4 Annotations

First Reading

in aqua scripo  •  Link

Tar the word and substance appears to be a speciality of the Baltic fellows.
lifted from the OED, Too mundane for a landlubber.
[OE. teru (gen. terw-es), teoru (-o): terwo- neut. = MLG. ter. tere, LG. and (thence) mod.Ger. teer, Du. teer; also ON. tjara fem. (Norw. tjøra, Sw. tjära, Da. tjære). OE. had also the deriv. form tierwe, tyrwe ..........Generally considered to be a deriv. of OTeut.
..trewo-, Goth. triu, OE. treow tree (Indo-Eur. derw-: dorw-: dru-): cf. Lith. darvà pine-wood, Lett. darwa tar, ON. tyr-....r pine-wood. Thus terwo may have meant orig. ‘the product (pitch) of certain kinds of trees’.]
1. a. A thick, viscid, black or dark-coloured, inflammable liquid, obtained by the destructive distillation of wood (esp. pine, fir, or larch), coal, or other organic substance; chemically, a mixture of hydrocarbons with resins, alcohols, and other compounds, having a heavy resinous or bituminous odour, and powerful antiseptic properties; it is much used for coating and preserving timber, cordage, etc. See also COAL-TAR. Also formed in the combustion of tobacco, etc
see bitumen.. and Pitch
ad 700 The Baltic residents have introduced the word and the product.
leading to many expressions. and the proverb
b. Proverb. to lose the sheep (dial. ship) for a ha'p'orth of tar: see HALFPENNYWORTH b.
3. A familiar appellation for a sailor: perh. abbreviation of TARPAULIN. Cf. JACK-TAR.
1676 WYCHERLEY Pl. Dealer II. i, Nov. Dear tar, thy humble servant.
1695 CONGREVE Love for L. IV. xiv, You would have seen the Resolution of a Lover,Honest Tarr and I are parted.
1622 FLETCHER & MASSINGER Span. Curate III. ii, I have nointed ye, and tarr'd ye with my doctrine, And yet the murren sticks to ye.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

STOCKHOLM TAR. A bituminous liquid obtained from the wood of Pinna sylvestris (Linn.) and other species of Pinna by destructive distillation. The tar exported from Stockholm in earlier times, and to which the term Stockholm tar was applied, was brought from the northern part of Sweden and from Finland, where the tar was produced by peasants from dry wood stumps burned in tjardalar, or specially made tar-burning ground.
---Dictionary of Applied Chemistry, 1913, v.5, p.195.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Morisco was ‘the tar’ man who had a monopoly on the tar industry. In June 1664 there is an entry in Pepys’ Navy White Book about trying to negotiate with Morisco for his tar. After some price/quantity discussion Sam notes that he has some concern that Morisco may not want to do business with the Navy as it may upset his “normal” (i.e. paying) customers.

There are more annotations about him on https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The major supplier of pitch and tar to the English market was Sweden Finland. Before the first Anglo-Dutch War, England's share of the tar trade was negligible, but by 1660 it was half the total volume of Swedish tar exports.

English merchants used aggressive trading tactics, which soon clashed with Sweden's desire to control and direct the trade through a monopoly company.

This tar monopoly was called a 'considerable' grievance by the Eastland Company in a petition to the English Council of Trade in 1661, and the Council opined that any future trade treaty with Sweden should provide either for the abolition of the monopoly or for free and unhindered trade between English merchants and the factors of the Tar Company.

The trade treaty concluded later in 1661 between England and Sweden did not contain any specific reference to the tar monopoly.

Anglo-Swedish commercial relations underwent a few crises towards the end of the 17th century, culminating in the expulsion of some English factors in 1695 as a result of the implementation of the 1673 Ordinance strictly limiting the period of residence for foreigners in Sweden.

The Swedes took this step to bring pressure on the English government to pay compensation for Swedish ships seized as prizes during the war with France.

The consequent trade disruption highlighted England's dependence on Sweden for naval stores, and gave further impetus to traders who provided such stores from "the Colonies."

Pamphleteers were quick to seize on the disadvantages of the permanently unfavorable balance of trade with Sweden, and to laud the benefits to English shipping and industry that a thriving colonial trade would bring.

Information from the introduction to David Kirby's 1974 article, "The Royal Navy's quest for pitch and tar during the reign of Queen Anne," published in the Scandinavian Economic History Review, 22:2, 97-116, DOI: 10.1080/03585522.1974.10407788


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