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Record No: tlc00000062
Title: George Forward fonds
Dates: [Microfilmed 1970?]
Location: Mic. 1-2-1-1/2 MHA
Provenance: Forward, George, 1786-1857
Extent: 2 reels of microfilm
Source of Supplied Title: Supplied title based on the contents of the microfilm.
Restrictions: No restrictions
Adm. Hist/Bio. Sketch: George Forward (1786-1857), clerk, merchant, shipowner, was the son of Susannah (Hassell) and Ambrose Forward, a well-to-do cloth merchant of Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Forward married Susanna Taylor of Harbour Grace in 1815. He died in 1857.
     Forward immigrated to Newfoundland with his brother Charles (b. 1783) in the early 1800s to work for one of the Poole mercantile firms in Carbonear. By the 1820s, the brothers had struck out on their own as planters. In 1825, they were co-owners of a schooner. Charles does not appear to have had much part of the Forward business beyond the 1820s. George, however, accumulated considerable wealth and property, and was very active in public life
     In the 1830s, Forward formed a partnership with William Willis Bemister of Carbonear. They purchased the mercantile premises in Carbonear of Slade, Biddle & Company, a Poole firm that became insolvent. Forward's company became one of the principal mercantile firms in Conception Bay, engaging in the import-export trade, supplying and operating vessels in the cod and seal fisheries, purchasing fish, seal skins and other commodities, and dealing with fishing families as the truck (or credit) system. Forward was deeply involved in the Labrador cod fishery. Between 1825 and 1857, his name was associated with the ownership of 16 vessels. In 1839, he supplied five vessels for the seal hunt, four of which he owned. In 1842 he purchased shares in the Newfoundland Steam Navigation Company. He also had interest in the Mutual Insurance Company of Conception Bay and was a Justice of the Peace for Carbonear district from 1849 onward.
     Forward operated a very successful trade until he died at the age of 71 years. He lived on an estate in Burnt Head, which he acquired in several parcels from previous owners. His home, referred to as "The Mansion," is believed to have been purchased for him by his father. It later devolved to his son Mark.
Scope and Content: Business ledgers of George Forward, 1842-1858. These ledgers record customer accounts with George Forward at Carbonear. Partial indexes are included with some of the ledgers.
Associated Material: Forward family fonds, Maritime History Archive
Finding Aids: MHA finding aid 75
Subject: Merchants Newfoundland Carbonear
Subject: Carbonear (N.L.).


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