An 18th-century cockroach named Peri, discovered in the ledger of a French slave-trading vessel, has become a surprise addition to the National Archives after the book was opened for the first time in more than two centuries, reports the Guardian.
The mummified insect
The insect’s journey began onboard the slave-trading vessel that sailed from La Rochelle in 1743 for the Guinea coast. The crew later boarded a different vessel in modern-day Haiti bound for France, taking the ledger with them. But that ship was seized by British privateers during the war of the Austrian succession and sent into Plymouth.
The mummified insect was discovered by Oliver Finnegan, a National Archives specialist in prize papers, which are documents including undelivered letters, logbooks, ships papers and bills confiscated from 35,000 ships during 14 wars between 1652 and 1817 that would be presented to the high court of the admiralty as proof of the legal seizure of a vessel.
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Source: The Guardian