Ancestral Families and the Colonial Trade (1633-1637)


“Tobacco prices briefly recovered . . ” Pecquet, Cato Jorunal, ibid.


Thomas Sanders, 22 May 1633, imported 200 pounds if tobacco on the ship Lyon.

[WHB -The ship Lyon was associated with several voyages to Massachusetts carrying pilgrims from England. It made several voyages between 1630 and 1632 under Captain William Peirce.]

John Saunders, 16 October 1633, Obligation signed by Leonard Calvert, Jerome Hawley, Thomas Cornwallis and John. Lord Baltimore has hired Richard Orchard to be master of the Dove for a voyage from London to Virginia. Lists what they will pay as wages for the crew per month.

[The following is from the biography of Leonard Calvert]:

Portrait of Leonard Calver (by Florence MacKubin)

Leonard Calvert (1606 – June 9, 1647) was the First Proprietary Governor of Maryland.[1] He was the second son of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, (1579-1632), the first proprietary of the Province of Maryland. His elder brother Cecil, (1605-1675), who inherited the colony and the title upon the death of their father George, April 15, 1632, appointed Leonard as governor of the Colony in his absence. Leonard was obviously named after his grandfather, the father of George who was also “Leonard Calvert” of Yorkshire[2]

[The following is from]:

Jerome Hawley (1590-1638)

Jerome Hawley voyaged to Maryland aboard the Ark in 1633. He was a merchant from a wealthy English family. Some of his family had already settled in Virginia. His older brother was the Governor of the English colony on Barbados.

As an investor in the Maryland colony, Jerome gave Lord Calvert some money to support the voyage of the Ark and the Dove. Jerome was a Roman Catholic like Lord Baltimore. He and his wife, Eleanor hoped their regious beliefs would be tolerated in the new colony of Maryland.

Jerome returned to England in 1635. There he and John Lewger published a booklet called A Relation of Maryland. They wrote this booklet to encourage other English families to come and settle in Maryland. The book describes how the colonists lived. It also tells about the friendship between the English and Native Americans in Maryland.

While Jerome was in England, he asked the King if he could work in the government of the Virginia colony. The King made him a councilor and treasurer of Virginia. Jerome also served inQueen Henrietta Maria’s household. He died in 1638 with many debts from his investments in English colonies.

[The following is from the biography of Thomas Cornwallis]:

Thomas was probably the grandson, or possibly the second son (undocumented)[1][2][3] of Sir Charles Cornwallis of Beeston, Norfolk (d. 1629), an ambassador to Spain and brother of Elizabeth Cornwallis and Sir William Cornwallis of Brome, the direct ancestor ofCharles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis. Thomas was probably the son (or brother) of the author William Cornwallis.[This following is from the biography of Thomas Cornwallis

As the second son, he could not hope to inherit his father’s land. The Cornwallis family were Roman Catholic Recusants and therefore George Calvert‘s project of an autonomous colony in the New World for English Catholics appealed to him. In 1634 he accompanied Leonard Calvert to what was then Virginia and became a Commissioner to the Governor. This put him in a powerful advisory position to Leonard Calvert. In 1635 Cornwallis fought the Virginian colonist William Claiborne over the jurisdiction of Kent Island, and captured it in 1638. In 1643 he defended the colony against a Native American attack.

In 1644, however, Richard Ingle sailed into Chesapeake Bay with his ship Reformation and fired on St. Mary’s City. Cornwallis’ land was occupied and many of the buildings he had constructed were destroyed. As a result of these losses and his loss of influence in the colony, Cornwallis returned to England, where he died at some point after 4 March 1675. The tomb of Cornwallis and his wife is inside St Martin’s Church East Horsley.]


Thomas Sanders, 19 March 1634, license to sell tobacco in Swanscombe and Cliffe, Kent.

[WHB – Note the following article from which about the Danish/Viking/Norman periods of Swanscombe, which has been a location for shipping since early historic or prehistoric times.]

“From Crayford to the Isle of Thanet, the Danes occupied the land and terrorised the Saxon inhabitants, giving rise to the appearance of Deneholes, of which many have survived to this day. These were wells, cut deep into the chalk landscape, thought to be for concealing people and goods. They have a simple vertical shaft with short tunnels bearing horizontally from the base.

“The Vikings settled throughout the winter along the Thames estuary with their ships, and established camps in Kent and Essex. In surveying the distribution of the many deneholes along the Thames corridor it would appear that Essex, on the northern shore of the Thames, sustained a greater influx of Vikings than did Kent, there being considerably more recorded deneholes in Essex, particularly around Orsett and Grays – see Hangman’s Wood.

