On this day in 1708, Joseph Tolson the captain of the Mary Galley wrote a statement declaring his innocence of any fault for the loss of the ship. He refused to pay any compensation. From what I wrote some days ago, this statement is understandable.
However, this statement is interesting as it demonstrates how Thomas Bowrey’s education was not standard for captains of merchant ships at the time. Many, like Tolson, clearly had less education. Tolson’s handwriting is not as flowing as Bowrey’s. The standard of his spelling and grammar can be seen from the example of his first sentence: my Resolt off ye matter is yt [yet] as I have wronged you off nothnig I take god to my wittness.