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Quakers of New Jersey: "Kent" Passengers (1677)

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Quakers of New Jersey: "Kent" Passengers (1677)

Scope of Project

To build single, validated and documented Master Profiles for passengers of The Kent, which sailed from London, England to Chygoes Island, now Burlington, New Jersey in Dec. 1677. Many of the passengers were Quakers (members of the Society of Friends).



Fall, 1677— The ship Kent arrives in Delaware with Quaker settlers fleeing oppression in England, disembarking in Salem and canoeing and walking up the Delaware River to the Rancocas Creek, and then to Burlington, New Jersey.


... the first important settlement in West Jersey was made in 1677, when two hundred and thirty people sailed up the Delaware and founded Burlington, and within two years several hundred more had made their homes in the vicinity. Two wholly separate governments were now set up, and they were as different as white from black. The stern New England Puritans had settled in East Jersey in sufficient numbers to give coloring to the laws, and in these laws (enacted by the first assembly before the division) we find enumerated thirteen crimes for which the penalty was death. In West Jersey the government was exceedingly mild. A code of laws with the name of Penn at the top gave all power to the people, and made no mention of capital punishment. This was the first example of Quaker legislation in America.

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Project Profiles

Based on the following list:


The Kent carried colonists to West New Jersey with Gregory Marlow as master and loaded in London for New Jersey 19 March to 31 March 1677. There followed loadings for other ports, but she sailed before May. The Kent sailed first to New York, arriving either the 4th, 12th or 16th August. Then after a short stay, the Kent sailed across the bay to Perth Amboy, after which she headed south to the Delaware, landing first at the mouth of Raccoon Creek where she is said to have disembarked some 230 passengers of a total of 270. She then moved on to Chygoes Island, now Burlington. Other histories state that she landed at Raccoon Creek after an early June halt at New Castle, then to Burlington on 23 June. However, the arrival time in New York is known from the minutes of the New York government, with which the Commissioners (aboard the Kent) met during their stay there. The Yorkshire purchasers settled the 1st tenth, from Assinpink to Rancocas. The London purchasers settled the 2nd tenth, from Rancocas to Timber Creek. Those known to have been aboard or thought to have been aboard the Kent were:

NOTE: Persons in parentheses are doubtful, and may be listed later with a different ship. Persons listed in brackets were servants.

  • (Benjamin Acton) Benjamin Acton is thought to have rather been a
passenger on the Lyon of Liverpool, arriving Philadelphia, 
October 1683.

* [John Allin]

  • ([Jane Allin])
  • (Edward Bradway, wife Mary, children; William, Mary, Susannah;
servants; John Allin, Thomas Buckel, William Groom) This Edward
Bradway was possibly on the Greyhound, on which he loaded
goods after the Kent had departed.

* ([Thomas Brinton])

  • ([Thomas Buckel])
  • William Clayton
  • John Cripps
  • Richard Davis or Davies, loaded 22 March
  • Morgan Drewett, loaded 24 March
  • William Emley or Emlen (probably Emley, as this is a noted Burlington County, NJ name)
  • Thomas Eves
  • Thomas Foulke
  • Thomas Farnsworth
  • ([William Groom])
  • Jonathan Habbuck, loaded 31 March
  • Thomas Harding
  • Joseph Helmsley
  • (William Hibbs or Hebes)
  • Henry Jennings (John Kinsey, actually came on the Greyhound, loading after the Kent left)
  • Samuel Lovett
  • _____ Marshall, a carpenter
  • Thomas Nosster
  • Thomas Olive, loaded 22 March
  • William Peachey
  • John Penton or Penford
  • William Perkins, died aboard, and family
  • Robert Powell
  • Christopher Saunders
  • Benjamin Scott
  • Robert Stacey
  • Robert Wade, loaded 19 March. Perhaps he had first come on the Griffin and returned as agent for the Colony.
  • (Christopher White, servants: Jane Allin and Thomas Brinton. Perhaps he was on the Griffin instead, which is supposed to have arrived in 1677.) Daniel Wills
  • John Wilkinson, died aboard
  • Jonathan Woodhouse, loaded 22 March
  • William Woodhouse or Woodmancy and family
  • John Woolston

NOTE: It should be noted that many passengers alleged to have been aboard were from Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, and other northern counties. They probably loaded at a northern port, perhaps Hull or Liverpool, before the Kent arrived at London, which is why they do not appear in the London loadings.

Reference: Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684, Penn's Colony: Volume I by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., 1970.

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Suggested Reading

Please insert in alphabetical order by last name of author, and provide URL link if available online

  • D. Hollet Passage to the New World Abergavenny:P.M.Heaton Publishing 1995 (ISBN 1-872006-08-6) deals mainly with the Irish Mass emigration of the mid 1840's but chapter 5 gives a short history of the New York Packets
  • Adam Hodgson Letters from North America written during a Tour in the United States and Canada 2 vols (excerpt from vol 2 p343/7) 1824 Hurst Robinson & Co London and A. Constable & Co Edinburgh.
  • Tear's account is retold in chap 16/17 of Manx, Isle of Man History of Manx People who came to America Lake County Genealogical Society (ed. L McNaughton) 1991. This in turn is based on a Manuscript Notebook (50 pp) in Morely Library Painesville, Ohio.