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Samuel Sparrow, a Halifax merchant, was persuaded to place an agent at Sydney to whom DesBarres gave bills on the treasury worth more than three thousand pounds ... Geraint Nantglyn Davies Evans, Uncommon obdurate: the several public careers of J. F. W. DesBarres  (Peabody Museum of Salem, 1969), p. 50.



[p. 1189]

May 29, 1790

Parliament Street Coffee House - Lecock
Sr W Dolben        }
Sr H Mackworth  }   Mr Daysell
Mr Bainbridge    }

Qry to Mr Sparrow:
How far did Wilkinson act as your Agent?
Answ He acted for himself with the Lumber [Business] and in other Matters was my agent - to that he stood in his Situation, and Desbarres so understood it, by appointing him a Member of his Council
Qry Did you ever inform D - of this double Situation?
Answ: I can't Say I did
Desbarres - I understand Wilkinson asked for himself on his own Bottom in the Lumber Business and that Sparrow was not a Supplier of Goods to him in other Respects he may have been an Agent to Sparrow.
The Bills drawn in favour of Wilkinson came to Sparrow Hands - Desbarres [began] his accot with both Men
Sparrow said that 5 of the Bills [crossed out] that had been drawn by me on [Roberts] in 1785 were for Sundries Ship for Cumberland 861.4. - (Which is false) - That Bills were never above [parr?] at Halifax

[p. 1190]

That 5 prct is customary Charge in America for paying or receiving money.
Mr Bainbridge Stated it is to be the usual regular way of merchants: That if no order is given to insure the mercht [invoices] to guard against that would if it happened fall on the marchants that therefore it ought to be paid by the purchaser - Mr. Daysel says the purchaser is not obliged in law or Equity to pay such Insurance made without his consent.

Letter of 19 Nov 1785. That he had not insured after charged.

Qry - 13. - .8 due from Mrs Cannon.

Did you Mr. Sparrow Send her a Bond or a note to execute for that money, saying it was discharged from Mr. Des Barres acct

Answ I never sent any such thing as a note or Bond nor said it was discharged D'___: Acct. ___ I insinuated perhaps by Letter that he should pay the Bill meaning is as a Service to Mr D.

Mr Daywell reminded Sparrow that he was upon oath who persisted not to have demanded the [Echequer] of a bond or note from her __ Sparrow's letter to her of the 17 Decr 1787, was produced, evincing he had not [?] Truth.


Atlantic Neptune Bill of Sale, Bond or Sold to Sparrow for 5000,and one half the [?] &c. &c .  __ Advertised as Sparrow Property 24 June 1787.  Rect given by Sparrow as being part of Purchase made the year preceeding.


Sparrow portents to have acted only as an Agent,  instead of a proprietor, and brings in a Strong Bill of Charges, and lame Credits.

Insurance on 5000 __ which was not paid __ &ce. &


Qry __ Comn charged on the gross Sales, tho the money may never be received __ is that usual?

Answer by McBainbridge _ yes

Sparrow says he might have sold the whole for 100 or what he pleased, and recovered his comn No never D. __ had never obtained ashilling for the Atlantic Neptune.

Qry Whether Sparrow is principal or Agent?

How did you treat with Mr Nicol? as Proprietor or Agent? Not?

Anser - I wont answer:

Sparrow confesses he advertised himself as sole Proprietor

D __ said that Sparrow applied to him for the work as being a valuable Treasure hidden __ had no desire of parting with it __ wished the admiralty to take it; who should have it for 5000 __ Sparrow desired to have the same Chance in case of Admiralty refusing the offer __ Desbarres said, and afterwards agreed for 5000 and one sett half of the surplus it would fetch.

The work Sparrow took himself out of Desbarres Stores which He considered it as his Property and said he would answer any Bills on the Credit of the Same.  M Sparrow had refused the Possession of the work offered him, unless he was absolute Proprietor of it.


D ___ understood that he had parted with the property for 5000 [?], which he considered not one Mind of the Value or Cost.

Sparrow says the Plates, [?] are Govt's, property, and that Mr Stephens had told him to act cautiously.

4th acct

Qry Insurance (Schooner Swallow 692) whether it ought to be allowed never having been made?

Qry Whether a Charge made of an Insurance in an Invoice may intitle the Person to the Amounts of its charge, Tho' no actual Insurance was made __

Answer Mr Bainbridge thinks it would be the Custom of Merchants.

That Comon. on Cargo should not be allowed, No goods being bad, at prices exorbitant, sent without orders, and not wanted, instead of specie, as was agreed

Sparrow pretended having had general orders to send what he pleased.

Sparrow's Letter of 11 July 1786, was read, in which he said he would send specie, but only sent a draft on poorSmith for 500Dry which he could not pay. and was the year following taken in what goods could he had out of his Shop.

Schooner Sydney

Desbarres objects to Comn charged  __ says there was an ample Profit by the Sale of the Goods __ No accot produced of the original Cost & Charges Sparrow [Answer?] to the Truth of Wilkins on Accot __ DesBarres says the Charges are 30 PCt above the common well known [value?] [p. 1193] that the residue of the cargo was delivered to Smith from whom Desbarres  took the whole.

D __ objects to comon on Smith's Draught of 123.3.9

DesBarres Papers, Series 5, M23, F 1-5, Volume 6, Accounts, 1767-1794, May 29, 1790, pp. 1189-1193

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