On This Day: 2 April 1699

On this day in 1699 George Edwards made a statement of his evidence in the case of Rolls v Bowrey. This court case revolved around the ship St. George of which Bowrey was not only part owner but also the commander, or captain.

Bowrey had been back from the East Indies for a decade and, as far as is known, other than a short voyage to Holland on the Duck Yacht with his friend, Nathaniel Long, the previous year this was he first return to the sea. Long was also a business partner in the St. George.

Unfortunately, this latest voyage was to end badly and test the two men’s friendship. With the St. George, they had purchased a leaky ship and the venture was to be aborted at Portsmouth. Fortunately for those studying Bowrey’s life and domestic life in the early eighteenth century, his prolonged stay at Portsmouth provided a wealth of personal letters between Bowrey and his family – a silver lining he could never have expected at the time.

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