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aboard her shee hath upon fowle weather severall tymes within the tyme
aforesayd broken loose from her mooreing and lost a Cable and an Anchor
and shee being a ranke keeled vessell being severall tymes by badd
weather broken loose hath bin by the same weather driven ashoare againe severall
tymes whereby shee was and is very much wr[?u]nge and bruised in her
keele and damnified in other parts of her hull
soe that her Oakeham workes out of her seames
and shee usually lying on shoare is wett at full tyde and dry at ebbing
water which is a great meanes to perish her and her riggeing, and in
this perishing condition shee hath bin in for these fower moneths last
past and growes dayly worse and worse soe that if shee lye soe much longer
and bee not repayred shee will bee little or nothing worth the premisses
hee deposeth of his owne sight and knowledge being an Inhabitant [neere]
the place where shee lyeth and takeing dayly notice of her perishing condition
as hee passed to and fro by her and having bin aboard and helped to make
her fast severall tymes when shee brake loose as aforesayd And saith
that such her perishable condition is well knowne to other able Mariners
and Seamen liveing neere the place where shee lyes And further
hee cannot depose

Repeated with his precontest before
doctor Godolphin./



The 15th day of January 1657 English style

Examined upon the sayd Petition./

A busines of examination of witnesses upon a Qualis}
Quals Petitio [?preferred] and made on the behalf of}
Thomas Lodington George Bourman Samuell Clarke}
and Oliver Williams against the ship the Hope of}
fflushing (Claes Johnson Master and against the}
sayd Claes Johnson Budd ffrancklin Suckley Smith}

Rp. EA. jus

William Tayler of Wapping in the parish
of Saint Mary Matsellon alias Whitechappell and
County of Middlesex Lighterman aged sixty yeares
or thereabouts a wittnesse sworne and examined saith
and deposeth as followeth./

To the sayd petition hee saith that hee is a lighterman by trade and hath
bin for these thirty yeares last past or more imployed in ballasting of shipps
and thereby knoweth that the Office of Ballasting of shipps hath bin an
ancient office and continued and put in practize and exercised by such
as had the graunt thereof and hee hath knowne Mr Samuell Bu[?rr]ell
and after him Mr William Mountioye and others Grauntees thereof exercise the
sayd office of ballasting shipps by officers by them imployed thereabout,
And that the sayd Office is now graunted by Pattent from his highnesse
the Lord Protector unto Thomas Lidington (sic) George Bourman Samuell Clarke
and Oliver Williams who are now in the actuall possession and exercise thereof
And hee this deponent well knoweth that in order to their exercise thereof
publication was made by printed papers sett up at the Custome house and at the Exchange
London and on divers places neere the River of Thames to give notice to all
Masters of shipps and others that have use of Ballast, that they were
to take in their ballast by order and authority of the sayd office Which notwith=
standing and all though the sayd Grantees Thomas Lidington George Bourman
Samuell Clarke and Oliver Williams had by their Officers and Ministers



Thomas Lidington (sic) George Bourman Samuell Clarke and Oliver Williams (patentees of the Lord Protector for the Ballast Office)
William Tayler (lighterman of Saint Mary Matsellon alias Whitechappell, aged 60)

George Bowerman[1]

"BOWERMAN (BOREMAN), George (c.1646-83), of East Greenwich, Kent.

Family and Education

b. c.1646, o.s. of George Bowerman of East Greenwich by w. Alice. educ. L. Inn 1667. m. lic. 21 July 1669, aged 23, Sarah, da. of Isaac Lyte, Skinner, of London and Mortlake, Surr., 1da. suc. fa. 1668.1
Offices Held

Under-clerk in Chancery ?1667-8; master of the ballast office 1668-77; commr. for assessment, Kent 1673-8, recusants 1675, j.p. by 1680-d.2

The Bowermans had been royal servants since at least the reign of Elizabeth I, and although Bowerman’s father strayed from the path of uncompromising loyalty by taking a lease of the ballast office from the Protectorate, he hastened to redress his error at the Restoration by agreeing to double the rent to £2,000 a year, and was appointed keeper of the wardrobe and privy lodgings at Greenwich. His patent, giving him a monopoly of ballast between London Bridge and the Nore, was described as ‘no less oppressive than illegal’. He employed 240 men, and cleared £1,500 a year profit.3

