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Ignatius Jourdaine

Also Known As: ""The Arch-Puritan"", "Ignatius Jourdain", "Ignatius Jourden", "Ignacious Jordan"
Birthdate: (78)
Birthplace: Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Death: June 15, 1640 (78)
Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of William Jurdain of Lyme and Elizabeth Jourdaine
Husband of Katherine Bodley and Elizabeth Baskerville
Father of Susan Jourdaine; Robert Jourdaine; Mary Jourdaine; Elizabeth Baskerville Duncan; Joseph Jourdaine and 12 others
Brother of Joseph Jourdaine; Elizabeth Crowe; John Jourdaine; Silvester Jourdaine; Christian Jourdaine and 2 others

Occupation: politician and civic reformer
Managed by: Tempie Dale Tavenner
Last Updated:

About Ignatius Jurdain

Ignatius began his business life with kinsmen in Exeter, county Devon. In 1576 he was sent by his employer to Guernsey, where he was converted. In 1599 he was appointed a Bailiff of Exeter. He was a member of the Chamber in 1608, Receiver of the City in 1610, Sheriff of Exeter in 1611, Mayor in 1617. He served as Deputy Mayor in 1624 for three months during the plague, when all the magistrates had fled. He was a Member of Parliament from Exeter 1625-1628.

"He was a Puritan, and when the proclamation touching the rebellious practices in Scotland was read in Exeter Cathedral, Alderman Jourdain was one of three who put on their hats in silent protest. For this he was commanded either to apologize or to appear before the Council in London. He did neither; but did not long survive."

His will was dated 1 March 1635, proved 16 October 1640. It named wife Elizabeth, children of son William Hill, and others.


  • son of William Jourdaine (1527-1633)


  1. 24 June 1589 in St. Mary Archer, Exeter, Devon, England to Katherine Bodley (1570-1593). She was the daughter of John Bodley & Pauline West. 3 daughters; 1 died young.
  2. 5 August 1593 to Elizabeth Baskerville (1576-1649). She was the daughter of Thomas Baskerville & Edith Perry; a brother was the physician Sir Simon Baskerville, M.D. (1574–1641). 14-15 children; 6 died young.
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Ignatius Jourdain (Jourdan), Silvester's brother, became a prosperous merchant at Exeter and served as mayor of that city as well as a Member of Parliament. According to one English source, it was part of the large family of Ignatius Jourdain that went to America.

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Ignatius Jourdain her father was of a prominent family of Lyme Regis, Dorset.


Ignatius Jurdain, dated in Exeter 1 March 1635, proved 16 October 1640. To wife Elizabeth one third part of all my goods and to my children that are unmarried one other third part, according to the Order of the City. To the poor &c. The poor of Lyme where I was born and the poor of Gernezey where I was new born. My sister Wackley's children. Richard Slade in St. Thomas Parish. Mrs. Manton, widow. My cousin William Ryder's wife. My brother Synckler. The poor of Topsom (Topsham). Vol. XLIX 42* /P/ Mr. Painter (and other ministers). Also I give to the children of my son Nathaniel Duncan one hundred pounds. Also I give to the children of my son William Hill one hundred pounds. All which money I will shall be delivered to the fathers of each of then and to pay it when they come to the age of four and twenty years, if they be well able to pay it. I forgive all moneys owing unto me if it be under the value of twenty shillings each. My wife to be executrix. For my son Joseph I pray my wife Elizabeth my executrix, and my overseers to take some pains for the placing of him with his portion during his life. Coventry, 130.

