On This Day: 26 September 1706

Today’s manuscript is unusual and I am not sure why it was created. On this day in 1706, Richard Williams and Charles Sherer signed a statement headed: This is to certify that we the Subscribers lived several year in Bengal …and do certify that the usual freight from thence to Persia is as viz. They stated that 30% or 35% of the cargo of sugar was retained in Persia as the payment for freighting the sugar. No sugar was taken as payment in Bengal but freight for bale goods was always taken in Bengal. The document ends by saying this was the general practice at the time they left India for England in January 1705.

Thomas Bowrey, following his return to England was always keen to collect information on trade with the East Indies but that does not explain why he would require a signed statement. As far as I can tell, Williams was not otherwise known to Bowrey but he knew Sherer well and had trusted him with his business affairs so would certainly have believed any information he passed onto him.

Another document in Bowrey’s surviving papers, a letter from Sherer on his way home to England, explains that Williams left India at the same time as Sherer but as a passenger a different ship.

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