Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Charles Goore Letter Book, 1774-1783

James S. Schoff Revolutionary War Collection

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, June 2010

Summary Information
Title: Charles Goore letter book
Creator: Goore, Charles, 1703-1783
Inclusive dates: 1774-1783
Extent: 170 pages (1 volume)
Abstract:
The Charles Goore letter book contains letters, dated March 1774 to January 1783, from a prosperous Liverpool merchant to other English merchants, members of Parliament, British naval officers, customers, and friends. These letters touch on various aspects of Atlantic trade, including the detrimental effects of the American Revolutionary War on British commerce, whaling ventures off Greenland, and the trade in tobacco, hemp, flag stones, and ironware.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1965. M-1351.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Charles Goore Letter Book, James S. Schoff Revolutionary War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

Charles Goore (1703-1783) was a prosperous Liverpool merchant with substantial interests in the Virginia tobacco trade. In the 1740s, Goore was one of the 4 largest buyers of Chesapeake tobacco. In the 1750s, he expanded his interests to include trade with Africa, and investment in the whaling industry. His ship Golden Lion was one of the few British ships involved with the Greenland whaling industry. He grew rich bringing seal skins, seal oil, whale bone, and whale oil to England. Though he continued trading with North America into the 1780s, largely dealing in hemp, flagstones, and ironware, as well as tobacco, the outbreak of the Revolutionary war severely disrupted his trading operations. In addition to his trading pursuits, he also owned a ropery. Goore was an important civic figure; he was elected as bailiff of Liverpool in 1747, and mayor of Liverpool in 1754 and 1768. He also served as senior alderman and justice of the peace for both the borough and county of Liverpool. He married Margery Halsall (1707-1776) on July 29, 1728, and died in 1783.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Charles Goore letter book (170 pages) contains copies of 295 letters from Goore to other English merchants, members of Parliament, British naval officers, customers, and friends. These letters, dated March 1774 to January 1783, touch on various aspects of trade, including the detrimental effects of the American Revolution on the tobacco trade, his whaling ventures off Greenland, and trading interests in hemp, flag stones, and ironware. Goore discussed difficulties with war ships, effects of the Revolution on prices and trade, the practice of impressment of seamen, and news from the American colonies. He also described the effects of privateering on trade, the slave trade, and technical matters relating to navigation. Several letters concern helping friends who were hurt by the upheaval in America. For instance, he tried to place seamen, formerly in his employment, in the British navy. This letter book provides an interesting perspective of the British side of the Revolution and particularly English merchants' reactions to the conflict.

While the collection primarily consists of business, legal, and political papers, Goore occasionally related information about his family. Of particular interest are 6 letters related to Goore's niece, Jenny Tatlock, whom he placed as an apprentice to Mrs. Ann Carus (pages 15, 19, 28, 93, 144). Goore wrote two stern letters to his niece Ellen Tatlock, who often begged for money because her husband was in prison (pages 82, 97). Goore also wrote to his niece Jenny, advising her not to marry an apprentice painter because she would end up supporting him (page 162). Several letters document Goore's business relationships with women, and a few letters are condolences to widows of his employees.

Other letters of note include:

  • January 25, 1775: describing a crowd in a coffee house waiting to hear the "resolves of Parliament relative to American affairs..."
  • June 13, 1775: revealing his opinions on the tense relationship between Great Britain and the American colonies: "The ax is laid to the root of the tree & it must be cut down or adieu to the colonies. God grant such measures may be taken that his Majesty may bring the Americans to become dutiful subjects."
  • February 5, 1776: describing his early career in the tobacco trade and the effects of the Revolution on Atlantic trading.
  • November 28, 1776: offering news of the war in America concerning generals Burgoyne and Howe.
  • March 14, 1778: reprimanding a neighbor for physically abusing his wife.
Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Great Britain. Royal Navy.
    • Great Britain. Stamp Act (1765)
    • Greenland.
    • Hemp.
    • Impressment--Great Britain.
    • Lighthouses--England.
    • Liverpool (England)
    • Merchants--Great Britain--Correspondence.
    • Privateering.
    • Shipping--England--Liverpool.
    • Slave-trade.
    • Tobacco.
    • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
    • Whaling.
    • Whitehaven (England)
    • Wife abuse.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letter books.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Charles Goore letter book,  1774-1783 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Recipient List (based on journal's index):

