On this day in 1692, Thomas Bowrey paid his tailor’s bill. Although he usually delayed payment of tradesmen’s bills, like most of his contemporaries, this was not the case for those of James Davis. Davis was married to Mary Bowrey’s aunt, Martha. Martha was from a wealthy family and appears to have married much below her station in life. Bowrey demonstrated a great deal of sympathy for the family, so it was out of character for him to have delayed payment of this bill for over six months. This may well have been because he was preparing for his marriage at the time and the bill became overlooked.
In the previous June, Bowrey was preparing for this winter by having linings added to his breeches and a jacket. Bills from other tailors show these were of warm flannel. It was only a few years since he returned from the East Indies and England was in the midst of the Little Ice Age. The winters were colder than we experience today.
Bowrey was using a number of tailors at the time. His lifestyle had changed radically from being a bachelor seafarer in the tropics to a merchant and family man in England. In order to fit in, his wardrobe needed a complete make over.