Transactions - vol. 1: 1624-5

Pages 58-65

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by London Record Society. All rights reserved.



213. 7 Jan. 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

At the request of his brother Robert Mathew, the bearer, they certify their knowledge that Peter Mathew, merchant of London, was homeward bound from Aveiro in Portugal in the, Hope for Grace of Preston [? Prestonpans] in Scotland (about 80 tons), Thomas Short of Preston master, which was laden with salt and oil, when on 6 June last, having sailed not above 15 leagues, the ship was surprised by a Turkish man-of-war. Mathew lost his whole estate, and was taken to Sallee in Barbary where the captain of the Turkish ship sold him for 350 Barbary ducats which at 8s a ducat amounts to £140. He lives in misery in iron chains, is forced to grind in the mill like a horse all day long, is fed on bread and water, and insufficient of that, and is tortured to make him turn Turk. A great ransom has been set on him which, because of his losses, he cannot procure without charitable aid. Robert Salmon, master; Walter Cooke, John Davis, John Vassall, William Case, Thomas Best, Rowland Coytmore, Jo. Bennett, M. Geere, Samuel Doves.

214. [f.72v] 25 Feb. 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

[Another certificate for Nicholas Rawleidge, Rauledge or Rawledge, similar to 199 except that (a) it is stated that in 1588, after being maimed by the Spaniards, he and others were carried ashore from the Elizabeth Jonas at Margate road and conducted by constables and officers from one tithing to another until they reached [Queen's House] Chatham Hill [residence of the dockyard officers] where they were paid their wages and where he remained a long time under the surgeon; (b) in 1596, the 'lanthatho' who captured him is described as the general of the Spanish galleys.]

Messrs Salmon, Best, Vassall, Bennet, Cooke, Whitinge, Downinge, Coytmore.

215. 6 March 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

At the request of the bearer, Thomas Melvin, Scotsman, and on sight of a letter from George Hatch, master of the Barbara of London bound for Spain, presented to them by Captain Thomas Love and dated last November from Portland road near Weymouth, they certify that Melvin, being one of 9 christians, brought a small ship into Portland road. They had been taken by men-of-war of Algiers but had overcome 29 Turks who had held them captive and who had been using the ship as a man-of-war. Whether Melvin was master or pilot they cannot tell. Messrs Salmon, Best, Geere, Bower, Cooke, Vassall, Whitinge, Bennet.

216. [f.73] 27 March 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

At the request of the bearer Joan, wife of John Browne, mariner of Wapping, they certify that (fn. 1) about 12 years past her husband was master and three-quarters part-owner of the Jonas of Newcastle (about 100 dolls*) which was laden with salt and coal from Newcastle when she was cast away in foul weather in Yarmouth road to his great loss. About 9 years ago he was master's mate of the Charity of Portsmouth, William Jackis master, when she was taken in the West Indies by Spanish galleys. Browne remained captive in a galley for 19 months. About 6 years ago he was master's mate of the God Keepe of London, Richard Boyer master, when she was surprised by Turks on her return from 'Pharrow' [Faro] in Spain, and he lost all that he had in her. Finally he was master's mate of the Mathew and Judeth, Henry Taaton master, when the ship was taken by Turks on 17 Nov. last coming from Faro. He and the rest of the crew were carried to Algiers where they remain in great misery and cannot be released without charitable aid.

Messrs Cooke, Bennett, Davis, wardens; Salmon, Geere, Whitinge, Vassall.

217. 17 Apr. 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

At the request of the bearer Ann, wife of John Dodson, mariner of Ratcliff, they certify the knowledge of some of them that on about 29 Sept. 1622 her husband went as master's mate of the Samuell of London, Richard Morris of Wapping master, on a voyage for Ayamonte in Spain when returning homewards the ship was surprised by Turkish pirates. Dodson and the rest of the crew were taken to Algiers and he was afterwards sold into Tunis, where he remains captive. The Turks inflict intolerable torments upon him. His wife cannot produce his ransom of £160 without help.

Messrs Salmon, Best, Coitmore, Geere, Vassall, Case, Cooke, Bennet, Davis.

