Trade & travel project: The West Indies

from the letters of simon taylor of jamaica

Between 1765 and 1801 Simon Taylor, one of the most important landowners in Jamaica, wrote regularly to Chaloner Arcedekne, an absentee proprietor who lived in Heveningham Hall in Suffolk. There is a gap in the correspondence between 1775 and 1781, so that the first decade's letters can be presented, as they are here, on their own.

Betty Wood — The letters of Simon Taylor of Jamaica to Chaloner Arcedekne, 1765–1775,
(Royal Historical Society).

. . . The Smallpox is among your Negroes 7 or 8 lying now down. They are at Lewis's penn and very good care is taken of them and the pock is favourable so hope they will do well. You buried a very fine fellow a Driver named Humphrey within a few days ago. If you think proper intend purchasing 24 Men about Christmas for it will be impossible to keep up the Estate at such great Crops as it ought to make without it except by pushing your Negroes too much and killing them which am sure will not be for your advantage. . . . 

— Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne,
Tuesday, 30 April 1765;
EE letter ID: taylsiRH0350013a1c

. . . I shall be sorry to find that Government should have any thoughts of endeavouring to fix a duty of 4½ p.ct. on our produce. I should think that they must see the bad consequences that have arisen on the Continent and first putt out that Fire. Besides, this Country would at this present juncture be absolutely ruined by such a tax first from the low price of our produce last year and then by the Excessive great quantities of negroes that have been imported within these two last years and the number of Bills which have come back protested. . . . 

— Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne,
Monday, 5 June 1775;
EE letter ID: taylsiRH0350147a1c

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