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Bottle seals
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Bottle Seals - Page 1
Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Bottle Seals Excavated at Ferryland, Newfoundland

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.

I R
Recovered from the 1673 storehouse destruction level (Area C). May have belonged to John Rayner, sea captain and agent in Newfoundland for Cecil Calvert (2nd Lord Baltimore) 1661-62.

PK
Three seals excavated at areas C, F and G. These seals likely belonged to Phillip Kirke I, third son of Sir David and Sara Kirke. Phillip was a planter, merchant, and boatkeeper at Ferryland. He operated five boats at Ferryland in 1675. He died as a prisoner of War at Placentia in 1696-97.

John Curtis 1695
Possibly the seal of John Curtis who was a planter operating out of Port Bonavista as early as 1675. Curtis owned one boat and employed two men.

Sloss 1699
The owner of this seal has not been identified.

Wm. Smith 172?
Recovered from Event 52, Area E. Pos sibly the seal William Smith who was a successful planter operating out of Trinity. Smith owned 3 boats and employed 27 servants. He died in 1754?

Tho Holdsw in Da?? 17??
Recovered from Event 52, Area E. This is the seal of Thomas Holdsworth of Dartmouth. The Holdsworths were adventurers in the Newfoundland fishery (Ruggles Brise 1949:20, 113).

John Strang
This seal was recovered form the destruction layer of a possible house at Area F. It is probably the seal of John Strang, merchant of Bideford and Barnstaple and commander of a number of ships resorting to Ferryland. He petitioned the Board of Trade in 1707 for protection of the fishery at Ferryland.

P Gely 1752
Excavated from Event 1, located north of the seawall (Area C). This Event consists of a layer of sand, gravel and rock that was dredged from the pool in 1961. The seal belongs to Philip Gely, a resident of Lympstone, Devon, England who was born in 1720-21. Philip conducted a survey of Bengers Plantation in Ferryland in 1754.

George Davis
This seal was also excavated from Event 1 (Area C). George Davis was a merchant of Topsham, Devon, Poole, Dorset, London and Carbonear, Newfoundland. He was baptized on March 11, 1724-25 and died in Newfoundland (possibly Carbonear) in 1789. He began his career as an agent for merchants Pike and Green in Carbonear in 1757, however, shortly after he became a merchant himself. By the late 1770s, Davis experienced financial difficulties and owed a large quantity of money to his creditors.

©1999, John Wicks
Archaeology Unit, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Photographs by Roy Ficken, Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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