218. [f.73v] 17 Apr. 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

At the request of the bearer [blank] Morris, wife of Richard Morris, mariner of Wapping, they certify that about 9 years ago her husband went on a voyage in a small ship, the Pearle of London, and as is credibly reported by the crew was taken by the Turks on 4 occasions, and grievously beaten so that many small bones and splinters had to be taken from his head, nearly costing him his life. He lost about £100 owing to the loss of the ship and goods. About 2½ years ago, on a voyage in the Dragon of London, the ship was cast away and the incurred a similar loss. He then adventured the remainder of his estate in about Nov. 1622, and was master of the Samuell of London when returning from Spain she was surprised by the Turks. He and his crew were taken as slaves to Algiers and from there he was sold into Tunis where he remains. His ransom of £240 cannot be raised because of his former losses and that of £80 in his last voyage and his wife and 4 small children are likely to perish for want of relief.

Messrs Salmon, Cooke, Coytmore, Best, Davis, Bennet.

219. 17 Apr. 1624. Certificate by Trinity House

At the request of the bearer Sara, wife of Henry Short, shipwright of Limehouse, they certify the knowledge of some of them that he is honest. About 13 [or 15] Dec. last, he was carpenter of the Susan of London, John Taite of Limehouse master, returning from Lisbon [laden with salt] (fn. 2) when the ship was surprised by Turkish men-of-war. He lost his estate of over £30 which he had with him and was sold in Algiers as a slave. He cannot be released without payment of a large ransom which he and his wife with 4 small children cannot procure without aid.

Messrs Salmon, Coitman [recte Coitmore], Bennet, Geere, Best, Case, Vassall, Cooke, Davis.

220. [f.74] 4 May 1624. Trinity House to John, bishop of Lincoln, lord keeper

They certify further that in Dec. 1622 Short was carpenter of the Assurance of London on a voyage for Spain and while at work on the ship at Cadiz, certain malicious Spaniards inveighing against him, one of them struck him with a maul. A great part of his skull was 'drilled out of his head', and he was under the surgeon for above 12 months at a cost of at least £20, besides the loss of his time. [Then follows the gist of 219.] Robert Salmon, master; Rowland Coytmore, John Bennet, Walter Cooke, John Davis, wardens; Joshua Downinge, Thomas Best, John Vassall, M. Gere, William Case, Walter Whitinge.

221. [f.74v] 12 Apr. 1626. Certificate by Trinity House

The decay and ruin of the piers and jetties at Whitby in Yorkshire for many years is known to most of them and is affirmed in certificates shown by Francis Wynn and Richard Hunter, agents for the burgesses and inhabitants of Whitby. At their request, Trinity House certify that if the jetties and piers were to be repaired and preserved, the harbour there would be most commodious for ships of burden, crayers [i.e. small trading ships] and other vessels sailing to Newcastle and other northern parts in the event of contrary winds or tempestuous weather and they wish that the suit of the abovesaid agents will prosper. Thomas Best, Robert Salmon, John Davis, Robert Bell, William Bushell, James Mowyer, Samuel Doves, Michael Geere, Walter Cooke, John Bennett, John Totten, Anthony Tutchen, Edward Maplesden.

222. 8 Apr. 1626. Certificate by Trinity House

Richard Hooper, mariner of Deal in Kent, the bearer of this certificate, and others were granted letters patent [on 30 Nov. 1615 (C 66/2061, no. 18)] for clearing anchors and cables lost by ships in roads and harbours in the Narrow Seas between the Isle of Wight and Yarmouth in Norfolk. At the request of Hooper, Trinity House certifies that it is of the greatest necessity to clear these roads and harbours of anchors and cables if the king's and merchants' shipping is to be free of danger. Thomas Best, Robert Salmon, Robert Adhams, Robert Bell, John Davis, Richard Chester, Walter Cooke, William Case, Edward Maplesden, William Steevens, William Ewins.

223. [f.75] 16 Sept. 1624. Order of the privy council concerning fees charged by customs officers [only part of the order is entered. The whole is printed in APC 1623–5, 314–15. f.75v is blank.]

