On this day in 1705, Thomas Bowrey started an account book for the expenses incurred fitting out his china shop and houses, probably those in Goodmans Fields close to his Wapping home. The account book only continues to 1 October the same year, just seven and a half months, but provides a unique insight for social historians.
Many account books survive for large estates but there is little material available for students of the domestic architecture of the newly emerging middle classes in the early modern period. The account book is preserved in the Papers of Thomas Bowrey at the London Metropolitan Archives alongside the associated bills, invoices and receipts. They deserve closer scrutiny than I will be able to give them in my biography.
By posting here, I am hoping that someone will find them in a collection of manuscripts associated more with the East Indies maritime trade of the time. I also intend to produce a much more comprehensive catalogue of all the documents relating to Thomas Bowrey spread across multiple repositories. When made available to the public, this catalogue should also enable more of the unusual papers to be found. In the meantime, should anyone want the references of any of the documents I have highlighted in this blog, please contact me.
You never know, I may also take on a second book focusing on the domestic life in both the East Indies and London at the turn of the eighteenth century.