On This Day: 18 November 1703

On this day in 1703, Captain Thomas Wybergh wrote from on board the Rising Sun at Deal to Thomas Bowrey acknowledging the latest orders he had sent. The Rising Sun was about to embark on a trading voyage to the East Indies.

This was very typical of Bowrey. He bombarded all his ships’ captains with instructions for as long as they were in English waters and, often, once they had left. Bowrey’s mind appeared to have worked constantly. He would dream up new ways of making money on his voyages, correct errors that he realised he had made in original instructions or react to changing political situations.

It seem to me that Bowrey was a nightmare to work for. At times he showed great compassion but rarely to his captains. When Joseph Tolson was later injured in an attack on the Mary Galley by French privateers, Bowrey had no sympathy, blaming Tolson for the ship later being taken after he had handed over command to his deputy because of his incapacity.


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