Helmsman graphicMonitor graphicHelmsman graphicNow under renovation - The Cozens/Byrnes Merchants Networks Project - Updated 21 November 2014

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Another small network, Plummer/Barham

Follows a question to Dan Byrnes from an emailer of May 2006.


This directory presents files on merchants working after 1800. Some of these files are on: London Bankers circa 1800, Robert Brooks of the Australia Trade, India indigo business, W. S. Lindsay, shipowner, Joseph Somes, shipowner, Norman (bankers), and on Hodson's Lists of notable families of British-India. Lists of international British C19th investment companies , investor names, etc.

Dear Mr Byrnes, I was very interested to read the material in your web book about London shipowners and financiers involved in the 18th and early 19th century trade to Australasia. I am particularly interested in the firm Plummer, Barham & Co. which owned the ship Unity which made a voyage to New Zealand under Daniel Cooper leaving England in 1808 and arriving at Sydney in 1809. Some of your information about Thomas William Plummer and J. F. Barham I had never seen before. I wonder:
1. Do you have any more information about Thomas William Plummer died 20/11/1817?
2. Do you know of any surviving papers of Plummer, Barham & Co? (I know some of Barham's papers are in the Bodleian Library, UK.)
3. Is John Turnbull the partner of George Macaulay related to Robert Turnbull commander of the Britannia transport, owned by Enderby's and which arrived at Sydney 18/7/1798?


To find your way to more files on Merchant Networks topics related either chronologically, or alphabetically by merchant surname, go to the main file of Sitemap.

Is John Turnbull the partner of Macaulay related to John Turnbull supercargo of the Margaret which arrived at Sydney 7/2/1801 who was also author of A Voyage Round the World...?
I'm sorry to bombard you with questions which may well be difficult to answer but you are a rich source on this arcane subject.

Map Australia-New Zealand

I am trying to prove what has long been suspected that on that voyage of the 'Unity's' Cooper cruised the east Otago coast of New Zealand's South Island and probably entered Otago Harbour. He had previously taken over the command of the Sydney Cove on her return from Australia to England, a ship in which Simeon Lord had a financial interest. Lord later complained that when Plummers financed Cooper in his voyage in the Unity they were taking advantage of knowledge of sealing grounds discovered by men in his employment. As West India merchants and with the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 I have supposed Plummer, Barham & Co. were trying to find a new trade, Australasian sealing, to replace the West India one. As you have observed they had formerly been Lord and his partners' London agents. I'd appreciate any further information you can give me about these matters.
Thanks, Peter Entwisle, NZ.

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Answer in part: One connection for Plummers in Sydney is Frederick Garling former judge-advocate with John Oxley. Later Lord has a London agent Francis Williams. See Parkinson on Underwoods, p. 36 the firm is Plummers and Barham, English agent for Lord, Kable and Underwood, firm of Thomas Plummer, John Foster Barham, Thomas William Plummer, John Plumber and Mathew Combe. Plummers sold colonial seal products, sandalwood, chinese teas, any speculative cargo. He becomes agent for John Macarthur in 1804, replacing his fr-in-law Thompson in that role. He is a City merchant and politician. He is known as "Little Bacchus". Atkinson, Europeans in Australia, p. 219. ADB entry for Simeon Lord suggests by 1805, this man is linked to London firm trading with Simeon Lord, Plummer, Barham and Co. [Which is this Barham?) See also Maxine Young, Admin, p. 249 re T. W. Plummer to Col. Macquarie, No. 1 Park Street, Westminster, 4 May, 1809, HRNSW, Vol. 7, p. 113, Plummer then being solicitor-general. Hainsworth, Traders, pp. 154ff, p. 230. See re sum of 60,000 in Hainsworth, Traders, p. 85 with S. Lord. See Hainsworth, Builders, pp. 44ff, p. 69, p. 82, pp. 91ff-98. Partner in the West India house of Plummer, Barham and Co, the London agents for merchant Simeon Lord of Sydney and correspondents of John Macarthur, Sydney. See Pemberton thesis, London Connection, p. 126.

Arrow graphicReferences other: From Peter Entwistle, author of Behold The Moon. Port Daniel Press (NZ), 1998.

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