Leendert Sonsbeeck wrote to Bowrey from Flushing today in 1704 about the payment Bowrey owed him. Knowing Bowrey’s interest in all maritime news, Sonsbeeck added some news of his own.
One of his ships, homeward bound from Guinea, was attacked by a French privateer. The privateer had 17 guns and many men. The fight lasted 6 or 7 hours but Sonsbeeck’s ship eventually forced the privateer away. By this time, the two ships were close to Plymouth. It was not over for Sonsbeeck’s ship which next encountered another French privateer, this time with 34 guns. The second privateer did a great deal of damage to the other ship’s masts and sails. By then, it was evening and this damaged ship anchored overnight putting into Plymouth the next morning.
Sonsbeeck’s ship was laid on a bank for repairs to be undertaken but was approached by a Man-of-War, the Woolwich, commanded by Captain Thomas Eckings who arrested the damaged ship, took the ship’s papers to London, took the ship’s boats and put 12 of his men on board claiming that Sonsbeeck’s ship commission was not valid.
Sonsbeeck requested Bowrey to speak to his friends about the matter and try to have the stricken ship, with her cargo, released.