On This Day: 20 September 1704

On this day in 1704, Elias Grist signed an indenture with Thomas Bowrey, Thomas Hammond and George Jackson to be purser on the Mary Galley. Hammond and Jackson were in partnership with Bowrey for the trading voyage of the ship. Grist was also a part owner with a 1/24th share. Bowrey owned a half share.

Grist had paid £53/15/0 for the privilege of becoming purser and, in return, would receive half a percent of the sale price of the homebound cargo.

Grist’s dual role as owner and purser may have been the cause of conflict with Joseph Tolson, who was captain, supercargo and part owner (with a 1/6th share).. They quarrelled and, at one point, Tolson accidentally stranded Grist at Batavia for a number of months.

However, nothing is known of Elias Grist except his involvement with the Mary Galley. Had Bowrey’s papers not survived, he may well have disappeared into obscurity. The only other person I have been able to find with the name married Margaret Row at St Martins in the Fields in 1709.

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