On This Day: 22 December 1696

On this day in 1696, five of his partners in the St George Galley wrote to Captain Thomas Bowrey on board the galley at Portsmouth. His friend and one of the partners, Nathaniel Long, had included his own letter.

The partners authorised Bowrey to carry out whatever repairs he considered necessary to the galley and set out the credit they had organised.

Long’s letter shows the first signs of his losing patients with Bowrey. In Long’s opinion, Bowrey had let a series of unfortunate events overcome him and he did not believe that situation to be a bad as Bowrey claimed. Bowrey appears to have¬†complained that they were not carrying sufficient cargo to make the voyage worthwhile but Long countered that both the ship and Bowrey’s life were probably saved by that fact. Surely the galley would have sunk when she sprung leaks had she been more heavily loaded.

Long adds an interesting comment saying I remember there was something amiss in your head. Whether this means that he knew Bowrey had doubts about the proposed voyage or that he believed Bowrey depressed or insane we will never know but he was sending Bowrey’s wife to visit him. The friendship between the two men cooled from this point and was never the same again.


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