previous chapter
A Shoemakers’ Holiday
next chapter


1. Carus-Wilson, ed., Overseas Trade of Bristol, pp. 65–68, 71–73, 79–81, 87–93, 94–97, 120–22, 125–26, 127–30, 135–37, 139–40, 144, 155–56, 208, 252, 253; Carus-Wilson, Medieval Merchant Venturers, pp. 1, 5, 8, 11, 13, 14, 66, 73, 81, 89, 96, 98–142. [BACK]

2. BRO, MS 04220 (1–2), which covers 1654 to 1679; further material covering parts of the years 1679–1681 and 1683–1686 can be found in rough form in the records of the Bristol Mayor’s Court: BRO, MSS 04355 (6) and 04356 (1). The entries have now been painstakingly edited by Peter Wilson Coldham, The Bristol Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654–1686 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1988). See also William Dogson Bowman, ed., Bristol and America: A Record of the First Settlers in the Colonies of North America, 1654–1685, preface by N. Dermott Harding (London: R. S. Glover, 1931). For discussions of this source, see Mildred Campbell, “Social Origins of Some Early Americans,” in James Morton Smith, ed., Seventeenth-Century America: Essays in Colonial History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), pp. 63–89; Richard S. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1972), pp. 70–71; James Horn, “Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century,” in Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds., The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979), pp. 51–95; Salerno, “Social Background of Seventeenth-Century Emigration,” pp. 31–52; David Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds? Indentured Servant Migration to North America and the Case of Mid-Seventeenth-Century Bristol,” Social History 3 (1978): 23–39; David W. Galenson, “ ‘Middling People’ or ‘Common Sort’? The Social Origins of Some Early Americans Reexamined,” with a rebuttal by Mildred Campbell, WMQ, 3d ser., 35 (1978): 499–540; David W. Galenson, “The Social Origins of Early Americans: Rejoinder…with a Reply by Mildred Campbell,” WMQ, 3d ser., 36 (1979): 264–86; David W. Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America: An Economic Analysis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), esp. pp. 34–39, 183–84 [BACK]

3. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 5, p. 72. David Galenson prints the document in Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America, pp. 189–90. [BACK]

4. Latimer, Annals, pp. 254–55; Abbott Emerson Smith, Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America, 1607–1776 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1947), p. 71; MacInnes, Gateway of Empire, p. 161; Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 70; Horn, “Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake,” p. 55n. 17; Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds?” pp. 25–26; Galenson, “ ‘Middling People’ or ‘Common Sort’?” pp. 504–5, repeated verbatim in White Servitude in Colonial America, pp. 37–38, and see p. 183 [BACK]

5. The relevant documents are in H. E. Nott and Elizabeth Ralph, eds., The Deposition Books of Bristol. Volume 2: 1650–1654 (BRS 13, 1947), pp. 166–67, 174–75, 192. Meredith had been apprenticed on 7 March 1653, for nine years, to Anthony Barnes, baker, and his wife Anne. Meredith is identified in the apprenticeship indenture as the son of a deceased gentleman of Landovery, Carmarthenshire: BRO, MS 04352 (6), f. 279v. The nine-year term suggests that Meredith may have been as young as twelve when his apprenticeship indenture was drawn. The sailors aboard the Dolphin, however, identify him as “a Young man as they conceive aboute the age of 18 yeares”: Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 174. But they had good reason to shade the truth in their favor. Nevertheless, their story clearly has a modicum of truth to it. Meredith looks like the runaway young son of a Welsh gentleman apprenticed in Bristol after his father’s death. For doubts about the veracity of the sailors’ deposition, see McGrath, “Merchant Shipping in the Seventeenth Century,” 41 (1955): 29–30. [BACK]

6. See, e.g., William Bullock, Virginia Impartially Examined (London, 1649), p. 14; Smith, Colonists in Bondage, pp. 67–69. The Middlesex County Records abound with references: see John Cordy Jeaffreson, ed., Middlesex County Records, old ser. (1886–1892), vols. 3–4, esp. vol. 4, pp. xli–xlvii. [BACK]

7. See, e.g., BRO, MS 04417 (1), f. 47v; Latimer, Annals, pp. 254–55. [BACK]

8. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 5, p. 72. [BACK]

9. For some comments to the contrary, see Galenson, “ ‘Middling People’ or ‘Common Sort’?” p. 505; Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America, p. 38 [BACK]

