Please adopt a witness

The MarineLives Summer Programme is underway. With the first week of transcription coming to a close, we  have fifty transcriptions under our belt, together with metadata for over three hundred manuscript pages.

Take a look at the following list of English Admiralty Court witnesses. They are described by name, occupation, residence, and in most cases their age, and are from folios 400r to 531r in the book of Court depositions covering the years 1659-1661 (HCA 13/73).


If you click on the links you will go to our HCA 13/73 wiki, where you will find an image of the original manuscript page on which the witness appears.

In most cases you will find a space, waiting for our team to transcribe the image. For witnesses marked in blue you will see both an image and a transcription.

Then contact us, and tell us if there is a particular witness about whom you would like to learn more, and if you know something already about that witness, please share it.



[WWW]Robert fframpton of Limehouse Shipwright late Carpenter of the ”Brazil ffrigot” (Thomas Heath Master) aged 35 yeares
[WWW]Phillip Manning of London Merchant aged 35 yeeres
[WWW]Daniel Boone of London merchant aged 23 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Davies servant and Aprentice to Edward Thompson of Shadwell Dealemerchant aged 19 yeeres
[WWW]John Shawe of Tower wharfe Sailemaker aged 20 yeeres
[WWW]George Settle of Shadwell Cooper aged 25 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Shute of Shadwell Brewer aged 20 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Etheridge of Limehouse Ropemaker aged 38 yeeres
[WWW]Nicholas Pyburne Living in Schoolehouse Lane in Ratcliffe Ropemaker aged 22 yeeres
[WWW]Robert Hooker of Ratcliffe Ropemaker aged 38 yeeres
[WWW]Richard Hartshorne of Tower Wharfe sailemaker, aged Eighteene yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Severne of Lymehouse Mariner Masters Mate of the ship the ”John and Catherine” whereof John Miller was Master Aged 60 yeeres



[WWW]Robert Scotting of Wapping Mariner aged 32 yeers
[WWW]Captaine William Jopp of Redriffe Mariner aged 45 yeeres
[WWW]Edmund Yorke of Redriffe aged 40 yeeres
[WWW]John Gibbs of Bermonsey in the County of Surry Marchant aged 50 yeeres
[WWW]William Bugbey of Lymehouse Mariner aged 49 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Rastel of London Merchant aged 30 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas ffeild of harwich in Essex Shipwright aged 53 yeeres
[WWW]John Godfrey of Dover Court neere (XXX) Mariner aged 32 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Cole of Acton neere Ispwich Mariner, Gunner of the ship the ”Mary Rose”
[WWW]John Turner of Ipswich shipwright Carpenter of the ship the ”Mary Rose”, aged 41 yeeres


[WWW]John Brand of Acton aged 44 yeeres
[WWW]Robert Marten of Acton neere Ipswich Mariner aged 51 yeeres
[WWW]William Howe of the parish of ffanchurch London mariner aged twenty fower yeeres
[WWW]George Whales of the parish of Saint Mary Magdalen Bermondsey Shipwright aged thirty yeeres
[WWW]Andrew Stone of the parish of Saint Olave in Southwarke mariner but borne at Stockholme in Sweden Carpenters mate of the ”Redd Rose” aged thirty fower yeares

CAPTURE_DETAIL_Marke_Oliver_Langdon_HCA1371_f455r_030113 ff.430r-439v

[WWW]John Johnson of the parish of Allhallowes Barking London Mariner aged twenty eight yeares
[WWW]John Triggs of the parish of Saint Mary Magdalen Bermondsey aged forty five yeares
[WWW]Phillip White of the parish of Saint Olave in Southwarke Mariner aged thirty three yeares
[WWW]Francis Hampton of Ratcliff. Shipwright aged about forty yeeres
[WWW]Richard Pigg of Cheeke (?Lane) near West Smithfeild (?Cooper) aged 29 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Hulman Lieutenant of the ”ffairfax frigot”’ (Captaine Robert Story commander) aged 43 yeeres


[WWW]Captaine Robert Storey Commander of the ”ffairfax frigat” in the immediate service of this Commonwealth
[WWW]Captaine Willoughby Hanham commander of the ”kentish frigot” in the immediate service of this Commonwealth



