On This Day: 20 February 1688/9

Today Henry Alford sent another copy of his letter of the 18th (see “On This Day: …”) to Thomas Bowrey by a second ship. This was common practice at the time.

Independent merchants in the East Indies had no choice but to entrust cargos and valuable goods to ships’ captains. Valuables, such as gold and diamonds, were simply secured by wrapping them in cloth bundles and marking them with the initials of the owner. Sending details of such cargos by a second ship at least ensured that the recipient would know to expect the delivery.


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