    • Abby, Robert (page 165).
    • Arnold, Latham (page 87).
    • Asgill, Charles, Sr., Honorable Banker of London (page 149).
    • Aspinwall, Thomas, (page 8).
    • Atkinson, Matthew (pages 47, 52, 83, 86, 90, 91, 98, 99, 107, 110, 118, 119, 134, 147, 152, 156, 182).
    • Bacon, John Joseph (pages 128, 129).
    • Bertret, James (page 88).
    • Bickham, James (page 148, 150).
    • Birkett, James (page 139, 141).
    • Blacket, I.E. (pages 75, 77, 81).
    • Bonney Richard (page 9).
    • Bower, Miles (page 10).
    • Brenan, Elizabeth (page 132).
    • Brisbane, John, Esquire (page 139).
    • Browne, James (page 10).
    • Brunley, Christopher (page 75).
    • Bromley, John (page 89).
    • Buckeley, William (pages 129, 137, 152, 161, 168).
    • Carus, Ann (pages 15, 19, 28, 93, 144).
    • Carber, John at London (page 160).
    • Case, Thomas (page 114).
    • Clayton, Sarah (page 26).
    • Clayton, William, Esquire (page 163).
    • Clenens, John, Esquire (page 98).
    • Coulthort, John (pages 92, 98).
    • Critchlow, Abraham (page 114).
    • Cureton, John (pages 13, 14).
    • Cureton, Mary (page 161).
    • Cureton, Mr. (pages 168, 169).
    • Danvers, Daniel (page 129).
    • Davies, David, Captain (page 113).
    • Denison, Joseph (page 66).
    • Dennett, James at Sir William Gage's (page 155).
    • Dennill, John (pages 28, 102).
    • Derby, George, Esquire (pages 140, 143, 150).
    • Drake, Samuel Henry (pages 124, 125, 129, 130).
    • Drake, William, Esquire (pages 117, 119, 130, 132, 135, 136, 142, 143, 147, 148, 163, 164, 166).
    • Evans, Mary (pages 4, 8, 12, 13, 38, 84, 109, 116).
    • Everand, William (page 88).
    • Farrington, Richard (pages 132, 133).
    • Fayer, Captain (page 135).
    • Fisher, John (page 114).
    • Fletcher, Mrs. (page 63).
    • Foxcroft, Robert (page 126).
    • Gasscoine, Bamber, Esquire (pages 153, 156, 159).
    • Gildart, Francis (page 123).
    • Gregory, George (pages 73, 107).
    • Gregory, Peter (pages 142, 158).
    • Harman, Abraham (page 69).
    • Halsall, Henry (pages 121, 125, 146).
    • Halsall, Mary of Cambridge (page 104).
    • Heywood, Mr. of Whitehaven (page 30).
    • Heywood, Richard (page 48).
    • Hillary, Scott (page 61).
    • Hutchinson, Berket (page 137).
    • Hutchinson, William (page 137).
    • Ingle, Timothy (page 106).
    • James, William (pages 30, 60, 161).
    • Jenkens, Reverend (page 134).
    • Jones, Fouch (pages 134, 138, 141).
    • Jones, William (pages 49, 62, 109).
    • Kearsley, John (page 159).
    • Kennedy, John, Merchant (page 159).
    • Kelsall, James (page 146).
    • Kenyon, Robert (page 23).
    • Knight, Jane, and Mrs. Leigh (pages 149, 160).
    • Laban, Samuel (page 71).
    • Lancaster, Mrs., in Cambridge (page 144).
    • Leatherbarrow, Edward (page 123).
    • Leigh, Hugh Kindley (page 15).
    • Leigh, Mrs., and Miss. Knight (page 160).
    • Lewis, Ambrose (pages 16, 84).
    • McWhirter, James (page 36).
    • Means, William (page 89).
    • Meredith, William, Sir, member of Parliament (pages 3, 14, 34, 41, 51, 64, 65, 67, 70, 79, 105, 107, 110).
    • Morgan, Henry (pages 138, 140).
    • Moore, Henry (page 2).
    • Neufelle, Jonah page 95).
    • Norman, Isaac (page 130).
    • Olivier, A.D. (page 66).
    • Parnel, Priscilla (page 154).
    • Peirce, Mary Mather (pages 118, 135, 136, 157).
    • Pennant, Richard (pages 112, 113, 133).
    • Pole, Charles G., now Samuel (pages 6, 15, 110, 160).
    • Pole, Charles Morris, Esquire, Captain of the Success (pages 164, 167).
    • Postlewaite, John (pages 135, 154).
    • Potter, Henry, pot painter near Colbridge, Staffordshire (page 162).
    • Quayle, Robert (page 5, 68).
    • Richmond, Robert to Charles Goore (page 148).
    • Rose & White (page 1).
    • Salisbury, Owen (pages 121, 123).
    • Sarjant, John (page 56).
    • Scott, John (page 27).
    • Shaw, Samuel (pages 128, 168).
    • Spedding, James (pages 3, 7, 11, 17, 20, 22, 25, 35, 39, 50, 54, 57, 58, 68, 75, 78, 79, 80, 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 100, 106, 108, 117, 133).
    • Stanley, Sir John (page 24).
    • Starkie, Thomas (page 54).
    • Swarbreck, John (page 87).
    • Tatlock, Ellen (pages 82, 97).
    • Tatlock, Jenny (page 162).
    • Taylor, William (page 102).
    • Tennant, William (pages 103, 169).
    • Thompson, Captain Richard (page 111).
    • Thornton, Robert (pages 32, 125).
    • Tomlinson, Robert (pages 34, 43, 94).
    • Tucker, Nathaniel, portrait painter (pages 82, 120).
    • Wetherherd, Christopher (pages 1, 2, 7, 14, 17, 21, 41, 60, 61, 88, 89).
    • Whitehouse, John (page 88).
    • Widens, B.B. (page 167).
    • William, Bennett, Esquire (page 134).
    • Williams, John, pilot (page 98).
    • Williamson, Richard (page 29).
    • Wilson, Joseph (pages 124, 127).
    • Wodrop, John Glasgow (page 167).
    • Woods, Captain Richard (page 106).
    • Woods, James (page 128).
    • Worth, His Majesty's regulating Captain (page 146).
    • Yeates, Thomas (page 25).