Today in 1687, Thomas Flemming the commander of Bowrey’s ship Borneo Merchant wrote to Bowrey at Porto Novo complaining bitterly of the moores marchants who were delaying doing business by false claims of sickness. He had been detained for soe long and believed that the merchants should compensate him for his additional costs.
This inconsequential letter highlights the difference in the standard of literacy between Bowrey and most of the sea captains. Bowrey handwriting, spelling and grammar is so much better than many of his correspondents. It is known that Bowrey had been in the East Indies from a young age and was a mariner long before he became a merchant. Where and how did he get his education?