On this day in 1701, I believe that Thomas Bowrey sold a half share in the Prosperous to the ship’s master, Captain John Hilliard, and other business partners.
I say ‘I believe’ because, although Bowrey kept an account book for the voyage of the ship, he does not use modern, double-entry bookkeeping methods or something similar, called Merchants’ Accounts at the time. This makes it difficult to understand exactly what is happening from the accounts book. At first glance, I thought he had sold his interest in the ship before she sailed. However, it is clear from today’s account book, he retained an interest.
It would have been better for Bowrey if he had sold up at this time and he would have saved himself from later losses when the Prosperous was taken by pirates.
One thing is made clear by the account book. The intention was to purchase slaves, quite probably from the pirates based on Madagascar, because the Prosperous carried medicines for ye slaves.