Cort is an unusual name, but it is a homonym of Court, which is likely to be much more common. It is quite credible that Henry and John were related, but Bulstrode’s case depends on:
- John Cort having met John Reeder and seen his works or such like
- His Abby going to Portsmouth (which it did not)
- The vessel carrying Reeder’s useful equipment back to England going to Portsmouth. We have no evidence (yet) of its destination or even precisely what was shipped. It was to be shipped in one of HM Ships, but I would be surprised if it was a naval ship (which would not normally carry cargo). The use of a hired transport is much more likely, but if there was a ship coming home from Jamaica, it would probably come laden with sugar, if such a cargo was available.
On a different point, there is the question of what Reeder was using his rolling mill for. Any suggestions? Mine is that he was rolling hoops for barrels, such as the hogsheads used to ship sugar or molasses.
I have started drafting an article in reply to Bulstrode’s. I had a good day writing on Saturday, but need one or two more before I have a complete first (rough) draft.