Angel Gabriel (ship)
The Angel Gabriel was a 240 ton English passenger galleon. She was commissioned for Sir Walter Raleigh's last expedition to America in 1617. She sank in a storm off Pemaquid Point, near the newly established town of Bristol, Maine, on August 15, 1635. The sinking occurred during the middle of the Great Migration.
The ship was initially built as the Starre in 1615 and renamed the Jason by Sir Walter Raleigh for use in his second expedition to Guiana (then under control of the Spanish) in 1617. Following Raleigh's return it was seized and became a merchant ship, renamed the Angel Gabriel.
A stout ship designed and built to cope with combat, even as a merchant ship the Angel Gabriel was involved in many further skirmishes between 1618 and 1635, including a notable engagement in 1627 off Cales where it was boarded several times but was able to clear its decks each time and eventually beat off three Spanish ships. This was possible because the defenders were able to retreat into the forecastle and sterncastle which had reinforced bulkheads fitted with gunports for small cannon and shoulder weapons.
From England to Massachusetts in a fleet of five ships, the Angel Gabriel joined the James, the Elizabeth (Bess), the Mary and the Diligence. As they approached New England, an unusually powerful early season hurricane struck, known as the "Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635", and the James and the Angel Gabriel were forced to ride it out just off the coast of modern-day Hampton, New Hampshire. According to the ship's log and the journal of Increase Mather, whose father Richard Mather and family were on the James, the following was recorded;
At this moment,... their lives were given up for lost; but then, in an instant of time, God turned the wind about, which carried them from the rocks of death before their eyes. ...her (James) sails rent in sunder, and split in pieces, as if they had been rotten ragges...
They tried to stand down during the storm just outside the Isles of Shoals, but the James lost all three anchors, as no canvas or rope would hold, but on Aug 13, 1635, torn to pieces, and not one death, all one hundred-plus passengers aboard the James managed to make it to Boston Harbor two days later.
A plaque commemorating the loss was dedicated August 8, 1965 at Pemaquid Point, Maine. Some of the passengers survived the sinking.
Passengers on the last voyage
- Capt. Robert Andrews, Ship's Master, Ipswich, Massachusetts
- John Bailey, Sr., weaver from Chippenham, England to Newbury, Massachusetts
- John Bailey, Jr., b. 1613
- Johanna Bailey (possibly came on a later ship)
- Henry Beck
- Deacon John Burnham
- Thomas Burnham
- Robert Burnham
- Ralph Blaisdell of Lancashire, settled in York, Maine
- Mrs. Elizabeth Blaisdell
- Henry Blaisdell
- William Furber, age 21, London, England, settled in Dover, New Hampshire
- John Cogswell & Elizabeth Cogswell and eight of their children, Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England, settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts
- Samuel Haines, about age 24, apprentice to John Cogswell, settled in Greenland, New Hampshire
- William Hook
- Henry Simpson
- John Tuttle, about age 17, Devonshire, England, settled in Chebacco Parish and finally Dover, New Hampshire (known to locals as "Shipwreck John Tuttle")
The above list of passengers is apocryphal. The only passengers proven to be onboard were the Cogswells and their servants. The captain of the ship is unknown, since Robert Andrews can be proven to have been in Ipswich in 1634.
Note from a descendant: I believe the above comment about the passenger list being apocryphal is incorrect. Besides genealogy records/letters, there are other sources on the web that provide more information about the passengers. Note from a second descendant: The passenger list given may be currently unverified, but is likely not completely apochryphal. The Cogswells, Beck & Haines are known from many Cogswell sources to have been on this ship. Present-day, ongoing genealogical & historical research is constantly expanding upon & correcting earlier work.
Note from a 3rd descendant: According to the 1869 published genealogical record of the Burnham family written by Roderick H Burnham, on page 309 it clearly states: Lt Thomas Burnham( b 1623 - d 1694 aged 71) the emigrant arrived in 1635 on the ship Angel Gabriel.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2013)|
- Pilgrim Ship Lists By Date, Packrat-pro.com, 2006-02-23, retrieved May 2013
- Dr. Warren Riess (2001). Angel Gabriel: the Elusive English Galleon. ISBN 0-9713438-0-2.
- "Passenger List for the Angel Gabriel 1635". Retrieved 2005.
- Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, vol. 1, pp. 52-56 (Andrews), and 319-23 (Blaisdell). ISBN 0-88082-102-7.