On This Day: 30 December 1708

On this day in 1708, Thomas Bowrey met with his painter, William O’Sherr. They discussed the work he wanted carried out – probably on his property in Goodmans Fields, although there is nothing on the note Bowrey made of the meeting to confirm this.

Alongside his shipping interests and other projects, Bowrey also invested in property – housing he leased to others. One of these investments was a group of houses he had built in this new development in Whitechapel where a luxurious new development sharing the same name is today selling for between £762,500 and £1,720,000.

The work Bowrey agreed in 1708 cost £3/15/0 – the equivalent of a little over £550 today and comprised:

  • All the outside woodwork, including the window casements and cornice in three coats of oil-based paint
  • All the inside to be prepared (sized) and whitewashed
  • Chamber, kitchen, doors, staircases and banisters coloured and varnished
  • Cellar ceiling plastered
  • All the floors, cellar and yard to be cleaned

If all this work was carried out in a workman-like manner, as specified, it would appear to be very good value.


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