On This Day: 23 February 1687

On this day, the East India Company at Cuddalore replied to an earlier letter from Bowrey to the Company’s employee, Christopher Wilson, complaining about a dispute he was in with the havildar (military commander) of Porto Novo (Parangipettai in Tamil Nadu). The havildar had sided with two brothers of Ahmad Maraikkayar. The complex claim revolved around the payment for a cargo of slaves and cloth Bowrey had contract to carry for the brothers. They had made a loss on the cargo and expected Bowrey to compensate them for that loss.

The Company management at Cuddalore had written to the havildar about the issue and would offer Bowrey whatever protection they were able but not if Bowrey brought their affaires into trouble. Bowrey was never directly employed by the East India Company and, as an independent mariner and merchant in the East Indies, was only tolerated whilst it was too the Company’s benefit.

This correspondence was the first indication of what would turn out to be a very serious incident for Bowrey.

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