Monkey Business

Lightening the dark days of a particularly hard winter, the Ipswich Journal, quoting from Stanley’s Newsletter of 7 January 1729, reported the following affair.

The following Mistake or Blunder has been lately discovered to the great Diversion of People in general: A Merchant of this City trading to the West-Indies, having wrote to his Correspondent to send him two Monkeys, which Word he spelled too, the Correspondent took it for Number 100, upon which he bought up 56 Monkeys, the Freight whereof by Agreement came to 56 Guineas, besides the prime Cost. They are all arrived safe with a Bill of Lading, to the great surprise of the Merchant here, who has been given to understand, that the other 44 shall be shipped off as soon as they can be procured.

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