The Angel Gabriel was a 240 ton English passenger galleon. She was commissioned for Sir Walter Raleigh's last expedition to America in 1617. She sank in a storm off Pemaquid Point, near the newly established town of Bristol, Maine, on August 15, 1635. The sinking occurred during the middle of the Great Migration.
From England to Massachusetts in a fleet of five ships, the Angel Gabriel joined the James, the Elizabeth (Bess), the Mary and the Diligence. As they approached New England, an unusually powerful early season hurricane struck, known as the "Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635", and the James and the Angel Gabriel 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 on the James, 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 (James) 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 the James 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 aboard the James managed 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.
A plaque commemorating the loss was dedicated August 8, 1965 at Pemaquid Point, Maine. Some of the passengers survived the sinking.
A partial list of passengers:
- Bailey, John Sr and son john Jr b 161. Weaver from Chippenham, Eng, wife and family left in England, settled in Newbury
- Beck, Henry
- Blaidsdell, Ralph, wife Elizabeth. From Goosnargh and/or Holcombe, Lancashire, bound for York, Main or Salisbury. Ref: Bank, Mass. 36 pg 87
- Burnham, John, Robert and Thomas, Nephews of Master Robert Andrews, sons of Robert's sister Mary Andres Burnham.
- Cogswell, John 43, wife Elizabeth (Thompson) child Mary, William, John, Hannah, Abigail, Edward, Sarah, Elizabeth, and servants. From Reading, Berkshire, bound for Ipswitch. Ref: NEGR 15/177 and Mass Arc 39/506. 36 pg 5 From Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, settled in Ipswitch
- Furber, William
- Haines, Samuel, Apprentice to J Cogswell, abt 24, later settled at Dover point
- Hook, William
- Mathers, Richard
- Simpson, Henry
- Tuttle, John, From Dover, settled in Ipswitch then Dover NH
- The Angel Gabriel and the Great Storm of 1635
- Journal of Richard Mather, 1635 ; His life and death, 1670 (1874)
- Tuttle Family Genealogy
[LonelyPlanet] Thomas, Bryn; Tom Smallman & Pat Yale. Lonely Planet: Britain, (Melbourne/Oakland/London/Paris: Lonely Planet Publications; 3rd edition, 1999), 395.
[MaryJohn] Mary & John, vol 1+ (Toledo, OH: Mary & John Clearinghouse), Volume 20: West Country Ships And Passengers, 1620-1643, 93-94
[Mather] The Journal of The Reverend Richard Mather.