10. See Gylbert v. Fletcher (4 Car. I Trin.), Cro. Car. 179, in English Reports 69, p. 757 and the cases cited there. There is no doubt that indentured servants were treated administratively exactly like apprentices. Servants’ covenants and apprentices’ indentures were recorded in the same rough entry books of the Mayor’s Court: see BRO, MSS 04354, 04355 (1–6), 04356 (1); Bowman, ed., Bristol and America, pp. viii–ix; Elizabeth Ralph, Guide to the Bristol Archives Office (Bristol: Bristol Corporation, 1971), p. 52; Galenson, “ ‘Middling People’ or ‘Common Sort’?” p. 515; Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America, p. 183. Indeed, the second volume of the Register is officially entitled “The Inrollment of Apprentices and Servants as are shipped at the port of Bristoll to serue in any of the forraigne plantations”: BRO, MS 04220 (2), f. 1r. The earliest known indenture for service in the plantations, dated 4 December 1626, is to be found in an ordinary apprentice book: BRO, MS 04352 (5)a, f. 23r; see MacInnes, Gateway of Empire, pp. 151, 158. [BACK]

11. See 1 Sid. 446, in English Reports, vol. 82, pp. 1208–9; Joseph Chitty, A Practical Treatise on the Law Relative to Apprentices and Journeymen and to Exercising Trades (London: W. Clarke and Sons, 1812), pp. 29–31; Henry Evans Austin, The Law Relating to Apprentices, Including those Bound according to the Custom of London (London: Reeves and Turner, 1890), pp. 18–19. By the 1620s all indentures involving men, even those for parish apprentices placed by the churchwardens, are made only in the names of the apprentice and the master. For early sixteenth-century practice see Hollis, ed., Bristol Apprentice Book, part 1, p. 14; for the standard in the seventeenth century, see BRO, MS 04352 (5)a. [BACK]

12. Edward Coke, The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, or a Commentary upon Littleton (London, 1620), p. 172a. [BACK]

13. Bristol, which from very early on kept a summary of the constitutions of London as part of its precedent books, may have followed the rules of London, where the contracts of apprentices over fourteen years of age were deemed those of an adult and those under fourteen were subject to the common law as stated by Coke: see Bohun, Privilegia Londini, pp. 175–78, 338; Ricart, Kalendar, pp. 102–3. [BACK]

14. Cro. Car. 179 in English Reports, vol. 69, p. 757; see the astute remarks of Fry L. J. in Walter v. Everard, 2 Q.B. (1881), 376. See also Staunton’s Case (K.B. 25 Eliz. I), Moore, 135–36 in English Reports, vol. 72, pp. 489–90; Walker v. Nicholason (K.B. 41 Eliz. I, Hil. 12), Cro. Eliz. 653 in English Reports, vol. 68, p. 892. [BACK]

15. For the Privy Council’s attempt to do just this in 1682, see PRO, PC 2/69/595–96, printed in Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America, pp. 190–92. [BACK]

16. BRO, MS 04220 (1), f. 351r. [BACK]

17. See, e.g., ibid., f. 43r and the entry for 20 July 1659 on an unnumbered page at the end of the volume; the Statute of Artificers, Stat. 5 Eliz. I c. 4, required only that indentures be enrolled within a year of being drawn. [BACK]

18. BRO, MSS 04220 (1), ff. 351r–352r, 355v–367v, 482r–497v, 04220 (2), ff. 187r–231v, 271v, 278r– d of volume. [BACK]

19. BRO, MS 04220 (2), f. 196r. In this case the child was apprenticed to eleven years in Montserrat, which suggests that he was below the age of fourteen—probably about ten—at the time of the indenture. [BACK]

20. BRO, MS 04220 (1), entry for 20 July 1659 at the end of the volume. [BACK]

21. See above, pp. 247–48; Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 1, pp. 139–40. A suit could proceed even though the party was out of town or had concealed his goods. [BACK]

22. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 5, p. 73. [BACK]

23. See Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 1, chap. 3. [BACK]

24. Sacks, Trade, Society and Politics, vol. 1, pp. 104–21. According to the Wharfage Book, Hiscox brought five hogsheads and five butts of Barbados sugar aboard the Dolphin on 5 May 1654. Clearly he had exported more than just Farwell Meredith. Mary Hiscox, perhaps his wife, had an additional four hogsheads in her name aboard the Thomas and George on 11 August of the same year. [BACK]

25. Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds?” pp. 34–35; Horn, “Servant Emigration to the Chesapeake,” pp. 87–89. Horn’s figures exaggerate the number of “merchants,” for many of those who identified themselves as members of this occupation appear to have apprenticed as coopers, mariners, mercers, soapboilers, and the like. By cross-checking the names in the Register with other Bristol sources, I calculate that only about 15 percent of the traders in servants for whom occupations are known were “merchants” by apprenticeship or patrimony, and even this figure may somewhat exaggerate the total. [BACK]

