On This Day: 26 February 1690

At first glance, today’s document looks very similar to that discussed yesterday. It is another small vellum manuscript with a wax seal. The extremely long-winded legalise also relates to the sail of a vessel (the correct name at the time for what we would usually call a ship which, then, had a more specific meaning). But that is where the similarity ends.

The hull of the 14 ton Duck yacht was sold to Bowrey by John Freame, a shipwright of Whitechapel for £90 (about £14,000 today). Bowrey purchased the whole vessel, not a share, and this was not a merchant vessel.

Other than the diary and accounts of his six week tour of Holland and Flanders with his friend, Nathaniel Long, in 1698, very little is know of the Duck but she was very likely to have been purchased by Bowrey for recreation. After 19 years of sailing in the East Indies, he was now able to sail for pleasure. The sailing directions for the Thames Estuary in his papers were probably recorded by Bowrey from, or for, the Duck.

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