On This Day: 5 June 1708

On this day in 1708, Joseph Tolson the captain of the Mary Galley wrote to Thomas Bowrey about his Sad circomstances. Bowrey and the other owners of the Mary Galley blamed Tolson for what had befallen their ship.

The Mary Galley had been captured by pirates on its return voyage from the East Indies. On the outward voyage, the brand new ship had been able to outrun the French privateers’ ships that had attacked her but, after a long voyage, she was slower and unable to do the same off Newcastle. During that attack, Tolson had been injured. The Mary Galley escaped and then headed to Denmark under Tolson’s replacement, Richard Griffin.

Unfortunately, Griffin mistook two more French privateers for English men-of-war and the ship was taken. In the circumstances, it is easy to understand why Tolson felt aggrieved.

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