On This Day: 29 August 1706

On this day in 1706, Jacob Larwood wrote to Thomas Bowrey from Amsterdam with news of the Rising Sun commanded by Thomas Wybergh. The Rising Sun had been chartered by the East India Company in 1699 before being purchased by Bowrey in 1703. She was caught in the Great Storm on 1703 before being repairs and leaving for the East Indies and reaching Bengal in 1704. Before returning home, the Rising Sun went to Persia.

1706 was probably the height of Bowrey’s East Indies ventures from England. At this time, he had an interest in a number of ships. The Worcester had been seized in Scotland, the Mary Galley was trading in India, the Macclesfield (about which we know very little) and the Rising Sun. According to a list in Bowrey’s papers, he may also have invested in up to six other ships in the East Indies at this time: the Rochester, Anne Galley, Horsham, Arrabella, Windsor and Little London. The total value of the cargo carried out to India on these nine ships was in the region of over £43,000 (the equivalent of over £6.5m today). The fate of all these ships is not known but only about 2/3rds of Bowrey’s earlier venture resulted in the ship arriving home safely to London.

At a time when long distance communications was difficult, Bowrey relied on reports from the captains and crews of other ship plus messages from his contacts overseas for news of his ships. Larwood was one of these contacts but, in this case, the Rising Sun had suddenly left the Texel and Larwood had no detailed information to pass on.

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