[WWW]Captaine John Stokes Admirall of the Squadron of shipps of this Commonwealth in the Mediterranean sea, aged 49 yeeres
[WWW]John van lynen master of the said shipp ”Saint XXXX” aged thirtie eight yeares
[WWW]John Moller of Amsterdam Merchant aged 28 yeares
[WWW]Ide Symonson Burch of Amsterdam Mariner master of the shipp the Marcus Aurelius of Amsterdam, aged 48 yeeres
[WWW]Jurian Houltho(?use) of Amsterdam Merchant, aged (?40) yeeres
[WWW]Abraham van(?ventur) of Amsterdam Merchant, aged 28 yeeres


[WWW]Rocus van der maes of (?Sizicksea) by birth but living in the hague in holland Merchant aged 37 yeeres
[WWW]John Wilkinson of Ipswich in the County of Essex Mariner, aged 44 yeeres
[WWW]William Hitchcock of Wapping in the County of Middlesex aged 60 yeares
[WWW]Henry Hare of Shadwell waterman aged 41 yeeres
[WWW]Ide Symonson Burch of Amsterdam mariner Master of the said shipp aged 48 yeeres
[WWW]Abraham van Dentur of Amsterdam Marchant, aged 28 yeeres
[WWW]Rocus Maes of Ziricksea but dwelling in the hague in holland Merchant, aged 37 yeeres


[WWW]Francis Holt of Portsmouth gentleman aged 43 yeares
[WWW]John Thistlethwaite of Portsmouth gentleman aged 37 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Garret of Redriffe Shipwright late Carpenter of the Ship ”Anne”, (John Adkins late Master) aged 20 yeeres
[WWW]John Mente of Saint Catherines neere the Tower of London Chirurgion aged 23 yeeres
[WWW]Gerbrand Sas Doctor of Lawes
[WWW]Francisco de Moralis of Saint Lucars de Baramuda in Andalusia Captaine of the shipp the ”Pea henn” belonging to Saint Lucars aforesaud, aged 30 yeeres


[WWW]Andries Verhoogh in Zeeland Mariner, aged 37 yeeres
[WWW]Diego de Guevara of Sivile in Andalusia Master or Sopracargo of the said shipp the ”Peahen”, aged 34 yeeres
[WWW]Lewis Francis of Calice in ffrance Merchant, aged 49 yeeres
[WWW]Pedro Michel of Marseilla in ffrance Mariner, aged 32 yeares
[WWW]James Ru(?p)eleau ofM(?orenar) in (XXXX) in the Realme of ffrance Mariner, aged 41 yeeres
[WWW]John Erable of Mornar neere Rochell in the Realme of ffrance Mariner, aged 35 yeeres
[WWW]John Burnelau of Mornau in the Realme of ffrance Sailor, aged 28 yeeres
[WWW]John (?S)ooker of the Parish of Saint (?Buttolphs) Bishopsgate London Mariner Master of the ship ”Richard and Martyn”, aged 52 yeeres
[WWW]Phillip Widdoson of the parish of Saint Olaves in Southwarke yeoman aged 37 yeeres
[WWW]John (?Porolim) of Shadwell in the parish of Stepney in the County of Middlesex Mariner aged 29 yeeres
[WWW]John Frost of New England mariner but belonging at present to the ship the ”Exchange” of London (John Peirce master) aged 22 yeeres


[WWW]John Clarke of New England Mariner but at Present belonging to the ship the ”Exchange” of London (John Peirce Master) aged 19 yeeres
[WWW]Richard Taylor of Saint Katherines Mariner, aged 20 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas More of Horsey downe in the County of Surry Shipwright, aged 25 yeeres
[WWW]Abraham Ripley Chirurgeon resident at present in the parish of Saint Michaell Woodstreete London, and borne in or neere the same parish, aged 33 yeeres
[WWW]John Duce of Wapping in the County of Middlesex Mariner aged 36 yeeres
[WWW]John Hunter native of Eddenborough Scotland but residing at Present at the signe of the Ball in Saint Lawrence Pountneys Lane London Merchant aged 48 yeeres
[WWW]John Taylor of Limehouse Marriner late Boatswaine of the ship the ”hopewell” Arthur Perkins Master aged about 35 yeeres


