By Dan Byrnes
(work-in-progress and not here properly footnoted, chronology revised in November 2015)
Often cited online is the document: William Molleson and John Lane, The Reports of the Commissioners, appointed to examine, take, and state the Public Accounts of the Kingdom. London, Cadell, 1787. Is this John Lane of the bank Lane, Son and Fraser which failed in 1793? John Lane who had been debt collecting for his father Thomas in the former American colonies after the Revolution? John Lane (1743-1829) married to Eleanor Everitt (1747-1827) the son of Thomas Lane (c.1707-1784) and Margaret Unknown, a banker of Lane, Son and Fraser. The 1780 Commissioners for these Public Accounts were Sir Guy Carleton, Thomas Anguish, Arthur Pigot, Richard Neave, Samuel Beachroft, James Tierney, George Drummond, William Molleson and John Lane. (Item lodged 6-7-2017)
Lane, Son and Fraser as a London-based merchant bank had once been influential, so it is said, in pre-Revolutionary Anglo-American trade. They failed in London in 1793 for about one million pounds, taking a variety of other firms with them (mostly provincial banks in Britain), but historians have been curiously uncurious about their departure from London´s (and/or, American) financial scenarios. It would appear that historical memories of Lane, Son and Fraser have suffered badly from a massive loss of their business papers.
Just one problem with modern data on Lane, Son and Fraser is that Australian researchers tend not to read data gathered by North Americans, and neither of them are read by UK researchers. A result is, as this page hopes to make clear, is that data on LSF becomes a confusing nonsense. For Australians, it matters that the Lanes of LSF were personal friends (it is said) of the first governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip. American researchers neither know nor care about Gov. Phillip, while Australians do not care about LSF-links with pre-Revolutionary or post-Revolutionary American situations. In the middle of this imbroglio, British researchers tend to remain quite silent, despite the fact that today, it can be felt that when LSF failed as a bank in 17893, it was an interesting case of failure despite a bank being "too big to fail", because this was the view in 1793 adopted by the Bank of England as LSF risked failing. The strange case of LSF is an excellent example of the present simply wasting the lessons of the past due to failures of historical research.
Follows an impression of the Lane genealogy (with no guarantee as to its final accuracy or usefulness, it is simply the only information so far to hand).
One William Lane (wife unknown) had a son John (c.1707-1784) who died 25 May 1784 at Clapham, London. This John had a wife unknown. This John had children, John Jnr. (1743-1784) of Lane, Son and Fraser, who married Eleanor Everitt (still alive in 1814). John Jnr. possibly had three sisters, Sarah, Ann and Susanna, who so far have no spouse names attached. John Jnr. and Eleanor Everitt probably had children Harriot Eleanor (born 1776), John (died 1829 and possibly of Peckham Surrey) a merchant of Nicholas Lane, Thomas (1768-1834), said to be a deputy-assistant commissary general but where is not said, and Elizabeth Dunbar Lane (born 1782 and otherwise unidentifiable). It has been suggested that Eleanor (born 1776) once inherited 2000 pounds from the Will of Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, Australia, after Phillip had died at Bath in 1819, but it is not yet suggested that Eleanor married.
Eleanor Everitt, married to John Lane Jnr. (1743-1829), was daughter of Captain RN Michael Everitt (1716-1776) and Elizabeth Gayton/Gaiton. (Some but not all of the Everitt family data is available on the Internet.) Captain Everitt was son of Michael Everitt (died 1725 in London) and Mary Smith, who seems to have once been Widow Breach, since she seems to have once been married to one Benjamin Breach. This Benjamin Breach and Mary possibly had four children, of whom William, a poulterer, and perhaps of Westminster, married Elizabeth Horne, born 1708 around St Catherine´s by Tower, London. William and Elizabeth Horne possibly had three daughters, Susannah, Elizabeth and Mary. Susannah (born 1716) possibly married a shipwright at Greenland Dock, Charles Pagester, and had a daughter Mary who married William Fletcher and had a daughter Susannah who married an East India Company ships captain, George Richardson (active 1807 but otherwise untraceable so far). It is suspected that Captain George Richardson and his wife (no children reported) were personal friends of Arthur Phillip.
It is possible that this John Lane and his wife Eleanor Everitt were personal friends of the first governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip, which, however, is probably not significant to notice, except in passing, although it will interest anyone interested in Phillip's biography. (There is a painting by John Singleton Copley, noted on a webpage of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, dated about 1792, a year before Lane Son and Fraser failed in 1793, of Eleanor Everitt's daughter Harriot Eleanor (1776-1860 a friend of Gov. Arthur Phillip the first governor of NSW) and son Thomas Lane (1768-1834 and not yet traceable.)
Elizabeth the daughter of poulterer William and Elizabeth Horne may have married a seaman, John Herbert, (c.1705-1731 died at Port Royal Jamaica), and then Jacob Phillip, so becoming the mother in 1738 of the later NSW governor Arthur Phillip (who possibly had a sister Eliza Maria married to one William Hughes, according to Michael Flynn in Flynn's recent writings.) This genealogy of course would give Arthur Phillip a quite humble background to strive to rise above, it has been a curse ever since for historians.
This genealogical information can so far be regarded as inadequate. So far, these Lane, Everitt and Phillip families between them have much too many unmarried daughters for them to seem realistic; the sons seem to have produced surprisingly few children. Governor Phillip himself had no children. The apparent extinction of the Lane family due to two affluent sons not producing children seems not quite plausible. Nor has the apparently complete loss of all the paperwork of Lane, Son and Fraser, an allegedly powerful Anglo-American merchant bank, ever been explained by anybody, American, British or Australian. It also seems distinctly odd that in London itself, when Lane, Son and Fraser failed, so few remarks were made about their demise, except that they had inconvenienced several other firms on their way out of affairs. On the face of things, Lane Son and Fraser had few friends. The most reliable remark made about them so far seems to be, that they never managed to recover from shocks they suffered due to the American Revolution. So far, almost no information has arisen on any individual staff employed in London by Lane, Son and Fraser, or whom their most useful commercial friends were or might have been. (See the section below on earlier incarnations of the firm.)
On John Lane Jnr. In an update of 8-8-2010 from Prof Harry Duckworth (Canada), John Lane Jnr. disappears from view after his father John's 1793 bankruptcy. There is an item, Memoranda relating to the Lane, Reyner and Whipple families of Yorkshire. Maybe one relevant name is Simon Fraser of Virginia or London? The bank LSF is of 10 Nicholas Lane, Lombard Street in Kent's Directory 1794.
There is mentioned in a book published in 1937 by Australian historian George Mackaness book on Gov. Phillip, a John Lane of Nicholas Lane, City of London, and a John Lane is later one of Gov. Phillip's executors, so we might assume he is a brother of Harriet. (See Kellock's article, p. 114, 132.) He was of Fareham Lane, of the firm Lane, Son and Fraser. (See Scorgie/Hudgson on Miller where it appears this man is an executor of Miller.) This is probably the John Lane with whom Arthur Phillip left charts, (see Scorgie/Hudgson, p. 32), and if so, he is a son-in-law of one Captain RN Michael Everitt who is married to Elizabeth Gaiton (sic) see Gayton. This is the Lane of Lane, Son and Fraser the noted firm. (Scorgie/Hudgson, pp. 30ff.) If he is the right man, he is of Nicholas Lane, Lombard Street in the City, Merchant. (See Tipping on Phillip's will, p. 131 re a money draft Phillip drew on him dated 2 November, 1784, from Colonial Secretary secret service ledger, from original documents in William L. Clements Library at University of Michigan; pp. 133ff.)
See also Pares, West India Fortune, pp. 175, 357, Pinneys qv dealt with LSF which went bust in 1793, and most of the West India houses also linked to it faltered. (See Frost on Phillip, p. 5. See Scorgie/Hudgson, pp. 30ff.)
Is this the John Lane friend of Gov. Phillip, see Tipping, p. 133 re Phillip's will of 1814. (See Kellock p. 114. Query per Ken Cozens of 21-7-2009 from Miriam McDonald at: firstname.lastname@example.org - Item re History of Lorraine, New York, in Jefferson Co. which was on land of the Boylston Tract, ie named for Thomas Boylston of Boston, by purchase from Samuel Ward, the grantee of William Constable, the grantee of Macomb (who lost on deals). Boylston gave a deed of trust re his land to Lee, Irving/Erving and Latham as assignees of Lane, Son and Fraser of London, and they in turn conveyed the land to John Johnson Phyn. Cf, The Universal Magazine, p. 318, 1793, 23 April, John Lane, Thomas Fraser and Thomas Boylston of Nicholas Lane, merchants, Thomas Boylston, London merchant of and there is also one Benjamin Lane an insurer of Freeman's Court, Cornhill.
Cf., jstor article by William Bentinck-Smith, Nicholas Boylston [1716-1771] and the Harvard Chair he donated. There was a Thomas Fraser who [here see Adams Papers] who wrote to John Adams, 4 October 1785 from Nicholas Lane re Thomas Boylston seeing Adams. It seems by 1794 in London to work with such as John Coore, Zachary Hubbersty. American Memory re keywords Lane Son and Fraser has an untitled document from Massachusetts Historical Society re one Bourne and a shipment of goods worth two thousand pounds with extra mention of one Elsiha Doane (details which check out ok).
