Thomas Corker

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Thomas Corker (born Falmouth, Cornwall, England, died 1700) was a prominent English agent for the Royal African Company and worked in the Sherbro, Sierra Leone. His descendants are still living in that area and are the Bonthe and Shenge Caulkers. Corker was originally from Dublin, Ireland; he was descended from the Dublin/Cornwall Corker family.[1]

Departure for Sierra Leone[edit]

Thomas Corker left London and went to Africa in 1684 in the Royal African company's service and worked on the rivers before becoming a chief agent on York Island, Sherbro. It is while working in the Sherbro region that he married an African princess of the house of Ya Kumba who ruled on the shore of the Yawry Bay (according to Bulom oral tradition). The woman was known to the English as 'Seniora Doll' or 'Senora Doll' and together they had two sons Robin and Stephen. Thomas Corker soon after was transferred by the Royal African Company to Gambia in April 1699 and later on he returned to England and died in 1700. His sons, Robin and Stephen inherited their mother's kingdom and utilised their European heritage to increase their influence in the region. The Corkers (later on changed to Caulkers) became a powerful chiefdom in Sierra Leone and were one of the most notorious slave trading Afro-European clans in West Africa.

Descendants[edit]

Today most of Thomas Corker's descendants can be found living in Sierra Leone's southern region, Sherbro and the name is now spelled as Caulker. The clan still maintains its oral and written testimony about its English ancestor, Thomas Corker and a number of Caulker chiefs were named after him, such as Thomas Caulker.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "RootsWeb: CountyCork-L Fw: CORKER- Slave Trader?????". archiver.rootsweb.com. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 

Resources[edit]