On This Day: 17 March 1668/69

On this day in 1669, the officers of the East India Company at Bombay reported to the Council at Surat on the progress of the fortifications being built. Bombay was later to become the main factory in the area but, at this time, the island of Bombay was still a minor outpost.

Bowrey’s uncle, Samuel Smith, had been appointed as the first Chief Engineer and Master Comptroller of the Ordinance on the project following some months earlier. He had arrived in India as the master of the Little Charles having brought a copper plate showing the Great Fire of London to the East Indies. In February, it had been reported that the foundations had been completed. Today’s document reports that Our Foundations are carried on with all care, speed and frugality.

Unfortunately, Smith did not manage to complete the fortifications because the Deputy Governor, Captain Young, reported in October 1669 Thanks bee to God our present Fortifications have gone on well hitherto, but wee shall find a great want of our deceased friend Capt. Smith who departed this life the night past of a flux.

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