[WWW]Godfrey Hembling of Waborne in (?Clay) in Norfolke aged 40 yeeres
[WWW]Morris Briggs of Saint Katherines waterman aged 58 yeeres
[WWW]Abraham Barnaby Citizen and (?Grocer) of London Living at the Tower Liberty aged 32 yeers
[WWW]The Answer of the foresaid Godfrey Hembling to the Interrogatories
[WWW]The answer of the said Morris Briggs To the Interrogatories
[WWW]Captaine Thomas Sprittiman Native of Peterhead in the County of (?BoughXX) in Scotland Mariner, late Master of the ship the ”Golden Starre”, aged 37 yeeres
[WWW]Cornelius De Gelder of London Merchant aged 38 yeeres
[WWW]Henry hart of ffalkirke neere Glascoe in Scotland Mariner aged 30 yeeres
[WWW]Henry hart of ffalkirke (?neere ?Glascoe) in Scotland Mariner aged 30 yeeres
[WWW]Captaine Nathaniel Cobham of dunkirke Commander of a foote Company there, aged 40 yeeres
[WWW]Richard Shament Living in Grubstreete London Chirurgion aged 23 yeeres


[WWW]Alexander Kerr native of Greenock in Scotland but living at Ayre in Scotland Mariner aged about thirty yeeres
[WWW]Alexander Keir of Borrowstonesse neere (?Aenborow) in Scotland Mariner aged about 19 yeeres
[WWW]Alexander Keir of Burroghston neere Edenborowe in Scotland Mariner aged about 19 yeeres
[WWW]James Ker of Glascoe in Scotland Merchant aged 22 yeeres
[WWW]Robert Cuming of Glascoe in Scotland Merchant aged 34 yeeres and upwards
[WWW]Edward Paine of Saint Ives in Cornwall gentleman aged 31 yeeres
[WWW]Collaert Budaert of Calice in ffrance mariner late Master of the ship the ”Saint Lewis” aged 50 yeeres
[WWW]Phillip Mansell of Swanzey Merchant aged 30 yeeres


[WWW]Christianus Tepffer Native of (?GXXX) but lodging at Present in New Gravell Lane in Wapping Mariner aged 32 yeeres
[WWW]Laurence Tyrer of Liverpool in Lancashire Mariner aged 25 yeeres
[WWW]Captaine Owen Sallevanne of Munster in Ireland, Gentleman aged 26 yeeres
[WWW]Colonel Edward Freeman Governour of Tinby Castle in the County of Pembro(?ke) in Southwales aged about 49 yeeres
[WWW]Garret Johnson Conneke of (XXXX) in north Holland mariner aged 35 yeares
[WWW]Jacob van Wallendal dwelling at Rochell Marchant aged 35 yeeres
[WWW]Daniel van Liebergen of Rochell but borne at Amsterdam aged 26 yeeres
[WWW]William Jackson servant to Thomas Burton of London Merchant, aged (XX) yeeres
[WWW]John Bell of Lower Shadwell in the parish of Stepney and County of Middlesex Smith aged 36 yeeres


[WWW]James Do(?w)glas of Allhallowes Barking London Skinner aged 30 yeeres
[WWW]Thomas Greeneleafe of BeereLane London wine Cooper aged 22 yeeres



What did the Brewer’s clerk tell us?

William Kellett is one of the MarineLives team of associates who have been transcribing HCA 13/71.  He is on a GAP year after finishing school, and plans to study history at university.  He and Colin Greenstreet have worked on a number of depositions concerning the case of Corsellis and Debenham against the Sara of Leith against Bilton and Trent.¹ 

Below, Colin Greenstreet draws on this material to argue for the use of linkage to deepen understanding of quotidien waterfront life in the 1650s.

This case deals with the alleged non-payment of the brewer, Abraham Corsellis, for his delivery of beer to the ship, the Salem, owned by Colonel Samuel Atkins. In the absence of the Salem, Corsellis had had the High Court of Admiralty cause the arrest of another ship owned by Samuel Atkins, the Sarah of Leith in Scotland. The case exemplifies the type of data available from a number of other Admiralty Court cases involving suppliers of marine goods, such as beef, iron work, and cordage.

There is considerable potential to take court records of this type and to combine them with further legal records, such those from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, of Chancery, and of the Old Bailey, together with county records, such as those for the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey and Kent.

