On This Day: 20 July 1704

On this day in 1704, Samuel Nix sent his bill for painting connected to the Mary Galley. The cost of priming and painting eight oars for the Galley was one shilling per oar and for thirteen boat oars was six pence each. Later in the year, Nix primed and painted eighty-four yards of canvas at six pence per yard and stained another piece of canvas at a cost of 2/6.

Samuel Nix (or Nicks) was one of two painters used for the Mary Galley and had previously painted Thomas Bowrey’s Duck yacht.  It has to be assumed that he valued Bowrey’s business because, when he settled the bill at the end of the year, Nix signed the receipt stating that Bowrey had paid only £2 in full settlement of a bill that came to £2/19/0.  In reality, Bowrey paid even less. He had endorsed the reverse showing that he had paid only £1/18/9 – little more than 65% of the original bill.

Did tradesmen inflate their original bills in order to be able to absorb such enormous discounts? £2/19/0 in 1704 is worth approximately £430 today. and Bowrey paid the equivalent of £283.

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