26. For planters like John George, Farwell Meredith’s colonial master, the produce of their own estates—sugar, tobacco, indigo—served in place of money. See, e.g., Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 115; BRO, MSS 04439 (3), f. 188r, 04439 (4), f. 89r; McGrath, ed., Merchants and Merchandise, pp. 242–43, 246, 255. Virginia, in fact, lacked hard currency of any sort, but instead its economy operated with an elaborate system of tobacco equivalencies: Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975), p. 177; Gloria L. Main, Tobacco Colony: Life in Early Maryland, 1650–1720 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), p. 50. [BACK]

27. Bullock, Virginia Impartially Examined, pp. 12–14, 46–47. [BACK]

28. The Bristol wharfage duty fell on a variety of luxury imports, among which were sugar, tobacco, indigo, ginger, cotton, and other colonial products. The Society of Merchant Venturers’ earliest surviving Wharfage Book, modeled on the Exchequer’s own Port Books, begins in mid-May 1654. Much like the Register of Servants, greater care in keeping the records seems to have been taken in the mid-1650s than later. By 1662 the recording clerks no longer always took pains to distinguish entries vessel by vessel, which makes the books extremely difficult to use. [BACK]

29. Of the unknowns, many undoubtedly were planters shipping goods in their own names to the English market, but a few might have been Bristolians like Marlin Hiscox who never became freemen. For further evidence of shopkeepers and craftsmen engaged in colonial commerce see BRO, MSS 04439 (3), ff. 10r–v, 40v–41r, 57r, 66v, 102v, 126r–v, 131v, 193v–94r, 04439 (4), ff. 15v, 55r. [BACK]

30. To avoid confusion caused by ships that stopped several places in the colonies before returning to England, in Table 26 any import of colonial goods by an individual is counted as a return for the export of any servant, no matter what the servant’s original destination. [BACK]

31. Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds?” p. 35. [BACK]

32. On Blike’s efforts on behalf of Tocknell, see BRO, MS 04439 (3), ff. 86r–89r. [BACK]

33. McGrath, ed., Merchants and Merchandise, p. 258; McGrath, “Merchant Shipping in Seventeenth-Century Bristol,” 41 (1955): 29. For evidence of the magistrates’ concern about this issue in the 1650s, see BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 5, pp. 152–53. The earliest surviving example of the freeman’s oath dates from 1683 and is printed in McGrath, ed., Merchants and Merchandise, p. 26. [BACK]

34. BRO, MS 04339 (4), f. 49r. [BACK]

35. Latimer, Merchant Venturers, p. 78. [BACK]

36. Ibid., p. 104. [BACK]

37. Ibid., pp. 100–101, 102, 104. These ordinances repeat in somewhat different form the ordinances of 1618; see ibid., pp. 78–79. [BACK]

38. Roger North, The Lives of the Norths, new ed. in 3 vols. (London: H. Colburn, 1826), vol. 1, p. 250; emphasis added. Although Spain remained one of Bristol’s principal markets in the later seventeenth century, trade with it was largely in the hands of the great wholesale dealers—the Merchant Venturers— rather than being shared with the city’s shopkeepers. North seems to mean that Bristolians in general traded with the West Indies and Spain, but the poor shopkeepers dealt primarily with the American plantations; see also Robert Brenner, “The Social Basis of English Commercial Expansion, 1550–1650,” JEcH 32 (1972): 361–84; and Robert Brenner, “The Civil War Politics of the London Merchant Community,” Past and Present, no. 58 (November 1973): 53–107. There are close parallels in Bristol to the developments Brenner discusses for London, though many of the “new men” he discusses were richer and better connected than the Bristol shopkeepers who traded in the colonies. [BACK]

39. “To the Kings Most Excellent Majesty: The humble Remonstrance of John Bland of London, Merchant on behalf of the Inhabitants and Planters of Virginia and Mariland,” printed in Virginia Magazine of Biography and History 1 (1893–94): 144. Bland was asking the king for a special exemption for the Chesapeake colonies from the Second Act of Navigation. For discussion of the economic and political forces behind the First Act of Navigation, see J. E. Farnell, “The Navigation Act of 1651, the first Dutch War and the London Merchant Community,” EcHR, 2d ser., 6 (1964): 439–54, and the critical comments of J. P. Cooper, “Social and Economic Policies under the Commonwealth,” in G. E. Aylmer, ed., The Interregnum: The Quest for Settlement, 1646–1660 (London: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 121–42. [BACK]

40. See above, chap. 2. [BACK]

41. Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados, orig. pub. 1657 (London, 1676), p. 109. [BACK]