There is also potential to integrate a better understanding of marine suppliers, with an improved understanding of marine infrastructure, such as the warehouses, cranes, and lighters of the Thames waterfront, and of mariner dominated hamlets such as Limehouse, Wapping Wall, and Bermondsey.  The prize would be a nuanced picture of quotidien waterfront life in the marine world of London in the mid-1650s.

Below is an extract from one of the depositions made in the above mentioned case.  An initial attempt has been made to link and contextualise names, commodities and places, as a test of the possibilities of enhancement of such depositions through linkage.

Readers of this article are invited to make their own suggestions for additional linkages thorugh the comment feature of this blog.

Starting in late January/early February 2013 we will be forming a linkage team to work in parallel with our transcribers.  This team will take groups of cases linked by theme (such as marine suppliers, tobacco, and the port of Scanderoone) and will explore further primary sources to establish electronic links to the transcribed text of HCA 13/71.

We welcome approaches from individuals and university departments interested in participating in this linkage programme. See contact form.

Delivery of beer and barrells from the Harts Horne brewhouse in Eastsmithfeild to the ship the Salem

The sixty-four year old Brewer’s Clerk, Peter Descobeck, from the parish of Saint Olaves in Southwarke, was deposed about a series of deliveries of beer from the Hartshorne Brewhouse in Lower East Smithfield.

“10. In the yeare 1650 and more particularly in or about the moneth of May
11. or June of the said yeare (as hee remembreth the time) there was
12. delivered at and from the Brewhouse of the said Abraham Corsellis2
13. (knowne by the name of the harts horne brewhouse3 scituat in
14. Eastsmithfeild) sixtie tonnes, one
15. hogshead and twenty nine gallons of beere and one last and a
16. halfe of barrells to and for the use and setting out of the
17. shipp the Salem arlate then lying in the River of Thames, and
18. outwards bound, and commonly said to be belonging to the arlate Collonel
19. Atkins4, and saith the said beere and goods to the time of the said
20. delivery were the goods of the said Corsellis, and the said beere was
21. worth three pounds and twelve shillings per tonne at the ordinary
22. and usuall rate of the like beare at that time, and the said barrells
23. were worth three pounds, All which hee knoweth because hee
24. was the Brewers clarke to the said Brewhouse, and tooke ?note
25. of the said deliverie and entred it downe in the debt booke
26. for account of the said Collonell Samuel Atkins, for whom this deponent
27. made up an account thereof about September XXXX
27. followeing the said delivery, as alsoe of and for the fourtie
28. tonnes of caskes arlate, which hee saith were alsoe delivered…”5

The Hartshorn brewhouse was located in Lower East Smithfield adjoining the Hartshorn Wharf. Harben dates it to 3 Hen. VII, and notes that the location of the brewhouse is shown as adjacent to Brown’s Wharf in the Survey of St. Katherine’s, 1686.6

It is recorded in the 1662 Middlesex hearth tax returns for the parish of St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, within the Ossulstone hundred, in a sequence of rotulets which has been reordered to run from East Smithfield south end, ?Brush Yard, ‘Hartshorne Brewhouse’, to Flushing Alley, ‘George Alley’, Virginia Court, and East Smithfield south side.7

The Brewhouse supplied ships on the Thames with beer in considerable quantities, and in the early C18th was associated publicly with many abuses linked to contract brewers and ship’s pursers.  An entry in the Journal of the House of Commons, dated February 15th, 1710, records issues associated with the “Abuses of the Victualling” and specifically “the Abuses and Frauds, committed at her Majesty’s Brewhouse, called the HartshorneBrewhouse, and likewise those committed by the contracting Brewers.”8

Barrels of beer had been carried “in several parcels from the Hartshorn Brewhouse to Colliers, Merchant Ships, and other Places,” carried by watermen. The Committee for the investigation of the Abuses of Victualling noted disapprovingly that the beer so disposed of was “Sea Beer, and not petty Warrant Beer.”  One brewer told the Committee that “he has often had beer from the Queen’s Brewhouse, by the means of one Moxley, a Servant there, at the rate of 22s. per Ton, and that he knew “a great many Colliers” who were “supplied with Beer from thence…much cheaper there, than of other Brewers.”8

Another brewer recorded a fine trade, purchasing beer from the Hartshorne Brewhouse at 22s per ton, and selling it on, again to the Queen, at 48s per ton as “Store Beer.”  It was a commonplace, the Committee had been told, for pursers to sell the Queen’s Beer. Abuse was easy in the absence of accounts, with the Under Clerk to the Brewhouse reporting that the Accounts of the Brewhouse had never been made up in the six years he had been there.8