Follows notes from Update of 10-7-2010 per Peter Dickson, re the Will of John Lane, Public Record Office (UK), The National Archives, Catalogue Reference: PROB 11/1118, Image No. 227. Of South (?) Mordaunt (?), name Dorothy ???, vault of Parish Church of Saint E??, son Thomas Lane (when he is 20), my partner Thomas Fraser, my Godson Thomas Fraser the Younger (when he is 20), item to Mrs Allison of Southampton, item to Mrs Susannah Fraser (wife of partner Thomas?), my God-daughter Elizabeth Fraser (when she is 18), name of Alexander Barlow, executors are ??? and Thomas Fraser, my son John Lane, Witnesses Benjamin Hammett/Hammatt (? NB: the London banker of the time was spelled Benjamin Hammet), ??/ and James Gale. Lane was possibly a personal friend of Gov Phillip. Prof Harry Duckworth on 12-8-2010 cites for this man after 1793, a case brought by the Attorney-General (Britain) against the heirs of Governor Phillip, to claim legacy dues from his estate, see Reports of Cases in Law of Real Property and Conveyancing, Vol. 1, 1843, to 1845, London, J. Crockford, 1846. on google e-books. Item arises, re by 1794, LSF see re Thomas Boylston of Boston re giving a deed of trust to [George] Lee, [George] Irving/Erving and [Thomas] Latham, re lands earlier in the hands of William Constable, and similar re John Johnson Phyn of Phyn and Ellice.
By 1793, the principals of LSF were Thomas Fraser and John Lane (died later in 1784?) son of John or Thomas (died earlier in 1784?), meaning something is probably wrong with the Lane genealogy, or with the death dates given, perhaps, since American evidence is that a John Lane of the firm was still active by 1805 or later in tidying up the affairs of Lane Son and Fraser (bankrupting in 1793), or, perhaps, tidying up the affairs of its legal remnants. In all, it can only be said that what information can be gathered on Lane, Son and Fraser is scrappy, unsatisfying and frustratingly uninspiring.
On the Internet can be found this sort of tosh and dire nonsense from Australian genealogy researchers-
Great Grandfather Major Samuel Stanley Sykes
John Lane, son of Sir Thomas Lane, Lord Mayor of London. « on: Monday 06 May 13 19:11 BST (UK) » I'm slightly confused. The Sydney Mail (Jan 11 1922) has an article titled "Arthur Phillip - An Unwritten Chapter" by E. M. Green (a relative of mine). She writes the following in regards to John Lane: "Mr. John Lane appears to have been a man of substance, and his father, Sir Thomas Lane, was Lord Mayor of London.....In an old book Sir Thomas Lane is described as a Londoner, and ancestor of Lord Foley... We can picture the city gentleman driving to the village of Peckham to visit his son and daughter-in-law, and their portraits by Copley and Romney fill in the picture." Emma seems to think that John's father was Sir Thomas Lane. She could be right, but I would like to confirm this. When searching on the net I came across Sir Thomas Lane and his wife Mary Ashurt and children. It shows us that John was born in the late 1600s. I've got John's year of birth as 1743. - Could it be possible that they have it all wrong and I'm correct. Also, on further research, I came across Joseph Lane son of Sir Thomas Lane who was born in 1743 and died in 1795 (This was found on google books, a primary source). The date range is similar to John.
Other evidence to support Sir Thomas being the father of John is his incredible amount of wealth. John privately funded a fleet of ships for Admiral Arthur Phillip (1st Gov. of NSW), as the crown and admiralty opposed funding for it. Also, I found out that Sir Thomas owned land in New Jersey and his grandson by the name of Thomas Lane had some control over the land prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution. John Lane had a son by the name of Thomas Lane. I would appreciate it if someone could help me with this mess. I'd like to confirm that Sir Thomas Lane was the father of John Lane. Kind Regards, Sykes.
To which Byrnes in 2015 would have to say .... how/where on earth, even by 1922, did the mistaken belief arise that the Crown and Admiralty had not wanted to fund the First Fleet, that it had to be funded by John Lane, a survivor of Lane, Son and Fraser? As if the British government might have permitted such a thing to happen with the transportation of hundreds of convicts, the idea of unthinkable. But such, evidently, are the kinds of questions about convict transportation, Governor Phillip, and Lane Son and Fraser, that Australians have been too lazy to ask and to answer.
To which J. C. Tilley responded, RootsChat Extra re: Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk View Profile
Re: John Lane, son of Sir Thomas Lane, Lord Mayor of London. « Reply #2 on: Saturday 13 September 14 00:43 BST (UK) » I am researching Thomas Fraser in "Lane, Son & Fraser", and as he and his partners are particularly difficult to research, I have widened my search to John Lane & Son, who appear to be equally difficult to identify with any precision and certainty.
As Lane, Son & Fraser were declared bankrupt 1798, and John Lane was the only person from this union still alive in 1811, it is possible this is the John Lane who married Eleanor Everitt in 1767, and possibly "your" John Lane born in 1743.
Reading the will of Thomas Lane (d. 1784), he was the father of John Lane of Lane Son & Fraser. He wished to be buried in the vault at Saint Edmund the King, Lombard Street, where I believe a number of other Lanes were buried. He had a grandson – Thomas Lane who had at that point not attained the age of 21. He had a son called John Lane. A partner called Thomas Fraser. A Godson called Thomas Fraser, the younger son of Thomas Fraser. Bequeathed a sum to all the clerks and writers at the counting house of Lane Son & Fraser A Goddaughter called Elizabeth Fraser A Granddaughter Harriet Eleanor Lane who had at that point not attained the age of 21 Executors John Lane and Thomas Fraser
Would it then be safe to say that Thomas Lane (d.1784) was the Lane in “Lane Son” with John Lane the son in “Lane Son”? And that John Lane is “your” John Lane born 1743?
Sir Thomas Lane, Lord Mayor of London died in 1709, aged 57. Arthur Phillip was born in 1738, which puts him in the age range of being a peer of "your" John Lane born 1743 and "your" John Lane would be in the age range for being the husband of Eleanor Everitt. But the John Lane of Lane Son & Fraser can not be the son of Sir Thomas Lane, Lord Mayor of London, as the dates do not stack up. Further research would need to be carried out to establish whether Thomas Lane (d. 1784) was the son or even grandson of Sir Thomas Lane. (I do hope you are still active here - smile emoticon.)
And Sykes did find out - Re: John Lane, son of Sir Thomas Lane, Lord Mayor of London. « Reply #1 on: Monday 06 May 13 19:37 BST (UK) » Found this: "Thomas (1768) and Harriet (1776-1860)...children to John and Eleanor Everitt Lane of London, and grandchildren of Thomas Lane (d. 1784), who was head of "Lane, Son & Fraser", an important London firm that supplied banking services and credit to wealth merchants of..." Maybe Emma got some information wrong? However, I personally believe that she was quite correct when it came to her information. Considering it was passed down from her mother.
On Thomas Lane - Is he any direct relation of Thomas Lane died 1710 the partner of Micajah and Richard Perry and who had brother Jonathan who had a son Thomas, says Duckworth? Does he have a grandmother Susanna who apprentices him to John Caswell a London merchant? He is founder of the later form of the firm. (See Walter Scott Dunn, Opening New Markets: The British Army and the Old Northwest as a Google Books Result, and Walter Scott Dunn, People of the American Frontier: the coming of the American Revolution.) Re Fraser of Lane, Son and Fraser. His name or that of his son may be Thomas. See G. Bhagat, p. 9, Note 40, these men Lane and Fraser wrote 18 Feb 1784 to Elias Hasket Derby, maybe about shipbuilding at Boston? (See Holden Furber on US trade to India.) They by later 1780s were trying to creep back into trade to the US. (See Labaree, Boston Tea Party, p 295, this firm had sent tea into the Boston Tea Party.) This firm acted as Bankers to the Everitts known to Arthur Phillip, see Frost on Phillip, pp. 4-5. Of Lane, Son and Fraser, see Kellock's article, p. 114 and elsewhere. Cf., http from William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, David Greene Letterbook 1777-1785. David E. Mass, Divided Hearts: Massachusetts Loyalists (1765-1790): A Biographical Dictionary. Boston, 1980. See re William and Mary Quarterly, ´Government Interception of Letters from America and the Quest for Colonial Opinion in 1775´, article by Julie M. Flavell on the Net. LSF had contacts Irving and Latham at Lorraine, New York (nd?). One address in London from Google seems to be 10 Nicholas Lane, Lombard Street, In Briggs' Cabot Genealogy, p. 141, Joseph Cabot had an account with Lane, Son and Fraser in 1771, eg tea, cod lines. See Holden Furber on first US trade with India re this firm trying to creep back into post-Revolutionary American trade. See Kellock's article p. 114. Kellock says, from about the 1750s, this firm dealt with Belchers and Faneuils of Boston, John Lloyd of London was linked. Behind scenes is Thomas Godfrey, also Joseph Smethurst. Also the Caswalls with Boston links. Dealt also with John Rowe of Boston. See Frost on Phillip, p. 5. See Scorgie/Hudgson, pp. 30ff. See Pares, West India Fortune, p. 175, p. 357. Is this the John Lane friend of Gov Phillip, see Tipping, p. 133 re Phillip's will of 1814. See Kellock p. 114 and note for Nathaniel Tracy the owner of ship Ceres Capt St Barbe which took Jefferson to England in 1780s.
