On this day in 1702, Robert Callant dashed off a short note to Captain Thomas Bowrey from Deal in Kent. Callant, the supercargo of the Worcester, was confirming to Bowrey that he had received the letter Bowrey had sent to John Madder, the ship’s chief mate. Callant also mentioned that he had received nothing more for himself.
Callant felt the need to write this note because Bowrey clearly did not fully trust his officers on board the ship. He would often request the same information from more than one of the captain, chief mate and supercargo. This may partially have been because the captain, Thomas Green, was a reluctant correspondent and frustrated Bowrey by his lack of response to queries.
This was not the only evidence of the lack of harmony among those on board the Worcester stirred up by Bowrey’s attempts at total control of the activities of the ship and crew. It was not a good start to their voyage.