunts to the couple and share the ‘profits’. When police finally raided their house in Port Louis on 1 February 1833, they arrested the couple alongside many of the marooned slaves. Stolen items retrieved 15 SRNSW, 4/4018, Convict Idents 1788–1842, The Dart, 31 Dec. 1833, Paul Nanine. 16 Anderson, 189. 17 Frost, 2013. 18 It was the Dart’s first of two voyages carrying convicts from Mauritius to New South Wales. 19 SRNSW, NRS 1155, 2/8255 Court of Assizes trial summary of Marcelin and Joséphine, 1Sep.1833, 49–60. 20 SRNSW, 4/4018; Convict Indents 1788–1842, The Dart, 31 Dec. 1833, Joséphine and Marcelin. 21 Allen (2002), 131–152 and (1999), 35–75.


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included gold and silver watches, clothing, jewellery, china, furniture and tools. The examining judge concluded that, even if Joséphine and Marcelin had not joined the marooned slaves on their nightly crime sprees, it was impossible that the stolen goods could have been at their premises without their knowledge and involvement.22 Stepping ashore in the penal colony of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve 1833, Joséphine aged 38 and 40-year-old Marcelin were immediately separated. He was assigned as a gardener to the First Police Magistrate, Colonel Henry Wilson.23 The authorities transferred Joséphine to the Paramatta Female Factory, joining other unassigned female convicts, heavily pregnant women, mothers and children. Her pregnancy must not have been common knowledge, because shortly after her arrival the convict department assigned her to Ernest Augustus Slade, the young superintendent of the convict barracks at Hyde Park and the third Magistrate of Sydney and its ports.24 Contrary to strict government regulation, which precluded unmarried men from keeping female convicts as servants, Slade, a single man, had female convicts as live-in domestics. Joséphine was only in his service for a few months before she died in early June 1834, probably in childbirth, less than six months after arriving in the colony. Not long after her death, Slade became embroiled in a highly publicised sex scandal. The Sydney Monitor accused him of manipulating the convict system to procure convict women for sexual favours: ‘tempting female convicts to live unchastely’.25 Slade eventually resigned from his position and left the colony. Following the death of Joséphine, Marcelin must have been grief-stricken as well as desperately worried about the four young children and their grown-up daughter, Marie Estelle (herself a mother of two) left behind in Mauritius.26 From his prison cell in Port Louis, shortly after his arrest in February 1833, Marcelin had sought help to write a letter to the Police Commissioner in Port Louis pleading with the authorities to show compassion and offer his children government support.27 Police Commissioner John Finniss rejected his plea, condemning his children to a life of uncertainty. 22 NAM, JB 253, trial of Marcelin, Joséphine and Hypolite, 18 Sep. 1833. 23 Prisoner no 33–3498. Later, he worked at the Hyde Park Barracks, situated near Hyde Park Gardens as a cook. 24 ADB, 25 Sydney Monitor, 14 June 1834. 26 Official Colonial Office Correspondence, NAM, RA 502, letter to Colonial Secretary G.F. Dick from Commissioner of Police J. Finniss, 10 Oct. 1833. 27 Marcelin was able to sign his own name to the letter. NAM, RA 502, letter to Colonial Secretary G.F. Dick from Commissioner of Police J. Finniss, enclosed letter from Marcelin.

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Following her parents’ sentencing in September 1833, Marie Estelle stepped in and agreed to look after the two older siblings, aged thirteen and fourteen, while they were placed out to learn a trade. The local authorities turned down Joséphine and Marcelin’s request for the two youngest children, one aged four years and the other fourteen months, to travel with them to Australia. The possibility that they could apply for the children to join them once they reached New South Wales would have given them little solace.28 One probable reason for the authorities declining Joséphine and Marcelin’s application to take the children to New South Wales may have been that the captain of the Dart wanted financial compensation for their voyage.29 However, it is more likely the authorities denied their request due to the seriousness of their crimes of harbouring and colluding with run-away slaves, as well as profiting from these crimes. The timing of this decision is important in the context of the increasingly vociferous anti-slavery movement. By 1833, throughout the British Empire, the moral and humanitarian discourses and debates about the institution of slavery were reaching a crescendo. In Mauritius, the plantocracy fiercely opposed the abolition of slavery, fearing the loss of their (human) property and workforce. The local administration was concerned with labour shortages and its economic ramifications, but also became progressively more concerned about the threat posed by a potential hostile slave population. In this volatile environment, the administration felt decisive action against crimes involving slaves was warranted to maintain law and order. This meant that leniency and compassion were unlikely to have been shown towards Joséphine, Marcelin, and their family, for fear that it may be construed as weakness. In the end, the anti-slavery lobby won the day and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect on 1 August 1834. Mauritius officially abolished slavery six months later, on 1 February 1835.30 In April 1834, ten months prior to the abolition of slavery in Mauritius, a Creole jeweller and free Mauritian citizen, Charles César, was sentenced to seven years transportation to New South Wales. His mother made an impassioned plea to take into consideration that her son was ill and begged the court to allow him to serve his sentence in a Mauritian jail.31 Her plea fell on deaf ears, as César had knowingly received stolen goods from a slave, 28 NAM, JB 253, trial of Marcelin, Joséphine and Hypolite, 18 Sept. 1833. 29 NAM, RA 510, The passage for a convict to New South Wales was usually 20 pounds. 30 The National Archives, Kew, England. TNA, CO 167/205, enclosure in Lord Glenelg to Governor W. Nicolay, Nov. 6, 1838. 31 NAM, JB 264, trial of Azor and Charles César, 21 Apr. 1834.


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and French criminal law (Code Penal of 1832) in use in Mauritius at this time clearly stated that ‘when the stolen goods originated from theft committed by slaves, the receiver (fence) shall be condemned to transportation’.32 As César left the island on a vessel destined for New South Wales, his mother knew she would never see him again, lamenting that the court may as well have given her son the death penalty.33 In a multicultural society like Mauritius, European, African, and Indian cultural influences and religious beliefs intermingled and the Indians’ fear of voyages across the kala pani (‘black water’) for instance, were widely understood. As Anderson explains, local colonial administrators often used the ‘enormous symbolic appeal’ of such beliefs as part of their ‘disciplinary strategies’.34 While César may have worried how his mother would cope without his emotional and financial support, Marcelin and Joséphine must have been frantic about the future welfare of their children. The Mauritian authorities had already refused to grant the two youngest children passage and there was no guarantee the New South Wales authorities would agree to a family reunion. In the end, Joséphine’s untimely death in June 1834 probably dissuaded Marcelin from applying to have the children join him in the penal colony after all. The forced geographical separation of parents and children shredded and permanently severed family ties and inflicted immense trauma on many children. Across the Empire, the children of convicts survived without guardianship or government support. Some relied on extended family, while others became institutionalised in orphanages or workhouses, or were left to their own devices. Emma Christopher writes that children of convicts left behind, in the metropole or in the colonies, ‘would be orphaned just as surely as if they [their parents] were being nailed into a wooden box and lowered into the ground’.35 Once Joséphine and Marcelin’s application for the children to join them on the voyage to New South Wales had been turned down, their daughter, Marie Estelle, applied for financial assistance to care for her two youngest siblings. Again, the authorities refused to help, but did recommend forwarding an application to the Caisse de Bienfaisance (‘Charity Fund’) as the children were now

32 SRNSW, NRS 1155, 2/8275, Article 52 of Code Pénal of 1832. 33 SRNSW, NRS 1155, 2/8275, Court of Assizes, trial summary of Azor and Charles César, 21 Apr. 1834, 65–70. 34 Anderson, 25, 170. The fear of crossing the ocean related to the notion of an end to the reincarnation cycle. The traveller who had made such a trasgressive journey, needed ritual purification prior to returning to their communities. 35 Christopher, 31.

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considered orphans.36 From then on there is no further archival trace of the family Joséphine and Marcelin left behind in Mauritius. As the decade progressed, and thousands of Indian workers arrived in Mauritius to replace the slave population on the sugar plantations, harsh vagrancy laws became part of the local strategy to maintain law and order following the abolition of slavery in 1835.37 With any luck, Joséphine and Marcelin’s family did not become part of the increasingly destitute vagrant population in Mauritius. In Australia, Marcelin spent five years as a widower until 1 June 1839. Then, more than a year after receiving his ticket of leave, he applied to the authorities to marry seventeen-year-old Mary Lees who had arrived as a free settler from Ireland in 1838.38 The colonial authorities, fearing that single convict men threatened the stability of the colony (and believing in the reformative properties of marriage to stimulate moral behaviour and strengthen family ties), encouraged them to marry.39 Having lost his wife and all contact with his children and grandchildren in Mauritius, Marcelin now seemed ready to invest in a new relationship. The authorities initially refused his marriage application, as a clerical oversight saw Marcelin still listed as married. Permission was finally granted on 3 October 1839 and the couple married in St Mary’s Church in Sydney on 16 November 1839. 40 Their daughter Maria was born the following year. However, their cultural differences may have eventually taken a toll, as it appears Marcelin had an extra-marital relationship with another young woman, Eliza Figaro, and fathered their daughter, Mary Ann, also born in 1840. 41 How Eliza, also a Mauritian, came to be in the penal colony is uncertain. It may be that she arrived as a domestic servant. Through Eliza, Marcelin was able to reconnect with his island home, as both spoke the Mauritian Creole language and likely found comfort in their common geographical origin and cultural background. Their relationship was a successful one, and they went on to 36 NAM, RA, 510, Letter from Commissioner of Police J. Finniss to Colonial Secretary G.F. Dick, 10 Oct. 1833. 37 At the end of 1846 around 56,000 Indian labourers had arrived in Mauritius, comprising approximately 35 percent of the total population of around 159,000. By 1871, people of Indian origin comprised more than two-third of the island’s permanent population. Population census for Mauritius, 1846–1911 in Nagapen, 101. 38 Marcelin obtained his ticket of leave on 19 May 1838. SRNSW, HO 10/52. 39 However, the gender imbalance in the colony invariably increased moral anxieties and heightened sexual tensions. 40 SRNSW; convicts’ applications to marry, series 12212; item 4/4513;43; married in Church of St. Marys, Sydney, 16 Nov. 1839, vol. 90 no. 482. 41 Their decedents always thought Eliza was a convict transported from Mauritius, but I have been unable to find an Eliza Figaro in my research.


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have nine children, six of whom lived to adulthood. 42 Unfortunately, no further information has come to light about Mary Lees or her daughter, Maria Marcelin. For the remainder of his life, Marcelin lived with Eliza and their family in and around Surrey Hills, Sydney. He received his certificate of freedom on 24 June 1841, seven years after arriving in Australia, having completed his sentence in full. 43 Marcelin belongs to a small group of black convicts in the Austral-Indian Ocean colonial context who transitioned from slave to freed slave in Mauritius, and later, from convicted felon to free citizen in New South Wales, thus straddling and experiencing two systems of colonial coercion, slavery and convictism. He died aged 74 on 14 May 1864.44 He never again heard from his children or grandchildren in Mauritius, confirming Christopher’s assertion that transportation nearly always led to permanent loss of relationships between transported parents and their children left behind. 45 The only known Mauritian convict to return to his family was Laurent Maingard. At the age of 34, this Mauritian Creole wigmaker and barber had been sentenced to transportation for seven years for receiving stolen goods. He arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on the Water Witch in 1839. 46 In December 1853, after fourteen years in the Australian penal colonies, Maingard returned to Mauritius, having raised enough capital for the journey. 47 For most of these convicts, however, the lack of resources prevented them from returning home to their families in Mauritius. And so, as the penal colonies slowly transformed into distinct colonial communities, their future lives were to be forged in Australia.

Women, Their Children, and the Importance of Patronage Sophie and Jean The experience of Joséphine and Marcelin exemplifies the fact it was rare for children to accompany a parent or parents to the penal colonies from 42 Hordvik (2015), 47–51. NAM, JB 253 trial of Marcelin, Joséphine and Hypolite, 18 Sep. 1833. 43 Certificate of Freedom, SRNSW, 40/1646, 1007; Principal Superintendent of Convicts’ Office, Sydney, 24 Jun. 1841; Sturma, 20–27. 44 Eliza Figaro died on 23 Nov. 1870. 45 Christopher, 31. 46 NAM, JB 302, trial of Laurent Maingard, 23 Sep. 1839; Duyker, 38. 47 SRNSW, NRS 115/2/8266, Court of Assizes, trial summary for Etienne, Pierre Louis, L’Esperance, Laurent Maingard, 23 Sep. 1839, 281–287; Duyker, 38.

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Mauritius. Only one child, an infant named Jean, born in jail in Port Louis in August 1823, is known to have journeyed with his convict parent from Mauritius to Australia. Jean’s mother, Sophie, was a domestic slave accused of stealing liquor and money from her master, Amédée Bonsergent, and setting fire to his property to conceal the theft. 48 Jean Gombault, who eighteenyear-old Sophie in her many police interviews called her husband, was a free Mauritian Creole and the father of her unborn child. He had accepted a portion of the money stolen from Sophie’s master. The court found him guilty of receiving stolen goods and sentenced him to eight years in chains. Before the commencement of Sophie’s trial, a prescribed suspension of 40 days allowed the accused mother-to-be to give birth. French criminal law, still in use in the courts of Mauritius at the time, based this decision on the belief that pregnancy negatively affected the mental state of an expectant mother and induced questionable morals, likely explaining her transformation from a trusted slave to an alleged thief and arsonist.49 Sophie’s status as a slave prior to the trial meant her child was born into slavery and therefore also the legal property of her master. Mauritius experienced a net decline in its slave population throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and therefore children born into slavery became an important part of the future labour pool.50 Gombault’s free status was of no consequence, as slavery, gendered in its function and design, saw the status of a child born to a female slave predetermined by the status of the mother.51 As Hamish Maxwell-Stewart explains, in contrast to the inherited status of a slave, the ‘unfreedom’ of the convict was not ‘passed through the genes’ to their offspring.52 In an interesting twist, had Jean been born after Sophie’s conviction, he would have been born a free child but with a convict mother (as following her conviction Sophie’s status changed from a slave to a convict). In September 1823, following the birth of her son, Sophie’s trial commenced in the Court of First Instance in Mauritius. Found guilty of malicious arson and theft, she was sentenced to death. The severity of the sentence 48 NAM, JB 152, trial of Sophie, 17 Sep. 1823; TNA, TS 25/2038, letter from the general prosecutor of Mauritius P. Rudelle to the Governor of Mauritius Sir G.L. Cole, 6 Nov. 1823, 155–156. 49 TNA, TS 25/2038, letter from Rudelle to Cole, 6 Nov. 1823, 156–157. 50 Allen (2001), 161–162. 51 TNA, PP. 1828. XXVI (526) Slaves in Mauritius, (Code Noir), Letters Patent of 1723, Article 9, 13, ‘In order, that if a Slave husband has married a free woman, the male or female children shall follow the condition of the mother, and be free like herself notwithstanding the servitude of the father, and that if the father is free and the mother a Slave, the children shall be Slaves like the latter’; Maxwell-Stewart, ‘World Heritage Serial Nomination for Australian Convict Sites’, 3. 52 Maxwell-Stewart (2007), 49 and (2006), 3.


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related to the perceived serious breach of trust, considered a particularly heinous crime in a slave society. The Mauritian General Prosecutor, P. Rudelle immediately lodged a plea for clemency, emphasising the plight of the young baby Sophie was still breastfeeding and the inhumanity in ‘separating them in such a cruel way’.53 The Governor of Mauritius, Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole agreed to forward the plea for clemency to London, seeking advice on a stay of execution. Extenuating circumstances and confusion over the application of French criminal law in the British colony of Mauritius saw Sophie’s death sentence commuted to transportation for life.54 Nevertheless, Gombault’s incarceration, Sophie’s transportation and the slave status of their son looked to splinter this small family. However, Sophie’s master, Mr. Bonsergent, struck a deal with the Mauritian authorities and settled on a sum of 80 piastres (‘Spanish dollars’) as compensation for both Sophie and her child, enabling them to stay together.55 In the end, General Prosecutor Rudelle’s plea for humanity prevailed. His emphasis on Sophie’s role as a mother probably swayed the Mauritian authorities in favour of keeping mother and son together.56 In comparison, a decade later the authorities did not extend the same level of compassion to Joséphine and Marcelin’s children. Sophie and baby Jean arrived in New South Wales in June 1825 aboard the brig Ann.57 For the first three years in New South Wales, Sophie worked for Francis Rossi, a former superintendent of prisons in Mauritius, who had arrived in the colony shortly before Sophie to take up the position of superintendent of police in New South Wales.58 On 31 March 1828, she married a fellow convict, John Henry.59 Henry was a native of British Guiana, also born into slavery. He had arrived in Australia in 1818 on the Earl St Vincent, having been sentenced by an Irish court to transportation for life for stealing a horse in Limerick, Ireland.60 Henry’s presence in Limerick and subsequent transportation to the Australian penal colony of New South Wales supports 53 TNA, TS 25/2038, letter from Rudelle to Cole, 6 Nov. 1823, 157. 54 TNA, TS 25/2038, letter from the general prosecutor’s office to Sir G.L. Cole, 6 Nov. 1823, 157. 55 TNA, PP. 1828. XXVI (526), Slaves in Mauritius, (Code Noir) Article 35 of the Letter Patent of 1723. 56 TNA, TS 25/2038, letter from Rudelle to Cole, 6 Nov. 1823, 155–156. Rudelle unfortunately died in 1824. Hopefully, before he died he was aware the authorities had allowed Sophie to bring her child with her on the voyage to New South Wales. 57 SRNSW, Indent, Anne, 30 June 1825, COD 6; CO 207/1, 110. 58 Transfer of Sophie to Chief Constable Thomas Dunn, 30 Jun. 1825; CSONSW (reel 5019) 4/3522, 175; letter from F. Gouldburn, colonial secretary’s off ice NSW to G.A. Barry, Chief Secretary to Government, Port Louis, Mauritius, 12 Sept. 1825; ADB, rossi-francis-nicholas-2610. 59 SRNSW, registration of convicts’ applications to marry, series 12212, item 4/4511. 60 John Henry, Earl St Vincent, ICS, COD/145.

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the notion of the extensive circulation of people around the British Empire at this time. In June 1833, their daughter, Sophia Emma Henry, was born.61 Jean, also known as John, Sophie’s son from Mauritius, had faced an uncertain future along with other children of convicts who were subject to the discipline of the penal colony and likely institutionalisation. However, Jean, survived and aged ten was baptised with his baby sister in the church of St James in Sydney in September 1833.62 Over the next few years Sophie continued to live in Sydney with John Henry and on 1 February 1845, almost 20 years after arriving in the penal colony, she received a conditional pardon.63 Between 1847 and 1854, Sophie had a couple of minor brushes with the law. Although acquitted of all charges related to a theft, she spent an unspecified time in prison for ‘verbal assault’.64 Towards the end of her life, she moved to Warialda in western New South Wales to be with her daughter who had married John Hemson, a widower with two small children. Sophia Emma and John had eleven children and it was within the household of this large family that Sophie died in April 1868 at the age of 63.65 The registration of John Henry’s death appears lost. The fate of Sophie’s son, John (Jean) remains unknown. Maria Simonette Another female convict, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1839, also on the Water Witch, did not fare so well. When the authorities in the Seychelles sent Maria Simonette to stand trial in Mauritius for murdering her former lover, her three young daughters, Pauline, aged thirteen, Marie-Jeanne, aged seven and an unnamed toddler stayed behind with other family members.66 Found guilty and initially sentenced to death, the Mauritian courts later commuted the mother’s sentence to transportation for life. Maria Simonette’s attempts to rebuild a family life in the penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land appear to have been thwarted as, according to the convict records, she never married and experienced the loss of two children between 1847 and 1848. 61 BDM, NSW, registration of birth, Sophia Emma Henry, 477/1833, V1833477 17. 62 BDM, NSW, early church baptism records, John Henry, 510/1824 V1824510 17; Sophia Emma Henry, 511/1833 V1833511 17. 63 SRNSW, recommended conditional pardons, 4/4479, Reel 797, 55. 64 SRNSW, Alphabetical Charge Book 1848–1850; Bench of Magistrates, Water Police Magistrate, Sydney; series no 3403; reel, 2648. 65 BDM, NSW, item 6877, registration of death, Sophia Henry. 66 The Seychelles was a dependency of Mauritius and under Mauritian criminal jurisdiction. NAM, JB, 322, Court of Assizes, trial of Maria Simonette, 9 Jul. 1839; Register of birth, Hobart, Dolphinia Mary Ann, 6 May 1842, AOT, TAHO, RGD, 33 1842/831.


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During a muster in the colony on 31 December 1841, Maria Simonette was staying in the ‘House of Correction’ in Hobart, as she was pregnant.67 On 6 May 1842, she gave birth to a daughter in the female factory hospital.68 She named her Dolphinia Mary Ann. Mary (Marie) was her mother’s name, as well as the name of one of her daughter’s left behind in the Seychelles and so it appears she was trying to keep her connection to her lost family alive through naming. In 1845, little Dolphinia moved to the Queen’s Orphan School in New Town (near Hobart), as she was now too old to stay in the female factory. Although Maria Simonette received her ticket of leave in 1845, Dolphinia remained at the school as her mother most likely was unable to care for her daughter and work at the same time.69 The Orphan School therefore became a place of both benevolence and necessity. The school freed convict women to return to the workforce, while simultaneously providing institutionalised care for their own, as well as other needy or orphaned children. Another probable reason for children remaining at the Queen’s Orphan School was that the authorities wanted to mould the colony’s future citizens without the perceived negative influence of their convict parents. The mortality rate among the children at the school was high and sadly, in May 1847, Dolphinia died from ‘inflammation of the heart’, aged five.70 In March 1848, less than a year after the death of Dolphinia and almost ten years after arriving in Van Diemen’s Land, Maria Simonette gave birth to a stillborn son. Rumours immediately spread that her baby had died in suspicious circumstances. These rumours were possibly related to her murder conviction in the Seychelles or perhaps because she was a ‘woman of colour’. As no evidence exists that she had the patronage of a master or a mistress, she was probably a prostitute or a vagrant, which most likely triggered further suspicion. The suspicion and perception of convict women often amplified the dichotomy between notions of acceptable female behaviour and female deviance. The idea of moral and social order was closely linked to female behaviour, morality, and sexuality, and thus perceptions about female convicts, like Maria Simonette, signalled a constant threat to that order. 67 AOT, TAHO, AJCP, HO 10/5, muster A man named ‘William Jones’ is on the baptism register, but nothing else is known about the father or fathers of Maria Simonette’s children in Van Diemen’s Land. AOT, TAHO, Baptism register, St Joseph’s, Hobart NS1052/8. 68 AOT, TAHO, register of birth RDG 33 1842/831. 69 AOT, TAHO, SWD 28, register of children admitted to the Female Orphan School, Hobart; Public Records Office, Kew, England, PRO, HO 10/41, Criminal convicts New South Wales and Tasmania, Tasmania list of convicts 1808–1849, ticket of leave 18 Jun. 1845. 70 AOT, TAHO, RDG 35/10/5 1847/1480, registration of death of Dolphinia Simonetta. Dolphinia buried at St. John’s Cemetery, New Town.

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Indeed, the inquest, reported in the Hobart Town Courier on 29 March 1848, concluded the child was stillborn. After the loss of her infant son, Maria Simonette disappears from the records until 1853, when the police charged her with drunkenness and fined her five shillings.71 She was now almost 50 years old. We can only speculate that her life, in the five years since her son’s death, may have been a struggle of survival and poverty, ultimately leading to a further conviction. After her last conviction she disappears completely from the pages of history. Elisabeth and Constance In a heart-wrenching petition submitted in June 1841, Nereus Verloppe begged the court to overturn the sentences to transportation for life to New South Wales handed down to his daughter Elisabeth, and niece Constance Couronne, in Mauritius almost eight years earlier.72 In May 1832, the two slave girls, aged twelve and eight, were in the service of Madame Morel to learn needlework.73 One afternoon, their mistress and her young son both fell ill after Elisabeth had served them afternoon tea. Madame Morel suspected poisoning and called for the family doctor, Dr. Cox. Many nineteenth-century slave owners lived in fear of poisoning, as poison was a favoured ‘weapon’ of protest among slaves.74 Madame Morel and her son made a quick recovery as the powder in question proved to be a laxative. Nonetheless, the next day Dr. Cox made a return visit to check on his patients. During this visit he uncovered that one of Madame Morel’s own slaves, a young girl named Helene, had seen Constance put a white powder in the teapot. When confronted, Constance confessed. Later, during the police investigation it came to light that the girls had admitted to being unhappy and wanted Madame Morel dead, so they could leave the household. Having established a motive and intent, the police charged both girls with attempted murder, even though the powder was non-life-threatening.75 After a short trial, the court returned a guilty verdict. Under normal circumstances, Elisabeth and Constance would have been facing a mandatory death penalty. However, as they were under the age of sixteen, an alternative punishment 71 AOT, TAHO, CON 40/1/10, Maria Simonette. 72 NAM, RA 663, the humble petition of Nereus Verloppe, 4 Jun. 1841; SRNSW, NRS 1155, 2/825 Constance Couronne and Elisabeth Verloppe, 24 Sep. 1833, 81–86. 73 In Mauritius, the practice of sending young slaves out to learn new skills were often a guise to subcontract slaves into another household for a period. 74 For more on poisoning see Bush. 75 NAM, JB 254 and 249 trial of Elisabeth Verloppe and Constance Couronne.


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was required and the courts opted to sentence both girls to transportation for life. As with Marcelin and Joséphine, the uncertainty and fear around the abolition of slavery in the early 1830s meant the authorities severely punished those who threatened law and order in the colony, including children. In his 1841 petition, Elisabeth’s father argued that due to the social tensions in the colony and in view of the imminent abolition of slavery, the Crown Officer had harshly applied ‘the maximum of the law’ when sentencing the young girls in 1833.76 Despite the obvious logic of Verloppe’s point, the Mauritian authorities rejected the petition. The timing of Verloppe’s petition is crucial. Mauritian archival records show that Elisabeth Verloppe received help to contact her family in early 1840. Most convicts were illiterate and without a literate benefactor, written communication with overseas families was virtually impossible. However, as no response was forthcoming, in November 1840 her former employer, First Police Magistrate Wilson, wrote to the governor of the jail in Port Louis asking for assistance to contact Elisabeth’s family.77 It was only a few months later, in June 1841, that Verloppe lodged the petition to have the girls’ sentences overturned, possibly in direct response to Wilson’s request. What Verloppe may not have known at the time was that both these, now young women, had recently married and were forging new lives in the penal colony. Having knowledge of their recent marriages may have been the reason why the Mauritian authorises rejected his plea. Elisabeth and Constance were to remain in Australia and they never saw their Mauritian families again.78 The records are silent on whether they were somehow able to re-connect with their families in Mauritius. When they first arrived in the penal colony in 1834, Elisabeth and Constance spent time in the Parramatta Female Factory. A couple of months later, both were assigned to First Police Magistrate Wilson, a widower, and became servants to his three daughters. Constance soon became the personal maid to nineteen-year-old Marcia Wilson. When Marcia moved to Bathurst to marry William Finch in 1840, Constance followed her and their lives from then on became inextricably intertwined.79 Later, Constance met exconvict Robert Trudgett, employed by the Finch family as a stockman. They married in Bathurst on 3 March 1841.80 Six years later, Constance received 76 NAM, RA 663, the humble petition of Nereus Verloppe, 4 June 1841. 77 NAM, RA 693, letter from H.C. Wilson to the governor of the gaol in Port Louis, 18 Nov. 1840. 78 For the full story of the two slave girls’ lives in New South Wales, refer to Pybus, 29–50. 79 BDM, NSW, vol. 24B, 869, marriage of William Finch and Marcia Wilson in the Parish of Bathurst, 1840. 80 Application for permission to marry, Constance Couronne and Robert Trudgett, 1838–1841 (4/4510).

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her conditional pardon.81 The young Trudgett family eventually managed to buy their own property and settled into country life in mid-western New South Wales where Constance and Robert raised eleven children, all of whom lived into adulthood. After her husband’s death in 1871, Constance continued to work the farm with the help of her now adult sons. She died in 1891 and like her fellow Mauritians, Sophie and Marcelin, the new family she had formed in Australia surrounded her.82 While Constance was to thrive due to her connection with the well-to-do Finch family, her cousin Elisabeth’s adult life was to be more of a struggle. Shortly after Constance left the Wilson household on 16 September 1840, Elisabeth married a free Mauritian Creole named Jean Larimie, who had arrived in the colony in 1839.83 Over the next fifteen years, Jean and Elisabeth had six children, but sadly three died in infancy. Until Jean’s death in 1861 they lived and worked in the Paddington and Surry Hills areas of Sydney. As a 39-year-old widow with a young son still in her care, Elisabeth’s prospects were grim. Little is known about the next decade of her life, but for all women, let alone a black woman caring for a child, life without a benefactor would be harsh indeed (as it was for the previously discussed Mauritian convict Maria Simonette).84 Elisabeth died in 1874 aged 53.85 As Cassandra Pybus explains, the divergent life trajectories of Constance and Elisabeth clearly illustrate ‘the importance of patronage’ in ‘life outcomes’.86 The life stories of Constance and Elisabeth after their arrival in Australia certainly appear to support this theory. While both girls were assigned to Wilson and became servants to his daughters, it was Constance who built a strong relationship with Marcia Wilson. This led to her accompanying Marcia to Bathurst just six years after her arrival in the penal colony. Through her mistress’s marriage to William Finch she met Robert Trudgett, and through their patronage the couple acquired property in central New South Wales. Away from the rigours of life in Sydney, Constance and her children had protection and seemingly prospered, while Elisabeth, without patronage, floundered. 81 SRNSW, Colonial Secretary’s Register of Convicts, Conditional Pardons, 1826–1856, AO Fiche 833 (4/4480), 89, 22 Jun 1847. 82 A photographic portrait of Constance in later life can be accessed at 83 Applications for permission to marry, Elisabeth Verloppe and John Larimie, 1838–1841 (4/4510); Pybus, 75. 84 BDM, NSW, 1662/1861, registration of death of John F. Larame. 85 BDM, NSW, 1505/1874, registration of death of Elizabeth Larame. 86 Pybus, 75.


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Figure 2.1 Photographic portrait of Constance Trudget née Couronne (1824–1891). Papers of Edward Duyker. National Library of Australia MS 9061/11.

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Conclusion During Marcelin and his first wife Joséphine’s trial in Port Louis in 1833, William IV was King. When another British sovereign, Queen Elisabeth II, toured Australia with Prince Phillip in 1954, one of Marcelin and Eliza’s granddaughters, Stella May Durbin (nee Hammond), was presented to the Royal Couple. Marcelin, who survived transportation and the loss of his first wife and children, could surely never have imagined that his grandchild from his subsequent relationship with Eliza would receive a visit from a reigning British monarch.87 The Royal Couple visited the elderly Stella in her apartment in a high-rise housing complex in Sydney, not far from where she was born. The family’s theory is that the authorities chose Stella to meet the Royals due to her dark complexion and mistakenly took her for an Aboriginal woman. The experiences of Marcelin, Eliza and their granddaughter, Stella, epitomise the fact that many of the Mauritian convicts, despite their ‘otherness’ in terms of race and cultural diversity, eventually formed new relationships and created new families in the Australian penal colonies. Sophie, Constance and Marcelin’s stories emphasise the ability of some of this cohort of convicts to adapt to alien circumstances, navigate the convict system, learn to live in an unfamiliar cultural setting, successfully achieve new beginnings, and in the process, establish a new form of identity. As we have seen, some of the Mauritian convicts formed friendships and relationships with fellow Mauritians, keeping their island home, their cultural traditions and language alive, whereas others had successful marriages and relationships with non-Mauritians. While Marcelin, Sophie and Constance rebuilt their lives and formed lasting and loving social connections, some of their fellow Mauritian transportees succumbed to the conditions of their convict lives and many died within a relative brief period of arrival, far from their families. Others felt the cultural and geographical isolation more keenly, lacked patronage, were unable to cement relationships and re-offended, remaining on the merry-go-round of the criminal convict justice system. This supports Pybus’ view that the lives of some of the Mauritian convicts ‘provide insights into the specificity of convict experience’.88 The lives of these Mauritian convicts also highlight how reforming individual identity and forming new meaningful relationships were crucial factors in determining whether they were able to fit into and prosper in the racial and cultural penal landscape imposed by Australia’s colonisers. 87 From personal email correspondence with Shirley McGrath, a descendent of Marcelin and Eliza, Apr. 2013. 88 Pybus, 75.


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Works Cited Allen, Richard. ‘Maroonage and its Legacy in Mauritius and in the Colonial Plantation World.’ Outre-Mers 89/336 (2002): 131–152. –––. ‘A Traffic of Several Nations: The Mauritian Slave Trade, 1721–1835.’ In History, Memory and Identity, eds. Vijaya Lakshmi Teelock and Edward Alpers (Reduit: Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture and the University of Mauritius, 2001), 157–177. –––. Slaves, Freedmen and Indentured Labourers in Colonial Mauritius (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Anderson, Clare. Subaltern Lives: Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World 1790–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Bush, Barbara. Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650–1838 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990). Christopher, Emma. A Merciless Place: The Lost story of Britain’s Convict Disaster in Africa and How it Led to the Settlement of Australia (Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allan & Unwin, 2010). Christopher, Emma and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart. ‘Convict Transportation in Global Context, c.1700–88.’ In The Cambridge History of Australia, Volume 1, Indigenous and Colonial Australia, eds. Alison Bashford and Stuart Macintyre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 68–90. Collins, Bruce. War and Empire: The Expansion of Britain, 1790–1830 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010). Duyker, Edward. Of the Star and the Key, Mauritius: Mauritians and Australians (New South Wales: Australian Mauritian Research Group, 1988). Fawcett, Charles. ‘The Question of Colonies’, Geographical Review, 28/2 (1938): 306–309. Frost, Lucy. John West Memorial Lecture, 15 March 2013, Raymond Ferrell Centre at the University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania. Hordvik, Eilin. ‘Mauritius – Caught in the Web of Empire: the Legal System, Crime, Punishment and Labour 1825–1845’ (unpublished PhD Thesis) University of Tasmania, Australia, 2016. –––. ‘Exotic Cargo: Convict Women Transported from Mauritius.’ In From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles, eds. Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine (Hobart: Convict Women’s Press, 2015), 35–60. Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish. ‘“And All My Great Hardships Endured”?’ Irish Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land.’ In Beyond the Island: Transnational Perspectives in Modern Irish History, ed. Niall Whelehan (London: Routledge, 2015), 69–87.

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–––. ‘“Like Poor Galley Slaves…”: Slavery and Convict Transportation.’ In Legacies of Slavery: Comparative Perspectives, ed. Maria Suzette Fernandes (Newcastle: Dias Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007), 48–61. –––. World Heritage Serial Nomination for Australian Convict Sites, (Canberra: Consultant’s Report for the Department of Environment and Heritage), 2006. –––. ‘The Rise and Fall of John Longworth: Work and Punishment in Early Port Arthur.’ Tasmanian Historical Studies 6/2 (1999): 96–114. Maxwell-Stewart, Hamish and Clare Anderson. ‘Convict Labour and the Western Empires, 1415–1954.’ In The Routledge History of Western Empires, eds. Robert Aldrich and Kirsten McKenzie (New York: Routledge, 2014), 265–298. Nagapen, Amédée. Histoire de la Colonie: Isle de France – Île Maurice, 1721–1968, Tableau II, Evolution Démographique – 1846–1911 (Rose Hill: Edition de l’Océan Indien, 2010). Pybus, Cassandra. ‘Children in Bondage.’ In From the Edges of Empire: Convict Women from Beyond the British Isles, eds. Lucy Frost and Colette McAlpine (Hobart: Convict Women’s Press, 2015), 61–76. Schmidhauser, John. ‘Legal Imperialism: Its Enduring Impact on Colonial and Post-colonial Judicial Systems.’ International Political Science Review 13/ 3 (1992): 321–334. Selvon, Sydney. A New Comprehensive History of Mauritius: From the Beginning to this Day, vol. 1: From Ancient Times to the Birth of Parliament (Mauritius: Selvon, 2012). Sturma, Michael. Vice in a Vicious Society: Crime and Convicts in Mid-Nineteenth Century New South Wales (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1983). Toussaint, August. History of Mauritius (London: 1977). Varma, Moonindra. The Making of Mauritius (Vacoas: Editions Le Printemps, 2008).

About the Author Eilin Hordvik is an associate of the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. She completed her PhD in History at the University of Tasmania in 2016. Her thesis focused on the British colony of Mauritius, examining legal, political, cultural, and social, frameworks underpinning responses to crime and punishment between 1825 and 1845.


‘If I Should Fall Behind’ Motherhood, Marriage, and Forced Migration in the MidNineteenth-Century Leeward Islands Jessica Roitman Abstract What happens when a mother has to leave her young child and husband behind to go far away to work? Matilda Percival, a free woman of colour, lived separated from her family for at least two years, and maintained contact by writing home. This chapter uses Matilda’s letters as the basis for a discussion of not just Matilda and her family, but a larger exploration of how enslaved and free people of colour maintained family relationships in the mid-nineteenth century. Themes such as migration, information networks, and family structures will form the background to a story that revolves around the struggle of one small family to deal with distance, sickness, uncertainty, financial insecurity, and jealousy. Keywords: Caribbean; family; women; migration; labour; free people of colour

Who wouldn’t have wanted to leave St. Eustatius in 1860? This tiny island of around 21 sq. km – little more than an atoll sticking out of the Caribbean – was over half a century into its decline. In the late eighteenth century, this ‘Golden Rock’ was the ‘Emporium to the World’, a place integral to the success of the American Revolution, and worthy of sacking by a British Admiral.1 However, these days were long past by the time Mathilda Percival, a free woman of colour, sailed to St. Thomas between late 1859 and early 1860.2 Hurricanes, the English occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, 1 2

Burke, II, 247. For more on St. Eustatius see Roitman and Jordaan. On the exodus from St. Eustatius to St. Thomas, see Roitman (2016) and Hartog, 371–375.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch03


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the decline in the viability of slave labour, marronage, global shifts in sugar production, and the concomitant migration of its population, not to mention the marked disinterest of the Dutch colonial administration, had plunged the island into a malaise from which it still has not recovered.3 By the mid-nineteenth century, the island’s modest sugar plantations were largely abandoned. The island was running a continual deficit, which the Dutch colonial administrators begrudgingly and irregularly refilled. Its population had started to drift away to North America and the other nearby Leeward islands, particularly Swedish St. Barthélemy, and Mathilda’s destination – Danish St. Thomas. Mathilda travelled alone, leaving her husband, John James Percival, and young daughter, Adriana, behind on St. Eustatius. She was separated from her family for at least two years. Her efforts to maintain contact with her husband and child are documented in a set of letters preserved in the National Archives of the Netherlands in The Hague. 4 It is rare to find the voices of non-elite women preserved in written documentation and even rarer to find details of everyday life in them. Mathilda’s letters give us small, yet intriguing, glimpses of how she lived with 120 miles of sea between her and her husband and child. They show how the lives of Mathilda and her family members were reconfigured by her absence. As historian Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks has shown, interactions and relationships between mobile individuals affect those within their network who did not move, and so even fixed locations can be ‘saturated with transnational relationships’.5 This chapter focuses on Mathilda’s seven surviving letters to her husband. It looks at how Mathilda ‘kept family’ in two important ways: sending money and goods to John James and Adriana; and maintaining relationships by corresponding actively with them, reminding them of her presence, opinions, and desires. While the focus of this essay is on Mathilda, John James, and Adriana, ‘keeping family’ for Mathilda went beyond her husband and daughter. Family in the Caribbean context extends far beyond the nuclear. Free people of colour like the Percivals were situated in a large web of fluid kinship relationships that stretched across islands and empires, and could encompass multiple generations, gradations of colour and degrees of freedom. 3 Marronage generally refers to the practice of enslaved people escaping captivity and living as so-called ‘maroons’. Maroons lived individually or in groups on the borders of enslaved societies. Escaping (for short periods of time) was known as petit marronage; (semi permanently) as gran marronage; and (by water) as maritime marronage. 4 National Archive of the Netherlands (NL-HaNA), Inventory numbers 5 Wiesner-Hanks, 201.

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Mathilda’s letters shed light on the lives and challenges of female migrant labourers in the mid-nineteenth-century Caribbean. They show that her experiences have much in common with those of contemporary female domestic migrant workers. In particular, the research done by anthropologists and sociologists emphasizes that despite the many difficulties that women encounter as disadvantaged domestic workers, migration also offers them an opportunity to experience a sense of autonomy and empowerment. This, in turn, allows women to ‘question basic assumptions about what it means to be a worker, a wife, and a mother’ and to ‘reshape gender and family roles and relations as well as economic ones’.6 Although the historical, sociological, and anthropological literature has traditionally focused almost exclusively on the economic imperatives behind women migrating for work, I argue that although economic considerations were behind Mathilda’s move to St. Thomas, the reasons she remained there were more complex. Her work seems to have given her satisfaction, and as anthropologist James Clifford has recognized, women ‘may refuse the option of return when it presents itself, especially when the terms are dictated by men’ as was the case for Mathilda.7 Moreover, while the dominant historiography of Caribbean female migration focuses on the twentieth century, we know very little about the post-emancipation migration of women in the mid-nineteenth century.8 We know even less about the chronically understudied non-British Caribbean – a lacunae this paper will address.

The Caribbean World of Mathilda Percival Like the other Dutch West Indian territories, St. Eustatius never became a large-scale plantation colony, relying on its function as a free port.9 After the British sacked the island in 1781 during the Fourth Anglo Dutch War, it went into a long decline. The plantations on the island were decidedly modest in size in comparison with those in colonies such as British Barbados and Jamaica, French Saint-Domingue (later the independent nation of Haiti), or Spanish Cuba. While a sugar plantation in Suriname (a Dutch colony on the edge of the South American mainland), produced 6 Constable (1999), 213, 223. 7 Clifford, 314. 8 Sassen (1984, 1988 and 2006). 9 Other Dutch West Indian territories: Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba, Suriname, Saba, and St. Maarten (an island divided with the French). Roitman and Jordaan.


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Table 3.1  Population of St. Eustatius









782 (white and free ‘colored’ grouped together)


832 (white and free ‘colored’ grouped together)




Free ‘colored’ 336 Enslaved 1748

285 1609

an annual average of 158,058 kg in the mid 1830s, St. Eustatius’ produced around 95,000 kg.10 Slavery was not abolished in the Dutch Atlantic possessions until 1863, thirty years after abolition in British territories, and fifteen years after the French, Swedes, and Danes ended slavery in their Atlantic possessions. In comparison with islands such as Jamaica, Cuba, and Saint-Domingue, the enslaved population emancipated in 1863 was relatively small. As agriculture declined on the Dutch islands in the early part of the nineteenth century, more and more enslaved people were sent to sell produce in local markets and hired out as day labourers. As labourers, they often loaded and unloaded the small crafts that came into the harbours of the islands, and sometimes served as sailors on the vessels that plied the routes between the islands.11 Because this kind of urban slavery offered the possibility of buying freedom, and the recurring economic malaise in the Netherlands Antilles made it attractive for slave owners to manumit their slaves, free people of colour made up to 70 percent of the total free population of the Dutch islands.12 Nevertheless, unlike in the Spanish, British, and, especially, the French Atlantic, free people of colour did not form a sort of intermediary middle class to any great degree.13 Mathilda Percival was born free because her mother, Mary, had been manumitted by her owner, Charlotte Salomons, in 1836.14 When the British abolished slavery in their possessions in 1834, the ownership of enslaved people became increasingly unprofitable on the Dutch Leeward islands 10 Hartog,370. Calculations for St. Maarten based on Paula, 37–38. Calculations for Suriname from Stipriaan, 117–141, esp.117, note 3. 11 NL-HaNA Ministerie van Koloniën, 1814–1849, 2.10.01, inv. nr. 3865, 6 June 1835. 12 Roitman (2017); Jordaan (2010 and 2013); Klooster; and Teenstra. 13 Roitman (2017), 400. Sources for table: Teenstra, 330; Goslinga, 152, 154; Hartog, 704; and Lommerse, 334. 14 National Archive of Curaçao (AN NAC) 3866, 1836.

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of St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, and Saba. This was because the British effectively put a stranglehold on selling slaves and because of the ease with which enslaved people on this island could escape to British territory.15 There were 685 letters of manumission issued between 1806 and 1845, and more than 202 between 1846 and 1853 on St. Maarten.16 Though records are less complete on the comparatively smaller St. Eustatius, several hundred enslaved people, including Mary, were freed despite the high costs of legal emancipation.17 The fact that there were not more manumissions is likely to have been because there was an expectation that slavery would be soon abolished in the Dutch possessions – a development many slave owners were agitating for.18 Charlotte Salomons paid around f500 to free Mary in 1836.19 This was a substantial amount at a time when sugar production, always meager, was falling and St. Eustatius’ free port was struggling to compete with the free ports on nearby Danish St. Thomas and Swedish St. Bartholemy. While Charlotte Salomons may have freed Mary as a reward for services rendered, out of genuine affection, or even a sense of obligation, her motives are likely to have been primarily economic. By the mid 1830s feeding and clothing an enslaved person, however badly, was prohibitively expensive for the increasingly indebted plantation owners of the Dutch Leeward islands. Like their neighbours on the British islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Kitts, many slave owners were in dire financial straits.20 In 1837 Charlotte Salomons joined the exodus of white Statians and applied for permission to emigrate to St. Thomas. Freeing Mary in 1836 was cheaper than paying the fees and deposits associated with taking her along in 1837 as a slave to St Thomas. As there is no reference to Charlotte Salomons in the sparse governmental documentation for St. Eustatius after 1838, we can only assume that she stayed in St Thomas or moved elsewhere.21 In 1838, two years after she was freed, Mary gave birth to Mathilda. We know that Mary may have had at least one other child because of a one-line reference to a sister in one of Mathilda’s letters: ‘Say to my sister and tell her that Constance was verry [sic] sick [so] that she had two Doctors to

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

See Roitman (2016), ‘Land of hope’, 86–87 and ‘The Price You Pay’. NL-Ha-NA, St. Maarten na 1828,, 33; Paula, 143–148. Roitman (2016), ‘Land of hope’, 387–388. Ibid., 384. NL-Ha-NA, Ministerie van Koloniën, 1814–1849, 2.10.01, inv. nr. 3843. AN NAC 288, April 1832; Hall, 1–16. AN NAC 3868, 1838.


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her.’22 However, it is possible that the sister to whom Mathilda is referring is a sister-in-law, step, or half-sister. In the mid-nineteenth century, general terms such as ‘sister’ or ‘brother’ were often used to describe a variety of relationships, not all of which were strictly biological. Although Mathilda does refer to her father, writing, ‘… say to my father the next time [that] I will write him’, he is not listed in the records.23 It is possible that he was Valentin Simons, enslaved to Charles Mussenden, who came to the attention of the courts because his relationships with various women caused unrest.24 One court document records that he drunkenly assaulted Mary Salomons, almost certainly Mathilda’s mother, because he believed that she had been unfaithful to him. In the document Mary is described as a washerwoman. Women of colour, whether free or enslaved, often worked as laundresses, seamstresses, and market vendors, as well as domestic servants.25 Both Mathilda and her future husband, John James Percival, grew up mixing with enslaved people, free people of colour, and the dwindling population of whites. John had been born enslaved. It is likely that he was the son of William Percival, one of the wealthiest landowners on the island. Not only did John James have his surname, he was born close to one of William Percival’s properties. Both he and his mother, Henrietta, were manumitted by William Percival in 1838.26 This meant that both Mathilda and John James belonged to the free coloured population, which lived quite similarly to the enslaved population. In fact, socially and legally, there was very little difference between the enslaved and free population on St. Eustatius or, indeed, any of the Dutch Leeward islands.27 We know that Mathilda could read and write because we have her letters – sometimes indecipherable and misspelled – but conveying a clear message. As we do not have John’s, we cannot be sure whether he wrote them or had someone write for him. However, he probably could, for in 1850 a visiting Dutch colonial official reported there were ‘many young slaves – male and female – who can read and write’.28 Indeed, Mathilda may have met John 22 NL-HaNA Letters from M. Percival in St. Thomas to J.J. Percival in St. Eustatius, 21 January 1861. 23 NL-HaNA, 29 June 1860. 24 NL-HaNA, 2.10.01/3878. 25 NL-HaNA, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten en Saba tot 1828,, inv. nr. 485. A list of occupations of enslaved people from 1854, showed that field work was still the most common job for men and women. 27 percent were domestic servants, and the rest were masons, carpenters, cobblers and tailors who were hired out. See Hartog, 422. 26 NL-HaNA, Ministerie van Koloniën, 2.10.01, 3866. 27 Roitman, (2017). 28 Rapport-Staatscommissie, 198.

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at school. In 1852, as she finished her education, the Methodist-run school on St. Eustatius had 42 students of all sorts.29 The schools the Methodists had set up across the Dutch Leeward islands were the only educational option on St. Eustatius until 1856 when a private school for the more ‘proper and educated classes’ (ie. white students) was opened.30 The Wesleyan Methodists’ role in providing the children of the Dutch islands with some modicum of education was acknowledged in 1848 by the Lt. Governor of St. Maarten. He told the new Methodist Church pastor he had witnessed the Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries ‘raising the minds of the community to the Cheering obligations of Christianity, as well as to the education of our people, coloured and slave alike’.31 Life would have been hard for Mathilda and John growing up. While the standard of living was declining for the white plantocracy and mercantile elite, it was much worse for the enslaved and free black population. The Dutch travel writer, M.D. Teenstra, visited the Dutch Leeward islands in the 1830s and remarked on the pervasive poverty on St Eustatius. He described the ‘common slave’ family, living in ‘A miserable hut, with walls made of twigs, smeared with mud, and roofs covered with leaves of sugarcane.’32 He noted that enslaved people were, in general, better dressed than those in Suriname and that some planters gave them clothing of either Osnaburg (a course type of cloth) or brown linen.33 Sometimes the men received a sort of jacket and the women a kind of skirt of rough material that was called ‘bamboo’.34 Every adult slave on St. Maarten received 6/7 of a pint (about half a litre) of cornmeal or corn per week and children received about half of that.35 The situation would have been similar on St. Eustatius. Planters usually gave their slaves salt fish or herring if they were available.36 The amount of work slaves were required to do varied greatly depending on the time of year. Harvest time was clearly harder than the fallow season. Enslaved people were supposed to receive double portions of food during this time, particularly if they were working in the fields intensively.37 As mentioned 29 AN NAC 3756. 30 AN NAC 3756. 31 Archive of St. Maarten, 22 January 1848. 32 Teenstra, II, 295. 33 This was also the case in Suriname. See Oostindie, 153. 34 Teenstra, II, 295. 35 NL-HaNA, St. Maarten na 1828,, 41–43. 36 NL-HaNA, Gouv.-Gen. West-Indische Bezittingen,, 348, 25 January 1830. 37 NL-HaNA, Ministerie van Koloniën, 1814–1849, 2.10.01, inv. nr. 3286/245, 26 April 1828 and 3 June 1828.


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before, life was similar for the recently freed and they were grouped together with the enslaved in ordinances promulgated by the Dutch colonial officials. No blacks or ‘mulattoes’ (generally the term used for free people of colour) were allowed out after 8 pm and it was prohibited to ‘sell strong drink’ to them.38 An ordinance stating that all free people of colour must wear a red ribbon on their chests to ‘prove their freedom’ illustrates the concern with maintaining social distinctions, as well as the porousness of the boundaries between enslaved and free people on the island.39 There was concern for the physical safety of whites. Neither enslaved people nor freed people of colour were allowed to approach ‘gentlemen’ with rakes, hoes, or anything else that might be used as a weapon. 40 Both groups were viewed as potentially threatening and complaints were made about the ‘obstinate character’ of the free people of colour. Their ‘undisciplined and proud’ behavior was decried, and enslaved and free people of colour were ordered to remove their hats when they saw a white person. 41 That these ordinances were promulgated repeatedly seems to demonstrate how ineffective they were. While marriage in the community of enslaved and free people of colour was encouraged by the Methodist Church, we do not know if John and Mathilda were legally married. They certainly viewed themselves as married, using the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ in their letters. In the late 1850s, they had a daughter, Adriana. Like her parents, Adriana faced a lifetime of privation and it is likely that this drove her mother to seek work beyond St Eustatius in 1859/60. Mathilda was about 23 when she left the island and, as Adriana was able scribble a few lines to her mother on the back of an envelope in 1862, she was probably about four when her mother left.42 We do not know whether it was exceptional that Mathilda, rather than John, left home to seek work. In the early 1840s men and women from the Dutch Leewards had moved to the nearby English islands, particularly St. Kitts and Nevis, to meet labour shortages caused by the recent abolition of slavery in British territories.43 However, this migration was relatively short-lived and, although women now 38 NL-HaNA, WIC,, inv. nr. 1309, 6 February and 24 March 1781 and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten en Saba tot 1828,, inv. nr. 295, ffs. 357–358, 25 May 1795. This ordinance was repeated, including 2 December 1797, f. 443. 39 NL-HaNA, inv. nr. 343, f. 42, 25 January 1806. This ordinance had been issued before, including on the 25 November 1786 and the 12 January 1787. 40 NL-HaNA,, inv. nr. 292, f. 31, 15 August 1770. This was an oft-repeated ordinance, including in 1780, 1785, 1787, and had already been issued in 1741. 41 NL-HaNA,, inv. nr. 343, f. 23a. 42 NL-HaNA, 19 March 1861. 43 Roitman (2016), ‘The Price You Pay’.

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make up the majority of emigrants from the Caribbean, there are few records about women migrated within or beyond the Caribbean in the mid-nineteenth century.44 The information available focuses on women migrants from the Western Caribbean, particularly Jamaica. They, like so many other men and women from the English-speaking islands, moved to the Caribbean coast of Panama and environs in the wake of French and, later, American attempts to build the Panama Canal.45 Other than that, we know that in 1937 the ratio of females to males on the Dutch island of Saba reached its peak of 169:100, earning it the moniker of the ’island of women’.46 This is an extreme example of the sort of migration that has, until recently, been privileged in academic literature because it was assumed that it was the male migrant who went out to seek economic opportunities abroad, leaving a dependent wife at home.47 Yet, as Mathilda’s case shows, this was not always the case.