224. [f.76. 18 Feb. 1618 × 27 March 1625] Petition to the king

A statute [8 Eliz., c. 13] empowered Trinity House to provide beacons, marks and signs for the sea. At the request of seamen sailing on the Norfolk coast, Trinity House, at their own expense, erected a stone lighthouse at Winterton Ness, and agreed to take, and did only take, 6d for every 20 chaldrons of seacoal carried by ships passing by. But Sir John Meldrom, on the suggestion that there was want of lighthouses there, obtained letters patent [on 18 Feb. 1618] to erect a lighthouse, which are void in law because about half a year before their issue a lighthouse had been erected. If it was true, as Meldrome pretends, that he had petitioned before the erection of the lighthouse, the letters patent are still void because Trinity House by authority of the statute had erected a lighthouse before letters patent were issued. Meldrome takes 3s 4d for every 20 chaldrons, whereas Trinity House took only 6d, and he will not suffer shippers to have entries* made or cockets taken until duty is paid, which causes intolerable damage to seamen and is enforced on those who derive no benefit. The king is asked to revoke the patent.

225. [f. 76v] 8 Sept. 1624. Trinity House [? to the privy council]

As ordered they have considered what reparation to the fortifications of Scilly is necessary for the safety of the king's ships and the inhabitants of the island, and to deny any succour to enemies. (a) The Woolman blockhouse [? at Woolpacker Point] and the 2 other blockhouses nearby should be fortified to command the entrance to St Mary's Sound. (b) The castle of St Mary's should be well fortified to command the road so that no ship can ride there but at the courtesy of the castle, the castle and the blockhouse nearby being the chief security for St Mary's road. (c) The old castle at 'Fisher-towne' [? Old Town] should be repaired and fortified to annoy any who try to land there, and to provide relief for the inhabitants in case of an assault. (d) The bulwark at the entrance to Crow Sound should be repaired and fortified to prevent ships lying there, for with all westerly winds any ship, pirate or other, may [now] ride there notwithstanding the force of all the island. (e) Although ships may come through a third sound, Smith's Sound, to St Mary's road (where they would be under the command of St Mary's castle and the bulwark), the sound is known only to islanders and no fortification is necessary. (f) The dangers of Broad Sound are such that it is of no use; it is known only to the islanders who are fishermen. (g) In the north of the island, 'Grimbsbyes Sound' is a good port, the entrance being between Tresco and Bryher. Fortifications which used to command the port have decayed and should be repaired for otherwise ships could lie there despite the other fortifications of the island. Other petty roads are of no consequence. This report has been prepared in consultation with others. Messrs Geere, Best, Davis, Whitinge, Bell, Osborne.

226. [f. 77] 1 Feb. 1625. Trinity House to John, bishop of Lincoln, lord keeper [See also 251.]

At the request of the bearer, William Bunn, mariner of Ratcliff, they certify that he was master and part-owner of the William of London (about 140 tons) on a voyage to Newcastle when in Nov. 1616 the ship was forced ashore on the head of 'Tilmoth' haven [? Tynemouth] owing to tempestuous weather, and he was in great danger. Afterwards he was master and half-owner of the William of London (about 260 tons) when, returning from the north, laden with coal, wheat, butter and other provisions, she was cast away in a storm on 16 Sept. 1622 at Stamport near Lowestoft. Finally, he was master and half-owner of the Patience of London (about 160 tons) on a voyage to the northern parts of the realm when on 29 Nov. [24 Nov. in 251] last she was driven into the river Humber by an extraordinary storm, and both ship and goods were lost. His losses amounted to £1,120. He was a man of good reputation who paid customs and subsidies to the king and gave alms to the poor to the best of his ability. Now he can no longer support his wife and family or satisfy his merciless creditors without some charitable relief.

Michael Geere, master; John Davis, John Bennett, Samuel Doves, Rowland Coytmore, wardens; Robert Adames, Thomas Best, Robert Salmon, Walter Whitinge, Walter Cooke, William Case.

