The British Factory in Göteborg or Gothenburg was founded in the 17th century by a group of British merchants to protect and support their mutual interests. In 1699, the British Factory took responsibility for the British Poor Box. The Poor Box funds were used primarily to aid sick or distressed British subjects within Gothenburg. Levies were placed on British ships arriving in Gothenburg and on ships owned or charted by British merchants in Gothenburg to finance the Poor Box.
The Poor Box records go back to 1699 and they are of great interest to historians because they provide yearly accounts of how the funds were distributed. In addition, you will find records of the annual meetings at which time the annual accounts were submitted for approval and a new Treasurer was elected. These records are in ArkivDigital’s archive and many but not all of the records are in English. You will find them in the archive, British Factory i Göteborg.
British Factory i Göteborg G1A:1 (1698-1760) Image 62 / page 56 (AID: v69378.b62.s56, NAD: SE/GLA/10584 Link
Above is an image showing the British Poor Money Account in 1757. On the left side you will find the expense amounts and on the right side the credit amounts.
On June 21, 1757, amounts were distributed for the following expenses:
- Paid 5 weeks maintenance for sick sailor from Capt. Platt
- Paid Capt. Inglis for provisions for one of Capt. Eding’s men
- Paid the surgeon for attending the sailor sick with smallpox
The British Factory was a key financial supporter of the English congregation in Gothenburg. The English congregation was established in 1747 in Gothenburg. Records for the English congregation are found in the archive, Göteborgs engelska (St. Andrew’s Church).
Both the records in the British Factory i Göteborg and Göteborgs engelska (St. Andrew’s Church) archives provide some insights into the British living in Gothenburg.