John Lloyd (1656-1730) possibly a co-founder of Lane, Son and Fraser. He was friends with Peter Godfrey. Thomas Lane came into the firm in 1735. See Davis, Rise English Shipping Industry, p. 259. K. G. Davies, RAC, p. 32. See Kellock, article, pp. 131-132, Portugal merchant, then in the New EICo, then trading with New England. His firm became Lane, Son and Fraser. In New England he dealt with the Belchers and the Faneuils. Lane later had partners Joseph Smethurst (maybe of Marblehead?), then Bostonian John Caswall II. Both these men died in accidents. From 1750 the firm then became Thomas Lane and Co, then another Lloyd cousin, Benjamin Booth, came in. Later Booth left and became a director of the EICo. In 1766 the firm became Lane, Son and Fraser. These Lanes had the ship Eleanor Capt James Bruce of the Boston Tea Party. Is this ownership or merely cargo handling? End of notes on John Lloyd. Query per Ken Cozens of 21-7-2009 from Miriam McDonald at: email@example.com - LSF firm is mentioned, letters, 1778-1789/1778-1785 in Harvard University Library Wendell Family Papers. One relevant website details how on 21 May 1794, Thomas Boylston of Boston gave a deed of trust of eleven townships (surveyed by Benjamin Wright) to George Lee, George Irving/Erving and Thomas Latham, assignees of Lane, Son and Fraser of London, and conveyed them to John Johnson Phyn, (of London?), the title was vested by 10 April 1795 and Phyn appointed William Constable his attorney (William died 1803 had a brother James) to sell parts of the Boylston Tract, etc. An update per Prof Harry Duckworth of 8-8-2010 says LSF were large to Boston and Mass in 1760s and early 1770, had interests in Virginia, North Carolina, New York and West Indies. Lane of LSF had a partner Benjamin Booth from about 1758, and was dealing with Timothy Orne a merchant of Salem Mass. LSF was a new firm and this Thomas Lane formed by 1765-1766, lasted to 1793, traded to American colonies, underwrote ship insurance after 1783.
(His obituary noted from London Morning Chronicle, Wednesday 26 May 1784. His Will made 17 February 1781 and proved PCC 9 June 1784 PROB.11/1118. This man is named circa 1763-174 re giving assistance to a ward Samuel Wentworth Jnr (son of Samuel Wentworth of Boston died 1768, Samuel Jnr a nephew of Gov. Benning Wentworth. of Rev Henry Caner, 1728-1778. See online, A Brief Introduction to The Letterbook of The Rev. Henry Caner, 1728-1778, Special Collections Dept, Bristol University Library, by Prof Richard C. Simmons, School of History, University of Birmingham, re Rev Henry Caner c.1700-1792 an Anglican. In late 2011 it cannot be verified online that Lane died in Clapham.)
However, some useful new facts have arisen by November 2015 from e-mailer David Goodrich ...
On 7-11-2015 - Dear Merchant Networks Project, I ran into your website when trying to find some information about the firm of Lane, Son & Fraser. The firm was at one point apparently the holder of a mortgage on a half-interest in Mount Desert Island, Maine. The history here is long and involved, well described in Mount Desert: A History, by George E. Street (Boston, 1905), which is available online at https://archive.org/stream/mountdeserthisto00stre#page/n9/mode/2up. ()See pages 128 to 163.)
After the revolution, the Massachusetts General Court granted a moiety of a 1/2 undivided interest in Mount Desert Island to John Bernard, son of a former royal governor. Bernard immediately mortgaged the property to a Thomas Russell of Boston. The relationship of Russell to L,S&F I have not been able to determine, that is, whether he was their agent, or borrowed from them or possibly was a partner with them. Bernard defaulted on the mortgage. In 1803 Russell’s estate sold the property to a George William Irving of Boston but residing in London. However, it seems as if L,S&F was the equitable owner of the property. In 1822 Irving conveyed his interest in the property to Ward Nicholas Boylston as the residual legatee of Thomas Boylston. According to this deed, Thomas Boylston acquired the property by becoming a partner in L, S & F and “to whom by formal covenants between the parties all of the assets and effects of the House were to go after the payment of the debts of said firm.” This conveyance has all the marks of the settlement of a dispute or lawsuit although I have not located one yet. See deed at Book 42, page 347 in the Hancock County Registry of Deeds (online).
Any information you can provide about the relationship of Thomas Russell to L,S&F or about how Thomas Boylston took over the firm would be appreciated. Meanwhile, I think I have given you a few facts to add to your website.
Answer from Dan Byrnes - The names to look for include... Thomas Boylston (1721-1798 in London) son of Boston saddler/storekeeper Thomas Boylston (1691-1739) and Sarah Moorcock (1696-1774). Thomas died 1798, a bachelor, inherited from his wealthy brother Nicholas who died 1771 (born 1716). It is said Thomas in 1779 (in the middle of the American Revolution) took his portion of the family fortune to London with the express purpose of dealing with the London-based Anglo-American bankers, Lane Son and Fraser (LSF)), that is, he would deal with the bank's three principals, Thomas Fraser, Thomas Lane (died 1784) and his son John Lane (died 1784 probably later than his father) [if John Lane did die in 1784, which might be doubtful, it is then uncertain whom Boylston dealt with at LSF apart from Thomas Fraser]). It appears that LSF did deal say between 1780-1793 with Boylston but reluctantly due to the interest rate he charged them; Boylston does not seem to have gotten on well socially with LSF, although they had many other visitors from America they entertained socially, as the diary of Loyalist Samuel Curwen shows for 1775. By 1793 when LSF failed, Boylston evidently was unable to extricate his money from their affairs and by the late 1790s was in Newgate (London prison) as a debtor, an unhappy man once visited by a Loyalist named Aspden. It is not clear that Boylston did take over LSF, I tend to the view that he remained a sleeping partner with the bank, and probably an increasingly unhappy one as the bank failed.
The Thomas Russell concerned was of Boston, the noted lawyer Thomas Russell (1740 -1796 of Charlestown Massachusetts) - who had three wives, Elizabeth Watson (died 1809), arah Sever and Elizabeth Henley; he was son of Hon. James Russell (1715-1798) and Katherine Graves (1717-1778). Citations do make it look as though there was a Thomas Russell (possibly the same man involved in the same sorts of land dealings re Lane Son and Fraser?) of Charlestown South Carolina, but it seems to Byrnes that he was the same man as Thomas Russell of Boston. The George William Irving is often misgiven by this name-spelling, but he was actually George William Erving (1769-1850) sometime US diplomat to Madrid, Spain, son of Loyalist Boston Merchant George Erving (1738-1806 died in London) and his first wife, Lucy Winslow.
It seems to have been the case that for the purposes of handling legal cases, even perhaps as late as 1838, LSF survived at least as legal remnants able to be active in British if not US courtrooms, it is all very unclear.
More on the genealogy of Thomas Russell (17401-1796): This Thomas Russell once owned Longfellow House which had earlier (1781-1786) been owned by the Patriot merchant Nathaniel Tracy, who made and lost a fortune by pro-American privateering in the earlier phases of the American Revolution. Tracy, a client of LSF, found that his fortune declined disastrously, and bankrupted in 1786. After 1786, Thomas Russell became an agent for LSF to try to retrieve monies which Tracy owed to LSF. By 1792 Russell was involved in the American-Russia trade, dealing in iron, hemp and sail cloth. He also dealt in sugar and coffee from Mauritius and dealt in in fish, fruit and wine to Lisbon, Portugal. In Boston he once bought Gray's Wharf for his operations. Russell was once president of a Society for Propagating the Gospel Amongst the Indians and Others in North America. Russell had Longfellow House till 1791 when he sold it on to Andrew Craigie, Apothecary to the Continental Army during the Revolution.
On Nathaniel Tracy (1751-1796): Tracy, a Freemason, has been regarded as second only to Robert Morris as a "financier of the American Revolution". By 1780 Tracy was worth about $6.5 million and was business partner with his brother John and brother-in-law Jonathan Jackson. Tracy is deemed to have been associated with one if not twof the first American privateers used in the Revolution, Hero Captain James Tracy; or Game Cock, owned by Nathaniel Tracy snd ordered up by 22 September 1775 by the Continental Congress. Privateers run by Tracy eventually took about 120 vessels worth almost four million dollars, although he had a disastrous year in 1777 when he lost many of his ships. Thomas Lane of Lane, Son and Fraser unwisely it seems in 1783 had loaned money to Tracy to help him to rise again, and it appears that efforts to retrieve LSF monies from Tract led to the associations between LSF and Hon. John Lowell, then Thomas Russell, of Boston, since his son John Lane in 1784 had gone to the USA to retrieve debt monies and stayed there five years, dealing with Lowell and Russell, which meant John would have returned to London in 1789-1790. Tracy ended ruined by the American Revolution and lived the rest of his life in "genteel poverty" in Newburyport. It also seems as if Tracy's rise and fall did something to destabilise his London bankers, Lane, Son and Fraser. In 1784, Tracy was owner of the ships Ceres, Capt. St Barbe, the ship which carried Thomas Jefferson to Britain and France to be Plenipotentiary Minister of the USA, and Tracy sailed with Jefferson, implying Tracy made new financial arrangements with Lane Son and Fraser in 1784 (?).
