On This Day: 23 June 1699

On this day in 1699, Thomas and Mary were staying in Bath for four weeks. Bowrey kept a Household Account Book for the stay.

What is delightful about this little book is that, in addition to recording his expenses, Bowrey noted other information such as exactly when he and Mary bathed and a packing list of Things sent from Bath in my Trunk which gives us an insight into what was considered to be essential for a holiday in the late 17th century.

It is a long list so I do not intend listing everything but it included just two gowns & petticoats for Mary. Three gowns do not seem to be much for four weeks but the two sent in the trunkĀ – one fine chintz gown and one silk & silver gown – were probably very valuable and fashionable. The six aprons were presumably to protect the expensive gowns.

The pair also took a limited amount of valuable jewellery: a pair of diamond earrings, a diamond buckle, a ring set wound (perhaps ‘all round’ like a modern full eternity ring) with diamonds and a gold ring. Two thoughts come to mind: were these made from diamonds Bowrey obtained in the East Indies and why was it considered safe to send valuable jewellery in the equivalent of present-day check-in luggage?

The item interested me most was the periwig included on the list. Knowing that Bowrey wore a wig enables me to start to picture what he may have looked like.

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