(1) For example, TNA, HCA 13/71 f.400r, TNA, HCA 13/71 400v, TNA, HCA 13/71 401r, TNA, HCA 13/71 417v (depositions of 3. John Hall of Eastsmithfeild in the parish of St Bultolph Algate Cooper aged fifty five yeares (The marke of the said “John Hall” at end of the deposition) (06/11/1656); 2. Edward Dunning of Wapping Mariner aged thirty three yeares (Signature of “Edward Dunning” at end of deposition) (19/09/1656); 4. Peter Descobeck of the parish of Saint Olaves in Southwarke Brewers Clarke, aged 64 yeeres (“Signature of Peter Descobecq” at end of deposition) (27/11/1656)
(2) For further information on the merchant Abraham Corsellis, see Quitclaim: Of Abraham Corsellis of East Smithfield. co. Middx., brewer, to George Lord Goringe, George Goring, esq., Mountjoy, Earl of Newport (1597? -1666; see D.N.B.), and Nicholas Beale for £400 due to Sarah Lybart on a bond, dated 28 Nov. 1638, and now paid by William Hippisley. Witness: Gyles Barker ([WWW]East Sussex Record Office: DAN/291 16 Aug. 1649); ‘Abra: Corsellus 15 hearths’ ([WWW]Hearth Tax: Middlesex 1666: St Botolph Aldgate: St Botolph Aldgate, London Hearth Tax: City of London and Middlesex, 1666 (2011), viewed 12/02/12); PROB 11/329/131 Will of Abraham Corsellis, Brewer of Saint Botolph without Aldgate London 11 February 1669
(3) The “Harts-horn Brew-house in East-Smithfield” is identified in the 4s in £ tax records from 1699-94 ([WWW]Derek Keene, Peter Earle, Craig Spence and Janet Barnes (eds.), ‘Four Shillings In The Pound Aid 1693-1694: Middlesex, St Botolph Aldgate (part), Hartshorn Brewhouse’, Four Shillings In The Pound Aid 1693/4: The City of London, the City of Westminster, and Metropolitan Middlesex (London, 1992), viewed 15/11/12. It appears frequently in C18th legal records. For example, [WWW]Ordinary’s Account, 19th July 1700, viewed 15/11/12, and a record of the Old Bailey, dated May 29th 1793, in which the “Hartshorn Brewhouse” is described as belonging to the victualling office, located in “Lower East Smithfield, in Aldgate parish” ([WWW]HENRY BETTIMAN, Theft > grand larceny, 29th May 1793, viewed 15/11/12)
(4) Colonel Samuel(l) Atkins is mentioned on a number of occasions by Samuel Pepys in late 1665 and throughout 1666 as a casual acquaintance. Pepys dammingly admits in one entry “The fellow I hate, and so I think all the world else do” ([WWW]Friday 23 November 1666, The diary of Samuel Pepys, online edition, viewed 13/11/12)
(5) TNA, HCA 13/71 f.417v Case: Corsellis and Debenham against the Sara of Leith against Bilton and Trent; Deposition: 4. Peter Descobeck of the parish of Saint Olaves in Southwarke Brewers Clarke, aged 64 yeeres (“Signature of Peter Descobecq” at end of deposition); Date: 27/11/1656
(6) ‘Hartshorn Wharf’ in Henry A. Harben, A Dictionary of London (London, 1918), citing Sloane MS. 3254, A. I. Br. Mus., viewed 10/12/12
(7) TNA, E179/143/407 Part 21 of 26, viewed 15/11/12
(8) Journals of the House of Commons, November 16th, 1798-October 9th,1711 (London, 1803), pp. 498-499, viewed 15/11/12


Andrew and Christofer Munez (alias Meyenberg)

Colin Greenstreet is the founder of the MarineLives project and is one of its five team facilitators.

After undergraduate studies at Oxford University and a masters degree at Harvard Business School on a Kennedy scholarship, he has pursued a career in business – as a management consultant, in pharmaceutical R&D, and as an entrepreneur.

His vision for MarineLives draws on his business and R&D experience, and is that of a not-for-profit collaborative and international effort to transcribe and link primary marine and social Early Modern sources.