By 1785, Tracy had become involved in a failed ventures to supply mast timber to France, arrangements for which ran on until 1788. By 1785-1786 in association with Tracy and John lane of Lane, Son and Fraser, the merchants based in Charleston South Carolina (?)), Winthrop, Todd and Winthrop had involvements with shipping and business deals which surfaced in 1811 in Chancery courts in London; one George Dickinson had been an agent for Lane, Son and Fraser with such business. The main Winthrop name here was Thomas L. Winthrop. And so it seems that Tracy had tried to resurface with the aid of Lane, Son and Fraser, and failed by 1786, and that years later in 1793, LSF failed as well, seldom to be heard of again.
Tracy was married to Mary Lee (died 1819) a daughter of Jeremiah Lee (died 1775) a Patriot colonel of Marblehead and Martha Swett. (See also, Thomas Amory Lee, The Tracy Family of Newburyport. Essex Institute Historical Collections, 1921.
On Thomas Lindall Winthrop (1760-1841), sometime Lt-Gov. of Massachusetts: He was son of John Still Winthrop (d.1776) and Jane Borland and was married to Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (d.1825) daughter of a British Consul to the USA, John Temple. Thomas L. Winthrop had a daughter Sarah Bowdoin Winthrop died 1861 in France who married George Sullivan (died 1866 in France), a brother of the LSF connection, John L. Sullivan named above, indicating the closeness of family connections. Thomas L. Winthrop also had a son, US Congressman Robert Charles Winthrop (d.1894) who had three wives, one of whom was Elizabeth Laura Derby (d1861), a grand-daughter of the important and wealthy US-India merchant, Elias Haskett Derby (d.1799). By 1796 or so Winthrop was a director the New England Mississippi Land Company (NEMLC), a consortium of Massachusetts' speculators who had bought into what became known as the Georgia-based Yazoo land scandals. By 1796, the NEMLC names to notice were: Henry Gardner, Ebenezer Oliver, George Wilson, Thomas L. Winthrop.
And so in November 2015 we decided to add more chronology to this file on Lane, Son and Fraser ...
In the later 1780s the wife of Thomas Fraser was apparently Susannah, who had a daughter Susannah who married London merchant John Anderson (born 1747 at Wick, Scotland). This John Anderson was son of Wick merchant William Anderson and Elizabeth Oswald, who was daughter of Rev George Oswald (c.1664-1725) of Dunnet and Margaret Murray (d.1747) of Pennyland, and a sister of the noted merchant and slaver, Richard Oswald (1705-1784). Richard Oswald (d.1784) had married Mary Ramsay (1719-1788) but had no children, so he left his fortune to his Anderson nephews, John (who married Susannah Fraser) and Alexander (b.1756 at Wick) who married Christian Oswald, daughter of Glasgow merchant George Oswald (1735-1819) and Margaret Smith/Smythe. The Anderson nephews from their uncle inherited Bunce (Bance) Island on the West African coast, which produced cotton, coffee and sugar cane. They had an address in Philpot Lane London and lasted in business till 1837, much engaged in importing cotton from West Africa, managing a cotton plantation on the River Sierra Leone. They had much dealing with Sammo, King of the Bulloms of West Africa. Bunce Island was taken over in 1817 by Henry Williams who went into timber. (For some of the background on Bunce Island as a depot for slavers see Emma Christopher, A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain's Convict Disaster in Africa and How it Led to the Settlement of Australia. Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 2010. Richard Oswald was the king-pin of an amazingly successful merchant network well-outlined in David Hancock, Citizens of the World: London Merchants and the British Atlantic Community, 1735-1785. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1995. Oswald, who was amazingly well-connected, assisted the British diplomatically, probably with advice on trade, in the earlier rounds of negotiations with the new American government at the end of the American War of Independence. However, none of this information on Thomas Fraser's affairs are the least help with sorting out data on the Lanes of Lane, Son and Fraser.
1710: On Lane, Son and Fraser. Two of the principals were Thomas Lane and his son John Lane, and Thomas (possibly) Fraser. Benjamin Booth (1732-1807) had also been part of the firm. A possible founder or co-founder of the firm had been John Lloyd (1656-1730) and before 1730, the family of Micajah Perry apparently had connections to the firm.
1710: In 1710 died a tobacco merchant named Thomas Lane (born Northamptonshire 1639-1710), married to Mary Puckle (c.1659 St Dunstans Stepney-1727). Mary probably had no children. This Thomas Lane (of S Butt Bishopsgate or of Bethnall Green, Stepney, Midx) was part of the firm Perry and Lane, and his Will was dated 17 July 1710 and proved 10 November 1710. The Perrys of the firm were Michajah Perry and Richard Perry. Apparently in 1697, this Thomas Lane took some capital from the firm and bought an estate in the parish Charwelton in his native Northamptonshire for 6500 pounds. He had a brother Valentine who had a son Valentine to whom Thomas left this estate, which later passed from the junior Valentine to a cousin named Knightly (who remains rather untraceable).
1710: The Perrys: One of the partners of Thomas Lane (died 1710) was Michajah Perry (1641-1721), son of a Richard (1615-1666) and Mary Malbon. (His birth year is taken from a website on a lineage, Heysham.) Micajah (died 1721) married Anne Owen/Owens (1639-1689), who had two sons, tobacco merchant Richard (1664/1668-1720) who married Sarah Richards (c.1673-1756) and London Lord Mayor in 1728, Micajah II (1694-1753) who married Elizabeth Cocke. Is it possible that Sarah Richards had descendants who lived in Charles City, Virginia? But on the Internet even this Perry genealogy is not entirely reliable.
1710++: What happened with the initial Perry-Lane firm after 1710 is not clear. Presumably Perrys continued with tobacco trading after Thomas Lane died. Genealogically the name Lloyd intervenes, greatly convoluted. What follows is merely an approximation.
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The 1730s: It seems that probably in the 1730s, the old Perry-Lane firm was refounded (?) by John Lloyd (c.1656-1730 died at St Nicholas Acton London, probably in Fulham, London). This is according to Kellock´s article.) This John Lloyd was friends with one Peter Godfrey. A different Thomas Lane (?) came into the firm in 1735. (See Davis, Rise of the English Shipping Industry, p. 259. K. G. Davies, Royal Africa Co., p. 32. See Kellock, article, pp. 131-132) John Lloyd was a Portugal merchant, then became part of the New East India Company, then began trading with New England. His firm became Lane, Son and Fraser. The Thomas Lane involved later had partners Joseph Smethurst (a cousin of Lloyd), then Bostonian John Caswall II. Both these men died in accidents. From 1750 the firm then became Thomas Lane and Co, then later, another Lloyd cousin, Benjamin Booth came in. Later Booth left and became a director of the EICo. In 1766 the firm became Lane, Son and Fraser, so presumably was then joined by Thomas Fraser (or the father of Thomas?). These Lanes are said to have had some connection with the ship Eleanor of the Boston Tea Party. There were Lloyds married to Bennets in early Virginia, but it is not yet known if they were connected. (Update per Prof. Harry Duckworth on 12-8-2010.) John Lloyd´s Will is about 17 pages, and has little on business but much on family. He had a cousin Gamaliel Lloyd of Manchester, who was one of his executors. This John Lloyd had lands in North Collingham, Nottinghamshire. Captain Joseph Smethurst (who became resident in America?) was a Lloyd cousin on the female side. See Kellock's article, p. 114. Kellock says, from about the 1750s, this firm dealt with the Belchers and Faneuils of Boston, and a John Lloyd of London was linked. The Lloyd genealogy here can be seen as extensive, is based around Leeds/Manchester, and includes some baronets and lesser British aristocracy, and even perhaps one or two descendants in NSW Australia, but is so confusing, and distant from LSF and their commercial operations, that no attempt is made here to indicate it.
c1758: Benjamin Booth (1732-1807). He is sometimes given with an address at the Adelphi, London, which is near The Strand, and is noted in the local history of Gilderstone/Gildersome, England (spellings differ). Re his wife Jane Salwey, he is once given as being at Nicholas Lane St Nicholas Acorns. (There was a Benjamin Booth at Lincolns Inn Fields Midx.) Booth was noted as an art collector and had 67 paintings by Richard Wilson (1714-1782). Once a partner of Lane Son Fraser. (Booth is noted in Namier.Brooke, Vol. 2, p. 449.) Booth was a Director of East India Co. in 1782. (On which, see Royal Calendar. See Kellock's article, p. 132.) Below is e-mail from one Pauline Currien. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Pauline McGregor Currien"
1759-1760: Governor Francis Bernard of Massachusetts obtains a royal land grant on Mount Desert Island (later in Maine), and later offered settlers free land. (Probably as a way to get the area populated/settled?) Abraham Somes and James Richardson were two who took up Bernard's offers. The American revolution spoiled Bernard's plans (he was a Loyalist), and some control of the Mount Desert island went to his son, John Bernard (a Patriot). (Control of the second half of the island remained with a grand-daughter of the Indian, Cadillac, Marie Therese de Gregoire.) John Bernard went to England where he became a Baronet, and arranged that a moeity on at least some of the Mount Desert island land went to Lane, Son and Fraser (LSF). LSF soon put the land in the hands of Boston lawyer/merchant, Thomas Russell, who put in his son-in-law, John L. Sullivan, as administrator. Hon. John Lowell also helped administer the MDI land. Also involved was George W. Erving of Boston, but resident in London (and Massachusetts and Maine were separated in 1820). Erving in 1822 sold MDI land to Ward Nicholas Boylston, resident in England and nephew-heir of Thomas Boylston, who though he had died in 1798, was a remnant-survivor of Lane, Son and Fraser because by when LSF had failed in 1793, Thomas Boylston had still been a sleeping partner of Lane, Son and Fraser. For more on Mount Desert island, see below, chronologically.
