In the spring of 1806, London wine & spirits merchant James Gosling set out from England aboard the chartered clipper Mercury with merchandise bound for the Virginias. The voyage was a difficult one. Ninety-one consecutive days of calm left the crew and passengers in dire straits and the charter of Mercury was fast running out.
The ship eventually made port in St. Georges, Bermuda, where Gosling and his family decided to set up shop rather than press on to America. James Gosling opened a shop on King's Parade, St George's in December 1806. To this day the company remains the oldest surviving business in Bermuda and is still a family concern.