Letters from St. Thomas If St. Eustatius was a languid backwater with a dwindling population, declining agriculture, and in a state of colonial neglect, then the free port of St. Thomas, 225 km away, was, in comparison, a cosmopolitan and booming magnet for migrant labourers. The Danish authorities had initiated a decisive free-port policy, turning the tiny atoll into an international shipping centre and distribution point for the West Indies. 48 Coupled with this, the island had suffered a labour shortage after Danish emancipation in 1848, leading to the demand for domestic labourers like Mathilda. 49 Mathilda would have sailed into Charlotte Amelie, the main port on St Thomas, in one of the many boats that plied the routes between the Leewards. She may well have entered this ‘exceedingly picturesque and beautiful’ harbour before, for the proximity between the islands meant travel between them was relatively quick.50 The nineteenth-century traveler George Coggeshall described how 44 Women constitute 55% of the migrants from Nevis between 1970 and 1980, for example. Olwig (1993). Women represented 58% of Jamaican immigrants to the United States between 1962 and 1976, Bolles. 45 Putnam. 46 Tjon Sie Fat. 47 Stahl, International Migration Today. 48 Gobel, ‘Shipping through the Port of St. Thomas’, 164. Prior to being sold to the United States in 1917, St Thomas was a Danish island with a sizable ‘coloured’ population. 49 Olwig (1985), 115. 50 Knox, 166.


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from St. Eustatius, ‘may be seen St. Christopher’s, Saba, and, on a clear day, several other islands’. He pointed out that travel between the islands was facilitated by the fact that ‘Creole English and Creole French are the general language of … all the islands in this vicinity … in a word, the inhabitants of these islands converse in bad French and worse English’.51 As a native of St. Eustatius, Mathilda spoke, and certainly wrote, ‘worse English’. She often admonished her husband in her letters to ‘Tell all friends at home howdie for me’ – ‘howdy’ being a colloquialism.52 Coggeshall observed that on St Thomas, Danish government officers and soldiers conversed in Danish. Yet, he noted ‘the mercantile classes generally speak English, French, and Spanish, while the masses speak Creole French, English, and Spanish, intermixed with the African lingo’.53 The fact that Mathilda could converse in Creole English no doubt helped her find employment. While demand for labour and familiarity with the language would have drawn Mathilda to St Thomas, the strong and enduring family networks that stretched throughout the Leewards may have also been a factor. Shared language, proximity, a tradition of weak centralized imperial control, and the necessity of maximizing informal social and political connections transcending the rather artificial boundaries imposed by the various colonial empires, meant families were often dispersed yet remained in contact.54 Mathilda maintained family ties, writing that she went to Saba (192 km away) ‘and spent one day to [with] Uncle James’.55 These family ties may have helped her find employment on St. Thomas, perhaps linking her to the family of her mother’s former mistress, the Salomons. Although St Thomas was relatively prosperous compared to neighbouring islands, none of the plastered rubble-masonry and brick houses in which Mathilda worked in Charlotte Amalie would have been particularly grand. She probably lived in a typical Danish West Indian servants’ dwelling, a two-room cottage of wood or masonry. These were arranged around a yard, facing inward and sometimes also opening into the side street or a rear alley. There were a few two-story units, particularly in more congested urban areas. The typical cottage was about 20 to 24 feet long by twelve feet wide, containing two rooms, each with a separate door to outside.56 Rooms in servants’ residences were sparsely furnished but on the whole more elaborately fitted than houses 51 52 53 54 55 56

Coggeshall, 252, 265. NL-HaNA, 29 June 1860. Coggeshall, 523. Roitman (2016), ‘Land of Hope’, 380 and ‘The Price You Pay’, 274. NL-HaNA, undated 1861. Chapman, 139, 164.

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for field slaves. One observer in 1829 remarked that houses had ‘bedsteads, straw bed[s], pillows, blankets, several chairs, a table, sleeping bench, and chest’.57 As late as 1901, William Paton, a visitor to Antigua, wrote of servants living in ‘miserable shanties, filthy, unwholesome, badly built, ready to fall to pieces or to be blown away by the first hurricane’.58 While St Thomas was a magnet for migrant labour, workers such as Mathilda faced dangers while living there. During the mid-nineteenth century, the merchants of St. Thomas still had a large transit trade in European and North American commodities (particularly textiles, ironware, and foodstuffs) destined for the Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, as well as the new republics in South America. Despite this vibrant trade – or possibly because of it – yellow fever and cholera made frequent appearances and one author claimed Charolotte Amalie was ‘a Dutch oven for cooking fever in, with as veritable a dripping pan for the poison when concocted in the tideless basin below the town as was ever invented’.59 This is borne out in Mathilda’s second letter (21 January 1861) in which she complained: ‘I have been sick with measles and not better yet.’60 In the same letter, she writes, ‘Say to my sister and tell her that Constance was verry [sic] sick [so] that she had two Doctors to her.’61 St. Thomas was also notorious for hurricanes and during a paticularly violent one on 29 October 1867, 58 out of 60 vessels in the harbour were wrecked, and even the large floating dock sank.62 We do not know the details of Mathilda’s employment, but we can assume that she was some sort of house servant, cleaning or cooking. In the first of her surviving letters (29 June 1860) she mentions her employer ‘the lady Gliveal/Liveal [writing difficult to decipher] had company and I had not time [to write]’.63 Although we cannot identify Mrs Gliveal, she is likely to have had at least a few servants. The average West Indian household required five to fifteen servants. Mrs. Carmichael, writing of St. Vincent in 1833, explained that a typical white middle-class family required ‘at least ten grown up servants and from five to six young people, from 10 to 17 or 18 years of age’. They included: a cook, usually a male; a male or female cook’s helper; a head female servant with a young girl to help her; two or three cleaning 57 Truman, Jackson, and Longstreath, 87. 58 Paton, 62. 59 Taylor (1891), 11. 60 NL-HaNA, 21 January 1861. 61 Ibid. 62 Gøbel, 166. 63 NL-HaNA, 29 June 1860.


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ladies; a groom and an assistant; and several washerwomen.64 In June 1861 Mathilda was working in a substantial household when she reported that, ‘I am employed to a Mrs. Lamb.’65 The Lambs were a prominent family – William C. Lamb was a member of the island council and Jans Lamb was a wealthy merchant. Six months later she wrote ‘Constantia has only got me employ[ed] today.’66 It is unclear if Mathilda was employed exclusively by these women, one after the other, or if she hired out her labour to various employers as needed – a supposition borne out by her description of only being employed for a day. As a day or temporary labourer, she is likely to have done the laundry, helped out in the kitchen, done the shopping, cleaned, and been on call when people, like ‘the lady Gliveal’, had company. As she went about her chores, Mathilda may have looked like the ‘handsome-looking mulatto girl coming up the main street’, described by Charles Taylor who visited the Danish West Indies in the mid-nineteenth century. ‘Her head is tied with a gaudy yellow-striped Madras handkerchief, and perched upon it is an enormous demi-john of water.’67 Taylor went on to describe the servants on St. Thomas and the ‘shabby gentility’ of the households they served in: Servants are coloured, and as a rule are not much worse than elsewhere. Unfortunately, since the ‘old time’ families are dying out and honourable servitude is now becoming exchanged for shabby gentility, they are not quite so well posted up in their duties. This makes it awkward for the mistress, who has to act as a perpetual driver to get anything done properly. Rules to govern them have long since died out … They are civil and obliging when kindly treated, and very honest. Perhaps it is the peculiar style of doing things in a West Indian household that contributes to their want of perfection. A lady rarely goes out to shop as they do in Europe … It is easy to understand how dependent a lady must be upon her servants, if they do nearly all her marketing and shopping for her.68

Mathilda never mentions her fellow servants by name, though her letters are peppered with messages from people on St. Thomas back to those on St. Eustatius. She asks her husband ‘to tell Marinia that her son is married’ and 64 65 66 67 68

Carmichael, 120. Ibid., 22 March 1861. Ibid. 11 October 1861. Taylor (1888), 53. Taylor (1888), 77.

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that ‘Miss Dunlop begs me to tell you great howdie’.69 Presumably, Marinia and Miss Dunlop were also people of colour working in St. Thomas. It is clear that maintaining friendships and relationships with extended kin was of great importance to Mathilda and that she was willing to allow her fellow Statians, living and working on St. Thomas, to use her letters to maintain their own links with friends and family. The seven surviving letters from Mathilda Percival to her husband John James are short – none more than about 10 lines – and are difficult to read due to the penmanship, erratic spelling, and lack of punctuation. These frustratingly brief and probably incomplete set of missives do, however, vividly highlight the dynamics at play in this separated family. Mathilda was away from her family for at least two years and her letters served to keep her family together in two distinct ways: notifying John James of the money and goods she was providing; and reminding him of her presence, opinions, desires and affection for him and their daughter. Part of this emotional keeping of her family involved her maintaining relationships with an extensive network of friends and kin across the Leeward Islands. Another theme emerging from Mathilda’s letters is her struggles to balance her own autonomy, as a working woman, with the demands of her family. All three themes are explored in the following paragraphs. Providing for Family We do not know if John was employed on St. Eustatius, but as half of Mathilda’s surviving letters mention sending money, it seems that extra support was sorely needed.70 Whatever other motivations Mathilda may have had for moving to St. Thomas, sending money and goods back to her husband and daughter was clearly a primary one. Female migrants tend to portray themselves as the responsible and devoted mother, daughter, sister, or aunt who sacrif ices herself for the family by working hard abroad.71 Mathilda was no exception. In her second letter (21 January 1861), she writes ‘I often wish that I was home by the next opportunity. I will send shewse [shoes] for the child.’72 In these two sentences she assures her husband that she would like to be at home, presumably fulfilling her traditional role as a wife and mother, but reminds him of why she’s not – because she’s providing 69 70 71 72

NL-HaNA, 29 June 1860. NL-HaNA, 21 January 1861; undated; 22 March 1861; undated. Colen; Constable (1999), 212; Dreby, 1061; Parreñas (2015), 100, 122. NL-HaNA, 21 January 1861.


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shoes for their child. In a letter sent two to eight weeks later, Mathilda apologizes because she is ‘not able to send the box wares but the next time I will send it’.73 In another letter (22 March 1861), Mathilda emphases what she is providing, and what she hopes to provide in the future: promising John James ‘a comb and two [illegible] pots. I could not realise the means to buy a better one [but] the next time I will try to get a better one.’74 In the following, undated letter, Mathilda writes that ‘I have nothing for her [their daughter Adriana] but with the May Flower [a boat] I will send her something. However you will get some paper mony [sic] for her.’75 It is striking how often Mathilda promises to send something, or mentions that money or goods coming soon on one of the many vessels sailing between the Leeward Islands. As we do not have John’s letters, we cannot know for sure if all of the supplies Mathilda promised arrived. What we do know is that they were clearly of primary importance. Nurturing Family Although Mathilda was 225 kilometres away from her family, her ties to St. Eustatius were strong. She sought to stay in touch with her daughter, Adriana, as well as her husband. One of the most affecting pieces of the collection is the empty envelope addressed to her husband, ‘Mr John James Percival, St. Eustatius’. On the back of the envelope is written, ‘Dear Mamma, I received your letter’.76 Although none of Mathilda’s letters to her daughter are preserved in the archives, her promises to send shoes and money indicate she was concerned with Adriana’s welfare. Her first letter to her husband ends with, ‘Will you please let me know as soon as possible how the child gets on’, and while sending money for Adriana is a constant theme, most also have some variation of ‘Kiss Adriana for me’.77 Mathilda was planning to visit her daughter, although we do not know if or when this took place as she wrote ‘You may see me after the hurricane months. I am not sure.’78 As mentioned previously, Mathilda referred frequently to people she knew from St. Eustatius who were on St. Thomas and sent greetings to loved ones back home. After expressing concern for her friend ‘Maria Onepelen [illegible] [who] was very sick’, she admonishes her husband by asking 73 NL-HaNA, undated. 74 NL-HaNA, 22 March 1861. 75 NL-HaNA, undated. 76 Ibid., 19 March 1861. 77 Ibid., 29 June 1860, 22 March 1861. 78 Ibid.

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‘what is the reason you did not write and tell me that she had become very thin’.79 Two sentences later, Mathilda asks, ‘Will you let me know all the news at home?’ She then orders John to, ‘Tell all friends at home howdie for me.’ Several months later, she asks John to ‘say to my father the next time [that] I will write him. Say howdy to all the family for me and say howdy to your mother and sisters.’80 Her following undated letter is much briefer but still implores her husband to ‘give my love to all the family’.81 In March, Mathilda spends many lines asking her husband to ‘give my love to all the family’ and to ‘tell Frafren howdy and tell him that I thank him for the box – remember me kindly to Malvene and all the children and give my love to Robert and all friends’.82 Mathilda’s constant reinforcement of her attachment to people on St. Eustatius confirms the findings of the rich and burgeoning literature on transnationalism in anthropology and cultural studies. Her letters illustrate the way in which migration does not necessitate an emotional or material severing of ties with home, but can form the basis for a multi-sited community.83 Mathilda had friends and family on St. Thomas, including the uncle she reports visiting. We also know from her letters that John mentioned plans to go to St. Kitts.84 With family and friends scattered throughout the archipelago, Mathilda appears to have conceived ‘home’ as being far from static with relationships spread over multiple sites. Autonomy and Family Much of the literature on separated families has focused on the stresses on family life when women, and mothers in particular, migrate.85 Yet there are notable exceptions to this dominant narrative. Based on interviews with children of migrant mothers in the Caribbean, Karen Fog Olwig argued that it is not the mother’s absence from the home that causes pain for children. What causes pain is when the mother fails to send goods or money or reneges on promised visits. Therefore, if Adrianna conceived of her household being a transnational and geographically dispersed unit, she may not have been 79 NL-HaNA, 29 June 1860. 80 NL-HaNA, 21 January 1861. 81 NL-HaNA, undated. 82 NL-HaNA, 22 March 1861. 83 Appadurai; Gupta and Ferguson; Kearney; McClintock, Mufti, and Shohat; Rouse; Schiller, Basch, and Blanc-Szanton. 84 NL-HaNA, undated. 85 Parreñas (2005).


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disturbed by her mother’s absence.86 What we can deduce, however, is that the separation but a strain on her mother and father’s relationship. The tension between the admittedly few lines written by Mathilda to John is palpable. Mathilda seems to already be responding defensively in her first letter when she explains ‘Why I did not write you’.87 In the next extant letter, written six months later, she writes ‘You sent to tell me that I feel myself so happy in St. Thomas that I don’t know how to leave it but it’s not so.’88 It appears that Mathilda is responding to the fact that John thought she was happier away from him and their family, and feared she might not return. The next letter, undated, is full of recriminations and allusions to jealousy and rumors. Mathilda admonishes John: ‘[It was] very wrong not to go to St. Kitts on the [sic] account of me for I could any time come to you’, reassuring him that ‘You will always have something for you [from me] on the Statia freight.’ Mathilda then references rumors that must have reached John James, writing, ‘I have it very good employ [sic] and whoever it is that is telling you these lies I think they had better fix themselves streat [straight].’ No more reference is made to these rumors, but the strain in their relationship remained. John seems to have despaired of Mathilda returning to St. Eustatius, yet, in the last letter in the collection, she writes, ‘You must not give up the house as you sent to tell me as it is my intention to be very soon coming up.’89

Conclusion While migration has been an integral part of Caribbean life since the midnineteenth century, most research has examined Caribbean migration to North America and Europe. However, as illustrated by Mathilda’s move to St. Thomas, there was significant migration within the region after British emancipation in 1834. Although women have been migrating for work for centuries, interest in these women has only peaked in academic circles since the late 1990s. Because female migration is seen to challenge established family and gender norms, the focus tends to be on how women combine their traditional role as the main caregiver in the family with working away from home. Historians and sociologists are particularly concerned 86 87 88 89

Olwig (1999), 279. NL-HaNA, 29 June 1860. Ibid., 21 January 1861. Ibid., 11 October 1861.

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with the emotional strain associated with absence from family and the moral problems that emerge.90 This emotional strain is certainly clear in Mathilda’s letters. Yet, as some researchers have suggested, this focus does not capture the more varied perceptions and experiences of female migration.91 For some female migrants now, as could have been the case for Mathilda, life away from home and the responsibilities of husband, child(ren) and extended family could also be a source of independence, new pleasures, and new senses of personhood.92 However, if Mathilda’s letters suggest that working on St. Thomas provided an opportunity to experience a sense of autonomy and empowerment, they also demonstrate the difficulties in ‘keeping family’ from a distance. In fact, it appears that Mathilda’s strained exchanges with her husband were not simply shaped by emotions linked to love, but by those tangled up in challenges to family and gender norms.93 Many contemporary female migrant workers continue to face the same challenges as Mathilda. As Patricia Pessar points out, ‘In contrast to men, migration does not rupture the social sphere in which women are self-actualized’ – that of the household and family. Mathilda’s gender may have been central to the family’s decision that she should be the one to emigrate, but it is likely that it was also central to her reluctance to return, as she struggled to maintain the gains that migration and employment had brought her.94 Grasmuck and Pessar point out that while men are eager to return, women tend to postpone or avoid return because they realize it entails loss of their newfound freedoms. This increasing independence can lead men to fear family break up and possible social humiliation.95 Nancy Foner’s study of Jamaican women in London also notes that, difficult as the experience of immigration was, it was often far more positive for women than for men, as it allowed women to break with traditional roles and patterns of dependence and assert a new-found (if meagre) freedom.96 We see all these factors echoed in Mathilda and her family’s situation. While we do not know the rest of Mathilda’s life story, we can assume that her life – and that of her family – was not the same after (or if) she returned to St. Eustatius. 90 Olwig (2007, 2012); Richardson; Thomas-Hope (1978, 1992, 2010); Gamburd; Hondagneu-Sotel and Avila. 91 Coe (2008, 2011; Constable (1999); Yeates. 92 Constable (2012), (1997) ‘International Marriage Brokers’, Maid to Order and ‘Sexuality and Discipline’; Margold. 93 Constable (1999), 213, 222. 94 Pessar, 276. 95 Grasmuck and Pessar. 96 See, for instance, Foner and Napoli.


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Works Cited Appadurai, A. ‘Global Ethnoscapes: Notes and Queries for a Transnational Anthropology.’ In Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, ed. A. Appadurai (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 48–65. Baud, and Baud, J.C. Eerste-[tweede] Rapport Der Staatscommissie, Benoemd Bij Koninklijk Besluit Van 29 November 1853, No. 66 Tot Het Voorstellen Van Maatregelen Ten Aanzien Van De Slaven in De Nederlandsche Kolonien. Tweede Rapport: De Nederlandsche West-Indische Eilanden En Bezittingen Ter Kuste Van Guinea. Met Een-en-twintig Bijlagen (’s Gravenhage: Van Cleef, 1856). Bolles, Lynn. ‘Going abroad: Working-Class Jamaican Women and Migration.’ In Female Immigrants to the United States: Caribbean, Latin American, and African Experiences, eds. Delores Mortimer and Roy S. Bryce-Laporte (Washington, D.C.: RIIES, Smithsonian, 1976, 1981), 56–85. Burke, Edmund. The Speeches of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke in the House of Commons and in Westminster-Hall (London: [s.n.], 1816). Carmichael, Mrs. Domestic Manners and Social Condition of the White, Coloured, and Negro Population of the West Indies (London: Whittaker, 1834). Chapman, William. ‘Irreconcilable Differences: Urban Residences in the Danish West Indies, 1700–1900.’ Winterthur Portfolio 30/2–3 (1995): 129–172. Clifford, James. ‘Diasporas.’ Cultural Anthropology 9/3 (1994): 302–338. Coe, Cati. ‘The Structuring of Feeling in Ghanaian Transnational Families.’ City & Society 20/2 (2008): 222–250. Coe, Cati. ‘What Is the Impact of Transnational Migration on Family Life? Women’s Comparisons of Internal and International Migration in a Small Town in Ghana.’ American Ethnologist 38/1 (2011): 148–163. Coggeshall, George. Thirty-six Voyages to Various Parts of the World: Made Between the Years 1799 and 1841 (New York: Putnam, 1858). Colen, S. ‘“Like a Mother to Them”: Stratif ied Reproduction and West Indian Childcare workers and employers in New York.’ In Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction, eds. Faye D. Ginsburg and Rayna R. Reiter (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 78–102. Constable, Nicole. ‘At Home but Not at Home: Filipina Narratives of Ambivalent Returns.’ Cultural Anthropology 14/2 (1999): 203–228. –––. ‘International Marriage Brokers, Cross-Border Marriages and the US AntiTraff icking Campaign.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38/7 (2012): 1137–1154. –––. Maid to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Filipina Workers (Ithaca, N.Y., [etc.]: Cornell University Press, 1997).

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–––. ‘Sexuality and Discipline among Filipina Domestic Workers in Hong Kong.’ American Ethnologist 24/3 (1997): 539–558. Dreby, Joanna. ‘Children and Power in Mexican Transnational Families.’ Journal of Marriage and Family 69/4 (2007): 1050–1064. Foner, Nancy, and Richard Napoli. ‘Jamaican and Black-American Migrant Farm Workers: A Comparative Analysis.’ Social Problems 25/5 (1978): 491–503. Gamburd, Michele R. ‘Milk Teeth and Jet Planes: Kin Relations in Families of Sri Lanka’s Transnational Domestic Servants.’ City & Society 20/1 (2008): 5–31. Gøbel, Erik. ‘Shipping through the Port of St. Thomas, Danish West Indies, 1816–1917.’ International Journal of Maritime History 6/2 (1994): 155–173. Goslinga, Cornelis Ch. The Dutch in the Caribbean and in Surinam 1791/5–1942 (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1990) Grasmuck, Sherri, and Patricia R. Pessar. Between Two Islands: Dominican International Migration (Berkeley, Calif., [etc.]: University of California Press, 1991). Gupta, Akhil, and James Ferguson. ‘Beyond “Culture”: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference.’ Antipoda, Revista De Antropologia Y Arqueologia 7 (2008): 233–256. Hall, Douglas. Five of the Leewards, 1834–1870: The Major Problems of the Postemancipation Period in Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis and St Kitts (St Laurence, Barbados: Caribbean Universities Press, 1971). Hartog, Johan. De Bovenwindse eilanden: Sint Maarten – Saba – Sint Eustatius: Eens gouden rots, nu zilveren dollars (Aruba: De Wit, 1964). Hondagneu-Sotelo, Pierrette, and Ernestine Avila. ‘“I’m Here, but I’m There”: The Meanings of Latina Transnational Motherhood.’ Gender and Society 11/5 (1997): 548–571. Johnson, Howard D. ‘A Slow & Extended Abolition: The Case of the Bahamas 1800–38.’ In From Chattel Slaves to Wage Slaves: the Dynamics of Labour Bargaining in the Americas, ed. Howard D. Johnson (Kingston: Ian Randle; Bloomington, IN, etc.: Indiana University Press; London: James Currey, 1995), 165–181. Jordaan, Han. ‘Free Blacks and Coloreds and the Administration of Justice in Eighteenth-Century Curaçao.’ NWIG: New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe WestIndische Gids 84/1–2 (2010): 63–86. –––. Slavernij & Vrijheid Op Curaçao: De Dynamiek Van Een Achttiende-eeuws Atlantisch Handelsknooppunt (Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2013). Kearney, M. ‘The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism.’ Annual Review of Anthropology 24/1 (1995): 547–565. Klooster, Wim. ‘The Rising Expectations of Free and Enslaved Blacks in the Greater Caribbean.’ In Curaçao in the Age of Revolutions, 1795–1800, eds. Wim Klooster and Gert Oostindie (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2011), 57–74.


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Knox, John P. A Historical Account of St. Thomas, W.I.: With Its Rise and Incidental Notices of St. Croix and St. Johns (New York: Scribner, 1852). Lommerse, Hanneke. ‘Population figures.’ In Dutch Colonialism, Migration and Cultural Heritage, ed. Gert Oostindie (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2008), 315–342. Margold, Jane. ‘Narratives of Masculinity and Transnational Migration: Filipino Workers in the Middle East’. In Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia, eds. Aihwa Ong and Michael G. Peletz (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995), 274–298. McClintock, Anne, Aamir Mufti, and Ella Shohat, eds. Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). Olwig, Karen Fog. Caribbean Journeys: An Ethnography of Migration and Home in Three Family Networks (Durham [etc.]: Duke University Press, 2007). –––. Cultural Adaptation and Resistance on St. John: Three Centuries of Afro-Caribbean Life (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1985). –––. Global Culture, Island Identity: Continuity and Change in the Afro-Caribbean Community of Nevis (Amsterdam [etc.]: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1993). –––. ‘Narratives of the Children Left Behind: Home and Identity in Globalised Caribbean Families.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 25/2 (1999): 267–284. –––. ‘The “Successful” Return: Caribbean Narratives of Migration, Family, and Gender.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18/4 (2012): 828–845. Oostindie, Gert. Roosenburg En Mon Bijou: Twee Surinaamse Plantages, 1720–1870 (Dordrecht [etc.]: Foris Publications, 1989). Parreñas, Rhacel Salazar. Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005). –––. Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015). Paton, William Agnew. Down The Islands, A Voyage to the Caribbees (New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1887). Paula, A.F. ‘Vrije’ Slaven: Een Sociaal-historische Studie over De Dualistische Slavenemancipatie Op Nederlands Sint Maarten, 1816–1863. (Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 1993). Pessar, Patricia. ‘The Role of Gender in Dominican Settlement in the US.’ In Women and Change in Latin America, eds. June Nash and Helen Safa (South Hadley, MA: Bergin and Garvey, 1986). Putnam, Lara. Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870–1960 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002). Richardson, Bonham C. Caribbean Migrants: Environment and Human Survival on St. Kitts and Nevis (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1983).

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Roitman, Jessica Vance. ‘“A Mass of Mestiezen, Castiezen, and Mulatten”: Contending with Color in the Netherlands Antilles, 1750–1850.’ Atlantic Studies 14/3 (2017): 399–417. –––. ‘Land of Hope and Dreams: Slavery and Abolition in the Dutch Leeward islands, 1825–1865.’ Slavery & Abolition 37/2 (2016): 375–398. –––. ‘The Price You Pay.’ Journal of Global Slavery 1/2–3 (2016): 196–223. Roitman, Jessica Vance and Han Jordaan. ‘Fighting a Foregone Conclusion; Interest Groups, West Indian Merchants, and St. Eustatius, 1780–1810.’ Tijdschrift Voor Sociale En Economische Geschiedenis 12/1 (2015): 79–100. Rouse, Roger. ‘Mexican Migration and the Social Space of Postmodernism.’ Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 1 (1991): 8–23. Sassen, Saskia. Cities in a World Economy. 3rd [upd.] ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA [etc.]: Pine Forge Press, 2006). –––. The Mobility of Labor and Capital: A Study in International Investment and Labor Flow (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). –––. ‘Notes on the Incorporation of Third World Women into Wage-Labor Through Immigration and Off-Shore Production.’ International Migration Review 18/4 (1984): 1144–1167. Schiller, Nina Glick, Linda Basch. and Cristina Blanc-Szanton, eds. Towards a Transnational Perspective on Migration: Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Nationalism Reconsidered (New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1992). Stahl, Charles. International Migration Today (Paris: Nedlands, W.A.: Unesco [etc.]; University of Western Australia, Centre for Migration and Development Studies, 1988). Stipriaan, Alex van. ‘Suriname and the Abolition of Slavery.’ In Fifty Years Later: Antislavery, Capitalism and Modernity in the Dutch Orbit, ed. Gert Oostindie (Leiden: KITLV Press, 1995), 117–141. Taylor, Charles Edwin. Leaflets from the Danish West Indies: Descriptive of the Social, Political, and Commercial Condition of these Islands (London: the Author, 1888). –––. St. Thomas as a Naval and Coaling Station (St. Thomas, DWI: J.N. Lightbourne, 1891). Teenstra, M.D. De Nederlandsche West-Indische Eilanden (Amsterdam: Sulpke, 1836). Thomas-Hope, E.M. ‘The Establishment of a Migration Tradition: British West Indian Movements to the Hispanic Caribean in the century after Emancipation.’ In Caribbean Social Relations, ed. Colin G. Clarke (Liverpool: Centre for Latin American Studies Monograph Series, 1978), 66–81. –––. Explanation in Caribbean Migration: Perception and the Image: Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent (Warwick University Caribbean Studies (London [etc.]: Macmillan Caribbean, 1992).


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–––. ‘Globalization and the Creation of a Caribbean Migration Culture.’ In Perspectives on the Caribbean: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation, ed. Philip W. Scher (Chichester [etc.]: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 247–255. Tjon Sie Fat and Howard Cyril. Onderzoek Naar De Sociaal-hygiënische Toestand Op De Bovenwindse Eilanden Der Nederlandse Antillen (Amsterdam: ‘Argus’, 1954). Truman, George, John Jackson, and Thos. B. Longstreth. Narrative of a visit to the West Indies, in 1840 and 1841 (Philadelphia: Merrihew and Thompson, 1844). Wiesner-Hanks, Merry. ‘Early Modern Women and the Transnational Turn.’ Early Modern Women 7 (2012): 191–202. Yeates, Nicola. Globalizing Care Economies and Migrant workers: Explorations in Global Care Chains (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009).

About the Author Jessica Roitman is affiliated with Leiden University and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). She writes about: the Dutch in the Atlantic; Jewish, migration, and colonial histories; and slavery, marronage, and abolition.


The Witch Who Moved to the Wilderness Religious Control, Distance, and Family Survival in Finland, 1670–1707 Raisa Maria Toivo

Abstract This chapter discusses how Risto Olavinpoika and his family moved – both socially and geographically – in order to prosper, stay together and survive in early modern Finland. The family initially resided in a somewhat remote but bustling hunting village and earned a living from fishing. When Risto, the father, faced charges of witchcraft, the family changed location and occupation twice, ending up on a large farmstead in remote southwestern Finland. This chapter uses court and tax records to explore the interdependency of family ties, geographical distance and reach in this family’s experience of dealing with and surviving state and church control and witchcraft accusations. Keywords: reach, scope, control, privacy, persecution, rural families

This chapter discusses the experience and meaning of distance and persecution in the life of a family moving – both socially and geographically – from one place to another in order to prosper, stay together and survive.1 Risto Olavinpoika initially resided in a hunting village in a marginally remote area with his wife and children. There, Risto made a living fishing until, having been considered a little too lucky on his hunting trips, he faced 1 This chapter has been written with funding from the Academy of Finland, and the support of The Center of Excellence for the History of Experiences, Trivium – Tampere Center for Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Tampere University.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch04

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suspicion and charges of witchcraft. As he tried to refute and cope with the charges, Risto moved his family from one place and one occupation to another, ending up on a large secluded farmstead in remote southwestern Finland. In some ways, the social and geographical journey of Risto and his family is unique, but it is representative in other ways. Geographical mobility was fairly common in early modern Finland for reasons such as work and marriage. People moved to neighbouring parishes, but sometimes they relocated to Stockholm, Tallinn, or Baltic towns in Germany and Poland.2 They also travelled long distances to maintain their daily businesses: farmers and tar producers had to go to town to sell their produce and buy fabrics, salt, and other wares they could not produce themselves. Although the mercantilist trade laws of the era attempted to dictate which town people should travel to by imposing tolls and checks, peasant farmers stubbornly sought ways to enter markets that were more advantageous.3 As much as Risto’s story is about a family that managed to keep together in spite of accusations of witchcraft, it is also about a family that moved to prosper. As Risto moved, he crossed the boundaries of social status and wealth, starting from a non-landed position and ending up a free-holding peasant farmer. There is currently little research on social mobility in seventeenth-century Finland. During the eighteenth century, the ranks of the landed population were closed: it was rare for those born into families without landownership to gain it, but a lot more common for those born into families with land to die landless, though not itinerant 4 . While it is generally assumed that this was also the situation in the seventeenth century, it may have been easier to rise socially for Risto, like many others, moved from a non-landed croft and cottage to a landed farmstead. This chapter explores the interdependency of family ties, geographical distance, control and survival in the life of Risto Olavinpoika and his family in early modern Finland. After introducing the physical, political and social environment of seventeenth-century Finland as experienced by Risto Olavinpoika, this chapter draws on court and tax records to look at when, how, and why Risto, his immediate family, and their growing household, moved in the face of evolving accusations of witchcraft, and eventually prospered in a ‘one-house village’ in the backwoods.

2 3 4

Salminen (2012), 183–257; Lamberg (2017), 225–248 and (2018), 31–66. Nenonen (1999). Miettinen & Viitaniemi.

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Seventeenth-Century Finland During the early modern period, Finland was a part of Sweden, a Lutheran heartland and an aspiring great power. This meant Finland was involved in the major developments of early modern Europe, from the development of contemporary controversial theology to the Polish Counter-Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War. Sweden’s aspirations demanded heavy taxation and continuous conscription: troops fought in the Thirty Years’ War and in battles across Poland, Germany, Denmark, and Norway throughout the century. By the end of the seventeenth century, expensive expansive politics and warfare had brought Sweden to the limits of its power. It had not won a major war since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, but it continued to be engaged in northern European warfare – either by being drawn in or by actively seeking engagement. In 1700, Hannover, Prussia, Saxony, Denmark, and Russia launched a joint attack on Sweden, which defended itself successfully until Charles XII, aged fifteen, led his army on long marches into distant battles with the aim of conquering Moscow. Unbeknown to Risto, the Great Northern War (1700–1721) was effectively the end of Sweden as a great power. The Swedish army met its final defeat in Poltava, Ukraine. Russia, led by Peter I, then proceeded to occupy Finland for seven years between 1713–1721 – a period Finns still refer to as ‘the Great Wrath’. There were relatively densely built up areas in the south and southwestern parts of Finland. The shores of the lakes and rivers with easily workable soils had been inhabited since the previous ice age. These lands were an integral part of the Swedish realm, and they were in relatively regular communication with the centres of power. Royal orders and stipulations were sent by postal routes to be read aloud by the parish priest every Sunday after the sermon. There were also systems of regular market days during which trade between the town and the countryside was supposed to take place, although people tended to travel for trade on others days too. Secular court sessions were held at least three times a year, and episcopal and parochial visitations were conducted at irregular but not infrequent intervals. These areas of Finland were, while not at the centre, relatively well attached to the centres of Sweden and, through it, Europe. Nevertheless, in areas with poor soils, and in the great forests, there were still unclaimed areas of land where settlers could go to make their fortunes, even in the parishes of Tavastia and Satakunta, where Risto lived. The religious ideology in early modern Finland was an inherently rural Lutheranism. The experience and practice of religion was adapted not only to an agricultural life (of seasonal and daily cycles, field work, and cattle

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rearing), but also to long distances, self-sufficiency, material scarcity, and a constant awareness of the fluctuations in life’s fortunes. Even an averagely wealthy farmer in early modern Finland was just a couple of rains or frosts away from penury. Peasant farmers were usually freeholders who held hereditary rights to their land, but, if they failed to pay taxes for three consecutive years, the crown had the right to confiscate the farmstead and offer it to somebody else in the hope that they would have greater success in paying taxes.5 The seventeenth century in Finland and Sweden is considered a period of confessionalisation and religious orthodoxy. The crown and the church together strived for discipline and control. Religion was a factor of shared identity, and it created the grounds for sorting people into ‘us’ and ‘them’. Although this has been termed the ‘age of persecution’, there was flexibility in accommodating different viewpoints and practices both at the local and the official levels.6 The populace was taught about Christianity through sermons and catechism teachings, supervised by the parish clergy. Church attendance was – at least theoretically – made compulsory by the 1680s. Although the authorities understood that cattle and fires could not be left alone for days in order for people to go to church (therefore household members had to take turns), individuals could be f ined for neglecting church attendance. The sermon and the sacraments were emphasised and, theoretically, attendance at communion was compulsory at least twice a year. Nevertheless, in practice most people took communion only once a year, at Easter in the medieval fashion. To be able to take part in the communion, one had to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the rudiments of religion, and one could not have any unresolved criminal matters pending. The church came to the aid of the crown in encouraging people to bring their disputes – both petty and serious – to the secular courts. In turn, the secular courts came to the aid of the church by taking over the investigation and punishment of religious deviance and misdemeanours.7 It is these investigations in the courts that form the basis of Risto’s story. At the height of the witchcraft trials, from around 1660 to 1700, the formally accusatorial Swedish system was gradually transforming into a more inquisitorial one. As officials and vicars adopted the role of public prosecution, the characteristics of the older system started to lose their importance. The talion principle (lex talionis) – that individuals who brought 5 Jutikkala. 6 See, e.g. Dixon, Freist, & Greengrass; Kaplan. 7 Laine (1996) and (2008); Kuha.

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but failed to prove charges risked the same punishments their opponents would have suffered, had the charges been proven – was used increasingly rarely. When it was, the accuser’s punishment was usually only a small fine. Group testimonies, like water or fire ordeals and the group oath (where the community was given a chance to assess whether they thought the accused person was to be punished or not) were legally abandoned by 1695, and the assessment of formal evidence by an educated judge from outside the community was given increasing precedence over the defendant’s reputation.8 In addition to answering witchcraft accusations, Risto was in court for many more mundane matters – to settle disputes over pasture and milling rights, to stand as a witness in his neighbours’ affairs, and to protect his family and household members in various ways. The courts also functioned as a forum for publicly recognising debts, property ownership, and boundary arrangements. As such, the court records deal with any sphere of life that could have public significance. Consequently, the lower secular court records allow the modern historian to catch a glimpse of various aspects of the life of Risto and his family, indicating where additional information can be found in tax records and church records. It is generally acknowledged that in Swedish rural courts, the actors consisted mostly of peasant farmers. Whether they dominated the action or were dominated themselves has been a subject of debate. Swedish historians have emphasised the active part played by farmers and the ‘peasantry’ in the countryside and the burghers and craftspeople in the towns. In contrast, many Finnish historians have emphasised how the crown essentially used these courts as a tool to control the populace. The part played by the landless workers, the elderly, and the poor has received considerably less attention. The input of such people, where it has received attention, has been judged to be small. Accordingly, peasant farmers and their wives form the largest social group in all roles in the rural courts of law.9 The Finnish and Swedish court records indicate that there were relatively free discussions between the parties beforehand and with the judge and jury. It appears that there were no completely forced discourses. Although all hearings in Finnish trials were public, and could be confirmed or contradicted by a wide audience, there is no reason to assume that participants always told the truth. Participants were competitors, and they sought to present themselves in the best light and their opponents in the worst light. However, lies had to represent a culturally acceptable possible truth in order to be credible. Therefore, these 8 9

Nenonen (1992), 263ff.; Ylikangas, 50–77. Österberg; Andersson; Karonen; Eilola.

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testimonies can actually tell more – and with greater reliability – about the culturally common, the socially shared, and commonly representative than they tell about the individual case at hand.

The Witch Within and Out of Reach: Following Risto’s Family and Household Normally, family historians in Finland identify people through church records. Communion books are the easiest sources to access. They are also the most informative as they list populations by village, household, and family; and provide links to where individuals were baptised, married, relocated to, or buried. However, tracing people before 1721 can be difficult, since the records in many parishes were either destroyed by the invading Russians during the Great Northern War or lost by the parish clergy who tried to protect the records by fleeing with them to Sweden. This is what happened to the records of the rural parish of Ulvila, where Risto lived. Tax records are the next best way to identify and follow people, since copies of tax records were usually sent to the central government in Stockholm along with the yearly accounts. Although these records survive for many more parishes than the church records, including the parish of Ulvila, there are challenges and drawbacks. Land tax records were often out of date by the time they were logged and usually only recorded the one householder who paid the taxes. More people were included in poll tax records, although often only by position in the household rather than by name (eg. daughter, nephew, farmhand). Consequently, tracing women can be especially difficult. As the records concentrated on the taxable workforce, they generally did not include children under the age of fifteen or anyone too old or sick to be an asset to the household. Sons and daughters (as well as sons- and daughters-in-law) were also often recorded as farmhands and maids, since the crown thought that this ought to be the position of adult children who stayed at home. Ideologically, the situation of servant labourers and adult children was similar, with the master and mistress bearing patriarchal responsibility for their physical and moral care. In turn, the labourers and children were expected to reciprocate with obedience and respect – not that this was always the case in reality. Because many children in poorer families left to work in another household as soon as they were of age, they were therefore never recorded in their parental homes. Moreover, as tax records were only intended to record the yearly tax income (not to predict the following year’s income), they do not record where people came from

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or went to in the previous or following years. This means that verifying family and household structures and the movement of people using just tax records is impossible. Fortunately, in Risto’s case, further information is available in the form of the court records produced as a result of the witchcraft accusations against him. In the remainder of this chapter we follow Risto, as a fisherman, hunter and farmer across three locations, through these court records. The Prosperous Farmer: The 1693 Witchcraft Accusation I first noticed Risto as someone who was entangled in two different witchcraft cases at the same time in the 1690s. This was not particularly surprising, since many of the accused witches in the area retained a reputation whether or not they were found guilty (the acquittal rate was about fifty percent). What intrigued me was that in both cases Risto was defended by the very people who had initiated one of the cases against him: a couple who thought their son had been murdered by witchcraft and yet were keen on having Risto’s son as a son-in-law who would run their farmstead. I was intrigued and wanted to know why and how had these people come to such a situation. After losing Michel, their only son, to illness, the couple, a farmer and his wife, worried about who would inherit and run Sawo, their largerthan-average farmstead in the village of Pomarkku. Their two surviving children were daughters. The couple did not have much faith in their younger daughter’s husband, whose ambitions, in their opinion, were not matched by his abilities. They had placed their hope in the man their elder unmarried daughter was contemplating marrying – Risto’s son, Juha. Eventually, uncertainty over the situation spilled out of the household and, by May 1693, a neighbour reported that Risto and the younger daughter’s husband had ‘had words’. During what was later described in court as a drunken brawl, Risto had reportedly said, among other things, ‘Well shall you be off the farm, when my son comes there.’ He also called the younger man a thief. To this, the younger man replied, ‘If I am a thief, then you are the one who killed and bewitched Sawo’s son Michel.’10 A witness testified in court that Risto had answered his accuser by stating, ‘if I am a witch, then you ordered the witchcraft killing’.11 This was reported to the court and the case continued for five years. The dead boy’s parents presented charges, dropping them and 10 Ulvila 18–20 October 1693, 433–435. For details of the court records’ archival signums, please see the bibliography. See also Toivo (2012). 11 Ulvila 17–19 June 1693, 80–181.

110 Raisa Maria Toivo Table 4.1  Risto’s family tree with connections to the Sawo family (R. M. Toivo) Matti Eskonpoika ∞ Maria Pertuntytär Sawo

Mikkel Sawo, son, dead

Heikki, accused ∞ Dordi’s sister Dordi Matintytär of murdering Mikkel by Sawo witchcraft with Risto

Risto Olavinpoika ∞ Marju (Margetta, Maria)

∞ Juha


∞ wife

Risto Juha Karin younger younger

then taking them up again at various times until 1698 when all charges were dropped (as their unwanted son-in-law had moved out of the household). Risto had a reputation as someone who would perform witchcraft for money, and he did not deny this accusation. Despite this, it was the man who had argued with him, the son-in-law, who became the focus of the case. This was because the dead boy’s grandfather testified that although his grandson had dreamt of both men trying to hurt him, the younger man was so envious and hateful that he was a lot more likely to be guilty than Risto.12 Although court records suggest the younger sister’s husband was an unlikeable man, it is noteworthy that the dead boy’s mother and grandfather unanimously accused their own son-in-law, who lived under their own roof, while excusing a known witch who had, by now, moved far away. It is telling that their daughter eventually married Risto’s son Juha, who became the heir apparent to their estate. The court records linked to this case identify Risto as living in Kynäsjärvi. Poll and land tax records indicate Kynäsjärvi was a new settlement; a farm recently cleared from the forest. Risto had lived there since 1686. By the mid 1690s he lived there with his wife – Margetta or Marju, their son, Juha, and daughter Karin. In 1687, the family was recorded as having a farm hand, Heikki, who was also later recorded as a son. Risto and Margetta had more children who were under 15 and therefore not registered in the mid 1690s. After Juha moved to Pomarkku in 1694 to marry the elder daughter of the Sawo farmstead, he sometimes hired his younger brothers as labourers. In 1695 the poll tax records state that Risto and seven other people lived in the household.13 Between 1671 and 1678, the poll tax records show one Christer Olofsson Fiskare – i.e. Risto Olavinpoika the fisher – and his wife Maria living in 12 Toivo (2008), 71–72, 101–104, 139–143, 145–146, 161–162, 168–169, 190, 92. 13 General Register over Settlement in Finland (SAY), Ulvila 1694–1713, draft lists f. 121; Ulvila, draft lists, years 1674–1693, folds 87, 159 and 168 and poll tax records 7350:1387. For more about the SAY (Suomen asutuksen yleisluettelo) see Koskinen.

Map 4.1  Finland’s main roads in the seventeenth century with Risto’s domiciles marked with a cross (R. M. Toivo).

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112 Raisa Maria Toivo

a croft in the village of Otamo (along with a maid servant in 1675 and a farmhand in 1676). The wife’s name is different at first sight, but Maria is close enough to Margetta to be a Swedish translation of the same Finnishspeaking woman, whose family and neighbours would have called her something like Marju or Maiju. Court records indicate that in 1679 Risto and his family moved from Otamo to Hyvelä.14 A note in the sowing tax (a tithe collected by the church until the crown appropriated it after the Reformation) confirms this move for, when Risto moved from Otamo to Hyvelä, he took up half a farmstead. The taxes due on both crofts were to be paid to the admiralty rather than The Crown.15 Although we can plot the moves of Risto’s household, it is impossible to be exactly sure of the structure of his household at any one time. What we can ascertain from records is that it grew from a nuclear family of parents and children to a multi-generation household, employing labourers when needed. As time went on, these labourers, as well as siblings and marriage partners, lived under the same roof for periods of time, effectively making Risto’s household a network-family based on multiple places and multiple persons. Because of the witchcraft accusations, Risto’s household may have faced increasing geographical marginalisation, yet, with spacial mobility came upward social mobility. The remainder of the chapter follows Risto and his household, exploring how Risto took advantage of opportunities to raise and protect his family in difficult circumstances. In doing so, it demonstrates that the stability and resilience of such a family community came not from rigid hierarchies, but from its adjustability. The Hunter and Fisher: the 1682 Witchcraft Accusation Risto Olavinpoika was widely reputed to be a witch in the 1690s because he had been accused before. The first time was in 1682. As there was no jail anywhere near the geographically widespread parish of Ulvila, and imprisonment was difficult to arrange, custody was reserved for criminals who were expected to flee (usually those who had a relatively certain death sentence awaiting them). Since accused witches were most often acquitted or fined, they rarely merited incarceration. This meant Risto was free to go about his business. Normally, the accused had to hear the charges in person, otherwise matters could not be taken further in court. Therefore, not abiding by a court summons was a punishable offence. Risto, however, was noted 14 Poll tax records, 7370:2429. 15 Poll tax records, 7370:2429.

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to have been with the crown surveyor and crown bailiff at the time of the court hearing, surveying a small farmstead he was considering taking up in Hyvelä village. As he had a legal reason for his absence, he was excused and the witchcraft charges were postponed to the following session next winter.16 The following March, the witnesses were heard in court. Most of their stories consisted of drunken brawls in which insults and threats had been exchanged among men drinking either in a tavern or at a wedding in Pori. Risto did not remember anything about these exchanges, and apparently the court was inclined to believe that whatever had or had not been said during these exchanges, it was of little consequence. Significantly, the majority of the accusations against Risto concerned men falling ill or having their crops spoiled after insinuating to Risto that his good ‘luck’ in calving, hunting, and shooting birds was unnatural. The accusations relating to illness came from Risto’s previous and current neighbours in Otamo and Hyvelä. Risto could not deny that such accusations had been made and rumours existed, but simply claimed they were mostly caused by envy.17 Since some witnesses were not present, the matter was again postponed. At the time of the next two court sessions in the following summer and autumn, however, the chief accuser, Matti Sipinpoika, was ill. In February 1684, both Risto and Matti were present, but other witnesses had given up and stayed at home, so the matter was further postponed. This is why the case was not taken up again before the 1690s, when the case of the Sawo family brought Risto and witchcraft together in the minds of the court officials.18 The first charges of witchcraft were presented just after Risto moved from Otamo to Hyvelä, and they related to his life in in Otamo. Otamo is situated about 45 kilometres away from Pori and slightly further away from the centres of Ulvila. At that time, most travel was on foot or horseback, often carrying a load on one’s back. The only roads passable by carriage were those from Ulvila towards Turku and Hämeenlinna, and even then part of the journey was usually on foot because even the better roads featured steep hills and areas where the surface was rocky or soft. This meant that one could reasonably expect to travel around 20–30 kilometres per day, and so Otamo to Pori took around two days.19 The villages of Pomarkku and Merikarvia, which were relatively significant villages at the time, were about a day’s journey away. Because of these distances, Otamo enjoyed its 16 17 18 19

Ulvila 22–24 September, 1682, 104v (633v). Ulvila 3 & 5–6. March 1683, 79 (372). Ulvila 26–28 February 1684, 5v (527v). Nenonen (1999), 274.

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own privacy – and lack of control by the local authorities – in a way the more central areas did not. Nevertheless, Otamo had long been the place where visiting peasants from the inland parishes – especially Mouhijärvi and Suoniemi in Häme – owned coastal fishing and hunting cabins. By the seventeenth century, Otamo was no longer right by the sea due to rapid post-glacial rebound. Indeed, the town of Pori was built in 1558 because Ulvila had lost its harbour.20 Nevertheless, salmon fishing was still common in the river that connected the lake to the sea, and many other fish were to be found in the lake. Game abounded in the surrounding woods.21 Risto and his family inhabited a croft with a small piece of land from 1671 onwards.22 They had a small fishing cabin for the fishing season, which visiting fishermen and hunters from Ikaalinen and Mouhijärvi probably utilised. Tax records suggest Risto made his living combining professional fishing with temporary employment as a farm labourer – a common scenario even though it was supposedly illegal. Although tax officials rarely recorded the work of wives outside the home, Marju probably worked too. During the winter Risto, Marju and their children would have lodged on their employer’s farm, either in a sauna or more likely sharing the one main room of the house with other household members, sleeping on the benches around the room while the owner’s family shared the beds. Such a life made them a part of what Joachim Eibach has called the open house (Öffene Hause), a space that was accessible to many if not all passers-by, although not necessarily always to the same degree of openness. Such a household was a place where neighbours, authorities, servants, and family came, went, and came again.23 Privacy in such circumstances did not constitute secrecy, but a more symbolic withdrawal from what was not considered one’s business. For example, the goings-on in the master and mistress’ bed were ignored, but similar goings-on on the cabin benches were not afforded the same discretion. Privacy in such circumstances was also a matter of social place and status: the owners of the house had more of it, with people like farmhands and lodgers having considerably less. Hunting and fishing parties were also communal: when the hunting party was in the woods, everyone saw what went on. When they did not or could not explain what they saw, suspicions arose, and when suspicions were shared, the threat of witchcraft was created. 20 In the following 400 years, the shoreline has moved out a further 10 kilometres. 21 Koskinen (2008), 94–96, 506. 22 SAY, Ulvila 1654–1673, draft lists, 87. 23 Eibach.

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The most dangerous witchcraft accusations against Risto – made by testifiers who did not admit to being drunk at the time of the events – concerned his excessively good luck as a hunter and fisherman. Since luck was thought of as a limited good in the universe, receiving more of it than one’s fair share was considered theft and a danger to the community.24 Witches and their accusers were always known to each other in Finland (as they usually were elsewhere), and usually from the same village or locality. The closer a witch lived, the more he or she was feared, but if one wanted to hire the help of a reputed witch, such as a person would likely be sought further away from one’s own village.25 Witches usually had families who acted to protect them and thus, by extension, the families protected themselves. Spouses appeared in court alongside their accused wives or husbands and took care of them if they were imprisoned. This was what they were expected to do, so much so that they were not charged for helping family members escape.26 Nevertheless, when individuals really were unwanted members of the community, their families would turn against them, just as the Sawo family turned against their ne’er-do-well son-in-law.27 It is possible that while in Otamo, Risto offered magical services for money in order to make ends meet. In a number of localities in Germany and the Low Countries men involved in magic acted as cunning men, healers, and diviners, whereas the local maleficent witch was invariably a woman. In rural Sweden, however, both men and women were known to perform all sorts of general-purpose magic as well as maleficent witchcraft. Under such circumstances, performing magic for money could bring status and income, but it could very easily become a liability.28 As Risto lived in shared quarters in Otamo, having a reputation for performing magic would have made him particularly vulnerable. Moreover, by moving to Hyvelä, Risto effectively increased the scrutiny he and his family came under, for the village stood in the densely populated central area of Ulvila beside the road heading north to Vaasa. There, the dealings of the inhabitants were witnessed by many more people than in remote Otamo. Hyvelä was an area where everyone lived on top of each other, secrets were hard to keep, and the clergy and the crown authorities kept a keen eye on order. For a reputed witch like Risto, a place too close to one’s neighbours may not have been 24 Dillinger; Toivo (2008), 125. 25 Muchembled, 88–90; Nenonen (1992), 198–200. 26 Briggs, f255. 27 Gregory ‘Witchcraft’, 30–66; Pylkkänen, 1990. 28 On Germany, e.g. Rowlands; Dillinger. On the Netherlands, de Blécourt. On Sweden, Oja, 43–55.

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the best choice: he was now not only closely scrutinised, but near enough to make the fear personal. The reason Risto made the move from Otamo may have been because he knew that, as a hunter-fisherman, especially one who did ‘suspiciously well’, he was more vulnerable to suspicion than a settled landowning peasant. By taking up a landed estate in Hyvelä he may have hoped to remedy the situation. It is also likely that he was looking for a permanent, settled, and less seasonal livelihood for his growing family. Although the tax records at this stage do not yet show any children over the age of 15, it is evident that there were several about to mature for there is one adult child by 1686, then four or five soon after. A parish map from the latter half of the seventeenth century shows that agricultural land in and around Hyvelä was already scarce, which explains why Risto initially shared a farm with another peasant owner.29 This was a not an uncommon solution on bigger farms that needed more labour than one family could provide. Although such an arrangement forced some communality on both parties, it also meant the farm’s produce had to be divided, which may not have been ideal for a growing family. The court record of 1682, which excused Risto from the witchcraft trial because he was with a land surveyor, shows that he was looking – initially unsuccessfully – for another farmstead to settle on. As previously described, Risto’s troubles with witchcraft accusations ceased for almost a decade after he moved to Hyvelä and changed his occupation from hunter to farmer. No longer a suspiciously lucky hunter, he became yet another farmer, rather like the rest of the villagers. Not only was he in a more privileged social position and therefore more in control of his own privacy, in such a densely populated environment his neighbours could reasonably assume that what they did not see or hear, did not happen.

Keeping Family in the ‘One-house Village’ in the Backwoods In moving to Kynäsjärvi in 1686, Risto put his family in a different position again. Although the frequent crop failures of the Little Ice Age meant it was not unusual for small- and medium-scale landowners to engage in all sorts of trades and crafts on the side, and not pay their taxes, there are no signs that the farm in Hyvelä had any trouble paying taxes.30 It is more likely that 29 Hans Hansson: Ulfsby Socn/Ulvila Parish Map (Sine Anno). https://jyx.jyu.f i/dspace/ bitstream/handle/123456789/20443/FHK-Pf-61-nr-1-Ulvilan-pitajankartta-1600-luku.jpg 30 Lehtinen, 91.