42. See, e.g., Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 160; BRO, MS 04220 (1), f. 16v. [BACK]

43. On the career of Sir John Yeamans, see “Sir John Yeamans,”Dictionary of American Biography. Other men associated with Robert Yeamans’s 1643 plot also seem to have ended up in Barbados in this period. For example, Henry Russell, a Barbados planter in 1654, was a Bristol mariner arrested with Yeamans in 1643: see The Copy of a Letter Sent from Bristol (London, 1643), p. 6; BRO, Burgess Book (1607–1651), f. 283r. [BACK]

44. For Bristolians who emigrated to the colonies, see Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds?” p. 36. Bristol’s court records abound with cases of its citizens having settled in the colonies: see particularly Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2; BRO, MSS 04439 (3) and 04439 (4). [BACK]

45. The literature on this theme is enormous and growing. The works I found especially illuminating in framing the following discussion are: Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, esp. chaps. 6–9, 15; Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986); Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), chaps. 1, 2, 4, 7; Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, esp. chaps. 2–3, 6–10; Richard S. Dunn, “Servants and Slaves: The Recruitment and Employment of Labor,” in Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole, eds., Colonial British America: Essays in the New History of the Early American Era (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), pp. 157–94; Wesley Frank Craven, White, Red and Black: The Seventeenth-Century Virginian (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1971); John J. McCusker and Russell Menard, The Economy of British America, 1607–1789: Needs and Opportunities for Study (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985), chaps. 2–4, 6–7, 11, 13–14; David W. Galenson, Traders, Planters, and Slaves: Market Behavior in Early English America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); David W. Galenson, “White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery in Colonial America,” JEcH 41 (1981): 39–47; Darrett B. Rutman and Anita H. Rutman, A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia, 1650–1750, 2 vols. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1984); Paul G. T. Clemens, The Atlantic Economy and Colonial Maryland’s Eastern Shore: From Tobacco to Grain (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980), chaps. 1–3; Allan Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680–1800 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986), part 1, esp. chaps. 1–2; Allan Kulikoff, “The Colonial Chesapeake: Seedbed of Antebellum Southern Culture,” Journal of Southern History 45 (1979): 513–40; Main, Tobacco Colony, esp. chaps. 3–7; Gloria L. Main, “Maryland and the Chesapeake Economy, 1670–1720,” in Aubrey C. Land, Lois Green Carr, and Edward C. Papenfuse, eds., Law, Society and Politics in Early Maryland (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), pp. 134–52; Gary A. Puckrein, Little England: Plantation Society and Anglo-Barbadian Politics, 1627–1700 (New York: New York University Press, 1984), esp. chaps. 1–5; Terry L. Anderson and Robert Paul Thomas, “Economic Growth in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake,” Explorations in Economic History 15 (1978): 368–87; Brenner, “The Civil War Politics of London’s Merchant Community,” pp. 65–72; Stuart Bruchey, The Roots of American Economic Growth,An Essay in Social Causation (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), chaps. 1–2; Jacob M. Price, “The Transatlantic Economy,” in Greene and Pole, eds., Colonial British America, pp. 18–42; Richard B. Sheridan, “The Domestic Economy,” in ibid., pp. 43–85; R. C. Batie, “Why Sugar? Economic Cycles and the Changing of Staples in the English and French Antilles, 1625–1654,” Journal of Caribbean History 8 (1976): 1–41; Carville V. Earle, “A Staple Interpretation of Slavery and Free Labor,” Geographical Review 68 (1978): 51–65; David Galenson and Russell Menard, “Approaches to the Analysis of Economic Growth in Early America,” Historical Methods 3 (1980): 3–18; Richard E. Caves, “ ‘Vent for Surplus’ Models of Trade and Growth,” in Robert Baldwin et al., Trade, Growth and the Balance of Payments (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965), pp. 94–104; L. C. Gray, History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860, 2 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1933), vol. 1, chap. 2; Stanley Gray and V. J. Wyckoff, “The International Tobacco Trade in the Seventeenth Century,” Southern Economic Journal 7 (1940): 1–26; D. Klingaman, “The Significance of Grain in the Development of Tobacco Colonies,” JEcH 29 (1969): 268–78; Russell Menard, “From Servants to Slaves: The Transformation of the Chesapeake Labor System,” Southern Studies 16 (1977): 355–90; Russell Menard, “Secular Trends in the Chesapeake Tobacco Industry,” in Working Papers from the Regional Economic History Research Center 1, no. 3 (1978), pp. 1–34; Russell Menard, “The Tobacco Industry in the Chesapeake Colonies, 1617–1730: An Interpretation,” in Research in Economic History: A Research Annual 5 (1980): 109–77; Russell Menard, “Population, Economy and Society in Seventeenth-Century Maryland,” Maryland Historical Magazine 79 (1984): 71–74; Terry L. Anderson and Robert Paul Thomas, “The Growth of Population and Labor Force in the 17th-Century Chesapeake,” Explorations in Economic History 15 (1978): 290–312; Hilary M. Beckles, “The Economic Origins of Black Slavery in the British West Indies, 1640–1680: A Tentative Analysis of the Barbados Model,” Journal of Caribbean History 16 (1982): 36–56; Hilary M. Beckles and Andrew Downes, “The Economic Transition to the Black Labor System in Barbados, 1630–1680,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18 (1987): 225–47; Carole Shammas, “Consumer Behavior in Colonial America,” Social Science History 6 (1982): 67–86; Carole Shammas, “How Self-Sufficient Was Early America?” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 13 (1982): 246–72; Lois Green Carr and Lorena S. Walsh, “The Standard of Living in the Colonial Chesapeake,” WMQ, 3d ser., 45 (1988): 135–59; Edward Papenfuse, “Planter Behavior and Economic Opportunity in a Staple Economy,” Agricultural History 46 (1972): 297–311; James F. Shepherd and Gary N. Walton, Shipping, Maritime Trade and the Economic Development of Colonial North America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972), pp. 1–48; Richard B. Sheridan, Sugar and Slavery: An Economic History of the British West Indies, 1623–1775 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), esp. chaps. 16–17. [BACK]

