On This Day: 18 April 1709

Today in 1709, Bowrey reimbursed Captain Joseph Tolson for his expenditure on the Mary Galley. A simple receipt can hide so much.

The Mary Galley was built in 1704 and in October that year departed on a trading voyage to the East Indies under Captain Joseph Tolson. Despite two separate encounters with French privateers, they reached Sumatra the following April. In 1707, The Mary Galley headed home  in convoy with the Dutch fleet and reached the Cape of Good Hope on 25 March 1707, staying until 20 April. The fleet, together with the Mary Galley continued home passing to the west of Ireland.

While west of the Shetland Isles, the Mary Galley lost the convoy in fog and a gale. Tolson continue towards home alone. Avoiding Scotland (aware of the Worccster’s fate there), Tolson attempted to dock at Newcastle. Here he met French privateers yet again. One of Tolson’s crew was killed and 10 others wounded out of a crew of only 24. One of the wounded was Tolson himself. Richard Griffin, the mate, took charge and the ship travelled on to Jutland where two French privateers were mistaken for English men-of-war. The Mary Galley was captured.

Bowrey blamed Tolson for his loss and the case went to arbitration. Tolson won and, with this document, we see Bowrey paying his debts.


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