British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

employment, and is thus under the necessity of producing and reproducing the very article, of which the superabundance depresses him.

All these considerations your Committee now submit, with due deference, to the judgment of the House.


E. THE PROMOTION OF CERTAIN STAPLES

(a) The fisheries

60
SOUTHERN WHALE FISHERY: MEMORIAL SUBMITTED BY SAMUEL ENDERBY (AND OTHERS) TO THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY 6 January 17861

. . . Sheweth

That your memorialists began the Southern Whale Fishery in this country at the commencement of the war with America, from whence it was carried on before to a very great extent; from the Island of Nantuckett alone they sent from 120 to 140 sail of vessels on the spermaceti whale fishery annually;2 it being a new fishery here and very expensive, Government in the year 1776 granted the following encouragement for eleven years, £500 for the ship that should obtain the greatest quantity of oil, £400 for the next greatest quantity, £300 for the next, £200 for the next, and £100 the next; this encouragement has been found so inadequate to the intent that the fishery has been twice reduced to 3 ships, the outfits being from £1,000 to £1,600 each, besides the cost of the ship, that those who have not been so fortunate as to obtain oil enough to entitle them to one of the largest premiums, have lost considerably.

Your memorialists humbly propose for the more effectual mode of encouraging this fishery, that the following bounty be allowed in place of the premiums which are near expiring; that forty shillings

____________________
1
B.T. 6/93. Samuel Enderby had been a leading merchant in the Southern Whale Fishery since 1776 when efforts had been made to undertake whaling from the mother country. He was naturally anxious that the prospects of the Southern Whale Fishery should not be endangered from foreign competition by the withdrawal of the bounties which were fostering its growth. Others associated with Enderby and Sons in this memorial were John St. Barbe and Alexander Champion.
2
See G. S. Graham, "'The Migrations of the Nantucket Whale Fishery'" ( New England Quarterly, vol. viii, No. 2, 1935). Spermaceti oil was cheaper, cleaner, and sweeter for illumination purposes: it was a fine lubricant for machinery, and was used in many manufactures.

-367-

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