“Archaeological digs and centuries of tilling have revealed a Danish castle and settlement, with pottery, anchors, weapons and some ships’ timbers. The settlement was later variously called Suinescamp (in the Domesday Book), Sweinscamp and Swanscamp, the name deriving from the Viking king Sweyn Forkbeard, who landed in East Anglia, and became King of England in 1013. Father of Canute, Sweyn died at Gainsborough on the Trent in 1014. Canute (Cnut) died in 1035 his sons were unable to hold on to his empire, he was king of England, Scotland, Norway and Denmark.

Other research suggests that deneholes might have been dug as a method of extracting chalk for use on the fields above, or the mining may have been a by-product of defence. In any case, the practice reached a peak around the 13th – 14th centuries, long after the Viking raids had ceased.

Norman Conquest

In 1066 Swanscombe locals massed an army in defiance of William I, and so won the right to continue their ancient privileges, including the tradition of passing inheritance by gavelkind. The men of Kent met William near Swanscombe, where the Saxons concealed their number with branches, thus intimidating the Norman army. They were offered a truce that left Kent as the only region in England which William did not conquer, and leaving William known as William the Bastard (never conqueror) in this area of England alone. Kent County Council have inherited the motto Invicta, meaning unconquered.”

Medieval Cliffe, Kent (selection from a post)

St Helen’s church at Cliffe was built about 1260 and was constructed in the local style of alternating layers of Kent ragstone and squared black flint. It is one of the largest parish churches in Kent, and the only dedicated to St Helen, the size of the church revealing its past importance.

Above the porch is a muniments room containing important historical documents.

“During the 14th century Cliffe was the site of a farm owned by the monks of Christ’s Church, Canterbury, when the village had a population of about 3,000.

“In the late Middle Ages the village of Cliffe supported a port, which thrived until a disastrous fire in 1520 stifled its growth, marking a period of decline, accentuated by the silting of the marshes of the Thames estuary. Nevertheless, during the 16th century, Cliffe-at-Hoo was still considered a town. However, by the middle of the 19th century the population had slumped to about 900.”

Arthur Sanders, 1634, license to sell tobacco in Salisbury, Wiltshire

[WHB – If one searches the St Edmunds Parish, Wiltshire and Wiltshire parish records for the surnames Sanders and Saunders in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, one finds the multiple entries, indicating that the Sanders/Saunders family was well established in this area.]

Witshire 1560 Richard Saunders and Alice Newman

Richard Saunders and Agnis Sutton

St Edmunds Parish 1563 Marriages: Thomas Sanders and Agnis Wheeler

Wiltshire Parish 1563 Robert Sanders and Anna Dackam

St Edmunds Parish 1565  James Spickernell and Katherine Saunders

Richard Saunders and Chrystyan Reade

Wyllyam Page and Anna Saunders

Wiltshire 1568

St Edmunds Parish 1607 John Sanders and Grace Burrowe

St Edmunds Parish 1609 Robert Sanders and Joan Rendall; Thomas Sanders and Marie Gauntlett

St Edmunds Parish 1616 Thomas Sanders and Ursula West

St Edmunds Parish 1628 Thomas Sanders and Joan Greedie

Wiltshire Parish  1638 Steven Warren and Katherine Sanders: William Perry and Alice Sanders


Samuel Sanders, 1634, license to sell tobacco in Wallingford, Berkshire

Note the following entry on two prominent Saunders of Wallingford:

John Saunders (c 1589 – 29 April 1638) was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1621 and 1629.

Saunders was the son of Thomas Saunders of Woolstone in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). He matriculated at University College, Oxford on 22 May 1601 aged 11 and was awarded BA on 28 January 1608. He was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1616 and became Recorder of Reading, Berkshire.[1] In 1621, he was elected Member of Parliament for Reading. He was re-elected MP for Reading in 1624, 1625, 1626 and 1628 and sat until 1629 when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.[2]

Saunders died in 1638 at the age of about 48.[1]

Saunders married Margaret Evelyn, daughter of John Evelyn of Godstone, Surrey. His son Thomas was later MP for Wallingford.[3]

Thomas Saunders (1626 – c 1670) was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660.