227. [f.77v. ? c. Nov. 1624. Proposals referred to and considered by Trinity House]

'1. A proposition': (a) How many mariners and gunners are required for a merchant ship of about 300 tons with 20 or 25 pieces of ordnance, and how many land soldiers may she carry in addition to the crew and victuals for 8 months? (b) What is the comparable information for a Newcastle ship of about 220 tons with 10 pieces of ordnance?

'The answer': The 300 tons ship would need at least 60 seamen and gunners and could carry 150 soldiers. The 220 tons Newcastle ship would need at least 30 seamen and gunners and could carry 100 soldiers. Both ships could carry enough victuals for 8 months provided that there is cider, vinegar, (fn. 3) or wine to drink. Many Newcastle ships are undersailed and would need to have their yards and sails enlarged at the discretion of surveyors appointed for the purpose.

[f.78] '2. Questions propounded to the masters of the Trinity House', and their answers [cf SP 14/175/86; CSPD 1623–5, 396].

(a) How many mariners and gunners are required for a ship of 300 tons with 20 or 25 pieces of ordnance, and how many soldiers could she transport for a month or 6 weeks? Sixty seamen and gunners at least, and 240 soldiers.

(b) For how long could such a ship be victualled, after the usual rations allowed by the king, how much longer if cider or wine is substituted for part of the beer, and how long if the soldiers are allowed one half proportion of beer? Two [3 (in SP)] months, but if provision is made [? as proposed] for drink, 4 months, seamen and soldiers being allowed the same.

(c) How many mariners and gunners are required for a Newcastle ship of about 220 tons with 10 pieces of ordnance, and how many soldiers could she transport for a month or 6 weeks? Thirty seamen and gunners at least, and 150 soldiers.

(d) [Question (b) is propounded for the Newcastle ship, with the same answer.]

(e) Newcastle ships are slow because they are undersailed. What is the cost for each ship of enlarging the sails to enable them to keep company with the other ships? £10 a ship.

228. [f.78v. ? Before 15 March 1625] Shipmasters and owners to Trinity House [See 229–30.]

In 1617, the writers agreed to an imposition of £1,000 a year for 2 years to suppress Turkish pirates and to ensure more safety in trade and southern navigation. Trinity House promised that it would be levied for only 2 years. It has now continued for 4 years and double the agreed sum has been paid (namely £4,000), but they are still liable. Trinity House are requested to petition the duke of Buckingham to end the imposition. Bernard Motam, Thomas Browne, William Reickes, John Tomson, William Goodlard, John Hide, George Lissant, William Ball, Thomas Breadcake, James Ireland, Robert Tockly, Thomas Tomson, Humphrey Sallowes, William Craiford, John Wetherly, Edward Robertes, Thomas Davis, James Damarell, Tristram Wise, John Badiley, John Miller, John Goodwyn, William Peirson, Thomas Nicholles, John Mote, John Lingwood, Robert Bence, Robert Swyer, John Wharey, Thomas Martin, Thomas Gibbes, Roger Twiddy, Anthony Tichen, William Knight, John Ewers, Daniel Cadman, Henry Tawton, Anthony Wood, James Moyer, John Dennis, George Bodham, John Jenken, Edmond Grove, Richard Cooper, William Bushell, John Gibbs, Richard Hooper, Edward Acworth, John Hemmens, Richard Rassell, Squier Bence, William Grove, Jeremy Cornellis, Thomas Nelmes, John Gibbens, George Browne, John Bence, John Mason, Matthew Barret, Richard Broomfeild, Peter Milborn, Roger Sherman, George Clarckson, John Swanton, Robert Bowers, Edward Gardener, William Eeles, Matthew Wood, Richard Chamlet, William Mellowe, Thomas Addison, Thomas Sherwyn, John Andrewes, Thomas Foarde, William West, William Hill, John Ellman, William Low, Christopher Dunn, Henry West, John Stafford, William Smith, John Lowe, Robert Williams, John Arnold, William Goose, Richard Cole, John Johnson, William Smith, Henry West, Thomas Battell, Henry Page, John Bundocke, John Graunt, Martin Errington, John Sayer, John Doves, John Norwood, James Peterson, John Arnold, John Low, William Greene, Thomas Chall, Robert Rypinge, Nicholas Bradshow, Jonas Pereman, Thomas Montinge.

