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 Bentham - Crib Sheet

 

 

The purpose of this page. A crib sheet of facts for Emma & Rachel.

  With the vast amounts of seals found at Bentham and with the information stamped on them it literally enabled Ged Dodd to rewrite the books.

1. The seals came from Russia by sailing ship via St George's Quay when the bales were transported to Bentham by "4-horse" pulled wagons.

2. The waste from retting the flax was mixed with night soil and spread on the mill owner's land as a valuable manure.

3. ЛД = LD on the obverse of  seal is L'nyanoy Dosmotr (Flax Inspection)

4. ПД = PD on the obverse of a seal is Penkovy Dosmotr (Hemp Inspection)

5. NP on the reverse of a seal up to 1828 means a flax tax had been paid to the Russian State via the Cutoms House in Narva. It was not from there.

6. NP ceased to be used after 1828 with the revoking of its tax privilges.

7. SPB on the reverse of a seal up to 1828 means a hemp tax had been paid to the Russian State via the Cutoms House in St Petersburg. It does not mean it was shipped from Narva. The seals may have come from Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva port , Pernau, Reval, Riga, St Petersburg, Tilsit or other sources.

8 SPB on the reverse of a seal from 1829 onwards means a flax tax had been paid to the Russian State via the Cutoms House in St Petersburg. It does not mean it was shipped from St Petersburg. The seals may have come from Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva port, Pernau, Reval, Riga, St Petersburg, Tilsit or other sources. The NP on the 2nd line of the reverse on SPB seals is now number grade for foreign Grower/Owner/Agent seals.

9 CПБ on the reverse of a seal from 1829 onwards means a flax tax had been paid to the Russian State via the Cutoms House in St Petersburg. It does not mean it was shipped from St Petersburg. The seals may have come from Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva port, Pernau, Reval, Riga, St Petersburg, Tilsit or other sources. The HoП (NP) in Cyrillic on the 2nd line of the reverse on CПБ seals is now a number grade for Russian Grower/Owner/Agent seals.

10. All NP, SPB, CПБ came from the Baltic Ports, none from Archangel.

11. Archangel seals had the designation A.П. (Archangel Port) with the inspector being called a Desyatnik, a Quality Control Officer selected by ten brackers themselves who worked under his (or her) direct supervision to carry out the inspection and certify on their behalf the bundle of flax or hemp to which the seal was fastened.

12. Some Russian inspector names end in the letter A. In Russian that would indicate it is a Female inspector, and that is probably true. For example:  Shchogoleva is a female name, however on some Russian seals (not here) it appears to mean "belonging to inspector Shchogolev".... the confusion being that Mrs Shchogoleva and Miss Shchogoleva do belong to Mr Shchogolev.

 

 The PeaceHavens Collection

The 1408 seals found at High Bentham Mill in North Yorkshire
were transported to Bentham via St George's Quay in Lancaster
.

(Updated January 2022 for the Lancaster Maritime Museum)

 

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 The NP Narva Port Conundrum solved

  NP on the reverse of seals was always considered to indicate that the seal originated in Port Narva. It doesn't. NP in the top line on the reverse of  seal means that a tax has been paid to the Russian State via Narva Customs House. It could have been shipped from any Baltic Port or inspection post. There is another NP on the reverse of SPB seals dated after 1829.

NP in the 2nd line of the reverse on SPB seals is a grade number.

NP.2 is number grade 2 in Latin.  HoП.2 is number grade 2 in Cyrillic.

 The proof of this lies in the twin 1831 Davidov seals

  SPB 1831 S01                          CПБ 1831 C09

  

 

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Flax Bale Seals from Archangel

found at Bentham Mill were made of a pewter alloy

   DESATSKIE in the Russian Empire were elected officials from peasants to perform police and various other public functions, to observed the purity in the villages, for the purity of water in the river, for the adoption of fire-fighting measures, for the order during the bidding, bazaars, for the sale of good-quality products, for the production of trade and they reported to the police about the garbage, children, the crazy, the dead bodies found, the appearance of thieves, bandits and any emergency incident.

  At Archangel the Д (D) DESYATNIK was a Quality Control Officer selected by ten  brackers themselves who worked under his (or her) direct supervision to carry out the inspection and certify on their behalf the bundle of flax or hemp to which the seal was fastened. Variations found on seals are ДЕС, ДЕСЯCK, ДЕСЯТ, ДЕСЯТC, ДЕСЯТCK, ДЕСЯТH, ДЕСЯТHИKЪ, ДЕСЯТЬHИKЪ.

