John Dyet

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John Dyet
Person John Dyet
First name John
Middle name(s)
Last name Dyet
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Mariner
Secondary shorebased occupation
Mariner occupation Cooper
Associated with ship(s)
Training Not apprentice
Is apprentice of
Was apprentice of
Had apprentice(s)
Citizen Unknown
Literacy Signature
Has opening text John Diett
Has signoff text John Dyet
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 Limehouse
Res parish Stepney
Res town
Res county Middlesex
Res province
Res country England
Birth year 1605
Marriage year
Death year
Probate date
First deposition age
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/63 f.80v Annotate, HCA 13/70 f.167v Annotate, HCA 13/70 f.270r 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) Apr 27 1650, Jan 3 1655, Feb 20 1655
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
Silver Ship litigation in 1650s
Role in Silver Ship litigation

Biographical synthesis

John Dyet (b. ca. 1605; d.?). Mariner and cooper on the ship of war the Pearcy in 1650; mariner and cooper on the Porta Port Merchant in Spring 1654; mariner and cooper on the ship of war the Constant in 1655.

Accused of cowardice on board the Pearcy in a pitched battle with the French.

In the Admiralty Court his last name is variously spelled as Dyet, Dyett and Diett, but his signature is consistently "John Dyet".

Resident in Limehouse in the parish of Stepney in 1650 and 1655.

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty

John Dyet first appears in the Admiralty Court records in 1650, aged forty-five, living in Limehouse in the parish of Stepney. He is listed as "Johannes Dyet" with the occupation "Coperarius", that is, cooper.[1]

The case concerned a vicious fight at sea between the English ship the Pearcy, under the command of Captain Ellison, and a french man of war. The case appears to have been brought by three of the mariners on the Pearcy - "William Avery, Jacobi Perrot et Johannis Dyet".[2] Dyet claims that he urged Captain Ellison to fight the french vessel, and not to receive the french boat aboard his own vessel. Dyet claimed that if Ellison had followed his advice then the Pearcy would have been able to shott up the masts or yards of the french ship and would have prevented the french ship boarding the Pearcy. Dyet states that he was cooper on board the Pearcy at the time of the battle, and was captured with the rest of the crew by the French.[3]

Several other witnesses in the same case mention John Dyet by name in their own depositions, not all favourably. For example, John Kennett, the former purser of the Pearcy, rather colourfully recalled that "since the said fight hee this deponent hath severall tymes heard John Dyet curse the said Symon Baily saying a Pox take his French Tongue, for if hee could not have spoke French wee had never lost our shippe."[4] Richard North, the sixteen year old servant and apprentice of Captain Ellison, accused John Dyet of cowardice during the battle with the French. He recalled that "hee this deponent comeing into the great cabbin of the said ship the Pearcy dureing the said fight did finde the interrogated John Dyett after hee had quitt his station with his head under his precontest Mr Kennetts bedd whereupon hee had used to lye, in his tyme of sicknesse there striveing to hide and shelter himselfe from the danger which through his cowardice hee too much apprehended."[5]

Five years later, on January 3th 1655, Now fifty and listed as "John Diett", he was still resident in Limehouse in the parish of Stepney. He described himself as a mariner and stated that he had been cooper on board the English ship the Porta Port Merchant in February and March 1654 when she was taking in her lading at Oporto. He was examined in the case of "Captaine John Arthur against Pitt et cetera", which concerned delays to ships leaving Oporto in spring 1654. Dyet stated he had only ever been at Oporto once before, but was credibly informed that pilots were required to get ships over the bar at Oporto.[6]

Six weeks later, on February 20th 1655 John Dyet deposed again in the High Court of Admiralty. He described himself as mariner and cooper of the ship the Constant. He was examined on an allegation made in the Acts of Court on February 19th 1655 and on a related schedule in the case of "The mariners of the shipp or man of warr called the Constant against Captaine Isaac Philips imployer of the same".[7]

Dyet stated that he was cooper of the ship the Constant when she surprised a number of vessels with various cargos. All the ships and cargos were carried to Portsmouth and delivered into the custody of Captaine Isaac Phillipps. The deposition is brief, but it appears to be part of a dispute over wages or over equitable shares in the prizes for the ship's mariners.

Comment on sources

  1. HCA 13/63 f.80v
  2. HCA 13/63 f.121r
  3. HCA 13/63 f.80v
  4. HCA 13/63 f.138r; HCA 13/63 f.140r
  5. HCA 13/63 f.142v
  6. HCA 13/70 f.167v
  7. HCA 13/70 f.269v