Transactions - vol. 2: 1631

Pages 112-117

Trinity House of Deptford Transactions, 1609-35. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1983.

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388. [f.49v. ? 1631] Trinity House to Richard, lord Weston, lord treasurer

About 16 years ago [on 28 Aug. 1615], the late king granted to Sir Edward Hayward, one of his cupbearers, a patent [C 66/2078, no. 11] for a lighthouse or beacon at Dungeness in Kent and for a levy (to be borne equally by shipowners and merchants) of 1d a ton upon ships, both outward and homeward bound, towards the erection and maintenance of the lighthouse. The petitioners, being mostly shipowners, are willing to pay their share in view of the benefit they receive. Nevertheless, one Mr Lamplewe, who received the allowance for keeping the lighthouse, obtained by misinformation from the late king letters which forced the petitioners to pay the whole levy from the outset, contrary to the intent of the patent. An investigation by the officers of the London Customs House is requested, and if it appears that the collection does not agree with the intent of the patent, instructions should be given for the charge to be borne equally by the petitioners and the merchants as originally intended.

[Marginal note] Petition about Mr Bullocke's lights.

389. [f.50. c. 16 Apr. 1631] Trinity House to the king about ballastage [Cf SP 16/188/73; CSPD 1631–3, 12.]

390. 16 Apr. 1631. Lord Dorchester, secretary of state, to the lords commissioners of the admiralty about 389 [Cf SP 16/188/73 (i); CSPD 1631–3, 12.]

391. [f.50v. ? Before 23 Jan. 1631] Edmund [? or Edward] Needham, David Ramsey, the king's servants, and their associates to the king [See 392; 395.]

Experience gained by travel overseas for many years enables them to cleanse the Thames of banks of sand, gravel, mud, stone and clay which the common sewers daily augment and which will lead to the ruin of the city and commonwealth. The king is asked to instruct the privy council to summon the petitioners to outline their experience and plans.

392. 23 Jan. 1631. Court at Newmarket. [Sir] Thomas Aylesburye [master of requests] to the privy council

Reference of 391.

393. [f.51. 9 March × 1 June 1631. Needham, Ramsey and others to the privy council. See 394]

According to the privy council order made after reading their petition [391], they set out their plans for cleansing the Thames, based on their experience overseas. With lighters made fit, labourers, shovels and grapnels, they will scour the channels of all banks of sand and gravel which forces the tide to make new channels. Next they will trench and roll both sides of the river beginning at low water and carry their rolling to the foundations of the houses on both sides of the river and from there carry it [i.e. the soil] away to places convenient for sale so that both sides of the river will be made more sloping and deeper than the main channel, and the channel will then shoot all soil to the sides, and not from the sides to the channel. Thus the river will be always navigable. The old main channel may be kept clear with 2 dragging lighters (fitted with 2 iron rakes of 20 cwt. apiece and 2 fathoms broad, fastened at the stern with a great cable) falling down with the tide and taking hold of banks or anything remaining in the channel. When at a stay, they will bring the cable to the capstan bar and wind up the lighter till the buoy, fastened to the rake, comes home and so clears the lighter, to fall down with the tide again. All shipowners, bargemen, fishermen and watermen who trade in the river will prove that the patents granted by James I for scouring the Thames were used for private gain and stop the river, to the prejudice of city and commonwealth, so that the king may lawfully call in those patents. Reports that Needham and Ramsey were partners [f.51v] in these patents or sought to renew them are untrue. They seek to maintain the city's charter and make the river navigable. What money the lord mayor, aldermen and citizens of London, the suburbs and Middlesex can lend for this famous work will be repaid from the sale, at ordinary prices, of sand for building, gravel for ballasting ships, stones and small gravel for paving, clay for brick making, tiles, paving of houses, and earthen vessels. Money borrowed shall remain in the hands of the lord mayor, being treasurer for this business. In view of their endeavours, the petitioners request a favourable reply to the king's reference of 23 Jan. [392] so that the king may declare by letter his pleasure to the lord mayor for effecting the work and no more time be lost and money spent in soliciting this business, the petitioners having other employment overseas. If anyone be grieved by these proceedings, let him complain to the privy council and there be satisfied. They will perform what was stated in their petition to the king, the privy council, and the city of London.

