This document authenticates the sale of some shares in the West Indies Joint Stock Company in the year 1687. The shares were sold by Charles Mordaunt, 2nd Viscount Mordaunt, to Charles Talbot, 12th Earl of Shrewsbury, who then sold them to John Arden, a merchant. Such companies employed indentured servants to develop their overseas plantations. In exchange for passage across the Atlantic, food and board, white settlers would agree to work for a set period of time ? usually between four and seven years. They worked as field hands or small-scale planters, while most of the profits remained in Britain. Companies such as the West Indies Joint Stock Company used indentured labour [plantation definition]. Some planters travelled to the West Indies and agreed to work for companies such as the Joint Stock Company for a set number of years. In exchange for their labour, the company provided housing, clothing and food. At the end of the term the planter was then granted a piece of land and was entitled to a share in the profits made by the company. The planters were effectively servants of the company and the terms of their contracts were subject to constant change. They had little choice but to accept these changes, if they didn't they were subject to severe punishments: beatings, whippings and even death by hanging.