Manuscript sailing journal of Alexander Gillespie, skipper in Elie, Fife, recording details of his trading voyages between 1662 and 1685.
This journal records voyages undertaken by Alexander Gillespie. It contains general information about cargoes, ports and lengths of journeys; information about the weather, tides and other problems encountered (including privateers), and also memoranda including navigational instructions, particularly on how to enter certain harbours.Gillespie's main voyages involved a trip into the Baltic Sea in the early summer, followed by one or sometimes two voyages to Bordeaux in the autumn for the first vintage. Cargoes are not always named, but include exporting grain, salt and coal, and importing wine from Bordeaux, and iron and timber from the Baltic. The amount of detail on each voyage varies:-1662, 3pp; 1663, 3pp; 1664, 1p; 1665, 1p; 1666, 1p; 1667, 1p; 1668, 11pp; 1669, 6pp; 1670, 5pp; 1671, 6pp; 1673, 1p; 1674, 9pp; 1675, 11pp; 1676, 3pp, 1677, 3pp; 1678, 2pp; 1679, 3pp; 1680, 2pp; 1681, 3pp; 1682, 1p; 1683, 1p; 1685, 2pp.
There is no information about his home life between voyages. The inside of the front cover, however, contains the names and dates of birth of Alexander Gillespie's children, Margaret 1665, Christian 1667, Anna 1680, John 1675, Alexander 1678 and Janet 1682, as well as an earlier Anna who died in infancy in 1669. [According to the parish register there was also an earlier Alexander born in 1673].