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Traders or merchants on St Helena 1800 to 1830.

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  • Caroline Gaden
    Hello Everyone I am interested in people who were traders or merchants on St Helena in the period 1800 to 1830. Are there any resources you can suggest. The
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 19, 2006
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      Hello Everyone
      I am interested in people who were traders or merchants on St Helena in the period 1800 to 1830. Are there any resources you can suggest. The names I am after include  Leason, Hornsby, Reynolds, Murry, Macintosh and Balcombe. What sort of goods would be classed as "illicit" at that time?
      Many thanks
      Caroline Gaden 
    • Christine Adams
      Caroline- I ve not been following the list very closely for some time, so please forgive me is this information is redundant, or is information you already
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 20, 2006
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        Caroline-

        I've not been following the list very closely for some time, so please
        forgive me is this information is redundant, or is information you already
        have.
        If I had any interest at all in this time period (which I did), I would make
        every effort to obtain at least some of the LDS films for the East India
        Company Consultations of the time period. Until you've read some of them,
        you really can't grasp how much minutiae they concerned themselves with, and
        how many of the residents ended up before the Council for one thing or
        another. It's a rare opportunity to read (plowing through the handwriting)
        about the everyday life of specific persons of no real reknown.
        Balcombe is a name that is prominent in the writings of the period, as you
        probably know. Napolean stayed at the Balcombe home for a period of time
        before being moved to Longwood. Betsy Balcombe, who was about 13, had
        substantial recollection of her interactions with him. I was interested in
        that, because there is one little line in Napolean's diary about Betsy and
        the "little Legg girl" visiting with him. I like to think that perhaps that
        Legg girl was a member of my Legg family - why I don't know - tiny claim to
        fame I guess.
        According to Julia Blackburn, in her book, "The Emperor's Last Island, A
        Journey to St. Helena," Betsy kept a "diary" of sorts during the first three
        years of Napolean's captivity. Different St. Helena scholars have denied the
        existence of it, but Blackburn says it is held in the archive department of
        an art gallery in Melbourne, Australia. Unfortunately, she never gives any
        more specific information. She does say that it's sketchy, sometimes
        skipping whole months, sometimes concerning herself only with a dress she
        wants, but it does also contain notes about Napolean.
        As an older woman, Betsy Balcombe wrote a book under the name "Mrs. L.E.
        Abell." It is entitled "Recollections of the Emperor Napolean during the
        first three years of his captivity." and was published in 1944 by John
        Murray [pub.] in London. I'm sure you can't find it on Amazon.com! Depending
        who you consult, some scholars dismiss Betsy's recollections as "fantasies
        and wishful thinking" and other believe her accounts of interactions with
        Napolean to be reasonably accurate.

        In answer to your question about what might be "illegal" at that time -
        could be just about anything the EIC decided they should control. The
        locally produced liquor is a substance called arrack -strong spirits made
        traditionally from fermented fruit juices, and sap of palm tree, and it was
        frequently being bootlegged.
        There was a market for illegal firearms.
        Depending on which items were in shortage at any given time, the Council
        would undertake to strictly control and regulate their distribution. At one
        time, cotton thread was a very scarce commodity. I seem to recall that salt
        supplies could be exhausted.

        I checked my own database for any mention of the surnames you listed, but
        found none.

        Christine

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      • Caroline Gaden
        Christine many thanks for your input. I have plenty of information about Betsey Balcombe and her friendship with Napoleon, I ve even bought the recollections
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 21, 2006
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          Christine many thanks for your input. I have plenty of information about
          Betsey Balcombe and her friendship with Napoleon, I've even bought the
          'recollections' book. Melbourne claims not to have any diary... some
          extensive questions have been asked by our group of Balcombe researchers!!
          William Balcombe is my husband's several-greats grandfather. I am interested
          in his 'work' on the Island... when he arrived, who he was in partnership
          with as a merchant, what trading he did and so on. I believe his brothers in
          law Thomas Hornsby and Teavil Leason may have spent some time on St Helena
          too.
          Many thanks for your suggestion re the EIC films from the LDS. I will order
          them
          Cheers
          Caroline
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Christine Adams" <adamslab2@...>
          To: <st-helena-genealogy@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 1:13 PM
          Subject: RE: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Traders or merchants on St Helena 1800 to
          1830.
        • foxhome
          Caroline, Re your note below. I would be very grateful if you keep an eye open for any mention of James or Eleanor Bennett during your researches into the
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 22, 2006
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            Caroline, Re your note below. I would be very grateful if you keep an eye open for any mention of James or Eleanor Bennett during your researches into the Balcombe family. The Bennetts lived at Chubbs Spring from 1814 to 1825 (and then Maldivia) and would have been very close neighbours of the Balcombes. Betsey never mentions them in her book but there may be refer

            (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

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