On This Day: 30 September 1699

On this day in 1699, Captain Thomas Bowrey was involved in the preparation of two ships for trading voyages: the Gosfreight and the Home Frigate.

We only know about these ships and Bowrey’s involvement because of a list he produced, possibly during 1706. From the consistency of handwriting, ink colour. etc., the list appears to have been produced in one sitting and, thus, points to a specific reason for its production. I have yet to work out what this may have been but he drafted a Will in April 1706. Perhaps he believed he may die soon?

The list is extremely useful because it is the only surviving record of many of the ships including the two named above. It also includes those ships I have mentioned many times in this blog: the Worcester, the Prosperous and the Mary Galley. I have been able to use the surviving records for those ships to understand the dates and monetary values on the list. There is one other ship of which I am aware – the London commanded by (Sir) George Mathews. Mathews hired his ship to the East India Company for a number of voyages. This list shows that he also made such voyages as an independent merchant or, as this list describes, a Separate Trader.

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