A Glasgow Grocer Goes West

This post is about something I forgot to mention here when it happened last year.

I contributed to the WS Society’s online exhibition, The Great Affair is to Move: Travel and Topography at the Signet Library. This was originally going to be an in-person event in early spring 2020, but had to be cancelled as the pandemic struck. The Signet Library’s Research Principal James Hamilton converted the exhibition to an online format and launched it last year.

My contribution was designed to highlight one of the cases in the Signet Library’s Session Papers Collection which is richly illustrated with charts and maps. Glasgow grocer Robert McNair’s claim for compensation after the wreck of his ship Jean was contested by the insurers. The case went on for decades and its details are captured in numerous Session Papers.

Nautical chart showing two possible locations for Bermuda
Chart IVth, M’Nair v Coulter, Signet Library Collections, Session Papers F12;1

You can see some of the charts and find out more about the dispute here: A Glasgow Grocer goes West: Robert McNair and the Sugar Trade, 1750-1773


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