Today’s document was raised at by the East India Company Council at Surat on 24 March 1703 and is an account of the provisions supplied to the 21 people from the Linnet the sloop belonging to Bowrey’s ship the Prosperous, while they were in prison, the Lascars’ wages and other disbursements between 18 October and 1 December.
Although in prison, conditions could not have been too severe. The provisions supplied include beef, water, wine, limes, bread, sugar and Cutchiree (Kedgeree). An unspecified number of quilts were included on the list. The inclusion of oil and gee (ghee) implies that the prisoners had cooking facilities or someone was cooking for them.
The Prosperous had left England in 1701 and was taken by pirates – with the help of some of the crew – in May 1702 and the captain, John Hilliard, killed. Most of the remainder of the crew escaped to Surat in the Linnet. There, they were imprisoned by the local governor on being pirates themselves. The East India Company tried to secure the crews’ release and looked after their needs whilst held.