The Account Books of the Disko Bay of Newcastle, 1784-1802: a Case Study of Vessel Management Costs and Profitability in the British Shipping Industry

By Tony Barrow, published May 1995


A lack of contemporary evidence hinders the formation of a clear picture of the earnings and profitability of merchant ships at the end of the eighteenth century. The recent discovery of some detailed accounts for the ship Disko Bay of Newcastle upon Tyne is therefore noteworthy. She was variously employed in the Whale Fishery, Coal, Baltic and West Indies trades, and spent two years in the Transport Service between 1794 and 1796. The accounts are especially useful in assessing the costs and profitability of a vessel engaged in the Northern Whale Fishery at that time.

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Filed under: Eighteenth Century
Subjects include: Merchant Marines

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