Bowerman, after serving in the Six Clerks’ office of Chancery, succeeded his father in the patent. His marriage brought him Dorset connexions, since his wife’s brother-in-law was headmaster of Sherborne; it also linked him with the Goodenough brothers, who as under-sheriffs of London played such an important part in returning suitable juries during the Popish Plot and the exclusion crisis. He may have been urged to enter Parliament by Sir William Bowerman, clerk comptroller of the Household, who claimed kin in Dorset, and could also have recommended him to his colleague on the board of green cloth, (Sir) Winston Churchill. Bowerman began to establish an interest at Bridport some time before the sudden death of Humphrey Bishop in November 1675. The inordinate delay in the execution of the writ, of which he complained, must have been intended to damage his chances; nevertheless, when it came to a poll, his principal opponent ( Wadham Strangways) withdrew, and Bowerman defeated the other candidate, John Hurding (who enjoyed the advantage of being the sheriff’s step-father) by two to one. But the election had been ruinously expensive; he had to borrow £2,500, making over the ballast office (worth £700 p.a.) as security.4

Meanwhile, Bowerman had taken his seat in the House, but he was not to enjoy the indulgence traditionally granted to new Members. Hardly had he been named to his first committee when he was the subject of a personal attack by William Garway over the regular use of his yacht for carrying over recruits to the French army. Bowerman either could not or dared not reply. He was noted by opposition pamphleteers as a member of the Court party and a placeman. Needless to say Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’. He sat on 11 committees, none of political significance.5

On the dissolution of the Cavalier Parliament, Bowerman wrote to Thomas Strangways:

I received a letter from Bridport yesterday wherein I find that all their voices are at your and Mr Wadham’s disposal. If you have thoughts to stand yourself or to put in some particular friend, I would by no means give you any trouble.

In the event Strangways wrote to the corporation in favour of his brother Wadham Strangways and George Ryves, though the latter failed to secure a seat. No more is heard of Bowerman; probably his purse was exhausted, for it was in the King’s Bench prison that he made his will on 19 Apr. 1683. He was buried at Greenwich a week later.6


   1. PCC 134 Hene; Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxiv), 12; Mortlake Par. Reg. 82; Soc. of Genealogists, Greenwich reg.
   2. HMC Lords, ii. 354.
   3. Hasted, Kent, i. 418; CSP Dom. 1657-8, pp. 37-38; 1663-4, p. 95; 1664-5, p. 258.
   4. CSP Dom. 1664-5, p. 340; 1673-5, pp. 34, 47; J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London, 109; HMC Lords, ii. 353-4; SP29/402/162.
   5. Grey, iv. 256.
6. Dorset RO, D124, letter of 1 Feb. 679; PCC 53 Drax; Drake, Hundred of Blackheath, 116."


Ballast Office, London

Thames Riverscape showing the Ratcliff Cross Stairs, Phoenix Wharf, the Ballast Office and Marriage's Wharf: 1937

"[Monday, 19th November 1660] After that to Westminster Hall, and there hearing that Sir W. Batten was at the Leg in the Palace, I went thither, and there dined with him and some of the Trinity House men who had obtained something to-day at the House of Lords concerning the Ballast Office."[2]

"There is yet another Table hanging up in Trinity House, which sheweth the Number, Tonnage, and Measure of each Lighter belonging to the Ballast Office, weighed May 15, 1700.

The Master, Wardens, and Assistants of Trinity House, have caused all the Lighters employed in the Ballast Work, to be new weighed and marked in their own Presence, with all the exactness possible. And to the End that no Master of a Ship, or other Person, having Occasion for Ballast, may be deceived in the Tonnage by the Lighter-men employed in that Work, the said Corporation published in Print the said Table. [The Lighters belonging to the Ballast Office, marked by the Company.]

After the Table is added,

Now whereas this Corporation is informed that divers Masters of Ships, and coasting Vessels chiefly, do frequently take in Ballast from private Wharfs and Places in the River without entring it at the Office, and paying for the same; it is hereby declared, that if any Master shall take in all, or part of his Ballast (or Chalk-stones or Rubbish of any kind, to be used instead of Ballast) from any Wharf or Place whatsoever within the River of Thames (excepting from our own Wharfes at Greenwich and Greenhith) or suffer our own Lighter-men, or any other, to serve him with Ballast, before it be entered and payed for; he is for the first time to pay double the Price of the Ballast he did so take in, and for the second, to be prosecuted with the utmost Rigour of the Law. [The Penalty of taking in Ballast at private Wharfs.]

And if any Master, or his Company, shall violently take and carry aboard his Ship any Lighter with Ballast, not appointed to him by the Office, no further Supply of Ballast, nor any Bill shall be given to the said Master, untill he shall have given such Satisfaction for his, or their abovesaid Abuse and Disorder, as this Corporation shall think reasonable. [Or of taking Lighters with Ballast violently.]

And if any Master shall not take in his Ballast when brought to his Ship-side at the time of his own appointment, or shall not discharge the Lighter or Lighters bringing the said Ballast the same Tyde of Ebbe, he shall pay for the said Ballast, though it be afterwards carried away, as if it had been taken into his Ship; unless he shall, one Tyde at least before, give notice at the Office, that he shall not be ready for the Ballast at the time before appointed. This Table was Signed,

THOMAS WILSHAW, Master. [Or in Case of not taken it in when brought.][3]


Primary sources


C 2/ChasI/B69/30 Short title: Bushell v Boreman.Plaintiff: Bushell.Defendant: Boreman.Document type: [Bill and answer or answers].
C 2/ChasI/B165/59 Short title: Boreman v Clarke. Plaintiff: Boreman. Defendant: Clarke. Document type: Rejoinder. 01 January 1625 - 31 December 1660

C 5/450/33 Short title: Bowerman v Thomlinson. Plaintiffs: George Bowerman and another. Defendants: Christopher Thomlinson. Subject: money matters. Document type: Answer. 1679

C 6/80/32 Short title: Bowerman v Boreman.Plaintiffs: George Bowerman and Edward Crisp. Defendants: Sir William Boreman kt, Sir Thomas Allen kt and Thomas Plume. Subject: will of the deceased George Bowerman. Document type: two answers. 1680
C 6/82/84 Short title: Tomlinson v Boreman. Plaintiffs: Christopher Tomlinson . Defendants: William Boreman kt, Thomas Plume and Thomas Allen kt. Subject: property in Document type: two answers. 1680
C 6/185/8 Short title: Baker v Beresford. Plaintiffs: Margaret Baker widow. Defendants: Rowland Beresford, William Penoyer, Josias Dewie, George Boreman and Sigismund Trafford. Subject: property in Hackney, and Leyton, Middlesex. Document type: bill, answer, plea. SFP 1669

C 10/136/15 Bowerman v. Bowerman, Boreman, Plume, Tomlinson: Kent. 1679
C 10/471/21 Boreman v. Crowne: Norf. 1668

C 22/769/36 Boreman v. Crowne. 1673

PROB 11/373/71 Will of George Boreman of East Greenwich, Kent. 12 May 1683
PROB 11/382/260 Will of John Boreman, Gentleman of East Greenwich, Kent. 25 February 1686

SP 9/210/109 f.1 Copy of order of the House of Lords for the continuance of the Lastage and Ballast office. [Journals of H. of L. vol. XI p. 188]. 1660 Nov. 19


Seventh report of the Royal Commission of Historical Manuscripts, pt 1. Report and Appendix (London, 1879)

p.83 http://archive.org/stream/reportofroyalcom07grea#page/83/mode/1up

"May 15. (1660) Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Assist-
ants of Trinity House of Deptford Strand.[4]

Petitioners claim the Ballast Office under a grant from Queen
Elizabeth, and complain of interruption in the c-ce cution
thereof by Richard Younge and Thomas Browne, under
pretence of a grant made in the 12th year of his late
Majesty, though there is in that grant a special reser-
vation of any grant to the Trinity House by his Majesty's
predecessors; petitioners therefore pray that they may
not be interrupted in receivng the dues and rights
belonging to the Office, which are a considerable part
of the revenue granted for the sup|>ort and relief of
poor decayed seamen and their widows and children
belonging to the Corporation, as they are willing to
give security to answer for the profits of the office to
any persons who maliciously endeavour to interrupt
them in the duties thereof in case these pretenders shall
by law be found to have any right thereto. L. J., XI.

Annexed: —

1. Reasons for quieting the possession of the Ballast
Office. Four hundred families depend for their
livelihood on the taking of ballast for ships, and
cannot proceed in their labuur till the office is
settled, and must therefore starve. No ship can
go to Sea without ballast, and trade must there-
fore cease, and the receipt of money at the
custom house also. The Trinitj' House are will-
ing 10 give security to answer for the profits of
the office to any pretenders."

