On This Day: 19 February 1678/9

Bowrey’s papers primarily relate to his own business affairs but they also contain a few documents relating to his father-in-law, Philip Gardiner. There is evidence from these that, although an apothecary, Gardiner also acted as a merchant in a small way.

On this day in 1679, a ship part owned by Gardiner arrived safely in the Downs in Company of 5 of ye turkey shippes and another under the command of Captain Fenny. John Payne, the commander of Gardiner’s ship, requested instructions on whether he should await a convoy in the Downs and be delayed some time or return home without convoy.

Merchant ships sailed in convoys escorted by naval ships whenever possible. Although, in 1679, England was not at war and the Franco-Dutch war had recently ended, there was still a risk from piracy, even in the English Channel. It was safer to be in company.  Captain Thomas Bowrey’s father and uncle had both commanded English naval ships on convoy duty in the Channel and North Sea.

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