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the reason for Risto’s move was to seek a living for his four sons and daughter nearing the age of 15. However, Kynäsjärvi not only had the advantage of having sufficient land to provide a living for an extended household, it had the advantage of isolation. It had previously been a hunting ground for the inhabitants of the inland parishes of Sastamala and Hämeenkyrö (just as Otamo was for the houses in Mouhijärvi) but the owners had long ago given up their rights. Risto cleared a new farmstead, about a hectare and some hay meadows, and built his house in what was virgin forest. According to a tax inspection in 1693, the farmstead included a cabin house, a kitchen, a sauna, a shed, a stable with a barn, three other animal shelters, two storehouses, and a drying barn. Risto was given six years’ exemption from taxes. When the six years had passed, his land was assessed for tax purposes at half a mantal, which was good when viable farmsteads were often assessed at a quarter of a mantal.31 Nevertheless, at the following court session Risto protested this assessment and said a third of the land attributed to his farmstead was only rented from the next parish. On his farm he had two horses (a luxury perhaps justified by its distant location), ten cows, some calves and sheep, plenty of timber and firewood in the forest, and some slash-and burn land. Risto also had a small mill about a quarter of a mile from his house that could be powered by a spring when the water level was high. Risto was not doing badly at all in his newly created private village.32 By moving to Kynäsjärvi, Risto had located his household in a place of safety. It was certainly not an open house, for there were no neighbours. Kynäsjärvi was a completely uninhabited wilderness for although it was not much further from the towns of the area than Otamo, it was more difficult to reach because it was further away from the public roads. The journey from Ulvila to Kynäsjärvi took two or three days and was complicated by the fact that the farmstead lay on the far side of a lake. This meant the only way to reach it was to have someone from the house fetch you in a rowing boat. Strangers to the area could not find the house without preparation. Without a local guide and cooperation from the family, law enforcers once spent a whole day and night lost in the woods.33 Not only could the family control who went in and who went out, they had a free run of the surrounding wilderness. Regarding the scope and reach of the inhabitants of the forested Swedish areas, Ylva Stenqvist Milde points 31 A ‘mantal’ or ‘hemmantal’ (‘man tale’) is a flexible Swedish term for measuring a land holding. 32 Ulvila 19–21 October 1691, 514; Ulvila 7–9 January 1692, 4. Compare to the average amounts of cattle in Nummela. 33 Ulvila 13–16 February 1704, 283–304.

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out that they were not only in control of their own surroundings, they were in control of their own travel, venturing much further than their household boundaries. They went into the woods to hunt, pick berries and gather fuel and other foodstuffs, and on to their parish centres, neighbouring parishes, and even further. Although the political and governmental organisation of traffic for economic or political needs may have been rigid, stable, and institutionalised, people were well prepared to use both roads and less official routes for their own travel needs.34 Once Risto was established at Kynäsjärvi, the geographic, social and economic scope of his activities appear to have been wider than ever. He travelled for trade to Turku (around 170 kilometres away) and to Pori (50 kilometres away).35 Tradesmen from Pori visited his home, in spite of the restrictive mercantilist toll policies of the time.36 Risto’s trading partners may not have been the most powerful merchants, but they kept him up to date with gossip, information, and news about the fashions and trends of the world. Risto was also given full credibility as a landowning member of the community. He provided surety for other farmers’ tax duties and was also embroiled in the usual disputes between farmers in the law courts, for example, over rights to use waterpower for milling.37 Landownership was important in magic and witchcraft, as well as in society: the success of one’s own farm and cattle compared to that of one’s neighbours was a constant theme. The farmsteads were usually run by a couple in partnership, both men and women being responsible for the success of household and farmstead, and consequently, both men and women used magic in the role of the household master or mistress.38 However, as we have seen, when witchcraft accusations against Risto resurfaced in the 1690s, they were more connected to family than agriculture. Land ownership may have been central to the affair, but Risto was only involved because his son was aspiring to enter into competition for the would-be in-laws’ inheritance. At the same time as this case, the 1680s witchcraft case was taken up again but, by this time, further accusations had been filed against Risto: that of performing witchcraft for money. It was alleged that a man from Pori had hired him to bring forth bears to kill someone else’s horses. He was further accused of teaching a man in a neighbouring village methods of causing 34 Stenqvist Milde. 35 Ulvila 27–28 June 1704, 985–987. 36 Ulvila 8–9 November 1704, 158v–159. 37 Ulvila 17–19 June 1692, 182–183; Ulvila 14–15 September 1694, 277–278; Ulvila 4–5 October 1695, 394–395; Ulvila 26–28 June 1699, 535–537. 38 See the critique in Oja, 49–50.

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crop failures, spoiling the beer brew of a burgher in Pori, and causing and curing cattle diseases by either frying a deceased animal’s meat in an iron pan or burying its head under the kitchen hearth.39 While the charges of 1682 had been aimed at a hunter/fisherman, by the 1690s these had been escalated to include charges targeting a landowning farmer. While the list of accusations against Risto was long, by the 1690s, the court still had not reached any conclusion in the case. Risto seems to have gone on with his life, raising a family of at least four sons – who grew up and married well – and keeping a household with young servants. Risto even played host to friends who occasionally stayed with him. It is also evident that Risto’s past friends remained his allies, just as his past enemies continued to be his adversaries. Many of his visitors came from a place he had been connected to before living in Otamo: the inland parish of Ikaalinen. In 1695, Risto’s maid committed fornication with his visitor from Ikaalinen and the witch who had supposedly taught Risto how to summon bears was also from Ikaalinen. It is interesting to note that visits of young men could cause problems, for the only ‘crimes’ that could be proven to have taken place in Risto’s isolated household were a couple of fornications committed by maids (as evidenced by the birth of illegitimate children).40 Risto’s continuing connections to the parish are also reflected in the home addresses of his co-swearers (when he was ordered to take an oath of compurgation in 1695 for the 1680s witchcraft charges). A compurgation oath was a method sometimes used in cases where there was not enough formal evidence to either acquit or convict. Risto took his oath and presented five co-swearers, whose origin had to reflect his status in the community. However, as four out of the five co-swearers Risto presented were from the parishes of Ikaalinen and Mouhijärvi, and their reputation for truthfulness was therefore unknown, a report on them was required. Failing to obtain such a report, Risto presented a new oath and new co-swearers. They included a burgher from Pori, two soldiers, and two farmers (one from another parish, but vouched for by a juror as a man of good repute). Among the co-swearers was also a servant from the Sawo household in Pomarkku, the household whose son was allegedly killed by witchcraft and which Risto’s son had married into. 41 This reflects the important connections in Risto’s new life, namely his position as a farmer 39 Ulvila 8–10 January and 4–5 October 1695, 30, 368; Ulvila 27–28 June 1702, 130–132; Ulvila 13–16 February and 27–28 June 1704, 346–352, 985–987. 40 Ulvila 8–10 January 1695, 30; Ulvila 4–5 November 1695, 367–368, 376; Ulvila 16–17 September 1701, 2–4; Ulvila 13–16 February 1704, 346–352; Ulvila 27–28 June 1704, 985–987. 41 Ulvila 8–10 January 1695, 30; Ulvila 4–5 October 1695, 368.

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and trader with Pori and his connection to Pomarkku via his son. His eldest son’s success in Pomarkku may at first have incited the accusation of witchcraft, yet, in time, it also meant that the accusations were dropped. Juha was in a position to oversee and inherit the Sawo estate and his wife’s family would not have wanted to alienate him by helping convict his father of witchcraft. Thus, Pomarkku became another important place for the family. Juha employed his brothers in Pomarkku, both under official labour contracts and in other informal ways. Although Risto’s family was dispersing as the four sons grew up and looked for employment outside the home, the members kept in contact. The amount of contact and travel that it must have taken for Risto to keep up these contacts is significant, as Stenqvist has shown. 42 John McKinnel and Jukka Korpela have noted that in prehistoric and medieval Nordic cultures, travel between the home and outside community was mentally connected to travel between the physical world and the world of the dead, spirits, and divinities. Therefore, travel was always shamanistic or sacred in the Durkheimian sense. 43 By the end of the seventeenth century, Nordic countries were Christianized, but travel still retained great symbolical religious value, and the Lutheran Church encouraged pilgrimage-like travel to specific churches. 44 There was absolutely nothing shamanistic in any of the descriptions of what Risto did, nor did his witchcraft accusations include travel to other worlds, Sabbaths, or witches’ meetings. Indeed, all of Risto’s travel had a rational purpose: for the benefit of his farm, for trade, or for other financial gain. Nevertheless, the suspicions of others against him grew as the frequency and distance of his travels grew. This was perhaps because forests were usually considered dangerous in early modern Finland. Not only were they populated by beasts, spirits, and violent criminals, they also were dangerous entities themselves, which could disorient, lead astray, and ‘cover’ humans and cattle so that they could never be found.45 Risto’s household, however, exploited the wilderness for economic gain – they mention gathering berries and logging – and used it to escape outside control, seeming to control the dangers of the woods. To return to McKinnel’s theory, this travel between the woods and the home was a domesticated version 42 Stenqvist Milde. 43 McKinnel; Korpela. On sacred space, see also Döring, 7–31; Coster & Spicer; Besserman. The prehistoric era was staggered in various parts of the Nordic area. First written source from Finland can be found in 1316, but in the very northern Sami areas written sources are rare still in the sixteenth century. 44 Toivo (2016), 50–60; Kuha. 45 Holmberg; Knuuttila.

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of equating the travels between this and the other world to those between the home and the outside community. If not sacred in the Durkheimian sense of marking universal boundaries, it was definitely suspicious in the eyes of everyone else. Despite, or because of, Kynäsjärvi’s remoteness and Risto’s dubious reputation, the farmstead was a safe haven for the family. It is evident the household was lively and people came and went depending on seasonal labour demands. Poll tax records indicate that by 1701 Risto’s son, Heikki, had married and brought in his wife, a daughter, and one or two maids and farmhands to live at Kynäsjärvi. At some point, a Johan Matson and his wife from Ikaalinen also lived at the farmstead. 46 In 1704, the Great Northern War increased the demand for soldiers in the Swedish army. Two of Risto’s sons, Petter and Juha the younger, were conscripted. When they were summoned to court for not signing up, Juha the younger explained that he had been serving his brother in Pomarkku under a legal contract. His brother would not let him go to war because, he explained, having paid his wages, his brother felt entitled to his labour. In fear that the crown officials would take ‘any Juha just as well as one’, both brothers, Risto, all the families who worked with him in Kynäsjärvi and Pomarkku, their servants, and the sons from Petter’s employer in Längelmä – hid at Kynäsjärvi. As crown officials had to ask for the household’s help to get across the lake, Kynäsjärvi was an effective refuge. A bailiff even described trying to sneak across (tiählandes) the lake by building a raft, but he and his accompanying officals were spotted. The men hid in the woods and did not return before nightfall. The women, children and old folk of the household claimed the men were hunting, gathering berries, or on some other business. There was always something to do, so who could prove they was not engaged in some legitimate task?47 The witchcraft accusations against Risto were never solved. The compurgation oath he took in October 1695 was declared void as such oaths were dispensed with that year. In 1702, an investigation was attempted but could not proceed as Risto was having his farmstead assessed for its tax-paying abilities at the same time. In 1704, Risto attended court, but the crown official who acted as prosecutor failed to show, and the documents from the Court of Appeal were missing. The court tried to interrogate a witness from another parish, but he was too drunk and the hearing had to 46 SAY, Ulvila 1694–1713, draft lists f. 121; Ulvila, draft lists, years 1674–1693, folds 87, 159 and 168 and poll tax records 7350:1387. 47 Ulvila 13–16 February 1704, 283–304.

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be postponed. When the witness turned up sober a couple of weeks later, Risto had gone to handle some business in the town of Turku. Risto died of natural causes in 1707, leaving his son Heikki to take over the management of the farmstead. 48

Conclusion This chapter has explored Risto’s journey from a fishing village, to a central farming community, and then on to what was essentially a one-house village in the backwoods. The home in the fishing village of Otamo had been a refuge for the small family, yet it was well connected to the outside world. Society’s values, however, meant that the family had a better chance of survival if it had access to farmland and they achieved that by moving to the more central and densely populated Hyvelä. Court records indicate that here Risto became a recognised member of the landowning community in the parish and a valued trade partner for the nearby townsfolk. For a reputed witch, however, a place too close to one’s neighbours may not have been the best choice, as he could have caused his neighbours trepidation and been closely scrutinised. By moving to the isolated Kynäsjärvi, and clearing a large farmstead for his extended household, Risto not only raised the living standards of everyone involved, it enabled him to escape the immediate pressure and control of suspicious neighbours. Although he still had a reputation as a witch, Risto was protected by his environment, and the contacts he had made in and around that environment. He could no longer be effectively hunted, and his newly cleared farmstead enabled him to gain status. As trouble hit again in the form of war and conscription, the isolated one-house village became a physical haven for the family, including those now scattered across surrounding villages and parishes. Risto had found a way of protecting himself and his clan – controlling the intrusion of the outside world, even when a member of his household committed something defined as a serious crime. By the 1690s, Risto appears to have become a prosperous farmer whose peripatetic lifestyle allowed him to grow and maintain a flourishing household. While both his transience and success gave rise to suspicion and yet more accusations, Risto still managed to establish a large extended family base in 48 Ulvila 8–10 January 1695, 30; Ulvila 4–5 October 1695, 368; Ulvila 27–28 June 1702, 130–132; Ulvila 13–16 February 1704, 346–352; Ulvila 27–28 June 1704, 985–987; Ulvila 27–28 June 1707, 356v–358v.

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the backwoods, keep this household together, and use the interdependencies of kin, family, and patronage in the rural communities and the trading world. The concept of what Joachim Eibach has called ‘the open house’ – and the existence or lack of privacy and control within it – is key here, for the balance of privacy and outside control was essential in both creating and dispelling the suspicion and experience of witchcraft. The way Risto manipulated distance caused the same dichotomy for, as McKinnell explains in his ideas of sacred travel, distance, as it always creates travel, was often considered suspicious, even by the end of the seventeenth century. This suggests that in moving location, Risto effectively pulled off a balancing act. By maintaining contacts, working hard and grasping opportunities he got on with life despite the witchcraft accusations hanging over him. In doing so, he not only kept his family together, he ensured their safety and increased their prosperity.

Works Cited Andersson, Gudrun. Tingets kvinnor och män. Genus som norm och strategi under 1600- och 1700-tal. Studia Historica Uppsaliensia 187 (Uppsala: Uppsala University Press, 1998). Arffman, Kaarlo. Auttamisen vallankumous. Luterilaisuuden yritys ratkaista köyhyyden aiheuttamat ongelmat (Helsinki: Finnish literature Society, 2008). Besserman, Lawrence, ed. Sacred and Secular in Medieval and Early Modern Culture. New Essays. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Briggs, Robin. The Communities of Belief (Oxford: OUP, 1998). Coster, Will & Spicer, Andrew. Sacred Space in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2005). de Blécourt, Willem. ‘Evil People. A Late Eighteenth-Century Dutch Witch Doctor and His Clients.’ In Beyond the Witch Trials. Witchcraft and Magic in Enlightenment Europe, eds. Owen Davies and Willlem de Blécourt, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004). Dillinger, Johannes. ‘Evil people’: A Comparative Study of Witch Hunts in Swabian Austria and the Electorate of Trier. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009). Dixon, C. Scott, Freist, Dagmar & Greengrass, Mark, eds. Living with Religious Diversity in Early-Modern Europe (Aldershot, Ashgate 2009). Döring, Tobias. ‘Introduction.’ In Performances of the Sacred in Late Medieval and Early Modern England, eds. Susanne Rupp and Tobias Döring (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2016), 7–11.

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Eibach, Joachim. ‘Das Offene Haus. Kommunikative Praxis Im Sozialen Nahraum der Europäischen Frühen Neuzeit.’ Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung: 38/4, (2011): 621–664. Eilola, Jari. Rajapinnoilla. Sallitun ja kielletyn määritteleminen 1600-luvun jälkipuoliskon noituus- ja taikuustapauksissa. Bibliotheca historica 81 (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2003). Gregory, Annabel: ‘Witchcraft, Politics and “Good Neighbourhood” in Early Seventeenth-Century Rye.’ Past and Present 133 (1991): 30–66. Henningsen, Peter. ‘Peasant Society and the Perception of a Moral Economy. Redistribution and Risk Aversion in Traditional Peasant Culture.’ Scandinavian Journal of History 26/4 (2001): 271–296. Holmberg, Uno. ‘Metsän peitossa’. Kalevalaseuran vuosikirja 3. (1923): 16–60. Jutikkala, Eino. Suomen talonpojan historia (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 1958). Kaplan, Benjamin. Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press, 2007). Karonen, Petri. Pohjoinen suurvalta. Ruotsi ja Suomi 1521–1809 (Helsinki: WSOY 1999). Keskinen, Jouni & Koskinen, Ulla. ‘Ruotusotamiehenä Suuressa Pohjan Sodassa: Porin jalkaväkirykmentin Everstiluutnantin komppanian sotamiehet 1710–1720.’ Genos 82/2 (2011): 45–83. Knuuttila, Seppo: ‘Eksyminen.’ In Metsään mieleni, eds Yrjö Sepänmaa, Liisa Heikkilä-Palo and Virpi Kaukio (Helsinki: Maahenki, 2003). Korpela, Jukka. ‘In deep, distant Forests.’ In Physical and Cultural Space in Preindustrial Europe, eds. Marko Lamberg, Marko Hakanen and Janne Haikari (Lund: Nordic Academic Press 2011). Koskinen Ulla. ‘Premodern era.’ In Suoniemen historia – Kuloveden rantojen asuttamisesta 2000-luvulle, ed. Jaakkola Jouko, Kankkonen Satu, Koskinen Ulla (Nokia: Nokian kaupunki & Nokian seurakunta, 2008). –––. Suomen asutuksen yleisluettelon käytettävyys ( SAY/SAY-raportti.pdf). Kuha, Miia. Pyhäpäivien vietto varhaismodernin ajan Savossa (vuoteen 1710). Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities 286 (Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto, 2016). Laine, Esko M. Yksimielisyys – sota – pietismi. Tutkimuksia suomalaisesta papistosta ja yhteiskunnasta kolmikymmenvuotisesta sodasta pikkuvihaan (Unpublished PhD Diss. Helsinki: Helsingin yliopisto, 1996). Laine, Esko M. Orastava Ortodoksia. Mikael Agricolan ja Ericus Erici Sorolaisen aika: kolme näkökulmaa reformaatioon ja ortodoksiaan. In Reformaatio. Henkilökuvia ja tutkimussuuntia. Suomalaisen Teologisen Kirjallisuusseuran ja Suomen kirkkohistoriallisen seuran yhteisessä symposiumissa marraskuussa 2007 pidetyt

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esitelmät, ed. Salminen, Joona (Suomen Helsinki: Teologinen kirjallisuusseura ja Suomen kirkkohistoriallinen seura, 2008), 180–207. Laitinen, Riitta & Lindström, Dag. ‘Urban Order and Street Regulation in Seventeenth-Century Sweden.’ Journal of Early Modern History 12/3 (2008): 257–287. Lamberg, Marko: ‘Lurendrejare, rymlingar och solochvårare. Identitetsbytare i det tidigmoderna Stockholm.’ In Tillfälliga stockholmare: Människor och möten under 600 år, eds Anna Götlind, Marko Lamberg, Heiko Droste, Lotta Fernstål, Annasara Hammar (Stockholm: Stockholmia förlag, 2017), 225–248. –––. ‘Ylirajainen Suomi 1300–2000.’ In Suomen rakennehistoria: Näkökulmia muutokseen ja jatkuvuuteen (1400–2000), ed. Pertti Haapala (Tampere: Vastapaino, 2018), 31–66. Lehtinen, Erkki. Suur-Ulvilan historia I. (Ulvila: Ulvilan kunta ja seurakunta, 1967). McKinnel, John. Meeting the Other in Norse Myth and Legend (Cambridge: D.s. Brewer 2005). Miettinen, Riikka & Viitaniemi, Ella. ‘Johdanto. Länsi-Suomen maaseudun tilattomat tutkimustehtävänä.’ In Reunamailla: Tilattomat Länsi-Suomen maaseudulla 1600-1800, eds Riikka Miettinen & Ella Viitaniemi (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 2018), 8-47. Muchembled, Robert. Popular Culture and Elite Culture in France 1400–1750 (French original 1978. This edition, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1985). Nenonen, Marko. Noituus, taikuus ja noitavainot. Ala-Satakunnan, PohjoisPohjanmaan ja Viipurin Karjalan maaseudulla 1620–1700 (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki 1992). –––. ‘Juokse sinä humma.’ In Maata, jäätä kulkijoita. Tiet, Liikenne ja yhteiskunta ennen vuotta 1860, ed. Tapani Mauranen (Helsinki: Edita, 1999), 143–367. Nummela, Illkka.’Karjanpito ja sen meritys.’ In Suomen historian kartasto, eds Pertti Haapala and Raisa Toivo (Helsinki: Karttakeskus 2007). Oja, ‘Kvinnligt, manligt, magiskt. Genusperspektiv på folklig magi i 1600- och 1700-talets Sverige.’ Kyrkohistorisk årsskrift (1994): 43–55. Österberg, Eva. ‘Bönder och centralmakt i det tidigmoderna Sverige: Konflict – kompromiss – politisk kultur.’ Scandia (1989): 73–95. Pleijell, Hilding. Från hustavlans tid: kyrkohistoriska folklivsstudier (Stockholm: Svenska kyrkans diakoniststyrelses bokförlag, 1951). –––. Husandakt, husaga, husförhör och andra folklivsstudier (Stockholm: Svenska Kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag, 1965). Pulma, Panu (ed.) Suomen Romanien historia (Helsinki: Finish Literature Society 2012). Pylkkänen, Anu. Puoli vuodetta, Lukot ja Avaimet. Nainen ja maalaistalous oikeuspöytäkirjojen valossa (Helsinki: Lakimiesliitto, 1990).

Rowlands, Allison. Witchcraft Narratives in Germany Rothenburg, 1561–1652 (Mancherster: Manchester University Press, 2003). Salminen, Tapio. ‘Common Road, Common Duty – Public Road, Private Space? King Magnus Eriksson’s law and the understanding of road as a space in late medieval Finland and the Swedish realm.’ Scandinavian Journal of History 35/2 (2010): 115–134. –––. ‘Uusimalaste Tallinna-pärandused 1350–1560. aastal – Uusmaalaisten Tallinnanperinnöt 1350–1560.’ In Padise ja Vantaa: Keskiaja sild Padise ja Vantaa vahel – Keskiajan silta Padisen ja Vantaan välillä, ed. Russow Erki (Padinen and Vantaa: Padise Vallavalitsus ja Vantaan kaupunki/historiatoimikunta, 2012), 183–257. Stenqvist Millde, Ylva. Vägar inom räckhåll. Spåren efter resande i det förindustriella bondesamhället (Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, 2007). Toivo, Raisa Maria. Witchcraft and Gender in Early Modern Society. Finland and the Wider European Experience (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008). –––. ‘Discerning Voices and Values in the Finnish Witch Trials.’ Studia Neophilologica 84 (2012): 143–155. –––. Faith and magic in early modern Finland. (Basigstoke: Palgrave 2016). Ylikangas, Heikki. Valta ja väkivalta keski- ja uuden ajan taitteen Suomessa (Helsinki, WSOY 1988).

About the Author Raisa Maria Toivo is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow and a Professor of History at Tampere University and the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experience. Her latest publications include Faith and Magic in Early Modern Finland (2016) and Parricide and Violence against Parents Throughout History (2018).


Independence, Affection and Mobility in Eighteenth-Century Scotland Katie Barclay

Abstract If early modern marriage was often imagined as centred on a household, some families were mobile. This was particularly the case for travelling salespeople and chapmen and women (pedlars) who moved across Europe to sell their wares. This Chapter focuses on two Scottish families – a married couple, and a couple and their adopted child – to explore how family, emotion and gender relationships were shaped when couples did not form a stable place of belonging but instead produced family in relation to landladies, networks of hospitality, and travel. It argues that families sought to explain their connection as an intimacy produced through an engagement between independent actors, but which still sought to be interpretable under the strictures of patriarchy. Keywords: Scotland, travellers, work, gender, marriage, childhood

In 1791, Michael Welsh provided the Scottish Justiciary Court with a statement into the events that led to the death of his ‘wife’ Mary McDonald.1 Welsh was thirty-four years old, from County Kerry in Ireland, and had worked since he was fifteen as a travelling merchant. He had come to Scotland around four years earlier, chiefly to sell his wares across the Scottish Highlands and central belt. His goods included clothing and accessories, like buckles, watches and pins. He met Mary McDonald whilst visiting Dumfries in the southwest of Scotland in December 1790. She was the daughter of a

1 This account is taken from National Records of Scotland [NRS] JC26/1791/31 Michael Welsh, murder, 1791.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch05


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‘residenter’ there and the wife of Hugh Finnan.2 The couple agreed to travel together, McDonald going as Welsh’s mistress or wife, as he called her. She brought some lint (unspun cotton) to the marriage that she had received from a factory to spin (part of the ‘putting out’ system), and which she resold.3 She also had clothes and credit with various other people. As they headed north through Glasgow, McDonald was attacked by Welsh’s lawful wife, Nelly Sullivan, who gathered such a crowd the couple were forced to quickly move on. On another occasion, a passing man admired McDonald and Welsh asked him what price he would pay for her, something he later claimed was just banter between men. Travelling through the country by foot, the couple did business with several people en route; at some places they left their goods in storage, knowing they would not sell in other regions. They generally stayed for two or three days, sometimes a week, at each place, living with a wide range of people until McDonald died from a knife wound to the throat in June 1791 on the high road between Strathlochy and Kilmally, Argyllshire. This chapter engages with two overlapping historical debates: the history of family mobility, particularly envisioned around processes of globalisation, migration and trade; and the history of the emotional lives of the poor. It explores the family lives of the travelling poor – families marked not by separation due to mobility, but who moved together – asking how family life was performed for groups that did not have a stable home or community to mediate their affective relationships. It draws from a larger study of over a thousand cases from the Scottish Justiciary Court (the highest criminal court) between 1660 and 1830, but focuses particularly on two case studies from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that provide rich, qualitative insights into the attitudes, behaviours and affections of this group. 4 If no family is ordinary, not least those captured by the historical record for their encounters with serious crime, nonetheless the deposition evidence of witnesses that appeared before the Justiciary Court provides unique access to a social group who have left very little alternative evidences of their own emotions, thoughts or mentalités.5 Thus this chapter engages 2 A residenter is a resident. 3 The ‘putting out’ system saw individuals buy raw materials or textiles needing finished to be worked at home, rather than in a factory. People then resold the finished product to the factory for a higher rate. For mobile individuals, such materials could be resold in other areas. For discussion see: Gibson and Smout. 4 Scottish Justiciary Court records are held in the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh, beginning with the reference JC. 5 Hutton.

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in a Geertzian ‘thick description’ of two compelling examples that offer insight into how the experience of being mobile, of travelling, acts to shape gendered family dynamics, ties of affection, and ideas of self in relation to community.6 A growing historiography of global trade and migration highlights the significance of family and family relationships to explaining why people move, the development of networks, and the relative success of parties ‘at home’ or ‘abroad’. Economic historians argue that early modern businesses were often imagined as designed to support the goals of particular families – whether in enabling economic survival, social mobility or political ambitions – such that the logic of business relationships was continually subject to the needs of family life.7 Businesses frequently relied on the labour of family members – including wives and children – whilst economic partnerships and relationships were consolidated through marriage. 8 Thus when occasions to trade overseas developed, or alternatively when economic opportunities were needed for younger sons to thrive and empire beckoned, family networks became central to global trade networks.9 This was also true for migrants who wished to begin anew in a different land, where pre-existing family connections with other settlers became a strong pull for new migrants and where kin, real and fictive, became significant in helping people to find work and place in their new homes.10 That family was important to global networks was underpinned by the centrality of the concept of ‘family’ to many people during the early modern period – where family identity played a significant role in shaping ideas of selfhood – and by normative expectations about the responsibilities, duties and affections that kin should feel for each other.11 Rituals, such as marriage, and the duties of family life were expected to produce trust, loyalty, consideration and love between kin.12 If these emotions were ‘ideal’ – in that they were not always practiced successfully – they were understood not just as a feeling but a set of social responsibilities that people should enact.13 An understanding of this has meant recent scholarship of family, trade and mobility has begun to unpack how the interpersonal 6 Geertz. 7 Barker; Popp; Davidoff and Hall. 8 Ågren (2017); O’Hara; Tulchin; Grassby; Korpiola. 9 Murdoch; Pearsall; Ballantyne and Burton; Finn; Livesay. 10 Errington; Gerber; Lee. 11 Piera. 12 Barclay (2017, ‘Intimacy, Community’). 13 De Carlo and Widmer; Loiselle; Maza; Barclay (2011).


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dynamics of family played out over time and space. Historians explore not only expectations around trust, loyalty, and affection (and its failures), but how these interacted with key ideas such as patriarchal power and the growing significance of manly independence, particularly for sons.14 These have raised critical issues for our understanding of the impact of mobility – and especially being far away – to family dynamics. Several studies have teased out how the ability to exercise patriarchal power was reduced and complicated as wives and children developed signif icant economic independence and networks in their own right, and as distance limited direct management.15 Others have indicated the disappointments of children, especially younger sons, who expected greater support but found that it was not forthcoming.16 Either explicitly or implicitly such discussions have participated in broader conversations around the ‘rise of individualism’ and its interactions with shifting religious contexts, rising consumerism, and demographic growth.17 If the historiography around the itinerant poor is largely written by a separate group of scholars with a different agenda, a similar concern around the relationship between mobility and independence has also emerged there. As the title of A.L. Beier’s classic Masterless Men suggests, the rising vagrancy problem of the sixteenth century was closely associated with disorder, as poor men became independent of traditional social structures that tied them into relationships of dependency and place.18 This was an argument often particularly attached to youth as, in moments of economic upheaval, young men refused the strictures of patriarchal families and apprenticeships for the relative freedoms of itinerant life.19 Patricia Fumerton extended this argument, suggesting that significant mobility and movement amongst the poor in England enabled a new form of ‘unsettled’ selfhood marked by an independence from community and even family ties.20 If hers was an argument built largely on ballad sources, it was given ballast by an older and more extensive historiography of the family lives of the poor, which emphasised them as economically driven and low in affect. According to this scholarship, that poverty often required mobility – whether for seasonal 14 Baud; Phillips; Barclay (2015, ‘Illicit Intimacies’). 15 Gerber; Broomhall and Van Ghent (2009, ‘In the Name of the Father’ and ‘Corresponding Affections’). 16 Thirsk; Barclay (2011). 17 Mullan; Sherwood. 18 Beier. See also, Hitchcock; Timbers. 19 Hurl-Eamon (2015); Haine. 20 Fumerton.

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work or the demands of the military and navy – and ‘makeshift economies’ that utilised workhouses and charities that split families apart, reduced this group’s commitment to family. Their willingness to live separately was suggestive of ‘the possible lightness of attachment represented by marriage,’ noted Margaret Spufford.21 More recently, scholars of the emotional lives of the poor have challenged these accounts, arguing that a willingness to live apart during exigent circumstances did not always lessen family obligations or connections, and that even amongst the very poor is evidence of affectionate ties, devoted partners and loving parents.22 Indeed, a number of historians have emphasised the significance of ‘co-dependency’ amongst poor families, where survival required close cooperation and mutual support.23 This in turn raised interesting questions about the nature of patriarchal power within such families, with some arguing that co-dependency, and particularly women’s important economic role, shifted the balance of gendered power within marriage. Others argued that such effects were insignificant in a patriarchal culture, where the economic insecurity produced by marital breakdown was more likely to impact women than men.24 In a Scottish context, these debates have been particularly explored in relation to the continuing significance of hospitality, clan networks, and ‘friendship’ as a social bond.25 As I have argued elsewhere, well into the nineteenth century, Scottish communities remained close-knit, exercising a significant level of social discipline over their members.26 ‘Outsiders’, such as vagrants, pedlars, chapmen, and other migrant groups, were integrated into communities through rituals of hospitality, particularly in rural areas where few inns or hotels were available.27 Not all of these arrangements were cost-free, some supported by payment, gifts or the provision of news and stories, but they were largely informal and makeshift. They were also expected to be temporary – a few days or a week; people who settled in place became part of the community and found themselves subject to significantly more scrutiny.28 This ‘caring community’ was underpinned by an ethic of love that could offer support, comfort and security to those that conformed 21 Spufford. 22 Crawford (2010); Doolittle; Bailey (2012). 23 Bailey (2003); Boulton; Hurl-Eamon (2005). 24 Hurl-Eamon (2008); Barclay (2020). 25 Barclay (2018). 26 Barclay (2020 and 2018). 27 Martin. 28 Barclay (2015 ‘Marginal Households’ and ‘Gossip, Intimacy’).


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to social norms. For those that did not, it could be oppressive.29 Thus, if not everybody whose marriage failed found themselves on the road, a history of geographic mobility and itinerant labour was a common feature of the lives of Scottish bigamists across the eighteenth century. A failure to conform made life ‘uncomfortable’, encouraging onwards movement.30 Mobility thus could be the result of economic necessity or profession, but it also provided a space to fashion self, family or freedom outside of the boundaries of Scottish community life. This Chapter explores how two travelling families sought to articulate their sense of family, self and relation at the turn of the nineteenth century, asking what difference such movement made to their affective ties, gendered power relations, and sense of connection. It is work underpinned by a growing scholarship on space and emotion that emphasises the significance of place, space, and movement in the production of emotional relationships.31 The first case study, focusing on Michael Welsh and his wife Mary McDonald, explores how they negotiated married life on the road; the second turns to look at the Hastings and their foster child, asking how they imagined their affective connections. In both the issue of ‘independence’ is significant, as these families sought to frame their relation to each other as a ‘choice’ and not a dependency. This can be usefully contrasted with Scottish begging letters from the same period, that seek instead to emphasise the co-dependency of beggar and patron, in a charitable system where giving reinforced the power of the patron.32 By stepping out of community, these itinerant individuals opened up new ways of being family.

The Gendered Dynamics of Marriage on the Road In his deposition for the Scottish Justiciary Court, Michael Welsh claimed that Mary McDonald’s death was a suicide. There were no other witnesses. His account of the events leading up to her death provided a remarkable narrative designed to restore his character as a ‘husband’, whilst reinforcing the likelihood that her death was at her own hand. Welsh claimed that five or six weeks before her death, he had felt guilty about the immorality of their relationship and desired to end it when they returned south. McDonald had replied that ‘she would sooner die than go back to her friends’. Ever since, 29 30 31 32

McEwan; Barclay (2015 ‘Marginal’). Barclay (2020). Davidson and Milligan. Barclay (2017, ‘Negotiating Independence’).

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she had been ‘very dull and not the same cheerful woman she used to be’ and ‘uncommonly low spirited’. In response, he ‘began to give her every comfort in his power by flattering her with the hopes of their still continuing together’. He also described how he always carried the soft goods, likely textiles and fabrics, when they travelled, while McDonald carried any ‘triffles of hardware they had with his shirts and other necessaries’, because they only rarely required access to the hard goods – such as watches, buttons, buckles – for sale. When she decided to fast every Friday as repentance for her immoral relationship, he discouraged her, arguing that she could not ‘travel with a burden without victuals’. Both he and the landlady they were staying with at the time attempted to persuade her to eat. This trial evidence provides a tiny snapshot into the marital and working life of a travelling pedlar ‘marriage’, a social group recognised as a distinctive part of the lower orders but whose daily lives have been challenging to unpick. This was a couple who literally shared the burden of work, both bringing similar assets to their marriage and carrying their goods across the country in a working partnership. Yet, at least as construed by Welsh, if this relationship departed from the norm, in consisting of two already-married people, who did not establish a stable household unit but constantly moved, it was also inflected by wider ideals for gendered behaviour. Welsh claimed to carry the bulk of the gear, especially that which would be sold, placing him in the location of primary salesperson and breadwinner. He also positioned himself in a caring role, lessening’s McDonald’s physical burden, something supported by his concern for McDonald’s emotional and physical wellbeing. Even in the context of this sinful relationship, Welsh argued that he took seriously his manly responsibility to protect and provide. McDonald’s interpretation of their relationship is not available, but Welsh situates her as a working woman, not rich but with assets from her industry. She is credited with carrying a physical load that was significant enough to make fasting a threat to industry and health. It might have been to Welsh’s advantage to suggest that she was not a burden to him, a model of femininity that may have provided a motive to murder. But it also evidences the significance of female labour to this type of family and an expectation that the importance of woman’s work would be culturally recognisable by the court. Despite this, as a woman, her social position was more liminal than Welsh. If working women usually combined their labour with the production of frugal and affective households, as McDonald lived in the home of others, ‘housewife’ was not an identity available to her.33 Yet, her 33 Ross.


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female positioning still emerges from Welsh’s testimony. She is a beautiful woman, desired by other men, something that on a public highway made her vulnerable and required Welsh to protect her. The discussion of a wife sale may have just been flattering banter between men, but it reinforced that as a ‘wife’ McDonald was property to be sold, not taken, her safety and autonomy something available for discussion. It acknowledged the patriarchal framing of the eighteenth-century marriage.34 Similarly when her mental health was poor, Welsh emphasised that McDonald required support and protection, reinforcing her dependence upon him. If Welsh’s moral scruples led him to return McDonald to her family; hers led to apparently extreme behaviour in fasting, a religiosity expected of women of this period, and a claim by Welsh to the couple’s underlying moral conscience.35 McDonald and Welsh sat beyond the normal structures of eighteenth-century society through their adultery and mobility, but their marriage – simultaneously an economic and emotional unit – also retained many of the qualities found in the relationships of their less mobile neighbours. Their neighbours too are part of this history. Welsh remembered and recounted in list form the people he had stayed with over the weeks and months leading to McDonald’s death. Across the country, they stayed in a range of homes; arrangements that appear to have involved an economic transaction (not simple hospitality), but that nonetheless brought people into the care of others, as the landlady concerned for McDonald’s eating suggests.36 These arrangements also seem to have involved a degree of trust, as is suggested by the fact that the couple felt confident that leaving their goods with others for later collection was a wise decision. In his testimony, Welsh noted that he often went by the name Kennedy in Scotland, as the Scots were not always welcoming to the Irish – an interesting suggestion of the boundaries of community. But nonetheless, under his Scottish name, he evidences a community where these mobile workers were accepted and where their work was made possible both through casual lodgings and care for another’s goods.37 Like many early modern communities, lower order Scots were relatively tolerant of beggars and vagrants, offering them charity and hospitality. But McDonald and Welsh were neither, and labour remains an important part of this story. If, as a long history of credit relations has shown, being part 34 Barclay (2011); Bailey (2003). 35 Crawford (2001),176. 36 Barclay (2018). 37 Hitchcock.

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of a household played a significant role in shaping perceptions of personal credit and character, then the industry of these mobile workers provided a legitimate explanation for their mobility, need for hospitality, the broadly ‘legal’ provenance of their goods, and that they did not pose a burden to the communities they entered.38 This was a fragile reputation, as Welsh’s emphasis on their economic competence in his testimony suggests. It was reinforced by a particular gendered narrative of their family relations. If this couple could not ground their reputations in a well-run and frugal household, they could nonetheless demonstrate their investment in the gendered ideals of the patriarchal marriage. They could produce a marital economy divested from the household, but based on the gendered distribution of their labour.39 Their sexual non-conformity also forms an interesting part of this history. As noted above, there was a significant connection between marital breakdown and geographic mobility for men. 40 Many of the marginal men who appear in the Scottish court records had lawful wives that they left behind, whilst forming new relationships on their travels. The anger of the Glaswegian crowd when Welsh returned with a new wife provides at least part of the reason why mobility might be necessary for those wishing to form new relationships. We might suggest then that the ‘household economies’ of mobile marriages, like the McDonalds and Welshes, are, like other early moderns, built on the emotional goals of families. If other families’ household economies sought to support an affectionate marriage, care for children or enable dynastic ambitions, they sought a happy productive family life on the road. Yet, that these goals were non-normative and disruptive to a larger social order in their rejection of legitimate marriage and a fixed address also caused challenges. McDonald’s vulnerability in this non-normative model is suggested by Welsh’s account of her distress on his suggestion that it end. He could continue on his journey; she must be returned to her family, a humiliation that she could not bear. Life on the road was significantly more threatening for lone women. Welsh’s account of his marriage then highlights a tension between his desire to demonstrate the couple’s ‘good character’, manifested through their economic sufficiency and ability to engage in neighbourly relations (if within a wider geographic area than most), and his need to highlight the couple’s independence from each other. This was a marriage of mutual support (where each brought resources and labour to the match and where he offered care 38 Hitchcock, 97; Muldrew. 39 For a discussion of marital economies see: Ågren and Erickson. 40 Barclay (2020).


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and support to his wife), but not one of dependency. Indeed, Welsh resists the co-dependency observed in many discussions of lower-order marriage. It becomes tempting to agree with Spufford, especially given the suggested dissolution of the relationship, that ‘marriage’ had a certain ‘lightness of attachment’ for this couple. But Welsh’s effort to demonstrate his active care and McDonald’s alleged distress at their future separation belies this. Rather, as Fumerton suggests, for poor mobile families, the self-sufficiency and independence of the individual traveller was part of their articulation of their union – the marriage that was both patriarchal in its conformity to gender norms but which provided space for female selfhood in the form of their economic contribution.

The Independent Child John Fee was ten years old when examined by the court. John Connolly, a causewayer, had accused the Hastings of ‘plagium’ (child abduction), and Fee was the alleged victim. 41 Fee, an illegitimate child, explained that his mother had apprenticed him to a chimney sweep in Whitehaven (Cumbria, England), when he was six. His employer had placed him in school, but a man named John Connolly had removed him and put him to work supporting Nancy McIntyre, a beggarwoman who pretended to be blind. Fee, Carlisle, McIntyre, and occasionally others, travelled across southern Scotland and northern England, begging, hawking ballads and labouring. Their home base was near Dumfries, where Carlisle and McIntyre had three adult children. The couple treated Fee badly, often hitting and striking him. After eighteen months, when he was around eight years old, Carlisle informed him that he was no longer needed, as they had found a girl to help McIntyre. Fee walked ten miles from Newcastle to South Shields, where he went to the home of Mary Cooper, a sailor’s wife that they often stayed with. He remained a week, during which time Ann Anderson, aka Mrs Hastings arrived. She was a Scottish hawker, who travelled selling muslins and gathering leeches. Cooper asked Anderson to take charge of Fee, as she could not afford him. Anderson agreed, as long as Fee had no objections. Fee said he had none – Anderson described this as being ‘very willing’ – so they walked back to Glasgow together. On arriving home, Anderson introduced Fee to her husband of over twenty-years, Thomas Hastings, a chimney sweep, and 41 This story is taken from NRS AD14/13/64 Thomas Hastings and Ann Anderson for plagium, 1813. A causewayer repairs roads.

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persuaded him to provide a home for the boy. Hastings reluctantly agreed. Fee reported being well cared for and educated in reading and writing by the Hastings, which explains why when Connolly charged them with plagium, he did not wish to leave them. Around two years after Fee joined the Hastings home, John Connolly appeared and demanded the return of his son. Connolly claimed that he had left Fee with a lodginghouse keeper, Mrs McQueen, whilst he was in the infirmary with an ague. According to Connolly, Fee had quarrelled with McQueen and ran away. Conolly had finally tracked the child across the country through a network of itinerant workers, before appearing at the Hastings’ home and recognising him at the table. Fee consistently denied that he knew this man was his father. The court was ambivalent – the father of an illegitimate child had no automatic rights and the Hastings, at least, provided a respectable home. Fee’s story provides significant insights into the making of family relationships amongst this group. His mother placed her child with a responsible employer, who trained him and placed him in school, but she also left. In 1812, she was still alive in the north of England but had not seen her son since he was six. Connolly, the purported biological father, abandoned mother and child but took charge of Fee when he was old enough to be useful for the travelling family. Fee became part of an itinerant group, who – he felt – exploited his labour but showed him little affection. Connolly claimed to have placed him in someone’s care when he went to hospital; Fee contested this, arguing that he was ‘dismissed’ and told to ‘go about his business’ – phrasing that reinforced his life with them as an economic, not affective, engagement. Mrs Cooper opened her home to the child and persuaded another mother to take responsibility for him. Anderson was reluctant as he was a ‘stranger’, but eventually convinced by the child’s ‘heartily embracing the proposal’. She in turn persuaded her husband, and the child finally found a home that he was satisfied with. Fee is located within this narrative as remarkably independent of family. On the one hand, many of the adults in this account clearly see a vulnerable child, needing to be cared for, perhaps open to exploitation. The women in particular seem to recognise that a young child requires someone to take responsibility, an extension of charitable hospitality into a more enduring relationship. But, in all their accounts – and despite his youth – Fee is accorded autonomy: Connolly claims he ‘ran away’ while the Hastings emphasise his freedom of choice and willingness to join them. In Fee’s account, the adults that should have cared – his parents – hand him to other adults and dismiss him when they are finished with him. Their affection and


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responsibility is bounded and limited and, on occasion, marked by cruelty. Instead, it is the parents that Fee chose, that he embraced heartily, went with willingly and refused to leave, who fulfilled family for Fee. It is an account of family that disrupts the dependency expected of the child, especially one so young, and which acts as a challenge to patriarchal familial norms, which place power and authority in the biological father. It is of course not only a convenient narrative for the court, but a necessary one for a group of adults that wish not to be held culpable for child theft/parental neglect. Given significant class differentials, it is challenging to discuss a normative ‘childhood’ in the eighteenth century. Certainly, high levels of mobility between households was not unusual due to the death of caregivers, as well as the expectation that children would be placed in apprenticeships or service in other people’s homes. 42 Yet, these arrangements are largely imagined within a patriarchal framework, with children, their desires, even sense of self, subordinated to family and particularly paternal interest. If evidence suggests that affectionate parents tried to provide their children with some choice in career or spouse, it was a choice offered within a framework of obedience to kin. 43 Fee rejects this model of family life for a story of unjust servitude, followed by active choice on his part. In doing so, he tapped into wider discussions about the boundaries of authority, particularly post-French Revolution, where tyrannical power should be tempered by affection. 44 His refusal of the patriarchal model is reinforced by his insistent denial of Connolly’s paternity, although the court thought there was little reason to think Connolly was in error about this. A reworking of family relationships to highlight greater equality between generations was part of late eighteenth-century discourse, not least seen in the revision of inheritance practices in France. However, it is unlikely that Fee was aware of such considerations.45 Rather it is productive to contrast his articulation of the parent-child relationship with those happening in other families of the period. Disputes between fathers and sons, particularly younger children, often foregrounded the tension between independence and obedience for the youth finding his way within a patriarchal family structure.46 For those who valued family, the affective connections and associated duties of the parent-child relationship reinforced the necessity of some conformity 42 43 44 45 46

Flinn; Safley. Wall; Barclay (2015, ‘Natural Affection’). Barclay (2015, ‘Natural’). Gleadle; Davidson and Verjus. Phillips; Barclay (2015, ‘Illicit’).

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from the child to parental strictures. Fee felt no such obligation. Importantly however, the Hastings, in a quiet claim to their ownership of the child, do emphasise the fulfilment of their responsibilities to Fee. They provided the classic parental duties, offering him a home, food, and education. 47 They eventually put him to work as a sweep, but not initially, waiting several months before doing so – a statement that appears designed to suggest that they were not looking simply for free labour. Fee, it was noted, was not paid for his labour, another nod to the familial nature of their connection. Fee’s independence then subverted obligations, requiring them of those who parented him but not – in the legal sphere at least – demanding the same of him. Like in the McDonald-Welsh case, recognisable articulations of patriarchal family life constantly bump against an autonomy granted to the unit’s various members. The child that was not attached to an identifiable household is afforded independence, particularly whilst moving; it is only when he finds a new more stable family that the traditional structures of family start to assert themselves. The disruption of Connolly’s legal challenge once more dislocates him, reopening an independence that foregrounds his freedom and choice. Notably, at least as articulated here, affection and connection, if possible on the road, are afforded a different character when in place. Movement, in its destabilisation of social order, required a new type of love for parent and child, husband and wife.

Conclusion The controversial sociologist Anthony Giddens suggests that the love of late modernity is marked by autonomy, where couple relationships enable the self-actualisation of the other. Thus narratives of devotion or sacrifice are put aside for working partnerships, which are more timebound and restricted to their useful life for the individual (not the group).48 Fumerton’s analysis of ‘unsettled’ selves in early modern England has a similar eye to modernity. In this, the new subjectivity produced by the ‘economy of mobility’ enabled ‘dispersed, serial’ selves formed beyond the traditional patriarchal structures of early modern England, pointing towards the individualism of later centuries. 49 It may be that the Scottish itinerant workers described here are part of a similar processes of historical change; that life on the road 47 Barclay (2015, ‘Natural’). 48 Giddens. 49 Fumerton, 51.


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promoted a certain independence that enabled a new self, or conversely that economic necessity promoted a more cooperative, autonomous, model for marriage and parent-child relations. Yet, I would like to suggest that place and mobility are also critical to this story. A stable home and being in community bound people not only into neighbourly relation, but also into a particular patriarchal vision of affective life. On the road, mobility and movement across multiple homes destabilised power structures, and their emotional dimensions, requiring a new articulation and practice of self and family. Perhaps reflecting the continual negotiations necessitated by moving through multiple homes, mobility across the landscape required a similar reworking of roles and identities within the family that offered members greater autonomy in relation to each other. Yet, these were not individuals outside of time and place and so these negotiations continued to be given meaning within a traditional imaginary of the patriarchal household that offered their life a veneer of respectability. This, at least, is how these families presented themselves to a court seeking to make sense of their relationships. In both cases, ambiguous conclusions to legal processes are suggestive of the challenge of translating such families for eighteenth-century audiences. Mary bled to death in a ditch by a field. Whether she was murdered or took her own life is not known. The jury returned the distinctive Scottish verdict of ‘not proven’ (neither innocent, nor guilty) at Welsh’s trial for murder. The Scottish prosecutor chose not to proceed with the case against the Hastings. The investigator recommended leaving the child with the couple, who could provide a better life than that on the road. Ultimately this was not his jurisdiction and Fee’s fate is unknown. The liminality of mobile families manifested in a legal system that equally failed to define their place.

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About the Author Katie Barclay is Associate Professor in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and Department of History, University of Adelaide. She writes on the history of family, emotions and gendered power. Her latest monograph is Men on Trial: Performing Emotion, Embodiment and Identity in Ireland, 1800–1845 (2019).


Relationships Lost and Found in the Mid-Sixteenth-CenturyIberian Atlantic An Englishman’s ‘Suffering Rewarded’ Heather Dalton

Abstract At 21, Robert Tomson had become an integral part of an English merchant’s household in Seville and in 1555 he joined their emigration to Mexico. There he fell victim to the Inquisition. After languishing in jails in Mexico City and Seville, Tomson resumed his career in Seville under the protection of another English merchant and married a Spanish heiress. On returning to England, Tomson, eager to avoid accusations of papacy, wrote an account of his experiences. In this chapter I look at the personal relationships and family connections central to his story, exploring a world where marriages that transcended national ties and traditional boundaries were central to individual survival and to the project of national expansion. Keywords: Robert Tomson, Inquisition, Seville, Mexico, trade, race, religion, family

In 1553 Robert Tomson, a Hampshire lad, went to reside with an English merchant and his Spanish wife in Seville. This was a common scenario by the 1550s when English merchants, who continued to thrive in Spain and its Atlantic colonies, were generally married to Spanish women. Such family units provided safe spaces for young Englishmen to learn Castilian, become familiar with Andalusian trading culture and acquire strategies for avoiding the attention of the Inquisition. By the age of 21 Tomson had become part of this merchant’s household and in 1555 he joined them in emigrating from

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch06


Heather Dalton

Spain to Mexico. After the merchant, his wife and children perished en route, Tomson was stranded alone in Mexico City. There he found employment in a Spanish household with no connection to the familial trading networks that had previously sustained and protected him. In 1557 his Spanish employer denounced him to the Inquisition for voicing ‘Lutheran’ opinions – making Tomson the first Englishman to fall foul of the Inquisition in Mexico. Tomson was found guilty and banished to Seville to serve out his sentence there. He eventually managed to resume working in Spain under the protection of an established English merchant before marring the daughter of a recently deceased rich Spanish merchant. On returning to England, Tomson wrote an account of his persecution in Mexico and financial redemption in Spain. Mindful of avoiding accusations of papacy, he framed his experiences as a pilgrim’s progress with his marriage a reward for his sufferings for his faith. Robert Tomson’s story of his travails in Spain and Mexico were published in 1599 in the third volume of the geographer Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations. ‘The voyage of Robert Tomson Marchant, into Nova Hispania in the yeere 1555 – with divers observations concerning the state of the Countrey – and certaine accidents touching himself’ was perfect for Hakluyt’s project in that it provided a unique and detailed description of Mexico City just thirty years after Cortés defeated the Aztecs. Moreover, in the wake of the defeat of the Armada, it fed into what is commonly known as ‘The Black Legend’, demonising the Spaniards as cruel colonisers devoted to Rome. Although Tomson’s account of his seven months in solitary confinement, his trial, the Auto da Fé, and his journey to freedom is essentially a propaganda piece for an English Protestant audience, it is a fairly accurate. In 1927, G. R. G. Conway, an Englishman living in Mexico City, published An Englishman in the Mexican Inquisition 1556–1560.1 The book contains Conway’s informative introduction and notes, Tomson’s story as in Principal Navigations, and Conway’s translation of the transcript of Inquisitorial Proceedings against Tomson, which confirm Tomson’s account as published by Hakluyt.2 Although Conway elaborates on many details of Tomson’s life, his work is of an antiquarian nature and he does not examine the background to Tomson’s arrest nor challenge Tomson’s claim that his marriage to a wealthy Spanish heiress was a God-given reward for his suffering. Conway’s choice of border 1 Conway’s An Englishman is available online at various sites. See, for example, https://archive. org/details/MN42000ucmf_3/page/n263 (accessed 15 May 2019). 2 References abbreviated as follows: Conways preface, introduction and notes (C); ‘The voyage of Robert Tomson Marchant’ from Principal Navigations in Conway (C/T); Conway’s translation of Inquisition, vol 32, no. 8, 32 folios, Mexican National Archives (C/I).

