On This Day: 7 January 1703

On this day in 1703, Joseph Hynmers wrote to Captain Thomas Bowrey from Portsmouth. Hynmers was confirming that he would collect information on coins, weights and measures as well as customs duties for Bowrey during his voyage. Bowrey had been collecting information about curiosities for the collaborator on his dictionary, Thomas Hyde, but Hynmers’ information would appear to be for himself. Hyde was to die the following month and was not really interested in such commercial information.

Hynmers was one of the supercargos on board the Todington sailing for Batavia and Amoy but may also have had East Indies ancestry and thus be an ideal person to collect the information. A Joseph Hynmers had died 28 May 1680 at Fort St George during Bowrey’s time in the East. He had married Catherine Elford who was, perhaps, connected to Bowrey’s business partner, Henry Alford. Catherine would go on to marry Elihu Yale following Hynmers senior’s death. Fort St George was a very tightknit community.

That Bowrey knew Hynmers’ parents would explain the tone of Hynmers’ letter addressed to Worthy Sir and ending I wish you health success & a happy progress in your undertakings. This is an unusual sentiment to someone who has made an onerous request of you.

8 thoughts on “On This Day: 7 January 1703

  1. Joseph Hynmers Junior was indeed the son of the Joseph Hynmers who had died in Madras in 1680. Catherine Elford Hynmers then went on to marry Elihu Yale who, of course, later gave his name to the university in Connecticut. Joseph Hynmers Junior served the East India Company, also in Madras, from 1692 until 1699, when he sailed back to England. He died in 1703, almost certainly during this voyage.


    1. Thanks Sue. Yes, me too. I’m just working through 50+ original letters between Elihu Yale and his (probable) mistress, Katherine Nicks, back in Madras. I’m working on a trilogy about Yale’s wife, Catherine, of course – or did I say that already? Here’s the background… http://www.davidebsworth.com/coming-soon-elihu-yale-story Meanwhile I’m still desperate to find that link between Henry Alford and Walter Elford – though perhaps it is, after all, simple coincidence.



      1. Dave

        I am definitely interested in your proposed book and you can look to me at the end of January.

        I am also interested to see how crowd funding a book such as yours works out. I hope to find a publisher for my biography but I had thought that crowd funding may be a backstop (or is that a rude phrase these days?)

        Wishing you the best of luck and prompt me if my memory fails me at the end of January.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha. Yes, don’t mention backstop! Great heavens, what a mess we’re in! But apart from all that your biography sounds like the sort of thing that Pen and Sword Books might be interested in. Worth a try anyhow. Personally I quite enjoy crowd funding as an indie publisher but it’s a lot of work. But we can chat about that in due course. The main thing is to have a decent network already established on social media etc to help “spread the word.” Meanwhile, good luck with the research and writing.



    1. Dave

      Pen and Sword think it is “too niche”! I would agree for many publishers but Pen and Sword publish so many “niche” books. I am not giving up yet. As you say, “backstop” has become discredited. My network is growing.

      Many thanks for your good wishes and seasons greetings.



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