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The New York genealogical and biographical record, Volume 44: Sarah Hill was the daughter of the wp1 Ignatius Jourdain Mayor of Exeter and of his second wife Elizabeth Baskerville sister of Sir Simon Baskerville physician to James I and Charles I descended says the English Dictionary of National Biography from the ancient family of Baskervilles in Herefordshire. Ignatius Jourdain her father was of a prominent family of Lyme Regis, Dorset. John Jourdaine his cousin was a Captain in the service of the East India Company and President in 1618 of the Council of India. Richard Jourdain his uncle was a member of the Society of Merchant Adventurers of Exeter before 1571, was Bailiff in 1583, and Receiver of Exeter in 1596, and Silvester Jourdaine his brother was the companion of his townsmen Sir George Somers Sir Thomas Gates and Captain Newport in their voyage to America in 1609 and was wrecked with them at Bermuda. On his return home Silvester Jourdaine published A Discovery of the Barmudas otherwise called the Isle of Divels 1610 from which Shakespeare is supposed to have drawn material for The Tempest. Ignatius Jourdaine went early to Exeter In 1576 he had occasion to go to the isle of Guernsey where probably through the influence of some of the banished preachers he was new borne as he himself expressed it and he was ever afterward a staunch Puritan though also a good churchman and loyal to the King. But he did not hesitate to express his opinion when any royal act clashed with his sentiments. He wrote to the King a strong letter of protest against the Book of Sports and induced Bishop Carey to present it. When Charles read it he declared that the writer ought to be hanged but the bishop besought the King's leniency asserting that in Mr Jourdaine God had not a better servant nor his Majesty a better subject in the whole land. Again in 1638-9 when the royal proclamation in relation to the seditious practices of the Scots in matters of religion was read in the Exeter Cathedral. Alderman Jourdaine and others put on their hats by way of protest. The delinquents were summoned to appear in the Star Chamber to answer but Mr Jourdaine then nearly eighty years old was excused on the certificate of his medical adviser that a journey to London would endanger his life. Ignatius Jourdain died in Exeter June 15 and was buried June 18 1640 in the church of St Mary Arches. His life was considered of such prominence as to entitle him to a biography written by his pastor and published in London in 1654. It concludes That therefore his name may live and that he may be a pattern of Piety and Charity to succeeding generations it hath been thought fit to commit to writing and to publish to the world those singular graces and memorable acts that did shine forth in him both living and dying. Mr Jourdain filled many municipal offices in Exeter. In 1599 he was appointed one of the Bailiffs or Stewards and in 1608 he was chosen a member of the Chamber of Alderman. He was Receiver of the city in 1610, Sheriff in 1611, and Mayor in 1617. He acted also as Deputy Mayor in 1624-5 when Exeter scourged by the plague was deserted by Mayor Walker and other officials. In 1625 he was elected one of the Burgesses to represent Exeter in Parliament and again in 1627-9. He was prominent in both sessions serving on important committees and speaking frequently. He also introduced several bills against profane swearing, against abuses of the Lord's Day, and for the capital punishment of adulterers. Mayor Jourdain's first wife married June 24 1589 was Katherine daughter of John Bodley goldsmith and nearly related to Sir Thomas Bodley from whom the Bodleian Library Oxford was named. She was buried May 4 1593 in St Mary Arches Exeter, and Ignatius married second Aug 5 1593 Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Baskerville. The Register of St Mary Arches contains the baptisms of seventeen of his children all excepting the first three by the second marriage. Of these Sarah the sixth child was baptized March 4 1598 9. She married in Exeter Oct 28 1619 William Hill son of James Hill of Lyme Regis and came with him and his six children to New England in the William and Frances arriving in Boston June 5 1632. William Hill was among the first settlers of Dorchester Mass where he was made a freeman Nov 5 1633. Land was granted to him there Nov 2 1635 and in 1636 he was a Selectman. He removed soon to Windsor Conn which he represented in the General Court in 1639 41 and in 1644. Thence he removed to Fairfield Conn where he was an Assistant and Collector of Customs. He died in September 1649. His will made Sept 9 of that year was not proved until May 15 1650 but the inventory of his estate was made at Windsor Sept 24 1649 and at Fairfield Nov 16 1649. His widow was then about fifty years old. The date of her marriage with Edmund Greenleaf of Boston is not known but it was in or after 1663 as Greenleaf s first wife died January 18 of that year. With these facts before us the myth of a Wilson marriage precedent to Sarah jourdain's marriage is scarcely worth discussing as it was invented solely to explain the relationship between the Hill and Wilson families. While Sarah Jourdain's age twenty at the time of her marriage with William Hill would not absolutely preclude the possibility of an earlier marriage, the fact that she was wedded under her maiden name of Jourdain would seem to settle that question conclusively. We must therefore look further for the solution of the problem in New England genealogy given by Mr OP Dexter in the New England Genealogical Register xxxix 78. Nor does it seem necessary to accept his suggested solution Gen Reg Hi 83 that if it can be proved that Anthony Wilson and the Hills were not blood relations then I will not hesitate to say that Anthony Wilson married probably in 1655 7 Elizabeth younger daughter of William and Sarah Jordan Hill had by her his daughter Sarah and then immediately lost his wife. While this is not impossible it seems hardly probable for the relation between the Wilsons and the Hills may be accounted for through their marriage connections. Anthony Wilson whose first wife was Rachel Hubbard Brundish widow of John Brundish married second Sarah Jones Bulkeley daughter of Rev John Jones and widow of Thomas Bulkeley son of Rev Peter Bulkeley. Mr Jone's coadjutor at Concord Mass. William Hill son of William and Sarah Jourdain Hill married Elizabeth Jones the younger sister of Sarah Jones Bulkeley and this sisterly connection of the two wives fully explains Anthony Wilson's designation of William Hill as his brother ie brother in law. While this may not wholly justify viewed from a twentieth century standpoint his speaking of his brother in law's mother as Mother Hill and of his brothers as brothers Ignatius and James Hill we must remember that family relationships were not very clearly defined in the early days and that the Hills and Wilsons appear to have been very intimately associated. Those interested in the subject will find wills of the Hills the Jourdaines and the Baskervilles with remarks by Mr Henry F Waters in Gen Reg xlix 494. See also The Life and Death of Mr Ignatius fourdatn by Ferd Nicolls London 1654 and An Exeter Worthy and his Biographer by Frances B Troup a reprint from Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science Literature and Art 1897.


  1. History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, for the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Donald Lines Jacobus. New Haven CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1930-1932. Page: 1:278-280
  2. "The English ancestors of Epes Sargent," p.39
  3. English Origins of New England Families, Vol lll, Page 654.


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Ignatius Jurdain's Timeline

August 17, 1561
Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
August 17, 1561
Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
June 5, 1590
Age 28
Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom
June 10, 1591
Age 29
Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom
July 2, 1592
Age 30
Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom
July 2, 1592
Age 30
April 5, 1595
Age 33
Exeter, Devon, England
December 25, 1597
Age 36
March 4, 1599
Age 37
Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom