Richard More (c.1614 - 1693) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Shropshire, England
Death: Died in Salem, Masschusetts Bay
Cause of death: Date on tombstone is 1692
Occupation: Mariner
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Richard More

Richard More had one of the most bizarre and interesting lives of any of the Mayflower passengers.  He was baptized in 1614 in Shipton, Shropshire, England, to Katherine More.  Researchers have traced Katherine More's ancestry back to royalty, making Richard More and his siblings the only Mayflower passengers to have a documented royal ancestry.  His father was either Katherine's husband Samuel More, or it was Jacob Blakeway, with whom she was having an extramarital affair.  When the affair was discovered, Samuel questions whether the children were his (since they seemed to look more like Blakeway).  Divorce proceedings were begun, and Samuel More would eventually receive custody of the children.  He paid to have his children shipped off to America with some "honest and religious people", where they could avoid the "great blots and blemishes" that would fall on them if they remained in England.  Richard More and sister Mary ended up in the household of Elder William Brewster; older sister Ellen went to the Edward Winslow family, and older brother Jasper went to the John Carver family.  Richard's three siblings all died the first winter: Jasper died even before the Pilgrims were finished exploring Cape Cod.

Richard More was still living with the Brewsters in 1627, and married Christian Hunter in 1636 in Plymouth, and moved very shortly thereafter to Salem.  Richard More became a seaman and ship captain, and made trips to England, Nova Scotia, West Indies, Manhattan, and Virginia.  In February and March 1642/3, he joined the church at Salem and had two children baptized there; all the rest of his children would be baptized there as well, through his last child Christian, baptized in 1652.

His wife Christian died on 18 March 1676, at the age of 60.  Richard More then married to Mrs. Jane Crumpton; she died in October 1686 at Salem, aged 55.  In 1688, the Salem Church recorded: "Old Captain More having been for many years under suspicion and common fame of lasciviousness, and some degree at least of inconstancy ... but for want of proof we could go no further.  He was at last left to himself so far as that he was convicted before justices of peace by three witnesses of gross unchastity with another man's wife and was censured by them."

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The More children were passengers on the historic voyage of the Mayflower in 1620. The four children were at the center of an incident in early 17th century England that caused later genealogists to ponder why their father would send his very young children away on an extremely dangerous voyage to the New World in the care of strangers.[1][2] The mystery was solved in 1959 with the discovery of a 1622 document which detailed the adultery of the children's mother, Katherine More. That admission of adultery led the father, Samuel More, to believe that the children were not his offspring.[3] To rid himself of these children, he arranged for them to be sent to the Colony of Virginia,[4] but due to winter weather they were forced to land far north at Cape Cod. During the first winter there, three of the children died and Richard More was the only survivor. Much of what is known about the More children's early childhood is through legal documents, more specifically a document written in 1622, in response to a petition of Katherine More to Lord Chief Justice Sir James Ley, at which time Katherine demands to know what has become of her children.[6][7] Richard More's mother was Katherine More, (sometimes spelled Katharine hereafter spelled Katherine). Katherine’s father, Jasper More, was master of Larden, a 1000-acre estate between Much Wenlock and Ludlow. Both estates are in Shropshire, England. Samuel’s father, Richard More, was master of Linley, an estate near Bishop’s Castle, close to the Welsh border.[8]


Jasper's sons died leaving no male heir.[9] The estates were held in an entail whereby inheritance was restricted to male heirs and Samuel's father, but Richard, in the marriage settlement paid 600 pounds to Jasper More, so there must have been clear title.[10] It was arranged that Katherine would marry her cousin and indeed, in February 4, 1610, (old date style) Katherine, 25, the last unmarried daughter of Jasper, married her cousin, seventeen year old Samuel More. The marriage papers contained the unusual mention of "without tabling" allowing Samuel to live at his own estate or elsewhere.[11][12]


At some point during this time, Samuel began working in London as secretary to Lord Edward Zouche, privy councilor, diplomat and courtier.[13]

Over the course of four years, Katherine had four children. There were all baptized at St. James Church, Shipton, Shropshire:

Elinor or Ellen, baptised on May 24, 1612;
Jasper baptised on August 8, 1613;
Richard baptised on November 13, 1614.
Mary. baptised on April 16, 1616.[14][15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]


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.[19] 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.[20][21][22] 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.[23][24]


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.[25][26] The removal was shortly after the youngest child had been baptized which was on April 16. According to Samuel's statement,[27] 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 cheif Justice of England" and it is endorsed, Katherine Mores Petition to the Lord Chief Justice ...the disposing of her children to Virginia dated 1622".[28] 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:[29] 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.[30][31]


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).[32] for the plantacon (sic) of Virginia…” [33] in whose home they would be staying while awaiting ship boarding.[34][35] 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.[36] 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 [37] with Robert Cushman’s title being Chief Agent, from 1617 until his death in 1625.[38] 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.[28]


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.[39] By a deed dated 20 April 1616, Samuel cut the entail on the Larden estate to prevent any of the compromised 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.[17] Katherine never denied that she had been intimate 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.[18]

Soon after the denial of the appeal on July 8, 1620, the children were transported from Shipton to London by one of Samuel's cousins and given into the care of Thomas Weston, organizer of the Mayflower voyage.[40] As stated several years later in a document from Samuel More telling Katherine More what had happened to her children "…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 for the plantacon [sic] of Virginia…” Thomas Weston and Philemon Powell were both choices that would not speak well of the Puritans judgement of people. Powell became a convicted smuggler.[41] Weston was especially disreputable. As the agent of the Merchant Adventurer investment group that was funding the Puritan voyage, he would cause them numerous financial and agreement contract problems, both before and after the Mayflower sailed.[36]


Weston’s Puritan contacts for the voyage were agents John Carver and Robert Cushman, who oversaw voyage preparations and who jointly agreed to find guardians for the children amongst the Mayflower passengers. 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.[24][42][43]


Three of the senior Mayflower Pilgrims took responsibility for the four More 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, Coles Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.[44]
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.[44]
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. He went on to a career as an Atlantic ship-captain and lived a long life, dying in the mid 1690s.[45]

Within several months of the arrival of the More children in London, and without their mother Katherine More's knowledge, they were in the care of others on the Mayflower, bound for the New World. This would be a fateful journey, leading to the sad demise of three of the children.


The Mayflower set sail on September 6, 1620 from Plymouth, England and arrived at Cape Cod Harbor on November 21. At the time of the Mayflower sailing, the More children were aged between four and eight and were classed as indentured servants that were to be labor in the (northern) Virginia. Although Virginia was their destination, winter weather and seas forced the Mayflower to finally anchor safely inside the hook tip of Cape Cod Harbor. This was after a grueling 66-day journey, marked by disease, which claimed two lives.[46]

References


1.^ Anthony R. Wagner. The Children in the Mayflower (The London Times) June 30, 1959 pp. 11-

2.^ Anthony R. Wagner. The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 163-168
3.^ Donald F. Harris, PhD. Mayflower Descendant (July 1993) vol. 43 no. 2 pp. 124-127
4.^ Harris 1994, pp. 124-126.
5.^ David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) pp. 43, 44, 45.
6.^ David Lindsay, PhD. Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) p 8.
7.^ Anthony R. Wagner. The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 163-168
8.^ Donald Harris PhD. The Mayflower Descendant, (Jan. 1994) no. 1 p. 12
9.^ David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) p. 2
10.^ Donald F. Harris, The Mayflower Descendant (July 1993) vol. 43 no. 2 p. 130
11.^ Edwin A. Hill, PhD. The English Ancestry of Richard More of the Mayflower, The New York genealogical and biographical record, (July 1905) vol 36, p. 214
12.^ Shipton Parish Register Shropshire archive.
13.^ 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, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) p.221.
14.^ Anthony R. Wagner. ‘The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 164 Parish Record of the Shipton Shropshire Register Society. Ellinora Moore filia Samuelis Moore de Larden on 24 May 1612; of Josperus Moore, filius Samuelis Moore de Larden Generosi on 8 Aug. 1613 and of Ricardus Moore filius Samuel Moore de Larden on et uxoris on I3, Nov. 1614; Maria Moore, filia Samuelis More et Caterine uxoris ejus de on 16 April 1616.
15.^ Robert Charles Anderson. ‘’The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620–1633’’ (New England Historical Genealogical Society Boston 1995) vol. 2 G-O p. 1282
16.^ Donald Harris PhD. The Mayflower Descendant. (Jan. 1994) vol. 44 no. 1 p. 12
17.^ a b Donald F. Harris, PhD. The Mayflower Descendant (Jan. 1994) vol. 44 no. 1 p. 14, 18
18.^ a b Anthony R. Wagner. The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 165
19.^ Donald F. Harris, PhD. The Mayflower Descendant (July 1994) vol. 44 no. 2 p. 109
20.^ Liza Picard. Elizabeth's London (Weidenfield & Nicolson 2003). p. 196
21.^ Morison & Commager. The Growth of the American Republic (4th Ed., New York, 1950), vol. 1, p. 40
22.^ Donald F. Harris, PhD. The Mayflower Descendant (published Jan. 1994) vol. 44 no. 1, p. 14. and (July 2, 1994) vol. 44 no. 2 pp. 108-110
23.^ The Mayflower Descendant (July 2, 1994) vol. 44 no. 2 pp. 110, 111
24.^ a b 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.
25.^ Anthony R. Wagner. The Children in the Mayflower (The London Times) June 30, 1959 pp. 11-
26.^ Anthony R. Wagner. The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 163-168
27.^ The More Archive - Shropshire Council
28.^ a b Anthony R. Wagner. The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 pp. 165-167
29.^ David Lindsay, PhD. Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) p. 13
30.^ The Shropshire Records and Research Center 1037/10/8 and 9
31.^ Anthony R. Wagner The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 166
32.^ William Bradford. History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth (Boston. 1856 Not in copyright) p. 123
33.^ Nathaniel Philbrick Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (Viking 2006) p. 20
34.^ Charles Edward Banks. ‘’The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers’’ (Grafton Press N.Y. 1929) p. 72
35.^ David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) p. 53
36.^ a b David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) pp.27,28,54,55
37.^ Nathaniel Philbrick Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (Viking 2006) pp. 21. 26, 42, 135
38.^ 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
39.^ Anthony R. Wagner. The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1960) vol. 114 p. 164-167
40.^ Lindsay 2002, p. 28.
41.^ Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York, 2002) p 53
42.^ Donald F. Harris, PhD. The Mayflower Descendant (July 1993) vol. 43 no. 2 p.124
43.^ Morison & Commager, The Growth of the American Republic ( 4th Ed., New York, 1950), vol. 1, p.40
44.^ a b William Bradford. History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth (Boston. 1856) Not in copyright pp. 447, 451
45.^ David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims (St. Martins Press, New York,2002) pp 102-104 and pp. 25-27,102-104,150-152
46.^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691, (Ancestry Publishing, Salt Lake City, UT, 1986) p. 413

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_More_(Mayflower_passenger)

Captain Richard More, last surviving male passenger of the Mayflower:

Richard More (1614 – c. 1694/1696) was born in Corvedale, Shropshire, England and was baptized at St. James parish church in Shipton, Shropshire on November 13, 1614.[1] Richard and his three siblings were at the center of a mystery in early 17th century England that caused early genealogists to wonder why the More children's father, believing him to be Samuel More, would send his very young children away to the New World on the Mayflower in the care of others. It was in 1959, that the mystery was explained. Jasper More, a descendant of Samuel More prompted by his genealogist friend, Anthony Wagner, searched and found in his attic a 1622 document, which detailed the legal disputes between Katherine and Samuel More and what actually happened to the More children. It is clear from these events that Samuel did not believe the children to be his offspring.[2] To rid himself of the children, he arranged for them to be sent to the Colony of Virginia.[3] Due to bad weather, the Mayflower finally anchored in Cape Cod Harbor in November 1620 where one of the More children died soon after; another died in early December and yet another died later in the first winter. Only Richard survived, and even thrived, in the perilous environment of early colonial America, going on to lead a very full life.[4]

Richard became a well known sea captain who helped deliver supplies to various colonies which were vital to their survival, traveled over Atlantic and West Indies trade routes and fought in various early naval sea battles. He and other Mayflower survivors were referred to in their time, as "First Comers", who lived in the perilous times of what was called "The Ancient Beginnings" of the New World adventure.[5] Richard More lived through a significant part of early American history of which there is still very little known.

Contents

 [hide] 1 The More family

2 The Plan, the court action and the removal of the children 3 Samuel in the aftermath 4 Mayflower Voyage 5 Richard's life in the New World 6 Marriages 7 Children 8 Death and burial 9 The More family in history 10 References 11 Sources and Publications 12 Fictional Publications


The More family[edit]

Much of what is known about Richard's early childhood is through legal documents, more specifically the aforementioned document written in 1622, in response to a petition of Richard More's mother Katherine More, (sometimes spelled Katharine, hereafter spelled Katherine) to Lord Chief Justice Sir James Ley, at which time she demands to know what has become of her children.[2] Katherine’s father, Jasper More, was master of Larden, a 1000-acre estate between Much Wenlock and Ludlow. Samuel’s father, Richard More, was master of Linley, an estate near Bishop’s Castle, close to the Welsh border.[2][6] Both estates are in Shropshire, England.

Jasper's sons died leaving no male heir.[7] The estates were held in an entail whereby inheritance was restricted to male heirs and Samuel's father, but Richard, in the marriage settlement, paid £600 to Jasper More, so there must have been clear title.[8] It was arranged that Katherine would marry her cousin and indeed, in February 4, 1610, (old date style) Katherine, 25, married her cousin, seventeen-year-old Samuel More.[9][10]

At some point Samuel began working in London as secretary to Lord Edward Zouche, privy councilor, diplomat and courtier.[11] Over the next four years, Katherine bore four children: Elinor, Jasper, Richard, Mary. All were baptized at St. James parish church in Shipton, Shropshire with Samuel More as their father.[12]

The Plan, the court action and the 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.[2] 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.[13] 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 likely have been dead.[14]

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.[15] Zouche had been a 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.[16][17][18] 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.[19][20]

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 his father's tenants near Linley.[2][21] The removal was shortly after the youngest child had been baptized, which was on April 16. According to Samuel's statement,[22] 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 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".[23] 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:[24] "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.[25][26]

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][21][27] for the plantacon [sic] of Virginia"[28] in whose home they would be staying while awaiting ship boarding.[29][30] Thomas Weston and Philemon Powell were both poor choices, and Thomas Weston especially was quite disreputable. Soon thereafter, Powell would become a convicted smuggler and Weston an enemy of the Crown.[31] 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[32] with Robert Cushman’s title being Chief Agent, from 1617 until his death in 1625.[33] Within several weeks of the More children’s arrival in London, and without their mother Katherine More’s knowledge or approval, they were placed in the care of others on the Mayflower, bound for New England.[23]

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 Richard More's early history.[34]

Samuel in the aftermath[edit]

Samuel More continued to act as secretary to Edward la Zouche and on June 11, 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,[35] although he was only separated not divorced from Katherine More. What was called a divorce in those days was really a separation and neither party was allowed to remarry duing the lifetime of the other.[36] In February 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.[37]

Mayflower Voyage[edit]

Richard More and his siblings departed Plymouth, England on the Mayflower September 6/16, 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and a crew of about 30-40 in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month out, the ship was being buffeted by strong westerly gales, causing the ship‘s timbers to be badly shaken with caulking failing to keep out sea water, and with passengers, even in their berths, lying wet and ill. This, combined with a lack of proper rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, attributed to what would be fatal for many, especially the majority of women and children. On the way there were two deaths, a crew member and a passenger, but the worst was yet to come after arriving at their destination when, in the space of several months, almost half the passengers perished in cold, harsh, unfamiliar New England winter.[38]