394. 1 June 1631. Whitehall. T. Meautys [clerk of the privy council] to Trinity House

Reference of 393.

395. [f.52] 18 June 1631. Trinity House to the privy council about 393–4 [Cf SP 16/194/28; CSPD 1631–3, 82. Edward Needham's christian name (Edmund in 391) is wrongly calendared as Charles in CSPD. The SP text is signed by Samuel Doves, master; Anthony Tutchen, W. Bushill, John Totton, Gervais Hockett, wardens; John Bennett, William Rainborowe, William Ewen, Edward Maplesden, William Swanley, T. Best, Robert Salmon, Walter Coke, William Case.]

396. [No date] Trinity House to the lord treasurer [The petition is not entered.]

397. [f.52v. Before 3 Aug. 1631] Francis Wadloe of London, merchant, to the privy council as commissioners for the regulation of the jurisdiction of the king's ecclesiastical and civil courts [See 398.]

Upon his petition the privy council ordered the plaintiff [R. Toackley, 399] to proceed no further until the question of jurisdiction had been decided. Unwilling to be at further legal charge, he asks that the case be speedily determined on a report from Trinity House.

398. 3 Aug. 1631. Portsmouth. [Lords] Weston, Dorset, Lindsey and Dorchester [lords commissioners of the admiralty] to Trinity House

Reference of 397 for arbitration or report so that in conference with the judges further course may be taken.

399. [f.53] 19 Nov. 1631. Ratcliff. Trinity House to the lords commissioners of the admiralty

In reply to 398 about the case between Francis Wadloe, merchant, and Robert Toackley, mariner, they have interviewed both parties several times. The charter party shows that Wadloe hired a ship from Toackley for a voyage of between 7 and 12 months at £20 a month; he agreed to put in a crew of an able master, 7 mariners, and a boy; was to victual and pay the crew; and pay £300 if he did not deliver the ship at London at the end of 12 months, 'the danger of the seas excepted', with all provisions and tackle, reasonable use and wear excepted. Tockley covenanted that the ship would be provisioned with tackle, masts, yards, sails, anchors, cables, etc. under a like penalty. Toackley, the owner, duly provided the ship properly provisioned, and the merchant put in a crew, victuals, and his goods. Once at sea, the master and crew conspired and ran away with the ship to the north part of Scotland where they sold the goods and went to sea again. The 12 months are expired, and Toakley demands the return of the ship or the penalty. Both parties were asked to put themselves upon Trinity House. At first Toackley was willing provided that Wadloe gave security for payment of anything awarded, which Wadloe could not or would not do. At the next meeting, Toackley refused to put himself upon Trinity House. [f.53v] Trinity House find the running away of the master and crew with the ship and goods not to be a peril of the sea. Samuel Doves, master; T. Best, Robert Salmon, Walter Coke, John Totten, Anthony Tutchen, William Bushell, James Moyer, Robert Bell, William Ransbury, G. Hatch, Jonas James, Gervais Hocket, John Tomson, etc.

400. 7 Dec. 1631. Trinity House [? to Sir John Coke, secretary of state. See 405.]

Suit [401] has been made to them by many merchants, captains and masters of ships trading to Genoa to allow Signor Francisco Massola, a Genoese, to be consul at Genoa only for mariners and ships. Since Massola is of good report, an able man, and in the favour of the state of Genoa, they allow him 'forasmuch as in us lies', to be consul for so long as he assists 'all our nation' there. His fee is to be 2 ducats a ship, great and small. [f.54] The state of Genoa is asked to accept him as consul.

