On This Day: 1 October 1703

On this day in 1703, Abram Cuper oar maker of Wapping Old Stairs sent his bill to Captain Bowere for oars and various other wooden items for the Rising Sun. The items ranged from four thousand of billett wood to oars and masts.

A billet wood was wood for fuel. Cuper also supplied a peice of Ould timber and a peice of Ould Mast for wedges. Nothing was wasted. The order included three types of oars:  ten long boat oars and five pairs of Pinnesses oars one pair of Ships Oars of thirty foot. There were two masts for the Pinnesses and two dozen handspikes (wooden rods with metal tips used as levers). Yet again I am defeated by two items: a David of Seaventeen foot and a bowy. My guess is that a David may be a special type of oar, perhaps for helping to manoeuvre the ship and a bowy may have been a wooden buoy.

Unusually, Thomas Bowrey paid this bill on the day it was presented to him and only negotiated a small discount – less than 4%. Cuper was clearly a shrewder tradesman than most of his time.




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