The collection comprises a single volume. The volume was originally used as a register forshipping accounts. This can only clearly be seen from June 1799, when one can read occasionaloriginal pages free from subsequent scrap book insertions.
For use as a register, the pages of the volume were ruled into columns. There is no clearexplanation as to the meaning of the columns, but sufficient content is available to suggest theirpurpose. Further research into this internal evidence would confirm these conjectures.
Entries begin with surnames. These are commonly repeated many times, and may indicate agents oreven ships' captains or owners. The date within the month is then given, followed by a uniquereference number, which seems to relate to the first name. The name of the ship is then given,followed by another surname, possibly the receiving agent. Further columns supply the names of twoports, presumably the origin and destination of the ship. These are sometimes within the BritishIsles, but include places around the world, from St Petersburg to New York.
The next column contains single letters, almost always 'A', but sometimes 'C' or 'L'. Two othercolumns of figures follow, and then, perhaps, a note of the ship's cargo, usually a single letter(commonly 'S') but sometimes a word such as 'grain', 'skins', 'coffee' etc. The last column containscumulative sums of money, given in pounds, shillings and pence. Notes occasionally appear in theright margin, usually relating to the payment of the sums recorded.
The volume was later used as a scrapbook into which about one hundred cuttings from newspapers,including the 'The London Chronicle', were pasted between 1808 and 1851. The newspaper cuttingscover a wide variety of subjects, particularly fairs and festivals, hoaxes and bizarre stories,murders and murder trials, high society, and London's Great Exhibition of 1851. There are alsocuttings of letters to newspapers and of poetry.
Two entries in manuscript are also present. One of these is an acrostic, the other a copy of ahumorous poem entitled 'On the Pad' about current female fashion.