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for his frontispiece – that of the title page of the King Edward VI Prayer Book – is significant, adding weight to the idea that Tomson’s story is a straightforward account of a Protestant suffering for his faith at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition – and then emerging triumphant.3 While Tomson’s memoir provides a fascinating window into midsixteenth-century Mexico City, it does not elaborate on the networks that sustained him nor the details of his family life. Although the story has received some attention from English-language scholars, none have looked at all the documents in Spain’s archives in order to find out more about Tomson’s family life or his marriage. 4 In this chapter I aim to remedy this, looking at how and why young men started their mercantile careers far from home before examining the personal relationships and family connections central to Tomson’s story. In examining notarial records in the Archivo de Protocolos de Sevilla, I cast light on the variety of arrangements that fell under the heading of family. Specifically, I will be looking at the relationships behind Tomson’s apprenticeship in Seville, journey to Mexico, inquisitorial ordeal, and his return to Spain and fortunate marriage.5 Tomson’s world was one where young men were ideally protected; where parents entrusted their sons’ welfare to fellow guild members. It was also one that could be called a ‘gender frontier’, where marriages that transcended boundaries relating to nationality, class, race, and religion were as central to the survival of men and women on the margins, as they were to the project of national expansion.6

Apprenticeship in Seville Robert Tomson was born in Andover in Hampshire into a family with connections to Bristol, where he was sent as a teenager to board with a merchant to learn his trade. In March 1553, the nineteen-year old Tomson was sent to France, and then on to the Andalusian port of Seville. There, he boarded with John Field, an English merchant.7 Field was married to a local woman and when he and his Spanish wife took the twenty-one year old Tomson 3 Prayer book printed by Edward Whitchurch in 1552. The original woodcut was sent to Juan Pablos, who set up a press in Mexico for the Seville-based printer, Cromburger in Mexico. The border was used for books printed in Mexico in 1554, 1559, 1634 and 1638. 4 For studies of Tomson’s mercantile life, see: Connell-Smith and Sheaves. 5 See Hoffman. 6 See Croft (1989). Re. ‘gender frontiers’ see Kathleen Brown (1996) in Wiesner-Hanks (2012), 194. 7 C/T and C/I, 2 and 33–24; Sheaves, 28–39.


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into their household, Tomson was not yet ‘of age’. Until he was twenty-five, he could not sign a legal document in Castile and therefore could not send or receive goods. This meant that he operated as Field’s assistant rather than his fully-fledged factor. From the late medieval period, merchants’ young sons and nephews were sent to trading centres in Europe to learn foreign languages, accounting, and trading practices. Young men could go on to work as assistants, account clerks, cashers or cashiers, factors and eventually merchants running their own businesses.8 English merchants had congregated in the Andalusian ports of Cadiz, Puerto de Santa Maria, San Lucar de Barrameda and Seville from the fourteenth century. Along with Italian, Flemish, and French traders, they came to buy olive oil, wine, silk and raw wool and to sell cloth. When a royal decree in 1503 effectively gave Seville a monopoly over trade with the New World, the influx of foreigners – essentially all non-Castilians – grew. Although Seville was a cosmopolitan city with an increasingly fluid social structure, Castile’s rulers did not want outsiders to infiltrate their Atlantic possessions. The initial intention was to allow only Castilians and Christians to trade with the Indies. Because there was suspicion that some conversos (Jews who had converted to Christianity) continued to practice Judaism in secret, their access to ‘the Indies’ was also questioned. This meant that large numbers of merchants operated outside the parameters of legal trade. This caused problems for the authorities, as well as for the excluded merchants, as it became obvious that settlers of fledgling colonies, such as Hispaniola, would starve if the authorities maintained their ban on imports shipped in by ‘foreigners’. In February 1505, King Ferdinand attempted to settle the confusion by declaring that ‘strangers’ living in Seville, Cadiz or Jerez, who had lived in Spain for over fifteen years, owned property, and who had settled with families, should be considered Spaniards for the purposes of trade. This opinion was embodied in a decree, which included all foreigners living in Castile as long as they traded in association with Spanish merchants and employed Spaniards as their factors.9 Towards the end of the first decade of the sixteenth century, Seville’s notaries recorded an increase in the number of transactions involving English merchants. From these records we can see that among the strategies these merchants adopted in order to negotiate the city and overcome the obstacles to trading was to align themselves with one or more local merchants and, in some cases, with entire families. Although the English 8 9

Dalton (2016), 22, 25–41; Grassby, 178–196. Dalton (2016), 41–46.

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merchants in Seville could be said, in the words of Eric Spindler, to be a ‘portable community’, carrying their own ‘sense of identity’, some were more portable than others.10 While those who had the support of their countrymen and fellow guild members could prosper, those who made close relationships with local trading families could assimilate and thrive. In some cases, relationships with Spanish merchants led to English merchants marrying into the family. Marriage provided access to economic and political privileges and optimized the chances of foreign merchants acquiring wealth and property locally. Merchants relied on Spanish wives to cement local relationships, translate, check agreements and accounts, and oversee apprentices and factors. Although these wives often enjoyed material comfort and independence, and had more agency than women married to Spaniards, they inhabited a grey area in society and could face suspicion from their own community as well as the one they had married into.11 The conventional explanation is that after 1533, when Henry VIII made the break with Rome, English merchants found it difficult to maintain businesses in Spain. However, as Peter Marshall has suggested, even by the late 1530s when some English merchants in Andalusia began complaining of their treatment by the Spanish authorities, there was an element of ‘playing to the gallery’.12 Marshall points out that in 1539, when tension between Spain and England was high, William Ostrich, an English merchant living in San Lucar de Barrameda, made a point of noting that Spanish friends were supporting him and his colleagues in Seville.13 Ostrich had been elected as consul of The Spanish company in 1538 – an organisation set up in 1530 by English merchants for their welfare and protection in the Iberian Peninsula. Ostrich appointed John Field and another merchant, Thomas Harrison, as ‘collectors of the average’ in Seville.14 Although English merchants continued to live in and around Seville without incident until the end of the sixteenth century, as time went on the role of the consul became all the more vital. Thomas Pery, a citizen and clothworker of London who had been travelling to Ayamonte at the southernmost point of Spain’s border with Portugal for about 14 years, came to the attention of the Inquisition in 1539 for denying that Henry VII was a heretic. Pery was tortured, convicted, imprisoned for six month in the castle of Triana, and 10 Spindler. 11 Dalton (2016), 51–52. 12 Marshall, 37. 13 Dalton (2016), 129. 14 Connell-Smith, 95–7.


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had all his goods confiscated. Pery sent an account of his travails to Richard Field, a London-based merchant who regularly traded with Spain.15 In the letter Pery claimed that he would have died in prison had it not been for the kindness and practical support of John Field (probably a relative of Richard) and Thomas Harrison.16 It was generally agreed by the English merchants that if any of them intimated that Henry VIII was a true Christian they were ‘with moch creweltye put in pryson and their goodis lost forever and theyr life in gret daunger’.17 The greatest fear was that merchants, locked away and tortured, could implicate their fellow Englishmen. In July 1540 a group of English merchants, including John Field, assembled to prepare and sign an account of their predicament for the king.18 By the time Tomas joined the Field family in Seville in 1553, John Field had been trading from Seville for about twenty years. By this time he would have become skilled at negotiating the religious minefield in which he traded and, as Pery attested, able to offer assistance to those who fell foul of the Inquisition. Although the ill treatment of English merchants at the hands of the Spanish had become a familiar, if not always justified, motif by the 1550s, English merchants married to Spanish women generally thrived. The historian C.H. Haring referred to these men as ‘Anglo-Spaniards’.19 Tomson’s family in England would have presumed that in joining Field, Tomson would be ensconced in an Anglo-Spanish household where he would not only learn the skills of trading, he would be safe and well-schooled in how to avoid the attention of the Inquisition.

Journey to Mexico After two years lodging with the Fields, Tomson was sufficiently integrated into their household to join them when Field obtained a license to take them to ‘the Indies’ – to Mexico. Family connections in ‘the Indies’ made it easier to get the license, providing connections were to an Old Christian family. Authorities overseeing migration at the Casa de Conratación (House of Trade) did not want anyone with Muslim or Jewish ancestry emigrating. Field had Spanish friends in Vera Cruz (later known as Veracruz) and his 15 16 17 18 19

Thomas Pery to Richard Field, 1539. Cotton MS Vesp. C/VII, f. 91v–95r, British Library (BL). Connell-Smith, 111–20. Connell-Smith, 119. Connell-Smith, 120–122. Dalton (2016), 128–129; Haring, 258. See also Eldred.

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wife may well have had family there. Unfortunately, as neither Field nor Tomson ever recorded her name, this cannot be confirmed. As Jane Mangan explains in her study of family in Peru, those Europeans emigrating to the New World relied on experienced family members for information as to what to pack, what to expect and, most importantly ‘how to stay safe’. No family approached a transatlantic voyage as an adventure. It was a project fraught with danger, undertaken only after careful planning in the hope of improved opportunities for all family members.20 From the 1540s the common arrangement was for groups of merchant ships sailing for the New World to be accompanied by military ships. Although English and Dutch corsairs became a significant threat to such fleets after 1560, at the time the Fields were travelling, the hazard was French corsairs.21 The route from Seville to the port of Vera Cruz in Mexico could take as little as 75 sailing days, but usually took longer with prolonged stops in the Canary Islands and Hispaniola.22 In February 1555 the Field’s household made the six-day trip from San Lucar to Gran Canaria. The fact that their ship was shot at as it entered the port because they were mistaken for ‘French rovers’ highlights the paranoia initiated by the French threat.23 The party spent three weeks on the island, socialising with the English ‘servants’ of London merchants, Anthony Hickman and Edward Castelin, before sailing on to Teneriffe where they stayed for seven months waiting for the fleet to gather.24 In October 1555 they boarded a ship owned by John Sweeting, an Englishman based in Cadiz with his Spanish wife. Leonard Chiltern, Sweeting’s son-in-law, was the captain. Another Englishman, Ralph Sarre, boarded one of the other seven ships in the fleet. They were delayed on Hispaniola after the vessel’s keel was damaged as they entered the port of San Domingo, setting sail in January 1556, eleven months after leaving Spain. Twenty-four days later the fleet was ravaged by a storm off the coast of Mexico and the vessel carrying Fields and Tompson sank.25 The family were saved by another ship and ferried into the island of San Juan de Ulua ‘very naked and distressed of apparel and all other things’.26 Tomson’s vivid recollection of a tragedy averted sums up the dangers faced and battering 20 Mangan (2016), 112, 118–119. 21 Mangan (2016), 113. 22 Kamen, 4. 23 C/T, 3–4. 24 C/T, 5. Hickman and Castelin were both members of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London. 25 C/T, 6–8. 26 C/T, 9.


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endured by individuals, especially servants or slaves, desperate to keep loved ones close and alive: I do remember that the last person that came out of the ship into the boat was a woman blacke moore, who leaping out of the ship into the boat, with a yong sucking child in her armes, lept too short, and fell into the sea, and was a good while under the water before the boat could come to rescue her, and with the spreading of her clothes rose above water againe, and was caught by the coat & pulled into the boate having still her child under her arme, both of them halfe drowned, and yet her naturall love towards her child would not let her let the childe go. And when she came aboord the boat she helde her childe so fast under her arm still, that two men were scant able to get it out.27

In the mainland port of Vera Cruz they stayed with Gonzalo Ruiz de Córdova, an old friend of Field’s. Ruiz had previously shipped wine from Seville to Vera Cruz in the Trinidad, a ship co-owned by Field’s colleague Thomas Harrison.28 According to Tomson, Ruiz was ‘a very rich man of the town’, receiving Field ‘and all his household into his house, and kept us there a whole month, making us very good cheer’. Ruiz provided new clothes, money, mules and horses to his guests, who had lost everything in the wreck, so that they could embark on the overland trek to Mexico City.29 Just two days into the 400 kilometre journey, Tomson ‘fell sick of an ague’ and had to be carried ‘upon Indians backes’. Eventually the Fields became ill and within eight days of their arrival in Mexico City, Field, Field’s wife, at least one of their children and two other members of the household died – leaving only four, including Tomson, alive.30

Inquisitorial Ordeal in Mexico City Alone in Mexico City, Tomson was near death himself and spent six months convalescing, three of them in a hospital bed.31 Once recovered, he emerged into, what was for him, a totally alien environment. Although there were 27 C/T, 8 28 C/T, 10; Record of Alonso de Cazalla, 12 May 1543, file 15, book 2, f. 1, Archivo de Protocolos de Sevilla [APS]. 29 C/T, 7–10. 30 C/T, 10–11. 31 C/T, 11.

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around 1500 Spanish households in Mexico City by the mid 1550s, Tomson remembered that ‘In my time, were dwelling and alive in Mexico, many ancient men that were of the Conquerors.’ He never mentioned what happened to the remaining members of his household and although there were foreign merchants in the settlement, including Ralph Sarre, none appear to have been linked to Field’s network. If Field had been joining a colleague or family member in Mexico City, they do not appear to have reached out to Tomson. Indeed, Conway suggests that Tomson was the ‘first Englishman who appears to have resided in Mexico at this early date’.32 This explains Tomson’s claim that he would have been quite alone if not befriended by Tomás Blaque (Thomas Black or Blake).33 Blaque was a Scottish hosier (the son of William Blake and Agnes Mowat) who had had arrived in Mexico in 1535 as a teenager after taking part in the conquest of New Grenada (Colombia). Blaque had settled in Mexico City and in 1544 married Francisca de Ribera, the widow of Cristóbal de Canyego. Canyego was a conquistador who had been ‘Nuncio and Fiscal of the Inquisition’ when the Basque Franciscan Juan de Zumárraga was the first bishop of Mexico..34 The records of the Seville-based notary Alonso de Cazalla indicate that during 1556 Blaque was appointed by the Seville-based heirs of the recently deceased Francisco López and Hernán Rodríguez de Sanabria, a clergyman, to oversee the collection of their assets in Mexico. Although neither Blaque nor his Seville-based contacts appear to have had a link to Field’s circle, in 1556 Blaque was sorting out the estate of Rodríguez de Sanabria in Vera Cruz when Tomson and Field’s family arrived there.35 He may have known Gonzalo Ruiz, Field’s host, and felt some sympathy for the sick lad from the British Isles. Blaque found Tomson a job in the service of a wealthy Spaniard, Gonzalo Cerezo – a page to Cortéz who had become High Constable of the Court.36 This would have been a totally new experience for the young man whose employment experience to date had involved trading in an anglicised environment. Tomson had been living in Cerezo’s household for just over a year when at dinner on 31 August 1559, the head steward, Manuel Borges, asked 32 C, xxi, 33 C/T, 11. 34 C/T, 11; C, xxi, 34, 93; Flint and Flint (2005), 606; Flint (2013), 549. If Blaque was telling the truth when he described himself as 23 years old in 1540 when he joined the Coronado Expedition, he would have been 15 when he took part in the conquest of New Grenada. 35 Records of Alonso de Cazalla, 20 March and 7 December 1556, file 15, book 1, f. 610 v and book 11, ff. 1163–1164, APS. Hernán Rodríguez de Sanabria was a priest in Vera Cruz. 36 C/T, 11; C, xxi, 93–94.


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him whether it was true that in England, monasteries had been overthrown, images of the saints destroyed and ‘obedience to the Pope of Rome’ denied. Tomson assented, pointing out that it was ‘the expresse commandment of Almighty God, Thou shalt not make to thy selfe any graven image’.37 He may have thought that if he had simply answered ‘yes’, he might have endangered himself and that referencing the second of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:4) was a safer option. However, Cerezo objected strongly to Tomson’s answer for he had just spent over 7000 pesos on a gold and silver Madonna encrusted with pearls for the Cathedral of Santo Domingo in Mexico City. Although Tomson pointed out that the words were not his and that those present could look them up in the scriptures, nine days later he was arrested by the Inquisition.38 He was charged with making ‘certain remarks similar to those, which are used by the accursed Lutheran heretics, and derogatory to the Holy Catholic Faith’ (the term ‘Lutheran’ was commonly applied to all Protestants).39 When he first appeared before the Inquisition on 12 September 1559, Tomson was able to reassure his inquisitors that his parents did not have ‘any strain of Jews, or Moors or Converts’, that none of his relatives had been condemned by the Holy Inquisition for heresy, and that he had not been to Germany.40 Tomson reported that he could not recollect having said ‘anything against the said Faith’, and, if he had, it was because he ‘was not in his proper senses at the time’. He said that he had confessed four times since his arrival in Mexico City and that he went to mass on Sundays and Feast Days. He ‘asked pardon of the Lord’ and submitted himself to ‘the correction which our Holy Mother Church may impose’. Tomson claimed that he owned only the clothes he was wearing and his bedding and that his employer Cerezo owed him 20 to 30 pesos for his services.41 Locked up in a prison cell, Tomson was beyond the help of the English mercantile community. Thomas Blaque had died in April 1557 and the only people who may have been able to help were Gonzalo Ruiz, or Ralph Sarre. While Ruiz, who was in Vera Cruz, was probably unaware of what had happened to Tomson, Sarre, who was working in the household of Don García de Albornoz, a councilor of the city, would have surely been loath to bring attention to himself or his employer.42 Moreover, as Conway points out, as Tomson was the first Englishman to 37 38 39 40 41 42

C/T, 14–15 C/T, 14–15; C/I, 40. Chuchiak, 257. C/I, 34. C/I, 35–37. C, xxii–xxiii

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‘suffer at the hands of the Inquisition in America’, his arrest may have come as a shock to his peers. 43 Elizabeth I had succeeded her half sister, Mary, in November 1558 and been crowned eight months before Tomson came to the attention of the Inquisition. This change in regime meant that not only were the colony’s episcopal Inquisitors testing the waters, English merchants were coming to terms with the fact that they were suddenly more exposed than they had been under the rule of Mary I and Philip II of Spain. Although the Inquisition was not formally established in Mexico until 1571, the Spanish Inquisition had operated there since 1529 because the Council of Mexico was concerned about ‘the commerce with strangers here carried on, and because of the many corsairs abounding upon our coasts, which may bring their evil customs among both natives and Castillians’.44 After seven months in solitary confinement and several re-examinations, the Inquisition found Tomson guilty of being aware of the Lutheran heresy AND adhering to it. 45 Based mainly on the evidence of Cerezo’s household staff – the head steward, Manuel Borges, and Cerezo’s page, Jorje Manuel, who slept in the bed next to Tomson’s – it was reported that he had spoken out against the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ on several occasions, did not make the Sign of the Cross, nor attend Mass. 46 The fact that he was able to translate prayers – such as the Pater Noster and Ave Maria, may have mitigated his circumstances. 47 In March 1560 Tomson and the man in the neighbouring cell, the Genoese Augustin Boacio, were paraded at an Auto da Fe. 48 This was on a smaller scale than those in Spain but, nevertheless, quite a spectacle. The officialdom of Mexico City attended as Tomson was paraded before the High Church in the city’s central square before being taken to a scaffold before the high altar. Tomson reckoned that between five and six thousand people watched and that none of them understood ‘what Lutheranes were, nor what it meant’. 49 He claimed that although the people had been warned that he and his co penitents were ‘more like devils than men’, the women and children cried out ‘that they never saw goodlier men in all their lives’ and that ‘we were more like Angels among men’.50 If this was true, then the performance was not having the desired effect upon 43 C, xxxviii 44 Chuchiak. 45 C, 94. 46 C/T, 11; C/I, 42–44. 47 C/I, 67–68. 48 C/T 11: For Augustin Boacio, see Kinder. 49 C/T, 11; Chuchiak, 51, 150–152. 50 C/I, 25; C/T 12–13.


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the indigenous population, because the intention was that those wearing sambenitos (penitential tunics and hats) would be subjected to public contempt prior to the reconciliation process.51 Tomson was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and to ‘weare the S. Benito for three years’, while Boacio was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment and his goods confiscated.52 Both men were to serve their sentences in Castille. The fact that Tomson was without friends or funds is confirmed by the fact that the 50 pesos needed for his fare back to Spain were taken from the confiscated funds of Boacio.53 After Tomson left, the sanbenito he wore at the Auto da Fé was marked with his name and hung in the Cathedral. The last reported sighting of it there was over a century later, in 1667.54

Rebuilding a Life in Spain Tomson and Boacio made the gruelling journey back overland ‘in fetters’ to Vera Cruz and on to San Jual Ullua before being placed on a ship bound for Spain. Boacio leapt overboard near the Azores after telling Tomson that he feared that the Inquisition in Seville would burn him. He survived, travelled to Lisbon and later settled in London.55 Tomson made it back to Seville and served his three-year sentence there. The fact that he survived the ordeal was probably due to the fact that he was once again within the sphere of English merchants married to Spanish women, with experience of operating in what was a profitable but sometimes dangerous environment. His main support was Hugh Tipton, a Bristol merchant who had succeeded William Ostrich as consul of The Spanish Company.56 Tipton would have had sympathy for Tomson for, as young man, he and a fellow factor, Thomas Shipton, were denounced to the Inquisition, processed before the altar of the Church in San Sebastian and fined 600 ducats with costs.57 In August 1537, while residing in the Basque port of Rentería, Tipton had advised newly arrived merchants to minimise their contact with the Spanish ‘for they 51 Bethencourt, 155–168. 52 C/T, 12–13. 53 C/I, 170–71, 94. Agustin Soacio was arrested at Zacatecas and tried in 1559 for speaking against purgatory and the confession, and for other heresies (Inquisition Records, Vol. 31. 193 Mexican National Archives. 54 C/T, 14; C, 96. 55 C/T, 13. 56 Tipton held the position until his departure from Andalusia in 1570. Connell-Smith, 124. 57 S.P. 70/111 no. 577; Harl. 36 f. 26v in Croft (1973), vii–xxix; Smythe, 13–14.

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have not orderyd oure nassyon well this yere’. By the time he was consul in Seville, Tipton’s advice to young merchants was to avoid drinking too much and womanising, pursuits that could loosen tongues and get them into trouble. At least if they settled down and married a local woman, she could not only advise them how to behave, her family connections could give added protection.58 When Tomson was released from Prison, Tipton promptly hired him as his ‘casher’. Within a year, the newly employed Tomson had married the daughter of a recently deceased Spanish merchant, thus taking an important step in optimizing his chances of surviving in the Iberian Atlantic. He claimed that his wife, Marie de la Barrera, was the only daughter and heir of the wealthy Juan de la Barrera, who had died at sea on his way from Mexico to Seville. In his written account, Tomson presented his marriage as his triumph and his reward for his tribulations, claiming that the marriage was ‘worth to mee 2500 pounds in barres of golde and silver, besides jewels of great price’.59

Tomson’s Marriage to Maria de la Barrera As marriage to a local woman provided access to economic and political privileges, optimizing the chances of acquiring wealth and property, it is not surprising or unusual that Tomson should choose to wed Marie de la Barrera. However, what is surprising is that the family or guardian of a wealthy heiress would allow her to marry a penniless foreign merchant who had just got out of prison and had to wear the Sambenito whenever he left the house. Tomson claimed that Maria de la Barrera simply arrived in Seville – a recently orphaned heiress – and married him. He put his good fortune down to ‘the goodnes of God to all them that put their trust in him, that I being brought out of the Indies, in such great misery and infamy to the world, should be provided at Gods hand in one moment, of more then in all my life before I could attaine unto by my owne labour’.60 Unless we accept Tomson’s explanation of heavenly intervention, there has to be more to this story – and there is. By the time Robert Tomson reached Vera Cruz, it was an established slaving centre. The first slave rebellion in Mexico had taken place there in 1537. Had Field not died, I suspect Tomson would have become involved in the lucrative business of trading enslaved people. He may have been a young man from 58 Connell-Smith, 101–102, 105, 122, 126. 59 C/T, 14. 60 C/T, 14.


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Andover but, by the time he arrived in Vera Cruz, Tomson was ensconced in trading networks that linked the Iberian Peninsula to America and Africa. Maria’s father, Juan de la Barrera, was known as an indianos (someone who had resided in ‘the Indies’ for a long period) and he was an important figure in Vera Cruz. He had begun trading in slaves while running a pearling business on the island of Cubagua between Trinidad and the Venezuelan coast.61 In 1529 he returned to Spain, leaving partners and factors, including his son Alonso de la Barrera, to run the pearl business in Cubagua.62 In 1542 Cortez had contracted for 500 slaves to be shipped directly from West Africa to Mexico and, as the indigenous population was increasingly depleted by disease, the demand for labour grew. By the 1550s Barrera was slave trading, making maritime loans, dealing in pearls, alum, almonds and a variety of other goods, and owned cattle ranches and plantations in Puerto Rico and Cabo de la Vela. Unlike many merchants, who relied solely on factors, Barerra retained the habit of travel and crisscrossed the Atlantic in the Santa Catalina, a vessel he part-owned. His most regular trips were between Seville, the Cape Verde islands, West Africa and Vera Cruz.63 He died in 1560/61, during one of these crossings.64 We have corroborating evidence that Juan de la Barrera was Tomson’s father-in-law because in 1567 an Englishman in Mexico City, Henry Hawkes, received a letter from Tomson, who was by this time 34 and living in Malaga.65 In the letter, Tomson asks for help in retrieving 1800 pesos of his father-in law’s estate. Specifically asking: be so good as to delyvar my letres unto Sancho Flores, which goth in one with Honfrey Rickthorne’s, and desire him to tacke with of Francisco Tyrado of Mexico and delyvar him a letre of mine which goeth in one 61 Dalton (2012), 104–105. 62 Alonso is described as ‘hijo de Juan de la Barrera’ in many documents. For example: Record of Francisco de Castellanos, 24 December 1529, file 5, book r, f. 500 v. and Record of Alonson la Barrera, 22 September 1530, file 1, book 2, f. 211, APS. 63 For examples of Barrera’s activities, see records of the following notaries: Anón Ruiz de Porras, 28 May 1528, file 3, f. 479; Francisco de Castellanos, 26 March, 6 April 1526, file 5, book 2, f. 91 v, f. 172. 29 December 1526, file 5, book 4, f. 354 v, 27 June 1530, file 5, book 3, f. 251; Alonso de la Barrera, 23 September 1530, file 1, book 2, f. 219 v, 13 February 1531, file 1, book 1, f. 465 v; Pedro de Coronado, 5 July 1535, 4 January 1538, 19 February, 15 March, 24–26 April, 12 July, 26 September 1539, f ile 10, f. 15 v, f. 38, f. 32, f. 116, ff. 50–55 v, f. 51 v, 65 v; Alonso de Cazalla: 8 March 1542, 29 March, 3 June, 16 September, 23–29 October 1549, 28 June, 6 September 1553, and 30 June 1556, file 15, book 2, f. 581, f. 667 v, f. 1178, f. 461, f. 966–967, f. 1010, f. 1012, f. 17, f. 533 v and f. 30; 9 June 1551, file 15, book 1, f. 643; Juan Franco, 18 March 1551, file 15, book 1, ff. 1221–1222, APS. Note that Barrera also owned or part-owned other vessels during his long career. 64 C/T, 14. 65 C, xxxviii.

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with his and knowe of him how the matre standith as conserninge a 1800 pesos that he remaynyth to covar of my wyfe’s father’s goods.66

Tomson informs Hawkes that he has written to Tyrado ‘divars tymes’ over three years regarding his wife’s estate, but has never heard back from him. Tyrado (probably the Francisco Tiraldo born in Fuente de Cantos who moved to Mexico in 1534) was, according to Tomson, a great friend of Barrera’s, his wife’s godfather, and a man known for his honesty.67 As others in Mexico had received and answered his letters, Tomson was increasingly concerned that Tyrado was simply ignoring him. He was right to be worried for there were many claims on the estate of Juan de la Barrera, as there were on the estates of many merchants who established several households across the Atlantic.68 Juan de La Barrera had only one legitimate daughter, Ana de la Barrera, and she was his sole heir. She was married to Melchor Maldonado de Saavedra and the Archivo General de Indias contains several documents relating to their attempts to manage her father’s businesses and claim his estate.69 Their endeavors were complicated by the fact that Juan de la Barrera appears to have had several other children with Beatriz of Jerez, (apart from Alonso who he left managing his pearl business): Fernán Sánchez and Isabel de la Barrera, and possibly also Leonore de Sevilla.70 Although Barrera and Beatriz are described as being spouses (esposos) in a notary document in which power of attorney is granted to their son (a su hijo Alonso de Barrera), it is likely she was his common law wife and therefore their children were illegitimate and thus not legal heirs.71 Alonso de Barrera, who was married to María de Barrionuevo, spent most of his time in Venezuala and Porto Rica. His son, Hernando de la Barrera was his heir.72 In Seville in the early spring of 1560, Juan de la Barrera transferred his interest in the pearling business to Juan Pablos and Alonso Camacho, and Alonso de la Barrero 66 C, 95. 67 Francisco Tirado a Nueva España, 4 September 1534, Con. 5536, L. 5, f. 20r (4), Archivo General de Indias [AGI]. 68 See Dalton (2016), 56–71. 69 For example: Privilegios de Juros, ‘De Melchor Maldonado de Saavedra y de Ana de la Barrera, su mujer’, Cont. 1070, 1567, no. 12; ‘De doña Ana de la Barrera, hija de Juan de la Barrera’, Cont. 1058, 1561, n. 24; ‘Petición de Ana de la Barrera’, 21 June 1572, Pan. 236, L.10, ff. 288–288v, AGI. 70 Eugenio Martínez, 10–12. 71 Record of Pedro Fernández, 30 December 1529, file 15, book 1, sig. 17,460, APS. Note that in some secondary sources Beatriz is listed as ‘Beatriz de Sevilla’. 72 Eugenio Martínez, 12–13.


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transferred his interest to his son, Hernando.73 After this, neither Juan nor Alonso appear in the records so both could have died around this time, probably lost at sea as Tomson alleges. So where does Maria de la Barrera fit in? The fact that Tomson noted at the bottom of his letter to Hawkes that his wife’s brother was ‘Symon dela Barrera’, son of John de la Barrera’, provides a key. In 1579 a special license was provided to Simón de la Barrera to travel to Mexico. In the application Simón is described as having been born in Mexico to Juan de la Barrera and Ana de la Barrera. While Ana is described as ‘Indian’ (indio), Symon is described as being half Spanish/half Indian (mestizo).74 Thus, it appears that Maria was the sister of ‘Symon’: the illegitimate daughter, born of a relationship between Juan de la Barrera and a local woman he met while on business in Vera Cruz. As Jane Mangan has pointed out, in this period, men who did not want such children to be ‘lost among the Indians’ would bring their mixed race children to live with their relatives in Spain when they could not be with them and thus Maria may have been in Seville when her father died.75 Juan de la Barrera had spent a lifetime in the company of families operating at the margins. In Africa he had liaised with traders descended from Portuguese settlers from the Cape Verde Islands and Florentine and Genoese merchants who, intent on benefiting from the slave trade, had invested in the region. These African Europeans (degredados or lançados as they were variously referred to) were viewed with suspicion by the Portuguese and Spanish authorities. Many were conversos who had fled persecution on the Iberian Peninsula, and others were mixed race as a result of relationships between European men and African women.76 As he built his pearl trading business in Venezuela, and extended his trading operation to Mexico and other Atlantic regions, Barrera appears to have set up at least one household, with Simón and Maria’s mother, and there may have been others. That Maria was illegitimate is unlikely to have fazed Tomson as many rich English merchants in Seville fathered illegitimate children. Even when they did not acknowledge these children in their wills, they often made complex arrangements with fellow merchants to vouchsafe their wellbeing. That Maria de la Barrera was mixed race may have meant the couple faced discrimination, but in the early 1560s Seville was a place 73 ‘Powers’ of Juan and Alonso de la Barrera, 3 January and 11 February 1560, Just. ff. 129, 224–228, AGI. 74 ‘Expediente de concesión’, 1579, Ind. 2059, N. 169, AGI. 75 Mangan (2013). 76 Dalton (2012), 91–123, 104.

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where there were many mixed-race relationships.77 It is uncertain as to whether Tomson ever managed to extract his wife’s inheritance from her godfather. When Henry Hawkes applied for a license to go to the Indies and sell wine in 1567 he named Robert Tomson as his referee, and is likely to have wanted to help his English colleague. However, as negotiations regarding Elizabeth’s marriage to the Hapsburg Archduke had broken down, there was a further hardening of attitudes regarding religious differences. In 1570 Hawkes, who by then was going by the name of Pero Sanchez, fell foul of the Inquisition. Tomson’s letter to Hawkes survived because it was seized, along with Hawke’s other papers, and filed by the Inquisition. Although Hawkes escaped from prison the next year and provided Hakluyt with a description of Mexico, he did not mention his Inquisition experience, probably because his Spanish wife was still alive.78 By this time, Tomson had returned to England and, whether Maria de la Barrera was still alive or not, he had no qualms about naming her in his memoirs. However, Tomson did not elaborate on her true background or, if he did, Hakluyt may well have expunged the details. Although the era when interracial and transnational marriage and families were seen as what Ann McGrath describes as a ‘rupture in colonialism’s longed-for neatness’ was very much in the future, Hakluyt’s vision did not really engage with the idea of family, let alone family that crossed racial and/or religious boundaries. Indeed, even when it comes to colonial historiography, ‘stories of marriages across colonising boundaries have not entered the main plotlines’.79

Conclusion Juan de la Barrera appears in many studies of Spain’s ‘Golden Age’, but in that genre of an Atlantic sojourner, a striving European man alone.80 The fact that illegitimate children like Maria lived with and often travelled with their fathers appears in minor notary paperwork, but was and is not mentioned in official records or subsequent studies. Maria and her brother, Simón de la Barrera, grew up in one of those forgotten households that shaped the Atlantic World. Like Martín Cortés, known as ‘el Mestizo’, the illegitimate son of Hernán Cortés and his indigenous interpreter (La Malinche or doña 77 78 79 80

Dalton (2012), 105–110. See Sheaves, 1–2. McGrath, xiv. Hardwick, Pearsall & Wulf, 205–224.


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Marina), they would have led a life a life of privilege, but a life on the margins nevertheless.81 Just as Maria’s transient origins would have engendered suspicion in Seville, so Tomson’s survival of the Inquisition and subsequent conversion to Roman Catholicism would have engendered suspicion when he returned to England during Elizabeth’s reign. By fashioning his story as a tale of redemption with a God-given gift at the end, Tomson glossed over his conversion and presented a version of events that hinged on a religious binary rather than reflecting a world that hinged on opportunism and compromise. In the first half of the sixteenth century, the Atlantic frontier was ‘a space defined by changing family relationships’ for people not only lived close by those who they classed as different, they had family ties with them.82 The story of Tomson and Barrera is not unusual – it is typical. For example, the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci’s wife, Maria Cerezo, and her sister Catalina were illegitimate daughters attached to a noble house.83 For those in Tomson’s trading circle, the Inquisition was an inconvenience to trade rather than a barrier and unions of outsiders, like that of Robert Tomson and Maria de la Barrera, were central to the project of national expansion and empire building.

Works cited Bethencourt, Francisco. ‘The Auto da Fé: Ritual and Imagery.’ Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 55 (1992): 155–168. Chuchiak, John F. IV. The Inquisition in New Spain, 1536–1820: A Documentary History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 2012). Connell-Smith, Gordon. Forerunners of Drake: A Study of English Trade with Spain in the Early Tudor Period (London: Longmans for the Royal Empire Society, 1954). Conway, G.R.G. An Englishman in the Mexican Inquisition 1556–1560; being an account of the voyage of Robert Tomson to New Spain, his trial for heresy in the city of Mexico and other contemporary historical documents (Mexico City: privately printed, 1927). Croft, Pauline. ‘Introduction: The first Spanish company, 1530–85.’ In The Spanish Company, ed. Pauline Croft (London: London Record Society, 1973), vii–xxix. –––. ‘Trading with the Enemy, 1585–1604.’ Historical Journal 32/2 (1989): 281–302. Dalton, Heather. Merchants and Explorers: Roger Barlow, Sebastian Cabot and Networks of Atlantic Exchange, 1500 –1560 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). 81 For an exploration of the life of ‘el Mestizo’, see Lanyon. 82 Manning, 301. 83 Fernández-Armesto, 51; Dalton (2016), 51, 65.

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–––. ‘“Into speyne to selle for slavys”: English, Spanish, and Genoese Merchant Networks and Their Involvement with the “Cost of Gwynea” Trade before 1550.’ In Brokers Of Change: Atlantic Commerce And Cultures In Pre-Colonial Western Africa, ed. Toby Green, British Academy Proceedings Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 91–123. Eldred, Jason. ‘“The Just will pay for the Sinners”: English Merchants, the Trade with Spain, and Elizabethan Foreign Policy, 1563–1585.’ Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 10/1 (2010): 5–28. Eugenio Martínez, María Ángeles. ‘Una Empresa de Perlas: los Barrera en el Caribe.’ Huelva y América: Actas de las XI Jornadas de Andalucía y América 2 (1993): 9–38. Fernández-Armesto, Felipe. Amerigo: The Man who Gave his Name to America (NY, NY: Random House, 2008). Flint, Richard. Great Cruelties Have Been Reported: The 1544 Investigation of the Coronado Expedition (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013). Flint, Richard and Shirley Cushing Flint. Documents of the Coronado Expedition, 1539–1542 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2005). Grassby, Richard. The Business Community of Seventeenth-Century England (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1995). Hardwick, J., Pearsall, S. M. S., & Wulf, K. ‘Introduction: Centering families in Atlantic histories.’ William and Mary Quarterly 70/2 (2013): 205–224. Haring, Clarence Henry. Trade and Navigation between Spain and the Indies in the Time of the Hapsburgs (Gloucester, Mass: P. Smith, 1964). Hoffman, Paul E. ‘The Archivo de Protocolos de Sevilla.’ Itinerario 5/1 (1981): 39­45. Kamen, Henry. Early Modern European Society (London: Routledge, 2000). Kinder, A. Gordon. ‘Agostino Boazio: A Genoese Protestant’s Adventure with the Spanish Inquisition.’ Mediterranean Studies 5 (1995): 51–62. Lanyon, Anna. The New World of Martín Cortés (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2004). Mangan, Jane E. ‘Moving Mestizos in Sixteenth-Century Peru: Spanish Fathers, Indigenous Mothers, and the Children In Between.’ The William and Mary Quarterly 70/2 (2013): 273–294. –––. Transatlantic Obligations, Creating the Bonds of Family in Conquest-Era Peru and Spain (NY, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016). Manning, Patrick. ‘Frontiers of Family Life: Early Modern Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds.’ In Expanding Frontiers in South Asian and World History: Essays in Honour of John F. Richards, eds. Richard Eaton, Munis Faeuqui, David Gilmartin and Sunil Kumar (Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 299–318. Marshall, Peter. ‘The Other Black Legend: The Henrician Reformation and the Spanish People.’ The English Historical Review 116/465 (2001): 31–49. McGrath, Ann. Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia (University of Nebraska Press, 2015).


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Sheaves, Mark. ‘The Anglo-Iberian Atlantic as a Hemispheric System? English merchants navigating the Iberian Atlantic’, in Entangled Empires: The AngloIberian Atlantic, 1500–183, ed. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), 19–41. Smythe, John. The Ledger of John Smythe, 1538–1550. From the Transcript Made by John Angus, ed. Jean Vanes (London: HMSO/Bristol Record Society 28, 1974), Spindler, Eric. ‘Between Sea and City: Portable Communities in Late Medieval London and Bruges.’ In London and beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene, eds. Matthew Davies and James Galloway (London: London Institute of Historical Research, 2012), 181–200. Tomson, Robert. ‘The voyage of Robert Tomson Marchant, into Nova Hispania in the yeere 1555 – with divers observations concerning the state of the Countrey – and certaine accidents touching himself.’ In Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, made by sea or over-land, to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the earth. London, 1589, 1598–1600. Wiesner-Hanks, Merry.‘Early Modern Women and the Transnational Turn’. Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 7 (2012): 191–202.

About the Author Heather Dalton is an Honorary Fellow in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, and member of the Cabot Project at the University of Bristol. She is the author of Merchants and Explorers: Roger Barlow, Sebastian Cabot and Networks of Atlantic Exchange, 1500–1560 (2016) and ‘A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo in fifteenth-century Mantua: Rethinking symbols of sanctity and patterns of trade’, Renaissance Studies 28/5 (2014), which won the ANZAMEMS’ inaugural Philippa Maddern Early Career Researcher Publication Prize in 2016. Dr Dalton’s most recent publication is ‘Santiago Matamoros/Mataindios: Adopting an Old World Battlefield Apparition as a New World Representation of Triumph’ in Emotions, Identity, and Cultural Contact in the Premodern World, eds Daniela Hacke et al (2020).


‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’ Community and Isolation in the English Houses at Tunis and Tripoli, 1679–1686 Nat Cutter

Abstract Using a large, little-known collection of letters from the English consulate in Tunis, this paper examines the environmental pressures that shaped English communal life in the early modern Maghreb. Living together in single ‘English houses’ in the midst of Muslim-dominated cities, merchants, consuls and servants created surrogate families within their households. These ‘families’ provided companionship, guidance and financial success. Far from home, traders established dynamic local and international business networks, formed deep personal and business relationships with their housemates, and protected themselves and the more vulnerable members of their communities from perceived moral, religious and physical harm. Keywords: expatriate, ottoman, Barbary, network, letter, trade

It has long been recognised that friendship communities are shaped by their environments: ‘the form they take, their salience in people’s lives, the extent to which they are permitted to be influential, and the legitimacy and support they provide are all shaped by the constraints and opportunities people experience as a consequence of their specific location within the social and economic formation’.1 Similarly, the letters friends and family write to one another ‘display the signs of the distinct environments in which they


Adams and Allan, 12.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch07

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were conceived’.2 This paper examines the environmental pressures that shaped the social worlds of British expatriates in the early modern Maghreb (roughly modern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), using the letters of a small, tight-knit group of English merchants and consuls who lived in Tunis and Tripoli, 1679–1686.3 In this period, Tunis and Tripoli were autonomous ‘Regencies’ of the Ottoman Empire – nominally ruled from Istanbul, they largely managed their own affairs. Both nations had reasonably small, agrarian economies and small naval fleets and, after former conflicts, had established largely stable diplomatic relations with the English. 4 The following peaceful period fostered the stabilisation and expansion of existing English trading communities, which were shaped by three main environmental factors. Firstly, unlike similar groups of English traders and consuls who lived together in the combined consulate-business headquarters known as ‘English houses’ elsewhere in the Islamic world, English expatriates in the Maghreb were not beholden to any chartered trading company. This meant that, though unencumbered by a distant agenda-setting authority, they were also exposed: unprotected by the risk spreading of a joint-stock investment company or the collective negotiating power of a regulated firm. Secondly, as a result of these challenges and risks, their numbers were consistently small, and expatriates relied heavily on one another both for social relations and business partnerships. Thirdly, there was a constant concern, particularly for young men and women, for the threat of moral, religious and physical harm in non-Christian lands. In a distant, unfamiliar and dangerous environment, often far from blood family and friends, the English households in Tunis and Tripoli operated as a surrogate family, providing companionship, guidance and protection for their members. Leaving a prosperous career as a merchant in Livorno (the major international port of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany), Thomas Goodwyn travelled to Tripoli in 1679 with the recently appointed English consul, Thomas Baker.5 After serving there for less than a year alongside Baker and his English-born Muslim translator, Hassan Agha, Goodwyn joined his distant cousin Francis Barrington, Baker’s brother and fellow consul Francis Baker, and the formidable Edith Stedham in Tunis. Goodwyn, Barrington, Baker and Stedham lived together as unmarried housemates, 2 Earle, 2. 3 I have selected this period because of the consistent community that existed during this time; by 1686, many of the expatriates treated here had left the Maghreb, but had not yet been replaced. 4 Matar (2010), 117–120; Stein (2015), 606–614. 5 For the booming English trade with Italy in the 1670s, see Pagano de Divitiis, 73–75.

‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


and traded from the English house, supported by their London partner, Benjamin Steele, as well as local contacts across the Mediterranean. Joined by Richard Russelman, a polyglot merchant from Bremen, Goodwyn took on a bold venture in 1683 to establish for their small company a new port at Cape Negro, bringing his young nephew William Newark from London to learn the trade. Russelman, Barrington and Francis Baker departed Tunis for home in 1684, while Goodwyn took over the English consulate. He and Stedham continued to trade and correspond with their former housemates until at least 1686, when Thomas Baker left Tripoli as well. During the entire period of his residence in the Maghreb, Goodwyn scrupulously collected an enormous archive of in-letters and f inancial records, and after he returned to England around 1700, Goodwyn’s successors as consul followed in his footsteps. The resulting vast collection, preserved in the UK National Archives Foreign Office 335 (FO 335), represents a treasure trove of documentation on community and business life in the Maghreb, interspersing moments of camaraderie and contentment with moments of intense loneliness and despair. Previous scholarship on expatriate communities in the Maghreb has overwhelmingly emphasised feelings of isolation, loneliness, and discontentment. In Britain and the Islamic World 1558–1713 (2011), Gerald Maclean and Nabil Matar argue that, without the oversight imposed by a chartered company, the ‘North African factors and consuls had no need for a network of correspondents’ aside from the Secretaries of State, meaning ‘the North African archive rarely, if ever, includes a letter to…anywhere except London’. For this reason, expatriate Britons living in the Maghreb had ‘a feeling of being cut off from their own country and the rest of the world’.6 In many ways, however, this is an argument from silence. Current research into English life in the Maghreb has been based largely on the small number of official reports and petitions sent from consuls and other expatriates to the Secretaries of State in London.7 It has thus been constrained by sources that were constructed for very specific purposes and audiences and which only peripherally engage with actual living conditions. Thomas Baker’s journal, kept during his residence in Tripoli, has been used to greater effect, but, in the words of its editor, ‘for depictions of contemporary social life, it is useless’.8 6 Maclean and Matar, 107. Pennell argues the same point in ‘The Social History of British Diplomats’, 359–360. ‘Factor’ in this context refers to the employee of a trading company, working abroad in a ‘factory’ or trading post. 7 The National Archives (UK) (TNA), State Papers 71. 8 Pennell in Baker, 67.

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However, the collection of papers in FO 335, an archive which has received little attention from scholars, offers a fresh and distinct window into both the long-distance and proximate, professional and personal relationships formed among English and non-English people in the region.9 This chapter contains three main sections. In the first section, I set the scene by investigating the expatriates’ dynamic but vulnerable business networks, using the case study of Tunisian civil war. In the second, I examine the consequences of the social and economic dependencies that formed among English expatriates with two examples: two friends separated between Tunis and Tripoli, and the bitter breakdown of a business partnership. In the final section, I explore how wealthy, male expatriates engaged with the Islamic society around them: exercising paternal concern for the protection and progress of their ‘vulnerable’ compatriots against perceived risks of moral and social corruption, while simultaneously happily enjoying their own cosmopolitan freedoms with Islamic friends and colleagues.

Trading Alone: Risk, Reward and Networking without Monopoly In the early modern period, the vast majority of English long-distance trade, particularly with non-Christian areas, was done under the aegis of a chartered company. The East India, Royal African and Levant Companies each had their own territorial monopolies and elaborate commercial organisations to direct and manage trade in their respective regions.10 By the late 1670s, however, trading in the Maghreb without a company had become a fact of life for English merchants. The Levant Company had withdrawn in all but name from Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli in 1625. Three Barbary Companies had failed to control trade with Morocco in 1585–1597, 1638–1641 and 1663, and the Royal African Company made no mark on southern Morocco despite their official monopoly from 1663.11 In this setting, adventurous English 9 Foreign Office (FO) 335 in TNA has probably (in part) not been utilized by historians due to its location: the Foreign Office only came into being in 1782, rendering its archives a surprising place to find seventeenth-century material. 10 See Maclean and Matar, 5–8, 106–107. The East India and Royal African companies were joint-stock ventures (similar to a modern corporation), and thus exercised stricter control over the day-to-day operations of their employees abroad compared to the Levant Company, which was a regulated company (more like a guild of separate businesses). However, both systems had far more influence in their specific areas of operation than any chartered company in the 1670s–80s Maghreb. 11 See Barbano, 253–264; Bak, 53–82; Matar (2005), 59–62; Stein (2012), 31, 41–49, 353–356.

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traders in the Maghreb (there to ‘earn a living, grow rich, and if death spared them, return home, their fortunes made’) took on dynamic roles as mediators between cultures and economies. They networked with customers and suppliers across the Mediterranean, launching and abandoning ventures to account for shifting international markets, and blurring public positions and private profit-seeking to maximise their advantage.12 Perry Gauci has argued that ‘the essence of a distinctively mercantile way of life’ was ‘the ability to construct reliable networks of influential contacts to help them overcome the perils of their profession’.13 Accordingly, we find in Goodwyn’s letters connections to a vast number of trusted associates across the Mediterranean, who handled their correspondence, accounts and affairs ‘on the ground’. Baker, Barrington, Goodwyn and Russelman reacted dynamically to shifting markets, and built networks along the way. They sold wheat and barley in Spain, France, Italy and Tangier, shipped dates and capers to England, and imported European cloth, clocks and saddles for the Tunisian luxury market. They loaded their own ships, supplied visiting English vessels, invested in voyages ‘on the fly’, and established their own trading outposts. During the years 1679–1686, Goodwyn received some 861 letters (on average, one every three days), including 456 from Livorno, 209 from the Maghreb, 49 from Spain, 44 from France, 40 from England, 40 from other Italian-speaking areas and 17 from the Ottoman Empire. From his time living in Livorno, Goodwyn had developed strong professional relationships with the merchants there, which continued to develop while he lived in Tunis, as they shared news and traded together. One prominent English merchant in Livorno, William Upton, wrote to Goodwyn in 1679: I am greatly obliged for yor large relation of ye affaires of Tripoli wch was most acceptable, & bee assured, if you had tarried there tho there would not have been thatt incouragemt wch is requisite to Invite a man to trade, yet I should not have been wanting to doe ye utmost my weeke ability would have p.mitted & respect I have for you doth require. I hope these will find you safe @ Tunis, where I shall have greater occasion to showe my Readynesse to adde to the furthering our mutuall benefit.14

This kind of company-less network-building, though unusual from a non-Christian region, was nothing new in European trade: English 12 Maclean and Matar, 123. 13 Gauci, 13, 16. 14 William Upton to to Thomas Goodwyn, 25 November 1679, FO 335/1/32.

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traders in Spain, France and Italy had been free of company rule for over a century, and thus relied on many of the same techniques.15 Less usual, however, were the unstable local relations in Tunis, particularly in times of war. The later seventeenth century, particularly from the mid-1680s, witnessed increasing tensions between the Dey and Pasha (who represented metropolitan Ottoman Turkish interests in the city of Tunis), and the more powerful brothers Ali and Muhammad Bey (who commanded the sympathies of the Arabic-speaking people of rural and regional Tunisia, and held significant sway over agricultural produce and international customs).16 Goodwyn and his colleagues had to carefully manage their involvement in trade to placate both factions. Selling wheat to European merchants at Cape Negro from 1683 necessitated dealing with the Bey and his rural loyalists, but their primary residence in Tunis frequently led to engagement with the Dey. Kaid Morat, a Muslim official apparently respected by both Tunisian factions, was a vital advisor in the English house’s enterprises: you may be sure wee shall act In this affaire with ye Dey; with as much flegme; caution; & Prudense as wee are Masters of…Kaid Morat allso advised us; not to be possitive In any thing with the Dey; untill he had farther news from ye Bey.17

By late 1685, the political situation had deteriorated into open civil war, and Goodwyn was struggling to do business amidst a siege of Tunis. Barrington and Steele in London advised Goodwyn to choose his actions carefully: You say y t you have sent for ye Cape Negro Corne to be disposed of att Tunis; but then wee apprehend you must have no more to do w th y t station; whilest ye Towne is att enmity with ye Bey’s for if they see…of what ill use y t plase will be to them; In furnishing y r enemies with w t they choisely aime they should want; ’twill be impossible; for any one to sitt securely In y t Station.18 15 See Sánchez and Kaps. 16 Abun-Nasr, 172–173; Maclean and Matar, 106. 17 Francis Baker [hereafter FBK] and Francis Barrington [hereafter FBT] to Thomas Goodwyn [hereafter TG] and Richard Russelman [hereafter RR], 4 August 1683, FO 335/3/8. For more on Caid Morat, see FO 335/3/8–9, FO 335/4/10, and FO 335/5/6, 16 passim. Goodwyn also mentioned the effect of civil wars to his private business concerns in SP 71/26, f. 282. 18 FBT and Benjamin Steele [hereafter BS] to TG, 8 March 1686, FO 335/5/16.

‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


The following July, the siege had broken, but Goodwyn’s colleagues feared the outcomes that might follow from his ignoring their advice and doing business with the Tunis faction: Wee earnestly long to heare from you how you are treated by ye new Conquerors – wee beleeve they have kindly received you; notwithstanding ye supplyes you brought y r enemies; but still wee are restlesse ’till we heare so much from you.19

For English expatriates in the Maghreb, the absence of a company allowed for dynamic responses to trade conditions, but also posed the constant threat of commercial failure and physical harm from unwise connections.20

Living Apart: The Hazards of Isolation in Small Communities While previous decades had witnessed frequent naval conflicts between the Maghrebi states and England, with significant exchanges of captives on both sides, by the period under study, both Tripoli and Tunis had established stable treaties with England.21 The absence of captives combined with the significant threats inherent in trading without a company meant the Englishborn community was small. From 1679 to 1686, the long-term residents of the English house in Tunis ranged from two to seven persons. Moreover, Thomas Baker in Tripoli had only a few transient servants, his international correspondence, the occasional visits of English ships and (possibly) some English-born converts to Islam to connect with his homeland. This small community size contributed to a deep reliance on one’s housemates both for companionship and business. Thomas Baker and Thomas Goodwyn had corresponded during the 1670s, while Baker was trading in Tunis and Goodwyn in Livorno, but their friendship blossomed from early 1678 when Baker visited Livorno and convinced Goodwyn to join him in Tripoli.22 They lived together in a tight-knit community of civilians and officers on the Admiral’s vessel in 19 FBT and BS to TG, 6 July 1686, FO 335/5/16. 20 See Barbano; Stein (2012), 93–145. 21 Parker, 102–204. Matar (2014), 122–132, 262–269 indicates that no English slaves were taken by corsairs from Tunis or Tripoli 1679–86 (William Young was captured accidentally and immediately freed). For more on contemporary captive-taking, see Matar (2014), and Colley. 22 Thomas Baker [hereafter TB] to TG, 15 November 1675, FO 335/1/17; 31 January 1676, FO 335/1/20; Baker, Piracy and Diplomacy, 89.

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the English Mediterranean fleet for over a year, waiting to be presented at Tripoli.23 Arriving in April 1679, by June Francis Baker was already soliciting for Goodwyn to move to Tunis, and in September he did, to Thomas Baker’s dismay: ‘This day my dear and everhonored friend Mr Thomas Goodwyn took his Passage…for Tunis, where…hee intends his residence for some yeares.’24 Having left his homeland, lived in community for two years at sea, and then shared his home with a close friend, the ensuing isolation for Baker was crushing. Over the following two years, he poured out his loss in letter after letter to Goodwyn. In February 1680, he wrote: since yor departure I have likewise often reflected [that had your departure not] been soe abrupt I must either have accompanied you to Tunis, or else seizing on you in ye boat, forcibly brought you ashore agen, which I wish with all my soul I had so done…heaven bee my judge that I parted from a deere, discreet, accomplished friend, good humoured man, and an able experienc’t counsellor.25

In May, Baker hoped for good news, and lamented the unsatisfactory medium of the letter for connecting with his friend: That you continue to harp upon [your] dissatisfaction at Tunis I am heartily glad to read on condition you’l oblige me to returne hither as I have zealously propounded to you…otherwise am grieved in my soul that I suffered you to depart from me…[I look to hear] Largely from you by every opportunity (but I had rather you were here in Person).26

The following year, he repeated his request: For, If wee must bee unhappy; Lett us bee the Lesse soe, in each others conversation…And then, how easily may you putt an end to our correspondence in this Sort Which I can promise you wilbee more your content in every respect… Besides, our joyus consultations, cannot produce any bad, rather very good consequences speedily to us both Wherefore Itell you I expect no longer to bee Tantalized by you.27 23 24 25 26 27

Baker, 99–101. FBK to TG, 6 June 1679, FO 335/1/33; Baker, 108–109. TB to TG, 27 February 1680, FO 335/2/3. TB to TG, 29 May 1680, FO 335/2/3. TB to TG, 17 February 1681, FO 335/2/11.

‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


By January 1682, the challenges of carrying on a friendship by correspondence had intensified. In the long absence of a letter from Goodwyn, Baker lamented, ‘I’me afraid you as well as ye Rest of ye world have forsaken me.’28 This statement is telling of Baker’s broader isolation, as well as his feelings of disconnection from Goodwyn for, around the same time, Baker wrote to the English Ambassador in Constantinople to complain that ‘during the whole time of my Ministration here, I have not been countenanced in the discharge of my duty by any of his Majesties ships, amidst the high flowne Ruffles of an Overbearing People throughout the whole Mediterranean’.29 A reply from Goodwyn came in May 1682, and Baker was comforted, writing ‘I cannot admitt ye Least distrust of your friendship towards me’; but Goodwyn apparently continued failing to correspond to Baker’s satisfaction, who despondently wrote in April 1683: Since the Date of your Last Letter tis now full six months, which would make me conclude Tunis to bee removed much farther from me then I could have once beleived whilst you were residing there, But that I depend soe firmly on the Integrity & steadinesse of your unbyass’t friendship, that I must assigne your Silence to noe other cause then your absence from Tunis whilst any opportunity presented thence.30

However, the breakdown in communication did not end. For the succeeding two years, Goodwyn received no letters from Baker (though on occasion Baker passed a brief apology through his brother), and apparently sent no letters himself. By May 1685, Baker believed that Goodwyn’s silence spelled his ‘desertion of your first espoused Interest, and profess’t freindship’ and his ‘falling into more Tempting Alliances’.31 Their subsequent correspondence, restarting in early 1686 as Baker prepared to return to England, was strictly business: Baker’s intense feelings of loss had cooled over years of distance and inconstant communication from Goodwyn, leaving behind a professional, but none too personal regard.32 28 TB to TG, 14 January 1682, FO 335/2/11. 29 TB to James Brydges, Baron Chandos, 27 April 1682, in Baker, 139. 30 TB to TG, 16 May 1682, FO 335/3/2; 20 April 1683, FO 335/3/10. 31 TB to TG, 31 May 1685, FO 335/5/4. It is possible this cooling was related to the parallel breakdown of relationship between Francis Baker, Barrington and Goodwyn, discussed below; however, given that Thomas Baker seems to have had similar issues with his brother, a conflict with Francis would not necessarily have alienated him (see TBK to TG, 14 January 1682, FO 335/2/11; 15 January 1683, FO 335/3/10; 31 May 1685, FO 335/5/4). 32 TB to TG, 17 February, 24 and 30 April 1686, FO 335/5/14.

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Having met among a larger community in Livorno, Baker grew to rely upon Goodwyn’s friendship while they lived in comparative isolation at sea and in Tripoli. Though letters between male friends in the seventeenth century were often more affectionate than equivalents today, Baker’s language in his early letters remains striking. It is possible that Baker and Goodwyn’s relationship was romantic, but given their shared negative attitude towards homosexual activity (see next section) and the fact that both men married women they apparently adored in the years shortly after 1686, it is likely to have been no more, or less, than a very close and supportive friendship.33 When Goodwyn left Tripoli, never to return, Baker had nowhere to turn for companionship but to continue their friendship by epistolary means, with all the attending challenges this mode of communication afforded. Gradually, their intense friendship waned, and both found other ways to satisfy their needs. A far more bitter breakdown occurred between Goodwyn, Barrington, and Francis Baker. The small trading community at Tunis – and the significant political sway held by the consul – meant Goodwyn and Barrington had little choice but to cooperate with Baker. While their partnership held together during the early years of Goodwyn’s residence in Tunis, it began to show cracks around a disagreement concerning Baker’s consolage on their joint enterprise at Cape Negro.34 Barrington argued that a temporary decrease in this tax was desirable to incentivise ships to visit their port, but Baker stubbornly held to his rights. Soon, Barrington and Baker were holding separate correspondence with Goodwyn in addition to their regular joint letters, each laying out his own reasoning and forcing Goodwyn to decide between them.35 Barrington and Baker also disagreed about sending several of Baker’s trusted servants to Cape Negro: Barrington lamented to Goodwyn at the servants’ departure, ‘how you will get those troublesome creatures back [here] againe, God knowes’.36 Simultaneously, Baker’s mercantile incompetence began to concern his partners. In September 1683, Baker began to make investments on his own, since Barrington and Goodwyn had deemed them too risky to join: Barrington wrote to Goodwyn, from such 33 Thomas Goodwyn married Edith Stedham c.1692 (FO 335/7/11, FO 335/10/8, FO 335/15/6). Thomas Baker married Deborah Gould née Robinson, the widow of an English merchant trading to Algiers, c.1692 (FO 335/9/11, FO 335/10/6, Bodleian MS English Letters b. 31, ff. 7, 29). 34 Consolage refers to a percentage tax paid to the English consul on English shipping at their port – sometimes as well as but often, and in this case, instead of a salary. 35 FBK to TG, 1 and 27 August, FO 335/3/8; 6 September 1683, FO 335/3/9; FBT to TG, 1 and 28 August 1683, FO 335/3/8; 3 September and 2 November 1683, FO 335/3/9; FBK and FBT to TG and RR, 16 August 1683, FO 335/3/8. 36 FBT to TG, 1 and 31 August 1683, FO 335/3/8.

‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


activities ‘theire can arrive nothing but disappointments & malecontents; so you would do well to desire him to stopp his hand’.37 Barrington observed shortly after: y t no man living hath had such advantages as Consul Baker has had; and so little sense or acknowledgement of itt – this great Dividend y t will be proportioned to him from ye Cape Negro designe cannott be more propperly termed; then a giftt.38

Baker was not entirely unaware of the effects he was having. He wrote in November 1683 to Goodwyn ‘to regaine in you, that good opinion I am perswaded once you had of me’ – but just one day after, Baker and his partners were in conflict again.39 Barrington wrote to Goodwyn, ‘I have taken Consul Baker to taske’ over his debts to them, and at Baker’s flimsy excuses and unreliable promises, ‘I knew not how to make any other Answer to itt then by Shrinking up my Shoulders.’ Barrington marvelled: ‘how y t man by Intriguing; hath made himselfe not onely necessitated every where else; but allso In this plase I cannott readily Imagine’. 40 When Goodwyn returned to Tunis from Cape Negro, his written correspondence with Barrington and Baker naturally ceased in favour of face-to-face communication, so nothing is recorded among his letters until one year later. By this time, both Barrington and Baker had left for London and all pretence of healthy cooperation had vanished. In November 1684, Barrington and Benjamin Steele told Goodwyn that Baker already intended to return to Tunis as a private citizen and trade alongside Goodwyn: ‘wee cannott do Lesse then Laugh att itt’. 41 Though Baker’s letters from London flattered Goodwyn, Barrington and Steele saw that ‘Mr Baker is gone a direct contrary road to your advises & intentions; & truly if he had gone thither [to Tunis] wee could have expected but little good from his managing of such a concerne’.42 Yet for all this, Barrington and Steele were committed to assist him to avoid complete ruin: ‘wee shall see to perswade him to lay out his mony in some good place; or else we assure you…with his management,

37 FBK to TG and RR, 2 September 1683, FO 335/3/9; FBT to TG, 19 September 1683, FO 335/3/9. 38 FBT to TG, 15 October 1683, FO 335/3/9. 39 FBK to TG, 14 November 1683, FO 335/3/9 40 FBT to TG, 15 November 1683, FO 335/3/9. 41 FBT and BS to TG, 5 November 1684, FO 335/4/6. 42 FBK to TG, 5 December 1684, FO 335/4/5; Francis Barrington and BS to TG, 16 March 1685, FO 335/5/6.

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what he gained In Tunis will quickly evaporate In London’. 43 They were not, however, willing to assist him in personal matters like the solicitation of a suitable marriage, ‘since wee justly feare ye poore woman may have noe such Comfortable life with him as is hoped for In this Condition’. 44 Unfortunately, Baker’s dreams of returning to Tunis continued, and his arrogance and resentment soon became unbearable to his former friends and housemates: Consull Baker wee thinke is quite distracted – he now talks of nothing but coming over againe to Tunis…finding no adorations from the Generallity of Mankind; wch he fancyed himselfe to have deserved; hath putt the man besides himselfe – he railes att you; calling you Turncoat…blessed be God wee have a large Campagnia; and are not cubb’d up In the same house with him. 45

Discouraging Baker from independent trade, they steered him to seek the recently vacated consulship in Marseilles (‘for they are a generation bound Practices to Consuls & cannott learne any other trade’), but doubted he would succeed.46 Accordingly, in February 1686, ‘Consul Baker lost [Marseilles] like a great foole; and now talks againe afresh of seeing Tunis…In your Letters to him; give him all the dismal accots y t attend the publique circumstances of affaires of that plase.’47 By April that year, Barrington and Steele only had contact with Baker on a series of court cases relating to their time in Tunis, and on joint assets in Livorno: in all cases, they made clear how they thought of him, writing in October, ‘poor Quandam consul Baker sitts as stupid & sencelesse…as you cannot Imagine[;] wee lett him alone to take his owne measures about y t and every other concerne’. 48 Forced to cooperate due to Baker’s power and wealth, but driven apart by his foolish management and unwillingness to compromise for their company, the community at Tunis was split and a potentially ongoing business partnership lost. Had the community been large enough to allow multiple houses, perhaps their relationships would have taken a different shape.

43 FBT and BS to TG, 4 May 1685, FO 335/5/6. 44 FBT and BS to TG, 4 May 1685, FO 335/5/6. 45 FBT and BS to TG, 15 July 1685, FO 335/5/6. Emphasis added. 46 FBT and BS to TG, 8 December 1685, FO 335/5/6. 47 FBT and BS to TG, 1 February 1686, FO 335/5/16 48 FBT and BS to TG, 12 April, 28 October and 4 November 1686, FO 335/5/16. ‘Quondam’ is a Latin term meaning ‘former’.

‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


Communing Together: Young Men, Women and the Islamic World Without the social control and support of a large European community, not to mention the absence of a strong pastoral presence (the first Protestant chaplain joined the community in Algiers in 1706), English expatriates in the Maghreb often perceived a threat of moral and religious corruption from the Islamic and Jewish communities in which they lived. 49 Yet the limitations of their own tiny community, coupled with the necessity of cooperating professionally and diplomatically with local merchants, politicians and military personnel, encouraged the formation of enduring friendships and professional associations with Jewish and Muslim people. Thomas Baker’s journal provides an excellent source for understanding how ‘middling sort’ male expatriates perceived the corrupting influences of expatriate life in Tripoli.50 Baker repeatedly took on unofficial responsibility for the protection of Europeans, including those who had converted to Islam. For example: in 1680 he petitioned for a reduction of sentence for his predecessor’s embezzling Italian chancellor; in 1682 he sheltered a runaway Russian convert slave for nine months before smuggling him aboard an English ship to escape; and in the same year he requested Lord Chandos, the British Ambassador in Constantinople, ‘That all forraigners as Italians, Dutch &ca bee directed to come under my Protection at Least the Dutch.’51 In numerous entries in his journal, Baker highlighted the moral temptations, particularly for young men, of drunkenness, sexual immorality, and (the ultimate betrayal of Englishness) conversion to Islam.52 One young man who lived in Baker’s household was Hassan Agha (born Edward Fountaine), an English-born convert to Islam, who acted as Baker’s dragoman, or translator, from soon after the latter’s arrival.53 Initially, it seems, Baker was pleased with his work, considering him a trusted employee and even companion. In 1681, Baker sent Hassan’s ‘attestation’ to Goodwyn ‘for my justification w th your selfe’, and specifically naming him among

49 Maclean and Matar, 86–87, 110; Bishop of London to Mr. Taylor, 9 June 1706, TNA T 1/98, no. 89. 50 For the term ‘middling sort’, see Hunt. 51 Baker, 115–116, 150, 140. 52 Baker: for sex, see 104, 112, 131, 133, 141, 159, 161; drunkenness 88, 90, 104, 114, 117–118, 130, 133–134; conversion, 114–117, 126, 132–137, 141–144. 53 Baker, 129; TB to TG, 28 August 1680, FO 335/2/3; Hassan Agha to TG, 18 March 1681, FO 335/2/8. It was common in North Africa to employ converts within the English houses: see Maclean and Matar, 96, 99–100.

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Goodwyn’s ‘many other friends here’.54 However, gradually his use of alcohol (a common habit among young English sailors, Turkish soldiers, and Islamic converts in the Maghreb) became an issue, from which Baker sought to protect him. In March 1680, Baker offered his dragoman ‘a Pistol in Gold to forfeit Ten, if he shall drink a drop of Wine or Brandy’ for the next six months.55 Due perhaps in part to failing to curb his alcoholism, Baker fired Hassan Agha in May 1681, writing, I cashiered my conceited, foolish, impertinent false, Trayterous, base, Drunken Druggerman…Who before his voluntary Turning Turk was named Edward Fountaine of a good family in Norffolk as hee pretends; A hopefull Branch, and a great comfort to his Relations!56

In August, Baker’s anger had not abated, having (Praysed bee the Lords holy Name!) casheired him once more my service neere 3 months since, Then Whom, a more accursed Dog, knave, Rogue, Spiove, and Traytour (except Judas) was never yet undamn’d.57

Baker’s concern for Hassan Agha prompted an attempt to change his ways, but did not protect his employment – even as Baker ruefully reported being left to replace him ‘w th a very sorry fellow for a Druggerman’.58 By contrast, a letter from Hassan Agha to Goodwyn in March 1681 presents a rather different take on his drinking: it is present, but framed as an honour to Goodwyn, as Hassan promises to ‘drink your health to save our soulss’.59 Nothing further is recorded about Agha until, by early 1686, he had perhaps restored his reputation in Baker’s eyes, if only in death. Baker wrote to Goodwyn, ‘Hassan Agha lost his life in the quarrell ag t the Begh I am sorry for him, having on all occasions shewne himselfe a good souldier on horseback’.60 Baker did not remember him for his flaws or failures, but for his strengths, and felt sorrow at losing the young man for whom he had once cared. 54 TB to TG, 17 February and 9 May 1681, FO 335/2/11. 55 Baker, 118. 56 Baker, 129. 57 TB to TG, 1 August 1681, FO 335/2/11. 58 TB to TG, 1 August 1681, FO 335/2/11. 59 Hassan Agha to TG, 18 March 1681, FO 335/2/8. 60 TB to TG, 22 March 1686, FO 335/5/14. Hassan Agha was a talented horseman – Baker ordered a full set of tack and spurs from Tunis in 1680 for Hassan to serve in the Tripolitan cavalry (TB to TG, 28 August 1680, FO 335/2/3; 17 March 1681, FO 335/2/1).

‘Grieved in My Soul that I Suffered You to Depart from Me’


In Tunis, Francis Barrington also had a paternal concern for the protection of a household member, his distant relative William Newark, who had come from London to Cape Negro in 1683 to learn the mercantile trade from uncle Thomas Goodwyn. Barrington had become concerned for Newark, ‘of whose good & wellfare I am very sollicitous’, because during his short stay in Tunis he had ‘comitted those disorders as he is most Inclyned to’.61 Barrington advised Goodwyn ‘to keep a stricter hand over him; and be more watchfull over his actions then hitherto you have been; or otherwise I plainely see ye Heate of his youthfull blood; with ye ill Examples this Country affords; will prejudice his rising to y t degree of Mercantile Parts; as weill be expected by others he should be master of from your Education’.62 Barrington’s reticence to specifically name Newark’s ‘disorders’ is telling, and so is Barrington’s additional concern that Joseph Punter (one of Francis Baker’s trusted servants, about whom Barrington and Baker had disagreed on sending to Cape Negro) ‘might be too much a Boone companion for Couzin Will’.63 It was a very common trope in English accounts of the Ottoman Empire that young Turkish men, particularly soldiers, routinely engaged in homosexual activity with one another.64 Judging by Barrington’s veiled references, it seems likely that Newark was engaging in some form of sexual impropriety, and one in which Joseph Punter might also be involved. Whatever Newark’s ‘disorders’ were, happily (at least from the perspective of his paternalistic relatives and employers), Barrington’s concerns, for Newark’s behaviour and future apparently did not require revisiting. In the next month he wrote to ‘pray salute Cozin Will who I heare works hard’, and later the same year sent him from Edith Stedham two pairs of shoes, a ‘Campagnia Coate’, and a ‘slovenly Suite’, promising ‘a better suite to appeare In att Tunis’.65 Joseph Punter returned to Tunis in November, while Newark remained with Goodwyn until August 1684.66 William Newark left England in the hopes of making his fortune under successful relatives, but struggled to conform to their morality in a society with different norms than his own. 61 Francis Barrington to TG, 1 August 1683, FO 335/3/9. 62 FBT to TG, 1 August 1683, FO 335/3/9. Emphasis added. 63 FBT to TG, 1 August 1683, FO 335/3/ 64 Baker, Piracy and Diplomacy, 133, 161; FBT to TG, 1 August 1683, FO 335/3/9; Matar (2005), 53, 95, 143 and (1999), 109–128; Maclean, 147–150. 65 FBK and FBT to TG and RR, 11 September 1683, FO 335/3/9; FBT to TG, 2 and 15 November 1683, FO 335/3/9. 66 FBK to TG, 14 November 1683, FO 335/3/9; James Bowtell to TG, 4 January 1684, FO 335/3/7; 22 February 1684, FO 335/4/1; 17 July 1684, FO 335/4/3; Redmond Geiralini to TG, 4 September 1684, FO 335/4/3.

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A far more exceptional ‘vulnerable’ person in the English house at Tunis was Edith Stedham, who lived with the community from 1679 to 1686, and for a significant period afterwards. Passing references by her colleagues suggest that Stedham was a remarkable woman. Abandoned (though not divorced) by her husband, her official role and manner of coming to Tunis is unclear, though she apparently began her career as a housekeeper.67 In early letters, Stedham is presented as a caring, maternal figure, sending comforts like wine, shirts and a ‘Beaver hatt’ to Goodwyn at Cape Negro.68 From the outset, however, she was evidently afforded respectable social status: consistently named in greetings alongside Goodwyn, Baker, and Barrington – while servants, non-Christians, and others were not.69 In 1683 Stedham appears as a trader of her own right, with the assistance of Francis Barrington: ‘Mis Stedham presents her humble servise to you; and thinks her selfe much obliged to you for your care to procure her some small Profitts from your Station’.70 Her procurements for her colleagues also increase in value: by her directions…I have laid out for you $89…for a Suite with Silke for a Vest & Lyning; with Buttons Ribbons &ca necessary – a Paire of ye new fashioned Stockins & a Paire of English shoes…I have [also] bespoake you a Paire of Strong Winter shoes; wch I hope you will weare out att Tunis – and nott upon ye rocks.71

Barrington, concerned at the cost of this suit, reveals how highly he and Goodwyn now thought of her: ‘att this prise I feare you will thinke [it] so deare; as not to hold longer the opinion of Ingallability In Mis Stedham’s Judgment’.72 Stedham, therefore, was more than simply a servant: she had become a key player in the mercantile life of the English house. Unlike Barrington, Francis Baker was not pleased with Stedham’s improving position. Sending Joseph Punter to Goodwyn and Russelman at Cape Negro, Baker highlighted how Stedham remained (in his eyes) a vulnerable inferior in need of reasoned leadership: he [Punter] carryes with him a few blank Patents, which although my shee ffriend, hath condemned them, that you will make [no] use of them, yet 67 68 69 70 71 72

FBT and BS to TG, 1 February 1686, FO 335/5/16; Robert Lang to TG, 28 August 1685, FO 335/5/9. FBK to TG, 5 April and 27 May 1682, FO 335/3/1; FBT to TG, 29 September 1683, FO 335/3/9. FBK to TG, 30 July 1679, FO 335/1/33; 21 March 1681, FO 335/2/10; repeatedly in FO 335/3/1. FBT to TG, 22 September 1683, FO 335/3/9; see also 2 October and 24 October 1683, FO 335/3/9. FBT to TG, 18 October 1683, FO 335/3/9. FBT to TG, 2 November 1683, FO 335/3/9.

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I thought fitt to send them for a tryall, and although shee sayes, that no Consulidge is due to me, nor will bee paid me, whatever shall bee shipped off at Cape Negro, I look upon them to be matters very improper for her to meddle with, but what shall I say I must have patience; and referre all things to time and reason.73

Despite the consul’s patronising treatment, Stedham continued to elevate her position in the English house. In February 1684, when Barrington was forced out to sea over alleged embezzlement, Stedham remained in the town with Goodwyn, and was relied on to persuade a key female witness, the Italian Signora Dea, to return to Tunis.74 After several weeks of Stedham’s persuasion, Dea agreed to return – ‘but not without your Presense, wch shee lookes upon as her Protection’.75 Stedham had thus established herself not only as her own protector, but the protector of others. When Goodwyn travelled again to Cape Negro in mid-1685, he left Stedham in independent charge of his affairs in Tunis, in pursuit of which she engaged with both business clients and political f igures in Tunis.76 By 1685 Francis Baker, both discontented and unsuccessful in London, resented Stedham’s privileged position (he pejoratively referred to her as ‘consolessa’, insinuating an improper relationship between Stedham and Goodwyn), but felt obliged to send her lavish gifts: ‘Two Chests of Florence Wine, & a dozen of Romish-gloves, 6 paire for your good selfe & 6 paire for Mis Stedham, all wch craves yor acceptance.’77 Meanwhile, Stedham corresponded on her trade directly with Barrington and Steele.78 In February 1686, Barrington for the f irst time exercised concern for Stedham’s protection, not from the Islamic society around them, but from her long-departed husband. Barrington wrote to Goodwyn, ‘I have complyed with her orders as to Mr Stedham – In fitting him out for his Voya to Tunis – with Linnen; Cloths; Hatts; Shoes; Stockins &ca; all wch cost £13:7:9.’ However, ‘he having heard y t ye plase is beseiged, cryes loth to depart hence; & I beleeve will [not] aventure thither ’till he heares of 73 FBK to TG, 1 August 1683, FO 335/3/8. Emphasis added. 74 FBT to TG, 29 February 1684, FO 335/3/8; 17 March 1684, FO 335/3/8. 75 FBT to TG, c.21 March 1684, FO 335/3/8. This letter was addressed to Goodwyn, but the presence of both Stedham and Goodwyn is clear. 76 Edith Stedham to TG, 20 June 1685, 12 July 1685, 16 July 1685, FO 335/5/12. These are the only letters written by Stedham that are preserved before 1686. See also Robert Lang to Edith Stedham, 28 August 1685, FO 335/5/9. 77 FBK to TG, 1 January 1685, FO 335/4/5. 78 FBT and BS to TG, 23 March, 15 July and 2 October 1685, FO 335/5/6.

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more Prosperity In ye Country – the man it seemes is very chary of his boddy Politick’. Barrington ruefully concluded: I thinke itt had been happy for her if shee had taken his forfeiture…having forfeited ye Bonds of Matrimony by leaving her so many yeares without the least notice or knowlidge of his being alive or dead – but slipping ye opportunity shee I feare is like to receive trouble enough from him if once shee should be void of your Protection.79

Edith Stedham, like so many others who went to the Maghreb in the seventeenth century, or who have migrated throughout the world in centuries since, escaped poor treatment at the hands of her spouse. In joining the ‘English House’, she was able to achieve some autonomy and f inancial independence. It is ironic to note that, as a husbandless foreign woman, in a country which apparently corrupted men to drunkenness and sexual impropriety, the greatest threat to Stedham’s safety was the pathetic, penniless husband who abandoned her – and despite her extraordinarily generous patronage of him, he feared the dangerous state of the country in which she had resided in prosperous safety for years. Despite their varied concern for the moral boundaries of the vulnerable under their ‘protection’, Goodwyn, Baker, Baker and Barrington consistently thought of themselves as discerning enough to engage in significant social contact with the surrounding Muslim and Jewish communities. In February 1680, Thomas Baker wrote: This morning the Vice Admirals ship returned into Port without any Flag or Ensigne in honor to her Comand r Cara Villy Reis (my particular friend) who died 4 dayes since of an Apoplexie, say some, But I am of ye opinion, a Surfeit (by taking too many drams of ye Bottle) did his business. And soe farewell to an honest, drunken fellow, both; to my own knowledge.80

It is ironic that Baker, who tried to protect Hassan Agha from his drunkenness, and whose friend died, in his view, from the same problem, evidently enjoyed alcohol a great deal. He reported the arrival of f ine Spanish and Italian wines at least thirty times during his time in

79 FBT and BS to TG, 1 February 1686, FO 335/5/16. 80 Baker, Piracy and Diplomacy, 114.

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Tripoli, and on one occasion drank to Goodwyn’s health ‘at Breakfast’. 81 Evidently, Baker neither felt threatened by friendship with Muslims, or the importation of enormous quantities of alcohol to a community where only a few could drink it. Similarly, in Tunis, Goodwyn and his colleagues considered themselves above accusations of corruption by the disorderly community that so tempted William Newark. In October 1683, representing Goodwyn’s bid to the Privy Council to succeed Francis Baker as consul, Benjamin Steele ‘was called upp before ye Councell; to give an attestation of your religion’. 82 This was not an unreasonable request, given Goodwyn’s years in residence in Catholic Livorno and the Islamic Maghreb, and the tense domestic atmosphere in England amidst the Popish Plot and Exclusion Crisis. Barrington wrote that Steele ‘aff irmed to them In ample manner; y t ’twas both In Principles and Practise very Orthodox – I could not but smile; to see those great ones so Inquisitive & dezirous to have satisfaction In y t Point’. 83 To these wealthy, male expatriates, the moral and religious threats posed by close engagement with the Islamic world were far more of a concern for their ‘vulnerable’ compatriots than for themselves.

Conclusion The community life of the English houses in Tunis and Tripoli from 1679 to 1686 presents a microcosm of the challenges, risks and rewards that were presented to Christian expatriates in the seventeenth-century Maghreb. Far from the safety and connection of home, the expatriates formed households that provided a measure of social fulfilment and security – small English islands in a sea of Islamic society – shaped, directed, but not defeated by the constraints and concerns unique to that environment. The absence of a company structure meant the freedom to dynamically establish new business enterprises, but left them far more vulnerable to changing political circumstances. The small size of their community meant that strong friendships and trusting partnerships could be formed, though such a heavy reliance on such relationships could spell emotional and 81 Baker, Piracy and Diplomacy, 114, 118–127, 130, 136–138, 141, 152, 160–161, 164, 168, 176, 181, 188–189; TB to TG, 30 April 1686, FO 335/4/14. 82 FBT to TG, 15 October 1683, FO 335/3/9. Steele’s written attestation, with several other signatories, is found in SP 71/26, 278–279. 83 FBT to TG, 15 October 1683, FO 335/3/9.

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professional devastation when they faltered. Protection and guidance of young men and women had to be exercised against the perceived threat of moral corruption, while the patriarchs engaged the Islamic community with privileged freedom.

Works Cited Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. A History of the Maghrib (London: Cambridge University Press, 2nd cdition, 1975). Adams, Rebecca G., and Graham Allan. ‘Contextualising Friendship.’ In Placing Friendship in Context, eds. Rebecca G. Adams and Graham Allan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 1–17. Bak, Greg. ‘English Representations of Islam at the Turn of the Century: Islam Imagined and Experienced, 1575–1625.’ PhD thesis, Dalhousie University, 2000. Baker, Thomas. Piracy and Diplomacy in Seventeenth-Century North Africa: The Journal of Thomas Baker, English Consul in Tripoli, 1677–1685, ed. and intr. C.R. Pennell (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1989). Barbano, Matteo. ‘A lucrative, dangerous business: le consulat anglais à Alger, Tunis et Tripoli dans la deuxième moitié du XVIIe siècle.’ In De l’utilité commerciale des consuls. L’institution consulaire et les marchands dans le monde méditerranéen (XVIIe–XXe siècle), eds. Arnaud Bartolomei, Guillaume Calafat, Mathieu Grenet, Jörg Ulbert (Rome: École Française de Rome, 2018), 253–264. Colley, Linda. Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600–1850 (London: Jonathan Cape, 2002). Earle, Rebecca. ‘Introduction: Letters, Writers and the Historian.’ In Epistolary Selves: Letters and Letter-writers, 1600–1945, ed. Rebecca Earle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 1–14. Gauci, Perry. The Politics of Trade: The Overseas Merchant in State and Society, 1660–1720 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). Hunt, Margaret. The Middling Sort: Commerce, Gender, and the Family in England, 1680–1780 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). Maclean, Gerald. The Rise of Oriental Travel: English Visitors to the Ottoman Empire, 1580–1720 (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2004). Maclean, Gerald, and Nabil Matar. Britain and the Islamic World, 155–1713 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Matar, Nabil. Britain and Barbary, 1589–1689 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005). –––. British Captives from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1563–1760 (Leiden: Brill, 2014).

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–––. ‘The Maghariba and the Sea: Maritime Decline in North Africa During the Early Modern Period.’ In Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Braudel’s Maritime Legacy, eds. Maria Fusaro, Colin Heywood and Mohamed-Salah Omri (London: I.B. Tauris, 2010), 117–138. –––. Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999). Pagano de Divitiis, Gigliola. English Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Italy, trans. by Steven Parkin (Cambridge: CUP, 1997). Parker, Kenneth. ‘Reading “Barbary” in Early Modern England, 1550–1685.’ Seventeenth Century 19 (2004): 87–114. Pennell, C.R. ‘The Social History of British Diplomats in North Africa and How it Affected Diplomatic Policy.’ In The Diplomats’ World: A Cultural History of Diplomacy, 1815–1914, eds. Markus Mösslang and Torsten Riotte (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 347–379. Sánchez, Manuel Herrero, and Klemens Kaps, eds. Merchants and Trade Networks in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, 1550–1800: Connectors of Commercial Maritime Systems (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017). Stein, Tristan M. ‘The Mediterranean in the English Empire of Trade, 1660–1748.’ PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2012. –––. ‘Passes and Protection in the Making of a British Mediterranean’, Journal of British Studies 54 (July 2015), 602–631.

About the Author Nat Cutter is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Melbourne. He is researching English expatriate experiences in the Maghreb, 1660-1710; including diplomacy, trade, religion, news networks, material culture, and social life. He received the Greg Dening Memorial Prize and SHAPS Fellows Group Essay Prize for ‘Turks, Moors, Deys and Kingdoms: North African Diversity in English News before 1700’, Melbourne Historical Journal 46 (2018).


New Christian Family Networksin the First Visitation of the Inquisition to Brazil The Case of the Nunes Brothers (1591–1595) Jessica O’Leary

Abstract This chapter provides a case study of João and Diogo Nunes during the First Visitation of the Inquisition to Brazil (1591–1595). The Nunes brothers were part of a broader commercial network of New Christian merchant families who controlled the sugar trade in northeastern Brazil during its rapid expansion in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. However, the social ascendency of New Christians in colonial Brazil threatened the existing elite who used the Inquisition to banish them via spurious denunciations. Using Inquisition testimony, this chapter will underscore the importance of New Christian networks to the sugar trade. It was their success, which both brought them to the attention of the Inquisition and saved them by virtue of royal intervention. Keywords: Sugar trade, colonial Brazil, Cristão-novo, Bahia, Pernambuco

On the eve of the sixteenth century, João Nunes Correia was accused of displaying a crucifix in a room ordinarily reserved for personal ablution.1 Pero da Silva, a 44 year-old labourer on his way to work on the prestigious 1 All translations are the author’s own unless otherwise noted. Testimony of Manoel Soares against João Nunes, 3 May 1591, Inquisição de Lisboa, proc. 885, Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, available online at and henceforth referred to as ‘ANTT’. All further references from processo 885 were made to Diogo do Couto and were taken from Brazil to Lisbon.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch08


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Rua Nova, was alarmed when he noticed the figure of Christ covered with grimy rags and spider webs on the bathroom wall. Confronting João, Pero was comforted by news that the merchant was in the process of building a new chapel, and so the f igure had been placed there temporarily for the benefit of his servants. Satisfied, Pero returned to work, but rumours quickly spread that João, a man worth an astounding 200,000 cruzados and manager of two engenhos (sugar mills), was not a good Catholic. While João was used to such gossip, indeed the tax collector Francisco Ferraz reported he was known ‘throughout all of Pernambuco for frequent, public and scandalous notoriety’, the timing of Pero’s discovery was inopportune.2 On June 9 1591, the Holy Office of the Inquisition came to Brazil from Lisbon. Although a colony of Portugal since 22 April 1500 when Pedro Álvares Cabral first spotted land off the southern coast of Bahia, it took almost a century before King Philip II of Spain approved a delegation from the Lisbon Inquisition (1540–1821) to collect evidence in the Atlantic.3 Its purpose was to gather denunciations and confessions in Bahia (1591–1593) and Pernambuco (1593–1595). The accused were sent to Portugal, to be tried at the Inquisitorial courts in Lisbon. Despite the original plan to continue southwards to Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro, the Inquisitor Hector Furtado de Mendonça was recalled to Portugal earlier than anticipated. The Inquisitor predominately targeted forced Jewish converts in its first Brazilian iteration, some of whom had begun to make a fortune in the tropics. João, a cristão-novo (New Christian) – a descendant of forced Jewish converts – and member of the mercantile elite dominated by Sephardic networks, received almost twenty denunciations; more than any other victim of the first Visitation to Brazil between 1591 and 1593.4 His brother, Diogo, was also targeted, albeit with far fewer denunciations, but in each he was always linked to his elder sibling. While the extant sources do not provide explicit evidence of why the Nunes were targeted specifically, the threat the size of their family businesses and increasing social influence posed for the old-world elite was certainly a significant factor. 2 Testimony of Francisco Ferraz against João Nunes, 7 February 1594. Primeira visitação do Santo Ofício, 214. These testimonies were collected by Hector Furtado de Mendonça and brought to Lisbon for the trials. 3 Following a succession crisis, the Portuguese crown was incorporated into the monarchy of Philip II in the so-called Iberian Union. Portugal did not regain formal independence until 1640. 4 A cristão-novo was the name given to forced Jewish and Muslim converts to Christianity in Portugal and Brazil following the 1497 decree by D. Manuel imposing conversion after a grace period of ten months.

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This chapter argues that the idea of keeping family, in terms of the struggle between Old and New Christian families, was integral to what is often framed as a religious or economic matter. New Christian families cultivated the familial connections that enabled the creation of a social class unique to Brazil – the senhor do engenho (sugar mill owner).5 While they were not the only owners of sugar mills in colonial Brazil, they were over-represented in this respect.6 The old-world elite did not cultivate familial connections in the same way and thus did not have access to the same expansive Mediterranean and Northern European trading networks. When the success of the Nunes brothers’ Atlantic enterprise threatened Old Christian oligarchs, they attempted to use the First Visitation of the Inquisition to dismantle the Nunes network. Their strategy ultimately failed following royal intervention. The Portuguese Crown recognised that strong kinship networks, sustained across distance, were integral to the economic success of Brazil. Thus, the Nunes, who had created and maintained a strong network enabling sugar production and trade to flourish, were saved by the tacit support of the Crown. In other words: the fact that New Christians kept family so effectively alternately advantaged them (allowing them to build strong businesses over distance), disadvantaged them (raising the ire of their Old Christian competitors and the attention of the Inquisition) and then advantaged them again (the Crown realising that the prolonged imprisonment or execution of key family members would compromise the network’s ability to contribute to the treasury’s coffers). However, this picture is complicated further by the fact that although the Crown had a distinct interest in supporting the nascent sugar trade in Brazil through implicit protection of New Christian families like the Nunes, the monarchs also sought to find ways to control these networks to prevent tax evasion. This meant that while they might want to curtail the more stringent overtures of the Inquisition, they were not averse to using them to extract funds. Scholarship on New Christians and the sugar trade has traditionally been in the field of economic history, made possible through the pioneering efforts of Leonor Freire Costa, Christopher Ebert, and Daniel Strum among others.7 Similarly, scholarship on New Christians and Inquisition has been enriched by the work of Brazilian historians like José Antônio Gonsalves 5 See Schwartz (1985). 6 Although, as Ebert has shown, both New and Old Christians participated in the sugar trade and Sephardic networks may be overstated: Ebert, 7. 7 Ebert: Costa, (2002): Strum (2012).


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de Mello, Anita Novinsky, and Sonia Siqueira, who have produced detailed studies of their influence, partly in response to the assertions of Portuguese historian Antônio Saraiva, who dismissed crypto-Judaism.8 It has now been established, that while some accusations of Judaising were unfounded, the Inquisition in colonial Brazil had the effect of excluding New Christians from society and thus inadvertently affirming Jewish family bonds and identity.9 Neither of these extensive historiographies has yet linked the intense focus on New Christians during the Inquisition to a desire by the colonial elite to dismantle familial networks. This chapter, therefore, offers a slightly different configuration of a longstanding historiography. While much recent work has focused on the effect of Brazilian trade on Europe, this chapter takes the focus back to Brazil, showing how these family networks operated, and exploring the cultural attitudes and emotional responses towards them through the lens of published and unpublished Inquisitional records.10 It is divided into three parts, looking at; firstly, the Nunes in the context of colonial Brazil; secondly, their influence and function in colonial Brazil as told through Inquisition records; and thirdly, the economic importance of keeping the family alive in the aftermath of the accusations.11

The Nunes in Late Sixteenth-Century Brazil In the early seventeenth century, Ambrósio Fernandes Brandão, a senhor do engenho and cristão-novo, wrote a dialogue on mercantile life in the tropics. A long-time resident of Pernambuco and later Paraíba, the Portugueseborn plantation owner, through his alter ego ‘Brandônio’, instructed his companion, the recently arrived ‘Alviano’, on commercial strategies in the Atlantic. When the sceptical Alviano suggested that surely more wealth could be made trading spice out of India, Brandônio promised that ‘even if you were to export only sugar from Brazil, it is the richest and most profitable

8 Gonsalves de Mello; Novinsky; Siqueira (1978). 9 On the debate, see Wadsworth (2010), 638–639. 10 Vainfas (1989); Bosi. 11 Nunes’ records are scattered across various processos in the Inquisição de Lisboa, ANTT: Denunciações from Bahia, processos 885 and 12464 (henceforth DB885 and DB12464); Denunciações from Pernambuco, processos 87, 88 and 1491 (henceforth DP87, DP88 and DP1491). They begin and end with notes from the Inquisitor, Hector Furtado de Mendonça. On the tension between the ancien regime and proto-capitalism, see Bosi, 94–119.

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good for His Majesty’s treasury than any of those from the Indies’.12 He declared that Brazil’s riches: Consists of six goods with which its people can become rich. The first is sugar production, the second is trade, the third is the wood they call Brazil, the fourth is cotton and timber, the fifth is the farming of foodstuffs, the sixth is cattle farming. Of all of these, the heart and substance of the wealth of these lands is in the plantation of sugar cane.13

As a cristão-novo, Brandão enjoyed relatively little social mobility in Lisbon, but off the coast of Bahia and further south, he created wealth through trade and became part of an elite for whom blood purity was not compulsory. Having already been responsible for the establishment of the sugar trade in Madeira, many New Christians like Brandão transferred their operations to the more hospitable climes of north-eastern Brazil and, bolstered by the Atlantic slave trade, used their familial networks to build large enterprises.14 João Nunes was among the three wealthiest individuals in Pernambuco at the time of the first Visitation.15 The other two were also New Christians, suggesting that by 1591 the creation of a new elite was well underway in the absence of a true centralised power in the colony. The power vacuum in Brazil was a consequence of its lack of consistent governance ever since it became an official possession of the Portuguese crown in 1500. Indeed, it did not receive a royal government until 1549. At one point, there was an attempt to shift the onus of colonisation onto private enterprise by granting ownership and administrative responsibilities to donatários (usually nobles who had been granted land) in the 1530s when brazilwood was first discovered in abundance.16 The flimsy attempt to form a cohesive governance structure is underscored by the fact that no captaincies survived beyond 1549 except São Vicente, Pernambuco, Ilhéus, and Porto Seguro. Rather, the dominant force were the Jesuits, from whose 12 Brandão, 74. 13 Brandão, 73. Although there is debate as to whether Brandão is the true author, I have elected to name him as such here. 14 See Strum (2001), 1. 15 Gonsalves de Mello, 51. 16 From 1534 to 1536, João divided the Brazilian colony into fifteenth roughly equal captaincies and granted ownership of the land to twelve donees who were able to tax inhabitants, appoint officials, impose laws, but were subject to military service as required. Brazilwood, also known as pau-brasil or Pernambuco wood (Caesalpina echinata), is a tree with dense reddish wood. The wood is valued for its ability to take on a high shine and the red dye, which can be extracted.


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records we garner the majority of evidence concerning plantation life, and the mercantile classes. In a letter to the Portuguese king in 1552, the Jesuit Manuel da Nóbrega lamented the abundance of officials: who do not wish to do more than finish their contracts and get their orders [to return home]…they do not care for the land; all their love is for Portugal. They do not work hard to improve it [the land] unless they are able to profit from it in some way.17

New Christians took advantage of the lack of Portuguese colonialists willing to invest in the land and reaped the rewards. Their profits, however, did not go unnoticed. From 1570–1670, Brazil was the largest exporter of sugar globally, its rise on the world stage juxtaposed against the decline of spice trade with India. The Portuguese establishment turned to its long-neglected colony in the hope of exploiting its resources. When the Inquisitor Mendonça arrived in Baía de Todos-os-Santos, it was interpreted as an attempt to claw back social and economic control from the likes of the Nunes brothers whose trade with their European connections was not sharing enough of its profits with the crown.18 João Nunes and his brothers were part of the New Christian elite who had expanded their familial network to Brazil, bolstered by the absence of religious and political authority and economic opportunity. According to the anecdotal evidence in his trial records, João was born circa 1546 in Castro Daire, a town to the south of Porto, and he had arrived in Brazil sometime in the 1580s.19 By the time the Inquisition arrived in Bahia, he was in his mid-40s and was living with a married woman, Francisca Ferreira, who had separated from her Angola-based husband.20 Nunes had three brothers, Henrique, Diogo, and Antonio, and two sisters, Branca and Florença.21 Florença lived with their parents while Henrique, Antonio, and Branca were married and living in Portugal. Diogo, however, worked in Brazil alongside João and achieved Inquisitional notoriety for arguing that fornication with ‘a black

17 Manuel da Nóbrega to João III, King of Portugal, Baía, early July 1552. Cartas do Brasil, 112–117, 114. 18 Novinsky. 19 Siqueira (1971), 231. 20 ‘Transcription of the trial of João Nunes, New Christian, merchant, resident in Pernambuco, currently imprisoned in the city of Salvador in the prison of the Holy Office.’ March 1592, DB885, ANTT. 21 Gonsalves de Mello, 51.

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or unmarried woman was not a sin’.22 They also had a cousin resident in Brazil, another Henrique Nunes, who was married to Isabel Antunes. Isabel was a victim of the Bahian Visitation after she confessed to engaging in a Jewish funerary rite (although she claimed she did not know it was Jewish until after the fact).23 Collectively, the Nunes clan received almost fifty denunciations, the most of any family in Brazil, excluding the notorious cristão-novo couple, Diogo Fernandes and Branca Dias.24 Information available on how the Nunes functioned as a commercial operation is slim, but historians have been able to identify some relevant factors. According to the work of Angelo Adriano Faria de Assis, João Nunes would have travelled himself, or sent representatives, to other captaincies in Brazil, Portuguese territories abroad, and commercial ports in Europe and in Africa. The purpose of such trips was to conduct business and form crucial networks. João was responsible for the legwork, reporting back to his brother in Portugal, Henrique, who traded with the much larger, prominent Ximenes family (upon whom the Nunes relied to trade into Northern Europe). João’s work in Brazil was quite simple: earn money through trading contracts (there is consistent evidence of brazilwood contracts from the 1590s into the seventeenth century); use the profits to loan money at a high interest rates (the loathed onzena loans); increase trade using capital sent from his brother in Lisbon; and invest the proceeds into the burgeoning sugar trade. Henrique and Diogo were both named senhores de engenho and João was the administrator of all trade negotiations with local and international contacts. The Nunes were one of few families that did not depend on third parties to transport crops, forming a network of distribution headed by João and assisted by Diogo, who produced and exported sugar to the Low Countries via Lisbon. Henrique, with his brother-in-law, Luís Mendes, in Porto, used the Ximenes in Antwerp to move sugar from Portugal to the Low Countries.25 This was how the Nunes machine worked: Diogo remained on the sugar plantations in Paraíba while João administered the capital in Pernambuco.26 22 Testimony of Lopo Soares against João Nunes, 23 November 1593. Denunciações e Confissões de Pernambuco (DCP), 117–119. 23 Confession of Isabel Antunes, 1 February 1592, 294–295, Confissoes da Bahia (CB). 24 These denunciations are preserved in five processos or trial records from Bahia and Pernambuco which were brought to Portugal in the nineteenth century. We do not know how many accusations were brought by the residents of Bahia and Pernambuco because a second volume of the original accusations from Bahia has been lost, although some were transcribed for the Lisbon trials. On Diogo and Branca, see Gonsalves de Mello, 117–166. 25 Assis (2007), 20–22; Gonsalves de Mello, 73–74. 26 Gonsalves de Mello, 65.


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The Nunes brothers were a typical example of a kinship trading network in the Atlantic sugar trade. Their extensive network, which included sugar, slaves, and other forms of commerce, stretched from Brazil and Angola to continental Europe through Henrique, resident in Lisbon. The Tribunal heard that Henrique was the eldest brother and had principal control over all commercial negotiations.27 This was perhaps an understatement. Despite the distance, Henrique still gave João orders on the dispersion of capital ten years after the establishment of their business interests in Pernambuco.28 João and Diogo were intermediaries in Brazil and Henrique traded their goods with family members married to the Ximenes family in Antwerp and the Evora family in Portugal.29 Henrique used his connections to protect his brothers – João’s list of fiadores (guarantors) who signed his prison release and put up 4,000 cruzados as security were some of Lisbon’s mercantile elite. Henrique Dias Milão, his sister-in-law Ana, her husband Rodrigo de Andrade (related to Rodrigues de Évora, of the powerful Évora trade family) and others used their influence to spirit him away, at least temporarily, from the Holy Office.30

The Nunes Family and the Inquisition in Brazil João, together with the Milão, Fernandes, Dias, Ximenes, and other family networks who settled in Brazil, contributed to the formation of a new elite. Property, liquidity, and a lack of debts gave New Christians a means by which to protect themselves in a society that was not as intolerant as previously thought, but nonetheless not absent of prejudice towards descendants of forced Jewish converts. Prior to the First Visitation, the Nunes interacted with the Old Christian elite in a new society which had no centralised political infrastructure and instead looked to wealth as a mark of power and influence. New Christians took advantage of their kinship links, but did not solely survive on religious or blood ties to engineer commercial success. New Christians and Old Christians were both rivals and collaborators in the pursuit of profit.31 However, family links remained very important for the Nunes, and João’s 27 Siqueira (1971), 239. 28 Gonsalves de Mello, 64. 29 Ana Ximenes married Rei Nunes and their child married Simão Rodrigues de Évora. Both appear in a contract for pepper in 1593. See Stratégie des affaires, 4. 30 Gonsalves de Mello, Gente da Nação, 60. Henrique and Ana were both taken by the inquisition; Ana was released, but Henrique died by fire. Stratégie des affaires à Lisbonne, 4. 31 Stratégie des affaires à Lisbonne; Schwartz (2008); and Roitman, 9, 13.

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business acumen was not dissimilar to that of other familial agents who represented elder siblings in Portugal, while they organised themselves and independent contractors in the New World.32 Although João’s primary goal was increasing profits, he unconsciously contributed to the shaping of colonial society through the size and importance of his familial network. We see the importance of family networks to colonial society in the repetitive formulas used to record Inquisitorial denunciations and confessions. Almost all the accusations mentioned in this chapter begin with the parentage of the accused, followed by their links to other New Christians, and then details of the crime. For example, in the short confession given by Nunes’ cousin by marriage, her parents’ names and religions are given, as is her husband’s: ‘one does not know for certain his ethnic group (nação), but one definitely knows of a cousin with a brother who is João Nunes, of Pernambuco, merchant, who is a cristão-novo inteiro’.33 Such details not only show that the Inquisition was keen to trace familial connections, they also reveal how Bahian and Pernambucan societies were constructed based on familial connections. However, once the Inquisition arrived, Old Christians used spurious denunciations to deny João access to the social mobility to which he had become accustomed. For some time, João’s status had been tolerated on account of his wealth and political connections, but the Inquisition allowed individuals of higher birth, but lesser means, to strip him of this protection. In this section, I discuss why Old Christians targeted the Nunes family before analysing their accusations, ranging from mistressing to allegations of murder. I aim to show how, as the face of the Nunes network, João was the scapegoat for societal concerns that wealth and social mobility were in the ‘wrong’ hands. Old Christians envied the Nunes-Milão-Ximenes networks because of their strong finances, collective experience growing sugarcane in Madeira, and access to trade in the Mediterranean and northern Europe. Such advantages were not available to the more socially prestigious but less financially mobile Portuguese elite. These were the people most vociferously opposed to the Nunes in Brazil. For example, one of João’s most vociferous critics was a culturally significant, but cash-poor individual who was at the mercy of a Nunes loan. Cristóvão Vaz de Bom Jesus, senhor of two engenhos in Cabo de Santo Antônio, claimed that João ‘deserved to be burned’ for his sins. He testified that João Nunes publicly and easily imposes onzenas and onzeneiro contracts as if they were legal and not prohibited (an onzeneiro 32 Siqueira (1971), 231. 33 Confession of Isabel Antunes, 1 February 1592. CB, 294.


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was an individual who took 11% interest on loans and was widely reviled).34 He also alluded to João ordering the murder of Pero da Silva, supported by another a denunciation given by Alvaro Velho Barreto. Vaz, together with Filipe Cavalcanti, Cristóvão Lins and a German, were all victims of Joao’s lending practices and viciously accused him of arranging the murder of the labourer who started the crucifix story, a claim which is not made in other accusations.35 The profitability of the Nunes trade permitted João to act in socially unacceptable ways because the economic productivity his family contributed to the colony was considered more important than enforcing laws. For instance, despite onzeneiro practices being illegal, the social power João gained from extraordinary wealth inhibited potential litigious action from those seeking to contest his terms. Or, in the words of Domingos Carvalho; ‘being so rich and powerful, the government and the elite do whatever he wishes’.36 On one occasion, João was arrested for ‘publicly mistressing’, but the Jesuits promptly got him out of the town jail. According to the Inquisitorial ouvidor, Diogo do Couto, when João was taken to the public jail, ‘suddenly the fathers of the Company of Jesus would appear to speak on his behalf and soon after they let him go free back to his house’.37 Thus, although João was not endowed with any official power, his wealth gave him the flexibility to challenge social and religious standards rigidly enforced by both secular and ecclesiastical authorities in Portugal, but limply protected in Brazil. There was confusion between secular and ecclesiastical authorities, not limited to João’s case, and this enabled a power vacuum to emerge, which the emerging mercantile elite could fill. Even in jail, João managed his business carefully, sending a bribe to the governor of Pernambuco and using foot soldiers to find out more information about the royal attitude to the possessions confiscated by the Inquisition belonging to New Christians.38 João Nunes’ ability to move among the local elite without fully embracing their standards of behaviour was a source of frustration and, at times, anger, for the upper echelons of society. While João’s mistressing was barely concealed, it was also his eccentric dress that upset many of his 34 Testimony of Christovão Vaz de Bom Jesus against João Nunes, 5 February 1594, DCP, 199–200, 200. For information on onzeneiros see Gonsalves de Mello, 67. 35 Testimony of Christovão Vaz de Bom Jesus against João Nunes, 5 February 1594. DCP, 199–200, 200. See discussion in Siqueira (1971), 237. 36 Vainfas, 1995; Testimony of Domingos Carvalho against João Nunes, 10 February 1592, IL885. 37 Testimony of Diogo de Couto against João Nunes. 27 June 1594, DCP, 301. 38 Gonsalves de Mello, 58.

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accusers. João was among the three richest men in Pernambuco, but he frequently dressed in the cheap baize used to clothe slaves, to the horror of his contemporaries who rankled at his lack of decorum.39 João would also dress inappropriately for important occasions, such as one Holy Thursday when Belchior Mendes de Azevedo reported that he decided to don the wardrobe of a gentleman prepared for merrymaking, rather than mourning the death of Christ: [João] was dressed in all new [clothes], as if he were a gentleman attending a ball, with a festive silk grosgrain vest and silk waistcoat. This is very unusual for him, he is usually seen walking around scruffy and poorly dressed, and that itself is an outrage, the fact that he always goes around shambolically presented in plain clothes, despite being so rich. He’s a senhor of two engenhos in Paraíba and they say he has more than 200,000 cruzados. And so, when [Belchior Mendes de Azevedo] testified that he saw [João] go out dressed like a gentleman, even carrying a sword, breaking so much with tradition on Holy Thursday, he was completely scandalised. 40

On occasions when he wanted something, however, João could appeal to ancien régime standards. When called to visit the governor of Bahia in Salvador, for example, he ‘appeared dressed in velvet with much embroidery’. The governor and João were on good terms, and the Inquisitor heard that the Governor enjoyed João’s company and found his sense of humour to be charming. 41 The fact that João had provided funds to the governor, effectively bribing him, would have certainly helped their ‘friendship’. Simply put, João’s wealth allowed him to choose when and when not to conform to cultural norms. This irritated the elite who could not diverge from such norms without damaging their honour in the eyes of their peers. The Portuguese elite’s frustration with João’s clothing was representative of a broader phenomenon. Reciprocal access between João’s networks and theirs was limited and, as the local head of a larger familial network, João had the power to manipulate market forces in Pernambuco. The fact that they did not have access to the Nunes’ community and did not have their business 39 See, for example, Testimony of Cristóvão Pais d’Altero against João Nunes and others, 20 December 1591. DB555–560. 40 Testimony of Belchior Mendes de Azevedo against João Nunes, 24 August 1591, DB12464. 41 Testimony of Cristóvão Pais d’Altero against João Nunes and others, 20 December 1591, DB555–60.