Samuel Doves, master, etc.

401. 26 March 1631. Leghorn. Robert Sainthill and others [to Trinity House. See 400.]

Experience has shown the need for a consul of their nation at Genoa so that merchandise and shipping receive no detriment. Almost all other nations find the help of a consul to be very necessary to settle controversies and differences in accounts. No one is more fit for the post than Signor Francisco Massola, a merchant residing here who is expert in the English tongue and has long been well affected to them. The petitioners being merchants and shipmasters entreat the king or the lords of the council and the officers whom it concerns to elect him consul and give him the powers commonly granted to consuls which they have formerly petitioned on behalf of others.

Robert Sainthill, Job Throckmorton, Isaac Honiewood, Henry Draper, Henry Robinson, Tobias White, Cobham Doves, Thomas Simmber, Robert Swyer, George Bucher, Edward Abbott, Richard Rowe.

402. [f.54y] 10 Dec. 1631. Westminster. Charles I to the doge and governors of Genoa [in Latin. See 400–1.]

Commendation of Francisco Massola as consul at Genoa.

403. [f.55. 1629 × 1633] (fn. 1) A plan for manning the navy, submitted to the king

Men for home service Men for remote service
1. Prince [Royall] 500
Merhonor 350
Ann Royall 300 350
2. St. George 260 300
St Andrew
3. [Constant] Reformation 250 280
4. Rainbowe 240 270
5. Wastspight 220 250
6. Assurance 200 225
7. Garland 170 190
8. St Dyonis 160 180
[Happy] Entrance
9. Drednought 140 150
10. Adventure 100 110
Mary Rose

The number of men are sufficient for any service. Crews of ships for the constant guard of the Narrow Seas in peace may be lessened by at least 20 in a 100 below those shown.

[ff.55v–56] The quartering of men for fighting for 7 ships of several burdens and numbers of ordnance:

[(a) Prince Royall; (b) St George; (c) Vanguard; (d) Assurance; (e) Guardland; (f) Drednought; (g) Mary Rose. O = quantity of ordnance; M = men required to man them.]

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g)
Cannons-perier* 2 6 2 4 2 4
Demi-cannons* 6 24 4 16 2 8
Culverins* 12 48 18 72 14 56 8 32 4 16
Demi-culverins* 18 54 12 36 14 42 12 36 14 42 14 42 8 24
Sakers* 13 26 2 4 6 12 10 20 14 28 8 16 10 20
Port-pieces* 4 7 2
Fowlers 2 4 4 4 4 2 2 2 2
Falcons 2 4 2 4
Minions* 2 4 2 4 4 8 4 8
55 165 44 136 40 (fn. 2) 130 34 92 34 88 30 70 26 56
Admiral and retinue 83
Captain and (fn. 3) lieutenant 2 2 2 2 2 2
Master and his (fn. 3) mates 3 2 2 2 2 1
Boatswain and his company 80 46 45 35 25 24 15
Carpenter and his company 10 8 6 4 4 4 3
On the orlop* 6
Stewards, cooks and mates or shifters 10 4
Steward and mates 3 2 1 1 1
Cook and mate 2
Trumpeters 10 4 4 4 4 3
Gunner and his company 165 136 130 92 88 70 56
Powder room 20 5 5 5 4 4 3
Small arms men 100 45 45 45 35 25 16
Surgeon and his mates 6 4 3 3 2 2 2
Steerage and 'condidge' (fn. 4) 10 4 4 4 3 3 1
500 260 250 200 170 140 100


  • 1. Dates suggested by exclusion of the White Bear, sold in 1629 and completion of the Charles in 1633. The St Claude (given away in 1632) was as large as the Mary Rose but may have been omitted because she was a prize (Anderson, 16, 18, 20).
  • 2. Recte 44.
  • 3. Perhaps subsumed under 'Admiral and retinue'.
  • 4. 'Condidge' derived from 'conder' - one who steers a ship.