Circa 1765: An update per Prof. Harry Duckworth of 8-8-2010 says LSF were large in trade to Boston and Massachusetts in the 1760s and early 1770s. LSF had interests in Virginia, North Carolina, New York and West Indies. Thomas Lane possibly had a partner Benjamin Booth from about 1758, and they were dealing with Timothy Orne a merchant of Salem Massachusetts. The LSF firm of this vintage was formed by Thomas Lane by 1765-1766, who later had a little-known partner Thomas Fraser, and lasted to 1793. LSF traded to the American colonies, and after 1783 underwrote ship insurance.
1769: An earlier American client of LSF was William Blair Townsend (1732-1778), a little-known merchant of Boston, who started as a merchant there in 1743. He was a client of LSF by 1769 at the time of the Townshend Act problems, and had a son, Thomas Hubbard Townsend, a Boston merchant from 1743. (See http://historical.ha.com/) He had a cousin William Blair son of John Blair of Londonderry New England, son of David Blair in Ireland. Townsend married Hubbard, daughter of a treasurer of Harvard College, Honble Thomas Hubbard.
1771: In Briggs' Cabot Genealogy, p. 141, Joseph Cabot had an account with Lane, Son and Fraser in 1771, eg re lines of tracde in tea or cod. In 1766 the firm became Lane, Son and Fraser. These Lanes are said to have had (owned? or had chartered space in?) the ship Eleanor Capt James Bruce involved in the Boston Tea Party. But it is not clear if Lanes had entire or part ship ownership, had chartered cargo space, or merely had some part of the tea cargo handling? But such alleged Boston Tea Party connections remain problematical in their own right and the research problems are so complicated the matters are a question separate to issues arranged around LSF as bankers-traders in the Anglo-American orbit. A different view is that Eleanor was owned by ??.
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.
Re the 1773 Boston Tea Party: Also to be noted here is a client of LSF, John Rowe of Boston. Boston merchant John Rowe (1715-1787) married Hannah Speakman of Boston, no children. Rowe was a migrant from England and became a a lukewarm whig or Patriot. He had been a purveyor for the British fleet till the outbreak of war, and then dealt with Robert Morris re the privateer Phoenix. His actions as an American patriot were economic, not ideological, and he merely desired a freed-up flow of goods; he kept apart from actual Revolutionary activity to pursue business, was an active smuggler and mostly imported goods various. (See his own wikipedia page.) His diary 1764-1779, is on the net at www.archive.org/stream/. Rowe had arrived in Boston by 1736 when aged about 21. (See items on his letters and diary (1764-1779) at www.archive.org/stream/. Rowe was a Boston Provincial Grand Master of Freemasons for many years and there was a Rowe Wharf in Boston. Rowe owned part of Point Shirley. (See a note in p. 620 for the bibliography of A. M. Schlesinger on Colonial Merchants, Letters and Diary of John Rowe, Boston Merchant, 1759-1762, 1764-1779. Edited by A. E. Cunningham. Boston. 1903. Rowe dealt with Lane, Son and Fraser. Rowe according to some was owner of the ship Eleanor Capt Bruce of the Boston Tea Party, according to H. Allan on John Hancock, and unknowingly according to Rowe's own diary. But another view - Kellock? - is that this ship was owned by John Lane and Lane, Son and Fraser in London. Rowe´s diary notes that the Boston Tea Party was "a disastrous affair" according to a website on Freemasonry, Rowe having been being a Grand Master. Rowe was friends with Rev. Samuel Parker and his son John Rowe Parker. Rowe´s Will indicates that his estate details were with Lane Son and Fraser. See especially on the Linzee family, http://www.archive.org/stream/linzeefamilyofgr02linz/linzlinzeefamilyofgr02linz_djvu.txt - Also, www.archive-org/stream/ Letters and diary of John Rowe Boston merchant, 1759-1762 and 1764-1770, as edited by Edward Lillie Pierce, Boston, W. B. Clark and Co., 1903, which mentions his account with Lane, Son and Fraser, on which one Captain Linzee could draw for 20 pounds sterling each New Year's Day on an account maintained by Rowe.
nd: Merchant John Caswall/Caswell II, hard to trace, died by accident, nd. He may have been related to Nathaniel Brassey. See Namier, England in the Age of the American Revolution, p. 12. He dealt with Lane Son and Fraser. (See Kellock article, p. 132.)
1774 - Re premables to the Boston Tea Party, among the London tea dealers were Walter Mansell and Co, Arthur Lee, Thomas Walpole, the later alderman Brook Watson and his partner Rashleigh; Champion and Dickinson, Hayley and Hopkins, Lane Son and Fraser, Davidson and Newman, Abraham Dupois, Pigou and Booth; and John Fothergill. Merchants who may have been Londoners, or Americans, it is difficult to say, included James Hall, Hugh Williamson and John D. Whitworth, who with William Rotch later contacted the Privy Council on 19 February, 1774. (Labaree, p. 295, Note 36; pp. 89-95.)
Richard Lechmere of Boston writes to Lane, Son and Fraser (LSF), London on 30 May 1774.
1775++: Loyalist merchant of Boston David Greene (1745-1812) He inherited Greene's Wharf, Boston. He married Rebecca Rose a daughter of his later London partner John Rose and they had numerous children. Greene was proscribed and banished from America in 1778. He had a friend Thomas Fraser (perhaps Thomas of LSF) and was partner with American Loyalist, William Hubbard. When Greene and Rose became partners, they had a credit line from Lane, Son and Fraser and as a Loyalist worked for them from 1775 as he suffered exile. David Greene had half-brothers Daniel and William Hubbard as partners in his merchant business. (See US website on the Nevins family of Kingston Massachusetts and Canterbury Connecticut. Forced out of business, Greene went to London and apparently lived at the home of Thomas Lane, partner in Lane, Son and Fraser, who were known as friends of Loyalists. David Green then had a partnership with John Rose of London, then went to the West Indies to work the Antigua market. Green returned to Boston in 1784. He once had a store at New London with half-brother William Hubbard. David Greene and John Rose dealt to America and the West Indies in rum, sugar, tobacco, rice, molasses, oak staves and lumber from East Florida, including marketing to England. In his second period he was a director of Union Bank and president of Union Insurance Co. He had much correspondence with Lane, Son and Fraser - especially Thomas Fraser, although we still need to establish when this correspondence ended. David Greene´s Letterbook is online at: www.clements.umich.edu/Webguides/G. Greene_d.html See George Atkinson Ward, The Journal and Letters of Samuel Curwen an American in England, from 1775, as a Google Books Result. In general, the genealogical surround of David Greene´s situation in Boston is littered with the names of Loyalists or semi-Loyalists.
1776: See James Bowdoin and the Patriot Philosophers by Frank Edward Manuel. James Bowdoin of America wrote to his London agents Lane Son and Fraser re tobacco eg, in 1776 and 1781.
