Kenneth Morgan (ed.), Records of Social and Economic History: New Series, Vol. 40: The Bright-Meyler Papers: A Bristol-West India Connection, 1732–1837

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[157] Alexander Torry, Savanna-la-Mar, to Henry Bright, Bristol8 March 1761     UMA, Bright family papers, box 55

I came down here about a month ago, where I shall be for about a month longer, to assist Mr. Meyler at this busy time of the year. A few days ago I had the honour of your several favours of the 26th November & 31st December, with your present by the Hope for which I return you thanks. You observe that you had received no letters from the House by the Edinburgh or any of her convoy, which proceeded from no other cause than being unable to write satisfactorily. I did not come to town from this place till the day she sailed from Port Royal, or would have sent Henry & Francis Bright's sugar account &c. which were ready, but I hope you'll receive them safe by the Eagle Captain Nash by whom they were sent and I wrote you fully, as also some time before, under date of the 3rd November by the Fawkner Pacquet. Part of your last letters to me were answered in these, so that I have little to add, but what arises from yours. I am sorry to find that the remarks upon Henry & Francis Bright's ballances displease you. I have always done all I could to settle with such people as I know or could find out, & shall still endeavour to serve you in that & every other respect.

pg 363Since your accounts came out we have not possibly been able to go through them particularly. Some time past have been very busy making up to Messrs. Boyd's accounts which go home compleated by this Packet, and by the 3rd of this month must set about the new contractor's accounts since the commencement of their contract, which will take two or three weeks if not a month to compleat, so that it will hardly be profitable to go through them with that attention they require & give full answer to every particular till the second fleet. However you may rest assured that as soon as I can after my return to Kingston, I will endeavour to get Mr. Hall to look through them and point out what 'tis necessary to alter, which shall be done with all speed. You complain greatly of the want of remittances last year, and I must confess not without some reason but it's impossible for you to conceive the prejudice the injunction last year did to every man in trade in the country. Proper measures are now pursuing to make all the African remittances in a few months, & most if not all the others on the old partnership accounts will be made in the course of the year. You will see when the day books you have are posted up, what large sums of money are still due on the old partnership accounts, besides much more than appears by their books, that has been transferred into those of Meyler & Hall, who have been obliged to take new securitys at a longer time to make the debts good. When this and the great difficulty of recovering money here by course of law is considered some allowance should be made, though undoubtedly the length of time some matters have been unsettled is very great.

The House here is and has for a great while past been in a very thriving & extensive way of business, by which great profit must be made, if there is not vast losses indeed, upon remittances. The long credit required & given, cramps people at their outset, but a year or two will get the better of that, and render matters more easy. I believe for the future no schemes where real losses can accrue will be followed. Every one of the House is now convinced of the bad effects, therefore one steady plan of business will be adopted & followed. The House in Kingston makes £1,000 per annum of the Agency, besides doing a little other business, and had not friends been too diffident, might for these two years past have done a great deal more. What money the house have in shipping will be drawn in, & every thing bent to make remittances. As an honest and a candid man, I think I may fairly say, that I believe no person need apprehend any loss by the House unless by some general calamity. More time you are sensible is required in this country than perhaps any other in the world for people in trade to wind up their affairs. Make some allowance for this & believe that the House are disposed to do you & every one else all imaginable justice. For my part I shall be always glad of any opportunity to show the esteem I have for your character by my readiness to serve you. By a letter herewith to the owners of the Molly, you'll see that vessell is now here, which is as surprising as 'tis lucky after what befell her.

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