On This Day: 5 September 1705

On this day in 1705, Joseph Tolson, Joseph Dupuy and Richard Griffin (captain, assistance supercargo and mate of the Mary Galley) wrote to Thomas Bowrey from Batavia. The letter mentioned, in passing, that Elias Grist, part owner and purser of the ship, is left at Batavia.

In fact, as he was to explain to Bowrey in a letter four months later, Grist had been left behind through an Unlucky Accident. According to Tolson, Grist had tried to rejoin the ship by following it out of Batavia in a boat adding that Mr Grist had behaved himself very well, soe that I am positive he had noe designe to Leave the ship, nor I any Reason to leave him but by misfortune. It seems that, when Grist had gone ashore the day before the galley left Batavis, he had been informed by Tolson that he intended to leave at 2 a.m. He actually sailed at 4 a.m. At 11 a.m., he saw a boat following him and saw that Grist was in the boat. He sent a small boat to fetch Grist but it appears that they did not find Grist’s boat and failed to inform Tolson until it was too late.

Grist explained his going ashore at the last minute. He was passing some tea, lacquer-wares and porcelain he thought Bowrey’s wife may like to the captain of a ship about to leave for England. This captain refused to deal directly with Tolson.

Grist was forced to wait at Batavia until the Mary Galley returned to Batavia the following April. According to Richard Carnac Temple, Grist was of a grasping and unscrupulous character, capable of despicable actions. He was later to turn against Tolson after the galley was taken by French privateers.

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