On This Day: 13 November 1683

On this day in 1683, Ralph Harwar loaded his goods on Thomas Bowrey’s sloop Adventure. Harwar had sailed for India as surgeon on the Diligence in 1668, leaving the ship and remaining in India as a free merchant until 1672 when he became the East India Company surgeon at Hugli in Bengal. He went home four years later but returned to his job at Hugli in 1682.

His letter, accompanying the goods, expressed his confidence in the diligence of Bowrey and his business partner, Robert Masfen, who, he believed, would sell his goods at the best price. Bowrey had owned his share of the Adventure for just over a year but Harwar is likely to have known Bowrey for as long as they both had been in the region – both arriving at much the same time.

This letter demonstrates that Bowrey had developed a good reputation before he set up in business on his own account. It is tempting to speculate that he had received encouragement from others to do this.


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