Adm. Nehemiah Bourne

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Adm. Nehemiah Bourne

Birthplace: Wapping, Middlesex, England
Death: 1690 (78-79)
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Bourne and Mary Bourne
Husband of Hannah Bourne
Father of Nehemiah Bourne and Hannah Bourne
Brother of John Bourne; Ruth Sainthill; Mary Bourne and Martha Hoxton

Occupation: Parliamentarian naval officer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Adm. Nehemiah Bourne



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From: (House of Commons Journal)

Thursday, the 30th of December, 1652.

The House this Day resumed the Debate upon the Report made Yesterday by Major Salwey.

Resolved, That Mr. Nehemiah Bourne be one of the Commissioners of the Navy, with the same Salary as the other Commissioners of the Navy have.

Wikipedia: Nehemiah Bourne (fl. 1649-1662), was an admiral.

Bourne, in his earlier days apparently a merchant and shipowner, served in the parliamentary army during the civil war, and on the remodelling of the fleet after Batten's secession, having then the rank of major, was appointed to the command of the Speaker, a ship of the second rate. As captain of the Speaker he was for two years commander-in-chief on the coast of Scotland, and in September 1651 carried the Scottish records, regalia, and insignia taken in Stirling Castle to London, for which services he afterwards received a gold medal of the value of 60l.

In 1652 he was captain of the Andrew, and in May was senior officer in the Downs, wearing a flag by special authority from Blake, when, on the 18th, the Dutch fleet under Tromp anchored off Dover. It was thus Bourne who sent, both to the council of state and to Blake, the intimation of Tromp's presence on the coast, and who commanded that division of the fleet which had so important a share in the action of May [see Blake, Robert]. Without knowledge of the battle, the council had already on the 19th appointed Bourne rear-admiral of the fleet, a rank which he held during the whole of that year, and commanded in the third post in the battle near the Kentish Knock on 28 Sept. But after the rude check sustained by Blake off Dungeness on 30 Nov., it was found necessary to have some well-skilled and trustworthy man as commissioner on shore to superintend and push forward the equipment and manning of the fleets. To this office Bourne was appointed, and he continued to hold and exercise it not only during the rest of the Dutch war, but to the end of the protectorate. In this work he was indefatigable, and in a memorial to the admiralty, 18 Sept. 1653, claimed, by his special knowledge, to have saved hundreds of pounds in buying masts and deals; from which we may perhaps assume that he had formerly been engaged in the Baltic trade. Nor was he backward in representing his merits to the admiralty; and although he wrote on 13 Oct. 1653, that his modesty did not suit the present age, it did not prevent him from quaintly urging his claims both to pecuniary reward and to honourable distinction. This last, he says, 13 April 1653, 'would give some countenance and quicken the work. I ask for the sake of the service, for I am past such toys as to be tickled with a feather.'

After the Restoration, being unwilling to accept the new order of things, he emigrated to America; the last that is known of him is the pass permitting him 'to transport himself and family into any of the plantations' (May 1662). On 3 April 1689 the secretary of the admiralty wrote to a Major Bourne in Abchurch Lane, desiring him to attend the board, who wished 'to discourse him about some business relating to their majesties' service; 'and 011 28 June 1690 a Nehemiah Bourne was appointed captain of the Monmouth (Admiralty Minutes). If this was the old puritan, he must have been of a very advanced age : it may more probably have been a son. In either case he apparently refused to take up the appointment, for on 9 July another captain was appointed in his stead.

From: "The history of Milton, Mass., 1640 to 1877"


He was the son of Robert Bourne, shipwright of Wapping ; born 1611 ; married 1632 ; came to America, with Thos. Haw- kins, 1638 ; located in Dorchester, and became freeman in 1641 ; went to England with Graves in 1643. He was not a resident of Milton, but owned a tract of land on the hill, and probably was interested in the early ship-building on the river.

Mr. Bourne and his wife Hannah were members of the Dor- chester Church in 1639. He was also connected with the artillery company. He was with Col. Stoughton in England, 1644, and received the commission of major in Col. Stoughton's regiment under Gen. Rainsboro. At the death of Stoughton he returned to Boston in the ship "Trial," 1645, but again went with his wife to England in 1646, and entered the naval service, where he afterwards attained distinction, rising to the rank of rear-admiral in the "St. Andrew," of 64 guns, and soon after in command of a squadron of live frigates. His fleet, under Admiral Blake, met the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp, an admiral of great renown, when a battle was fought, much to the disad vantage of the Dutch. Again they met, Oct. 28, 1652, near the coast of Kent, the Dutch at this time under Deputy de Wit and Admiral de Ruiter, with the same successful issue for the English.' He obtained pardon from Charles II., and may have been the man mentioned in a letter of the wife of Goife the regicide, in 1672. (See Mass. Hist. Col., I., 60, and IX., 268, 3d Series.) He finally returned to Boston. Mrs. Bourne died in London, 1684 ; he died 1691.


Will, 1690

Nehemiah Bourne of London, merchant, 11 February 1690, proved 15 May 1691. To be buried in my vault at Bunhill where I laid my dear wife. My will is that those debts which I owe ( which are but small ) be forth- with paid and discharged, as also my funeral expenses which, for my own part. I am content should not exceed one hundred and fifty pounds at most, but I leave it to the discretion of my dear son Nehemiah Bourne, whom I hereby constitute and appoint sole executor. One hundred pounds to be distributed unto needy persons and families, especially to such as fear God and are of sober conversation, especially to shipwrights and seamen in and about Wapping. To my daughter Mrs. Anna Bourne five and twenty pounds to buy a jewel or piece of plate (as she pleases) as a token of my respect. To my son in law Mr. John Berry and to my grandsons Mr. Arnold Browne and Mr. Benjamin Collyer ten pounds apiece to buy them enamelled rings with a diamond spark in each as a remembrance : and I i ppoint them to be overseers of my will. To my grand daughter Mrs. Collyer, wife to Mr. Co'lyer aforesaid, two hundred and fifty pounds, she to allow fifty pounds to her eldest daughter Anna at her age or marriage. I give to her younger daughter Susan Collyer ten pounds for a piece of plate. I give unto my first great grand daughter Hannah, the eldest child of my first grand daughter Hannah Browne deceased, two hundred pounds, which being added to fifty pounds left her by her grandmother (my dear wife) makes in all two hundred and fifty pounds, to be paid her, with accrued interest &c, at her marriage or age of one and twenty. But if she die before said age or marriage then one hundred pounds thereof shall go to her brother Arnold if he lives till his age of one and twenty. The remaining one hundred and fifty pounds shall go to my grand daughter Collyer. To Arnold Browne son of ray said grand daughter Browne deceased fifty pounds at age of one and twenty, but if he die before that it shall go to his said sister Hannah. To my nephews Mr. Robert and Mr. John Bourne ten pounds each. To my nephews Mr. Peter Sainthill and Captain Nehemiah Earuing twenty nobles each to buy cloth or to dispose as they please. To Mary wife of Samuel Lardner, for her relief, twenty pounds, to be paid at such times and in such sums as may answer her need and as my son shall see to be fittest for her relief. To my niece Mrs. Martha Hasted forty shillings for an enamelled ring with a small spark of a diamond as a remem- brance of her dear father. To my niece Martha Earning, as a token, ten pounds. Bequests of household stuff, plate &c. to great grand daughter Hauuah Browne and great grand daughters Hannah and Anna Collyer.

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Adm. Nehemiah Bourne's Timeline

January 26, 1611
Wapping, Middlesex, England
September 10, 1640
Boston, Massachusetts
November 14, 1641
Age 78