On This Day: 28 January 1686

On this day in 1686, Captain Thomas Bowrey wrote to his loveing Friend, Robert Masfen, from Porto Novo. The letter was to be left at Henry Alford’s house in Fort St George. He had managed to sell the paddy (unhusked rice) he had on board when the storm had stopped him from reaching Achin but still had the remaining cargo destined for Borneo.

Bowrey had arrived at Porto Novo from Madras, where he had left an earlier letter for Masfen. He was concerned about continuing with his voyage without the agreement of Masfen. Bowrey seems unsure if Masfen wanted to continue their partnership and was especially concerned because he had purchased additional goods on their joint account in Porto Novo.

Bowrey had heard on board the ship Shrewsbury that Masfen was planning to go on that ship to China. Bowrey assured Masfen of his respect & kindness for him and does not want Masfen to believe that Bowrey wants to split from him. He believes their arrangement has been equally profitable for each of them. As Bowrey confirmed that he was still hoping to return to England, it seems disingenuous of him to be upset that Masfen wanted to make his own plans for his future.


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