On this day in 1706, the delightfully named Session of Sewers of Tower Hamlets was held at the White Lyon in Whitechapel. At the meeting, Thomas Bowrey on behalf of himself and the other residents and owners of properties in and around Leman Street, Goodmans Fields complained that Mr Abells was stopping the channel the usually conveyed the waters from the houses (in other words, the open sewer). The complainants houses had been made uninhabitable by the overflowing sewer.
Rather than petitioning that Abells be stopped from blocking their sewer, Bowrey and the others requested that they be allowed to create a new sewer to serve the houses. Permission was given.
Despite all his considerable business interests at the time, it was Thomas Bowrey who led the efforts to get a solution to the sewerage problems for his neighbours in Goodmans Fields. Today’s document demonstrates how Bowrey’s papers can shed light on his character in unexpected ways.