Sending brimstone to Ireland

30 November 2010 by Sarah Starkey

List of Irish ports and goods 1819

Myers’ Mercantile Advertiser, 1819

The Irish economy and its close links with the British economy has been in the news recently, so here is some evidence of the situation in 1819.  This extract is from Myers’ Mercantile Advertiser, Monday 8th February 1819 and shows some of the goods shipped from Liverpool to various ports in Ireland in the previous few weeks.  As most of the commodities would not have been produced in Liverpool it demonstrates the importance of the port as a trading hub.  The abbreviation ‘c’ stands for hundredweight, which confusingly was normally 112lbs (or about 50kgs), so the quantity of goods is quite large.

Some of the items are quite straightforward; Ireland seems fond of pepper and sugar and liquorice (they’re welcome to it as far as I’m concerned).  Other items need a bit more explanation; staves, deals and lathwood are all types of semi processed wood, for barrels, fences etc.  Tallow is fat, ashes are probably potash for fertilizer or soap manufacturing, brimstone is sulphur, but I’m not sure what kind of mats they are shipping.

The Maritime Archives & Library holds lots more information on the movement of goods through British ports, mainly the endlessly fascinating Customs Bills of Entry.

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