On November 9/19, 1620, after about 3 months at sea, including a month of delays in England, they spotted land, which was the Cape Cod Hook, now called Provincetown Harbor. And after several days of trying to get south to their planned destination of the Colony of Virginia, strong winter seas forced them to return to the harbor at Cape Cod hook, where they anchored on November 11/21. The Mayflower Compact was signed that day.[38]

A number of colonists travelled as indentured servants 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.[17][39]

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.[40] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42][43]

Richard's life in the New World[edit]

Richard was six years old when the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Colony. Immediately upon setting foot on land, he would have worked with all of the others to help gather supplies for food and shelter as well as to bury the dead after the epidemic, which would ultimately leave half of the original passengers dead.[44] In the spring of 1621, he would have attended what has now become known as the first Thanksgiving.[45] In 1627, at the age of 14, Richard is recorded as living at Plymouth Colony.[46]

Nothing is known of Richard during his years living with the Brewster family from 1620 to 1627, except that his name is on a document concerning the division of cattle and other livestock, and that he lived in Salem.[47] In 1635 he is listed as arriving from England on the Blessing, which had sailed from London to Massachusetts Bay. The purpose of this journey to London is unknown.[48] At some point Richard went to work for Allerton as an apprentice. Under Allerton's apprenticeship he fished in various locations around Plymouth and Maine working as crew and, at some point, he would become captain on the ships that supplied the new American colonies.[49] In April 20, 1636 Richard More married Christian Hunter who had been a passenger with him on the Blessing[50] They lived at Duxbury for a time before moving to Salem.[51] Richard worked as a retainer and a laborer for Richard Hollingsworth, another passenger from the Blessing who was Christian's guardian and step-father.[52]

By early 1642, Richard joined the Salem church. As a member he would be allowed a voice and a vote in Salem affairs. Richard had his first two sons, Samuel and Thomas More, baptized.[53]

By about 1640s, and by the age of twenty-four, Richard would have been addressed as Captain of his own ketch and is known to have traded with the colonies, the West Indies, and England.[49] He had sold his twenty acres in Duxbury and moved himself and his family to Salem Neck.[54] He applied for a permit and set up his own fishing stand. Since drinking water was scarce, Richard dug a well on common ground for himself and others to use. He traded tobacco and other merchandise and supplies with Virginia and the West Indies, and made voyages to England.[55] In 1653, he served with his ship in an unsuccessful expedition against the Dutch settlement on the Hudson (later to become New York). In 1653, Captain More was paid for ye Dutch expedition.[56]

Beginning in 1654, for two consecutive years, he took part in two attacks by sea against the French, who were threatening New England’s fishing and maritime trade in the lower Hudson River region. In 1654 Richard More served in a successful combined English and New England expedition against the French at Port Royal, the principal settlement of the French colony of Acadia, now Nova Scotia. Captain More was at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, when the French fort was reduced to English Obedience in 1654, and from thence a bell was later brought to Salem in Capt. Moor's Ketch. Thus Richard More contributed to the foundations of New England’s maritime greatness.[57]

During this time, Richard received land at Plymouth as an "Ancient Freemen". The land was granted by the General Court and purchased from the Indians. He obtained lots near the Fall River, and was one of the purchasers of lots in Swansea. In 1673 he sold land at Mattapoisett (he is referred to as) he of Massachusetts Colony on 1 March 1667/8; and formerly of Plymouth and now of Salem sold lots in Swansea and Sepecan on 30 August 1673.[57]

The Staple Act of 1663, which stated, among other things, that the shipping of European goods to the colonies except through England or Wales was forbidden, forced hard times upon both colonial ship captains and the colonists. The restrictions threatened the very survival of the colonists and, to survive, the captains had to be extremely creative in their shipping manifests.[58] The Navigation Acts, along with the continued taxation of the colonies into the next century, brought about the growth of isolationism, which eventually resulted in the American Revolution.[59]

