On This Day: 7 September 1684

On this day in 1684, Thomas Bowrey was on board the Borneo Merchant in the Road at Visakhapatnam when a small boat from the Charles rowed over to him. They requested Bowrey to loan them his own small boat to help them find the Charles’ lost anchor. The anchor had been lost during the night.

Unfortunately, while the Charles‘ boat was lying empty alongside the Borneo Merchant it broke away and Bowrey’s boat was sent after it but ye wind blowing fresh against them & ye Streame runing strong, they gave chase as far as they dared. They had to give up, fearing they may also be lost.

This may be a fairly insignificant incident and one in which the crew of the Borneo Merchant was only trying to help. So why was it deemed necessary to record a statement about it? I cannot be certain but there is more than one of this type of statement among Bowrey’s papers – enough for me to believe that there was the possibility of serious charges being brought in the future. Was Bowrey trying to protect himself and his crew from such consequences or providing some sort of defence for the crew of the Charles?

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