Relations and Rivals: The Social Worlds of Benjamin Lester, 1760-1775
MetadataShow full item record
For eighteenth-century merchants active in Newfoundland trade, competition was fierce. This raises the question of why some merchants succeeded when many failed. To answer this question, this thesis analyzes the diary of Benjamin Lester, a Poole merchant who operated out of Trinity during the 1760s. An examination of Lester’s diary reveals that his social life played as important a role in his success as did specific business actions and decisions. During the 1760s Lester transitioned from trying to gain a strong foothold in Trinity as a planter, and expand his reach in Newfoundland, to placing greater importance on social connections in England by the 1770s. Since Lester operated on both sides of the Atlantic, and the social wealth that he accumulated in Newfoundland was transferred back to England, this thesis situates Lester within the contexts of the greater Atlantic.