Saunders was the son of John Saunders of Reading, Berkshire and his wife Margaret Evelyn, daughter of John Evelyn of Godstone, Surrey. He succeeded his father in 1638 and purchased the estate of Mongewell Park, across the River Thames from Wallingford. In 1660, he was elected Member of Parliament forWallingford in a by-election to the Convention Parliament. He was commissioner for assessment for Berkshire from August 1660 and for Oxfordshire from 1661. He was J.P. for Oxfordshire from 1661, and for Wallingford and for Berkshire from 1664.[1]

Saunders died between 25 October 1669 when he made his will and 15 February 1671 when it was proved.[1]

Saunders married Anne Morris, daughter of Thomas Morris of Great Coxwell, Berkshire and had two sons and a daughter.[1]



“It was during the 16th and early 17th centuries that the area around Winchcombe was extremely poor , it was during this period that a family named Tracy established themselves at Toddington, the eldest son Sir John Tracy became involved with a John Stratford who was related to him by marriage, they set up a business together to grow tobacco in the area, with plantations at Toddington and Bishops Cleeve. “Tobacco was widely grown on the Cotswolds, the Vale of Tewkesbury and in an area which extended as far south as Wiltshire.


William Sanders, 1635, license to sell tobacco in Tollesbury and Salcott, Essex L4.

The Open Swimming Pool in Tollesbury, Essex

[WHB: Note that Tollesbury is a seacoast town at the mouth of the Thames River, East of London.]

From the Smugglers Britain website:

Like so many of the ports and landing-points on the Blackwater, Tollesbury supports a wealth of legends about smuggling. For a long time, the nearest custom house was Maldon, and the staff there were greatly overworked, so the Tollesbury smugglers would have been free to come and go pretty much as they pleased. When the authorities became more vigilant, contraband was simply thrown overboard at one of the many creeks and inlets punctuating the estuary, to be collected when the coast was clear.

There was always a chance, of course, that goods hidden in this way would fall into the hands of ‘honest’ men, and be turned in to the authorities. In 1819 one such man, Daniel London, was dredging (probably for shellfish) and hauled up a large number of tubs of spirits that had been sunken in Old Hall Creek. He spent most of the night loading the tubs into his boat, and in the morning he sailed up to the Maldon custom house with 152 tubs. For somewhat suspect reasons, though, he overlooked 11 more, leaving them in Mill Creek, where they ‘were liable to be found by any other dredger, of which there were many near’.

When he got home a reception committee of smugglers was waiting for him, and not unnaturally wanted their property. Being reasonable men, they offered to pay him half of what the goods were worth, but Daniel foolishly declined. At this point the angry mob threatened to lynch him and his son, so the pair of them retreated indoors. When the Maldon comptroller of customs arrived, Daniel — now in fear of his life, no doubt — owned up to the other 11 tubs, and was promptly accused of smuggling and thrown into Chelmsford Gaol. In gaol, things went from bad to worse: the other prisoners assaulted him, and he eventually lost his boat, theGeorge and Anne.

The story is told [241] in letters and petitions to the customs authorities, and 170 years on it’s hard to unravel the truth. The authorities were evidently convinced that London was in league with the smugglers, and pointed out that he had a previous conviction for the offence. On the other hand, the unfortunate dredger was clearly not popular with the smugglers, either!

Old Hall Creek is now heavily silted, but at one time there were wharfs there, as rotting timbers and skeletal boats in the mud testify. When business was thriving, there was a waterside pub that had huge cellars for storage of contraband — the sea-wall hid the free-traders from view as they unloaded. The pub was long ago converted to houses as the torrent of thirsty smugglers turned — like the waters in the creek — to a trickle.

In 1779 the windows of the pub would have commanded a good view of a large cutter landing goods at one of the wharfs, and perhaps one of the drinkers was the customs officer from Tollesbury, Edward Abbot. He intercepted a labourer called William Tabor, who was carrying tea and gin which had been unloaded from the boat. Tabor tried to negotiate freedom from prosecution, but this was refused and the labourer was convicted and fined. To get his own back, Tabor accused Abbot of embezzling some of the seized goods (which the revenue man quite likely did). His attempt to discredit the officer failed, however, and when asked to appear before the local collector of customs, the smuggler lost his nerve.

Modern Tollesbury is a working waterfront. Pleasure boats are today much in evidence, but there are some working vessels too, and four beautifully restored traditional yacht stores form the centre-piece of the waterfront, reminding the visitor of the long-standing links with the sea.

Also from the website above:


TL9513 red map button , 4m E of Tiptree on minor roads

The twin villages of Salcott and Virley also feature in Melhalah: the marriage of the principal characters Mehalah and Elijah Rebow takes place in the now-ruined church at Virley. The churches are also steeped in legend associating them with non-fictional smugglers; from the church towers, signals could be flashed to Tiptree Heath, and to Beacon Hill on the other side of the Blackwater estuary. There was always a good turn-out for the service at Virley because the congregation was swelled by local smugglers who aimed to keep an eye on the contraband they had concealed in various parts of the church [236!

According to one local fable, villagers found an customs boat floating off nearby Sunken Island with a crew of corpses — all 22 men had their throats cut from ear to ear. The bodies were buried in the local graveyard, with the hull of their up-turned boat over the graves.


