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Exploring Caribbean Shipping Company Records: The Case of Sandbach Tinne and Co.

Citation: Clover, David (2011) Exploring Caribbean Shipping Company Records: The Case of Sandbach Tinne and Co. In: Society for Caribbean Studies (UK) Annual Conference (2011) hosted by the the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, 29 June-1st July, 2011, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool. (Unpublished)


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

James McInroy came to Demerara in 1782, and acquired a sugar plantation soon after his arrival. By 1790 he was joined by Samuel Sandbach, Charles Stewart Parker and George Robertson, and the company, McInroy Sandbach & Co was founded. At first the head office was in Glasgow under the name McInroy Parker & Co, and in 1804 a branch was founded in Liverpool, which later became the company headquaters. In 1813 Philip Tinné was taken into the partnership and the company became known as Sandbach, Tinné & Co in Liverpool, and McInroy Sandbach & Co in Demerara (in 1861 changed to Sandbach Parker & Co). They were importers and exporters, shipping and estate agents, mainly concerned with sugar, coffee, molasses and rum, but also in 'prime Gold Coast Negroes' (J Rodway: 'History of British Guiana', 1893). The families intermarried and the sons and sons in law entered the business. Sandbach Tinne & Co. (and its related companies) were one of the major shipping companies working between Britain and Demerara (later part of British Guiana). This paper will explore in detail the collections held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the University of London Senate House Library. The paper will describe how these papers were acquired, and broadly describe the contents and then examine how the correspondence reflects the concerns and perspectives of a shipping company trading in the Caribbean. The papers reveal aspects of shipping and trade in sugar, molasses, rum, coffee, fish and cotton, as well as the passage of indentured labourers; and also discuss the purchase and sale of estates and make incidental references to French, Dutch and English plantations in Guiana, financial arrangements, the state of crops and the labour force, and the use of machinery in plantations e.g. for cane-grinding. The letters also provide detailed contemporary observations on political and economic conditions in the Caribbean and Europe. This paper will highlight how the letters can both illustrate and add depth to our understanding of Guyanese and Caribbean history. Particular mention will be made of the Demerara rebellion of 1823; slave compensation and the introduction of free and indentured labour.

Creators: Clover, David and
Subjects: History
Keywords: Caribbean, Guyana, Demerara, shipping, trade, slavery, indenture
Divisions: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Senate House Library
  • 29 June 2011 (completed)


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