On This Day: 19 June 1708

On this day in 1708, John Elliot the surgeon on the Mary Galley appeared as the deponent in a court case conducted by Lord Chief Justice Holt. It is no longer clear what this case was about but the galley’s captain, Joseph Tolson, gave evidence. Thomas Bowrey’s papers include a note of this.

Tolson was accused of surrendering the ship that had been entrusted to him to two French men-of-war. Prior to that he had shared the diamonds (being brought back from the East Indies) with is chief mate, Richard Griffin – the Judge commented that all concerned with the diamonds were rogues.

In his defence, Tolson offered to show the court his wounds but was told there was no occasion to do so. In fact the court considered his evidence ridiculous and he was laughed at.

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