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Original price £475.00 - Original price £475.00
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£475.00 - £475.00
Current price £475.00

[Index]: Alphabetical index of financial records(?). The Low Countries, late seventeenth / early eighteenth century.

This Dutch-language manuscript index provides a fascinating—if tantalizing—insight into financial record-keeping(?) relating to the Low Countries and Spain around the turn of the eighteenth century, with possible connections to the world of nautical travel and commerce.

This index includes references to Pedro Fernandes Navarette (general admiral of the Flemish Navy, d.1711), Pedro Monteoro (a merchant, fl. 1702), and Martín Guillermo Van Hemert (a textile manufacturer, d.1715).

Finding tabs have been carefully cut in the outer margins of most pages, and letters of the alphabet in alternating red and black ink have been added. This allows the reader to easily consult an index of names, each of which has a corresponding page reference to another volume (hitherto unidentified; possibly not extant). 

What was in this second volume? Conspicuously, folio references in the index are often preceded by the Dutch phrase ‘mijne Reecke’ or ‘mijne Reecke courant’. This suggests that the second volume comprised or otherwise included financial records, though the exact context remains unclear. Whatever the nature of these financial records, they were probably documented chronologically—hence why a separate alphabetical index would have been useful.

Many names in the index are followed with the Dutch phrase ‘tot [city]’, i.e. ‘to [city]’. Under M, for example, there is a reference to ‘Martín Guillermo van Hemert tot Cadix’. According to recent research, the van Hemerts were ‘textile manufacturers from Haarlem who had originally fled Antwerp, and they claimed to be Flemish in both their Spanish residences in Seville and Cádiz’ (Solana 2014, p. 151). Martín Guillermo Van Hemert, the man listed in this index, died in 1715 (Solana 2014, p. 151 n. 47).

Another identifiable individual in the index is ‘Pedro Monteoro […] tot Seuilla’. Records show that Pedro Monteoro was a merchant who banded together with several other interested parties to protect their business interests in Seville in 1702 (Fernández Chaves and Gamero Rojas 2017, p. 147). Both van Hemert and Monteoro have obvious links to the world of commerce. Further, under the letter C, there are about a dozen entries that begin with ‘coopmanschappen’ (i.e. merchants). 

Port cities in the Low Countries and Spain are another recurring theme in this index. In addition to Seville and Cadiz, there are references to Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Dordrecht, Ghent, and Ostend. Given that entries in this index typically take the form ‘[person] to [place]’, we can speculate that at least some of the financial transactions concerned may have had something to do with nautical travel.

A possible maritime connection is reinforced by the reference to ‘Pedro Fernandes navarette gouverneur van de vlaemsche armada’. This is evidently Pedro Fernandes Navarette (1647– 1711), who became general admiral of the Flemish Navy in 1693 (cf. Perona Tomás, no date).

Several women are listed in this index, some of whom are specifically identified as widows. We have not been able to identify any of these women, but further research might shed interesting light on their social status and possible nautical connections.

It would appear that this index was gradually compiled over time, quite possibly by a few different hands. The alphabetical structure, while undoubtedly a useful reference tool, was also a constraint. There was barely enough space under the letter C to accommodate the various entries relating to ‘coopmanschappen’, and yet other letters have just one entry (A, D, E, F, L, N) or none at all (K, O, Q, R, T, V).


Manuscript. One volume, 31.6 x 20.7 cms in binding, folio, pp. [44]. Arms of Amsterdam watermark with GVH monogram, chainlines approx. 2.3–2.5 cms apart (cf. AMSTERDAM I/8/b in Ashbee et al. 2014, vol. II, pp. 293–4). Cut-out finding tabs with letters of the alphabet written in alternating in red and black ink (A–W). Red ruled line on inner margins of most pages.

Condition: Some browning, staining, and water damage to pages. The black ink (presumably iron gall) has corroded through the tabs for the letters ‘I’ and ‘L’.

Bound in blue paper covers, lined inside with paper of same stock as text block. Tearing, staining, and water damage to covers.

Provenance: Rough paper bookmark(?) inserted between pp. [10] and [11]. Approx. 20 x 8 cms in size with approx. 2.2 cms between chainlines. No visible watermark. 


Ashbee, Andrew, et al., The Viola Da Gamba Society Index of Manuscripts Containing Consort Music, 2 vols. (Revised online edition, 2014). Last accessed 12 August 2021 via

Crespo Solana, Ana, ‘A Network-Based Merchant Empire Dutch Trade in the Hispanic Atlantic (1680–1740)’, in Gert Oostindie and Jessica V. Roitman (eds.), Dutch Atlantic Connections, 1680-1800 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 139–58.

Fernández Chaves, Manuel F., and Mercedes Gamero Rojas, ‘Nations? What Nations? Business in the shaping of international trade networks: Seville in the Eighteenth Century’, in Manuel Herroro Sánchez and Klemens Kaps (eds.), Merchants and Trade Networks in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, 1550–1800 (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 145–68.

Perona Tomás, Dionisio A, ‘Pedro Fernández de Navarrete’, in Diccionario Biográfico Español de la Real Academia de la Historia. Last accessed 13 Aug 2021 via