On This Day: 7 February 1708

On this day in 1708, Patrick Bourne, of Stepney, and Elizabeth Loveday made their affidavit concerning Thomas Bowrey’s ship, the Worcester. Bourne was a mariner and the brother-in-law of John Loveday, deceased, who had been the purser on board the ship. Elizabeth was the wife of John Loveday’s brother, Samuel.

Their statement says that, when the Worcester arrived at Fraserburgh in Scotland, John Loveday had left the ship, destined for London with letters, papers and books for the owners and freighters. Loveday also had with him a small escritoire containing more papers. Unfortunately, he died on the journey at Aberdeen. Samuel Loveday, when acquainted with his brother’s death, managed to procure the escritoire at some expense to himself.

Richard Carnac Temple ignores this affidavit in his The Tragedy of the Worcester and I can understand why because it muddies the water in relation to the claims that the Scots took all the papers from the ship. It is possible that the papers in the escritoire belonged to John Loveday who was known to have traded on his own account during the voyage and that there other documents were not procured by his brother as they were of no interest to him.


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