On this day in 1704, Thomas Bowrey received the bill for the masts, beams, sails, rigging and oars for the Mary Galley. The wooden items – masts, beams and oars – amounted to £120/2/4 and the other items £4/0/0. In today’s terms, the cost of these items amounted to about £18,000.
It may seem strange today but, at this time, you did not buy a ship fully ready for the sea. First you commissioned the hull, then you added all the items necessary to make that ship sail before, finally, fitting it out with the more portable items – ranging from anchors to cooking equipment.
Although he did not paid the bill until 24 September that year, Bowrey still deducted a discount of approximately 2%. At this time, tradesmen could wait years for some bills to be paid and, in view of this, perhaps less than three months was considered prompt payment.