On This Day: 25 February 1675

Today’s offering is another document recording Bowrey’s father-in-law’s involvement in merchant shipping whilst Bowrey was still living in the East Indies.

On this day in 1675, Philip Gardiner purchased a 1/32nd part of the 573 ton Society of London from William Thompson, a mariner of Wapping, for £347/10/-. This was the equivalent, today, of approximately £47,000. I can find no further reference to this ship. From the rare glimpses of Gardiner’s business interests in Bowrey’s papers, they appear to be wider than those of his son-in-law, so it is impossible to say where the Society may have been bound.

Here we have an example of how frustrating Bowrey’s papers can be. Some documents give us incredible details about the minutia of one aspect of his life whilst others provide only a tantalising glimpse of what may be a fascinating story – if only more evidence survived. In this case, was Gardiner a very successful apothecary, did he inherit his wealth or was the money brought to the marriage by Frances Bushell, his wife?

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