On This Day: 19 December 1703

On this day in 1703, Phillip Waldegave wrote to Thomas Bowrey from Mellford, presumably Long Melford, Suffolk. Bowrey had written to Waldegrave requesting news of the Worcester in India. Nothing else survives in Bowrey’s papers about Waldegrave but it is assumed that he was a sea captain or supercargo recently returned from the East Indies.

Waldegrave was able to report that Robert Callant, the supercargo, and Thomas Green, the master, were well and had sold some great guns as well as purchased large quantities of pepper at Cochin, on the west coast of India. The ship had arrived at Anjango at the beginning of November and were heading up the coast. A Mr Brandon had Elephants’ teeth to sell but Waldegrave did not know if Callant had bought them.

Waldegrave was describing the part of the voyage of the Worcester that was to prove fatal to Green and two others of his crew. The Scots distorted the stories of what happened on the Malabar Coast of India to imply that they were taking part in acts of piracy and hanged them for murder. Callant, well when he met Waldegrave, was to fall ill before leaving India and died at the Cape of Good Hope on the return voyage.


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