Rear Adm. Thomas Graves

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Rear Adm. Thomas Graves

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Radcliffe, Stepney, Middlesex, England
Death: July 31, 1653 (48)
Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of John Henry Graves, Sr. and Sarah Graves
Husband of Katharine Graves and Katherine Graves
Father of Susanna Symmes; Rebecca Adams; Captain John Graves; William Graves; Thomas Graves and 3 others
Brother of Thomas Graves; John Graves; Sarah Limbury; Mathias Graves; William Graves and 10 others
Half brother of Joseph Graves

Occupation: Shipmaster, Rear Adm, Thomas was a mariner. For some years he commanded a vessel running between Massachusetts and ports in England. He captured a Dutch ship in the British Channel and was appointed "Captain" in 1632.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rear Adm. Thomas Graves

Often confused with: THomas Graves, engineer, married Sarah Whiting Thomas Graves, of Hatfield and Thomas Graves of Hatfield, married Sarah Scott Thomas Graves, of Hatfield

Thomas, son of John, was born at Ratcliffe, June 6, 1605. He was a sea captain. During the Protectorate of Cromwell, while on a mercantile voyage, he met a Dutch privateer in the English Channel, and captured her. As a reward for his bravery the owners of the vessel gave him a silver cup, and Cromwell conferred on him the command of a ship of war, and later, the title of Rear Admiral. He married Katherine Gray in England. She was the daughter of Katharine Coytmore ( and Thomas Gray). She was born before 1605. Thomas came to this Co. with Governer Winthrop in 1630, having command of the "Talbot" the vice admiral of the fleet. Winthrop's fleet consisted of eleven vessels, having on board about seven hundred people, two hundred and forth cows, and sixty horses. They sailed from Cowes on April 8, 1630, and after a stormey voyage, four vessels, the Arabella with Winthrop on board, the Talbot, the Ambrose, and the Jewel, reached Salem, June 12. By July 8, all the vessels had arrived. Not liking the vicinity of Salem, they soon left for Boston, and distributed themselves in Charlestown, Watertown, etc. Thomas Graves settled in Charlestown. He made seven voyages to England, afterwards commanding the "Trial" the first large vessel built in Boston, in her long voyages to Bilbo and Malaga. He died July 31, 1652. Their daughter Rebecca married Samuel Adams. (Pg 38). The long line of ledges outside of Boston Harbor, called "The Graves" was named for him.

Genealogy of the Graves Family: http://archive.org/stream/genealogyofgrave01grav/genealogyofgrave01grav_djvu.txt

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/l/a/b/Jean-Labrack/GENE4-0035.html

Captained frequent voyages across the Atlantic on ships "Reformation", "Desire", "Adventure", and "Talbot" bringing passengers from England. He settled in Charlestown @1639 but returned to England to participate in the Civil War* in the British Navy, where he attained the rank of Rear Admiral and was the first Admiral at Charlestown, MA. He was killed in action in a battle with the Dutch .

  • 1642-49; King Charles I's Royalists (Cavaliers) vs. Puritans & Protestant Separatists led by Oliver Cromwell--leading to Charles I's beheading on Jan. 30, 1649 and the formation of the Commonwealth, replacing the King with a Council of State.
see more at http://www.gravesfa.org/gen028.htm  

•Birth: 2 JUN 1605 in Ratcliff-Stepney, London, England 3 4 •Death: 31 JUL 1653 in At Sea, Dutch battle, English Channel 3 4 •Baptism: 16 JUN 1605 Stepney, London, England 4 •Note: Ratcliff From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ratcliff or Ratcliffe is a former hamlet which now is a section of the contemporary city of London, England, and is located in Stepney near the River Thames.

Graves Family Association http://www.gravesfa.org/gen028.htm Rear Adm. Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA

Thomas Graves (1) was born 6 June 1605 at Ratcliff, England, near London (or at Stepney, England[1]), was baptized 16 June 1605 at Stepney, part of the city of London, and died 31 July 1653 (old style calendar, 31st day, 5th month, 1653) in a sea battle with the Dutch in the English Channel. (A number of sources say he died in Charlestown, MA, but this definitely appears incorrect; e.g., Tracy Genealogy[2], p. 177, and NEHGS Register[3].) His will was dated 13 June 1652 and probated 1 Oct. 1653.
... He brought his family (consisting of his wife and two children) to America about 1636 or 1637 and settled in Charlestown, Mass., probably at the same time that his wife's mother came.
He married Katherine (or Katharine or Catharine) Gray before 1635 (probably by 1630) in England. She was born about 1606 at Harwich, England, died 21 Feb. 1682 (old style calendar, 21, 12, 1681), and was buried 23 Feb. 1681/2. [4] She was a daughter of Thomas Gray and Katherine Myles (daughter and co-heir of Robert Myles, of Sutton, in County Suffolk). Thomas Gray died in 1607, and his widow married on 23 Dec. 1610 at Harwick, England, Rowland Coytemore, of Wapping (next to London, in Middlesex), a widower, who died in 1626; she came to New England in 1636 or 1637 and settled in Charlestown, Mass.; was admitted to the church in 1638, and died 28 Nov. 1659. Her will, dated 28 or 30 April 1658 named 14 grandchildren, including the 5 children of her daughter Katherine. [5] An article in the NEHGS Register[6] gives much more information on the Myles family, and also says that Katherine (Myles) Gray had 6 children. 
Katherine Coytemore, mother of Thomas Graves' wife, with her son Thomas and wife and her daughter Elizabeth, also came to America, probably at the same time as the family of Thomas Graves. 

