On This Day: 13 February 1704

On this day in 1704, Peter Tom wrote to Captain Bowrey from  on board the Rising Sun at anhor in Flushing Road. Tom’s letter said that they had been waiting for a long and tedious time for a favourable wind so that they could start their voyage to the East Indies. The previous morning, a fresh gale blew up and, at last, the weather was suitable to set sail.

And set sail they did that night at eight p.m. on the flood tide in convoy with a number of Indiamen. The captain had experienced a great deal of trouble with the crew but they had managed to get them all on board ready to depart. The captain had asked Tom to inform Bowrey about their departure and also the losses their ship had incurred since they left England following the Great Storm. Tom also thanked Bowrey for allowing them £10 imprest money – presumable to pay men to join their crew although only the Royal Navy pressed men into service.

Tom expressed the opinion that the captain was an honest good humoured gentlemen. Mr Morgan, the boatswain, and Mr Broom, the carpenter, both sent their humble regards to  Bowrey, his Lady and his family. All seemed good.

But it was not. A postscript to the letter said that the wind dropped, they anchored and, the next morning, returned to Flushing. Now there was no other ships to sail in convoy with. It was beginning to seem that the Rising Sun would never get underway.

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