Stuck at Plymouth

Captain’s letter

Jan Menckenveld, berthed at England, United KingdomPlymouth, the 25th of February 1763

Honorable gentlemen, directors of the Commercie Compagnie in the city of Middelburg, Zeeland

Dear Sirs,

I hope this letter will find you and your distinguished families in such excellent health as I and my officers are in.

This letter serves to announce that I drew a bill of exchange for your honors’ account on Sir Barents in London of 48 pounds sterling or 548 guilders. This is the sum which needs to be paid here for fire, anchorage and harbor duties, as your honors will find on my arrival in the private transactional accounts.

I still cannot determine the exact date of my departure; the sooner I can return, the better. However, the occasion has not yet presented itself due to daily S and SE winds. Sometimes there is a W wind, but this lasts no longer than half a day. In addition, we suffer daily from seasonal harsh weather circumstances.

A few other Dutch ships are berthed here, waiting to return. However, I will not wait for them, but put out to sea to continue my journey as soon as there is a steady W, or even NW wind. This also because my crew are now somewhat refreshed compared to my arrival here. Although they were not sick, they were worn out by the cold and turmoil and had little clothing on their bodies. They have now been provided with some and could even endure a small crusade, though I hope for good fortunes.

I do not doubt that your honors received my letter dated 18 February, of which I was unable to attach a copy because the post here does not receive referenced letters.

I have nothing else to rapport except for my warmest greetings to you and your family. Having had the honor to recommend myself into your honors’ protection, I am, with great respect,

Honorable sirs,

Your humble and obeying servant,

Jan Menkenveld