Ancestral Families and the Colonial Trade (1638-1647)


William Saunders, 12 September 1638, licenses to sell tobacco in Ingworth & Feering, Essex. Merchant charged 70 shillings.

Feering, in Essex, England

Feering is a village in Essex, England. Situated between Colchester and Witham, Feering has close ties with its geographically conjoined neighbour, Kelvedon.

Ingworth is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk.[1] the nearest town is Aylsham which is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) south of the village.

The village is 14.3 miles (23.0 km) north

Feering, Norfolk, England

of Norwich, 7.3 miles (11.7 km) east of North Walshamand 9 miles (14 km) south-southwest of Cromer on the north Norfolk coast.

[WHB – Note that, although Norfolk and Essex are both on or near the coast in Eastern England, the two communities of Ingworth and Feering have no historical tie other than both having their tobacco concessions awarded to William Saunders.]

Joshua Saunders, 15 December 1638, licenses to sell tobacco in London. Merchant charged L10. In 1639 his license to do business was in St. Catherine’s city of London.

From Thornbury, Walter, Old and New London vol 2, 1878: (Quoted in British History Online)

“Before entering the gate of St. Katherine’s Docks, where great samples of the wealth of London await our inspection, we must first make a brief mention of the old hospital that was pulled down in 1827, to make a fresh pathway for London commerce. This hospital was originally founded in 1148 by Matilda of Boulogne, wife of the usurper Stephen, for the repose of the souls of her son Baldwin and her daughter Matilda, and for the maintenance of a master and several poor brothers and sisters.

In 1273, Eleanor, widow of Henry III., dissolved the old foundation, and refounded it, in honour of the same saint, for a master, three brethren, chaplains, three sisters, ten bedeswomen, and six poor scholars. Opposed to this renovation, Pope Urban IV., by a bull, endeavoured in vain to reinstate the expelled prior and brotherhood, who had purloined the goods and neglected their duties. And here, in the same reign, lived that great alchemist, Raymond Lully, whom Edward III. employed in the Tower to try and discover for him the secret of transmutation.

“Another great benefactress of the hospital was the brave woman, Philippa of Hainault, wife of that terror of France, Edward III. She founded a chantry and gave houses in Kent and Herts to the charity, and £10 in lands per annum for an additional chaplain.

“In after years Henry V. confirmed the annual £10 of Queen Philippa for the endowment of the chantries of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, and his son Henry VI. was likewise a benefactor to St. Katherine’s Hospital. But the great encourager of the charity was Thomas de Bekington, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, who, being master of the hospital in the year 1445, obtained a charter of privileges, to help the revenue. By this charter the precincts of the hospital were declared free from all jurisdiction, civil or ecclesiastical, except that of the Lord Chancellor. To help the funds, an annual fair was to be held on Tower Hill, to last twenty-one days from the feast of St. James. The district had a special spiritual and a temporal court.

“Henry VIII. and Katherine of Arragon founded in this place the guild or fraternity of St. Barbara, which was governed by a master and three wardens, and included in its roll Cardinal Wolsey, the Dukes of Norfolk and Buckingham, the Earls of Shrewsbury and Northumberland, and their ladies. In 1526 the king confirmed the liberties and franchise of this house, which even escaped dissolution in 1534, in compliment, it has been supposed, to Queen Anne Boleyn, whom the king had then lately married.

In the reign of Edward VI., however, all the meshes of the Reformers’ nets grew smaller. Now the small fry had all been caught, the lands of St. Katherine’s Hospital were taken possession of by the Crown. Greediness and avarice soon had their eye on the hospital; and in the reign of Elizabeth, Dr. Thomas Wylson, her secretary, becoming the master, surrendered up the charter of Henry VI., and craftily obtained a new one, which left out any mention of the liberty of the fair on Tower Hill.

St Catherines Docks, London, England

He then sold the rights of the said fair to the Corporation of London for £466 13s. 4d. He next endeavoured to secure all the hospital estates, when the parishioners of the precinct began to cry aloud to Secretary Cecil, and stopped the plunderer’s hand.”


Joseph Saunders, 8 October 1639, of St. Mildreds South London, a merchant aged 39 gives testimony in a case.

