On This Day: 16 December 1696

On this day in 1696, Nathaniel Long wrote from March Lane London to Thomas Bowrey on board the St George Galley at Spithead enclosing a letter for his brother, Lytcott. Lytcott Long was expected to be at Cadiz when Bowrey reached there. He also had a message for Lytcott: tell him wee should be glad to receive a Lyne [line] from him. If he was not at Cadiz when Bowrey arrived, Long hoped that he could find out as much as he could about his brother’s whereabouts. Many people would recognise the frustration of a sibling whom did not report home as frequently as hoped.

Family business out of the way, Long said that he had petitioned Parliament for a Letter of Marque that would allow Bowrey to act as a privateer. In Long’s opinion, there was no nation that would not, at the time, encourage their ships to annoy their enemies by authorising them to act as legal pirates against them. It is not clear whose idea it was to obtain the Letter of Marque. Perhaps the pressure to do so from the other investors, hoping for any prize money they may share, was one of the reasons for Bowrey’s reluctance to continue with this voyage.

Among the other business in this letter, Long said that he had seen a Mr Symonds about the Dutch paper which Symonds had told him was made from waste paper. He had none available. I have found references to paper being made from recycled fibres at this time but not from recycled paper and can find no references to Dutch paper. I should be interested if anyone has information about this.



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