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experience or acumen frustrated many Old Christian merchants. One, Belchior Mendes de Azevedo, claimed that ‘[João] is the Rabbi of Jewish law and there is just as much secret communication as there is public between [João] and all the New Christians in Pernambuco.’42 However, the extent to which this was an accurate representation of the Nunes’ communication practices is unclear. Old Christian secular and ecclesiastical powerbrokers were not used to sharing power with New Christians and the fact they resented it is revealed by their over representation in Inquisition accusations against the Nunes. 43 While the family’s accusers represented all social classes, including ecclesiastical and lay f igures, slaves, merchants, labourers, and senhores de engenhos, the highest concentration of accusations came from clerics – around 15% in Bahia and 14% in Pernambuco. In Bahia, 10% were government officials and slaves were also represented in 20% of denunciations, more than likely coerced by their owners. By contrast, there were no accusations made by slaves or government officials in Pernambuco where the incidents took place and João actually lived. Rather, in Pernambuco, 14% of accusations came from those who prepared the sugarcane for production. There were no merchants or traders who came forward in Pernambuco, and only one each in Bahia. The data suggests that João’s mercantile peers appreciated the business he brought in, but those who belonged to the traditional elite resented his presence and sought to reclaim some authority. These statistics, however, do not shed light on the linguistic nature of the accusations, which vary depending on the social background of the accuser. While we can see that some of the elite felt personally targeted by the Nunes, labourers and farmhands who were approached by the ouvidor in Pernambuco were notably ambivalent about the merchant’s crimes and only appeared to be disturbed by his money lending practices. 44 In order to hinder the expansion of the Nunes brothers’ enterprise, their accusers relied on two main stories to ensure their demise. In João’s case, the crucifix story was told and retold over five years. Some witnesses claimed it had been placed above the cistern, others that it had been placed within the 42 Testimony of Belchior Mendes de Azevedo against João Nunes, 24 August 1591, DB12464. 43 Roughly 80% of João’s accusers were Old Christians, the few New Christians who denounced João were likely fearful of repercussions from the Inquisition if they did not cooperate. Over 90% were men and almost 80% were born in Portugal. All figures taken from Assis (2011), 230–236. 44 Testimony of Christovão Vaz de Bom Jesus against João Nunes, 5 February 1594, Testimony of Antonio Batalha against João Nunes, 5 February 1594, Duarte de Sá against João Nunes, 8 February 1594. DCP, 199–200, 203, 228–229.

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toilet, or that it had lewd printed Dutch rags draped across it. Whatever the details, these stories followed a repetitive script, designed to create enough momentum to finally jail João and remove him from the colony. In Diogo’s case, the Inquisition heard that he told his employees, repeatedly, that it was not a mortal sin to sleep with a black woman who was unmarried and compensated for her efforts.45 However, the story changed depending on the social class of the accuser. It is obvious that working-class accusers of both men were either were forced to appear without knowing why, or had been coached to repeat an almost identical script.46 At the opposite end of the social spectrum, those belonging to the highest ranks of government, like Duarte de Sá and Lopo Soares, tried to hedge their bets. They dutifully relayed the same rumours they had heard, but gave no further elaboration. Duarte de Sá, for example, a Crown governor, was called to give the same evidence, but concluded by affirming that ‘he was a friend of João Nunes and receives many gifts of friendship from him’.47 There was an awareness that these networks were critical to the life of the colony and, as Crown administrators, they were required to look after the economy. Thus, the script only became truly inflammatory in the cases where João’s aforementioned enemies pushed for his downfall.

Saving João; Keeping the Nunes Family Network On 21 February 1592, João Nunes was remanded to prison in Bahia before being sent to Lisbon by the end of May. 48 Even while in prison, he secured the intercession of the Jesuits to make his living conditions more favourable and was able to use his wealth to convince the shipmaster to stop several days earlier in Lisbon so he could close some contracts and get his affairs in order before appearing at the Inquisition. 49 Indeed there is a brazilwood contract in his name from 1594.50 Despite his profile, there is little evidence of João’s response to these accusations, and indeed of what exactly happened after he was arrested, but there are glimpses afforded by the surviving 45 Adrião de Gois against Diogo Nunes, 1 February 1594. DCP, 189–191. 46 Only one of Diogo’s accusers sincerely pressed for justice, while the remainder were perplexed as to why they were before the Inquisition. Testimony of Miguel Pires Landim against Diogo Nunes, 5 March 1594. DCP, 244–246. 47 Duarte de Sá against João Nunes, 8 February 1594. DCP, 228–229. 48 See Heitor Furtado de Mendonça’s ‘Despacho do senhor visitador’ 21 February 1592, DB885, ANTT. 49 Siqueira (1971), 244. 50 Mauro, 126.


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documentation. On one occasion, when pressed, he apparently responded that the crucifix issue ‘was a hoax they used to trap me’.51 While in Lisbon, Diogo continued to act as João’s business assistant.52 A copy of a letter written by Diogo to João when the latter was in Lisbon, shows the continuation of their trading network after João’s departure. Diogo told João: Do your accounts, but register them there first, and having done that if you think there’s money for me to pay what I owe in Brazil, assign me the debts people owe you so I can recall your money, and I’ll use them to pay what I owe.53

Even while incarcerated, the Nunes network continued, likely facilitated by the Crown, who played a role in courting João after his bail and providing him approved means to re-enter commerce after his trial. Despite the lack of sources, there is nevertheless an impressionistic image of how the Nunes brothers were eventually supported by the Crown to return to their work in Brazil. This section will cover the existing evidence and suggest how and why this occurred. Both the Crown and the New Christian mercantile network in Lisbon used technicalities to avoid João and Diogo meeting the fate of many of their contemporaries. For example, Diogo and João used their status as mere mediators to their advantage during their trials. In Lisbon, both brothers asserted that legal ownership of the engenhos belonged to Henrique, João declaring himself a merchant and Diogo, merely João’s feitor or overseer. This allowed João to claim, correctly, that he did not legally own any commercial interests and simply saw to the business of his brother. In turn, Diogo, the youngest, was compelled to follow João’s orders and owned only a half interest in his two engenhos (the other half owned by Henrique and supervised by João).54 João’s seniority, however, led to no small amount of rancour between the siblings and the trial records grant us a brief glimpse into family dynamics within commercial environments, ordinarily out of reach to scholars. In one surviving letter, Diogo railed against his brother’s control over his person and signed his epistle ‘from your brother who was never born’. Apparently, the 51 Quoted in the testimony of Fabião Rodrigues against João Nunes, 25 February 1592, DB885, ANTT. 52 Gonzalves de Mello, 65. Until Diogo was arrested and tried himself, Assis, Os infortúnios e heresias’, 27–28. 53 ‘Transcription of a letter that Diogo Nunes, brother of the accused, João Nunes, sent to the former, which was found among the papers of the accused when an inventory was made of his farm after being arrested,’ undated, DB885, ANTT. 54 Gonsalves de Mello, 57.

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dispute concerned money that Diogo owed João, and the former complained that ‘you pursue me with your stubbornness, confronting me, dishonouring me, and shaming me, talking about me in every nook and cranny, with words or with letters to whom you please’. These unnamed practices, perhaps João’s reputation for chasing down loans, was apparently perilous to the soul. Diogo wrote: I remind you, as a friend, that a man who walks with demons, torn from God, has no hope of returning to Him anytime soon. May the demons not make you do anything which makes the Devil walk with you.55

This letter, and another from João’s servant, were included as trial evidence, so its utility as a barometer for the brothers’ relationship is not particularly high, but it does show the fraternal hierarchy at play and a sense of the pressure they faced as a marginalised group resented for their social influence. Other traces can be found, for example, in the trial records of Diogo. When pressed by the Inquisition, he responded that he was Henrique’s business partner, despite certainly being subordinate to João.56 The interception of these letters reveals the surveillance under which the Nunes family network operated. There was a desperation to uncover incriminating evidence in order to exert control over such quasi-independent entities. This secular and ecclesiastical prerogative became clear in Lisbon following João’s first trial. Although the Council General admitted a lack of evidence to support incarceration, they still found him guilty. He was fined 4,000 cruzados and the Holy Office sequestered his worldly possessions.57 This gave the Inquisitor Mendonça, now in Pernambuco, the opportunity to gather more evidence, but since the story of the crucifix did ‘not provide conclusive legitimate evidence of infamy’, his was a doomed mission from the start.58 The Pernambuco documents repeat the same rumour, but contain many more accusations by those who appear to have been summoned without being aware of why they were present.59 55 ‘Transcription of a letter that Diogo Nunes, brother of the accused, João Nunes, sent to the former,’ undated, DB885, ANTT. 56 Processo de Diogo Nunes, cristão-novo, solteiro, preso nesta vila pelo Santo Ofício. ANTT, Inquisição de Lisboa, proc. 6344 in Assis (2007), 23. 57 ‘Correspondência inédita do Inquisidor Geral,’ 543. 58 ‘Letter from the Counsel General to Heitor Furtado de Mendonça,’ 1 April 1593. ‘Correspondência inédita do Inquisidor Geral,’ 543, ANTT. 59 Luis Gomes against, 1 April 1594, Antonio Corrêa against João Nunes, 2 April 1594, Pero Lucas against, 27 June 1594. DCP, 247–250, 250–251, 306–308.


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That João’s trial resulted in financial penalties rather than incarceration or execution is testament to his family’s importance to the treasury. Indeed, a despatch was sent to His Majesty confirming that João was free.60 This communication to Philip II is significant because in 1595 João secured a licence from the Holy Office to go to the royal court at Madrid for four months to manage commercial interests. He met with the king’s economic council about matters relating to trade in ‘Brazilwood, Angola, and other important things’. He also secured several lucrative brazilwood contracts during his time in Madrid and he requested, and received, extensions to his licence to stay three times by the Holy Office returning to Lisbon in late 1596. In 1597 – almost six years after Mendonça first arrived in Brazil, the king ordered a review of his trial. The Council General found there was no evidence, even following the extensive denunciations collected in Pernambuco, to sustain a conviction: We have seen these trials in the Council Hall, being present the illustrious Bishop, General Inquisitor, who agreed that the named João Nunes be absolved in this instance and that the fiadores are no longer obligated. The sequestration on his goods should be lifted and any associated costs should be returned to him.61

Those in power recognised that had João received a long prison sentence, the economic life of the colony would have been compromised. Royal intervention facilitated his return to Brazil where he could contribute to the growing sugar trade. Indeed, on 30 December 1597, he was granted authorisation to send the merchant ship Leão Dourado from Vila de Viana to Pernambuco, but he was only allowed to transport sugar and he was specifically not authorised to transport ‘any kind of wood’. Thus, the 4,000 cruzados were returned, João’s possessions released from sequestration, and he was permitted to return to Pernambuco where he seems to have lived until at least 1643 – the last time his name appeared in a commercial contract.62 It was a Pyrrhic victory: the Nunes got their property and trade interests back, but with a significant and costly delay. The relative documentary silence following his return suggests that João maintained a less flamboyant public identity than he did prior to his undesired sojourn to the continent. The social response to the emergence of an Atlantic bourgeoisie protected from overt religious and political regulation on account of their importance to 60 Siqueira (1971), 245. 61 Gonsalves de Mello, 73–74; Judgment of João Nunes, 12 November 1597, DP1491. 62 Siqueira (1971), 248–249.

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economic production tells us about transition and processes of colonisation in late sixteenth-century Brazil. While no one truly contested the power of the Nunes in situ, it came out in the inquisitorial documents; the elite of Bahia and especially Pernambuco used the inexperienced Inquisitor to try to unravel the network of influence the Nunes had constructed in Olinda and beyond. The nascent commercial class the Nunes represented was a threat to old regime values, but Brazil was not Portugal, and nor did the Crown necessarily want it to be so. The knowledge and networks of the New Christians were critical to the improvement to profits earned from sugar production and export which skyrocketed in the 1580s, peaking in the first half of the seventeenth century.

Conclusion The tensions, which the trial records of João Nunes, and to a lesser extent, Diogo Nunes, offer insight into how familial networks were organised and received by colonial and Portuguese elite society. On the one hand, we see the complaints of the local accusers who did not have either practical or cultural access to the Sephardic trade networks. The local elite, formerly protected by seigneurial customs, desired the breakdown of the burgeoning mercantile class robbing them of financial and social security. By contrast, we see the efforts of the Crown to control the peregrinations of successful New Christians with the capital and the connections to produce and export sugar to the continent. João’s forced stay in Lisbon and Madrid placed him in courtly circles which rerouted his mercantile networks. Together with his brothers, Henrique and Diogo, João was emblematic of a growing group of families publicly profiting from the sugar trade in Brazil who had to navigate significant social and political challenges to continue their economic ascent. The inquisitorial record can act as a distorted mirror of colonial attitudes revealing what was known of the commercial and familial activities of New Christians by the church and the monarchy. Those attitudes expressed in the records suggest that New Christians were not persecuted simply for their faith, but for the economic and social threat they represented. The detailed accusations within the record suggest that accusers sought to imprison Nunes and his family both literally and figuratively: literally, to halt his business interests; and figuratively, to place pressure on those with whom the Nunes traded. The desire to demarcate Jewish commercial networks and find out more about them was a means by which to expose their trading techniques. The intention was not to simply curtail their economic reach but to minimise their spatial and social mobility, for families like the


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Nunes operated through and around traditional societal restrictions. The Portuguese elite in Brazil wanted to retain their power and prevent further easing of traditional restrictions. Thus, rather than providing an economic schema of the Nunes’ practices, the Inquisitorial record provides evidence of the persistence of a marginalised group to maintain the economic and social ascendancy they had gained. The denunciations of and confessions by New Christians like João Nunes and Diogo Nunes offer insight into the tension between the desire of the local elite to reproduce Portugal and its seigneurial hierarchy in Brazil and the resistance of those who, alienated by cultural restraints, had found respite in the fluid nature of colonial life. The importance of kinship networks, and maintaining these networks across distance, was integral to the economic success of Brazil. Thus ‘keeping family’ for New Christians was tacitly supported by the Crown only when the family business kept treasury coffers full and sugar production booming.

Works Cited Published Primary Sources Brandão, Ambrósio Fernandes. Diálogos das Grandezas do Brasil (Imprensa Universitária: Recife, 1966). Cartas do Brasil e Mais Escritos do Pe. Manuel da Nóbrega ed. Serafim Leite (Coimbra: Universidade, 1955). ‘Correspondência Inédita do Inquisidor Geral e Conselho Geral do Santo Ofício para o primeiro Visitador da Inquisição no Brasil,’ ed. Antônio Baião. Brasília 1 (1942): 543–551. Primeira Visitação do Santo Ofício às partes do Brasil: Denunciações e Confissões de Pernambuco (DCP), 1593–1595, ed. José Antônio Gonsalves de Mello (Recife: FUNDAREP, 1984). Primeira Visitação do Santo Ofício às Partes do Brasil pelo Licenciado Heitor Furtado de Mendonça, capellão fidago del Rey nosso senhor e do seu desembargo, deputado do Santo Officio. Denunciações da Bahia 1591–1593. ed. João Capistrano de Abreu, 3 vols. (São Paulo: Paulo Prado, 1922–1929). Primeira Visitação do Santo Oficio às partes do Brasil: Confissões da Bahia, 1591–92, ed. João Capistrano de Abreu (Rio de Janeiro: Sociedade Capistrano de Abreu, 1935). Santo Ofício da Inquisição de Lisboa: Confissões da Bahia, ed. Ronaldo Vainfas (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1997). Stratégie des Affaires à Lisbonne entre 1595 et 1607, Lettres Marchandes des Rodrigues d’Evora et Veiga ed. José Gentil da Silva (Paris: Librarie Armand Colin, 1956).

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Secondary Sources Assis, Adriano Faria de. João Nunes, um Rabi Escatológico na Nova Lusitânia. (São Paulo: Alameda, 2011). –––. ‘Ruim Cristão e Mau Judeu: a Inquisição no Brasil Colonial e o Processo Contra João Nunes Correia.’ PROHAL Monográfico I: (2008): 1–31. –––. ‘Os Infortúnios e Heresias do Cristão-novo Diogo Nunes, Senhor de Engenho da Paraíba Quinhentista nas Malhas da Inquisição.’ Revista Eletrônica de istória de Brasi 9/2 (2007): 17–29. Bosi, Alfredo. A Dialética da Colonização (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1992, repr. 1996). Freire Costa, Leonor. O Transporte no Atlântico e a Companhia Geral do Comércio do Brasil (1580–1663). 2 vols. (Lisbon: Comissão Nacional para as Comemorações dos Descobrimentos Portugueses, 2002). –––. ‘Merchant Groups in the 17th-Century Brazilian Sugar Trade: Topics with New Research Insights.’ e-Journal of Portuguese History 2/1 (2004): 1–11. –––. O Transporte no Atlântico: as Frotas de Açúcar (1580–1663). Unpublished PhD thesis, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 2001. Ebert, Christopher. Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic Economy 1550–1630 (Leiden: Brill, 2008). Ginzburg, Carlo. ‘The Inquisitor as Anthropologist.’ In Clues, Myths and the Historical Method, tr. by John and Anne Tedeschi (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 156–164. Gonsalves de Mello, José Antônio. Gente da Nação: Cristãos-novos e Judeus em Pernambuco, 1542–1654 (Recife: FUNDAJ, Editora Massangana, 1979; repr. 1996). Mauro, Le Portugal et l’Atlantique au XVIIe Siecle (1570–1670) (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1960). Novinsky, Anita. Cristãos-novos na Bahia: A Inquisição (São Paulo: Perspectiva, 1972, repr. 1992). Ricardo, Silvia Carvalho. ‘As Redes Mercantis no Final do Século XVI e a Figura do Mercador João Nunes Correia.’ Unpublished MA thesis, Universidade de São Paulo, 2006. –––. ‘Expoentes Mercantis e Dinâmica de Negócios: A Família dias de Milao (1580–1624).’ Unpublished PhD thesis, Universidade de São Paulo, 2014. Roitman, Jessica V. Diaspora, Migration, and the Foundations of Inter-cultural Trade (Leiden: Brill, 2011). Schwartz, Stuart. Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian society: Bahia, 1550–1835 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). –––. Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450–1680 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).


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–––. All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World (New York and London: Yale University Press, 2008). –––. ‘The Formation of a Colonial Identity in Brazil.’ In Colonial Identity in the Atlantic World, 1500–1800, ed. Anthony Pagden and Nicholas Canny (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), 15–50. Siqueira, Sonia A. ‘O Comerciante João Nunes.’ In Portos, Rotas, e Comercio – Anais do V Simpósio Nacional dos Professores de História – Campinas, ed. Eurípedes Simões de Paula (São Paulo: FFLCH-USP, 1971), 231–249. –––. A Inquisição Portuguesa e a Sociedade Colonial (São Paulo: Editora Ática, 1978). Smith, David Grant. ‘The Mercantile Class of Portugal and Brazil in the Seventeenth Century: a Socio-economic Study of the Merchants of Lisbon and Bahía, 1620–1690.’ Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1975. Sousa, Lúcio Manuel Rocha de and Assis, Angelo Adriano Faria de. ‘A Diáspora Sefardita na Ásia e no Brasil e a Interligação das Redes Comerciais na Modernidade.’ Revista de Cultura do Instituto Cultural do governo da R.A.E. de Macau 31(2009): 100–121. Strum, Daniel. O Comércio do Açúcar, O: Brasil, Portugal e Países Baixos – 1595–1630 (Rio de Janeiro: Versal Editores, 2012). –––. ‘Entre os Embargos e a Inquisição: Cristãos-novos e “framenguos” na rota do açúcar.’ in Anais do XXVI Simpósio Nacional de História – ANPUH, ed. by Marieta de Moraes Ferreira (São Paulo: ANPUH-SP, 2001), 1–14. Swetschinksi, Daniel Maurice. The Portuguese Jewish Merchants of Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam: A Social Profile. Unpublished PhD thesis, Brandeis University, 1980. Vainfas, Ronaldo. A Heresia dos Indios: Catolicismo e Rebeldia no Brasil Colonial (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1995). –––. Trópico dos Pecados: Moral, Sexualidade e Inquisição no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Campus, 1989). Wadsworth, James E. Agents of Orthodoxy: Honor, Status and the Inquisition in Colonial Pernambuco Brazil (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 2007). –––. ‘Historiography of the Structure and Functioning of the Portuguese Inquisition in Colonial Brazil,’ History Compass 8/7 (2010): 636–665.

About the Author Jessica O’Leary is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Monash University. She is interested in how trans-regional social and religious groups on the margins influenced and interacted with elite society. Her first monograph entitled Elite Women as Diplomatic Agents in Early Modern Italy and Hungary is under contract with ARC Humanities Press.


Intimate Affairs Family and Commerce in a Trans-Mediterranean Jewish Firm, 1776–1790 Francesca Bregoli Abstract The chapter investigates processes that allowed Jewish merchants in the eighteenth-century Mediterranean area to sustain familial and commercial obligation over time and space. Primarily based on the correspondence of Tunis-based Joseph Franchetti to his sons and associates in Livorno and Smyrna, this investigation shows that the intersection of family and trade was both a constructed practice and a deeply held moral belief. Strategies employed to preserve a feeling of familial commitment and to educate younger relatives – such as the circulation of gifts, the emphatic identification of love with obligation, and the reliance on surrogate kin – are examined alongside parental fears regarding the risks that young merchants away from home could pose to a family’s reputation and credit. Keywords: Correspondence, Jewish family firms, gift giving, long-distance education, conversions, fictive kinship.

A correlation between shared culture, language, kinship, and trust is still deeply entrenched in the historiography about early modern commerce.1 Yet, recent studies about trading minorities – such as Sephardic Jews, Portuguese New Christians, or Armenians – have grown skeptical of older notions regarding intra-group ethnic and religious solidarity (as conveyed by Abner Cohen’s term ‘trading diaspora’).2 Today, scholars increasingly emphasize 1 See for example Swetschinski, 59, 65, 73; Zahedieh, 157. 2 Cohen, 273–274. Although commonly found in textbooks and less specialized scholarship, the term ‘trading diaspora’ has come under scrutiny as potentially misleading. We know now

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch09


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mechanisms of communal control and cohesiveness, and disciplining systems that promoted effective long-distance commercial networks. In doing so, they show that trust – the building block of pre-modern commerce – was not a natural outcome of belonging to the same ethno-religious minority, but a constantly negotiated status.3 The importance of kinship practices as a crucial foundation of premodern Jewish trade, however, should not be minimized. The devolution and protection of capital within a family through specific marriage, dowry, and inheritance strategies were essential for its economic success in a competitive market. 4 The family played an especially significant role for Mediterranean Jewish commerce. Jewish merchants in that area continued structuring their business in family firms even in the late eighteenth century, when joint-stock companies had become commonplace in northern Europe.5 Furthermore, ties maintained by separated relatives from the same household remained key for the functioning of Jewish trade networks: they helped spread out risk, increase potential for success, and expand business to multiple markets.6 The operations of Jewish long-distance trade (based on the frequent exchange of information by correspondence to assess and confirm the trustworthiness of business associates) were thus greatly aided by the continued maintenance of a sense of obligation, creditworthiness, and honor in family members involved in the same commercial network.7 Despite this, family ties, just like ethnic and religious allegiance, should not be taken for granted. In the absence of face-to-face supervision, geographical distance naturally disrupted and challenged even bonds of familiarity and trust among separated kin. Although economic historians have illuminated matrimonial and patrimonial processes that allowed family firms to secure and deploy capital, the scarcity of available documentation concerning emotional ties has obscured the lived experiences of the protagonists of long-distance commerce and those intimacy-sustaining mechanisms that underpinned that Jewish merchant networks, whether in the west or in the east, were never self-contained but included a variety of non-Jewish actors: Trivellato (2009); Aust (2018), 50–51, 138–140. 3 Studnicki-Gizbert, 67–89; Trivellato (2009); Roitman; Aslanian, 166–201. 4 Trivellato (2011); Aust (2018), 15–23. 5 Mauro; Trivellato (2009), 132–152. 6 Aust (2018), 45–48. 7 For an overview of business correspondence in the early modern period (not limited to Jewish merchants), see Trivellato (2007). On maintenance of obligation and creditworthiness, see Bregoli (2020); for the Ashkenazic sphere see Aust (2015); for the centrality of the ‘family matrix’ in the functioning of early modern Christian trade, see Mathias, and Kooijmans.

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it. We still don’t have a clear sense of how, in practice, bonds of familial loyalty were preserved and strengthened (or, in some cases, weakened) within the framework of Jewish long-distance trade. These questions are worth asking. Precisely because kinship provided such a crucial basis for maintaining and circulating trust and reputation, bonds of familiarity and obligation among close family members needed to be tended to and carefully sustained. How did Jewish relatives who traded together maintain a sense of ongoing familiarity and obligation once they were physically separated? How was the importance of family belonging, intertwined with a sense of commercial responsibility, transmitted to the younger generations after they had left the parental household? In this chapter, I simultaneously push forward and interrogate the notion of interpenetration between family and commercial affairs for Jewish merchants by taking as my main case study the relations among male members of the Franchetti family. This is filtered through the correspondence from 1776 to 1790 of the pater familias, Tunis-based Joseph Franchetti, to his relatives in Livorno and Smyrna.8 The intersection of family and trade for these Jewish merchants was both a constructed practice and a deeply held moral belief and sentiment. The reiteration of family ties, at times emphatic, characterized their economy. A micro-historical investigation of processes that allowed long-distance traders to sustain intimacy and familiarity allows us to overcome a narrow understanding of pre-modern business as based on purely economic self-interest.9 Moreover, it allows us to explore and recognize the oft-neglected emotional components of trade.

Sources Joseph Franchetti (1721/1734-ca. 1794), a successful merchant of Mantuan origin, was a head partner in the Salomone Enriches & Joseph Franchetti Company.10 This was a thriving Tunis-based firm, with branches in Livorno 8 Franchetti Family Archive, MS General 237 (henceforth ‘MS237’), vols. 2:1 and 2:2, Columbia University Library, New York, NY, United States. Volume 1 is paginated with a number on the left side of two facing pages and volume 2 follows the traditional recto and verso pagination. References to volume 1 will be followed by ‘L’ (left) and ‘R’ (right), and to volume 2, by ‘r’ and ‘v’. For a description of the volumes see Spagnoletto, 99–105, and Bregoli (2018), 195–196. 9 This position is especially associated with Greif. 10 Franchetti refers repeatedly to his ‘brothers’ in Mantua, naming one of them as David Vita: MS237, 2:1, 169R (22 July 1778); 2:2, 43v (22 March 1782), 110v (30 January 1783), 127v (20 June 1783). The partnership with the Enriches family was dissolved around 1794.


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and Smyrna, that specialized in the sale of chechias – Tunisian hats made with European wool acquired from Livorno that were especially popular in the Ottoman Empire.11 In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Franchetti corresponded regularly in Italian with a number of business associates, most prominently the established Livornese traders Paltiel Semach and David de Montel. Copies of 398 of his outgoing letters have survived in two folio-size letter books, dating from 1776 to 1790 (replies are not extant). Of these, 79 (approximately 20% of the total) were addressed to two of his sons, Reuben (b. 1757) and Isache (b. 1763), and his young brother-in-law, Beniamin Baruch.12 While Joseph’s eldest child, Abram (b. 1754), had stayed behind in Tunis, together with Sara (b. 1767), Franchetti’s only daughter, his three other sons, Reuben, Jeudà (b. 1760), and Isache, were dispatched abroad to learn the trade and secure the company’s commercial position not long after turning thirteen, the age of Jewish majority. Reuben and Beniamin were already stationed in Smyrna by 1776.13 Jeudà joined them in 1778 and was later sent to Livorno, while Isache moved to Livorno in 1778.14 Franchetti’s correspondence with these young men allowed him to maintain contact with them, in the hope of shaping their growth as Jewish men and traders.15 If we take letters as constructs that express shared cultural conventions, revealing broader values and codes of communication, it is possible to derive some cautious generalizations about eighteenth-century Jewish Mediterranean mercantile culture from them.16 They clarify the moral codes that Franchetti tried to inculcate in young Jews living and trading far away from home and specific strategies he used to remind them about their place in the family business and the broader Jewish community. While these letters reveal processes that tapped into intimacy and emotions in sustaining long-distance trade, the discovery of comparable Jewish archives will allow a fuller assessment of how representative they are. In the meantime, I have 11 On Franchetti’s business, see Filippini (1999) and (1998), 259–261. On the Franchetti family see Scardozzi (2002), 271–274 and (2003), 701–702. On European commerce in Smyrna, see Frangakis-Syrett (2012). 12 While the letters to business associates outside the family are usually no longer than one manuscript page, those to Reuben, Isache, and Beniamin generally average three to six pages. In some cases, letters addressed to his sons reach fifteen, eighteen and even twenty-three pages, composed over a period of several days. 13 MS237, 2:1, 3L-5L (28 January 1776). On Jewish apprenticeships in early modern Italy see Weinstein, 67; Lieberman (2011), 163 and (2010), 14–16. 14 MS237, 2:1, 165L (17 July 1778), 169L (22 July 1778). 15 Jeudà occasionally returned to Tunis. There are no letters sent only to him, but during Jeudà’s time in Smyrna Franchetti addressed his letters to both Reuben and Jeudà’s. 16 Carlebach.

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supplemented my argument by drawing on relevant contemporary materials, including a court case concerning prominent members of another Franchetti family (not directly related), based in Mantua. These sources illustrate some of the discursive and practical strategies employed by culturally Italian Jewish merchants to preserve a feeling of familial commitment and to educate and socialize sons and younger relatives. In doing so, they also illuminate the fears and anxieties of the older Jewish generations regarding the perils of life away from home.

Reminders of Familial Commitment While some members of Jewish merchant families involved in overland trade were able to visit each other on a regular basis (as part of business trips, family events, or in the case of illness or death of a relative), Franchetti did not see Reuben and Isache for years.17 Since they could not rekindle intimacy through physical connection, the exchange of correspondence was meant to provide them with reminders of familial bonds – to both reassert and perform familiarity. As David Cressy writes regarding seventeenth-century trans-Atlantic communication, letters provided ‘an emotional lifeline … that stretched across the wide ocean to inform, comfort or persuade kinsmen and friends on the other side’.18 Although Jewish merchants utilized correspondence primarily for business purposes, their letters to kin transmitted private information as well.19 Franchetti’s letters recorded births, circumcisions, deaths in the family, illnesses, the complex negotiations for his daughter Sara’s betrothal, and her ensuing wedding.20 He wrote more frequently to his sons than he received replies from them, often lamenting the absence of timely news. This trope was a common complaint among early modern Jewish merchants from sixteenth-century Palestine and Egypt to eighteenthcentury Bordeaux.21 Familiarity intertwined with expressions of Jewish 17 See for instance The Autobiography, 89–91, 116, 130, 139, 142, 149, 153, 155, 157, 159, 162–164. Numerous examples from the Ashkenazic area are in The Memoirs of Glückel, 93, 103, 107, 129, 131, 135, 162, 177, 239. 18 Cressy, 213. 19 This applied also to non-Jewish merchants. See for instance Studnicki-Gizbert, 75. 20 Among the many references to family news, see MS237, 2:1, 23R (11 June 1776), 83R and 85L (17 February 1777), 194L (26 March 1779), 203L–204R (4 June 1779); 2:2, 95r (20 December 1782), 112r (30 January 1783). 21 Gutwirth (1985) and (1986); Fonds Gradis, 181AQ/74, folder 11, Archives Nationales, Paris, France.


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identity. The pining for long-postponed reunions mixed with nostalgia for Jewish festivals once celebrated together.22 The exchange of gifts provided another important avenue to ‘keep family’, stressing ‘bonds of attachment and personal commitment’ and reminding young men of family belonging and Jewish traditions. As anthropologists have shown, gift giving, predicated on reciprocal exchange, embeds the giver and the recipient in a web of mutual obligations, benefiting both in varying ways.23 Long-distance merchants routinely exchanged gifts to reinforce ties of mutual obligation and demonstrate their commitment to each other.24 Within a trading family, gifts took on additional emotional significance. Fabric was gifted frequently (‘I will make a suit out of it to enjoy it in your good memory’, Franchetti promised his brother-in-law, who had given him a cut of cloth).25 Over the years, Franchetti gave clothes as a gift to Reuben and Isache, a sign that his material support did not cease after they had left home but stretched into their adulthood: ‘[T]hose who have children, like I do, need to think about clothing them’, he put it to Paltiel Semach.26 He had shirts for Reuben made in Tunis by a trusted woman and shipped to Smyrna, and bought for Isache and Jeudà fine cloth for suits and shirts, including a good ‘Sabbath suit’ for his youngest after he arrived in Livorno.27 When Reuben outgrew his clothes, Franchetti requested him to send them back to Tunis, so that his younger brother Jeudà could use them, a practice that was not only economically sensible but also evidences the maintenance and reaffirmation of sibling connections despite physical separation.28 In long-distance relations, the exchange of gifts was loaded with reminders of familial responsibilities. On circumstances marking lifecycle events, presents were expected as a sign of ‘good affection’. Their delay was noticed, leading to careful negotiations to reaffirm kinship bonds. At the birth of Beniamin Baruch’s son in February 1777, Franchetti promised his brother-inlaw that he would ‘order an exquisitely crafted object (galanteria)’ as a gift 22 ‘I pray the Lord that … I may have the joy of embracing you again, together with your mother, and do not wish anything else for our old age’ he wrote to Reuben, whom he had not seen in over sixteen years: MS237, 2:2, 35r-v (18 March 1782); ‘Your mother is crying her eyes out because she’s not going to see you at our table on Passover’ he wrote Isache a little less than a year after the boy had left Tunis: MS237, 2:1, 193R (26 March 1779). 23 Krausman Ben-Amos (2008), 167 and (2000, ‘Gifts’), 298–300. 24 Studnicki-Gizbert, 57–58; Krausman Ben-Amos (2008), 167–169. 25 MS237, 2:2, 24L (11 June 1776). 26 MS237, 2:1, 79L (19 December 1776). 27 MS237, 2:1, 27R (24 June 1776), 49L (29 July 1776), 79L (19 December 1776), 169R (22 July 1778); 2:2, 127r (20 June 1783). 28 MS237, 2:1, 27R (24 June 1776), 49L (29 July 1776).

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for the newborn.29 But the galanteria had not yet arrived by the beginning of May and Beniamin expressed his displeasure to Reuben. ‘Regarding your uncle’s complaints about my delay in showing my good affection on the occasion of the birth of his son’, Franchetti justified himself to Reuben, ‘I will tell you that this did not depend on lack of esteem nor of good inclination on my part, but from not knowing what would be appropriate.’ Ironically, lack of familiarity with the intended recipient of the gift created the very obstacle that the gift was meant to overcome. Franchetti requested Reuben to buy a suitable gift on his behalf and promised to ‘have a small hat embroidered in gold’ for the baby.30 In the final step of this familial dance, after the gift had been finally delivered and Beniamin duly sent his thanks, Franchetti minimized the gesture as an obvious outcome of their familiarity: ‘I am surprised that you are thanking me for having remembered your son, my dear nephew, which results from the memory of our blood’.31 The circulation of gifts was not univocally directed from fathers to children but could include requests for favors by parents. Here again sentimental reminders of familial and Jewish identity combined. Franchetti relied on Isache multiple times to provide fine goods from Livorno to the rest of the family in Tunis. In preparation for Sara’s wedding, Isache was requested ‘not to leave [his family] without dishes, wine, white wax candles’.32 On an earlier occasion, Franchetti asked him to send a ‘beautiful large lamp for our table… and please send one that is beautiful and delightful like you, and likewise please send me a Sabbath lamp like the one owned by your brother Abram, from Holland, and may it be beautiful and delightful like you’.33 In just a few lines, Franchetti conveyed longing for his son, equating the external beauty of the lamp with Isache’s inner beauty; reminded him of Jewish tradition, alluding to the Sabbath rest observed with family gatherings and meals; and tried to instill a sense of responsibility in the boy who, thanks to his vantage point, was the only family member ideally located to purchase a Jewish ritual object of Dutch manufacture. In the same letter, Isache was also requested to ship a fine tallit (ritual shawl) acquired in Livorno to his father’s relations in Mantua, another sign of the importance of giving Jewish ritual objects for personal use to reinforce long-distance family bonds, in this case with northern-Italian relatives.34 29 30 31 32 33 34

MS237, 2:1, 84L (17 February 1777). MS237, 2:1, 104L (5 May 1777). MS237, 2:1, 128L (29 August 1777). MS237, 2:2, 116v (28 March 1783). MS237, 2:1, 194L (26 March 1779). MS237, 2:1, 195L (26 March 1779).


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Besides objects, relatives also circulated ‘immaterial gifts’ that provided reciprocal bonding opportunities.35 In trading families, trust – together with its constant companion, obligation – can be considered as the most valuable of these immaterial goods moving by means of correspondence. This is because the circulation of trust strengthened the sense of familiarity needed to conduct trade, while its lack could undermine it.

Love and Obligation Franchetti’s letters routinely equated familial responsibility and business duty, rhetorically enjoining his children in intersecting obligations towards his casa – a term encapsulating both household and firm.36 The aim was to preserve the family’s reputation, honor, and capital from the ever-looming threat of ruin. Franchetti’s language is characterized by an overlap of emotional terminology and contractual market ideals, of sensibility applied to explicit material interest in which filial affection ought to be demonstrated with obedience.37 In the correspondence, the adjective amoroso (loving) was used to describe paternal and filial feelings of reciprocal affection (padre amoroso, figlio amoroso) and to remind the children of their filial/ commercial obligations. The language of love in business correspondence is not unusual; merchants invoked expressions of friendship, love, and affection to engender ties of reciprocity among associates who in fact lacked any real intimacy.38 But, just as with the exchange of gifts, the language of love took on additional meanings among relatives who traded together. Here, we enter a more intimate dimension of trust building, as the formulaic expressions of affection, typical of early modern business parlance, intertwined with feelings of genuine fondness and concern. Scholars working on the early modern family have often focused on paternal obligations to small children,39 but merchant fathers maintained a 35 Krausman Ben-Amos, (2000, ‘Gifts’), 307. 36 Franchetti used the word famiglia to refer to a family composed of husband, wife, and children, and the term casa to denote his extended household, a physical abode, as well as a commercial firm (less frequently referred to as casa di negozio). 37 This section discusses themes f irst presented in Bregoli (2018), 217–222. For a classic reinterpretation of the connection between emotion and interest in family life see Medick and Sabean. 38 Trivellato (2009), 181. On the importance of ties of ‘friendship’ in the Levant trade, see also Frangakis-Syrett (2002), 194–195. 39 For a critique see Krausman Ben-Amos (2000, ‘Reciprocal’).

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sense of ongoing responsibilities towards their offspring even after they had reached maturity. Franchetti clearly viewed his role as a ‘loving father’ as one of responsibility toward his sons (and other young, son-like figures such as his brother-in-law, to whom he presented himself as a ‘true father’).40 He granted their reasonable demands, provided for their wellbeing, and strove for their economic happiness. He allowed for his sons’ financial requests ‘as a loving father’ when they did not jeopardize the firm or, as seen before, bought gifts for them, such as fine cloth for suits and shirts. 41 As well as indicating paternal obligations, early modern epistolary advice to young traders highlighted expectations of filial duty towards the pater familias and the firm, and Franchetti’s letters are no exception. His correspondence presents the obligations engendered by his sons’ ‘loving’ feelings toward him as a guarantee for the f irm’s success. 42 In this contractual understanding of father-son emotional-commercial relations, the natural and appropriate manifestation of filial affection was obedience. If a ‘loving son’ obeyed his father in commercial matters, he would be treated lovingly in return. 43 The lack of prompt submission to paternal commands was, in turn, liable to erode the loving relationship between father and son. 44 Obedience to the paternal will was presented as both economically advantageous (‘Obey your father if you want to earn money’) and based on Jewish tradition.45 Respect for the biblical fifth commandment, couched in economic terms, featured as a crucial ingredient of Franchetti’s admonishments: ‘All the sons who observe the divine precept to obey their parents, their affairs always turn out perfect, on top of their merit before the Lord God’, Franchetti advised Reuben and Jeudà. 46 ‘I am telling you that I want to be obeyed completely’, he urged Isache, claiming that obedience was mandatory if the boy ‘want[ed] to observe the divine precept of honoring father and mother’. 47 ‘Obey the advice of your parents and you will gain this world and the next’, Franchetti insisted. 48 If submitting to paternal authority was equated with commerce done right, reluctance or refusal to 40 MS237, 2:1, 69L (21 November 1776). 41 MS237, 2:1, 54L (8 September 1776), 79L (19 December 1776), 169R (22 July 1778); 2:2, 70v (15 August 1782), 127r (20 June 1783). 42 MS237, 2:2, 126r (20 June 1783). 43 MS237, 2:2, 52v (27 May1782). 44 MS237, 2:1, 104L-R (5 May 1777). 45 MS237, 2:2, 147r (9 December 1784), to Reuben. 46 MS237, 2:2, 57v (21 June 1782). 47 MS237, 2:2, 70v (15 August 1782). 48 MS237, 2:2, 115v (28 March 1783).


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follow orders were characterized as bordering on or as outright illegitimacy. ‘I do not have any suspicion that you are not my legitimate son, as I know the honesty of your lady mother’, he ironically reprimanded Isache when the boy hesitated to follow his father’s orders.49 As his youngest son continued omitting important information from his reports, Franchetti’s displeasure escalated: ‘What can I tell you, [you are] ungrateful and a bastard has veshalom Franchetti.’50 The ultimate threat for a rebellious son was indeed the prospective of his disowning, which would legally seal the young man’s illegitimate status.51 Although Franchetti never acted on his threats, other disappointed merchant fathers did, and severed that ultimate financial/ familial tie that is inheritance.52 Lack of mercantile obedience was explicitly, if hyperbolically, associated with illegitimacy even in the case of affinal relatives. In 1781, Beniamin Baruch refused to sign the firm’s new contract, precipitating a conflict with Franchetti, the dissolution of their partnership, and the reorganization of the Enriches & Franchetti Company. On that occasion, rumors also began spreading about Beniamin’s maneuvers to ruin Reuben’s business in Smyrna. When those particular affective bonds and intertwined material interests came under stress, Franchetti resorted repeatedly to invoking the importance of blood ties with his wife’s brother—who in fact was not his consanguineal kin. After the partnership was dissolved, Joseph quipped to Beniamin: ‘I never heard that blood can turn into water, but since I experienced it from you, I can only say that either you or I are not legitimate [-born], as your blood turned into stinky water.’53 Such expressions remind us of the fact that early modern commerce relied at times on strategies that appealed to the heart, tying loving feelings between parent and child with economic viability. Simultaneously, they point to the role that business itself played in building and cementing a sense of family identity. For merchant families engaged in long-distance commerce, maintaining a sense of familial belonging and commercial obligation seems to have hinged precisely on the profound interpenetration, at once emotional and utilitarian, of concepts of affection and interest. Insofar as material interest was articulated through the language of emotions and the affirmation of ‘loving’ feelings, successful business practices could 49 50 51 52 53

MS237, 2:2, 70v (15 August 1782). Emphasis mine. MS237, 2:2, 135r (27 July 1783); see also 2:1, 123 left (August 1777), to Reuben. MS237, 2:2, 43v (22 March 1782); 156v (24 June 1787). Pearsall, 149–178. MS237, 2:2, 1v (19 March, 1781). Emphasis mine.

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be a vehicle for maintaining a sense of legitimate kinship over distance. In Franchetti’s letters, family was literally conceptualized as business, and vice-versa. If we consider long-distance kinship bonds as ones that had to be constantly protected, reinforced, and maintained over space, such rhetoric suggests that notions of legitimate kinship and even a sense of blood ties were themselves contingent on business done honorably and successfully.

Fears of Familial and Commercial Ruin Together with reminders about family commitment and discursive strategies meant to impart a sense of familial-cum-commercial obligation, the expression of worries about familial and commercial ruin pervades Franchetti’s letters. Since trust was such a crucial ingredient of early modern trade, rumors besmirching a young man’s reputation had potentially catastrophic implications for the entire casa and its economy.54 ‘Keeping family’ over space therefore also meant managing its reputation and rebuff ing the potential attacks to its credit. As Craig Muldrew claimed in his seminal study on the early modern English culture of credit, credit relations (always ‘interpersonal and emotive’) were facilitated by a ‘competitive piety in which the virtue of a household and its members gave it credit so that it could be trusted and thus profitable’.55 This argument can be extended to merchant households well beyond England. Rumors about his sons’ prodigality reported by other members of the commercial network launched Franchetti into angry tirades.56 He feared such behavior could damage their credit and consequently his reputation and business. Franchetti’s concern was not unique, and Jewish parents beyond the Mediterranean area shared it widely. In her early eighteenth-century Yiddish memoir, the famed Jewish businesswoman Glikl bas Leib expressed her dread at rumors of her son Loeb’s prodigality and debts.57 When 23-yearold Abraham Gradis left Bordeaux with two friends in 1723 to embark on a northern European grand tour of sorts, to visit Paris, Holland, and London, his father David, a prominent Sephardic trader, enjoined him to frequent only people of ‘absolute probity, because often the evil one hurts the good 54 Kooijmans. 55 Muldrew, 3, 195. 56 MS237, 2:1, 5 left (28 January 1776); 2:2, 28v (20 January 1782), 46r (22 March 1782), 111r (30 January 1783), 127r-v (20 June 1783), 133r (June 20, 1783). 57 The Memoirs of Glückel, 167: ‘my soul nearly died within me, and I fainted on the spot’.


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one’. Abraham moreover ought not to engage in any ‘superfluous expense’, since that could give people the wrong impression (‘as the Spanish saying says, tanto tienes tanto bales [you are worth as much as you own]’).58 As all early modern parents raising young men to become traders, Franchetti thus endeavored to instill in Reuben, Jeudà, and Isache the urgency of living frugally and avoiding extravagant expenses, lest they be taken for wastrels who neglected their business duty or lived above their means, all marks of untrustworthiness.59 Another anxiety marked Franchetti’s admonishments to his sons. It was related to the frequent mingling with non-Jews facilitated by life in a busy ‘cosmopolitan’ port such as Livorno or Smyrna. This brought with it attendant fears about acculturation, the loss of intra-group religious reputation, and the ultimate family disaster – conversion. On several occasions, Franchetti chided Reuben for not displaying proper Jewish piety or neglecting to pray three times a day in a synagogue.60 In his first letter to Isache after the fifteen-year-old boy’s move to Livorno he recommended that Isache make sure to go the synagogue for the three daily prayers and study Torah in the morning and evening, ‘which is the essential thing’.61 Concerns about the religious reputation of young merchants – made and unmade in the public arena of the synagogue – are found in the larger European Jewish mercantile society, regardless of the level of private observance and belief actually held by individual traders. Even as late as the 1770s and 1780s, Jewish merchants regarded religious adherence pragmatically as assurance of mercantile probity and a guarantee of sound business reputation.62 Emphasis on Judaism on Franchetti’s part points to the ongoing importance of religious observance as a factor in keeping up a young man’s name, and by extension his family’s, which was crucial for maintaining good credit within intra-Jewish circles. Fears about young people living abroad were common also in early modern Christian merchant culture. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, English merchants traveling to the Mediterranean were cautioned about the lurking threats of Islam or Catholicism, lest they ‘turn Turk’ or

58 Fonds Gradis: 181AQ/74, folder 11, letter of David Gradis to Abraham Gradis (27 July 1723). David told Abraham that he should also not talk to or visit his uncle Isaq Mendez, but rather ‘flee him like the devil,’ because of his many ill qualities that may taint Abraham’s credit. 59 For similar examples among eighteenth-century Atlantic traders see Pearsall, 124–126; Hunt, 46–72. 60 MS237, 2:1, 141R (21 November 1777); 2:2, 122r–v (15 July 1783). 61 MS237, 2:1, 193L (26 March 1779). 62 Yogev, 267–270.

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papist.63 During the same period, Constantinople had the reputation of being a dangerous, libertine capital among Venetian officers, who were at pain to protect young patricians sent there to train as aspiring merchants. Conversion to Islam, forced or voluntary, elicited the ‘paternal concern’ of Venetian officials in the Ottoman Empire, together with the risk of financial ruin some youths ran if they fell in with bad company.64 The worry was not limited to westerner traders traveling to eastern shores. When young Adamantios Korais (1748–1833), who would become an influential Greek diaspora intellectual, was sent from Smyrna to Amsterdam to train as an apprentice merchant, he immersed himself into a radically different world where he abandoned traditional clothes and Orthodox fasting, much to his father’s chagrin.65 Among Jewish merchants, who formed a legally-restricted minority whether in Christian or Muslim lands, fears that living away from paternal supervision could lead young men to consort with Christians – especially women – and, as a result, to conversion were especially widespread. Turning from the Mediterranean to Habsburg Mantua in northern Italy, the case of a different Franchetti family is illuminating.66 In the 1780s, the brothers Leon and Sanson Franchetti, who traded under the name of Ditta Laudadio Franchetti, experienced three dramatic defections from young sons. Ostensibly, they were caused by too much exposure to secular pleasures.67 Leon and Sanson Franchetti were some of the wealthiest Jewish merchants in the Mantua ghetto and these conversions had not just private and emotional, but also significant financial reverberations. Indeed, not only did neophytes retain property rights to goods they had owned as Jews, but they also enjoyed the exceptional right to collect, immediately after their conversion, the portion of their parents’ estate that they would have been entitled to as heirs according to jus commune (the so-called legittima), as a form of protection against being disinherited.68 63 Branch, 171–172. 64 Dursteler, 99–101. 65 Tziovas, 3. Korais’s process of westernization was chronicled in the letters of his co-worker Stamatis Petrou between 1772 and 1774 (see Petrou). I thank Paris Papamichos Chronakis for bringing the figure of Korais to my attention. 66 Joseph Franchetti does not appear to have been directly related to Leon and Sanson Franchetti. 67 Atti della faccenda Franchetti, filza 213/48, Archivio della Comunità Ebraica di Mantova; consulted as microfilm HM5192, Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem, Israel. The case was partially surveyed in Bernardini, 170–173. 68 This right was granted by Pope Paul III in an apostolic constitution dated 21 March 1542. Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga (1538–87) ordered the observance of Paul III’s decree in the Mantuan territory, where it remained valid in the late eighteenth century.


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Writing to the Regio Imperial Consiglio di Governo on August 8, 1787 in connection to the threatened conversion of 23-year-old Jacob Franchetti, son of Sansone, the lay leaders (massari) of the Mantuan Jewish community lingered on the perils of growing up in a trans-regional mercantile family, distant from paternal control.69 The family business of brothers Leon and Sansone Franchetti, their supplication claimed, required ‘that their sons be now in one, now in another place far away from the paternal eye, put[ting] them in danger of getting embroiled in contemptible and unhealthy loves’. They continued: One of them after the most ruinous dissipations turned his back on his family and took up residence in France, taking with him what remained of his share in the business. A second one, having fallen in love with the daughter of an innkeeper, fled to Ferrara and there despite all valid dispositions managed to get baptized, so as to be able to pursue his illconceived passion, and to torment his poor Father, obliging him to give him a share of his assets; and a third one following in the footsteps of the others is about to do the same.

The massari were referring to young Jacob Franchetti, who in July had fled his paternal home with a ballerina di teatro from Milan, Assunta Scanzi.70 Conversion was presented as a significant threat not only to the fabric of family life, but also to the family’s reputation and, by extension, its credit. Therefore, the massari attempted to persuade the authorities to introduce a ‘penal sanction’ restricting would-be converts from collecting any economic benefits, in order to prevent abuses.71 To prevent unsubstantiated conversions, the Habsburg government ought to remove financial incentives such as the neophyte’s ability to inherit his portion of the family’s estate, the 69 Between 1786 and 1791, the Regio Imperial Consiglio di Governo (Royal Imperial Council of Government) functioned as the central administrative organ in Habsburg Lombardy. 70 Atti della faccenda Franchetti: Supplica degli odierni Massari dell’Università degli Ebrei di Mantova (8 August 1787). Franchetti and Scanzi fled to Parma, outside of Habsburg jurisdiction. Determined to become Catholic, Franchetti faked collapsing on 5 October 1787, and was baptized on the spot by a pious maid. Under the name Giuseppe Maria Borelli he married Scanzi in 1788 and went on to have a successful business career in Milan during the Napoleonic period: Bernardini, 173. 71 Under a Habsburg decree extended to Mantua in 1786, Jews could not be baptized unless it was proved that their decision to become Catholic stemmed from genuine religious illumination and was not caused by animosity against their families, fear, passion, or other utilitarian reasons. The Habsburg decree, however, did not include a specific clause regarding the converts’ rights to inherit.

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massari argued. Not only would this be ‘the most opportune way to keep children ( figli) in that dependence that they try to shake by threatening their fathers with a conversion that always turns out to be advantageous to the former and gravely prejudicial to the latter’.72 It would also serve, the massari claimed, as ‘a way to hinder that loss of credit that merchant families suffer as a result of the spread of rumors and the break-up of their status’.73 The massari reiterated their request to introduce a block on converts’ patrimonial claims on October 15 1787, after Jacob Franchetti had already converted to Catholicism. They justified it again as a way to protect ‘the inner tranquility of families, the necessary education and subordination of children ( figli) to parents, the credit and backbone of Jewish commerce, and finally the very subsistence of the [Jewish] Nation’. The supplication presented the economy of the household and, for that matter, the economy of the entire Jewish community, as depending on unbroken, serene family life. Familial bonds and credit, and by extension the survival of Mantuan Jewry itself, were instead ‘undermined and hurt by the disquiets, financial break-ups, and discredit that ordinarily result from that kind of change in religion which originates from the license of young men who give themselves over to libertinism’.74 This was a risk enhanced by the demands of mercantile life. If sending young men away from home to learn the family trade was regarded as having such threatening consequences, what sort of group strategies did Jewish merchants have in place to protect their progeny and their fortunes?

Surrogate Families and Intra-Group Support Mercantile training was regarded as an ideal continuation of family allegiances. When Jewish boys and young men were dispatched abroad to learn the trade, they were placed into para-familial circuits of supervision made up of trusted male business associates. These men, usually Jewish, socialized and monitored them and their credit. Even after their offspring had left the parental household, parents attempted to recreate familial safety nets for their sons, and when it was possible, an older brother or an affinal kin served as a mentor.75 However, in the absence of a family member, the circles of control widened to extra-familial associates and even to ‘friends’ 72 73 74 75

Figli could be intended as children in general or sons more specifically. Atti della faccenda Franchetti: Supplica degli odierni Massari. Emphasis mine. Atti della faccenda Franchetti: Ulteriore ricorso (15 October 1787). Emphasis mine. MS237, 2:1, 26L (11 June 1776), 174L (2 September 1778).