He is working on the dual biography of the East India merchant Sir George Oxenden (1620-1669), and of Elizabeth Dallison, Oxenden’s London based elder sister and commercial agent, together with an edition of their letters.

He has selected a High Court of Admiralty case involving Jewish merchants living in Amsterdam, shipping goods to Spain, and using their London merchant correspondent both to manage their affairs in the Court and to secure the release of their goods from the Commissioners of Prizes.  The case highlights the potential to transcribe and link underutilised primary sources to deepen our understanding of the social and commercial environment of the mid-C17th.

French watered tabbies shipped from Haver de Grace in France to Cadiz in Spain by Jewish merchants of Amsterdam

The thirty-eight year old London merchant Christofer Boone was the London correspondent for two Amsterdam Jewish merchants, Andrew and Christofer Munez.

The Munez merchants had shipped expensive mohaire cloth of gold and silver from Haver de Grace (now known as le Havre, in Normandy) destined for Cadiz in Spain in the ship the Hare in the ffeild. As Jews, they did not have freedom to trade in Spain, and so had shipped the goods under the alias of Meyenbergh, calling themselves Robert and Henry Meyenberg (alt. Meyenburgh).

The ship, which was a Dutch ship of Middleborow, had been seized by ships of the Commonwealth and brought first to Portsmouth and then to London.

Christofer Boone’s link with the Andrew and Christofer Munez may have come from his own extensive involvement in the Spanish trade, having worked in Seville as a factor for Thomas Boone in the late 1640s, and continuing to be active in Seville and Spain in the 1650s and 1660s, with his own factor resident in Spain.

Acting for the Munez merchants, Boone had secured the restoration of the Munez’ goods. The use of an alias and the religion of the owners of the cloth was no barrier in the Admiralty Court to the Judges ordering restoration of the goods to the merchants. Indeed, in his deposition, Christopher Boone was upfront about the use of an alias, stating that:

“46. …………..Andrew and Christofer Munez of Amsterdam this deponents
47. correspondents sent over to London to this deponent to claime seaven and
48. thirtie severall peeces and packs of goods for them as laden aboard the
49. said shipp to be transported to the barr of Cadiz or Saint lucars for the
50. account of Robert and henry Meyerbergh, whereas the said goods belonged to

1. them the said Andrew and Christofer Munez, and that the names of the
2. said Robert and henry Meyenberg were only used for them, because the said
3. Andrew and Christofer were of the Jewish Profession of Religion and
4. therefore not free to trade in Spaine.”

However, when Boone sent his servant (and relation) Daniel Boone to receive the restored goods, Daniel Boone reported back (and deposed) that one bale of cloth was missing and the other bales had been opened and pieces removed.

Christofer Boone claimed in his deposition that the missing cloths, totalling twelve out of a total invoiced twenty six, were worth two hundred and sixty pounds sterling.

Below is Christofer Boone’s full deposition:

36. The twelveth of May 1656.
37. On the behalfe of the foresaid Meyenbergh}
38. alias Andrew and Chr Munez, touching}
39. goods embeazald out of the hare in the ffeild.}
40. Christofer Boone of London
41. Merchant, aged 38 yeeres or
42. thereabouts sworne and exámined.
43. Rp. 4.
44. To the first, second and third Interrogatories hee saith and deposeth that
45. after the seizure and bringing the shipp the hare in the ffeild into this
46. Commonwealth, Andrew and Christofer Munez of Amsterdam this deponents
47. correspondents sent over to London to this deponent to claime seaven and
48. thirtie severall peeces and packs of goods for them as laden aboard the
49. said shipp to be transported to the barr of Cadiz or Saint lucars for the
50. account of Robert and henry Meyenbergh, whereas the said goods belonged to
51. them

