On This Day: 21 August 1703

On this day in 1703, Roderick MacKenzie wrote to Captain Thomas Bowrey from Edinburgh. Today’s document is a copy of that letter and gives us some insight into the character of MacKenzie who was the main instigator of the later seizure of the Worcester.

MacKenzie was replying to Bowrey in a correspondence between them lasting from 17 July to 21 September that appeared to concern Bowrey’s desire to purchase shares in the Scots Company. That Company was later to seize Bowrey’s ship and MacKenzie was the prime instigator. Had Bowrey been successful in the purchase, perhaps history would have been different and the Union of England and Scotland may have been delayed or, even, never happen.

During this correspondence, MacKenzie denies that the Scots Company was negotiating to purchase the Annandale, the ship that was later to be seized by the English East India Company and precipitate the whole incident. In this letter, MacKenzie was attempting to allay concerns of Bowrey and his friends about the terms being proposed. In particular, he denies that the Scots Company was negotiating with a Captain Aprill.

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