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who were not partners in the firm but who were enjoined to behave like ‘real’ family members. Despite the absence of actual kinship ties, bonds of familiarity were thus still stressed and constructed through rhetoric. In the case of Franchetti, as we will see, appeals were also couched in emotional language that tugged at the heartstrings, entreating fellow merchants to heed a disconsolate father’s plea.76 These surrogate Jewish fathers and brothers had self-interested reasons to protect the welfare of other merchants embedded in the mercantile network in which they operated. If ‘chains of associations based on kinship’ served as a key avenue to communicate one’s credit successfully in the world of long-distance trade, enlarging the scope of kinship to Jewish merchants outside the family could have advantages.77 This meant that links of mutual responsibility and credit-monitoring circles were expanded as well, imbricating more individuals in a tight-knit system of mercantile interdependence and trust. Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert has described a similar phenomenon among seventeenth-century Portuguese merchants, who formed a network ‘created by the extension of both affective and business ties between different houses’.78 A set of letters that Joseph Franchetti wrote his associates after Isache moved to Livorno in 1778 exemplifies the process. The firm tasked company member Abram Coen de Lara with following the boy up close, living and working with him in the Tuscan port. Franchetti turned to him first, recommending Isache’s wellbeing in an emotional letter, and requesting Coen de Lara to be like a father for the boy: ‘My dear sworn brother […] he ought to respect you as if you were me, not less and not more, it is in your right to beat him or kiss him like your own son, and raise him to be God-fearing like your own son.’79 Soon after, he wrote letters to all of his regular Jewish associates in the port, such as David de Montel, Samuele and Moise Leon, and Paltiel Semach, begging them repeatedly to watch over him, fearing for his safety and his morals in the Tuscan hub.80 76 In special circumstances non-Jewish business associates might be involved as well. When Abraham Gradis left for his tour of northern Europe in 1723, his father summoned as a surrogate father a trusted Christian ‘friend’ in Paris, banker Claude Heuch, asking him to ‘treat [Abraham] like your son’. This can be explained considering the particular history of the Bordelaise Sephardic community, which was recognized openly as Jewish (as opposed to Portuguese New Christian) precisely in 1723. Fonds Gradis, 181AQ/74, folder 5, Extraits de la correspondance de David Gradis (23 July 1723); see also Menkis, 106–107. 77 Muldrew, 185–195; Mathias, 16–18. 78 Studnicki-Gizbert, 68. 79 MS237, 2:1, 169L (22 July 1778). 80 MS237, 2:1, 166R (17 July 1778). See also 195L-R (20 May 1779), 197L (19 May 1779), 197R (19 May 1779), 211L (23 July 1779), 218R (24 September 1779); 2:2, 119r (4 July 1783).

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In January 1779, Franchetti wrote again to Samuele and Moise Leon. The brothers had related a rumor about Coen de Lara’s decision to return to Tunis, which would leave Isache without immediate supervision. ‘I cannot express the agitation, which the point in your letter about my son Isache who lives there has caused me, that I can assure you it’s caused me enough agitation’, he lamented. He had ‘constantly encouraged Coen de Lara to never let [his son] take a single step without him being at [his son’s] side’, and had instructed him to bring Isache back should he decide to leave. Franchetti emphasized that he ‘absolutely [did] not want to leave [his son] to be free in such a dangerous land’. Should Coen de Lara decide to leave without Isache, he begged the Leon brothers to ‘welcome him’ and ‘not to withdraw… [their] affectionate vigilance’ from his son, to protect him from ill behaviors: In doing so you will console an afflicted father, that can only find repose in you Sirs for his own quiet, and then I will be even more certain of your great propensity towards me, and so I plead with you from the bottom of my heart, and above all take it upon your hearts, if you want to truly favor me, to prevent suspicious practices and [those] of people of inferior standing, which lead to the precipice. I am very much in your debt because of the kind precautionary notice that you give me about the matter, but you have wounded my heart so much that I cannot be consoled … I place in you all my trust for the good education and salvation of my dear son.81

This system of intra-group support shows some similarity with other forms of Jewish apprenticeship and it parallels practices of mercantile training in the non-Jewish world. Lower-class Jewish boys and girls who were sent to work as domestic servants came under the care of the master and lady of the house.82 In turn, young men from the middling class or the elite who moved away from home to become clerks and factors were placed in the care of older business associates who worked and lived with them.83 In the case of the Mediterranean Jewish merchants represented by Franchetti, the systems of control extended to members of a broader network of Jewish commercial relations who kept an eye on the boys even without living or working with them, compelled by the ties of solidarity and reciprocity that connected them with other members of the network. 81 MS237, 2:1, 190L (28 January 1779). Emphasis mine. 82 Weinstein, 67. 83 This phenomenon parallels practices of mercantile apprenticeship in the non-Jewish world.


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Surrogate kinship promoted mutuality and interdependency among merchants. A network of male Jewish ‘friends’ and associates was called on to educate and protect boys and young men, and imparted to them those values of professional self-control and mercantile honesty that far-away fathers could only impress on their children by correspondence. Established business partners were recruited alongside less close associates – often with moving calls for help stressing familial intimacy. They were expected to monitor young family members stationed far away, and to report back on the qualities and behaviors of these children, creating a network of reputation control and information, parallel to the commercial network itself.84 The associates were explicitly requested to serve as surrogate brothers and fathers, while the young men were requested to treat these people as ‘true’ fathers and brothers.85 The conceptualization of business relations as (Jewish) family relations shows the importance of envisioning familial ties as foundations of trust. What’s more, the process shows that, for merchants like Franchetti, the brothers Leon, Abram Coen de Lara, David de Montel, and Paltiel Semach, trust was not solely built on purely economic self-interest, but it depended on tight-knit social bonds conceptualized as familial and articulated with the sentimental language of the late eighteenth-century household.

Conclusion: Family Ties and the Operations of Trade Familial separation was a crucial ingredient of long-distance trade in the early modern period. Far from being regarded as a natural occurrence to which households were stoically resigned, it was instead an emotionally fraught process that generated parental and economic anxieties among merchant fathers (and mothers), as well as precise practices meant to maintain familiarity over space, despite separation and distance. The reasons for such fears and the efforts to keep them at bay lie in the overlap between familial and mercantile trust, a characteristic of these long-distance relationships, and the need to preserve both. The behaviors adopted point to a mercantile culture that understood family ties, be they real or fictive, as a guarantee of solid and successful business: relating family news and giving gifts that 84 MS237, 2:1, 106R (5 May 1777), 173L (18 August 1778), 182R (7 December 1778), 189L (28 January 1779). 85 MS237, 2:1, 230R (February 1780). See also MS237, 2:1, 103L (22 March 1777), 166R (17 July 1778), 169L (22 July 1778); 2:2, 60v (18 July 1782). For a comparable phenomenon among seventeenthcentury Portuguese merchants see Studnicki-Gizbert, 80–81.

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fostered ties of reciprocity and mutual responsibility; employing the language of love to talk about material interests; fretting about the ruinous economic consequences of broken-up families; and relying on surrogate fathers and brothers to monitor the interests of fellow merchants. For merchants like Franchetti, it was imperative to maintain a sense of familiarity despite physical separation, even among intimate family members like a father and his sons. In the same way as trust within merchant minorities was not immediate, but needed to be nurtured and maintained through specific strategies of social control, the cases considered in this chapter highlight that even kinship bonds cannot be taken for granted and should not be considered as invariable, abstract conditions of early modern trade.86 Finally, familiarity was not only invoked, but it was also created. ‘Keeping family’ in some cases meant ‘constructing family’. It was true that kinship ties were a crucial foundation of successful Jewish commercial networks. However, unlike previously believed, this family matrix not only included household members, whether immediate or extended, but also external associates who were constructed as kin. These associates were requested, through sentimental appeals, to supply bonds of solidarity when the challenge of long distance threatened actual family ties. Among the social obligations that bound Jewish merchants together and fostered their mutual dependence, in sum, were not only communal pressures but also familial ones, real and imagined, articulated through an idiom of love, fear, and anxiety.

Works Cited Aslanian, Sebouh David. From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean: The Global Trade Networks of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2011). Aust, Cornelia. The Jewish Economic Elite: Making Modern Europe (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2018). –––. ‘Daily Business or an Affair of Consequence? Credit, Reputation, and Bankruptcy Among Jewish Merchants in Eighteenth-Century Central Europe.’ In Purchasing Power. The Economics of Modern Jewish History, eds. Rebecca Kobrin and Adam Teller (Philadelphia: Penn Press, 2015), 71–90. Bernardini, Paolo. La sfida dell’uguaglianza. Gli ebrei a Mantova nell’età della rivoluzione francese (Rome: Bulzoni Editore, 1996). 86 Roitman, 266–267 for a discussion of network failure; Studnicki-Gizbert, 67–89; Aslanian, 166–201.


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Branch, Laura. Faith and Fraternity: London Livery Companies and the Reformation, 1510–1603 (Leiden: Brill, 2017). Bregoli, Francesca. ‘“Your Father’s Interests”: The Business of Kinship in a TransMediterranean Jewish Merchant Family, 1776–1790.’ Jewish Quarterly Review 108/2 (2018): 194–224. –––. ‘A Father’s Consolation: Intra-Cultural Ties and Religion in a Trans-Mediterranean Jewish Commercial Network.’ In Jews and the Mediterranean, eds. Matthias B. Lehmann and Jessica Marglin (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2020), 129–148. Carlebach, Elisheva. ‘Letter into Text. Epistolarity, History, and Literature.’ In Jewish Literature and History: An Interdisciplinary Conversation, eds. Eliyana R. Adler and Sheila E. Jelen (Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland, 2008), 113–133. Cohen, Abner. ‘Cultural Strategies in the Organization of Trading Diasporas.’ In The Development of Indigenous Trade and Markets in West Africa, ed. Claude Meillassoux (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), 266–281. Cressy, David. Coming Over: Migration and Communication Between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). Dursteler, Eric. Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Filippini, Jean-Pierre. ‘Gli ebrei e l’attività economica nell’area nord-africana.’ Nuovi Studi Livornesi 7 (1999): 131–149. –––. Il Porto di Livorno e la Toscana (1676–1814), vol. 2 (Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1998). Frangakis-Syrett, Elena. The Commerce of Smyrna in the Eighteenth Century, 1700–1820 (Athens: Center for Asia Minor Studies, 2012). –––. ‘Networks of Friendship, Networks of Kinship: Eighteenth-Century Levant Merchants.’ Eurasian Studies 1 (2002): 183–205. Greif, Avner. ‘Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders.’ The Journal of Economic History 49 (1989): 857–882. Gutwirth, Eliezer. ‘A Judeo-Spanish Letter from the Genizah’, in Judeo-Romance Languages, eds. Isaac Benabu and Joseph Sermoneta (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1985), 127–138. –––. ‘The Family in Judeo-Spanish Genizah Letters from Cairo (XVIth-XVIIIth C).’ VSWG: Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 73 (1986): 210–215. Hunt, Margaret R. The Middling Sort: Commerce, Gender, and the Family in England, 1680–1780 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996). Kooijmans, Luuc. ‘Risk and Reputation: On the Mentality of Merchants in the Early Modern Period.’ In Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship in Early Modern Times.

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–––. ‘Una storia di famiglia: i Franchetti dalle coste del Mediterraneo all’Italia liberale.’ Quaderni storici, 38 (2003): 697–740. Spagnoletto, Amedeo. ‘Nuove fonti sulla famiglia Franchetti a Tunisi, Smirne e Livorno fra XVIII e XIX S.’ La Rassegna Mensile di Israel 76 (2010): 95–113. Studnicki-Gizbert, Daviken. A Nation Upon the Ocean Sea: Portugal’s Atlantic Diaspora and the Crisis of the Spanish Empire, 1492–1640 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007). Swetschinski, Daniel M. ‘Kinship and Commerce: The Foundations of Portuguese Jewish Life in Seventeenth-Century Holland.’ Studia Rosenthaliana 15 (1981): 52–74. The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi. Leon Modena’s Life of Judah, trans. and ed. Mark R. Cohen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988). The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln, trans. Marvin Lowenthal (New York: Schocken Books, 1977). Trivellato, Francesca. ‘Merchants’ Letters Across Geographical and Social Boundaries.’ In Cultural Exchange in Early Modern Europe, vol. 3: Correspondence and Cultural Exchange in Europe, 1400–1700, eds. Francisco Bethencourt and Florike Egmond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 80–103. –––. The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009). –––. ‘Marriage, Commercial Capital, and Business Agency: Transregional Sephardic (and Armenian) Families in the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Mediterranean.’ In Transregional and Transnational Families in Europe and Beyond: Experiences since the Middle Ages, eds. Christopher H. Johnson, David Warren Sabean, Simon Teuscher, and Francesca Trivellato (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2011), 107–130. Tziovas, Dimitris. ‘Introduction.’ In Greek Diaspora and Migration since 1700: Society, Politics, and Culture, ed. Dimitris Tziovas (London and New York: Routledge, 2009). Weinstein, Roni. ‘“Thus Will Giovani Do:” Jewish Youth Sub-Culture in Early Modern Italy.’ In The Premodern Teenager. Youth in Society, 1150–1650, ed. Konrad Eisenbichler (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2002), 51–74. Yogev, Gedalia. Diamonds and Coral: Anglo-Dutch Jews and Eighteenth-Century Trade (New York: Leicester University Press, 1978). Zahedieh, Nuala. ‘Making Mercantilism Work: London Merchants and Atlantic Trade in the Seventeenth Century.’ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 9 (1999): 143–158. Zemon Davis, Natalie. ‘Religion and Capitalism Once Again? Jewish Merchant Culture in the Seventeenth Century.’ Representations 59 (1997): 56–84.

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About the Author Francesca Bregoli holds the Joseph and Oro Halegua Chair in Greek and Sephardic Jewish Studies and is Associate Professor of History at Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of Mediterranean Enlightenment: Livornese Jews, Tuscan Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Reform (2014), and co-editor of Italian Jewish Networks from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries (2018) and Connecting Histories: Jews and their Others in Early Modern Europe (2019).

10 ‘These Happy Effects on the Character of the British Sailor’ Family Life in Sea Songs of the Late Georgian Period Gillian Dooley

Abstract Songs about sailors were popular during the late Georgian period in Britain. Some were directed towards men in the navy or potential recruits, but they were also part of the musical repertoire of the middle-class drawing room. A common theme is the importance of family life. With large numbers of men needed to serve in the military in this time of war and colonial expansion, it was essential for the home front that their families remained cohesive, and ballads were sometimes written with the express purpose of promoting fidelity and patience on the part of both men and women. This chapter examines the varieties of family and conjugal relations presented in the verbal and musical rhetoric of a selection of these songs. Keywords: Ballads, British Navy, war, Jane Austen, Matthew Flinders

During the late Georgian period in Britain, life at sea, and the love lives of sailors, provided singers and song-writers with an endless source of material. Their songs may have been primarily thought of as entertainment, but in this age of war with France there was an implicit political agenda behind many of them.1 As Mark Philp writes, during the period 1793 to 1815 ‘the war was linked to an unprecedented level of national mobilization in which

1 Gill, 3. Gill provides a list of the wars between Britain and France between 1740 and 1820. During this 80-year period, the two countries were at war for a total of 50 years.

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch10

240 Gillian Dooley

music and song played a major role’.2 While some songs criticized the war, others aimed to recruit volunteers and encourage courageous and ‘manly’ behaviour.3 Cheap printed copies of such songs were widely available, often subsidized by the government. 4 The recurrence of the personal lives of sailors and their families in the songs reflects the pervasive influence of the continual state of war on the lives not only of the men serving in the military but also of their lovers, wives and children. These songs often make a direct appeal to patriotic duty and present a romantic ideal of the fidelity of both men and women. The conflict between the Navy’s voracious need for highly mobile manpower during this period of war and colonial expansion, and the social stability represented at home by marital fidelity and family cohesion, was not lost on the authorities. The utility of popular music in reconciling these aims was perceived at the highest levels. In 1803, musician Charles Dibdin (1745–1814) was granted a government pension of £200 per annum in recognition of the importance of the songs he had been writing for decades. These songs had encouraged men to volunteer, and, equally importantly, reassured wives and sweethearts that their men would not only stay faithful while away, but would return.5 Dibdin’s biographer, George Hogarth, writing in 1848, proposed ‘that these happy effects on the character of the British sailor have been mainly caused by the Songs of Dibdin’.6 Songs sung on the streets and in the taverns would have reached all levels of society more readily than books and pamphlets. When songs were performed, their message reached literate and illiterate alike. They had the advantage of affecting anyone within earshot, even if they could not afford to purchase the printed ballad. As Gillian Russell writes, these songs, although often written for the theatre, were ‘capable of reaching a wider audience than the usual range of playgoers, including the illiterate’.7 However, they not only reached the lowest ranks: there were straightforward stories of jolly tars and old salts, but there were also high-flown songs of love and duty presumably intended for the officer class. In the first part of this chapter I look at why these ballads were important at this time, and the appeal they had to both sailors and officers, and their wives and lovers, in both 2 Philp, 173. 3 Lin, 18. 4 Philp, 174. 5 Davey, 61. The pension was granted in 1803 but withdrawn in 1805 by a subsequent administration. 6 Hogarth, xxxi. 7 Russell, 101.

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the public and private spheres. In the second part, I survey a selection of songs by Dibdin and his contemporaries from music books belonging to the novelist Jane Austen and her family. My aim is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of the social background in which these songs were created and performed, and consider their likely effects.

Life at Sea and the Power of Song The Navy in the Late Georgian Era British military spending increased from 1.9 percent of gross domestic product in 1700 to 13 percent in 1800, reflecting a similar increase in military personnel. Although the number of men recruited by the Navy fluctuated as the country alternated between peace and war, it was always the case that many more seamen than off icers were needed. 8 Life at sea was harsh and desertion rates were high: Admiral Nelson estimated that 42,000 British seamen deserted between 1793 and 1802, at a time when the overall strength of the service was around 120,000. Equally, mortality rates were high. Seafaring was a perilous business in itself, due to shipwreck, drowning and disease. On top of this, as Niklas Frykman points out, ‘war not only increased the demand for seamen, it also killed them by the tens of thousands’.9 The consequences of this on the home front were profound, as large numbers of the male population of marriageable age were required to leave their families and risk their lives at sea.10 Marriage was the chief form of financial security for women at the time: as Jane Austen writes in Pride and Prejudice, it was ‘their pleasantest preservative from want’.11 However, marrying a sailor or even a naval officer could mean a life of lonely destitution or hardship, especially if a woman had no family able or willing 8 ‘The Royal Navy’s Size throughout history.’ The difficulties of obtaining accurate statistics of men serving in the eighteenth-century navy are explained in Rodger; For example, in the peace-time years 1753–1755, the average annual recruitment was 17,369, while the figure jumped to 74,771 for the Seven Years War from 1756–1763. There was a similar sudden surge in numbers for the American Revolutionary War of 1775–1783. The merchant navy’s recruitment numbers were more stable, fluctuating between 30,000 and 5,000 during the period 1736–1783. See Fischer and Nordvik, 25. 9 Frykman, 83, 70. 10 Lin provides useful statistics of British military personnel during the war with the French 1793–1815 in the first chapter of her thesis. She also points out that, contrary to popular belief, a significant proportion of those serving in the British military were family men (Lin, 15). 11 Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 122–123.

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to support her. Women were also much less mobile than men at this time. It was assumed that it was unsafe and improper for a woman to travel even relatively short distances without a male escorting her, and regulations forbad women from travelling on naval ships, although exceptions were sometimes made.12 The Navy’s urgent need for manpower at various times is powerfully illustrated in the enduring cultural image of the press-ganged sailor torn from his wife and children. Recent work has shown, however, that volunteers greatly outnumbered press-ganged men, and that ‘across the eighteenth century hundreds of thousands of men entered the navy of their own free will’.13 Music has always been linked with military and maritime pursuits. There are marches and work songs, but equally societies have celebrated military victories and mourned fallen heroes in song. Folk music expresses the preoccupations of people of all classes and the most popular ballads reflect their ‘anxieties and recuperative responses’. Caroline Jackson-Houlston identifies two strands in British songs of the early nineteenth century: ‘The loss of loved ones (almost always male sexual partners)’ and ‘the fear of military defeat, and even of possible invasion’. While these songs were generally created by working-class people for each other, there were ‘moral and patriotic pieces … produced by those higher in society for propaganda purposes’.14 In his examination of how songs and ballads were used to encourage men to enlist in the navy, James Davey points out that men who volunteered to go to sea were not merely following simple narratives of unthinking duty; on the contrary, they were individuals responding to complex motivations, community pressures and constructions of identity.15 Ballads in the Public Sphere: A Comfort and Example to Sailors As Gillian Russell writes, ‘many nautical memoirs confirm [that] singing was one of the ways in which life on board a man-of-war could be made tolerable, enlivening the sailor’s recreational moments as well as assisting him in his daily tasks’.16 Ballads, which would have been sung for recreation, should be distinguished from sea shanties. Shanties are work songs, ‘rhythmically fitted to the seafaring processes’ and sung during activities like ‘pulling ropes 12 Slope. 13 Davey, 44. 14 Jackson-Houlston, 191, 184. 15 Davey, 44. 16 Russell, 100.

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or pushing the capstan’, while ‘the true ballad is a narrative poem’ – often, but not always, anonymous. The words of ballads (often referred to as ‘songs’ even when separated from the music, or ‘airs’, they were set to) were printed and sold in public places by ballad-sellers. They often dealt with topical themes – recent news stories and current issues.17 These broadsheets, or broadsides, were hugely popular in the eighteenth century. ‘There is a mass of evidence describing unnamed sheets being circulated, pinned up in public spaces, given out, pulled out of pockets and sung to gathering audiences.’18 According to Mark Philp: The singing of street ballads was unpredictable in its effects, subject to interference, interpretation and subversion. Formal musical performances … were not similarly exposed – and while there was a dimension of symbolism on such occasions, there is also an element of sheer power, which has a distinct impact on its audience. … There is little doubt that there was a deep appreciation of the power of loyal performances among many of those arranging public events, especially around the invasion of 1803.19

In her discussion of the representation of the ‘Jolly Jack Tar’ on stage, Russell argues that, while ‘the naval community was far from being a group of eager students, ready to be moulded … the theatre was profoundly important to the French wars because it became the place in which the civilian community’s ambivalence in relation to its armed forces could be acted out’, and nautical songs were an integral part of many theatrical performances.20 Versions of ballads which included the printed music, usually with a simple accompaniment for piano, were also printed and sold by the publishers of other types of sheet music. Several of these songs are to be found in both print and manuscript in surviving music collections, including that of Jane Austen (1775–1817) and her extended family.21 Given the large numbers of men employed in the Navy, it is not surprising that many ballads of this period dealt with life at sea. Isaac Land discusses the blatant misogyny of many sailors’ ballads in the folk tradition, complicated by the increasingly serious ‘legal and social consequences of a sodomy accusation’ over the course of the eighteenth century. Although 17 Scholes, 946. 18 Davey, 47. 19 Philp, 176. 20 Russell, 105. 21 The Austen Family Music Books. Internet Archive. Accessed 8 April 2018.

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there were, as Land reveals, some women on British ships, smuggled on board, or disguised as men, it was predominantly a male environment.22 Proving sailors’ credentials became imperative: given that ‘every male now needed to demonstrate an exclusive sexual interest in women in some public way, no one was in a worse position than Jack Tar’. Thus the image of the sailor with a ‘wife’ in every port became common as a part of the ‘libertine bravado’ of sailors. However, as Land argues, it was combined with ‘a deep anxiety about women turning the tables and somehow playing the libertine themselves’. Men fed on ‘a steady diet of misogynist song and story’ were ‘primed … to vent their fury on women’.23 Into this murky world, songwriters like Charles Dibdin intervened to create a more acceptable sailor. ‘Inevitably, Dibdin’s sailor would be not merely brave or f ierce but also funny. “Poor Jack” (1789), Dibdin’s most famous song, squarely addressed the old anxieties about sailors’ sexual, and national, loyalties.’ Dibdin’s typical sailor is singing on his own account, not being sung about: ‘He prides himself on his plain speaking, but what he speaks about are his orthodox sexual and national loyalties, which intertwine and reinforce each other.’24 Davey writes that ‘politicians understood the cultural significance of ballads, and by the end of the eighteenth century radical and conservative commentators alike understood that they were one way into the hearts and minds of ordinary people’.25 The rhetoric and humour of these songs was frequently aimed squarely at the ‘honest British tar’. George Hogarth wrote in 1848 that if Dibdin’s portrayals of sailors had been ‘coarse and literal copies, the originals would turn away in anger and disgust’. However, if Dibdin had gone to the other extreme and portrayed them as ‘mere fancy-pieces, they would be neither understood nor cared for’. Dibdin’s ballads worked because in his seafaring characters ‘the sailor recognizes a brother-sailor – a being like himself, but nobler and better than himself, whom he would gladly resemble more fully’. Hogarth, like those who had granted Dibdin a government pension, recognised that once the mariner approved of and sympathized with the ‘high and generous sentiments’ of these fictional characters, he could adopt them as his role models. Hogarth even suggested that, so influenced, ‘His courage is no longer a brute instinct, sustained by a blind fatalism. He is calm in the midst of the battle … and yet prepared, 22 23 24 25

Land includes a chapter on ‘cross-dressing’ in the Navy. Land, 45, 50, 52. Land, 94–95. Davey, 60.

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should such be the will of Heaven, to die bravely in the cause of his country.’26 Yet, according to Hogarth, it is not just a sailor’s conduct in battle or dealings with his ‘brother-sailors’ that Dibdin models so effectively, it is his personal life. He goes so far as to claim that for the sailor, ‘The image of his favourite hero stands between him and the allurements to sensual indulgence.’ The hero of Dibdin’s ballads focuses on ‘his faithful girl, or tender wife’ during the lonely midnight watch, as well as in the Saturday’s carouse, when the merry crew assemble to toast their ‘sweethearts and wives’.27 Although Hogarth could be critical about Dibdin’s personal life and musical abilities, he had no doubt of the efficacy of Dibdin’s compositions in improving the character and family life of sailors.28 A striking demonstration of the political potency of this belief is the way the leaders of the Royal Navy ‘Nore Mutiny’ in 1797 recruited the language and sentiments of Dibdin’s naval characters when issuing their demands: The mutineers offered carefully worded lists of grievances balanced with affirmations of loyalty to king and country, but the affirmation of fidelity to sweethearts and wives was the most politically innovative part of their petition. By equating their fidelity to women with their fidelity to Britain, and making the case for a pay raise on the grounds that they had families at home to support, they established themselves both as family men and as steadfast patriots. … The language of the 1797 mutineers partook of Tom Paine, but also of Charles Dibdin.29

As Joanne Begiato points out, ‘The sailor’s wife and infants and home were reshaped into the sailor’s motivation to leave them: to defend and protect them and the nation.’30 Songs in the Domestic Sphere: The Marriage of Matthew and Ann Flinders While ballads were undoubtedly influential, and believed to be so, they were not the only type of cultural product to encourage seafaring and the benefits of family life.31 Matthew Flinders, the English navigator and 26 27 28 29 30 31

Hogarth, xxxi. Hogarth, xxx–xxxi. Hogarth, xxxi. Land, 98–99. Begiato (Bailey), 127. Davey, 60.

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cartographer, claimed that it was after reading Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe that he decided to go to sea and joined the navy ‘against the wishes’ of his father.32 By the time Flinders proposed marriage to Ann Chappelle in 1801, he had spent most of the preceding decade at sea. Ann had little enthusiasm for marrying a ‘servant’ of the sea. Her father had been a mariner and died at sea when she was four, and her mother, from a Hull seafaring family, had also lost two of her brothers to the sea.33 Although there was no doubting their mutual attraction, it took Matthew some persuasion, as well as some over-optimistic promises, to convince her that they had a future together. They married in April 1801 and lived together for a few weeks before Flinders left to survey the Australian coastline as commander of the HMS Investigator. Flinders had hoped to take his wife with him, but the Admiralty intervened.34 Ann suffered deeply during their separation, which was to last nine years.35 In 1803, while travelling back to England, Flinders was detained by the French governor on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean for more than six years. Stranded there, Flinders worried constantly about his family. He was the eldest son of a large family, and when his father died in 1802 he therefore became head of that family. His letters home to his stepmother and siblings show his anxiety at being absent and not knowing ‘the state of my affairs’, or being able to ensure that his younger sisters were receiving an adequate education.36 He also worried about his wife, realizing that each year apart lessened the likelihood of their having children.37 In March 1806 Flinders wrote to his brother about the possibility of Ann joining him on Mauritius: Was she with me […] I could make myself tolerably happy here […]; but the dread of the fatigue and risks she must undergo, and the difficulty of finding a proper person to accompany her, prevent me from requesting her to come, it must rest with herself and upon the turn-up of circumstances. I have however forbidden the voyage, if one of the opportunities which I have described does not offer; the honour of a woman on board a 32 ‘Biographical Memoir of Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N.,’ 178n. For more information about Flinders, see Dooley (2015). 33 Estensen, 133. 34 See Flinders, ‘To Joseph Banks,’ 24 May and 3 June 1801, in Personal Letters, 69–70. 35 Gill uses the Flinders marriage as an example of the importance of letters in maintaining intimate and familial relations at a distance (Gill, 35–40). 36 See, for example, his letter to Elizabeth Flinders, 13 April 1806, State Library of Victoria Manuscript Collection, MS Sequence, Box 2/7. 37 Retter and Sinclair, 41.

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ship, is too likely to be aspersed, without proper guardianship; however circumspect her conduct might be, the tongue of slander will find some occasion to defame it, if she is not protected by a father, an uncle, or a brother, or by some respectable family.38

In the event, Ann stayed in England with her mother and step-father. Flinders acknowledged Ann’s sorrow by writing words to a tune by Haydn and sending them to Ann in November 1805.39 Flinders wrote in the persona of the woman left behind: ‘Why, Henry, didst thou leave me? … Thou knew’st how much I loved thee, yet could resolve to go.’ He wrote one verse, and three lines of a second, adding ‘To be completed’ in place of the last line. On receiving the song, Ann responded to the implied invitation to co-authorship by f inishing the second verse and adding two more, ending: ‘Will comforts cheering sunshine e’er beam on this sore heart? / Yes, when we meet, my Henry, never again to part.’40 In 1810 Flinders returned and the couple settled in London. In 1812, after suffering at least one miscarriage, Ann eventually bore a daughter at the age of 42. Flinders died less than four years after his return, when their child was only two. 41 The story of the Chappelle-Flinders marriage, involving personalities now well-known, was unique in its particulars, but in its general outline was common enough during these decades of war and expansion. However, the use of song-writing as a form of apology, graciously accepted, is unusual.

Examples of Sailors’ Songs in Jane Austen’s Music Collection Flinders’s musical training and level of education meant that when he took to song to mediate in his marriage, it was in elevated poetic diction set to a melody by Haydn. The English composer Thomas Billington (1754–1832) set the words of a song, about a woman lamenting the absence of her lover William, to another Haydn tune:

38 Flinders, ‘To Samuel Flinders,’ 29 March 1806, in Personal Letters, 147. 39 See Dooley, ‘When tired of writing,’ 9–13, for a discussion of this song and other aspects of music in life at sea. I have since ascertained that the tune in question is based on the Andante from Haydn’s ‘Imperial’ Symphony, Hob. 1:53. 40 Flinders, ‘Handwritten Sheet Music and Words’. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK. FLI/25, Online. Accessed 10 December 2017. 41 Flinders, Private Journal, xxx–xxxi.

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Ye cliffs! I from your airy steep look down with hope and fear To gaze on this extensive deep and watch if William’s there. Sad months are past while here I breathe Love’s soft and constant pray’r.

This song also ends in the prospect of a reunion: ‘His promised signals from the Mast my timid doubts destroy / What was your pain, ye terrors past, to this dear hour of Joy.’ ‘William’, first published in 1795, is known today only because Jane Austen copied it into one of her music manuscript books.42 The words, like those in the Flinders collaboration, stress the suffering of the woman waiting at home for her sea captain, but place more emphasis on her constancy. Written for publication, it was (at least in part) a contribution to the public conversation about the way women should behave while their men were away, while the Flinders song was a private document. Ann Flinders wrote to express her own ‘misery & alarms’, her ‘silent agony’: she had no need to convince a reader or listener of her fidelity. It can be assumed from its poetic register that ‘William’ was intended for a middle-class audience. The eponymous character would have been the captain or at least a high-ranking officer, since he was able to arrange a signal from the mast of his ship. Although it is certainly a narrative, it may not have been considered a ballad – defined by Davey as ‘a popular song sung in the streets – as opposed to a hymn or classical song’. However, there was not a clear-cut class distinction. As Davey notes, ‘ballads were not only geographically ubiquitous; they also filtered across all levels of society’.43 Ballads were often performed at theatres to middle-class audiences, and popular songs depicting the lives and loves of the lower ranks could also be part of the musical repertoire of the drawing room. Dibdin’s songs, and others on similar themes by composers such as William Shield and Samuel Arnold, were thus enjoyed not only by seamen. Indeed, Dibdin boasted that his songs ‘were sold in every music-shop, seen on every lady’s pianoforte, and sung in every company’. While he may have been exaggerating, several of his sea songs do appear in the extensive private music collection of Jane Austen.44 Austen had two brothers in the navy, so had personal experience to draw on when writing her naval novels, Mansfield Park and Persuasion. However, the presence of these songs in her collection hints at a broader engagement 42 Thomas Billington, ‘William’, Album of Songs and Duets, The Austen Family Music Books, CHWJA/19/3, 4–6. Internet Archive. Accessed 10 December 2016. austen1672310-2001#page/n11/mode/2up 43 Davey, 45, 47. 44 Land, 95.

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with naval culture, which could also have influenced her depiction of naval officers and men. Although Austen’s naval connections were with the officer class – both her two naval brothers eventually became Admirals – the songs in her collection range from the refined art music of ‘William’ to the knockabout, though still relatively respectable, humour of ballads like those written by Charles Dibdin. There are eighteen volumes of Austen Family Music Books, and the ownership of the various books has been traced to at least five other women in her extended family. However, Dibdin seems to have been a personal favourite of Austen’s: of the eleven Dibdin songs in the Austen music collection, nine are in Jane Austen’s own manuscript books. In the remainder of this chapter, I consider a sample of the ‘sea songs’ in Austen’s collection particularly from the perspective of the message they might be calculated to convey to women – of all classes – respecting their behaviour in relationships with their lovers or husbands during their absence at sea, and on their return. The Sailor’s Farewell: Tears and Vows One song in Austen’s music scrapbook is an anonymous setting of three verses from John Gay’s famous 1719 poem ‘Black-Eyed Susan’. 45 This setting strips away the narrative drama of Susan’s visit to William’s ship and uses only the words that the sailor William addresses to Susan, including a verse which confronts head-on the popular belief in sailors’ promiscuity: Believe not what the landsmen say, Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind, They tell thee, sailors when away, At every port a mistress find;

William is perhaps unusually eloquent for a common seaman, but elements like his appeal to Susan’s fidelity, his sympathy with her tears, and his assurance that her love will keep him safe, are themes that will recur in later ballads. What is more uncommon is the frank admission of the navy’s reputation for promiscuity, and the ingenious rebuttal which concludes this verse: ‘Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so, / for thou art 45 ‘Susan’, [words by John Gay, from ‘Black-Eyed Susan’], Scrapbook of manuscript and printed vocal and keyboard music, c.1775–c1810, The Austen Family Music Books CHWJA/19/7, p. XLIV. Internet Archive. Accessed 12 December 2017. n44/mode/1up

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present where so e’er I go.’ One could see this as an early example almost of propaganda – attempting to persuade women that it is safe to let their lovers and husbands go to sea, as well as encouraging good behaviour on the men’s part. 46 One of the Dibdin ballads in Austen’s collection, ‘The Soldier’s Adieu’, first appeared in one of his London ‘entertainments’, titled The Wags, in 1790. Most of the songs in this miscellany were comic character pieces he performed himself, but ‘The Soldier’s Adieu’ was written to be delivered in heroic mode. Although it was obviously written about a different branch of the military service, Austen had other ideas. In her copy, she crossed out ‘soldier’ and substituted ‘sailor’ in the line, ‘Remember thou’rt a soldier’s wife, these tears but ill become thee’: the man in question is made of sterner stuff than Susan’s soft-hearted William. The second verse refers to the inspiration and comfort of wife and family: My safety thy fair truth shall be As sword and buckler serving; My life shall be more dear to me Because of thy preserving: Let peril come, let horror threat, Let thund’ring cannons rattle! – I’ll fearless seek the conflict’s heat, Assur’d when on the wings of love, To Heav’n above Thy fervent orisons are flown; The tender prayer Thou put’st up there Shall call a guardian angel down, To watch me in the battle. 47

The tortuous poetic syntax, combined with a tune that manages to be both martial and florid, must have made this soldier/sailor seem amusingly 46 Gustar, 445. Gustar discusses the history of musical settings of ‘Black Ey’d Susan’, which continued to be included in folk song collections and community songbooks until well into the twentieth century. He points out that ‘Gay’s “literary artfulness” made the poem, and thus the song, stand out from the crowd.’ The setting in Austen’s manuscript book has not been dated, nor has its composer been identified. 47 Dibdin, Songs 257. Austen’s MS copy is at The Austen Family Music Books CHWJA/19/3, pp.  25–27. Internet Archive. Accessed 15  December  2017 austen1672310-2001#page/n32/mode/1up

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pompous when set alongside the other characters in The Wags. Dibdin varied the register and tone of his songs, and ‘his amazing ability to mimic provincial accents’ and people of different social classes meant he could carry the audience with him through an evening’s program containing nearly three dozen songs. 48 ‘Yo Heave Ho’, from Dibdin’s 1799 show Tour to the Land’s End, is also in the Austen music collection.49 The singer in this case is ‘Tom Tough’, former sailor looking back on his naval career, with pride and a certain amount of boasting: ‘I’ve seed a little service / Where mighty billows roll and loud tempests blow.’ In the first verse he lists some of his commanders in order to establish his credentials: Howe, Jarvis, Duncan, Boscawen, and Hawke. In the second, he shares the sorrow of parting from his love while supressing his tears in order to do his duty: When from my love to part I first weighed anchor, And she was snivelling seed on the beach below, I’d like to catch my eyes sniv’ling too, d’ye see, to thank her, But I brought my sorrows up with a Yo heave ho! For sailors, though they have their jokes, And love and feel like other folks, Their duty to neglect must not come for to go. So I seized the capstan bar, like a true honest tar, In spite of tears and sighs sung out, Yo heave ho!

Joanne Begiato argues that ‘the tar was not sanitised and civilised’ during the course of the Georgian era, ‘but was given feelings’, allowing the construction of masculine sensibility to reach the lower ranks.50 In voicing his impulse to tearfulness and sympathy, and then suppressing it, Tom Tough recalls Flinders’s sentiments: ‘When stern duty calls thee, thou couldst not but obey.’ He is more forgiving than the character in ‘The Soldier’s Adieu’, who exhorts his wife (in Austen’s version) to ‘remember thou’rt a sailor’s wife, these tears but ill become thee’.

48 Carrasco, 167; Russell 101. 49 Charles Dibdin, ‘Yo Heave Ho’, written and composed by Mr Dibdin, and sung by him in his New Entertainment called ‘A Tour to the Land’s End’ (London, 1799). This published sheet music is in a book in the Austen Music collection that belonged to Jane Austen’s brother Henry’s second wife, Eleanor, available online at n55/mode/2up 50 Begiato, 118.

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Home Life: Families and Children The last verse of ‘Yo Heave Ho’ adds another dimension to the sailor’s lot – what happens at the end of his career: And now at last laid up, in decentish condition, For I’ve only lost an eye and got a timber toe; But old ships must expect in time to be out of commission, Nor again the anchor weigh with a Yo Heave Ho! I smoke my pipe and sing old songs, My boys shall well avenge my wrongs, My girls shall rear young sailors nobly for to face the foe. Then to country and king, Fate no danger can bring, While the tars of old England sing, Yo, heave ho! The tars of old England sing, Yo, heave ho!

Humour, self-parody, sentiment and patriotism all play their part here. A ‘timber toe’ is slang for a wooden leg. The sailor’s ‘decentish condition’ is understatement for the loss of both a limb and an eye. But Tom Tough is a family man, with sons and daughters he has brought up – along with his wife, presumably the tearful woman he left behind in verse two – to follow his example and do their duty for ‘old England’. The tune combines rollicking hornpipe-like passages with a steady march rhythm, with the words ‘Yo heave ho’ set on three even, affirmative beats at the end of each phrase. The implications for wives of injured men are made explicit in a song by Samuel Arnold from the comic opera Fire and Water (1780), in which the woman sings: Sure ’twould make a dismal story If when honour leads him on, Love should slight the cause of glory, Or disdain its wounded son. If, his country’s rights defending, He should some disaster prove, Duty with affection blending, Will but more increase my love.51

51 Andrews.

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In Jane Austen’s hand-written version of this song she perhaps mis-remembered or deliberately improved the second-last line to ‘Pity with my passion blending’.52 In the opera, this brief song is sung by a woman making a case for marrying the man she chooses rather than one chosen for her. Divorced from this setting, with its simple, no-nonsense tune in common time, the song proffered a general statement about the duty of the patriotic woman to harness her affections (or indeed passions) in the patriotic cause. A more idealized image of the sailor’s return comes in William Shield’s song ‘The Heaving of the Lead’ (1792). This four-square song uses the figure of the plumb-line being cast to measure the depth of the water as a ship approaches its home port, to illustrate the sailor’s longing for home and domestic comforts: And as the much-loved shore we near, With transport we behold the roof, Where dwells a friend or partner dear Of faith and love a matchless proof. The lead once more the seaman flung, and to the watchful pilot sung, Quarter less five! Quarter less five!53

These sailors, unlike Dibdin’s comic yet heroic characters, are generalized, and the commonality of their positive emotions assumed. They are equally reassuring to those waiting at home, or more realistically, perhaps, to the broader social field. The impression they give of a well-behaved, domesticated navy safely embedded in a familial network of equally devoted and docile ‘friends and partners’ spells a freedom from the kinds of social disruption which might well result from long absences and family separations. Another song in the Austen collection, Joseph Major’s 1800 ballad, ‘Far O’er the Western Ocean’, tells of a wife whose husband has been taken ‘beyond the stormy sea’. He seems to have had no choice in the matter, perhaps because he is an impressed sailor. The wife complains that she is subjected not just to personal sorrow, but to loss of reputation: 52 Samuel Arnold, ‘Sure ’twould make a dismal story’, Scrapbook of manuscript and printed vocal and keyboard music, c.1775–c1810, The Austen Family Music Books, CHWJA/19/7, p. CXLIV. Internet Archive. 53 William Shield, ‘The Heaving of the Lead,’[manuscript], Album of Songs and Duets, The Austen Family Music Books, CHWJA/19/3, pp 56–57. Internet Archive. Accessed 16 December 2017.

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Some say that I’m deserted, They flout and jeer and scorn; And slander’s hounds are started, Because I am forlorn. My children seem forsaken But he’ll come back to me.

Those last lines show she is not only a wife, but also a mother, as she concludes her song with a pious belief that ‘the power that chastens’ will bring her husband home: ‘We’ll twine our hearts together / A Family of Love!’54 This ballad, with its simple but engaging melody and straightforward modelling of a long-suffering and virtuous wife and mother, illustrates Davey’s point that ‘ballads are not used simply to hold a mirror up to British society’. Their purpose is to actively ‘influence opinions and ideas’.55 Cautionary Tales One song in Austen’s collection tells a cautionary tale, in this case it is cautioning against joining the navy. Dibdin’s ‘Lucky Escape’ (1800) is a comically hair-raising story of a ploughman who is persuaded by a friend to go to sea, leaving his ‘dear’ at home.56 He is lured by promises ‘of such things / as if sailors were kings’, only to f ind that ‘I did not much like for to be aboard a ship / When in danger there’s no door to creep out’. Hurricanes and battles conf irm his conviction that it had been unwise ‘to roam, when so happy at home’. When ‘at last safe I landed, and in a whole skin’, a helpful friend tells him that his father is dead and his wife has run away. ‘Wives losing their husbands oft lose their good name,’ he moans, continuing ‘Curse light upon the carf indo and the inconstant wind / that made me for to go and leave my dear behind!’ But once he has expressed this remorseful sentiment, ‘this very same friend’ reveals that this news had been a ploy to test whether his desire to stay at home was genuine: in fact ‘Dad’s alive, and your wife’s safe at home.’ 54 Joseph Major, ‘Far o’er the Western Ocean, a Ballad, the Words by R.C. Dallas.’ Printed and sold for the author, London, c. 1800. The Austen Family Music Books, Internet Archive. Accessed 8 April 2018. 55 Davey, 46. 56 Dibdin, ‘The Lucky Escape’, Album of Songs and Duets, The Austen Family Music Books, CHWJA/19/3, pp 46–47. Internet Archive. Accessed 16 December 2017. austen1672310-2001#page/n53/mode/2up

‘ These Happy Effec ts on the Char ac ter of the British Sailor’


Our ploughman returns to his f ields and his family – his ‘wife, mother, sister and all of my friends’, where ‘once more shall the horn call me up in the morn’, and nothing will ‘e’er tempt me for to go and leave my dear behind’. It is notable that he is not only a husband, but a son and a brother, embedded in a network of family relationships, with implicit mutual obligations. Didbin’s melody for this little morality tale is full of character and drama. Like most of Dibdin’s songs, the music supports the words and allows for a full range of comic expression. It certainly reinforces the importance of family values, as do ‘Yo Heave Ho’ and ‘The Heaving of the Lead’, but there is no countervailing appreciation of the bravery and endurance of Jack Tar. With its frank message of staying where you are well off, perhaps Dibdin intended to discourage impetuous decisions endangering family life. Charles Dibdin’s career appears to have declined in the early 1800s. In 1803 he wrote an ‘Entertainment’ called Britons Strike Home. ‘Devoted as I have ever been to my public duty, it was impossible that, at the present moment, I should sleep at my post’ he wrote, presumably referring to Britain’s resumption of war with France in May 1803.57 For this Entertainment he wrote a song titled ‘Victory, and George the Third’, alluding to the 1695 song ‘Britons, Strike Home’ by Henry Purcell, a patriotic anthem which during the eighteenth century rivalled ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Rule Britannia’ in popularity. This ballad, with its ‘king and country’ lyrics, perhaps composed with the idea of demonstrating Dibdin’s gratitude for the government pension, ‘did not catch on to any measurable degree’.58 Although Dibdin retired in 1805 at the age of 60, in 1808, owing to the withdrawal of his pension, ‘he found himself … compelled to resume his professional labours. … But these endeavours terminated in failure and bankruptcy’.59 He died in 1814 at the age of 69. It is possible to speculate that the government pension suppressed the vitality and variety of Dibdin’s characterizations of British seamen and their family relationships in favour of an attempt ‘to keep up the enthusiasm against our Gallic neighbours’.60 Songs like ‘The Lucky Escape’, encouraging men to stay home on the farm with their families, or ‘Every Inch a Sailor’, in which both the sailor and his lover perish, could have no part in this moraleboosting project. 57 58 59 60

Kitchiner, 21. Vandrei, 694; Philp, 177. Hogarth, xxvi. Hogarth, 228

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Conclusion It is signif icant that Dibdin’s career took a downward turn once he directed his energies towards consciously fulf illing his duty to ‘keep up enthusiasm’. It seems likely that the humour, pathos and variety of Dibdin’s maritime characters, and those of other composers and balladeers of the time, had a more positive effect on the morale of sailors and their families when they were not too blatant in their patriotic messaging. While men would have listened to or sung many of these songs while at sea or in port, those they left behind – their sweethearts, wives, children and other family members – would have done likewise. Samantha Carrasco has remarked that ‘Through their musical choices and the words expressed within a song, women could immerse themselves in the world of politics, marital affairs, compassion and free expression of emotion.’61 For both men and women, a lively, rousing or tender ballad, combining music and words, enjoyed actively by singing along or passively by listening to a performance, could have a powerful effect on the emotions. Likewise, a private message of love and shared pain sent by means of a song, as in the Flinders’ example, could do the same. Both could result in a softening of the heart, a hardening of resolve or even a change in behaviour. Dibdin’s skill at characterization might perhaps have been the secret of his appeal to Jane Austen – and to other women who read, heard or sang his songs. Austen found the virtues of respect for women, fidelity in marriage and preference for domestic life attractive, and most of the men she portrays sympathetically have these qualities, whether they are minor characters or the destined husbands of her heroines. I am not proposing that Austen’s novelistic practice was influenced in any substantial way by her familiarity with the ballads of Dibdin and his colleagues. However, in collecting, copying out and performing their songs for her own amusement (and perhaps that of her nieces and nephews), Austen was reflecting the national preoccupation with war and imperial expansion and the concern about its effect on families. In her last completed novel, Persuasion (first published 1818), Austen’s admiration for men who go to sea is clear. All the naval characters are officers: Captain Harville, Admiral Croft, Captain Wentworth and Captain Benwick. All are quite distinct characters with different combinations of attractive qualities and virtues, but all are committed to a happy domestic life. The novel ends: 61 Carrasco, 176.

‘ These Happy Effec ts on the Char ac ter of the British Sailor’


Anne was tenderness itself, and she had the full worth of it in Captain Wentworth’s affection. His profession was all that could ever make her friends wish that tenderness less; the dread of a future war all that could dim her sunshine. She gloried in being a sailor’s wife, but she must pay the tax of quick alarm for belonging to that profession which is, if possible, more distinguished in its domestic virtues than in its national importance.62

This assessment of the naval profession is not merely a passing remark: it bears the added significance of ending the novel. As Kathryn Sutherland points out, ‘Persuasion is Austen’s most time-stamped novel.’ It was written after Waterloo, yet set before Waterloo. In this novel, ‘through Anne Elliot’s quiet characterization, Austen offers her most subtle domestic meditation on war’s cost’.63 The lives of these characters were shaped by war and politics, like countless other families of the time whose stories were reflected in and perhaps shaped by contemporary popular songs.

Works Cited Andrews, Miles Peter. Fire and Water! A Comic Opera in Two Acts, Performed at the Theatre-Royal in the Hay-Market (Dublin, 1790). Online. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. w=toc. Accessed 16 December 2017. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice ed. R.W. Chapman, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1932). –––. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion ed. R.W. Chapman, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933). Begiato (Bailey), Joanne. ‘Tears and the Manly Sailor in England, c. 1760–1860.’ Journal for Maritime Research 17/2(2015): 117–133. ‘Biographical Memoir of Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N.’ Naval Chronicle 32 (1814): 178n. Carrasco, Samantha. The Austen Family Music Books and Hampshire Music Culture, 1770–1820. Unpublished Thesis, PhD (Southampton: University of Southampton, 2013). Davey, James. ‘Singing for the Nation: Balladry, Naval Recruitment and the Language of Patriotism in Eighteenth-Century Britain.’ The Mariner’s Mirror 103/1 (2017): 43–66. 62 Austen, [Northanger Abbey and] Persuasion, 252. 63 Sutherland.

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Dooley, Gillian. ‘Matthew Flinders: The Man behind the Map of Australia.’ Transactions of the Royal Society of Victoria October (2015). http://transactionsvic. –––. ‘“When Tired of Writing, I Apply to Music”: Music in Matthew Flinders’ Life’, The Britannia Naval Research Association, The Journal 5/1 (2011): 9–13. Estensen, Miriam. The Life of Matthew Flinders (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2002). Fischer, Lewis R. and Helge Nordvik (eds.). Shipping and Trade, 1750–1950: Essays in International Maritime Economic History (Pontefract, UK: Lofthouse, 1990). Flinders, Matthew. Matthew Flinders: Personal Letters from an Extraordinary Life, ed. by Paul Brunton. (Sydney: Hordern House, 2002). –––. Private Journal 1803–1814, ed. by Anthony J. Brown and Gillian Dooley (Adelaide: Friends of the State Library of South Australia, 2005). Frykman, Niklas. ‘Seamen on Late Eighteenth-Century European Warships.’ International Review of Social History 54 (2009): 67–93. Gill, Ellen. Naval Families: War and Duty in Britain, 1740–1820 (Martlesham, UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2016). Gustar, Andrew. ‘The Life and Times of Black-Ey’d Susan: The Story of an English ballad.’ Folk Music Journal 1/4 (2014): 432–448. Hogarth, George. ‘Memoir of Charles Dibdin’ in The Songs of Charles Dibdin (London: Davidson, 1848), xv–xxxii. Jackson-Houlston, Caroline. ‘“You Heroes of the Day”: Ephemeral Verse Responses to the Peace of Amiens and the Napoleonic Wars, 1802–1804’ in Resisting Napoleon: The British Response to the Threat of Invasion 1797–1815 ed. by Mark Philp (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 184–191. Kitchiner, William. The Sea Songs of Charles Dibdin: With a Memoir of his Life and Writings (London: Whittaker, 1823). Land, Isaac. War, Nationalism and the British Sailor, 1750–1850 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Lin, Patricia Yu Chava Esther. Extending Her Arms: Military Families and the Transformation of the British State, 1793–1815. Unpublished thesis (Berkeley: University of California, 1997). Philp, Mark. ‘Music and Politics, 1793–1815: Section 1: Introduction’ in Resisting Napoleon: The British Response to the Threat of Invasion 1797–1815 ed. by Mark Philp (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 1–18. Retter, Catharine and Shirley Sinclair, Letters to Ann: The Love Story of Matthew Flinders and Ann Chappelle (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1999), 41. Rodger, N.A.M. ‘Commissioned Officers’ Careers in the Royal Navy, 1690–1815.’ Journal for Maritime Research 3/1 (2001): 85–129. ‘The Royal Navy’s Size Throughout History.’ Historic UK. https://www.historic-uk. com/Blog/British-Navy-Size-Over-Time/ Accessed 10 October 2018.

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Russell, Gillian. The Theatres of War: Performance, Politics and Society 1793–1815 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). Scholes, Percy. ‘Shanty’ in The Oxford Companion to Music 10th ed. (Oxford: OUP, 1970), 946. Slope, Nick. ‘Women in Nelson’s Navy’, BBC History 17 February 2011. Accessed 30 August 2018. Sutherland, Kathryn. ‘Women Writing in Time of War.’ Jane Austen: Writer in the World ed. by Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2017), 96–118. ‘Timber Toe,’ in 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence ed. by Robert Cromie (Northfield, Ill.: Digest Books, 1971) n.p. Vandrei, Martha. ‘“Britons, Strike Home”: Politics, Patriotism and Popular Song in British Culture, c. 1695–1900,’ Historical Research 87/239 (November 2014): 679–702.

About the Author Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English literature at Flinders University. She has published books and articles on various literary and historical topics, including Matthew Flinders and Jane Austen, often with an emphasis on music. She was co-convenor of the ‘Immortal Austen’ conference in Adelaide, July 2017.


