On this day in 1701, Robert Callent wrote to Captain Thomas Bowrey confirming that he had arrived at Gravesend before 05:00 a.m. the previous day but the Worcester had already departed. By six o’clock (presumably in the afternoon) he had arrived at Deal. At this time, the Worcester had not yet anchored there. A few days earlier, Bowrey had told Joseph Tolson, the ship’s captain, to proceed on his voyage whether or not Callant had reached her.
Callant was the ship’s supercargo responsible or the business aspects of the voyage and to sail without one would compromise its profitability. The Worcester had arrived during the previous night. Then Tolson went ashore in the morning having damaged his main top mast – the likely cause of the delay. However, Callant had no doubt that they would be able to sail as soon as the weather was suitable after the next morning.
It would actually be almost five weeks before the Worcester sailed on the day that King William III died.