46. Marchants Avizo, p. 10. [BACK]

47. “A speciall direction for divers trades” (ca. 1575–1585), in R. H. Tawney and Eileen Power, eds., Tudor Economic Documents, 3 vols. (London: Longmans, Green, 1924), vol. 3, pp. 199–210; Roberts, The Merchantes Mappe of Commerce. [BACK]

48. See Ligon, History of the Island of Barbados, pp. 109–12; BRO, MS 04439 (3), ff. 12r–13v; K. G. Davies, “The Origins of the Commission System in the West Indies Trade,” TRHS, 5th ser., 2 (1952): 94–95; Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, p. 177; Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds?” p. 34. [BACK]

49. Clemens, Atlantic Economy, pp. 93–95. [BACK]

50. Ligon, History of the Island of Barbados, pp. 109–12; see Puckrein, Little England, pp. 56–72. [BACK]

51. See J. H. Bennett, “The English Caribbees in the Period of the Civil War, 1642–1646,” WMQ, 3d ser., 24 (1967): 360. [BACK]

52. Menard, “Secular Trends,” p. 7. See also Menard, “The Tobacco Industry in the Chesapeake Colonies,” esp. p. 115. [BACK]

53. Sheridan, Sugar and Slavery, pp. 399–401; Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, p. 205. [BACK]

54. The Merchant Venturers, moreover, could expect no help from the colonists in their efforts to control the foreign trade of Bristol, for the planters had no interest in restricting their export market: see “The humble Remonstrance of John Bland,” pp. 142–55. The problem of regulation was compounded by the development of the shipping industry at Bristol. Between 1650 and 1654, the city’s Deposition Book contains references to one hundred fifty-six vessels frequenting the port. Forty-nine name Bristol as home port. For another forty the home port is not identified, but most of these ships probably were Bristol-based as well. The remaining sixty-seven vessels came from thirty-two different places: Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2. Moreover, the Bristol ships did not all belong to Merchant Venturers. In the city, shipwrights and ship’s masters as well as some shopkeepers and manufacturers often had shares in vessels and sometimes even owned them outright: H. E. Nott, ed., The Deposition Books of Bristol. Volume 1: 1643–1647 (BRS 6, 1935), pp. 85, 104–5, 117, 214–15; Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 109; BRO, MS 04439 (4), f. 55r; McGrath, “Merchant Shipping in the Seventeenth Century,” 40 (1954): 283–84. On shipowning in general, see Ralph Davis, The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London: Macmillan, 1962), chaps. 3, 5. Obviously, only some of these ships frequented American waters, but the important thing is that a large supply of shipping was available at Bristol for hire by non–Merchant Venturers. [BACK]

55. Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, pp. 131, 140, 169; SMV, Wharfage Book, vol. 1; BRO, MS 04220 (2). For examples of other shoemakers in the colonial trade see BRO, MS 04439 (3), ff. 40v–41r, 66v. Shoes, of course, were an important trading item in the colonies: see BRO, MS 04439 (4), ff. 44v, 103r. [BACK]

