On this day in 1697, two letters were written to Bowrey from the Duke of Gloucester at Shoreham – one from James Jennifer, the captain, and the other from John Wouldhave. These letters are a reminder of how conscious mariners at the time were of their own mortality.
Bowrey had consigned goods for Bengal and a letter for India to the ship but had written instructions to both Jennifer and Wouldhave. While Jennifer promised to deliver the items God willing, Wouldhave assured Bowrey he would do the same if itt Should please God to take our Comander away which God forbid.
The matter-of-fact way mariners and other travellers then accepted the likelihood of their own death runs throughout Bowrey’s paper.