About Jonas Vandevord
The Vandervord name rings of Holland and yet this family has retained it
with only little change for over 350 years
Why did they come to England?
A Decree in the Court of Chancery dated 17th February 1623 shows an Agreement between Sir Henry Appleton, Julius Sludder (a Dutchman who already owned land on Canvey Island), John, William and Mary Blackmore, Abigail Baker, Thomas Binckers and his wife, (all Landowners) and Joas Croppenburg - to reclaim Canvey Island from the encroachment of the Sea.
The project was to be financed by Joas Croppenburg (a wealthy Dutch haberdasher of Cheapside) and an acquaintance of Sir Henry, in return for one-third of all the land reclaimed and made safe. There was a stipulation in the Agreement that it would be made void should any breaches in the sea walls remain unrepaired within a year of their being built.
Cornelius Vermuyden (a Dutch Engineer and related by marriage to Joas Croppenburg) was commissioned for the project and 300 Dutch workmen were brought from Holland. Research so far shows no indication of how these workmen were paid, but it could be that some at least were given a land grant and this gives rise to an explanation of why there was Dutch community in this part of Essex..Click to see large map
It was these Dutchmen who petitioned Charles 1st to allow them to worship in their own language and a chapel (little more than a small wooden structure, but shown on the 1678 map) was built on the island.
Dom Cornelius Jacobson was elected as their first paster and overseer to their morals, and it his name that may be seen, together with Dom Meunix, on the earliest British record so far found in "A Calender of the Marriage Licence Allegations in the Registry of the Bishop of London. 1597-1700" when
on 24 July 1634 Jonas Vandevord mar. Elizabeth Cave
Nearly 200 years later the amateur archaelogist and historian Philip Benson (1815-1898) wrote the "History of the Rochford Hundreds" and within this work he mentions the Vandervords on several occasions.
On page 225 he writes that there is "a tradition that Lodovic, a Fleming, whose name is frequently met with in the history of the Low countries, crossed the North Sea in the same boat with his countrymen, Mazengarb, Peroose, Mowbecker, Crozier, and Vandevode and sought refuge in Foulness and Canvey from the persecutions of the infamous Duke of Alva."
Later in the book on Page 571 he goes on to explain that "Three brothers came from Holland, either during the Spanish persecution, or at a later period, when Canvey was inned, of whom one returned, another settled at Bemfleet, and a third at Horndon on the Hill, where his descendants remain. The Bemfleet branch have been Hoymen since that time, and still flourish in this parish."