Thomas Bowrey

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Thomas Bowrey (d. 1713) was a British merchant sailor. In the 1670s and 1680s, he sailed around the East Indies.[1]

The historian Richard Davenport-Hines lists Bowrey as the first Westerner to provide a written description of the experience of consuming cannabis in the form of bhang.[2]

Bowrey also compiled the first Malay-to-English dictionary, and wrote a book of his experiences, A Geographical Account of Countries Round the Bay of Bengal. In 1688, he travelled back to England. On 17 September 1691, he was married to Mary, his cousin, and settled in Wapping. He continued in his support for ventures to the East Indies and owned [or was owed?] shares of many ships.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bowrey, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57447.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Davenport-Hines, Richard (2001). The pursuit of oblivion: A global history of narcotics 1500—2000. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 1—2. ISBN 0297643754. 

Further reading[edit]

  • S. E. W. (September 1927). "The Papers of Thomas Bowrey, 1669-1713 by Richard Carnac Temple". The Geographical Journal. 70 (3): 09. doi:10.2307/1781967. JSTOR 1781967.  (subscription required)

External links[edit]

A Geographical Account of Countries Round the Bay of Bengal, 1669 to 1679 at the Internet Archive