In December 1816 a wooden box with clothes, books and letters was found at Ørlandet outside Trondheim. From the letters one could tell that the box had been onboard the British ship “The Mercator” and belonged to two of the men on board, Mr John Lambeth and his son.
The letters give us a picture of the everyday life and worries of the family back in England, but we also get a look into the economical and political situation in England in the post Napoleonic wars.
Mr John Lambeth brought two sons and a son-in-law with him when he took hire on the ship The Mercator in London in the summer of 1816 to go on a trading journey to Norway. The difficult times after the Napoleonic wars made him leave his wife, children, sister and mother behind in London, as well as his building company. He left in a hurry, without even telling his daughter about the trip. But in the autumn storms along the Norwegian coast the boat sank, probably on its way back from northern Norway, where the men had been trading with cod liver oil. Nobody knows what actually happened.
All we know about John and the family is what we can read in five letters that were found together with some clothes and books in a wooden box that washed ashore at Ørlandet December 2nd in 1816, together with some barrels with cod liver oil.