229. [f.79. ? Before 15 March 1625] (fn. 4) Trinity House to the duke of Buckingham, lord high admiral

About 4 years since, Capt. Best and Capt. Love attended him at Newmarket and he granted their request that they should be charged no more than £1,000 a year for 2 years only towards the cost of the Algiers voyage, which was the voluntary offer of Trinity House and of shipmasters and owners in general. The merchants were pressing for £2,000 a year for 2 years. Buckingham also persuaded the king to order the privy council, by Sir Lionel Cranfeild, then master of requests, that Trinity House should pay only £1,000 a year. Presently they were summoned to the privy council where lord chancellor Bacon signified the king's pleasure, and he and the 'bishop' of Canterbury bade them to thank the lord admiral [cf 198]. They maintained the collection for 4 years and have paid £4,000, despite the first order for £2,000, but the merchants press the privy council for £2,000 or £3,000 more. Buckingham is their only defence on all occasions and they ask him to ensure that the collection should now cease, to free shipping of a grievous burden.

230. 15 March 1625. [Sir Edward Conway, secretary of state, to the privy council. Cf SP 14/185/53; CSPD 1623–5, 498; 228–9.]

The enclosed petition to the king by shipowners and masters seeks the cessation of an imposition which was first levied with their consent for suppressing Turkish pirates, but which has continued for longer and for a greater amount than was agreed. The king has signified that if upon examination the information be true, the levy is to cease.

231. [f.79v. ? After 15 March 1625. Unfinished and erased note by Trinity House]

They petitioned Buckingham [229] and he procured the king's letters to the council, upon receipt whereof the council ordered them and the merchants. …

232. 12 March 1624. George [duke of] Buckingham, lord high admiral [to Trinity House]

At Salisbury he ordered that from the lease of ballastage which he had made to them they should make a lease to Innocent Laniere or his partners for cleansing the Thames. Some of them, on behalf of their House, agreed. He is now informed that the lease has been granted to another to the prejudice of those to whom he intended good, and to that of the river. He is sensible of a 'cross carriage' towards himself which he may construe as an injury and he requires an explanation. They are to send their explanation by the bearer or take speedy action to honour their undertaking that he may remain their 'loving friend'.

233. 15 March 1624. Trinity House [to the duke of Buckingham, lord high admiral]

In reply to 232, Buckingham had said at Salisbury that, for reasons certified by Sir John Sucklinge, they need not deal with Laniere but that they should make a grant to Mr Alfonso [Ferabosco]. They were prepared to do so, but such unreasonable conditions were proposed, 'Mr Laniere steering the ship', that they could not agree. After further complaint to Buckingham [169], the settlement of the differences was referred by him to Sir John Sucklinge and Sir Ralph Freeman. Sucklinge negotiated a 3 year agreement between Laniere, Alfonso, and Trinity House, under which Trinity House were to pay 8d for every ton of ballast taken out of the Thames. Trinity House by their officers honoured this agreement, but during the 3 years Alfonso has sold his rights under the agreement and the patent from the king for ballastage in, and cleansing of, the Thames. Since Alfonso is satisfied, Trinity House have made a lease to William Burrell, the navy commissioner, to whom Alfonso has sold his rights. In view of what Buckingham agreed at Salisbury, they are under no obligation to Laniere, [f.80] and he should not be imposed upon them because they would then have no peace.

234. [May 1623 × Aug. 1628] Trinity House to the same

They ask him to consider the grievances of seamen and shipowners which arise from the heavy impositions for lights at Winterton and Dungeness.


  • 1. 'that there is now in the river of Thames'; erased. Perhaps the beginning of an ordnance certificate.
  • 2. Stated in 220.
  • 3. An early 18th century physician advocated its use to combat scurvy (J. J. Keevil, Medicine and the navy, ii (1963), 266) but it was not a drink. 228. [f.78v. ? Before 15 March 1625] Shipmasters and owners to Trinity House [See 22930.]
  • 4. ? Earlier than 230. But 230 refers to a petition to the king.