On This Day: 27 December 1704

On this day in 1704, Thomas Bowrey wrote to Thomas Hammond. In all the over 10,000 images of documents I have collected relating to Bowrey, this is the only one I have found so far to mention Christmas. In a postscript to his letter, Bowrey wrote: I give you Joy of your Son or Daughter, I know not which & wish you & your good Lady a Merry Xmas.

Thomas Hammond, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, was born on Christmas Day and baptised four days later at St Dunstan in the East. His elder brother, Luke Feilder Hammond was to become a vicar of the parish of Flore in Northamptonshire.

Today’s document is a covering letter sent with three others to Bowrey’s friends expected to be at Batavia or likely to arrive there later. One of the letters, that addressed to Joseph Tolson the captain and supercargo of the Mary Galley, had been signed by Hammond who had a friend about to leave for Borneo. Instructions were to be left that, if the intended recipients had not arrived by April 1706, the letters were to be burnt.

Hammond was a business partner of Bowrey’s in the voyages of the Mary Galley, Rising Sun and Worcester. He also appears to have been a wine merchant having supplied Bowrey with wine, brandy and lemon juice


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