"May 15. (1660) Petition of the assignees and trustees of
William Mountjoy, Esq., deceased.[5]

King Charles I., in the 12th year of his reign, granted to Wm. Mountjoy
and others all the soil and sand of the River Thames,
and the lastage and ballastage of all the ships in the
river, for a yearly rent of one thousand marks, and
Mountjoy accordingly entered upon the office, received
the profits, and constantly paid the rent: but for the
last seventeen years neither petitioners nor their pre-
decessors received any profit from the office. Petitioners
pray for an order to encourage them in the speedy
settling of the office, and that nothing may be done
against them until they be heard. L.J., XI. 28.


1. Statement of the case. The assigns of Mountjoy
claim by a lease made by King Charles I. for
thirty-one years, under a rent of 400l. for the
first five years, and afterwards one thousand
marks. Trinity House claims by an old patent
from Queen Elizabeth, in which no rent is re-
served and which was declared void by the Court
of Common Please in the time of King James. If
the lease of the assigns is laid aside a thousand
marks a year and all arrears are lost to the
revenue, and the honour due to his deceased
Majesty may receive some prejudice. Mountjoy
was in quiet possession before the wars and some
time since, and desired to be restored to possession
again, being only interrupted by Oliver's grant
procured by one Boreman, who now sets foot
the pretended title of Trinity House."

"June 6 (????). Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Assistants
of the Trinity House of Deptford Strand, in Kent

When the case concerning the office of lastage and
ballastage of ships was heard, the House ordered that
the matter should Ije referred to law in regard of His
Majesty's absence ; now as a trial at law will require
some time, and in the interim the trade of the port of
London will be much damaged, and the poor of the
Corporation for whom petitioners are entrusted will be
much prejudiced, they pray that they may enjoy the
office and the profits until the trial, they giving any
reasonable .security to be answerable for tlie profits to
whomsoever the same shall be adjudged. L. J., XI. 54.

Annexed : —

1. Reasons humbly offered by the masters and
owners of shipping for the quieting the possession
of the ballast office; the office is one of great
public concern, and any quarrel about it obstructs
trade and the King's revenue, the masters of
ships know not where to demand ballast, nor
whom to pay for it, many families are reduced
to beggary, disorderly persons dig and take
ballast coutrftry to tho'rulcs for the preservation
of the Thames to the great damage of the river ;
2,0ti0?. will not make good the damage done on
Saturday night last in the late breach in Poplar
Marsh ; claims may be set on foot merely to
extort double duties, and for want of the profitr.
of the office the Trinity House will be unable
to relieve the poor seamen and their wives and

"June 13 (????) Printed copy of order for settling the
master, wardens, and assistants of the Trinity House at
Deptford Strand in possession of the office of lastage
and ballastage of all ships lying between London Bridge
and the main sea eastwards until the title to the office
is determined at law, upon their giving security to be
answerable lor the mesne profits in case they shall be
legally ejected. L. J., XI. 60.

Annexed : —
1. Bond for 10,000?., in jnirsunnco of ]ireceding
order on behalf of the Trinity House, to answer
for the mesne profits of the office of lastago and
ballastage of ships until the title to the same
shall be determined at law. 14 June.
June 13. Petition of Francis Viscount Mountague.
For years past petitioner, under pretence of his being a
popish recusant, has groaned under tlie heavy burden of
a sequestration of more than two tliii'ds of his estate.
By the laws of the realm he is not subject to secjnestra-
tioii, never having been convicted of recusancy, yet not
having any legal power to make his appeal for relief,
through the violence of the times he was forced ])atiently
to submit himself. Prays that his condition as a peer
may be considered, that he may no longer live under
these oppressions, ami that the levying of any money on
his estate may ho suspended until the merit of his cause
be heard and determined by law. L. J., XL 60. "


  1. BOWERMAN (BOREMAN), George (c.1646-83), of East Greenwich, Kent. in B.D. Henning (ed.), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, (London, 1983), viewed 16/09/13
  2. Diary of Samuell Pepys online: Monday 19 November 1660
  3. John Strype, A survey of the cities of London and Westminster: (Trinity House.) The TEMPOAL GOVERNMENT. (Benefactors.) - section on Ballast, Bk. 5, Ch.18, p.289, viewed 16/09/13
  4. Seventh report of the Royal Commission of Historical Manuscripts, pt 1. Report and Appendix (London, 1879), p. 83
  5. Seventh report of the Royal Commission of Historical Manuscripts, pt 1. Report and Appendix (London, 1879), pp.83-84