On This Day: 26 April 1712

Today’s document prompts me to say how lucky we are doing research these days. It is a letter from Frederic Bonet to Bowrey about his proposals to the King of Prussian.

When I first read this letter, I had no idea who Bonet was so I turned to Google and searched on his name and London address. As I have so often found whilst researching Captain Thomas Bowrey, Google immediately came up trumps.

Frederic Bonet was a Minister for the King of Prussia. In the context of this letter, clearly the correct answer. I have found this over and over again. Put a name and some context information into the search engine and, almost no matter how obscure, and I get an answer. I would estimate that it works about 90% of the time. The least successful searches tend to be those for ordinary early eighteenth century tradesmen.

It has resulted in Google being my starting point for most research now. In pre-Internet days and even as recently as five or so years ago, this would not have been the case.

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