On This Day: 18 August 1706

According to the account by William Bodicoate of Lombard Street of the bottomry arranged by Thomas Wybergh on the Rising Sun, the ship arrived at Gravesend homeward on this day in 1706.

Bottomry, or bottomage, is an arrangement in which the master of a ship uses the bottom or keel of the ship as security against a loan to finance a voyage. The lender loses their money if the ship sinks. The master forfeits the ship, if the money with interest is not paid at the time appointed after the ship’s safe return. This practice is now almost obsolete.

Wybergh’s bottomry involved seven lenders including Thomas Bowrey. The total loaned was £1,505 of which Bowrey loaned just £50. In this arrangement, Bowrey would have received £74 if the Rising Sun arrived home within 20 months plus another £1/4/0 per month for every month beyond 20. This arrangement encouraged the master to make a rapid voyage.

The commencement of the arrangement, for Bowrey, was 3 November 1703. Thus, he would have been entitled to £118 on this day. However, as Bowrey was querying the account in March 1708, he may not have received this money.

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