James (ship)

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The ship James made several trips during the early 17th century Great Migration out of England to the New World.[1] It is unclear how many ships were named James during the Great Migration, as the name James was very popular in England during the reign of James I of England (1567–1625).

1621-1622 voyage[edit]

From England to Virginia

It appears the James landed right around the New Year, because some of the passengers reported as landing in 1621, and others in 1622, most likely due to winter conditions. The first few off the ship were servants of Edward Bennett, the wealthy London merchant that had paid for over 800 servants to travel to the New World to work his plantations, and who had already established his plantation, so they had a place to stay.[2]




Isack Chaplaine arrived in Virginia in 1610 aboard the Starr and then sent for his family ten years later, as they arrived on the James:

The other passengers include;

1624 voyage[edit]

James left Bermuda with master Toby Ffolgate at the helm, and arrived in Virginia.[3]

The information below (1633) is not correct. Captain Wiggin was not "at the helm" of the James. Wiggin did not "command an earlier expedition to this area". He came in 1630 as an agent for the Bristol Merchants and then in 1633 for the two Lords and a group of men collectively called "Shrewsbury Merchants" along with William Whiting and Willis who had shares in the venture. William Whiting came in 1633 on the James with Capt. Wiggin and his second wife, Catherine Whiting, sister to William Whiting.

1633 voyage[edit]

James left Gravesend, England, with master Captain Thomas Wiggin at the helm, and arrived in Salem, Massachusetts on October 10, 1633. The James was described as a relatively small but sturdy ship, carrying 100 Pilgrims along with horses, cattle, goats and provisions landed at Salem on October 10, 1633. After disembarking, Captain Wiggin and 30 others sailed further up the coast to Hilton Point, what is now known as Dover, New Hampshire, and started a new settlement. Wiggin, a strict Puritan, commanded one of the early explorations to New Hampshire during this period and was appointed by English entrepreneurs to make land acquisitions and organize potential settlers.[4]

1635 voyages[edit]

The ship James of London sailed from Southampton on April 5, 1635 and arrived in Massachusetts Bay on June 3,[5] 1635 with master William Cooper at the helm.

The ship James left King's Road in Bristol on May 23, 1635 with master John Taylor at the helm. From England to Massachusetts in a fleet of five ships, the Angel Gabriel, the Elizabeth and Ann (Bess), the Mary and the Diligence.

On June 3, 1635, the James joined four other ships, and set sail for the New World with just over 100 passengers as part of a fleet of five ships, including the families of Richard Mather, Captain John Evered and John Ayer. As they approached New England, a hurricane struck and they 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 passengers, 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 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 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 the James manages to make it to Boston Harbor two days later.

The Angel Gabriel was wrecked off the coast of Maine, but the smaller, faster ships, the Mary, the Bess, and the Diligence outran the storm, and landed in Newfoundland on August 15, 1635.[1]

1662 voyage[edit]

The James left Bermuda on August 5, 1662 with Captain William Sayle and James Sayle under the command of Matthew Normal in search of Eleutheria.[6]

1733 voyage[edit]

The unloading of the James, 1733

According to Georgian History, the James was the first ship to be unloaded at Savannah.[7]

1787-1789 voyage[edit]

The Ship James Muster Roll, December 25, 1788

On December 22, 1787, James under Captain John Canton from Liverpool to Jamaica as a cargo ship, arriving February 9, 1788. They unloaded the beef, and loaded up with the sugar cargo bound for Charleston, North Carolina. They arrived in Charleston unloaded, then reloaded with cotton bound back to Liverpool on September 7, 1788.[8]

Just three months later, on December 16, 1788, under Captain Thomas Wilks embarked on the same cargo trip, arriving back in Liverpool on July 24, 1789.[8]

Other ship James[edit]


  1. ^ a b Anne, Lady. "Pilgrim Ship Lists By Date".
  2. ^ article "Edward Bennett of London and Virginia" by John Bennett Boddie "The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 13, No. 2" (Apr., 1933), pp. 117-130. Published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
  3. ^ "Google Image Result for rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bmuwgw/seaventure.jpg".
  4. ^ Park, Arthur's Park , Arthur's Park , Arthur's (3 January 2012). "AHV and ADV at their Maine Hunting Retreat".
  5. ^ Banks, Charles Edward (1961). The Planters of the Commonwealth. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. pp. 135–136.
  6. ^ "MEMORIALS OF THE BERMUDAS; Memorials of the Discovery and Early Settlement of the Bermudas or Somers Islands 1515-1685" by JOHN HENRY LEFROY
  7. ^ http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/tdgh-may/may14.htm
  8. ^ a b Bob (23 June 2009). "Cannundrums: Ship James: Two Voyages (1787 to 1789)".