On This Day: 22 February 1684/5

Although primarily a record of his business activities, there is some evidence within his papers of Thomas Bowrey’s involvement with his friends and relatives. After his return from the East Indies, he appears to have acted as a mentor, facilitator or intermediary on a number of occasions.

Today in 1685, he drew up a detailed breakdown of the debts owed by his cousin, William Middleton. We know from his Will that he had two “cousins” of this name and it is not clear from this document which he was helping at this time. However, I suspect the elder of the two, who in 1712 was resident in Woolwich, because of the size of the debt – over £1,626, the equivalent of around £250,000 today.

Below the breakdown of his debts is a statement, signed by Middleton but in Bowrey’s hand, setting out how he proposed to repay his debts. As the document names 25 creditors, the schedule of debts and repayments is complex. It will have taken Bowrey a great deal of his time to draw up and indicates a great deal about his character.

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