  The Ц in the abbreviations ДeСЯЦK, ДЕСЯЦKO and ДЕСЯЦKOИ in the ARC seals indicate a higher ranking Tsolnery or Customs Officer with Chief Customs Officers being Obertsolnery.

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The Joys of Bracking

  БР. = БPAKOBЩ = ВRACKED (Inspected) So extensive was corruption and bribery in Russian commerce at the beginning of the eighteenth century that a system of Quality Control, known in Russian as brak (English = brack) was introduced by Peter the Great in 1712 in order to determine the quality and correct sorting of certain goods offered for export, the aim being to guarantee the interests of the traders, both sellers and buyers, by official certification of the quality of the goods on sale. The earliest dated seal, that the Project knows of, is an 1831 krown hemp seal.

  Brakovshchik bracker was a Quality Control Officer, brakovshchiki brackers, Quality Control Officers. (When flax or hemp is brought to the principal Russian ports whence it is shipped it is classified according to its qualities and made up in bundles by sworn inspectors brackers appointed by the  government for the  assortment of that and all other merchandise; These functionaries are said to perform their task with laudable impartiality and exactness. A paper ticket and a lead seal is attached to every  bundle of assorted flax or hemp containing the  names of the inspector and owner the sort of flax and the period when it was selected or inspected, but although we have many of the lead seals with this information the papers tickets have not survived.)

  And again. By 1828 the grading system had again fallen into disrepute, reducing the sales and price to foreign buyers, especially the UK. In 1829 a completely new system was installed with NP (Narva) having it's flax tax licence revoked and with SPB (St Petersburg) taking over all of the flax tax payments.

  In 1860 SPB had stopped using lead seals which is why the latter half of the 19th century was dominated by lead seals from "grade trustworthy" Archangel.

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Circular Dated City Customs House Tax Seals

were a common find on Northern Mill Sites but none were found at Bentham.

The lettering varied, a lot, depending upon the city and what was in the bale.

*C.П.Б.TA.OTP.TOB,    *C.П.Б.T.OT.TO  or  *C.П.Б.TA.OTП.TO

  C.П.Б (St Petersburg) TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) OTПPABKA (Shipment) TOBAP (Goods)

*РИЖОИ.ТА.ОТ.ТО    *РИГСК.ТА.ОТ.ТО  or *РИЖОИ.ПЕН.ТО

  РИЖC (Riga) TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) OTPACЛЬ (Department) TOBAP (Goods)

  РИЖОИ (Riga) TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) ПЕНKA (Hemp) TOBAP (Goods)

*РЕВЕ.Т.ПР.T

  РEBEЛ (Revel) TAMOЖHЯ (Customs) ПPодуктов питания (Foodstuffs) TOBAP Goods

Tanya Flow informs me that in Russia since 1811, 11 customs districts were formed along the European border, to which another 2 districts were added in 1816, and in 1818 three (subsequently 4) districts along the Asian border." So the letters ТО could mean ТАМОЖЕННЫЙ ОКРУГ (Custom District), as well as ТОВАРЫ (goods).

There are many more variations. see http://www.peacehavens.co.uk/BSCIRCULAR.htm

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Symbol Dated City Customs House Tax Seals were a common

find on Northern Mill Sites, especially at West House Mill, with Pernau

 being plentiful, but again, none were found at Bentham.

none

yet

found

1803 eye 1804 bell 1805 A 1806 Б 1807 B 1808 Г 1809 Д 1810 E
Symbol and Letter Dated City Customs Tax Seals. The seals have a symbol

The known symbols were an eye 1803, a bell 1804, an A (A )1805,

 a Б (B) 1806, a B (V) 1807, a Г (G) 1808, a Д (D) 1809, an E (E) 1810.

see http://www.peacehavens.co.uk/BSJUTE.htm

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Other kinds of Seals

There are 1000's of different kinds of bag, bale and cloth seals with Russian flax and hemp seals being a mere handful of them. Stuart F Elton has the world's most comprehensive gallery of these other seal types, The Bag Seal Gallery for identification of bag and cloth seals and related items at http://www.bagseals.org/gallery/main.php

 

 

 

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