On This Day: 10 February 1698

On this day in 1698, Allan Catchpoole loaded goods on board the Scarborough in Bengal. The goods had been purchased on behalf of Captain Thomas Bowrey.

Eighteen months earlier, Bowrey had given Catchpoole a silver bowl with cover to sell in the East Indies. The proceeds of the sale together with an additional five hundred dollars (worth £125 at the time) to purchase lead in Borneo. This lead was, in turn, to be sold in Bengal and the money raised was to be used to purchase a list of textiles and clothing. The list was so specific that they were probably for the use of Bowrey and his wife, Mary. They included a set of embroidered bed linens, a similar petticoat and a neck cloth. Any remaining funds were to be invested in striped muslin to be sold in England with the profits from the muslin sale to be shared between the two men.

Today’s invoice described the embroidery as being wrought in silk Japan fashion. The bed set and petticoat were quilted as well as lined. These were fashionable and valuable items. The petticoat cost the equivalent of more than £400 today and the bed set of curtains, valence and cushions nearly £800. In recognition of their value, Catchpoole had stored these items in his own chest. The less valuable muslins were loaded on board in bales.

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