Samuel More

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For those with the same and similar names, see Samuel Moore (disambiguation).

Samuel More (1593–1662) was at the center of two historical incidents in seventeenth century England. Samuel More’s father, Richard More, was master of Linley, an estate near Bishop’s Castle, close to the Welsh border. Samuel More was the husband of Katherine More, whose father, Jasper More, was master of Larden, a 1000-acre estate between Much Wenlock and Ludlow in Shropshire, England. It was in 1959 that the mystery of why Samuel More would send his three children on the dangerous journey on the Mayflower was explained. Jasper More, a descendant of Samuel More, prompted by his genealogist friend, Sir Anthony Wagner, searched his attic and discoverd a 1622 document which detailed the adultery of the children's mother, Katherine More. That admission led the father, Samuel More, to believe that the children were not his offspring.[1]In 1616, Samuel More accused his wife Katherine More of adultery and bearing four children with Jacob Blakeway, a neighbor. Samuel More, under his father Richard's direction, removed the four children from their home, and four years later, without their mother's knowledge, they were transported to the New World on board the Pilgrim Fathers' ship the Mayflower.[2][3]

Marriage[edit]

Jasper More's sons died leaving no male heir. The estates were held in an entail whereby inheritance was restricted to male heirs but Samuel father, Richard, in the marriage settlement paid 600 pounds to Jasper More, so there must have been clear title.[4] It was arranged that Katherine would marry her cousin and indeed, in 4 February 1610, (old date style) Katherine, 25, the last unmarried daughter of Jasper, married 17 year old cousin, Samuel More.[5]

At some point during this time, Samuel began working in London as secretary to Lord Edward Zouche, privy councilor, diplomat and courtier.[6] Over the next four years, Katherine bore four children: Elinor, baptized 24 May 1612, Jasper, baptized 8 August 1613; Richard, baptized 13 November 1614; Mary, baptized 16 April 1616. All were baptized at St. James parish church in Shipton, Shropshire. All were registered with Samuel More as their father.[7][8]

Legal actions and removal of the children[edit]

In 1616, Samuel More accused his wife of adultery and, at the direction of his father, Richard, devised a plan to rid himself of Katherine and the children. The adultery was supposedly committed with Jacob Blakeway, a young man near in age to Katherine who lived close by and whose family had been More tenants for several generations. In 1608, Jacob Blakeway and his father Edward, a yeoman had renewed a lease on a parcel of land owned by Katherine More's father, Jasper More of Larden Hall. The manor of Larden Hall was about half a mile from Brockton where the Blakeway family lived.[9] By a deed dated 20 April 1616, Samuel cut the entail on the Larden estate to prevent any of the children from inheriting. During the long court battle, Samuel would deny that he was the father of the children borne by his wife, Katherine, and stated them to be children of the adulterous relationship.[10] Katherine did not deny her relationship with Jacob Blakeway, stating there was a former betrothal contract with him, and therefore he was her true husband. This would have made her marriage to Samuel invalid. Samuel quotes her words in his declaration, though she could not sufficiently prove by witnesses yet it was all one before god as she sayed. At that time any of the usual witnesses would have been dead.[11]

In that same year, by his own account, Samuel went to his employer and a More family friend, Lord Zouche, Lord President of the Council of Wales, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Privy Counselor, to draw up a plan for the disposition of the children.[12] Zouche had been an active member of the Virginia Company and in 1617 he invested £100 in an expedition to the Colony of Virginia, which is where the Mayflower was supposed to have landed. It was his actions that were instrumental in putting the More children on the Mayflower.[13][14][15] At that time, children were routinely rounded up from the streets of London or taken from poor families receiving church relief to be used as laborers in the colonies. Any legal objections to the involuntary transportation of the children were over-ridden by the Privy Council, namely, Lord Zouche. Most people thought it a death sentence and indeed, many did not survive either the voyage or the harsh climate, disease and scarcity of fresh food for which they were ill-prepared.[16][17]

Additionally, in 1616, Samuel More, under his father Richard's direction, removed all four children from Larden and placed them in the care of some of Richard More's tenants near Linley.[18][19] The removal was shortly after the youngest child had been baptized which was on April 16. According to Samuel's statement,[20] the reason he sent the children away was as the apparent likeness & resemblance … to Jacob Blakeway, quoting from: "A true declaracon of the disposing of the fower children of Katherine More sett downe by Samuell More her late husband together with the reasons movinge him thereunto accasioned by a peticon of hers to the Lord Chief Justice of England" and it is endorsed, Katherine Mores Petition to the Lord Chief Justice ...the disposing of her children to Virginia dated 1622".[21] Samuel goes on to state that, during the time the children were with the tenants, Katherine went there and engaged in a struggle to take her children back:[22] Katharine went to the tenants dwelling where her children had been sequestered, and in a hail of murderous oaths, did teare the cloathes from their backes. There were at least twelve actions recorded between December 1619 and July 8, 1620 when it was finally dismissed.[23][24]

The statement details that soon after the denial of the appeal on July 8, 1620, the children were transported from Shipton to London by a cousin of Samuel More and given into the care of Thomas Weston,“…and delivered to Philemon Powell who was intreated to deliver them to John Carver and Robert Cushman undertakers for the associats (sic) of John Peers (Pierce).[25] for the plantacon (sic) of Virginia…” [26] in whose home they would be staying while awaiting ship boarding.[27][28] Thomas Weston and Philemon Powell were both poor choices, and Thomas Weston especially was quite disreputable. In later years Weston would become an enemy of the Crown.[29] As the agent of the Merchant Adventurer investment group that was funding the Puritan voyage, Bradford states that Weston caused them many financial and agreement contract problems, both before and after the Mayflower sailed. Weston’s Puritan contacts for the voyage were John Carver and Robert Cushman who jointly agreed to find the children guardians among the Mayflower passengers. Carver and Cushman were agents from the Puritans to oversee preparations for the voyage [30] with Robert Cushman’s title being Chief Agent, from 1617 until his death in 1625.[31] Within several weeks of the More children’s arrival in London, and without their mother Katherine More’s knowledge or approval, they were in the care of others on the Mayflower, bound for New England.[21]

After the Mayflower sailed, Katherine made another attempt to challenge the decision through the courts. It was this legal action in early 1622 before Chief Justice James Ley which led to the statement from Samuel explaining where he sent the children and why, the historical evidence for his parent's history.[32]

The More children on the Mayflower[edit]

Mayflower plaque in St. James Church in Shipton, Shropshire commemorating the More children baptism. courtesy of Phil Revell

At the time of the Mayflower's sailing in September 1620, the children were aged between four and eight and classed as indentured servants and were to be labor in the colony of (Northern) Virginia (present day Long Island). This was the Mayflower's intended destination until winter weather forced the ship to anchor at Cape Cod. A number of colonists travelled as paying passengers on the Mayflower. Exactly what explanation was given for the More children's presence is not known as many homeless waifs from the streets of London were sent to the New World as laborers.[33][34]

Three of the Mayflower Pilgrims took responsibility for the children as indentured servants:

  • Elinor More, Ellen More, age 8, assigned as a servant of Edward Winslow. She died in November 1620 soon after the arrival of the Mayflower at Cape Cod Harbor. Her burial place is unknown and may have been ashore on Cape Cod similarly to her brother Jasper several weeks later. With many others who died that winter, her name appears on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb, Cole's Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • Jasper More, age 7, servant of John Carver. He died of a ‘common infection’ in Dec. 1620 while the Mayflower was in Cape Cod Harbor. He was buried ashore in what is now the Provincetown area. Provincetown has a memorial plaque with his name and that of four others ‘who died at sea while the ship lay at Cape Cod Harbor’ in Nov./Dec. 1620.
  • Mary More, age 4, assigned as a servant of William Brewster. She died sometime in the winter of 1620/1621. Her burial place is unknown, but may been on Cole's Hill in Plymouth in an unmarked grave as with so many others buried there that winter. As with her sister Ellen, she is recognized on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb in Plymouth, misidentified after her sister's name as "and a brother (children)" – the statement of calling her "a brother" mistakenly coming from William Bradford's failing memory years after the event of her death.
  • Richard More, age 6, servant of William Brewster. He resided with the Brewster family until about mid-1627 when his term of indentureship expired. This is about the time that his name appears, at age 14, in a census as a member of the Brewster family, in what was called then ‘New Plimouth’. By 1628, Richard was in the employ of Pilgrim Isaac Allerton, who was engaged in trans-Atlantic trading.[35][36][37]

After the Mayflower sailed, Katherine made another attempt to challenge the decision through the courts. It was this legal action in early 1622 before Chief Justice James Ley which led to the statement from Samuel explaining where he sent the children and why, the main historical evidence for the events.[38]

Samuel More continued to act as secretary to Edward la Zouche and on 11 June 1625, he married Elizabeth Worsley, daughter of Richard Worsley, Esq. of Deeping Gate (in Maxey) in Northamptonshire and cousin to Lord Zouche's second wife,[39] although he was only separated not divorced from Katherine More. There was no divorce as it is known today and neither party was allowed to remarry during the lifetime of the other.[40] On February of 1626, Samuel More obtained a royal pardon, possibly to protect himself against accusations of adultery. It is not known if Katherine was still alive at the time of his second marriage.[41]

Second controversy: the Hopton Massacre[edit]

In the English civil war Samuel More fought for Parliament and commanded a garrison at Hopton Castle in Shropshire. Hopton Castle was one of the few castles to be held for Parliament in that county. Samuel More was commandant of the castle when, in 1644, it was besieged by a force of Cavaliers led by Sir Michael Woodhouse, with a force of about 500. Samuel More’s garrison numbered around 30 men, and the end result of such an action was inevitable. Without external support, More would be forced to surrender. It seems that Colonel Samuel More was offered quarter (the option of a surrender) twice and refused. After this accounts differ.

Samuel’s own account[42] states that he finally surrendered once the Cavaliers had breached the castle walls, whereupon his men were brutally slaughtered.

Other accounts state that, after a three-week siege, More delayed surrendering until the bailey had been taken and the entrance to the keep was on fire.[43] Under the laws of war as they were practiced at that time, such a surrender was at the discretion of the besieging forces, who had taken significant casualties. More had apparently waited too long to surrender. It seems that Sir Michael Woodhouse choose not to accept the surrender and ordered (or at least did not prevent) the killings. As his men were being killed, Samuel More was taken to Ludlow and was later given his freedom in a prisoner exchange.[44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donald F. Harris, PhD., Mayflower Descendant (July 1993), vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 124-127
  2. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, p. 165-168
  3. ^ Donald F Harris, PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part II, The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 44, no. 1 (January 1994), p. 14.
  4. ^ Donald F Harris,PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part I, The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 43, no. 2 (July 1993), 130
  5. ^ Shipton Parish Register Shropshire archive.
  6. ^ Acts of the Privy Council of England, APC Col. p. 38 show Samuel More in Zouche's service as a private secretary as noted in David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p.221.
  7. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, ‘’The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More’’, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, p. 164: Parish Record of the Shipton Shropshire Register Society.
  8. ^ Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620–1633 (Boston: New England Historical Genealogical Society, 1995), vol., 2 G-O, p. 1282
  9. ^ Donald Harris PhD., The More Children and the Mayflower, Part II, The Mayflower Descendant, (January 1994), vol. 44, no. 1, p. 12
  10. ^ Donald Harris, PhD., The More Children and the Mayflower, Part II, The Mayflower Descendant, (January 1994), vol. 44, no. 1, p. 14, 18
  11. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, p. 165
  12. ^ Donald F Harris, PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part III, The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 44, no. 2 (July 1994), p. 109
  13. ^ Liza Picard, Elizabeth's London (Weidenfield & Nicolson 2003). p. 196
  14. ^ Morison & Commager, The Growth of the American Republic (4th Ed., New York, 1950), vol. 1, p. 40
  15. ^ Donald F Harris, PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part III, The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 44, no. 2 (July 1994), p. 14. and Part II (January, 1994), vol. 44 no. 1, pp. 108-110
  16. ^ Donald F. Harris, PhD., The More Children and the Mayflower, The Mayflower Descendant (July 2, 1994), vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 110, 111
  17. ^ R.C. Johnson, The Transportation of Vagrant Children from London to Virginia, 1618-1622, in H.S. Reinmuth (Ed.), Early Stuart Studies: Essays in Honor of David Harris Willson, (Minneapolis, 1970).
  18. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Children in the Mayflower (The London Times) June 30, 1959 pp. 11-
  19. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, pp. 163-168
  20. ^ The More Archive - Shropshire Council
  21. ^ a b Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, pp. 165-167
  22. ^ David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p. 13
  23. ^ The Shropshire Records and Research Center 1037/10/8 and 9
  24. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, p. 166
  25. ^ William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth (Boston: 1856), p. 123
  26. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 20
  27. ^ Charles Edward Banks, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers (New York: Grafton Press, 1929), p. 72
  28. ^ David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p. 53
  29. ^ David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), pp. 27,28,54,55
  30. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), pp. 21. 26, 42, 135
  31. ^ Robert E. Cushman and Franklin P. Cole, Robert Cushman of Kent (1577-1625): Chief Agent of the Plymouth Pilgrims (1617-1625) (2nd Ed. Edited by Judith Swan Pub by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2005), p. 87
  32. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, p. 164-167
  33. ^ Donald F Harris, PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part I, The Mayflower Descendant, (July 1993), vol. 43, no. 2, p. 124
  34. ^ Morison & Commager, The Growth of the American Republic ( 4th Ed., New York, 1950), vol.1, p. 40
  35. ^ David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), pp 102–104 and pp. 25–27, 102–104, 150–152
  36. ^ Donald F Harris, PhD.,The More Children of the Mayflower, Part III, The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 44, no. 2 (July 1994), p. 4
  37. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking 2006), p. 26
  38. ^ Sir Anthony R. Wagner, The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More (Boston: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1960), vol. 114, p. 163-168
  39. ^ Donald F. Harris, PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part III, The Mayflower Descendants, (July, 1994), vol. 44, no. 2, p.110
  40. ^ Donald F Harris, PhD., The More Children of the Mayflower, Part II, The Mayflower Descendant (January 1994), p. 16
  41. ^ David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p. 65
  42. ^ John Brickdale Blakeway, Sheriffs of Shropshire, 1831: Relation of the siege, surrender and butchery at Hopton Castle (see above) by Colonel Samuel Moore, who commanded the garrison, p. 217.
  43. ^ Time Team – Series 17 | Episode 6 | Hopton Castle
  44. ^ David Lindsay, Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p. 119
  45. ^ Hopton Castle Preservation Trust Shropshire UK/