St Mildred’s Church, London

The earliest record of the church of St Mildred is of its rebuilding in around 1300. This was probably paid for by Lord Trenchaunt of St. Albans, who was buried in the Church at about that time. Sir John Shadworth, Lord Mayor in 1401, who was also buried in the church, gave a parsonage house, a vestry and a churchyard.[4] A description by John Strype indicates that the medieval church was an aisled building, with a clerestory.[4] The patronage of the church belonged to the monastery of St Mary Overie until 1533, when it passed into private hands.[1]

Strype records that the church was repaired throughout in 1628, when most of the north wall, the nave arcades and the windows above them were rebuilt.[5] A major benefactor of the church during the 17th century was Sir Nicholas Crisp, a wealthy merchant and ardent supporter ofCharles I,[4] who, by 1663, owned the advowson of the church.[1] His gifts included two large silver flagons, which were still in use into the 20th century, and a five light stained glass east window depicting the Spanish ArmadaElizabeth I, the Gunpowder Plot, the plague of 1625, and portraits of himself, his wife and children. He was interred in his family vault in the church, although his heart was buried atHammersmith.[4]

St Mildred’s was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666. Its silver plate, however, survived, having been taken to safety in Hackney in a hired carriage.[4] After the fire the parish of the church of St Margaret Moses, which was also destroyed but not rebuilt, was united to that of St Mildred.[4]

The boundaries of East London parishes surrounding St Mildred Poulty


Joseph Saunders, 5 December 1640, another court battle involving a ship named Truelove. It was supposed to return to London but instead diverted to Holland to sell its goods.

[WHB – Note the following at]: 

True Love, departed from London, England, and arrived in Bermuda, 10 June 1635.

Note the following about the September. 1635 voyage of the Truelove, Master John Gibbs, to Massachusetts:

“This table [see] details the roll of passengers of the Truelove, which sailed from London, mid-September, 1635, bound for New England. The ship arrived safe at Massachusetts Bay, although some of the persons listed below may not have arrived. Some may have decided not to sail. Some servants may have run away. And there usually was some loss of life among the passengers from disease and malnutrition during the passage.

“This information was transcribed in the 19th century by James Savage from records found in London, at the Augmentation Office, Rolls Court, Westminster.”]

 1645 –

“[D]uring the English Civil War . trade with the Dutch provided an increase in demand . . .  Pecquet, Cato Journal, ibid.


17 April 1646, John Hayes vs. Joseph Saunders, Francis Lathbury and Matthew Saunders. Another tobacco related case.

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

“Francis Lathbury, book keeper to Joseph Saunders, aged 24, (of St Mildred Poultry, Lond, merchant age 25/26). (3 depositions). Joseph Saunders, to whom he was apprenticed for 8 years, was the owner of the Bonny Bess which he bought from John Thierry of London, merchant, in May or June 1636 for a voyage to Virginia, and appointed Zachary Flute to go as her Master.

“The deponent paid Thierry his account and paid the ship’s purser, Edward Searchfield, for repairs carried out on her. His then master, Joseph Saunders, received one Clarke for his passage to Virginia. After the death of Flute, William Blackler was elected Master.

“The deponent is part owner of the Truelove which carried passengers from Virginia to London in 1638 at the rate of 5 pounds or 5 pounds.10s. a head. Those who shipped goods on the Flower de Luce included his brother Arthur Lathbury of London, merchant, Edmund Saunders, ___ Penryn, ____ Bradley, Simon Hake, and Henry Ledgington. She arrived home in London before the Bonny Bess. (Vols 53 & 54).

From Coldham, ibid., p. 83-84:

Abraham Orten of St Sepulchre, London, mariner aged 60. He was employed to go as cook in the Flower de Luce to Virginia and she went in company with the Bonny Bess, both having been set out by Joseph Saunders. Soe of the goods salvaged from the latter ship were brought ashore on Chaptain Thurygood’s plantation (Vol 54).

From Coldham, ibid., p. 84.

“John White of St sepulchre, London, grocer aged 35. The tobacco brought to London in the Flower de Luce proved mostly rotten and Francisc Lathbury bought part of it. Stafford, Joseph Saunders’ agent, kept the key of the warehouse where the tobacco was stored (Vol. 54)


20)  21 July 1647, Joseph Saunders vs. William Holiday. In 1638, he employed Holiday, the a resident of Rotterdam, to conduct his affairs in Holland. This included dealing in Virginia tobacco. Trying to settle account.

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