1. them the said Andrew and Christofer Munez, and that the names of the
2. said Robert and henry Meyenberg were only used for them, because the said
3. Andrew and Christofer were of the Jewish Profession of Religion and
4. therefore not free to trade in Spaine. And saith they sent him over
5. the bills of lading and Invoices for the same received from ffrance, And
6. saith that accordingly this deponent claimed them in this Court and
7. upon sufficient proofe made for the same, had a sentence for the restitution
8. thereof; and when hee came to have them restored by the Prize Officers
9. hee found one of the cases, numbred 1. and marked as in the margent
13. to be wholly lacking and lost, and found six more of the same markes,
14. numbred .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 to be have bin broken open and severall of the goods
15. taken thereout, being gold and silver mohair, otherwise french material
16. tabbie of gold and silver. And saith that the said Invoice mentions
17. the said seaven ˹cases or packs˺ to containe 26 peeces of the said goods, but in the
18. said six packs which were found (and which this deponent had) there were
19. only fourteene peeces contained, soe that there were and are
20. twelve peeces of the said goods quite want wanting and lost; and
21. further saith that the said twelve peeces after the rate of the Invoice
22. and their proportion of charges expended were worth and amount unto
23.two hundred and sixtie pounds sterling or thereabouts; And lastly hee saith
24. hee hath used all possible diligence to finde out and discover the
25. said twelve peeces of goods, but can by noe meanes finde them out
26. soe that they were and are utterly lost and never recovered nor recoverable
27. upon the said claime.
29. Repeated before Doctor G.c [Godolphin]”

HCA 13/71 ff.219v, 220r Case: On the behalfe of the foresaid Meyenberg alias Andrew and Chr Munez, touching goods embeazled out of the hare in the ffeild; Deposition: 4. Christofer Boone of London Merchant, aged 38 yeeres (Signature of “ChrisBoone” at end of deposition); Date: 12/05/1656. Transcribed by Colin Greenstreet.(1)

Christofer (alt. Christopher) Boone

Christopher Boone (b. c. 1615, d. 1686) was from Taunton, in Somerset.(2)  He had worked as a factor in Seville in the late 1640s on behalfe of Thomas Boone in London, prior to returning to London. The two were probably cousins.

A letter from Thomas Boone to Richard Houncell in Alicante, Spain, dated June 3rd, 1648, makes reference to:

The order you gave Mr Christopher Boone of Seville to send us some efexts from thence or to lett us drawe itt on him that soe wee maie from hence remitt itt for your acco’o to Levorne because here are more occasions often for levorne than for St Lucar or Cadiz.(3)

Christopher Boone maintained his commercial interest in Spain after his return to London, and employed Anthony Upton as his Seville factor in the 1660s. Anthony Upton, like Christopher Boone, came from the south-west England, Upton being from near Dartmouth, Devon. Upton mentioned Christopher Boone in his will, which he wrote in Seville in 1669.(4)

Both Christopher and Thomas Boone appear frequently in the correspondence of the Spanish merchant, John Paige.(5)

Paige became associated with Maurice Thompson in the 1650s in several ventures in the East Indies, whereas Thomas Boone had been involved with Maurice Thompson in the late 1640s in advancing the Asssada plantation off Madagascar.  Paige had a merchant cousin in Plymouth, the eponymous John Paige, with whom he and Maurice Thompson collaborated commercially on at least one occasion, as can be seen in a 1654 charterparty naming John Paige and Richard Ely, merchants of Plymouth, as the first party to the charter (part owners of the 85 tonne burthen Golden Cocke of Plymouth), and Thomas Canham, John Paige, and Maurice Thompson, London merchants as the the second party.(6)

Christopher Boone was also a cousin of Sir George Oxenden, who was President of the East India Company in Surat (1662-1669). They corresponded between London and Surat in the 1660s, with Boone sending out small adventures to invest in diamonds, and socialising with Sir George’s elder brother, Sir Henry Oxenden, in London.(7)

As a London merchant Boone’s commercial interests broadened geographically, though Boone retained his connection to the Spanish trade. He became a committee of the English East India Company in the 1660s, and from 1677 was a committe of the New England Company.  He also ventured in the Guinea trade in commercial company of the merchant Thomas Papillon, close advisor to Sir George Oxenden’s sister and London agent, Elizabeth Dalyson, and with the merchant Thomas Tyte, another associate of Elizabeth Dalyson.

He was later resident at St Leonard, Bromley, Middlesex (1666) and at All Saints, Lee, West Kent (1686).

Hare in the ffeild

The Hare in the ffeild has a suprising visibility in published primary sources. This may reflect both the richness of it cargo, and the connections of its Dutch merchants.

The Dutch ambassador to London was exercised by the plight of the freighters and owners of the Hare in the ffeild.  On June 18th, 1655, he wrote from Westmister to N. Ruysch:

I have also demanded relaxation of the ship called, the Hare in the Field of Middelburgh, and of the cargo thereof, being taken at sea, sailing from Havre de Grace to Cadiz in Spain, laden with rich goods; and the council has found good thereupon, that the said memorial, together with some instructions which were annexed thereunto, should be delivered to the commissioners of sea affairs and the fleet, with order that they should make an exact report thereof on yesterday. This morning I understood, that the said gentlemen had been ready, but that the council, treating upon publick affairs, the time was spent therein. I am told under hand, that proof can be made, that part of the cargo belongs to French merchants. I will further do my utmost endeavours, that a speedy and favourable resolution may be given upon my said memorials.”(8)

The Dutch ambassador referred again to his efforts on behalf of the owners of the Hare in the Field in a letter to de Witt, dated July 16, 1655, and to the gressicher Ruysch ca. September 10, 1655.(9)

The ship was released, and sailed for Cadiz, where it again ran into trouble, this time with the Spanish authorities.  Further letters followed, from Consul Vanden Hove to the States General, sent from Cadiz and dated October 8th, 1656, and from Admiral de Ruyter to The States General from aboard the ship the Amsterdam, dated April 8th, 1657. The ship was clearly trading English and French goods with a most ambiguous national and legal identity, but de Ruyter did his best:

This day I received a letter from their noble great lordships of the fifth of January, concerning the ship the Hare-in-the-field, about which I was on the third instant by the governor, who caused the same to be brought in, and I also spoke with the consul Van Hove about it, who thought that the governor had right for what he had done, and said, that the goods were laden most in England and France, and consequently were lawful prize. But after I had spoken with the duke de Medina Celi, he seemed to be more mild, and promised to write a letter to the king of Spain about it, and to send it by an express.(10)


(1) HCA 13/71 f.219v, HCA 13/71 f.220r
(2) PROB 11/385 Lloyd 136-181 Will of Christopher Boone, Merchant of London of All Saints Lee, Kent 29 July 1686
(3) [17] London. Thomas Boone (Alicante, 2-6-1648),’ in José Ignacio Martínez Ruiz, Perry Gauci, Mercaderes ingleses en Alicante en el siglo XVII: estudio y edición de la correspondencia comercial de Richard Houncell & Co (Alicante, 2008), p. 130, viewed 06/12/12
(4) PROB 11/332 Penn 1-66 Will of Anthony Upton of Seville 25 January 1670
(5) G.F. Steckley (ed.), The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984). See, for example, pp. IX-XXXIX; pp. 70, 93
(6) HCA 15/6 Box One. Charterparty, dated November 7th 1654, Unfoliated. 1. John Paige and Richard Ely of Plymouth merchants partowners of the Golden Cocke of Plymouth, Richard Chappell Master; 2. Thomas Canham, John Paige and Maurice Thompson of London Merchants. To go to such places within and without the Streights from the Port of London, starting at Gravesend
(7) British Library: Oxenden papers: March 1665/66, Letter from Christopher Boone; March 1665/66; Letter from Christopher Boone, John Paige, Thomas Papillon, and Jos. Child to Sir George Oxenden; 13th April 1667; Letter from Christopher Boone to Sir George Oxenden, London; 7th October 1667; Letter from Christopher Boone to Sir George Oxenden
(8) Letter dated ‘Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England, to N. Ruysch, Westminster, June 18, 1655. [N. S.]’  in Thomas Birch (ed.), State Papers, 1655: June (2 of 7)’, A collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, volume 3: December 1654 – August 1655 (1742), pp. 514-528, viewed 06/12/12
(9) Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England, to de Witt. Westminster, July 16,1655. [N. S.] in Thomas Birch (ed.), A collection of the state papers of John Thurloe, Esq., vol. 3: December 1654 to September 1655(London, 1742), pp. 623-624, viewed 06/12/12; ‘Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador in England, the gressier Ruysch’ (ca. September 10th, 1655) in Thomas Birch (ed.), A collection of the state papers of John Thurloe, Esq., vol. 3: December 1654 to September 1655(London, 1742), pp. 749-750, viewed 06/10/12
(10) ‘Admiral De Ruyter to the states-general, vol. xlviii. p. 363′, in Thomas Birch (ed.), ‘State Papers, 1657: March (5 of 5)’, A collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, volume 6: January 1657 – March 1658 (London, 1742), pp. 147-157, viewed 06/12/12