In 1665, Richard rescued the colonists at the newly established colony at Cape Fear. The ship that was supposed to bring supplies failed to arrive and, consequently, the people were dying of starvation and the lack of adequate protection against the weather. It was an extremely hazardous area for ships but, upon learning of the situation, Richard brought a shipment of food and supplies to aid the desperate colonists.[60] When Richard's old sailing friend, Richard Starr, was murdered, he took on the responsibility of Starr's three children. In his fifty years as a mariner Richard had never lost a vessel, nor had any sailor brought charges against him.[61]


Capt. Richard More memorial near his grave in Salem, Massachusetts

Richard served alongside Joseph Dudley during the Great Swamp Fight in December of 1675, a massacre of the Narragansett people living around Narragansett Bay.

Reverend Nicholas Noyes was a man whom Richard knew well and would become directly involved in his later life. Noyes was the same man who would lead the campaign against the so-called witches of Salem.[62] In later life, Richard suffered from financial hardship. On July 1, 1688, he was brought before the Salem church elders for ‘gross unchastity with another man’s wife’.[63] The elders had spoken to him privately on several occasions as Richard represented a member of the Ancient Days and they wanted to maintain a special place in their history. He was publically sanctioned and excommunicated from the church. Richard accepted the judgment and made a public repentance and, according to documents, was restored to the church in 1691. According to Dr. David Lindsay, historian and author, the pastor who punished him was Reverend Nicholas Noyes.[64][65]

Richard More is buried in Salem. There is documentary evidence that he was alive in 1694 and dead in 1696.[66] His gravestone gives an age of 84, but he deposed in 1684 that he was aged seaventy yeares or thereabouts indicating he was unsure of his birth date. The gravestone in the old Salem burial ground gives a date of 1692.[29]

Marriages[edit]

Richard More married three times: Christian Hunter on October 20, 1636 in Plymouth Colony. She was born ca. 1615 in possibly Southwold, co. Suffolk, England, and was baptized there on August 13, 1615 at (possibly) the parish church of The Church of St. Edmund, King and Martyr. She died on March 18, 1676 in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her parents were Thomas Hunter (d.1623/7) and Susan Gentleman. She came to America in 1635 on the ship Blessing with her mother and step-father Richard Hollingsworth.[67] Elizabeth Woolnough on October 23, 1645 in St. Dunstan’s church, Stepney parish, London. The record of that event notes that “Richard Moore of Salem, Mariner” married Elizabeth Woolnough of Limehouse district, London. The Stepney parish register states that Elizabeth was the daughter of Benjamin Woolnough, having been baptized in St. Dunstan’s on December 21, 1623. Benjamin Woolnough was a trans-Atlantic ship captain, sailing to Virginia. The last time that Elizabeth’s name appears on documents is on April 7, 1646, the day after Richard More failed to appear at the Kings Session for Peace, when she identified herself to the High Court of Admiralty as “Elizabeth, wife of Richard Moore of Stepney.” Her appearance in court was to answer a charge against More, who had probably fled the country, for being intoxicated in the company of a woman of easy virtue as well as a child of about eight years, thought to have been his daughter Elizabeth. There is no evidence that Elizabeth Woolnough ever came to America. No further record.[68] Jane ________. Born c. 1631. Died 5/8 October 1686 in Salem, Masschusettes. Married before 23 1678 in Salem, Massachusetts. She was the widow of Samuel Crumpton, who was killed by Indians in 1675.[69]

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Capt. Richard More, "Mayflower" Passenger's Timeline

1614
November 13, 1614
Shropshire, England
November 13, 1614
Shipton, Shropshire, England
1636
October 20, 1636
Age 21
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
1644
1644
Age 29
Essex, MA, USA
1645
October 23, 1645
Age 30
London, Middlesex, England
1647
1647
Age 32
Essex, MA, USA
1650
March 12, 1650
Age 35
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1652
1652
Age 37
Essex, MA, USA
1678
1678
Age 63
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
1693
April 4, 1693
Age 78
Salem, Masschusetts Bay