First name

Text source

John Gibb younger was a skipper in the employ of Andrew Russell & Co [SSNE 143]. Many references to this man can be found in the Russell papers in the national Archives of Scotland, although seperating his details from that of John Gib senior [SSNE 7071] can be troublesome.

Gib younger though tended to sail between Sweden and Danzig, while Gib elder tended to do the Sweden to Amsterdam run, although that was not always the case. He appears throughout the correspondence of James and Patrick Thomson, normally associated with James Cassellis [SSNE 7147] with whom he frequently travelled. According to a letter of James Thomson dated 11 June 1685, both men left Norrkoping on 8th of that month, while another of 13 June details the cargo and value of same aboard each man's ship. Gib's ship was called the Concord of Burrowstones. 

Gib younger left Norrkoping for Danzig on 29 May 1686, and Thomson recorded his cargo in his accounts and in a number of letters to Andrew Russell. In 1686, Gibb was to be bought a new ship by the company, with input from Daniel Young till Leijonancker [SSNE 4206]. By 26 June 1686, Patrick Thomson had written in positive terms regarding his ability to purchase certain 'half freedoms' for the importation of wool and manufacture of tobacco, and in particular a ship and cargo to be bought and imported to Sweden by John Gib (younger). On 10 October, Thomson made it clear that Daniel Young had arranged exactly how to buy the ship and that the 'freedoms' applied to Stockholm only. When writing about the subject again on 23 October he noted that Young Gib was to receive seals and letters from Young which would prove his ship was Swedish and allow him to sail 'toll free'. So it was that Gib began to sail under Swedish flag. 

Not all went smoothly though. In September 1687 his ship ran aground on Heyligna, a remote spot on the southern Baltic coast. He wrote to Russell to tell his wife and family that he and his crew were all safe and ashore. The ship had been piloted by a timmerman of the Duke of Courland. He ssuggested that ship should be raised in winter-time as the timmerman had been advised to return to Courland to raise another ship that had gone aground. He spent the winter with near his ship and wrote frequently to Russell about his situation and progress. On 10 January he noted that the Coast Master of Danzig had arrived and had offered to salvage the ship for 1111 Polish Guilders. He had already received money from Mr Arthur (492 guilders) which had to be paid to the Coast Master for saving the sails, anchors and the like. On 28 February he could report that the weak planks had been replaced and that he had received from James Adie 1008 Polish Guilders to help pay for the work. A continual theme in this and other letters was the lack of response he had had to his from Russel. However, he was keen to let Russell know that he had done all his work in the matter under advice of Mr Arthur and Patrick Thomson.

On 10 March Gib wrote a detailed letter of his progress in raising her. Indded he noted that he had tried to sell her but was only offered 500 Polish guilders for her which he felt he could not do without advice. Due to a dearth of correspondence over the winter Gib realised that Russell was not best pleased that he had remained there, but argued that he had no option. He told Russell that he had four men working on the boat and had fitted new planking. New ropes had also been bought in Konigsberg. It is clear from this letter that Gib received a lot of support from British merchants in the area including Mr Adie in Danzig, Mr Fenton in Memel and Messers Hurst and Arthur in Heyligna. Arthur was paid 492 guilders of the money received from Adie. He had also spent some 32 guilders employing fishermen to take him out to save the anchors and cables. A final complaint was that the crew did not help him after the ship became stranded, and that fact Gib said could be attested to by numerous witnesses. Gib signed off this letter noting that he had lived on the ship for the previous 14 days and begged Russell to send news from Scotland, especially from his wife. On 6 April he estimated to Russell that he was attaching the main mast that day and hoped that the ship may be floated by 1 May. However, he noted that he had heard that the signatories to the charterpartie, Mr Dunlop and Mr Washington, were not pleased at reports that the ship would go to Danzig, but wished that it went to the original destination. James Adie, again being helpful, had told Gib that he would send him three men to help, although Gib felt this still left him some short. In 1688, Gib wrote to James Adie in Danzig confirming that he had received £2200 from Adie which was to be reimbursed by Patrick Thomson in Sweden. 

Source: National Archives of Scotland, Russell Papers, RH/15/106. Passim; RH15/106/574. Various letters and accounts of James and Patrick Thomson (1685); RH/15/106/607. Accounts of James Thomson, 23 June 1686 (including Gib Younger to Danzig, 29 May 1686); RH15/106/608. Patrick Thomson to Andrew Russell, 26 June and 10 and 23 October 1686 and passim; For the wrecking of Gib's ship see RH15/106/636. 27 September 1687, John Gib to Andrew Russell and RH15/106/663. Various letters, John Gib to Andrew Russell (1688); For the loan of £2200 from Adie see RH15/106/663. James Adie to Andrew Russell, 26 July 1688; Steve Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.81, 146, 217-218, 245.

Service record

Arrived 1680-01-01
Capacity SKIPPER, purpose TRADE
Arrived 1687-09-05
Capacity SKIPPER, MASTER, purpose TRADE