First name

Text source

Robert Jaffray was a Scottish skipper in the employ of Patrick Thomson [SSNE 6475] and Andrew Russell [SSNE 143]. In 1691 Jaffray sailed to Stockholm from Rotterdam. While there, Thomson took care of personal business of one of the crew on board Jaffray's vessel. Kathrin Clerck, spouse of James Kippin (mariner on board Robert Jaffray) recieved a sum of money from Andrew Russell in Rotterdam. There is a blot where the signature should be and underneath Russell has writeen "This is all Kathrin Clerck could write for subscription". By 1 July that year Jaffray could write to Russell that he was loaded and bound for London. In an interesting aside he noted that, regarding James Liffiston, he had no occassion to complain of him since coming here and went on to talk well of the man. On 25 May 1692, Robert was made a burgess of Stockholm. The following year he became involved in a court case in Dunkirk in 1693 when his ship and cargo were impounded by the authorities there on arrival from Lisbon. After disputes with some merchants, Jaffray was imprisoned and a number of persons in Britain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden were involved in securing his release. From Dunkirk, William Bowen was one of many who passed Jaffray's letters on to Andrew Russell. Jaffray himself was also contacted by the Scottish skipper John Gib [SSNE 7071] who was also in Russell's employ. Another ally in Dunkirk was the Swedish resident factor, John Spalding [SSNE 4941]. From Stockholm, on 23 June 1693, Richard Thomlinson [SSNE 7162] and Philip Forster [SSNE 7163] wrote to Russell expressing that it was urgent that Jaffray's wife repair to Stockholm. He received numerous letters from his uncle while one George Breholt also took a strong interest. From the Breholt letters to Russell we know that Breholt called Jaffray "my sone". This means either he was his stepfather, or more likely, that Jaffray had married his Breholt's daughter. Breholt also informs us of Jaffray's origins as a Stirling man when he thanked Russell on 12 September "for the love and efforts to your cuntryman & townsman & my sone". By 3 October Jaffray wrote to Russell from Dunkirk to note the receipt of bills and for help. He intended to pursue his Swedish owners and take his charterparty with him to Stockholm "and make them ashamed". On his release, Jaffray travelled first to the Dutch Republic and arrived safely in London on 28 October 1693, from where he wrote and expressed his thanks to Russell again and also to Mr Hamilton and his lady who had looked after him there.

Stadsarkiv Stockholm: Handelskollegium Borgarbok, 1689-1750; National Archives of Scotland, Russell Papers, RH15/106/724/3. Receipt of Kathrin Clerck (1691). See also 724/4. Robert Jaffray to Andrew Russell, 1 July 1691; RH15/106/802 (1693). Passim; Steve Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.20, 145, 227.

Service record

Arrived 1689-12-01
Departed 1694-12-31