On This Day: 22 September 1704

On this day in 1704, Thomas Loveday sent his bill for metal work to Thomas Bowrey. There is nothing on the manuscript to indicate the purpose of this purchase but, from the date, it was probably connected to the fitting out of the Mary Galley. The previous year, Loveday had supplied similar items for the Rising Sun.

From the nature of the items supplied, Loveday was probably a tinsmith or whitesmith. These items were domestic, would have been for the crew’s use but are especially interesting because were probably similar to what a couple would have needed when setting up home at the time. In the days before forks were commonly used and individuals carried their own knife, the order included 60 spoons. It may be possible to estimate the size of the crew from the other quantities: 12 each of bowls, platters, cans (used as cup?), bread baskets, butter kitts, butter dishes and Paps. Split into three watches, these indicate a crew of about 36 men. A few of the items tell us a little about the diet on the voyage: a cheese knife and a mustard bowl. A bread shovel and a flour shovel may indicate that bread was baked on board.

Not everything related to cooking and eating. The order included 6 large wood lanthorns (lanterns – although wood seems a risky material to use), 1 tinder box and steel, a pair of bellows, 6 pumps and a shod shovel. Finally, there were some items that remain a mystery: 3 large and 1 small Tun Cans, 1 Sett of wood meshes (perhaps sieves but there was also 2 small Sives), 1 Shod Shovell and 2 Long Gitterons. A gitteron was a type of English guitar but they would seem an unlikely item for fitting out a ship.

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