On This Day: 23 January 1702

On this day in 1702, the Worcester was still on the Thames having cargo and supplies loaded on board. Three days earlier, Captain William Keech delivered spare masts and other timber. On the 23rd, Thomas Bowrey paid Keech for the wood.

I have no doubt that the prompt payment was because Keech, like Bowrey, was one of the joint owners and freighters of the ship. Keech, who had taken a 3/16th share of the venture, was an old friend of Bowrey and had advised on victualing for voyages, shipbuilding and other matters. Bowrey had a 5/16th share. Their respective investments amounted to £401/1/4 and £668/8/10 – equivalent to around £60,000 and £100,000 today.

The other shareholders were Thomas Starkes (4/16th), Thomas Hammond (3/16th) and John Glover (1/16th). That Bowrey had the largest share possibly explains why he took the leading role in attempting to obtain compensation for the loss of the ship but there were probably other contributory factors.

Bowrey made similar sized investments in other ventures so was unlikely to be more dependent on the funds than the other investors. In my opinion, it was his personality. Once slighted, he seemed unable to let go and continued to spend money fighting a lost cause.

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