56. On the political proclivities of shoemakers in the preindustrial period, see Eric Hobsbawm and Joan W. Scott, “Political Shoemakers,” Past and Present, no. 89 (November 1980): 86–114. [BACK]

57. Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 180; I. V. Hall, “Whitson Court Sugar House, Bristol, 1665–1824,” BGAS 65 (1944): 14, 22, 26–27. Andrew Wathen and James Wathen, sons of William Wathen, pinmaker, and nephews of James Wathen, pinmaker, were both active as mariners, Andrew with Christopher Birkhead (BRO, MS 04352 [6], f. 45r) and James as servant to Henry Gough (SMV, Hall Book, vol. 2, pp. 188–89). James Wathen, Junior, was his father’s apprentice while he served Gough, a mariner turned merchant in the colonial trade: see BRO, MS 04352 (6), f. 93v. [BACK]

58. BRO, MS 04359 (2)a, ff. 121r, 148r, 319r, 359r; BRO, MS 04359 (3)a, f. 1r; Nott, ed., Deposition Books, vol. 1, 173; Mortimer, ed., Minute Book, p. 204. [BACK]

59. Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 120; BRO, 04220 (1–2); SMV, Wharfage Book, vol. 1; George Bishop, Thomas Gouldney, Henry Roe, Edward Pyott, and Dennis Hollister, The Cry of Blood…being a Declaration of the Lord arising in those People of the City of Bristol who are Scornfully called Quakers (London, 1656), pp. 90–94, 108–11, 126–27, 134–35; Joseph Besse, A Collection of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers, 2 vols. (London: L. Hinde, 1753), vol. 1, p. 42, and vol. 2, pp. 395–96. This is the same Birkhead to whom Andrew Wathen was apprenticed. [BACK]

60. PRO, SP 18/40/40; George Bishop, Mene Tekel, or, the Council of Officers of the Army against the Declarations, &c. of the Army (London, 1659), p. 48; George Bishop, A Manifesto Declaring What George Bishope hath been to the City of Bristol (London, 1665); Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, 14 August 1656, Friends’ House Library, London, Swarthmore MSS 1/65. The Wharfage Book indicates that Bishop imported tobacco and sugar during 1656–57. For Bishop’s political career see Richard L. Greaves and Robert Zaller, eds., Biographical Dictionary of British Radicals in the Seventeenth Century, 3 vols. (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1982–1984), vol. 1, p. 67; G. E. Aylmer, The State’s Servants: The Civil Service of the English Republic, 1649–1660 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973), pp. 272–74. [BACK]

61. PRO, SP 25/30/11, 25/34/2. William Bullock also engaged in this sort of trade, using the Love’s Increase belonging to Speed’s sister-in-law, Ann Yeamans. [BACK]

62. SMV, Wharfage Book, vol. 1, 1654–55. [BACK]

63. Nott and Ralph, eds., Deposition Books, vol. 2, p. 120. [BACK]

64. This conclusion is based on a comparison of the Wharfage Book, Register of Servants, and Deposition Books entries with Mortimer, ed., Minute Book, pp. 193–222; Besse, Sufferings of the People called Quakers, vol. 2, pp. 637–38; and Hayden, ed., Records, pp. 281–310. [BACK]

65. Hayden, ed., Records, esp. pp. 47–56, 100, 101–2; Mortimer, ed., Minute Book, pp. vii, xi–xii, xviii–xxi; William C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism, 2d ed. rev. by Henry J. Cadbury (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955), pp. 130–53; Richard T. Vann, The Social Development of English Quakerism, 1655–1755 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969), chaps. 4–5; Barry Reay, The Quakers and the English Revolution, foreword by Christopher Hill (London: Temple Smith, 1985), chap. 1, esp. pp. 20–31. [BACK]

66. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 6, pp. 6, 70, 154, 174; Hall, “Whitson Court Sugar House,” pp. 24–25, 36–37; Latimer, Annals, pp. 341, 346. [BACK]

67. BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 5, pp. 31–32. [BACK]

68. On oaths see Bishop et al., Cry of Blood, p. 121; George Bishop, A Vindication of the Principles and practices of the people called Quakers ([London], 1665), pp. 48–51. In the 1650s and again in the 1670s Quaker shops were closed because the shopkeepers refused to swear the freeman’s oath, even though they were eligible to do so: BRO, Common Council Proceedings, vol. 5, p. 150; Mortimer, ed., Minute Book, pp. 93 and 93n. The Quakers in the mid-1650s thought that every citizen, whether stranger or burgess, had the right to go peaceably about his business anywhere in the realm, and they objected strenuously to the forcing of Quaker missionaries from Bristol: Bishop et al., Cry of Blood, pp. 9–10. The Bristol common councillors thought differently and periodically tried to root out all strangers and inmates in the town, partly to rid themselves of vagrants and partly to purge Bristol of the Quaker menace: BRO, MS 04417 (1), ff. 46r, 62v; Orders of the Justices of the Peace, January 1655, printed in Bishop et al., Cry of Blood, pp. 62–64. [BACK]

69. John Thurloe, A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Esq., ed. Thomas Birch, 7 vols. (London: Executor of F. Gyles, 1742), vol. 3, p. 170. [BACK]

70. Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, 11 August 1656, Friends’ House Library, London, Swarthmore MSS 1/81. On the Quaker missions to Bristol, see John Camm and John Audland, The Memory of the Righteous Revived, ed. Thomas Camm and Charles Marshall (London, 1689), esp. Charles Marshall’s Testimony, published as an appendix; “A Book of Letters which were Sent to G. F. from John Audland and John Camm,” Friends’ House Library, London, MSS, pp. 7–12, 26–27; Bishop et al., Cry of Blood, pp. 2–14; [Robert Purnell], The Church of Christ in Bristol Recovering her Vail (London, 1657), pp. 1–2. Of the one hundred twenty-eight men who supported Haggatt and Bishop with their votes or in petitions, forty-one were Quakers by 1665 or, if deceased, had close kin who were Quakers by this time. [BACK]

71. Thurloe, State Papers of John Thurloe, vol. 3, p. 170. [BACK]

72. PRO, SP 18/75/14i; Thurloe, State Papers of John Thurloe, vol. 3, pp. 117, 153–54, 161, 165–69, 172, 176–78, 181, 183–84, 191–92, 223–25, 242, 248–49, 259–60, 268; Bishop et al., Cry of Blood; Hayden, ed., Records, pp. 105–14; BRO, MS 04417 (1), ff. 18v, 27v, 28r–v, 29r. In this period Bishop was identified with Wildman’s plot: see Thurloe, State Papers of John Thurloe, vol. 3, pp. 147–48. On popular fear of the Quakers in this period, see Reay, The Quakers and the English Revolution, chap. 4. [BACK]

73. I have been able to identify thirty-four (28.33 percent) of Haggatt’s supporters and fifty-one (30.91 percent) of the Aldworth/Jackson supporters as engaged in the American trade; these figures undoubtedly underestimate the totals for both sides. [BACK]

74. Aldworth and Haggatt were admitted to the Society at a banquet for Lord Whitelocke on 12 August 1654, in what seems to have been a peace gesture engineered by Whitelocke: SMV, Hall Book, vol. 1, p. 249. Bishop had been a member of the Society since January 1651, when he was admitted gratis in thanks for his efforts at the Council of State on behalf of the Merchant Venturers’ interest in trading butter and calfskins: ibid., p. 187. Although occasionally he attended meetings, he does not appear to have engaged in overseas trade before 1655. Thus although after 12 August all the parties in the disputed election were members of the Merchant Venturers, only Jackson was a real merchant regularly engaging in trade. Bishop, moreover, made it clear in the early 1650s that he did not think the Society could exclude nonmembers from trade: see Bishop, A Manifesto, p. 22. [BACK]

75. The admission of William Yeamans, for example, notes that “he hath bin bread in, and excercised the trade of a Marchant Adventurer in this Citty the greatest parte of his tyme”: SMV, Hall Book, vol. 1, p. 91. [BACK]

76. Ibid., pp. 105, 187, 221, 244, 250, 256–57, 262. [BACK]

77. Ibid., p. 228. [BACK]

78. See, e.g., ibid., pp. 107, 133, 153, 199, 201, 203, 234, 249. [BACK]

79. Ibid., pp. 162–63. [BACK]

80. For a somewhat different view see McGrath, Merchant Venturers of Bristol (Bristol: Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, 1975), pp. 33, 97, 103 and 103n. 8. McGrath is right to say that the Society applied no religious test for membership in the seventeenth century, but in fact the openness of the Society varied a good deal from period to period. For a time in the 1640s, new men of all sorts found their way into it, but between January 1651 and January 1656 only Bulstrode Whitelocke, Robert Aldworth, and John Haggatt entered as redemptioners, all gratis. The thirteen others who were admitted in this period had all been apprenticed to members, most of them of long standing in 1645. It is also true that the Quakers and other sectaries once again sought membership in the later 1660s, but by then the Society had failed to reestablish its right to exclude retailers and shopkeepers from overseas trade, and the character of the mercantile community had changed. With sectaries owning sugar refineries, the Merchant Venturers could not cut themselves off from the nonconformists without undermining their own well-being. Hence they applied no religious test for membership. [BACK]