Children - Graves

2. John Graves, b. England. Did not go to America ...
3. William Graves, b. England, probably died young.

+4. Rebecca Graves, b.c. 1631, m. Samuel Adams, 1651, d. 8 Oct. 1664. +5. Thomas Graves, b.c. 1638, m(1) Elizabeth Hagburne, 16 May 1677, m(2) ... +6. Nathaniel Graves, bapt. 5 Nov. 1639, m. Elizabeth Russell, 24 Aug. 1664, d. 12 Feb. 1680. +7. Susannah Graves, b. 8 July 1643, m. Zechariah Symmes, Jr., 18 Nov. 1669, d. 23 July 1681. +8. Joseph Graves, b. 13 April 1645, m(1) Elizabeth Maynard, 15 Jan. 1665/6, m(2) Mary Ross, 1678.

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Thomas Graves (29) was born 6 June 1605 at Ratcliff, England, near London (or at Stepney, England[1]), was baptized 16 June 1605 at Stepney, part of the city of London, and died 31 July 1653 (old style calendar, 31st day, 5th month, 1653) in a sea battle with the Dutch in the English Channel. (A number of sources say he died in Charlestown, MA, but this definitely appears incorrect; e.g., Tracy Genealogy[2], p. 177, and NEHGS Register[3].) His will was dated 13 June 1652 and probated 1 Oct. 1653. Thomas Graves sprang from a prominent shipbuilding and mariner family of London, and came to America as early as 1628. He was a skillful shipmaster, and was mate of the Talbot, in which Higginson came to Salem, Mass. in 1629. He was mate of the Arabella, master of the Plantation in 1630, master of the Plough in 1631, of the Whale in 1632, of the Reformation and Elizabeth Bonadventura in 1633 and 1634, and of the James in 1635. He was master of the first American built ship, the Tryall, on her second voyage in June 1643, and followed the sea more or less until his death. He brought his family (consisting of his wife and two children) to America about 1636 or 1637 and settled in Charlestown, Mass., probably at the same time that his wife's mother came. He married Katherine (or Katharine or Catharine) Gray before 1635 (probably by 1630) in England. She was born about 1606 at Harwich, England, died 21 Feb. 1682 (old style calendar, 21, 12, 1681), and was buried 23 Feb. 1681/2. [4] She was a daughter of Thomas Gray and Katherine Myles (daughter and co-heir of Robert Myles, of Sutton, in County Suffolk). Thomas Gray died in 1607, and his widow married on 23 Dec. 1610 at Harwick, England, Rowland Coytemore, of Wapping (next to London, in Middlesex), a widower, who died in 1626; she came to New England in 1636 or 1637 and settled in Charlestown, Mass.; was admitted to the church in 1638, and died 28 Nov. 1659. Her will, dated 28 or 30 April 1658 named 14 grandchildren, including the 5 children of her daughter Katherine. [5] An article in the NEHGS Register[6] gives much more information on the Myles family, and also says that Katherine (Myles) Gray had 6 children. (See Appendix of this book for more information.) Katherine Coytemore, mother of Thomas Graves' wife, with her son Thomas and wife and her daughter Elizabeth, also came to America, probably at the same time as the family of Thomas Graves. The son, Thomas Coytemore, was a mariner and commanded the Tryall on her first trip. He was lost on the coast of Spain 27 Dec. 1644, and his widow Martha, daughter of Captain William Rainsborough, a mariner of England, married 4 Dec. 1647 at Boston as her second husband Governor John Withrop who died 26 March 1649. She married thirdly John Coggan of Boston on 10 March 1652. Thomas Graves was admitted to the First Church, Charlestown, with his wife, 7 Oct. 1639, and was made freeman at general court, Boston, on 13 May 1640. He became possessed of a large amount of land in Charlestown and Woburn. (Woburn is next to and just south of Wilmington.) He continued to follow the sea, and while in command of a merchantman captured a Dutch "man-of-war" vessel in the British Channel, for which gallant act he was appointed by Parliament captain of the frigate President in the Royal Navy on 30 May 1652. The following year he was appointed rear admiral of the White, and on board the St. Andrew (with 360 men and 56 guns)[7] he participated in the naval battles with the Dutch, and was killed 31 July 1653.