About William Alloway of Bridgwater
Will is available at: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D584536
For a good account of William Alloway the younger, see http://www.sanhs.org/Documents/135/01bettey.pdf
William Alloway, a general merchant of Bridgwater, between 1695 and 1704 traded in salt, tallow, Irish wool, and West Indian tobacco, and his ships visited London, Liverpool, Waterford, Cork, Dublin, Minehead, Port Isaac (Cornw.), and Barbados.
Quakers in Minehead
In 1656 merchant William Alloway opened his home as a meeting place for Friends and he may have entertained George Fox in 1668. Minehead was one of the meetings to receive part of Fox’s library in 1694. Quakers were recorded at Minehead throughout the late 17th century when several were imprisoned for non attendance at church including Susannah wife of William Alloway in 1683. Fortnightly meetings were held by 1688 and in 1689 a new meeting house had been built by Alloway and licensed for worship. This was probably the meeting house with burial ground on the north side of Market Place, later a school and then a fire station.
By 1676 there was an established Meeting in Minehead, using a building in the Bampton Street area. Following the Toleration Act of 1689, William Alloway, a Quaker merchant, registered his house as a place of worship for the group. Nonetheless, a few years later he had to be admonished by his fellow Quakers for engaging in smuggling.
ALLOWAY ACCOUNTS DD\DN/461-462 1683-1689
These documents are held at Somerset Archive and Record Service
Contents: Journal and ledger, with index to the latter, recording the trading activities of Wm. Alloway, junior, of Minehead, merchant. Trade in tallow, wool, foodstuffs, wine, mainly coastal trading in the Bristol Channel and with S. Ireland, but occasional longer voyages to Dunkirk, the Canaries and Bordeaux and at least one to the W. Indies. Frequent references to ships and ships' masters.
Probates of wills of Wm. Alloway of Minehead, merchant, 1686, pr.1686, Wm. A. of Bridgwater, merchant, 1719, pr.1722, Hannah A., of Bridgwater, wid., 1729, pr.1730, and Eliz. A. of Bristol, spr., 1761, pr.1763. Certificate of Quaker marriage of Wm. A. and Hannah Anderdon [2nd and 3rd person named in last para.] at Stoke St. Gregory, 1686 [16 witnesses named]; assignment of bond previous to marriage of Jane Alloway [dau. of two last named] and Joseph Gillett of Chard, clothier, 1729, with receipt, 1737; deeds of hse. and pasture called the Decoy in the manor and parish of High Ham, nr. Pitney Gate and adjg. Sedgmoor, ultimately assigned to Eliz. Alloway, 1726, 1742 (3).
It needed great wealth to own a large ship and bear the risk so most ships were in shared ownership like the Thomas worth £270 in 1681 when master mariner Thomas Bryant owned a third or the Reformation worth £200 shared by the Alloways and Isaac Davis (d. 1685) who owned a quarter besides a quarter of the Diligence worth only £40 as she had been wrecked. The William Alloways father and son had shares in the Reformation, used to trade to London, and the younger William also had shares in the Adventure in 1683 mainly trading with Bordeaux. EARLY 18TH CENTURY The War of the Spanish Succession gave further impetus to privateering and three local vessels were equipped for the purpose between 1702 and 1710. The largest was the 200-ton Queen Ann belonging to William Alloway and others, which was fitted with 16 guns and had a crew of 40 and was usually engaged in trade with Leghorn.
The Alloway family were Quaker merchants in the Devon/ Somerset border area in the late 17th century. William Alloway of Bridgwater (and formerly of Minehead), probably the brother of the first Benjamin Alloway noticed below, is recorded as the leading general merchant in the town, with an international trade and ships plying regularly to Dublin and France. Benjamin Alloway (1670-?1745) seems to have settled in Dublin in about 1700, perhaps as agent for William. The family remained in Dublin over several generations, and maintained the Quaker faith for many years as is indicated by some of their marriages: for example, the first wife of Benjamin Alloway (1728-72) was a grand-daughter of the leading Quaker apologist, Robert Barclay of Urie. It was William Johnson Alloway (c.1771-1829), who perhaps inherited significant wealth from his father-in-law, Robert Johnson, a justice of the common pleas in Ireland, who translated the family into the county gentry by buying a small estate of around 618 acres at Ballyshaneduff (Co. Leix) and building a new house there in about 1810. His son had to partially reconstructed the house after a devastating fire in 1849, and it remained in the family until the early death of Robert Marmaduke Alloway in 1880. With his death, his young children became orphans, and were taken into the care of their mother's father, Theophilus Lucas-Clements, who acted as their guardian and trustee. He put the Ballyshaneduff estate (by then known as The Derries) up for auction in 1884. The two young sons who would have stood to inherit the estate emigrated to Canada when they reached their late teens, becoming part of the vast Irish diaspora who sought a new life in the colonies. They perhaps chose Canada because their great-uncle Arthur William Alloway (b. 1804) had previously gone there in 1855 and their cousin, William Forbes Alloway (1852-1930) was becoming established and wealthy as a banker and public benefactor in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
William Alloway of Bridgwater's Timeline
December 22, 1721