1775 - LSF and the outbreak of the American War of Independence
1775-1776: Per online material from http://www.masshist.org/ The Massachusetts Historical Society, article headed merely, Editorial Note. Matter of a wealthy New England man, Colonel Elisha Doane (1725-1783) (who had a son, Isaiah (-)), per Continental Congress' Court of Appeals. In the summer of 1775, as the Cape Cod whaling fleet returned home, Doane, of Chatham, found he had much whale oil on hand. He had a good balance with Lane Son and Fraser, and had whalebone still in their (London) warehouse and wanted to circumvent a coming ban on exports to Britain. He loaded his brigantine Lusanna Captain Joseph Doane with oil, and would send his son-in-law to London, Shearjashub Bourne (1744-1806), a lawyer, with the cargo. The ship sailed by 4 September 1775, with 101 casks of whale oil, 82 casks of head matterm, to Lane, Son and Fraser. Bourne was to bring sale proceeds back to Massachuetts, plus a shipload of goods from England - unless he went to the West Indies to get goods which would not be banned by Americans from being imported. But she met a storm, was damaged, had to put into an American port, finally got to London by March 1776. There was a claim that British interests had wanted to charter the Lusanna for anti-American activity (military transport), Bourne evaded this and Lane Son and Fraser found him a cargo at Gibraltar. Meantime, Doane had had another ship, Industry, bound for London to deal with Lane Son and Fraser. Industry had sailed 12 September 1775, but was seized off Plymouth (America) by a British naval vessel. Doane now appeared to be a Loyalist, and had asked Thomas Hutchinson in London to help his cause. On her return via the West Indies, Lusanna had aboard about 2000 pounds worth of goods owned by Lane Son and Fraser. But Lusanna, having been parted from her convoy, was caught by an American privateer, McLary, which was owned by a consortium of 15 American merchants at Portsmouth (America). Legal action ensued. Bourne and Deane employed the services of lawyer John Lowell (), who was a legal assistant to John Adams (1735-1826) later second US President. Legal proceedings were complicated and dragged on for 18 years. John Lane ex-Lane Son and Fraser in 1804 reported on the views of insurance underwriters who had remained involved but further information is not forthcoming and the final legal resolution of the case is unknown. (Elisha Doane died 1783, his widow remarried David S. Greenough.) A footnote to this article indicates that by April 1779, Lane Son and Fraser found they had almost 3691 pounds in Doane´s account, as found by Katherine A. Kellock of Washington DC. In all these proceedings, the ¨Son¨ of Lane Son and Fraser was John.
1778: Query per Ken Cozens of 21-7-2009 from Miriam McDonald at: firstname.lastname@example.org - LSF firm is mentioned, letters, 1778-1789/1778-1785 in Harvard University Library, re Wendell Family Papers.
1783: The still rather mysterious Maine land deal (re Mount Desert Island) that Lane, Son and Fraser handled after the American Revolution helps us point to the situations of other Britishers involved in land deals in America (not in what became Canada) after the American Revolution – before we consider land deals before the Revolution. (On Maine, per e-mail in 2011 from David Spille, of Maine.) (1)
1784: Lane and Fraser (LSF) on 18 February, 1784 wrote to Elias Hasket Derby, maybe about shipbuilding at Boston? By the later 1780s it appeared Lane and Fraser were trying to creep back into trade to the US. Lane, Son and Fraser had earlier sent tea into the Boston Tea Party situation. (Lost citation but probably from work by Holden Furber.)
Kellock informs that one Nathaniel Tracy by 1783 had become linked to Lane, Son and Fraser of London. John Lane (whose father John had recently died) in 1784 went to Boston from London, as in 1783 his father has unwisely loaned money to Tracy, who was verging on bankruptcy. Lane stayed five years in US, using the assistance of lawyer John Lowell and of Boston's leading banker, Thomas Russell. Lane's presence in Boston is consistent with information presented by Bhagat about Lane and Fraser's activities. (G. Bhagat, American Trade in India, p. 9, Note 40.)
G. Bhagat, ´Americans and American Trade in India, 1784-1814´, American
1986, 46, 1, pp. 6-15. mentions Lane and Fraser dealing with Elias Hasket
Derby of Salem in February 1784.
Circa 1785: Re the difficult matter of the relationship between LSF and the noted American merchant, Honble. Nathaniel Tracy (1751-1796). Nathaniel was son of merchant ships captain Patrick Tracy (born Ireland 1711-1789) and his second wife Hannah Gookin (died 1756) - and Nathaniel married Nary Lee (d.1819), daughter of Patriot Colonel of Marblehead, Jeremiah Lee (1721-1775) and Martha Swett (b.1726). Tracy can also with Robert Morris be seen as a "financier of the American Revolution". He is viewed by some as one of the the greatest merchants of the Revolutionary period, second only to Robert Morris. (Website on Sewell/Sewall genealogy.) Tracy was firstly a graduate of Harvard. By 1780 he was said to be worth about 6,500,000 dollars (which doubtless needs modern re-verification). Tracy had one partnership with Jonathan Jackson (1743-1810), his brother-in-law (his sister Hannah Tracy married Jackson). Nathaniel owned and outfitted the first-ever operating American privateer (Hero Captain James Tracy, owned by James Tracy, Nathaniel Tracy, Jono Jackson, John Tracy and Joseph Lee son of patriot Jeremiah), with a Letter of Marque from the Continental Congress. Washington wrote to Tracy re use of ships on 2 Sept 1775 re a secret expedition. Tracy later sent out 24 cruisers and captured 120 vessels (worth 3,950,000 dollars when sold), and at one time ran 110 merchant ships worth 2,733,300 dollars. Two of his privateers had been Game Cock, another was Success. He made good money till 1777 when he lost all but one privateer and 97 merchant ships. He had once loaned the American government 167,000 dollars which was never repaid. He ended ruined by the war and lived in genteel poverty for his past ten years in Newburyport. Re Lane, Son and Fraser, there is a case re matters of ships cargoes 1785-1786 (rice?) between Winthrop Todd and Winthrop merchants of Charleston South Carolina, and John Lane a survivor of Lane Son and Fraser, with Nathaniel Tracy in the middle, in [British] Court of Chancery, 1811. Nathaniel is probably the Mr Tracy owning the ship Ceres Captain Wyatt St Barbe taking Thomas Jefferson (as Plenipotentiary Minister for the US) from Boston to Portsmouth on his way to Europe! Tracy once spent time in Portugal seeing to some affairs but ended disappointed. (See Kellock's article, p. 114, where it is indicated, Note 13, that Nathaniel Tracy had been linked to Lane, Son and Fraser of London. John Lane had gone to Boston from London in 1784 as in 1783 his father of LSF, London, has unwisely loaned money to Tracy, who was verging on bankruptcy. Lane stayed five years in US with the assistance of lawyer John Lowell and help from Boston's leading banker, Thomas Russell. There is a net article available re one Nathaniel Tracy of Newburyport, privateer owner and merchant who bought a mansion in Cambridge, confiscated from Loyalist John Vassall, today known as Longfellow House. Nathaniel and brother John in 1774 became partners with Jonathan Jackson as Jackson, Tracy and Tracy, and were successful till hostilities broke out. Newburyport and Salem were the most active privateering ports, and they had initial success as privateers. (See http://www.tracydann.com/files) Nathaniel Tracy by 1783 was linked to Lane, Son and Fraser - and as other reports have it, in 1784 Tracy went to Europe on Ceres Capt St Barbe with Jefferson, but in 1786, Tracy was in financial trouble, despite a 1788 contract with France for masts, he died aged only 45. He dealt in land with Tristram Dalton. Nathaniel had one daughter Hannah and two sons, Jeremiah Lee and a Boston broker, Nathaniel Jnr. He is noted online as of "Traceys of Enniscorthy and Newburyport", and noted as a "chief financier of the American Revolution", and a son of Captain Patrick Tracey born 1711 in Enniscorthy Ireland, died 1789 in Newburyport. Captain Patrick had a nephew Captain Patrick Tracy who followed him to America. See Thomas Amory Lee, The Tracy Family of Newburyport. Essex Institute Historical Collections, 1921. (One does wonder how much Thomas Jefferson ever found out about Tracy´s career and any of his early or later links with the likes of LSF in London, and possibly felt given to distrust? - Ed.)
1785: Re Lane Son and Fraser, there is a case re matters of ships cargoes 1785-1786 (rice?) between Winthrop Todd and Winthrop merchants of Charleston South Carolina, and John Lane survivor of Lane Son and Fraser, with Nathaniel Tracy in the middle, in Court of Chancery, 1811.
It is not clear that John Lane died 1784 or his father Thomas died 1784 were any relations of Thomas Lane died 1710 the partner of Micajah and Richard Perry and who had a brother Jonathan who had a son Thomas, says Duckworth. (5) But either man dying in 1784 may have had a grandmother Susanna who apprenticed him to John Caswall a London merchant? Thomas Lane died 1784 is possibly the founder of the later and final form of LSF. We find that LSF wrote 18 February 1784 to American merchant Elias Haskett Derby, maybe about shipbuilding at Boston? This seems consistent with a note from Holden Furber on US trade to India, to effect that LSF by the later 1780s were trying to creep back into trade to the US. According to Labaree, LSF had sent tea into the Boston Tea Party. Hints move in the direction of LSF after the Revolution being resisted due to American fears of a resurrection of the power of British capital in American states.
On Eleanor Everitt - Seemingly married at Fareham Hants on 30 June 1767 says Prof. Duckworth. Named Eleanor in an update of 8-8-2010 from Prof Harry Duckworth,See Scorgie/Hudgson on Miller. See Kellock, article, p. 132, Kellock says ship Eleanor of Boston Tea Party named for this woman. But is it her? Unsure after a merge. ()Scorgie/Hudgson, pp. 30ff.)
1786: On Lane, Son and Fraser, new information has been presented in Michael Scorgie and Peter Hudgson, 'Arthur Phillip's Familial and Political Networks', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 82, Part 1, June, 1996., pp. 23-39. As referred to in Michael Flynn, ´Appointed on Merit, Inside History, May-June 2011, pp. 48ff, an update article on Gov. Arthur Phillip. See http://www.insidehistory.com.au
By 4 April, 1786, the American Commissioners [Jefferson and John Adams] had written to Carmarthen, having spoken to a Mr Fraser, regarding an enclosed project of “A Treaty of Commerce... for the consideration of HM Ministers, regarding matters commercial and otherwise”. Boyd, Jefferson papers, Vol. 9, p. 375. It is not clear if this Fraser was Thomas Fraser the senior partner of Lane, Son and Fraser.