[8][9] His body was landed from the fleet in Aldborough Bay, Co. Suffolk, England, 8 Aug. 1653, and buried the same day, his wife's family being from that county. Parliament granted his family 1000 pounds. His will dated 13 June 1652, deposited with his brother Abraham in England, was forwarded to America. It was presented for probate by his widow and proved on the first of the tenth month of 1653 (old style calendar, 1 Dec. 1653), several months after his death. Thomas is said to have been commissioned Rear Admiral in the British Navy by Oliver Cromwell, after the overthrow of King Charles I. Previous to that event he had been in America and laid plans for his future abode here, by securing, for some service rendered the colony, a grant of 250 acres of land located in that part of what was then Charlestown, now near Wilmington, called the "land of nod". (This seems strange, since Wilmington is nowhere near present day Charlestown. It is much farther north of Boston, next to Billerica.) For some years he commanded a vessel running between Boston and the ports of the mother country. By this means he kept up his acquaintance with men and affairs in England. He was on familiar terms with the principal men of the Mass. Colony, and was held by them in high esteem, being pronounced by Gov. Winthrop after his death in 1653, "an able and godly man". Winthrop wrote his name Greaves. Will of Thomas Graves of Charlestown: This my last will and testament is that I do bequeath unto my beloved wife Katharine Graves, my now dwelling house scittuate in Charlestowne in New England for the terme of her life, and also the one-third part of all my goods, shiping & moneys and plate, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Rebecca[10] five pound, & to her child three pound, I do bequeath unto my sonne John my house scittuate in Limehouse neere Dickes shoare, he paying One hundred Pound, to be payd the one third part of it to his mother my beloved wife, the other two thirds to be divided unto my sonne Thomas, Nathaniel, Susanna & Joseph, my will is that my Land at Oburne in New England, and Land in Charlestowne neck, and what goods, household stuffe, chipping, plate or moneys I have be all vallued, with one hundred Pound, I Appoynt my sonne John to pay of all with my will is that my wife shall have the one third part of, And the other two thirds to be Equally divided between my sonne Thomas, Nathaniel, Susanna & Joseph, but my desire is, that if the house at Limehouse which I do bequeath unto my sonne John he paying one hundred pound be not vallued to be worth as much as double what wilbe of my estate dividable to my sonne Thomas, Nathaniel, Susanna or Joseph, that then my sonne John shall pay lesse to be dividable as above mentioned, for my desire is that my son John should have twice as much as the rest of my children. Further I do bequeath unto my sonne Thomas after his mother's decease, my now dwelling house, with all the garden & orchard there unto belonging, which is scittuate in Charlestowne in New England, provided that my sonne Thomas pay unto his sister Rebecca ten pound, Nathaniell Ten pound, Susanna ten pound, Joseph Ten pound. I do Appoynt my beloved wife and my sonne John to be my Executors and do appoint them to pay to the church at Charlestowne forty shillings And I do intreate my Brother Nowell & my Brother Lindes of Charlestown to be overseers of my will, and do give to them Twenty shillings apeece, witnes my hand this 13th of June 1652.

                                           Thomas Graves

This last will of me Thomas Graves being left by himselfe sealed up, and delivered to his Brother Abraham Graves and presented by his relict widow before the Deputy Governer, and the rest of the magistrates, it was by them allowed & Approved the first of the 10th month 1653.

                                           Thomas Danforth, Recorder

Entred & Recorded 25 10 mo. 1655. Thomas Danforth, Recorder.


Rear Admiral Thomas Graves has sometimes been confused with the engineer of the same name. Thomas Graves, the engineer was of Gravesend, County of Kent, England, signed a contract with the Massachusetts Bay Company in March 1629, arrived in New England in July 1629, and laid out Charlestown. Thomas Graves, the engineer, was clearly not the same as Rear Admiral Thomas Graves. In 1629 the engineer already had an impressive reputation for engineering, had traveled extensively, and had a wife and five children. He was older than the 24 years of age that the Rear Admiral was at that time. In addition, the signature of the Rear Admiral from his will, and that of the engineer from his contract, as shown below, are different (from History of Charlestown, page 140, by.Richard Frothingham).


http://www.gravesfa.org/gen028.htm

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Rear Adm. Thomas Graves's Timeline

1605
June 6, 1605
Stepney, Middlesex, England
1630
September 25, 1630
Stepney, Middlesex, England
1633
1633
Stepney, Middlesex, England
1636
1636
1638
1638
Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1639
October 5, 1639
Ratcliff, London, England
1643
May 8, 1643
Ratcliff, Middlesex, England
July 8, 1643
1645
April 13, 1645
Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA