Bevis (ship)

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The Bevis, also known as the Bevis of Hampton was a ship that brought "Emigrants"[1] from England to New England in 1638 [1] at a time when thousands of Puritans left England seeking freedom of religious practice.[2] The ship master was named Robert Batten.[1] One voyage carried 61 settlers from Southampton, England, leaving on 16 May 1638,[2] to "Newengland", all one word.[1] The ship's destinations included: Newbury, Weymouth, Wells, Maine, Newport, Salisbury, and Charlestown.[3]

The passengers on the Bevis were mostly Puritans, leaving England for the New World driven by the quest for religious freedom at a time when England was moving toward ardent Catholicism.[2] Scholar David B. Gracy, II, notes that some in the hierarchy of the King of England noticed the Bevis was almost entirely composed of Puritans and agents of the Kingdom sought to prevent the ship from setting sail in May 1638, but alas failed to prevent the sailing.[4]

The burthen (weight bearing capacity) of the Bevis was 150 tons.[5] The goods were loaded on 12 May 1638.[5] The shippers of the goods were Richard Dumer & Co. Henry Byles & Co.[6]

A noteworthy passenger on the Bevis was Richard Austin, whose descendants of the same surname name would include Moses Austin, Stephen F. Austin, and Emily Austin Perry who collectively are credited with settling the State of Texas.


  1. ^ a b c d Bevis 1638
  2. ^ a b c Gracy, David B., Moses Austin: his life (Trinity University Press, 1987), pp. 5-6. ISBN 0-911536-84-1
  3. ^ "The Planters of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts" by Charles E. Banks
  4. ^ "Crossing the Atlantic in 1638: Passengers aboard the Ship Bevis," The Second Boat, 1 (May 1980), 13
  5. ^ a b The Passenger List of The Bevis (1638) Archived January 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Public Records Office: Classes CO1/9/112 and E190/824/9 as referenced in "The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660" by Peter Coldham