On This Day: 17 January 1706

On this day in 1706, Elias Grist (part owner and purser) wrote to Captain Thomas Bowrey from Batavia to inform him that he had been left stranded by the Mary Galley. Unlikely as it may seem, both he and Joseph Tolson, the galley’s captain, claimed that Grist had been left behind accidentally. I told Tolson’s side of the story on 5 September. Although giving more details, it is not contradicted by Grist.

It would seem that Tolson had a bad reputation with his peers. He had wished to send some letters for Bowrey and some luxuries for Mary Bowrey by the first ship returning to England but the captain of the Dover refused to do anything to assist Tolson. Annoyingly, Grist claimed to know why this was but does not say in the letter. Grist had readdressed the letters and arranged for a private person, presumably a passenger on the Dover to carry the letters for him.

The Mary Galley was, at the time, under charter to a local merchant, John Moore, and he expected her return in March. Grist was stranded until then. Tolson was forced to accept this charter because they had been unable to purchase a satisfactory cargo at Batavia from the funds they had. It would not be until April that the galley returned.

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