The following is from the Immigrant List of thev Merchant Bonaventure to Virginia 1635

Then follows a list of those who went to St. Domingo, after which, “These under written are to be transported to Virginea imbarqued in ye Merchant bonaventure James Ricroft Master bound thither have taken ye oath of allegeance. You will perceive an apparent repetition of the anme of Ricahrd Champion. I can only say it so so in the original.

Mary Saunders, 26, included in the above list of passengers.


John Sanders, 1 April 1636, Thomas Cornwallis and John, both gentlemen, appear in the case of Orchard against Baltimore and others.

Joseph Saunders, 6 June 1636, agrees to freight the ship Flower de Luce for 8 months for a voyage to Virginia. Origin Weymouth.


By late 1637 a second depression [of tobacco prices] began and lasted until the mid- forties . . . Pecquet, Cato Journal, ibid.


Joseph Saunders, 25 July 1637, He and William Smith undertook the freight of the Flower de Luce from Thomas Leddoze. Ship was in a very rotten state and ill fitted for the voyage which lasted from July 1, 1637 to June 22, 1637.

There are quite a few admiralty papers that list court cases that only list the last name of Saunders. In reading them they appear to be related to this Joseph and the same ship and the Bonnie Bess which went aground at Long Island, Virginia in rough weather. Two great boat loads of goods weighing 5 tons apiece were taken out of to be carried ashore but both were lost in the attempt. Freight on board the two ships were valued at L2400 to Saunders’ account.

Whilst the two ships were at Virginia, it was rumored that Weston had received instructions from Saunders to dispose of the Bonnie Bess: Weston offered to sell it to Leonard Calvert, the Governor of Maryland, but, in fact, eventually sold it to Richard Orchard who had arrived in Virginia a month after the ship had been driven aground.

Suits were commenced in the Quarter Court at James Town by planters and relatives of merchants who had died on board, for restitution of goods seized by Weston on the outward voyage. Details of Flower de Luce: On 11 October 1638 it left Newfoundland for Virginia, Master John White. On October 21 it arrived at Point Comfort. Later on 2 November it arrived at James Town.

On 11 April 1639 the homeward voyage was started. However, the day before the ship set sail for Point Comfort, White and Samuel Leddoye, the purser, on behalf of the owners of the vessel, protested against Nicholas Stourfield, George Grace and Simon Hake, freighters of the said ship, at the terms of schedule made over to them. Grace and Hake returned to Weymouth in the Flower de Luce. Leddoye and White, protesting at their failure to load the ship in time, went to James Town where their complaint was lodged in the suits of the Quarter Court.

Joseph Sanders, 27 August 1637, a letter to Sir Henry Marten, knight, judge of the Admiralty. Enclose a petition from Joseph Sanders, merchant, who about a year ago sent to Virginia goods to a value of L3500.0.0 and also 83 servants. All Sanders’ factors died during the journey and one Hugh Weston then took unlawfully possession of all the goods. Weston has now been arrested and will appear before the court of Admiralty. The privy council recommends this case into the special attendance of this court.

A letter to the Governor and Council of Virginia, 27 August 1637. Contents same as the previous letter. Order to investigate in whose hands the goods now are and where the servants now are and take steps for the recovery of same. The following postscript follows which is canceled “for as much as at the signing here of we are informed that the said Weston is arrested here, where upon we have recommended the business to your especial care of the judge of the Admiralty: you are therefore to seize and cause to remayne in safety and forth-coming such goods and servants as you shall find to belong to the petitioner and to make return of this letter to the said Judge of the Admiralty here”.

From Coldham, Peter Wilson English Adventurers and Emigrants, 1609-1660: Abstracts of Examinations in the High Court of Admiralty with Reference to Colonial America, p. 84.

“Thomas Leddoze of Weymouth, Dorset, merchant, aged 51. He was part owner of the Flower de Luce which he freighted to Saunders. The tobacco she brought back from Virginia was damaged by water and the deponent and others have brought suit in this court (Vol. 54)

From Coldham, P. W., p. 92

Robert Redhead of Rochester, Kent, marine aged 30. He was boatswain’s mate of HMS Swiftsure which in March 1637/8 intercepted the Truelove of London, Mr Isaac Watlington, which was loaded with Virginia tobacco, and ordered her to London. While the Truelove was off Margate, Francis Lathbury came out to her in a boat and returned with Watlington to the town after which the ship sailed for Holland on 16 March 1637/8 (Vol.53).

Matthew Saunders, 3 August 1637, Matthew of Whitechapel, yeoman in the case of Leddoye vs. Saunders.

George Saunders, 14 November 1637, merchant consignment of 4000 lbs. of Virginia tobacco.


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