On This Day: 20 December 1686

On this day in 1686, Thomas Bowrey wrote to the Reverend John Evans in Hugly from Fort St George. Bowrey had only just received the letter Evans wrote to him on 19 November.

Bowrey explained that his voyage to Achin on Sumatra had been abandoned due to a storm. On 2 November, he was caught out by an unexpected and sudden change in the weather so bad that he had been forced to cut down his main mast or risk the ships and the lives of those on board. Then the easterly winds had forced him back to India’s Coromandel Coast.

He was now left with a large quantity of opium and other goods suitable for the market in Borneo, including the opium he was to have sold on Evans’ behalf. Fortunately, the cargo was all safe. Now, Bowrey was stuck at Fort St George, Madras waiting for his business partner, Robert Masfen who he hoped had better fortunes.


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