Gerrard Roberts

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Gerrard Roberts
Person Gerrard Roberts
First name Gerrard
Middle name(s)
Last name Roberts
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Winecooper
Secondary shorebased occupation
Mariner occupation
Associated with ship(s)
Training Not apprentice
Is apprentice of
Was apprentice of
Had apprentice(s)
Citizen Unknown
Literacy Signature
Has opening text Gerrarrd Roberts
Has signoff text Ger: Roberts
Signoff image (Invalid transcription image)
Language skills English language
Has interpreter
Birth street
Birth parish
Birth town
Birth county
Birth province
Birth country
Res street
Res parish Saint Thomas the Apostle
Res town London
Res county
Res province
Res country England
Birth year 1624
Marriage year
Death year
Probate date
First deposition age 30
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/70 f.10r Annotate
Chancery start page(s)
Letter start page(s)
Miscellaneous start page(s)
Act book date(s)
Personal answer date(s)
Allegation date(s)
Interrogatories date(s)
Deposition date(s) Nov 13 1654
How complete is this biography?
Has infobox completed Yes
Has synthesis completed No
Has HCA evidence completed No
Has source comment completed No
Ship classification
Type of ship Shore based trade
Silver Ship litigation in 1650s
Role in Silver Ship litigation None

Biographical synthesis

Gerrard Roberts (alt. Gerard Roberts) (b. ca. 1624 (poss. also ca. 1621); d. 1703). Winecooper.

A footnote to vol. 1 of the papers of William Penn gives Gerrard Roberts' dates as "Gerard Roberts (c. 1621-1703)".[1]

Resident in parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle in 1654, at the sign of the Fleur de Luce.

Described by Lucy Violet Hodgkin (1949) as a "merchant of Watling Street".[2]

Gerrard Roberts was a leading London Quaker. Rosemary Moore (2000) states that Gerrard Roberts name appears in the state papers recording several appeals to the Council of State for imprisoned Quakers "all signed by leading London Friends headed by Gerrard Roberts, whose name now appeared with every kind of Quaker business." Moore states that he was a wine cooper and that his house "at the sign of the Fleur-de-Lys in Little St. Thomas Apostle, ten-minutes walk from the Bull and Mouth meeting house, replaced Swarthmoor as the nerve center of Quakerism".[3]

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty

November 1654

Thirty year old Gerrard Roberts deposed on November 13th 1654 in the High Court of Admiralty.[4]

He was examined on an allegation made on July 26th 1654 in "A businesse of examination of witnesses for the perpetuall remembrances of the matter touching the losse of the shipp the Constant promoted by Captaine John Cramp and other". Roberts stated that he was witness to a bill of sale on October 12th 1638 of the ship the Constant by Robert Moulton to the merchant James Sadler. At the time Gerrard Roberts was living with Thomas Wannerton, a scrivener. The second witness to the bill of sale was Abdiel Slingsby, who was servant to Wannerton.[5]

Comment on sources

Letter written by Gerrard Roberts to George Fox, July 1657.[6]

"Morning Meeting, Minutes, Transcript vol. I, p. 14, 'At a Meeting at Gerrard Roberts the 24 5th Mo, 1676 . . . A paper of G. Foxes read and ordered to be printed by Ben: Clark. Memorandum. that G.F.s book entituled Gospell Family &c all that hath Errours in printing be Corrected particularly page 10 line the 28 read not to worshipp Line the 30 not the feast--not of Christ--And that for the future he take Care to make Errata's to all the bookes he prints for friends for errors escaped the press.' I am indebted to Malcolm Thomas for this reference."[7]
  1. Mary Maples Dunn, Richard Dunn (eds.), The papers of William Penn, vol. 1, 1644-1679 (Philadelphia, 1981), p.84
  2. Lucy Violet Hodgkin, A book of Quaker Saints (XXXX, 1949), unpag.
  3. Rosemary Moore, Light in their Consciences: The Early Quakers in Britain, 1646-1666 (Penn State, 2000), p.140
  4. HCA 13/70 f.10r
  5. HCA 13/70 f.10v
  6. See Kenneth L. Carroll, Persecution of Quakers in Early Maryland (1658-1661), fn.5 "... Kelly, op. cit., pp. 14-18, contains a copy of the whole letter. Gerrard Roberts wrote to George Fox in July 1657, saying, "The Friend who went to Virginia is returned in a pretty condition. There she was gladly received by many who met together, and the Governor is convinced." Rufus Jones, in his Quakers in the American Colonies, p. 266, is probably right in applying this reference to Elizabeth Harris. The name "Virginia," as we have seen, was sometimes used to include Maryland, and the "governor" who was convinced may have been Robert Clarkson (as thought by Thomas Hart), William Durand (as thought by Jones, p. 267, n. 2), or William Fuller (as thought by Josiah Coale)."
  7. J. William Frost, George Fox's Ambiguous Anti-slavery Legacy, online articel