Some Early Portuguese Bills of Lading 1625-1708
By researching bills of lading held in the Portuguese Archives, Boxer sheds light on Portugal’s early commercial activities. Very few of these documents survive but, being printed forms, this suggests that many thousands were produced. A 1625 bill deals with goods from Goa, whilst the other two originate in Brazil. The first dated 1664 and therefore 40 years later, shares the same format and virtually the same wording. Two further examples date from 1708 and 1776, suggesting the Portuguese used a virtually unchanged bill of lading for at least 150 years.