On This Day: 21 September 1703

On this day in 1703, Roderick Mackenzie wrote to Thomas Bowrey from Edinburgh. He had written to Bowrey a month earlier but had received no reply. He assumed that the reason was either Bowrey’s continued indisposition or the letter had gone astray. He was now writing via Mr Fraser to ensure it arrived enclosing a copy of his earlier letter and a recent Act of the Scottish Parliament. I wrote about the copy letter on 21 August.

Mackenzie hoped that now the Act had been passed, Bowrey would have more confidence in the privileges granted to the Scottish Company. He seems very keen to obtain Bowrey’s investment promising to convene a special meeting of the Company’s directors to answer any further question he may have. The Company purchased the ship they named Annandale the following month. After all their misfortunes, the injection of new capital was probably desperately needed at this stage.

Mackenzie was a leading actor in the seizure of the Worcester and the subsequent actions against her captain and crew. There is no evidence that Bowrey ever purchased shares in the Scottish company. Was this rejection of Mackenzie’s efforts by Bowrey an underlining reason for what was to happen?

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