81. PRO, SP 18/75/14iii. [BACK]

82. BRO, MS 04373, pp. 58–59, dated 22 October 1654. [BACK]

83. CSP (Colonial), vol. 1, p. 404; Edwin Freshfield, Some Remarks upon the Book of Records and History of the Parish of St. Stephen, Coleman Street in the City of London (Westminster: Nichols and Sons, 1887), pp. 8–10 and facsimiles. There is little doubt that the Mr. Peate mentioned in the facsimiles is Edward Peade and that he and Owen Rowe were of Goodwin’s party to the disputes in that troubled parish. [BACK]

84. See, e.g., William Prynne, A Fresh Discovery of Some Prodigious New Wandering-Blazing Stars and Firebrands (London, 1645), which vigorously attacks Goodwin and his gathered church and to which is appended a file of letters from the Somers Islands smearing the Independents there as well. For an account of Goodwin’s affairs in London, see Thomas Jackson, The Life of John Goodwin (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1872), chap. 3. On London politics in general in this period, see Valerie Pearl, “London’s Counter-Revolution,” in Aylmer, ed., The Interregnum, pp. 29–56. On the history of the Somers Islands, see C. M. Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History, 4 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934), vol. 1, chaps. 11–12; J. H. Lefroy, Memorials of the Discovery and Early Settlement of the Bermudas or Somers Islands, 1515–1685, 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green, 1877–1879), vol. 1, chap. 9; Henry C. Wilkinson, The Adventurers of Bermuda: A History of the Island from Its Discovery until the Dissolution of the Somers Island Company, 2d ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1958), chap. 14; and, more generally, Henry C. Wilkinson, Bermuda in the Old Empire (London: Oxford University Press, 1950). [BACK]

85. The language of the Bristol ordinance with its distinctive phrases referring to the “Inveigling, purloining…and Stealing” of children was adopted from the May 1645 parliamentary ordinance, the printed version of which was bound into the front of the first volume of the Bristol Register to give added force to the Common Council’s legislation: BRO, MS 04220 (1); a photocopy is printed in Bowman, ed., Bristol and America, frontispiece. [BACK]

86. Lorena S. Walsh and Russell Menard, “Death in the Chesapeake: Two Life Tables for Men in Early Colonial Maryland,” Maryland Historical Magazine, 69 (1974): 211–17; Russell Menard, “Immigrants and Their Increase: The Process of Population Growth in Early Colonial Maryland,” in Land, Carr, and Papenfuse, eds., Law, Society and Politics, pp. 88–110; Russell Menard, “From Servant to Freeholder: Status Mobility and Property Accumulation in Seventeenth-Century Maryland,” WMQ, 3d ser., 30 (1973): 39–40; Darrett B. Rutman and Anita H. Rutman, “Of Agues and Fevers: Malaria in the Early Chesapeake,” WMQ, 3d ser., 33 (1976): 31–60; Lois G. Carr and Russell Menard, “Immigration and Opportunity: The Freedman in Early Colonial Maryland,” in Tate and Ammerman, eds., The Chesapeake, pp. 207–10; Carville V. Earle, “Environment, Disease and Mortality in Early Virginia,” in ibid., pp. 96–125; Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, chap. 9; Daniel Blake Smith, “Mortality and Family in the Colonial Chesapeake,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 8 (1978): 403–28; Lorena S. Walsh, “Staying Put or Getting Out: Findings for Charles County Maryland, 1650–1720,” WMQ, 3d ser., 44 (1987): 89–103, esp. 91–93. The most illuminating remarks on this whole dismal subject can be found in Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, pp. 158–79, 395–432. [BACK]

87. Smith, Colonists in Bondage, chap. 11; Russell R. Menard, “British Migration to the Chesapeake Colonies in the Seventeenth Century,” in Lois Green Carr, Philip D. Morgan, and Jean B. Russo, eds., Colonial Chesapeake Society (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), pp. 126–27; Menard, “The Tobacco Industry in the Chesapeake Colonies,” pp. 144–45; Menard, “From Servant to Freeholder,” esp. p. 49; Souden, “Rogues, Whores and Vagabonds?” p. 26; Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America, pp. 10–15, 102–13; David W. Galenson, “The Market Valuation of Human Capital: The Case of Indentured Servants,” Journal of Political Economy 89 (1981): 446–67; David W. Galenson, “British Servants and the Colonial Indenture System in the Eighteenth Century,” Journal of Southern History 44 (1978): 59–66. [BACK]

previous chapter
A Shoemakers’ Holiday
next chapter