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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Tucker's Account of Glasgow Shipping Enterprise in 1651

TUCKER —Cromwell’s commissioner on Scotch trade in his report, made in 1651, gives the following account of Glasgow shipping enterprise at that time.

"With the exception of the Colleginers, all the inhabitants are traders; some to Ireland with small smiddy coals in open boats from four to ten tons, from whence they bring hoops, rungs, barrel staves, meal, oats, and butter; some to Fiance with plaiding, coals, and herrings, from which the return is salt, pepper, raisins, and prunes; some to Norway for timber. There have likewise been some who have ventured as far as Barbadoes, but the loss which they sustained by being obliged to come home late in the year, has made them discontinue going thither any more.

"The mercantile genius of the people is strong, if they were not checked and kept back by the shallowness of their river, every day more increasing and filling up, so that no vessel of any burden can come up nearer the town than within fourteen miles, where they must unload and send up their timber on rafts, and all other commodities by three or four tons of goods at a time, in small cobbles or boats of three, four, or five, and none above six tons a boat. There is in this place a collector, a cheque, and four writers. There are twelve vessels belonging to the merchants of this port, viz, three of 150 tons each, one of 140, two of 100, one of 50, three of 30, one of 15, and one of 12; none of which came up to the town—total, 957 tons.’

in 1718 the first Clyde-built vessel sailed from the Tail ot the Bank for foreign parts, her destination being Virginia. This vessel was built at Crawford’s Dyke, and was but 60 tons burthen.

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