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Record No: mha00000117
Title: Philip English fonds
Dates: Microfilmed 1988 (originally created 1664-1718)
Location: Mic.1-5-1-9 MHA
Provenance: English, Philip, 1651-1736
Extent: 1 microfilm reel
Source of Supplied Title: Title is based on the contents of the fonds
Restrictions: No restrictions
Adm. Hist/Bio. Sketch: Philip English (1651-1736) was one of the foremost fishing and shipping merchants of seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Born on the Isle of Jersey, he immigrated to Salem sometime before 1670 and set himself up as a general merchant. He outfitted fishing voyages and exported local produce to Spain, France, Ireland, Maryland, Virginia, Jersey, and the West Indies. As early as 1680, he was one of the wealthiest merchants in town, and, by 1692, he was said to own a wharf and warehouse, 14 buildings in Salem, and 21 sea-going vessels.
     English was one of the first merchants in Massachusetts to specialize in outfitting voyages to the offshore banks. The majority of his vessels, chiefly two-masted ketches, divided their year between the offshore banks and the export trade to Europe and the West Indies.
     Although originally a mariner himself, and one of the very few local merchants who actually dwelt on the waterfront amongst the seamen he employed, English had a turbulent relationship with the maritime community. He was a frequent litigant before the courts, mostly suing his customers for debt. When the controversy concerning witchcraft erupted in 1692, English had to flee the colony for a year to escape prosecution himself.
Scope and Content: Fonds consists of microfilm copies of three account books, 1664-1708, 1678-1690, and 1699-1718, which describe English's dealings with fishermen and maritime artisans, the financial arrangements of fishing voyages, and the expenses of keeping his vessels afloat
Reproduction Note: Filmed from the original held at the Essex Institute, August 1988.
Terms Governing Use: Copyright held by the Essex Institute, Massachusetts. Permission to publish material from the collection should be obtained in writing from the director of the Institute.
Associated Material: MHA Primary sources in the History of the North Atlantic Cod Fishery, 1658-1833. - Essex Institute English Family papers.
Finding Aids: MHA finding aid 20
Finding Aid on the Web:http://www.mun.ca/mha/holdings/findingaids/newengland.php#Philip%20English
Subject: Merchants Massachusetts.
Subject: Cod fisheries Massachusetts.
Subject: Shipping Massachusetts.
Subject: Massachusetts History.
Subject: Salem (Massachusetts) History.
Subject: Accounts.
Subject: Business records.
Authors_Corporate Name: Essex Institute.


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