Maintaining the Family Community Support for Merchant Sailors’ Families in Finland, 1830–1860 Pirita Frigren Abstract After the Napoleonic Wars Finnish ship owners increasingly contributed to global trade by selling their tonnage capacity internationally. In spite of its peripheral position as a Grand Duchy within Imperial Russia (since 1809), Finland played an important part in the traffic of the high seas during the late age of sail, largely due to the ready availability of labour. In this chapter, I study how long-distance trade affected sailors’ families in Pori on Finland’s west coast between 1830 and 1860. I show how boundaries of biological kinship were crossed in housing arrangements families made to ensure social and economic security, and how the community supported and dealt with these families. Keywords: Merchant seamen, Families, Housing arrangements, Community support, Finland, Nineteenth century

Between 1808 and 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, Russia wrested Finland from the Swedish Realm and it became an autonomous grand duchy within the Russian Empire. There was an initial drop in foreign trade for a couple of decades after the cessation of hostilities in Europe, but after that merchant shipping became the engine of the Finnish economy. From the 1830s, ship owners took advantage of the gradual liberalization of customs policies in Britain and started exporting timber. Meanwhile, the French conquest of Algiers in 1830 put an end to the raids from Ottoman corsairs from North Africa that had prevented trade in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. This meant Finnish merchants could now import salt from there and store it in any of the Russian Baltic ports. Before long, Finnish shipping companies

Dalton, H. (ed.), Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion and Exile, 1550–1850. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020 doi: 10.5117/9789463722315_ch11

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responded to this growth in international trade by building larger wooden vessels suitable for high sea voyaging. What made merchant shipping profitable in Finland was the fact that labour costs were inexpensive. As elsewhere in the Nordic countries, early nineteenth-century Finland witnessed a population boom among the landless poor. In the merchant navy, unskilled labour was especially in demand and employment at sea, with a regular monthly wage, became an inviting occupation for men of a lower social standing.1 The working conditions of Finnish merchant sailors were similar to those in other fleets in Europe and the North Atlantic, with one exception: the seaman’s oath. This oath, dating back to early modern Swedish legislation, obliged crew to stay on board from the moment their ship left homeport to the moment it returned – no matter how long that might take. This meant that families could not predict how long the male members of their household would be absent once recruited. The minimum duration would be about a year, but profitable commissions, shipwrecks, wartime, illnesses, or accidents could extend their time away from home or even render it permanent. Compounding this was the growing number of seamen who deserted their ship in a foreign port. Scandinavian sailors tended to jump ship to either join a British or American vessel (where they could earn more), or migrate to North America, Britain, Australia, or New Zealand. For Finns, jumping ship was the sole means of entering the international maritime labour market, since it was illegal for them to seek employment on foreign ships.2 Across Europe and the Americas, social roles within maritime families and communities were distinctly gendered by the nineteenth century. Being a sailor was clearly a man’s job, while wives, daughters, and mothers were expected to stay at home. Indeed, the emerging ideals of the bourgeois nuclear family, with the man as sole breadwinner, had begun to erode women’s independence and their active role in the seafaring world, restricting them to the private sphere of home. In her seminal studies Lisa Norling demonstrated how, in New England whaling communities in the late eighteenth century, the spouses of captains were actively involved in the family business. However, by the nineteenth they were being excluded and increasingly confined to roles where they were expected to provide emotional support for their husbands, in addition to carrying out domestic duties.3 This change, coupled with the idea that the male breadwinner was 1 2 3

Kaukiainen, 127–164. Ojala, Pehkonen and Eloranta (2013), 123, 130. Norling (1991), 164–178, and (2000), 223–261.

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also supposed to prioritize his household and be a ‘family man’, is seen as one reason why mobile occupations such as seafaring became seen as undesirable for married men. 4 Yet, this bourgeois ideal did not apply across Nordic countries in the period discussed in this chapter because of the late emergence of industrialism and urbanisation (that in theory would have offered landward working options for a man with a family). In the mid-nineteenth century seafaring in Finland was not yet seen as a job best suited to unmarried men only and, according to rough estimates, about 20-40% of the maritime workforce were married.5 Recent research has identified early modern Nordic families as predominantly relying on a ‘two-supporter model’ in which both spouses took part in breadwinning and securing their family’s welfare. This occurred despite patriarchal Lutheran ideals and the subordinate legal position of wives and children in the household.6 Continual separation was not a universal feature of maritime families for, as Daniel Vickers and Vince Walsh point out, in many communities, such as eighteenth and nineteenth-century Salem, seafarers spent a lot of their time home, influencing the culture and social life of their coastal towns. Yet, families in Finland were generally separated most of the time.7 There was high likelihood of sailors’ wives becoming single parents, or living without their husbands for long stretches of time. In this kind of seafaring community, women often became the major breadwinner and sometimes assumed a greater role in the land-based side of the shipping business.8 This chapter introduces mid-nineteenthcentury Finnish seafaring families as an example of the model of shared breadwinning still going strong, except when the merchant seaman never returned. I demonstrate that such families relied on a combination of the husband’s maritime earnings, a local system of transmitting wages home, and the contributions of wives and children. The latter consisted of both paid and unpaid work ̶ a concept at the core of the ‘two-supporter model’, where work is seen as the time and effort invested in lots of different temporal and spatial circumstances rather than simply activities in a workplace during working hours. Work, then, is something resulting in goods or services as well as or instead of monetary wages.9 Additionally I lean on broad 4 Burton, 179–198; Nutting, 329–345. 5 Frigren, 101–106; Ojala, Pehkonen and Eloranta (2016), 40. 6 Ågren, 1–23. 7 Vickers and Walsh, 1–6; See also Norling (2000), 229. 8 Polónia, 269–285; Van der Hejden, Schmidt and Wall, 223–232; Abreu-Ferreira, 581–587. 9 Fiebranz, Lindberg, Lindström and Ågren, 273–293; Schmidt and van Nederveen Meerkerk, 69–96.

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concept of work and livelihood introduced by Rachel G. Fuchs, showing how nineteenth-century working-class women cooperated with neighbours and promoted their own issues within a local community that, in return, provided them with support.10 This qualitative case study is based on the analysis of minutes from poor relief meetings, and magistrate and poll tax records. These records include information on housing provided to families as well as documents from the local sjömanshuset (the Seamen’s House). The Seamen’s House was a state institution dating from 1748 – when Finland was still under Swedish rule – that continued to exist in every port handling foreign trade even after Finland joined the Russian Empire. Seamen’s Houses were instrumental in hiring maritime labour, distributing mutual aid to seafarers, their widows, and orphans. My analysis is geographically focused on one of the most important shipping centres on the west coast of Finland at that time – the port of Pori, which is known also by its Swedish name Björneborg (see Maps 4.2 in Chapter 4).11 To date, similar studies have for the most part concentrated on the geographical and temporal context of the Atlantic seaboard for the period 1500–1800.12 In looking at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when this part of Finland became part of the global economy, this chapter focuses on the period when deep-sea sailing began to have a real impact on those left on dry land. In this chapter, I describe the typical maritime family in Finland before exploring the strategies such families employed in order to survive and stay together when men were absent for long periods or never returned. Specifically, I ask how women used the various means at their disposal to handle family separation (both economically and socially): how families arranged their livelihood, housing, and the care of children and the elderly; and how sailors’ wives accessed the support of institutions in the local community in order to ensure the survival of their families.

The Maritime Household in Finland In Nordic society, all those not owning land, running their own business, or working as civil servants, burghers, or artisans were regarded as the ‘estate’ (or class) of people dependent on their master’s supervision. Controlling the 10 Fuchs, 5–7, 129. 11 Finnish ports were typically small (2000 to 5000 inhabitants). In Pori, the population grew from c. 3000 to c. 7000 between 1830 and 1860. 12 Van der Hejden and van den Heuvel, 296–301; Herndon, 55–69.

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mobility of labour was one of the cornerstones of social order.13 Sailors’ families were thus under the supervision of ship owners and captains. Unlike domestic servants and artisan journeymen, however, sailors lived in a different household to their masters and therefore their relationship with the employer was seldom personal. Thus, sailors’ families were independent as regards their welfare, housing, and aspects of citizenship such as judicial representation, commercial contracts, taxes and consumption.14 The fact that sailors’ households relied on paid-labour was relatively atypical for a country where over 90 percent of the population lived from agriculture and which did not witness industrialisation until the late nineteenth century. Although married women were legally under the guardianship of their husbands until 1930 in Finland, the fact that sailors’ families were half-tied and half-rid of the prevailing servant-master system meant that a sailor’s wife needed to take the initiative to get her husband’s wages home.15 As she did not usually have a direct relationship with her husband’s employers, she could not assume that the ship owner would automatically forward her husband’s wages to her. However, a system had been set up whereby she could claim a half or third of her husband’s wages. In order to be able to do this, she had to have been given a certain ‘power of attorney’ (dragsedel in Swedish) by her husband before he went to sea (comparable to the ‘sailor’s ticket’ or ‘chose in action’ used in the British Royal Navy).16 There is evidence that powers of attorney were used in relationships other than marriage. For example, an unmarried woman could be given one by a sailor as a token of generosity or trust, or simply as a sign that they were soon to be engaged.17 Prior to 1920, when this system was officially legislated, it operated as a custom promoted by local employers and authorities to allow ‘husbands’ to participate in supporting women and families from afar. Presumably, this system worked quite well as there are only a very few cases which were referred to the Seamen’s House and city magistrates. These involve women complaining about difficulties in getting their pay, or cases 13 Haapala, 60–69. 14 Häggman, 54–58. 15 Unmarried women were regarded as minors requiring a male guardian until 1864. Married women were under their husbands’ direction until 1930 (wives were independent actors in terms of property and what they could inherit, though) Widows were fully independent. 16 For more on payments in the Royal Navy, see Hunt. 17 Pori Magistrates Records, 6 March 1837; 26 August 1837; 28 August 1837; 3 September 1838. In these cases unmarried women were accused for vagrancy and indecent lifestyle and they excused themselves by saying that they are going to be married with a sailor once he has returned from his voyage.

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where captains have advised ship owners to stop payments because the husband has jumped ship in a foreign port.18 Although sailors’ wives were entitled to some of their husband’s pay, not all were provided with power of attorney. In some cases, a sailor’s wages could go directly to local merchants or others, due to debts the family had incurred. In such circumstances, where this income was not guaranteed, families needed to find other ways of surviving. Living frugally and sharing housing arrangements were coping strategies that maritime families used.

Sharing and Caring Housing Arrangements Many sailors’ families had migrated from rural parishes to coastal ports and not everyone had a supporting network of relatives around them. Many lived in the port itself because they were the only places licensed for foreign trade where merchant vessels were likely to hire labour. For these families, a single household was not the same clearly defined productive unit as it was for peasants, artisans, merchants or other independent self-employed people. Often the physical location of a household might be just a temporarily rented room shared with other families. After the fires of 1801 and 1852, people in Pori lived in various kinds of temporary dwellings, outhouses, barns, saunas, and even dugouts within and outside the city perimeters. Only 30 percent of sailors’ families were house-owners, and they often took in other sailors’ families as their lodgers.19 The lodgers in turn would take in subtenants. There were also cases where a sailor’s wife paid for the rent by doing domestic work for the house-owning family. Maria Lindgren and her daughter, for instance, lived in the same room with their landlady, burgher’s widow Eva Fleisser, under this kind of arrangement in 1837. When the husband Jacob Lindgren was home, he too lodged in this small apartment paid for by Maria’s labour.20 This blurs the boundaries of what constituted a household in the usual sense of the term, as lodgers working for their keep through domestic service were in a situation that was closer to that of a servant’s than an independent householder’s. There could be several families living together in one town house. As men were absent, women and children formed micro-communities among 18 For instance, in 1854, sailor’s wife Mathilda Grönlund complained to the magistrates about the ship owner Carl Martin who had withheld her husband’s payments for many months. Pori Magistrates Petitions, 7 July 1854. 19 Pori Poll Tax Records, 1830–1850. 20 Pori Magistrates Records, 1 July 1837.

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themselves, and women were able to leave town without telling anyone. In July 1836, for instance, after the usual thorough investigations made following a minor fire in Pori, it was discovered that one sailor’s wife (Maria Raumolin) and her children had been living in a house with another sailor’s wife and children because both husbands had stayed abroad after they jumped ship. Three years before the fire, the other family had left and, in evidence, Maria claimed that the upkeep of both houses had become too much of a burden for her.21 Ruth Wallis Herndon made similar observations regarding whaler’s wives living together in eighteenth-century Rhode Island. When an event such as a fire occurred, local authorities often discovered that families other than those registered on official documents were in residence. Often these families were co-habiting with women and children who were in the same situation as them.22 Another typical way in which the borders of the biological family unit were blurred was when poorer townsfolk, such as sailors’ families, took on foster children, the elderly, and the disabled (who would be recorded in poll tax records as household members). As Finnish poor houses were small, few, and far between (they only became a statutory institution in the latter half of the 1800s), such care was often the only form of social security for those who did not have relatives to look after them.23 Sailors’ families could earn income by taking such people in because the local parish poor relief, mutual aid funds, or employers (depending on the case) would compensate them for it. Cohabitants could also provide care if the house-owner herself was old and/or disabled. For instance, Helena Langén was a crippled 46 year-old sailor’s widow who lived in a Pori townhouse with: her daughter Fredrica and her two children; Lovisa Söderling (another disabled widow) and her children; Brita Björklund and Lisa Johansdotter (unmarried women); and Stina and Christian Eissenhart (a married couple). Besides Eissenhart, who was a sailor and thus presumably oftentimes away from home, there were no men living in the house.24 It is likely that in this small female community those women who were younger and more able-bodied took care of those who were older or disabled. Sailors’ wives, widows, and children were often ‘additional’ members in various extended household constellations of lodgers and their families. Those caring for a sailor’s family could claim his wages. For example, a sailor 21 22 23 24

Pori Lower Court Minutes, 20 July 1836. Herndon, 55–69. Markkola, 207–230. Pori Poll Tax Records, 1840, House 105 ½.

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could give power of attorney to a nanny or carer so they could withdraw part of his pay to cover the costs incurred in looking after his family. As they were familiar with the system, sailors’ wives were often the most active in claiming compensation for the childcare they provided for others. Christina Bergelin, for instance, came to Pori harbour in April 1834 when the brig Adolf Fredric was hiring its crew before setting sail. She had heard that Johan Rosendahl was going to enlist as first mate, and so she came to ask him for power of attorney over his son Carl Julius, whom she had agreed to look after.25 Bergelin and Rosendahl made a contract, and later on in May, when the ship was on its way, Bergelin withdrew the first part of Rosendahl’s salary – 15 silver roubles. She came to the ship owner’s office again in July and September so that by the end of that summer she had earned a tidy sum of almost 30 roubles, the equivalent pay of an able-bodied sailor at that time.26 Cases recorded in the minutes of the Seamen’s House and the local poor relief meetings reveal that if a carer could not access a sailor’s wages, these organisations would support her. Moreover, sailors’ children could also be collectively cared for by several women. For instance, in September 1853, Charlotta Sundbäck, Lovisa Tallgren, and Lisa Nordström (all sailors’ widows) appealed to the board of the Seamen’s House because they had not received compensation for looking after the underage daughter of the sailor, Matts Churberg. The problem was that Churberg had jumped ship in Quebec in 1847 and nobody knew where he was.27 In another case, a 28 year-old sailor’s wife called Maria Sofia Sandelin had died in September 1856 leaving behind her four-year old daughter. Because the little Maria Emelia Sandelin’s father (Johan Sandelin) had deserted ship abroad, the Seamen’s House and the local poor relief negotiated which one of them should cover the price of caring for the girl.28 Other situations in which sailors’ children were taken into foster care were when the father was absent and the mother either destitute or working away from home. Although families tended to organize foster relationships informally between themselves, the local poor relief could sometimes intervene. Children and old people could, for instance, be sent out to a farm in the countryside where they would earn their keep by working for the farmer. Cases like this illustrate how it was sometimes not just the socioeconomic conditions of sailors’ wives, but who was given custody of 25 26 27 28

Pori Magistrates Records, 2 April 1834. Pori Magistrates Records, 5 May 1834; 2 July 1834; 6 September 1834. Pori Seamen’s House Minutes, 30 September 1853. Pori Seamen’s House Minutes, 23 March 1857, Pori Poor Relief Board, letter 18 December 1856.

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the children, that determined whether a family would stay together or not. If a woman had small children to take care of, then this affected the kind of community support she could receive. But in the encounters between families and the port authorities there were also several other factors that determined whether they could receive help or not.

Community support As long-distance trade grew, it became clear to all who attended meetings after church on Sundays, to administer poor relief under the governance of the church board, that maritime work was dangerous and highly prone to economic fluctuations. As poverty and work-related accidents affected more sailors’ families, magistrates and shipping officials were approached by an increasing number of desperate sailors’ wives and widows. In Pori in 1850, widows and wives marked as heads of their households (indicating their husband had been away for a very long time) accounted for as many as 25 percent of all sailor households (excluding those of ship’s officers). Most of the Pori women who had lost a husband were sailors’ wives, often in their 30s and 40s with small children.29 Although single women with children were usually judged as deserving poor relief, in the case of seamen’s wives and widows, their husband’s professional reputation was also taken into account. This meant the authorities regarded them as part of a marriage relationship and/or household unit, rather than as an individual. The only benefit was that wives, although legally subordinate to their husband, could use their marital status and husband’s good reputation when appealing to the authorities. The religious poor relief offered by the local evangelic Lutheran congregation, the Seamen’s House and the city magistrates formed the triangle of authorities that dealt with these appeals. Poor Relief and the Seamen’s House: Negotiating Institutional Responsibilities As mentioned, sailors’ wives and widows caring for poor and destitute persons turned to local community support institutions. However, they also often contacted the authorities in relation to their own needs, especially after losing a husband. This indicates, unsurprisingly, that seamen’s wages were crucial to the family’s economy. Because the idea of the deserving poor was 29 Pori Poll Tax Records, 1850.

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strongly gendered and socially defined, working-class women who lacked an adult male member in their household formed the majority of poor relief recipients. Due to their gender and status they were seen more vulnerable than men. The loss of a spouse signified that a woman’s poverty was not the result of her own doing. Elderliness and any disabilities that made it harder to work also increased the likelihood of being entitled to aid.30 The position of a sailors’ spouse compared with other poor needy women was not simple. In the eyes of the communal poor relief – a last resort for those who lacked all other safety nets – the strength of an individual’s links to the parish was crucial to their application. Thus women who were both ‘bare-foot locals’ and widows were more likely to be helped than newcomers to the area. This meant sailors’ families were at a disadvantage because sailors were seen highly mobile. Those who had active careers at sea were not always registered to the local parish nor had they ever paid the taxes, which covered poor relief expenses. Because of this, poor relief authorities claimed that the local Seamen’s House should be responsible for alleviating poverty among mariner families.31 However, despite the perception that sailors and their families were highly mobile and not part of the local community of parishioners, the majority of marine families had settled permanently in Pori and were considered part of the parish. Poor relief records and poll tax registers indicate that despite the demarcation imposed by the authorities, poor relief was in fact provided to many sailor’s families. What is more, in 1852 the Poor Relief Act stated for the first time that able-bodied people were also occasionally entitled to relief, as long as they would not become wholly dependent on the support of other parishioners. Numerous sailors’ families availed themselves of this new legislation during the Crimean War (1853–1856) when the remarkable loss of tonnage and consequent recession caused widespread unemployment in the merchant navy. Indeed, sailors and their families formed the largest group among recipients of this occasional poor relief during the 1850s.32 Families could also appeal to the poor relief to monitor the Seamen’s House. According to the original eighteenth-century statutes, sailors who were elderly or disabled, and seamen’s widows and their orphans, had an institutional right to receive ‘mutual aid’ from the Seamen’s House funds. However, as the sums were modest, and proportionate to the social standing of a seafarer, they rarely provided an adequate pension to sailors or 30 Israelsson, 4–14, 23–44. 31 Imperial Senate (Senaatin Talousosasto), Petitions 1849 (Eb: 971) no. 169/133. 32 Pori Poor Relief Parish Meetings, 1817–1858; Pori Poor Relief Board Minutes, 1856–1866.

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their families. Rather than being based solely on the recipient’s personal situation, relief funding was based on the length of a sailor’s career and the payments he had made when recruited and registered with the Seamen’s House. Moreover, any criminal conviction of the recipient of funds could lead to their withdrawal. Poor relief authorities intervened in the operation of the Seamen’s House, not only to top up the pensions of sailors’ wives but because the latter was much less professionally organised when it comes to social welfare. As the Seamen’s House board was made up of captains and merchants who were often at sea, it rarely met. This may not have mattered when charitable activities involved giving alms to a few old and reputable widows every now and then. However, as more and more sailors went to sea, the Seamen’s House was required to distribute larger amounts to more people. The poor relief authorities had to intervene on a case-by-case basis until eventually the two institutions were effectively collaborating. The result was that from the 1840s, families, who were not all personally known to the captains and ship owners, could apply for assistance every three months. Women who wanted to lodge an appeal against either poor relief authorities or the Seamen’s House needed to know what kinds of poverty each of the institutions deemed ‘respectable’ (what Jennine Hurl-Eamon has called ‘rhetoric play’).33 In the case of Seamen’s House, this included being able to highlight the good works and long career of the late husband. In the case of poor relief, demonstrating humility, helplessness and a reliance on a male-breadwinner was more important. One burning issue was whether the wives of sailors who jumped ship should receive the same benefits from the Seamen’s House as those whose husbands had proved reputable. In 1848, ten wives of sailors who had deserted appealed to the Governor of Turku and Pori County, claiming that local shipping officials had refused to help them out of their misery. Their appeal, supported by the Pori poor relief board, was successful. It led to a resolution stipulating that the wives of sailors who had jumped ship were also eligible for benefits. In 1849 the board of the Seamen’s House in Pori lodged a counter-petition at the highest administrative level (the Imperial Senate), protesting that the wives of the deserted sailors could not be put in the same category as widows. Despite the fact that this failed (and the Governor’s resolution remained in force), in 1852 another three deserted women were refused aid by the Seamen’s House. One of them even claimed to have been beaten by a captain who thought that providing support to women like her would encourage more 33 Hurl-Eamon, 481–501: For more on the deserving poor in early modern Nordic countries, see Israelsson.

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men to jump ship and abandon their families.34 This case shows how local welfare institutions were beginning to acknowledge and respond to the side effects of long-haul shipping, instead of just rewarding the most loyal employers and their families (as they had previously). Often the parish poor relief also argued with the Seamen’s House about issues such as; who would cover expenses such as the hospital fees of sick sailor’s wives, funerals, and other non-recurring costs. As sailors’ families kept appealing to both of these institutions, they promoted a local forum for debate where social issues related to seafaring could be discussed and where the moral responsibilities of the community could be reassessed. Work Licenses Rather than simply receiving monetary relief, many able-bodied wives and widows were encouraged to run small-scale businesses and do odd jobs that were licensed by the town magistrates. Tavern-keeping, selling goods, baking, lodging Russian soldiers, herding animals in the summer, and cleaning public places were all deemed suitable employment. While producing and selling goods were activities generally controlled by privileged merchants and artisans’ guilds, women could obtain special licenses from magistrates to ply trades on a small-scale. Magistrates reinforced the concept of the ‘deserving poor’ by reserving such licenses for reputable local women of few means who were the sole head of their household.35 Competition over these licences was fierce, and magistrates clearly favoured those women they had awarded the license to previously. One consequence was that jobs deemed suitable by the magistrates became progressively more clearly defined as female employment. Work licenses soon became an important feature of the urban economy, and more than just a substitute form of poor relief. As the port town grew, so did the demand for the wider range of goods and services that these women provided. Baking was a good example of this. According to artisan privileges, women who were granted a baking license from the magistrates were only allowed to bake rye bread for sale exclusively to poorer folk, 34 Imperial Senate (Senaatin Talousosasto), Petitions 1849 (Eb: 971) no. 169/133; minutes IV 1849, 13 October 1849 § 2; Pori Seamen’s House Minutes, 27 April 1852 (Amanda Samulin, Maria Elisabeth Granholm, and Wilhelmina Fredrika Dahlström). Pori Magistrates Records, Governor’s Circulars 1841–1865 (Ez: 1) ‘On the support of deserted sailors’ wives’ (‘Om förrymde sjömanshustrurs understöd’), 12 May 1852. 35 See also Simonton, 29–47; Vainio-Korhonen, 30–36. For more on parallels with Sweden, see Bladh, 49; Ling, 17–19.

Maintaining the Family


whereas members of the baker’s guild had permission to bake bread made from wheat as well as fancier goods like pastries. Women’s businesses were not allowed to employ anyone, however, in practice, the wives, widows, and daughters of sailors, soldiers, workers, journeymen, and others from the lower social echelons of society cooperated so that some would bake and some would sell. Cooperation was necessary, as only a few lived in houses with a baking oven. They also broadened the range of baked goods on offer and then, if sued by magistrates, they would describe their business in as modest terms as possible. Helena Holmsten and Ulrika Nordman were among the sailors’ wives who were sentenced to pay a fine for violating artisanal privileges in this way in the late 1830s and early 1840s.36 Conflicts such as this show that there was a demand for more bakers than the privileged guild could actually provide.

Conclusion This chapter has shown how, as the population of Finnish ports grew, the long-distant and migrant nature of sailors’ work shaped the understandings of family and its boundaries in the local communities of ports such Pori’s. Sailors’ families could not conform to the ideal emerging at this time that men should be the only breadwinners in a household consisting exclusively of parents and their biological offspring. They relied on paid-labour, which was still relatively atypical in Finland in this period. However, although families received a share of the sailor’s monthly wages when he was away, both spouses were breadwinners and women provided for their families in many ways. As I have shown, their coping mechanisms were complex and involved various domestic strategies implemented by the sailor’s wives, as well as appeals to local institutions. What makes the Nordic two-supporter model distinct from established perceptions of an early modern das ganze Haus is that family members took on different duties and roles as and when required. I suggest that, because separation was more likely to occur and eventually rupture the household, the two-supporter model is even more apparent in them than in households that were less vulnerable to falling apart. The documentation recording such ruptures reveal how families were coping prior to 36 Pori Magistrates Records, 13–27 February 1837; 10 April 1837; 5–12 February 1840; 11–13 March 1843. Artisanal privileges were abolished in Finland in 1868 and the general freedom of trade came into force in 1879.

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the loss of a spouse. Such records show that sailors’ families were flexible with regard to whom they turned to for support and where they lived. The vitality of a social network and the support of friends and neighbours would imply that the two-supporter-model was actually a multi-supporter one. Most typically, the family lived in a rented flat that was shared with other families of lodgers. These included subtenants, foster children, the elderly, and the disabled. Sailors’ wives and widows cohabited with other women with children while men were away. The records indicate that, not only were cohabiting families able to save on housing expenses, they were also able to access a variety of domestic and social support services on a flexible basis. Indeed, it is signif icant to note the massive amount of (often invisible) care work undertaken by women in the absence of formal institutions designated for this purpose. This meant that the daily practices in such ‘families’ often crossed the biological, marital and social boundaries of what was legally def ined as a ‘household’. It is also noteworthy that when families were separated, women and children could become additional members in other people’s households. Sailor’s children were, for instance, cared for by other townsfolk when the child’s biological parents had both died or were unable to provide for them unassisted. Although the fragility of sailors’ families meant they were forced to appeal to local institutions for economic support, this study reveals that getting aid from local institutions was not automatic and women often had to actively appeal and make suitably convincing arguments. Their appeals for poor relief, and to town magistrates and the Seamen’s House, prompted discussions about the extent to which local communities should be morally responsible for the poor. As poor relief at this time was evaluated in terms of the recipients’ ability to work, their age, position in the family, marital status, and gender, impoverished sailors’ families did not resemble the traditional early modern archetype of the deserving poor. In forcing institutions to acknowledge both their need and their worth, sailor’s wives (who were often young, able-bodied mothers, with a reputation unknown to the magistrates and ship owners) clearly forced a rethink on how welfare should be distributed in order to keep families. This, and the fact that work permits that enabled women to provide for their family by way of a small business had an effect on the local supply of goods and services, means that a closer study of how women gained the right kind of knowledge about legislation and petitioning institutions – while keeping their families in the seafaring world – is clearly needed.

Maintaining the Family


Works Cited Abreu-Ferreira, Darlene. ‘Neighbors and Traders in a Seventeenth-Century Port Town.’ Signs, 37/3 (2012): 581–587. Ågren, Maria. ‘Introduction. Making a Living, Making a Difference.’ In Making a Living, Making a Difference. Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society, ed. Maria Ågren (New York: Oxford University Press), 1–23. Bladh, Christine. Månglerskor: Att sälja från korg och bord i Stockholm 1819–1846 [Women Pedlars in Stockholm, 1819–1846]. (Stockholm: Stockholms stad, 1991). Burton, Valerie. ‘The Myth of Bachelor Jack: Masculinity, Patriarchy and Seafaring Labour.’ In Jack Tar in History: Essays in the History of Maritime Life and Labour, eds. Colin Howell and Richard J. Twomey (Fredericton New Brunswick: Acadiensis Press, 1991), 179–198. Fiebranz, Rosemarie, Lindberg, Erik, Lindström, Jonas and Ågren, Maria. ‘Making Verbs Count: the Research Project “Gender and Work” and its Methodology.’ Scandinavian Economic History Review, 59/3 (2011): 273–293. Frigren, Pirita. Kotisatamassa. Merimiesten vaimot, naisten toimijuus ja perheiden toimeentuloehdot 1800-luvun suomalaisessa rannikkokaupungissa. [Merchant Seamen’s Spouses, Female Agency, and Household Economics in Finnish Coastal Towns, c. 1830–1870]. (Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2016). Permanent open access: Fuchs, Rachel G. Gender and Poverty in Nineteenth-Century Europe. (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005). Haapala, Pertti. Tehtaan valossa. Teollistuminen ja työväestön muodostuminen Tampereella 1820–1920 [By the Light of the Factory. Industrialisation and the Formation of the Working Class in Tampere, Finland, 1820–1920]. (Helsinki: Finnish Historical Society, 1986). Häggman, Kai. Perheen vuosisata. Perheen ihanne ja sivistyneistön elämäntapa 1800-luvun Suomessa [Century of the Family. The Ideal Family and Bourgeois Lifestyle in Nineteenth-Century Finland]. (Helsinki: Finnish Historical Society, 1994). Herndon, Ruth Wallis. ‘The Domestic Cost of Seafaring. Town Leaders and Seamen’s Families in Eighteenth-Century Rhode Island.’ In Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700–1920, eds. Margaret S. Creighton and Lisa Norling (Baltimore & London: John Hopkins University Press, 1996), 55–69. Hunt, Margaret. ‘The Sailor’s Wife and the Law in England after the Revolution of 1688/9.’ Paper in the International Federation for Research in Women’s History (IFRWH) Conference, Sheffield, UK, 29 August–1 September 2013. Cited with author’s permission.

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Hurl-Eamon, Jennine. ‘The Fiction of Female Dependence and the Makeshift Economy of Soldiers, Sailors, and their Wives in Eighteenth-Century London.’ Labour History, 49/4 (2008): 481–501. Israelsson, Jezzica. In Considerations of My Meagre Circumstances. The Language of Poverty as a Tool for Ordinary People in Early Modern Sweden (Master thesis. Historiska Instutution. Uppsala universitet, 2016) Available: (cited 4 July 2018). Kaukiainen, Yrjö. ‘Foreign Trade and Transport.’ In The Road to Prosperity: an Economic History of Finland, eds. Jari Ojala, Jari Eloranta and Jukka Jalava, Jukka (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2006), 127–164. Ling, Sofia. Konsten att försörja sig. Kvinnors arbete i Stockholm 1650–1750 [Women’s Work in Stockholm, 1650–1750]. (Stockholm: Stockholmia förlag, 2016). Markkola, Pirjo. ‘Changing Patterns of Welfare: Finland in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.’ In Welfare Peripheries. The Development of Welfare State in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe, eds. Steven King and John Stewart (Bern: Peter Lang, 2008), 207–230. Norling, Lisa. ‘The Sentimentalization of American Seafaring: The Case of the New England Whalefishery, 1790–1870.’ In Jack Tar in History: Essays in the History of Maritime Life and Labour, eds. Colin Howell and Richard J. Twomey (Fredricton, New Brunswick: Acadiensis Press, 1991), 164–178. –––, Captain Ahab Had a Wife – New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720–1870. (Chapel Hill & London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000). Nutting, P. Bradley, ‘Absent Husbands, Single Wives: Success, Domesticity, and Seminuclear Families in the Nineteenth-Century Great Lakes World.’ Journal of Family History, 35/4 (2010): 329–345. Ojala, Jari; Pehkonen, Jaakko and Eloranta, Jari. ‘Desertions in Nineteenth-Century Shipping: Modelling Quit Behaviour.’ European Review of Economic History, 17/1 (2013): 122–140. –––. ‘Nuorten miesten ammatti? Ikä ja amattitaito merenkulussa 1700-luvulta 1900-luvun puoliväliin’ [A Young Man’s Occupation? Age and Skills in Seafaring from the 1700s to the Early 1900s], in Työ merellä – Nautica Fennica 2015–2016 [Work at Sea], ed. Tapio Bergholm (Helsinki: National Board of Antiquities, 2016), 27–45. Polónia, Amélia. ‘Women’s Contribution to Family, Economy and Social Range of Maritime Communities in Sixteenth-Century Portugal.’ Portuguese Studies Review 13/1 (2005): 269–285. Schmidt, Ariadne and van Nederveen Meerkerk, Elise, ‘Reconsidering the “First Male-Breadwinner Economy”: Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Netherlands, 1600–1900.’ Feminist Economics 18/4 (2012): 69–96.

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Simonton, Deborah. ‘Gendering Work in Early Modern Towns.’ In Working Out Gender: Perspectives from Labour History, ed. Margaret Walsh (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 29–47. Van der Hejden, Manon, Schmidt, Ariadne and Wall, Richard. ‘Broken Families: Economic Resources and Social Networks of Women who Head Families.’ The History of the Family 12/4 (2007), 223–232. Vainio-Korhonen, Kirsi. Käsin tehty – miehelle ammatti, naiselle ansioiden lähde. Käsityötuotannon rakenteet ja strategiat esiteollisessa Turussa Ruotsin ajan lopulla [Hand-made-man’s profession and woman’s source of income]. (Helsinki: Finnish Historical Society, 1998). Van der Hejden, Manon and van den Heuvel, Danielle. ‘Sailors’ Families and the Urban Institutional Framework in Early Modern Holland.’ The History of the Family 12/4 (2007): 296–301. Vickers, Daniel and Walsh, Vince. Young Men and the Sea. Yankee Seafarers in the Age of Sail. (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2005).

About the Author Pirita Frigren is a historian and teacher of cultural heritage in the School of History, Culture and Art Studies in the University of Turku, Finland. She holds a PhD (2016) from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her interests cover nineteenth and early twentieth-century maritime and social history and the cultural heritage of port cities.

General Index

Africa/African 17, 58, 64, 88, 162, 164, 171, 199, 261 Angola 198, 200, 208 Cape Verde islands 162, 164 Cape Negro 171, 174, 178-9, 183-5 Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia) 169-87, 261 Agriculture, see also ‘work (farmers & field labourers)’ 82, 87, 118, 265 Australia (Tasmania/Van Diemen’s Land & New South Wales) 17-9, 57-75 ballads 21, 130, 136, 239-57 begging 132, 136, 228 belief systems see ‘converts’ Buddhist 31, 35, 37, 40, 47-52 Christian 48, 154, 224; non-Christian 170-3, 184 Catholicism 105-6, 150-4, 157-9, 197, 202, 205 Lutheran 105-6, 112, 120, 150, 158-9, 263, 269 Methodist 85-6 Protestant 150-4, 158, 181, 187 Confucian 34, 37, 40-2, 50, 53-4 Jewish 21, 152, 154, 158,161, 181, 186, 193-210, 213-31 Muslim 20, 154, 169-75, 181-2, 185-8, 224-5 Shinto 49, 51 boundaries 13, 20, 86, 88, 104, 121, 132-4, 138, 149, 151, 165, 186, 261, 266, 273-4 Brazil (Bahia & Pernambuco) 21, 193-210 Britain & British, see also ‘England’ & ‘Scotland’ 14, 17-18, 21, 22, 57-64, 68-9, 75 171, 239-57, 262 business see ‘commerce’, ‘trade’ & ‘work’ captives 37-40, 43-4, 175 Caribbean, see also ‘Leeward Islands’ 19, 58, 75-9, 81, 89, 152, 155, 162 children, see also ‘kin’ & ‘teenagers’ 16, 19-21 between families 129-30, 132, 136-40 illegitimate 16, 119, 136-7, 163-6, 222 in danger 36-8, 149-50, 156 of convicts in Mauritius and Australia 58, 60-75 of free Caribbean women of colour 79-95 of Jewish trading families 216-30 of Korean captives in Japan 36, 38, 41, 52 of maritime families 240, 242, 246-7, 252, 256, 263-9, 274 on the Finnish frontier 102, 108-21 class 13-4, 20-2, 82, 85, 88-9, 138, 151, 181, 195, 198, 204-5, 208-9, 229, 239-42, 248-51, 262-4, 270-3 clothes/dress 47-8, 85-6, 90, 118, 128, 156, 158, 160-1, 184, 202-3, 218-9, 225 colonialism see ‘empire’

commerce 21, 44, 60, 159, 172, 175, 193-210, 213-31, 265 commitment see obligation community 22, 35, 47, 85, 86, 93, 107, 112, 115, 118-22, 128-34, 140, 153, 158, 169-71, 175-88, 203, 216, 226-8, 242-3, 261-74 companies & guilds 17, 45, 151, 153, 160, 172, 272-3 contact losing it 13-22, 64, 65, 72, 94, 136, 180, 184, 246, 253, 264, 273 maintaining it 79, 80, 88, 95, 120, 122-3, 128, 157, 160, 171, 173, 186, 199, 216-18, 230-1, 253, 263-4 converts from Buddhism to Christianity 48-51 from Christianity to Islam 124-5, 175, 181-2 from Islam to Christianity 158 from Judaism to Christianity 21, 152, 158, 164, 193-210, 213, 225-7 from Protestantism to Catholicism 151, 158-60, 166, 224-5 convicts see ‘transportation’ correspondence 14-5, 20-1, 38, 72, 79-95, 118, 131-2, 163, 169-88, 204-8, 213-31, 246-8 cosmopolitan 87, 152, 172, 224 courts see ‘trials’ creole 58-67, 73, 88 Denmark/Danish, see also ‘Leeward Islands’ 19, 80, 83, 87-90, 105 dependence 134, 227, 231 disabled 267, 270, 274 domestic sphere, see also ‘work’ 15, 21-2, 120, 245, 253, 256-7, 262, 273-4 drunkenness 71, 84, 109, 113, 115, 121, 161, 181-2, 186-7 Dutch see ‘Holland’ duty see ‘obligation’ & ‘patriotism’ dynasty 29-36, 41, 46-7, 51-2 education 40, 46, 70-1, 85, 136-9, 149, 151-4, 171, 183, 216-7, 225-30, 246-7 elderly 38, 60, 71-2, 75, 107, 217, 264, 267, 270-1, 274 emotion, see also ‘love & affection’ 11, 15-16, 19-20, 35-9, 41, 44, 63-4, 91-5, 113, 127-40, 171, 187, 196, 214-25, 228-31, 253-6, 256, 262 empire, see also ‘Australia’, ‘Brazil’, ‘Britain’, ‘Caribbean’, ‘Denmark’, ‘Holland’, ‘France’, Japan’, ‘Mexico’, ‘Ottoman Empire’, ‘Russia’, ‘Sweden’ & ‘transportation’ 13-7, 22, 57-68, 80, 88, 129, 165-6 employment see ‘work’ England & English, see also Britain 17-8, 20, 34, 59-60, 79, 86-8, 130, 136-9, 149-66, 157-60, 162, 164-6, 169-88, 223-4, 232-3, 245-7, 252


Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion, and Exile, 1550–1850

enslaved people 13, 16-9, 37-8, 58-68, 71-2, 79-89, 94, 156, 161-4, 175, 181, 200, 203-4 exile 15-7, 21, 35, 41-2 family see ‘kin’ & ‘Index of Persons’ as an economic unit 13-6, 46, 52, 81-3, 87, 118, 120, 129-40, 153, 161, 169, 172, 195, 198, 202, 209-10, 214-5, 218, 221-2, 226, 230-1, 261-9, 274 commitment to 131, 213, 217-8, 223 extended 16, 64, 91, 95, 117, 122, 231, 243, 249, 267 nuclear 19, 34, 46, 80, 112, 262 surrogate 20, 136-9, 149-54, 169-70, 213, 227-31, 266-7 fidelity 239-40, 245, 248-9, 256 f inance, see also ‘poverty’ 15, 20-1, 67, 80, 91-3, 103-18, 121, 133, 150, 156, 160-2, 164, 173, 178, 183, 194-9, 200-7, 227, 221, 262-73, 271-3 Finland/Finnish 103-23, 261-74 forest 19, 47, 104-5, 110-8, 120-3 France/French 15, 18, 58, 64-8, 82, 87-8, 138, 151-2, 155, 173-4, 217, 223, 226, 239, 242, 246, 255, 261 friendship 75, 88, 91-3, 119, 131-2, 153-7, 160-1, 163, 169-88, 203, 205, 207, 217, 220, 223, 227-30, 253-7, 274 gender 13-15, 19-20, 22, 34, 47, 52, 67, 81, 84, 94-5, 127-9, 131-6, 151, 262, 270, 274 Germany/German 104-5, 115, 158, 273 gift-giving 38, 48, 131, 185, 205, 213, 218-21, 230 guardianship, see also ‘family (surrogate)’ 64, 161, 247, 265 Holland/Dutch, see also ‘Leeward Islands’ 18, 45, 80-8, 115, 155, 219, 223 homosexuality 178, 183 hospitality 20, 52, 127-37 household 13-23, 29-31, 34, 47, 51-2, 69, 71-3, 89-93, 95, 104-23, 127, 133-35, 138-40, 149-50, 152, 154-9, 163-5, 169-87, 214-15, 220, 223, 227, 230-1, 262-74 identity and belonging 14-20, 29-31, 34-6, 39-42, 46-9, 75, 106, 127-30, 133, 136-9, 153, 196, 202, 208, 214-5, 218-9, 222, 242 independence of children 136-9 of adults 95, 127-36, 140 of women 95, 153, 186, 262 Inquisition Portugal & Brazil 21, 193-210 Spain & Mexico 20, 149-66 Ireland/Irish 65, 68, 127, 134 Italy (Mantua & Livorno) 21, 170-5, 178, 180, 213-9, 224-8 Japan/Japanese (Tokugawa) 17-8, 29-53


aunt 46, 52, 91 daughter 38, 47, 62-73, 80, 86, 91-2, 108-10, 117, 121, 127, 150, 161, 163-4, 166, 216-7, 226, 247, 252, 262, 266-8, 273 in-law 37, 84, 108, 110, 115, 118, 155, 162, 199-200, 216, 218, 221 parent 21, 36-7, 41, 47, 51-2, 58, 60-70, 72, 79-86, 91-4, 103, 108-13, 120, 131, 136-40, 151, 158, 162-5, 198, 201, 213, 215, 219-31, 245-7, 254-5, 263, 268, 273-4 grandparent 29-31, 34, 46-7, 49, 52, 65, 110 nephew 108, 152, 171, 219 niece 71, 256 sibling 21, 36-7, 63-4, 69, 83-4, 89, 91, 93, 110, 112, 120-1, 159, 164-6, 170, 174, 177, 193-201, 206, 215-31, 246- 9, 251, 255 son 21, 29-31, 40, 46-7, 49, 53, 63-4, 67-71, 73, 84, 90, 108-10, 117-22, 129-30, 137-8, 164, 213, 216-31, 268 spouse, see also ‘marriage’ 16, 19, 21-2, 37, 45-6, 58, 60, 65, 67, 73, 75, 79-95, 103, 109-12, 115, 120-1, 127-8, 132-9, 149-51, 155-6, 161-6, 184-6, 198, 200-1, 220, 222, 242, 244-6, 249-57, 262-3, 265-74 uncle 47, 88, 93, 183, 219, 224, 247 Korea/Korean 17-8, 29-53 labour see ‘work’ & ‘slavery’ Leeward Islands 79-95 letters see ‘correspondence’ Levant 21, 172, 213-8, 222-5 love & affection, see also emotion 14, 83, 91-5, 128-31, 138-9, 156, 178, 213, 218-22, 231, 239-42, 247-57 Low Countries, see also ‘Holland/Dutch’ 115, 199-200 marriage, see also ‘kin (spouse)’ 20, 47, 60-5, 68-9, 72-5, 79-95, 104, 108-12, 119-21, 127-36, 140, 149-54, 157, 160-6, 178, 180, 184, 198-201, 214, 241, 245-7, 253, 256, 265, 269 Mauritius 19, 57-75, 246 Mexico 20, 149-66 migration see ‘travel’ navy 17, 21-2, 36, 131, 239-57, 262, 265, 270 Netherlands see ‘Holland/Dutch’ networks 11, 13-22, 38, 58-9, 79-80, 88-91, 112, 127, 129-31, 137, 150-1, 157, 162, 169-73, 193-210, 214, 223, 228-31, 253, 255, 266, 274, 277 New World 152, 155, 201 New Zealand 262 news see ‘ballads’ & ‘correspondence’ oceans & seas Atlantic 11-6, 21-2, 82, 149, 152, 155-6, 161-6, 194-200, 208, 217, 224, 262 Baltic Sea 22, 104, 261

Gener al Index

Black Sea 262 Indian Ocean 19, 22, 57-8, 60, 66, 246 Mediterranean 21-2, 171-3, 176-7, 195, 201, 213-4, 223-5, 229, 261 Pacific 22 obligation 21, 83, 131, 139, 213-8, 220-4, 231, 240, 255, 262 orphan 64-5, 70, 161, 264, 270 Ottoman Empire 20-21, 170, 173-4, 177, 181, 183, 213-8, 222-5, 261, 264 partnership 60, 112, 118, 122, 129, 131, 133, 139, 162, 170-2, 178-80, 187, 207, 215, 222, 228, 230, 253 patriarchy 108, 130-1, 134-6, 138-40, 215, 221, 263 patriotism 21, 41-3, 177, 198, 240, 242-5, 252-6, 272 patronage 19, 42, 57-9, 66, 70, 73, 75, 123, 132, 186, 162 penal colony see ‘transportation’ plantations see ‘sugar’ Portugal/Portuguese 18, 21, 153, 164, 194-204, 209-10, 228, 230 poverty 22, 43, 65, 70-1, 85-9, 106-8, 127-36, 262-74 pregnancy 61-2, 67-70, 151 race & interacial relationships 13-5, 20, 22, 58, 60-75, 82-6, 156, 164-6, 198, 205 relations see ‘kin’ religion see ‘belief systems’, ‘converts’ & ‘Inquisition’ Russia/Russian 59, 105, 108, 181, 261, 264, 272 Scotland/Scottish 14, 19, 127-40, 157 separation see ‘contact (losing it)’ sex/sexuality, see also ‘marriage’ & ‘homosexuality’ 62, 65, 70, 119, 134-5, 178, 181, 183, 186, 198, 242, 244 slavery see ‘enslaved people’, ‘race’, ‘sugar’ & ‘work’ Spain/Spanish 18, 20-1, 68, 81-2, 88-9, 149-55, 157, 159-66, 173-4, 186, 194, 224, 232 strangers 117, 137, 152, 159 sugar industry Brazil 21, 193-210 Caribbean 80-5 Mauritius 63-5 Sweden/Swedish 80, 82, 83, 104-8, 112, 115, 117, 121, 261, 264-5 teenager 63-9, 71, 72, 89, 105, 108, 127, 130, 149-152, 157, 110, 119, 127, 130, 149, 157, 183, 213-6, 221-30, 246 transportation 13, 17-9, 57-75 trade 13, 16-8, 21-2, 46, 58, 63, 89, 104-5, 112, 16, 118, 120, 122, 128-9, 149-54, 160-6, 169-88, 193-210, 213-31, 261-4, 266, 269, 272-4 travel, transience and mobility, see also ‘voyaging’ 11-23, 38, 40-52, 58-9, 66, 69, 72, 79-95,

281 103-5, 109-13, 115-8, 120-3, 127-40, 153-7, 160-6, 170, 175-7, 185, 197-9, 201, 209, 216, 224-5, 228-9, 240, 242, 246, 263, 265, 270, 279 trial, see also ‘Inquisition’ 58, 60-75, 84, 106-10, 115-21, 128, 133, 135, 140, 150, 198, 206-9, 263 trust 16, 35, 48, 67-8, 129-30, 134, 151, 161, 173, 177-8, 181-3, 187, 213, 231, 261-5 vagrancy 65, 70, 130-4, 265 voyaging 11, 17, 21-2, 36-7, 57-64, 68, 82, 87, 92, 150, 155-6, 159-60, 162, 173-6, 208, 241-8, 252-6, 261-72, 268 war see ‘work (military & sailors)’ Crimean (1853-1856) 270 Fourth Anglo Dutch (1780-1785) 81 Great Northern/’Great Wrath’ (17001721) 105, 108, 121 Imjin (1592-1598) 36-7 Napoleonic (1793-1815) 79, 239, 261 Thirty Years (1618-1648) 82, 105 widow 45-6, 73, 157, 178, 264-74 widower 62-5, 69, 72, 127, 132-4 witchcraft 103-23 work apprentices, clerks and factors 16, 19-20, 130, 136, 138, 151-62, 171, 216, 225, 229 artisans 264-6, 272-3 bakers 272-3 ‘birdstuffer and hairdresser’ 61 burghers 107, 119, 264, 266 cloth workers & spinners 128, 152-3, 216 composers see ‘ballads’ domestic servants 16, 20, 59-62, 65, 71-3, 81, 84, 87-90, 108, 112, 114, 119, 121, 138, 155-8, 16, 175, 178, 184, 194, 207, 226, 229, 264-72 farmers 104-7, 116-20, 162, 197, 266 field labourers 37, 48, 59, 84-5, 89, 105, 108, 110, 112, 114, 204, 255 foragers 118-121 hosier 157 hunters and fishers 103, 109-23 inn & lodging house keepers 114, 131, 133-4, 226, 266-7, 272-4 magistrates 62, 72, 264-9, 272-4 merchants & traders 20-2, 37, 85, 89-90, 118, 120, 123, 127, 149-66, 169-75, 193-208, 213-31, 261, 266, 271-2 millers see ‘sugar’ military 13, 17, 21-2, 36-40, 43, 88, 105, 119, 121, 131, 155, 157, 175, 181-3, 202, 225, 239-43, 250, 262, 265, 269-73 pedlars 127, 131-6 potters & ceramicists 18, 29-53 sailors 21-2, 82, 136, 182, 239-57, 261-74 tea masters 38, 43 translators 170, 181 ‘wigmaker and barber’ 66

Index of Persons

Agha, Hassan (Edward Fountaine) 170, 181-2, 186, 189 Ally, Joséphine 61-8, 72, 75 Anderson, Ann (Mrs Hastings) 136-7 Antunes, Isabel 199, 201 Arnold, Samuel 248, 252-3 Austen, Jane 247-57 Baker, Francis & Thomas 170-87 Barrera, de la, Ana, Alonso, Anna, Beatriz of Jerez, Hernando, Isabel, Juan, Maria & Simón 161-6 Barrington, Francis 170-87 Baruch, Benjamin 216, 218, 222 Bergelin, Christina 268 Billington, Thomas 247 Blaque, Tomás 157-8 Boacio, Augustin 159-60 Bonsergent, Amédée 67-8 Borges, Manuel 157-9 Brandão, Ambrósio Fernandes (Brandônio) 196-7 Butler, Judith 34 Carmichael, Mrs 89 Castelin, Edward 155 Cerezo Catalina & Maria 166 Gonzalo 157-9 César, Charles 63-4 Churberg, Matts 268 Coen de Lara, Abram 228-30 Coggeshall, George 87-8 Cole, Sir Galbraith Lowry 67-8 Connolly, John 136-9 Conway, G.R.G. 150, 157-8 Cooper, Mary 136-7 Cortés, Hernán & Martín 150, 165 Couronne, Constance 71-4 Currac, Marcelin & Marie Estelle 61-75 Dibdin, Charles 21, 240-56 Durbin, Stella May (née Hammond) 75 Eibach, Joachim 114, 123 Eissenhart, Christian & Stina 267 Fee, John 136-40 Field, John & Richard 151-61 Figaro, Eliza 65-6 Finch, Marcia (née Wilson) & William 72-3 Flinders, Ann (née Chappelle) & Matthew 245-56 Foner, Nancy 95

Franchetti, Abram, Isache, Jacob, Jeudà, Joseph, Leon, Reuben, Sansone & Sara 21, 213-31 Fukaumi, Biku, Heizaemon, Hyakubasen, Jissen, Kichizaemon, Shintaro, Suminosuke & Tankyū 29-53 Furuta, Oribe 38 Gay, John 249-50 Gombault, Jean 67-8 Goodwyn, Thomas 170-87 Gotō, Ienobu 31, 39, 44, 48 Gradis, Abraham 223-4, 228 Hakluyt, Richard 150, 165 Harrison, Thomas 153-6 Hawkes, Henry (Pero Sanchez) 162-5 Henry, John, Jean, Sophia Emma & Sophie 62, 68-9 Hideyoshi, Toyotomi 36-8 Hogarth, George 240, 244-5 Kanegae, Sampei 45, 49 Kang, Hang 37-42, 50 Kim Haboush, JaHyun 35-8, 40-1 Korais, Adamantios 225 Korpela, Jukka 120 Lees, Mary 65-8 McDonald, Mary 127-36, 139 McIntyre, Nancy 136 McKinnel, John 120-3 Maingard, Laurent 66 Montel, David de 216, 228, 230 Nabeshima (dynasty) 43-9 Nanine, Paul 60-1 Newark, William 171, 183, 187 Nunes, Antonio, Branca, Diogo, Florença, Henrique & João 193-210 Olavinpoika, Heikki, Juha, Karin, Margetta (Marju) & Risto 103-23 Ostrich, William 153, 160 Pearsall, Sarah 14, 19-22, 224 Percival, Adriana, John James, Mathilda & William 79-95 Pery, Thomas 153-4 Punter, Joseph 183-4 Ri Sam-pyeong (Kanegae Sampei) 45 Robinson, Kenneth 41 Russelman, Richard 171-4, 184


Keeping Family in an Age of Long Distance Trade, Imperial Expansion, and Exile, 1550–1850

Salomons, Charlotte & Mary 82-4, 88 Sarre, Ralph 155-8 Satow, Ernest 31, 48 Sawo, Michael 109-10, 113-5, 119-20 Semach, Paltiel 216-18, 228-30 Simonette, Dolphinia Mary Ann & Maria 69-71 Slade, Ernest Augustus 62 Song, Chemin 36-7 Stedham, Edith 170-1, 178, 183-6 Steele, Benjamin 171, 174, 179-80, 185-7

Tamamuro, Fumio 48 Tipton, Hugh 160-1 Tokugawa (shoguns) 29-53 Tomson, Robert 149-66 Trudgett, Robert 72-4 Tyrado, Francisco 162-3 Verloppe, Elizabeth & Nereus 71-3 Vespucci, Amerigo 166 Welsh, Michael 127-8, 132-6, 139-40 Ximenes (trading family) 199-201