This advertisement (I've reproduced part of it here) from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1791 shows what goods were being exported from Britain by ships belonging to Greenock merchants. Among the items being offered for sale were:-
Food - refined sugar, Cheshire cheese, salad oil
Clothing - shoes, stockings, hats
Fabric - Irish linen, printed cotton in fashionable patterns, corduroys, woollens, embroidered serge
Metal goods - nails, ships anchors, German steel,
Household essentials - earthenware, frying pans, kettles, window glass, candles
Toiletries - soap, hair power
It is so interesting to see the sorts of things that were traded then. Obviously it was not just the working essentials that were important to settlers, they also required some home comforts and luxury goods. Many local merchants had branches of their business on both sides of the Atlantic in order to make the most of the trading opportunities available. William Forsyth, who is named in the advertisement, was an important merchant in Nova Scotia with trading partners in Greenock. There will be more about William Forsyth and his family in future posts.