On This Day: 23 October 1700

Today’s manuscript is a damaged single page of what was a larger document, the rest of which is now missing. It relates to the legal case of Thomas Bowrey and the other subscribers to the St George Galley venture vs John Rolls.

John Rolls had signed up as one of these subscribers but failed to pay any of his agreed contribution towards the cost. He had made arrangements to make his payments when the galley arrived at Cadiz. Unfortunately, the St George Galley never left England in part because of bad luck but primarily because of Bowrey’s poor judgement and loss of nerve.

When the cargo and provisions for the galley were sold off at Lloyds Coffee House, there was a loss which was apportioned out between all the subscribers, including Rolls. He refused to pay and his fellow subscribers, led by Bowrey, took him to court. As was common at the time, there is no record of the outcome of this case.

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