From the fifth surviving Belfast News Letter. The edition is dated January 9 1738 but that is in fact Jan 20 1739 in the modern calendar, which Britain adopted in the 1750s. Under the old calendar the new year did not begin until March. The paper was founded Sept 1737 but the first year is lost:
LONDON Dec 23.
Yesterday the Court of Directors of the East-India Company took up into their Service the Normanton, Capt. Kymmist, the Warwick, Capt. Shuter, the Grantham, Capt. Hale, the Haeslingfield, Capt. Cook, the Somerset, Capt Holmes; and we hear they will be station’d next Week. These make fifteen ships; and two more will be taken up into the said Company’s Service in a few Days. [The Haeslingfield was a ship in the service of the East India Company between 1735-1744. The East India Company was founded in 1600 to trade in the Indian Ocean region and ended up running India, as a precursor to imperial rule there]
On Wednesday were exported for the East-Indies 7,251,030 Ounces of Silver Bullion, and 14,000 Ounces of Silver Coin; for Portugal 850 Quarters of Wheat; for France 750 Quarters ditto; for Virginia 73 Ounce plate; and for Maryland 61 Ounces ditto.
LONDON Dec 28.
This Morning the South-Sea Company receiv’d the agreeable News of the safe Arrival in the Downs of the Assiento, Capt. Watkins from Buenos Ayres; which Ship hath been long expected, and 10 per Cent Premium was wrote upon her.
[The South Sea Company was founded in 1711 and given a monopoly to trade in South America. Its stock bubble, which is mentioned on page 15, had happened in 1720]