On This Day: 19 August 1703

On this day in 1703, Thomas Wybergh wrote to Thomas Bowrey at Tunbridge Wells obviously in reply to a letter written by Bowrey giving his opinion on the trading voyage Wybergh was about to complete in the Rising Sun.

Yesterday, I wrote about the funding of this voyage by bottomry in which Bowrey only had a very minor share yet he appears to have wanted a major say in how the voyage was carried out. Wybergh tactfully replied that, because of Bowrey’s more experienced judgement Wybergh was willing to share his thought with him.

In Wybergh’s opinion, so long as the wares (wars) continue, and all Europe in a Flame, that Salt Peter will certainly be a commodity that will make the best returns. Althought Saltpetre, or potassium nitrate, had a culinary use, it was also used in the making of gunpowder.  Wybergh’s suggestion was to purchase 180 tons of saltpetre and top up the cargo with light goods such a Lack canes (Malacca canes – used for walking canes). Wybergh could send his sloop to purchase the canes while the Rising Sun remained in Bengal acquiring the saltpetre.

(N.B. It was suggested a week or so back that the East India Company goods in a warehouse may have been Mallaca canes rather than sugar cane. It appears that this suggestion was correct.)

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