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Codfish Currency Cheque


A cheque purported from a time when codfish was currency. The text reads: 'Cashier of the Bank of Newfoundland please pay to bearer seventy five quintals fourteen pounds of uncured codfish.' Signed by the cheque writer [Quodlibet Hookem or Hoskem or Hoskien?]. There is a date of March 14, 1689. Note: cheque is as-found condition, may be from later date.

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Overall well-preserved, with some foxing, folds, and irregular edge of the paper.


The obverse has two notes, which I have tried to decipher below.


The first reads: 'Cheque given in 1689 by a Governor of Newfoundland. N.B. This paper was saved from the great fire at St. John's in 1743'.


The second reads: 'Original cheque found among the papers of the late Sir Peter Pounce Bart. N.B. General Quodlibet Hookem [or Hoskem or Hoskien?] Afterwards, Sir Q. H. was third Governor of the Colony of Newoundland.'

Research at The Rooms, Newfoundland archives, etc turns up no data in support. A challenging period of time since colony was regularly getting demolished by different countries. As I say, in as-found condition.