On This Day: 28 February 1711/12

On this day in 1712, Bowrey wrote to James Dolliffe, one of the Committee of Directors of the South Sea Company, following up on his proposals he had sent to the Company. Bowrey saw settlements in South America as valuable stopping off points on a westerly route to the East Indies. He was concerned about the time it was taking for an expeditionary force to be sent to establish the first settlement.

Bowrey backed his belief in the new South Sea Company by a substantial investment (worth over £115,000 today).

Dolliffe was not simply a director of the South Sea Company. He was a merchant of St Dunstan’s Hill in the City of London and Bowrey had named him one of his executors in a draft will he wrote in 1706. At that time, he also planned to leave him £50, a further £10 for mourning and a twenty shilling enameld ring. These bequests were reduced to just the ring in Bowrey’s final will, written less than a month after the letter, when he appointed his wife as sole executrix but he described Dolliffe as his good friend.

Despite Bowrey’s efforts, no attempt was ever made by the South Sea Company to set up settlements on either coast of South America. Less than a decade later but long after Bowrey’s death, the South Sea Bubble took off, later to spectacularly burst.

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