On Michael Everitt - RN Everitt Michael-1642 was born on 6 Oct 1717 in London. He died in 1789 in Circa. He married Gayton Elizabeth-47739 on 30 Oct 1744 in London. [Parents] Does Gov Phillip serve under him in Antigua in 1760? Seemingly married on 30 Oct 1744 at Portsmouth in update of 8-8-2010 from Prof Harry Duckworth,. Loose http indicates an Everitt family of West Ham, Essex. (See Frost on Phillip, p. 5. Scorgie/Hudgson, pp. 32ff.) Item on www.archive.org/stream, as Hampshire Parish Registers for Marriages. Also, a genforum item posted by Janice Bell in 2008.
Post-1783: The first church appeared on Mount Desert Island (MDI), Maine, by 1792. Maine and the MDI area had become popular with veterans of the American Revolutiion, towns were proposed on six-square mile allotments, lands were sold (unsuccessfully) by lottery. Some big names became involved, such as General Henry Jackson of Boston, Royal Flint of New York, William Duer of New York, William Bingham of Philadelphia, plus US Secretary of War, Henry Knox. MDI settlers worked with farming (wheat rye, corn, potatoes), lumber, shipbuilding, finished wood products, granite quarrying. By the 1850s the MDI area had become popular with city people, especially city-based journalists, painters, in search of the restful joys of "rustic simplicity".
In recent years, this Merchant Networks Project website has received a variety of inquiries from netsurfers in the USA about not so much Lane, Son and Fraser (LSF), as their former clients in America and whatever happened to various parcels of land. It does appear that between 1783-1793 particularly, LSF sought to shore up their failing business ventures with selected land deals which represented their deeper faith in the American future. But if so, their investments tended to fail them badly. All round, it can be said that LSF had land-speculation involvements in Maine (Mount Desert Island), New York
Such an e-mail arrived on 5 January 2012 as follows:
Re 1777: Follows email of 5-1-2012 from Thomas Kehr (USA) ...
I am a New Hampshire (USA) attorney/researcher focusing (deeply) on this colony during the early Revolutionary period, particularly in regard to the activities of John Langdon, a signer of the US Constitution, merchant from Portsmouth NH, Continental Congressman, Governor and Senator. I was interested to come across the following page on your website:
The firm of Lane, Son and Fraser served as London agents for John Langdon (1741-1819 of Portsmouth New Hampshire) and his more (but not entirely) loyalist brother, Woodbury Langdon (1738-1804), prior to the Revolution [Woodbury removed to England in 1775 and returned to America in the midst of the war, in 1777; John was consistently and deeply involved in the Revolutionary movement in New Hampshire]. Both John and Woodbury were men of wealth (by little NH standards). I have come across materials in the Langdon papers indicating that the firm of LSF held certain of John's property during and through the Revolution and that after the war LSF became embroiled in a significant financial dispute with Woodbury.
I am currently involved in an intriguing assessment of these materials for a project on which I am working. I find various Lane, Son and Fraser letters in the woefully scattered (unpublished) Langdon papers, including a reference to the son of one of the principals visiting New England after the war.
The Langdon connection dies at about the time you note the firm fails , and was interrupted by the war, but was quite close prior to the war. I have also found a reference in the papers of Royal Governor John Wentworth (who left NH in 1775) indicating that in 1774 "Mr. Lane" (who was evidently a cohort of Peter Livius, a future Chief Justice of Quebec and one of the Governor's detractors) had recommended Woodbury Langdon to serve on the NH Governor's Council (a royal appointment). I am assuming that this would be John Lane of Lane, Son and Fraser but have very little information about him.
Might you at this point be able to confirm that I am correct in the "Mr. Lane" being "John" and might you shed any light on Mr. Lane's background and potential political connections in London, such as to whom he might have been recommending Woodbury? I would be most interested and thank you in advance for your time.
FYI, I noted that your page refers to the Sherburne name. Both Woodbury and John Langdon married Portsmouth (NH) Sherburne girls - hence, the Sherburnes and Langdons were closely connected. (John L. married Elizabeth Sherburne (1751-1813), Woodbury married her sister Sarah Warner Sherburne (1748-1837), daughters of Henry Sherburne and Dorothy Wentworths of the family of the governors Wentworth of New Hampshire. Woodbury Langdon´s sister Martha (1748-1812) married governor of Massachusetts, James Sullivan (1744-1808) ) You also mention a John Langdon Sullivan (1777-1865 who married (as first wife) Elizabeth Russell, daughter of Boston legislator Thomas Russell (1740-1796) and Elizabeth Henley). I assume that this is the individual of that name who was the son of James Sullivan, Governor of Massachusetts. I believe that both men were involved with the Middlesex Canal. James was the brother of Continental Congressman/Governor/Revolutionary War Major-General John Sullivan (1740-1795) of NH. James Sullivan at some point married the sister of Continental Congressman/Governor/Senator John Langdon, although I am not certain whether it was before or after the birth of John Langdon Sullivan (I believe after). George Erving (died 1806 in London) was, I believe, a Boston merchant and loyalist supporter of Gov. John Wentworth in early 1775. NH was a small colony with numerous closely-connected families. [George Erving married firstly to Lucy Winslow (died 1770) daughter of Isaac Winslow (1709-1777) and Lucy Waldo and secondly to Mary Macintosh Royall, daughter of Loyalist Brigadier-General Isaac Royall.]
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thomas Kehr, Northfield, New Hampshire, USA.
Mr Kehr´s second e-mail was: Dan -
Thanks so much for the very, very swift response. I will take some time to reread and digest as I am headed of to bed here ... As you surmised, my interest in LSF is entirely historical, not legal). Fascinating reply.
There is considerable (and from my more local research perspective, somewhat remarkable) material in the Langdon papers regarding the LSF connection, but it may take me some time to dig into the files and summarize for you what exists in those papers (they are divided between three or four . . . or more ... archives in various towns/states and are in part un-indexed) . The Langdon connection is quite strong and if I recall correctly was renewed within almost weeks after the war's end. I believe one letter from Fraser may actually talk about getting back into business just after the war. John Langdon (a sort of money-man for the revolution in the far northernmost colony) and the firm certainly returned to pick up where they left off in 1783 ... but did not get very far. By that time John had developed other connections and his brother was . . . how shall we summarize fairly? . . said to be pretty close to denying his virtually undeniable mid-war debts to LSF, much to LSF's chagrin ... something they said they would take up with him. Can't speak to their dealings with other merchants in New England. Over here, I find mostly LSF letters to John Langdon, not copies of Langdon's letters to them ... which letters would be quite telling, from my more limited perspective. Would be quite intrigued to know whether you have located any Langdon letters, particularly circa early 1775. Perhaps we can compare what we can each access? I know that at least one letter here shows Thomas Fraser in Boston, heading back to London, in September of 1795.
If I recall correctly, John Langdon was more closely connected with Fraser than Lane. My guess is that Woodbury (more of a loyalist) was more closely connected to Lane. I believe Fraser met John while he was a young sea captain sailing for his older, more conservative brother Woodbury. I am not sure the Langdons, who grew to be some of the wealthiest merchants by (limited) local standards, dealt with too many other European agents before the war.
I have the distinct impression from the considerably convoluted material that I am researching that LSF was quite discreet when dealing with its prewar/wartime American clients. LSF will definitely figure in some untapped material I will be delving into. Would be most interested in specific documentary materials you have found from/to/about the Langdons and will, if you wish, return what I have found over here.
With apologies in advance for a likely significant delay in follow-up response ... until I can put the day job aside and digest the fact that someone else in the world actually knows of the merchants about whom I am speaking ...
Many thanks and regards, Tom Kehr
Mr. Kehr´s e-mails were preceded by a similar inquiry in 2011 from a netsurfer near Maine USA. Curiosity about Lane, Son and Fraser seems to be growing. The emphasis here is on merely listing LSF´s clients in America for the benefit of any US researchers interested.
1787: Somewhat earlier, for say 1787, it seems from work by Australian historian Marjorie Tipping (died 2009), on the Will of the first governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip, died 1814, that Phillip was personally acquainted with some of the descendants/acquaintances of Thomas Lane or LSF. (1) Eleanor Everitt, (2) said to be a friend of Gov. Phillip, had married John Lane Jnr. of LSF (1743-1784). (3) This John Lane died 1784 was son of Thomas Lane who confusingly also died in 1784, of Clapham but Thomas' wife's name remains unknown. This Thomas was son of William Lane and an unnamed mother. Eleanor Everitt had children being Harriet (said to have been a friend of Gov. Phillip), (4) John a merchant of Nicholas Lane, London, and Thomas a Dept-Assistant Commissary-General (it is not said just where) who is so far still mysteriously untraceable as any kind of British official.
