On This Day: 16 October 1689

On this day in 1689, Robert Masfen took the opportunity of the imminent departure of the Dorry for England to send Thomas Bowrey an update on their East Indies trade. He had last written to Bowrey eight months earlier when he had mentioned that when they parted they were not on good terms.

It would appear from this letter that Bowrey had not replied to Masfen’s earlier letter. Masfen seems to have assumed that Bowrey was still holding a grudge. In this letter, Masfen describes how a business associate had unfairly sued him over money he was said to owe. He also reminds Bowrey of his godson, Masfen’s son named Thomas after him, and asks if Bowrey has married yet.

Masfen was unaware that Bowrey’s return voyage took longer than expected and he had not reached England early enough to reply to Masfen’s earlier letter. There is no surviving evidence on Bowrey’s feelings about Masfen but the salutations in Masfen’s letters to Bowrey indicate that they were reconciled before Masfen’s death in 1699.

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