Note from an online history on English banking at www.archive.org/stream, A history of banks, bankers & banking in Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire, illustrating the commercial development of the north of England from 1755 to 1894, with numerous portraits, facsimiles of notes, signatures, documents, &c.¨ ... ¨In the early part of 1793 great uneasiness prevailed in London. On February 19th the Bank of England refused the paper of Lane, Son and Fraser, who the next day failed for a million. This event, with other causes, led to a panic in the City, which in time spread to the provinces,¨ They had been deep in corn speculations. Had failed by the 15th. Banks in Newcastle were affected. It was thought that LSF had not recovered from the shocks of the American War. The house of Burton Forbes and Gregory also stopt payments, and when they fell, their Liverpool correspondents Caldwell and Co. failed.
1793: Another report is ... London firm Lane, Son and Fraser (LSF): the firm's affairs seemed to be clearing up by 1793, when the Bank of England worried about rumours of war with France and so threw out Lane's paper, so LSF failed for up to one million pounds, which began a chain of bankruptcies, yet they were not overdrawn more than 50 pounds. LSF had dealt earlier with eg., John Rowe in Boston. (Kellock´s lists.) By 1793 or so there have been suggestions (from Australian historian Marjorie Tipping, now deceased) that some names in England, associated with the firm, or their associates, were personal friends of the first governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip, but it has proved impossible to re-verify any of this. Names in that context include Susannah Fletcher (no dates) married to EICo Captain George Richardson (nil parents). (Tipping wrote an article on Phillip´s Will, cited at the end of this set of notes.)
1794++: More on Thomas Boylston and his nephew-heir. One website details how on 21 May 1794, Thomas Boylston (1721-1798, a bachelor) of Boston gave a deed of trust of eleven townships (surveyed by Benjamin Wright) to George Lee, George Erving and Thomas Latham, assignees of Lane Son and Fraser of London, and conveyed them to John Johnson Phyn, (of London?), of the Canadian fur-trading firm, Phyn Ellice. The title was vested by 10 April 1795 and Phyn appointed William Constable his attorney (William died 1803 had a brother James) to sell parts of the Boylston tract, etc, as this parcel of land was known. Thomas Boylston's nephew Ward Nicholas Boylston, who was son of Thomas's sister Mary, wife of a one-time Boston Customs Commissioner and Loyalist, Benjamin Hallowell (1724 died 1799 in Upper Canada). Ward Nicholas Boylston (1747/1749-1828) started life as Ward Hallowell and he inherited his uncle's estate. Ward Hallowell traded (probably staying in England), though it is not known in what exactly he traded, and he may have merely spent a monied life tying up the loose ends of his uncle's business affairs. He married a first wife, Ann Molineaux, daughter of a Boston hardware merchant William Molineaux (died 1774), and his second wife was Alice Darrow of Yarmouth, England.
1795: As Thomas Kehr finds, Thomas Fraser of Lane, Son and Fraser was in Boston during 1795, probably debt collecting, due to return home to London by or from September 1795. Little news arises however on Fraser's success with his debt-collecting in the USA, but see re 1803 below. It is not known for example if Fraser's American trip was part-inspired by prospects for the upcoming Boylston Tract land deals. It might have been so inspired?
1798: In 1798, Thomas Boylston by now in Newgate Prison in London as a debtor was visited by American Loyalist Mr. Aspden, who as reported in a book on Loyalists felt quite sorry for Boylston. Thomas Boylston died in London in 1798.
1803: In America, John L. Sullivan is collecting some debts for Lane Son and Fraser by 1803. He was John L. Sullivan (1777-1865), a merchant and engineer, married to Elizabeth Russell (daughter of Thomas Russell died 1796 of Boston the lawyer agent of Lane, Son and Fraser) and then to Susan Macansh, son of Governor of Massachusetts James Sullivan (died 1808) and his first wife Mehitable Odiorne. And so, a son-in-law of an agent of Lane, Son and Fraser was following up on Thomas Fraser's earlier and presumably unsuccessful debt-collecting trip to the USA in 1795? This John L Sullivan by 1808 was interested in northern USA canals development, as with the Middlesex Canal, which serviced affairs on the Mystic River.
1811: John L. Sullivan had continued interested in canal developments, and developed 16 patents. He also helped form the Merrimack Boating Co, which long-hauled between Boston and Concord using steam-powered tows. (See Christopher Roberts, The Middlesex Canal. Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1938. Ronald E. Shaw, google books result, Canals for a Nation: The Canal Era in the United States 1790-1860.)
1828: Ward Nicholas Hallowell-Boylston died 1828 in England. He was from Roxbury and Princeton in America and had travelled when young to the Middle East (Syria), then settled for 25 years in trade in London. He changed his name to Ward Nicholas Boylston. Merchant, and philanthropist. He was born Ward Hallowell. He it seems was a beneficiary of the Will of Thomas Boylston from Boston, the 1793 American associate of Lane Son and Fraser in London.
John Lane died 1829 - He was of Peckham Surrey (is that Camberwell?). Does he or his father have a daughter Harriet Eleanor Lane had inherited 2000 pounds from the estate of NSW Governor Arthur Phillip? The banker firm was At 11 Nicholas Lane, parish St Nicholas Acorns, London. Update of 8-8-2010 from Prof Harry Duckworth: In 1794 was a John Everett (sic) a merchant at 11 Basinghall Street. (Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 24, item re 1754, marriage of John Lane Esq to Miss Jones daughter of the accountant-general of the Bank (bank not named but probably Bank of England). Or, perhaps, The Accountant-General in Chancery, who kept track of matters such as accounts with the Bank of England and the names of suitors at the Court of Chancery (?).
1834: In 1834 (Gentleman's Magazine item), died 9 February 1843 aged 54, Thomas Lane, Dep-Asst Commissary-General, son of the late John Lane of Nicholas Lane Lombard St who was maybe still active there 1808/1809, which had been Lane, Son and Fraser's old address of 1794 in Kent's Directory.
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From: "Andrew - Agile Minds"
Hi Dan, Re your remark, "The wife of Thomas Fraser was apparently Susannah, who had a daughter Susannah who married London merchant John Anderson (born 1747 at Wick, Scotland). This John Anderson was son of Wick merchant William Anderson and Elizabeth Oswald, who was daughter of Rev George Oswald (c.1664-1725) of Dunnet and Margaret Murray (d.1747) of Pennyland ..." I can now add that Thomas Fraser was most likely born 1736 baptized at St. Nicholas Acons, London and that he married Susannah Culpepper (born 1738) in May 6 1761 in Clapham, London. The Anderson brothers (John and Alexander) had at least 3 slave ships - Duke of Buccleuch, Alert, and Elizabeth Anderson each capable of carrying over 300 slaves. Hope things are well with you. Kind regards, Andrew. Online at www.archi.org/stream is text of The Register Book of the parish of St Nicholas Acons London 1539-1812 re Mary dr of Francis and Elizabeth Fraser, the only name Fraser that is listed. There is little on the Net for any family Culpepper of the Clapham area except for an 1840s Will of a Spinster named Culpepper which was not proved until 1760. Nicholas Lane is supposedly named circa 1571 for banker Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, who is said to have been poisoned by Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester in 1571. From about 1762, Nicholas Lane became the home of ¨scientific life assurance¨ in England and is still today a precinct for bankers/finance sector operators.
There are some Lane Papers held at Bedford Historical Society, County York, England.
G. Bhagat, ´Americans and American Trade in India, 1784-1814´, American
1986, 46, 1, pp. 6-15. mentions Lane and Fraser dealing with Elias Hasket
of Salem in February 1784.
Emma Christopher, A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain's Convict Disaster in Africa and How it Led to the Settlement of Australia. Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 2010.
See Tea Leaves, a book on the Boston Tea Party, edited by A. O. Crane.
Walter Scott Dunn, Opening New Markets: The British Army and the Old Northwest as a Google Books Result, and also Walter Scott Dunn, People of the American Frontier: the coming of the American Revolution.
David Hancock, Citizens of the World: London Merchants and the British Atlantic Community, 1735-1785. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
E-mail from researchers and netsurfers, various, including Andrew Montgomerie in New Zealand of October 2011. Remarks 2010 from Prof. Harry Duckworth (Canada). Remarks on Perrys in 2006 from e-mailer Tracy Hancock.
Email of 5-10-2012
Dear Merchant Networks Project, I'm cataloging a small group of petitions presented to Parliament in 1775 and signed in type at the end "Thomas Lane, chairman." This is a representative title (caption and first several lines of text):
To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britain, in Parliament assembled: the petition of the Merchants, Traders, and others, of the City of London, interested in the American commerce, sheweth, that your petitioners are deeply concerned to observe, by the votes of this Honourable House, that a bill is brought in, "To restrain the Trade and Commerce of the Province of Massachuset's [sic] Bay and New Hampshire, and colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and Providence Plantation in North America, to Great Britain, Ireland and the British Islands in the West Indies ...
Some 200 merchants signed the petitions so I would imagine that Lane would have to be of some considerable stature to have been the chairman, but I haven't found much information about him. I wonder if this Thomas Lane is the same as the one related to Lane, Son and Fraser? Thank you for your time,
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