Robert Hooker

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Robert Hooker
Person Robert Hooker
First name Robert
Middle name(s)
Last name Hooker
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Ropemaker
Secondary shorebased occupation
Mariner occupation
Associated with ship(s)
Training Not apprentice
Is apprentice of
Was apprentice of George Margetts
Had apprentice(s)
Citizen Unknown
Literacy Signature
Has opening text Robertus Hooker
Has signoff text Robert Hooker
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 Ratcliff
Res parish Stepney
Res town
Res county Middlesex
Res province
Res country England
Birth year 1620
Marriage year
Death year 1689
Probate date September 17, 1689
First deposition age 28
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/61 f.39v Annotate, HCA 13/61 f.491r Annotate, HCA 13/73 f.408v Annotate, HCA 13/73 f.671r 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 19 1648, May 28 1649, Nov 15 1659, Dec 18 1660
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

Robert Hooker (alt. Robertus Hooker) (b. ca. 1620; d. ca. 1689). Ropemaker, of Ratcliff/Shadwell.

Married to Anne Hooker (b.?; d. ca. 1689).

Robert Hooker was related to another Stepney ropemaker, Daniel Adkins (b.?; 1687), through the marriage of Hooker's niece to Adkins.[1]

In the ropemaking trade from ca. 1635 or 1636. Servant of ropemaker George Margetts in 1646 and in 1648. Margetts had a shop on Thamesstreet in the parish of Saint Dunstans in the East and a ropeground in Limehouse in the parish of Stepney. By 1649 Robert Hooker appears to have left Margetts service, though he still testified on his behalf, referring back to rope deliveries made in 1647.

Thomas Canter, a seventeen year old servant of Robert Hooker, ropemaker of Ratcliff, deposed in the High Court of Admiralty in May 1661, but in a case unrrelated to his master.[2]

Hermione Hobhouse (1994) states that George Margett's ropeyard was on the northern side of eight acres of riverside land imemdiately to the south of the boundary between Limehouse and Poplar. This land was leased in 1633 to the shipwright John Graves, who had his yard at the north side of the boundary. This was later known as Limekiln Dockyard and then Dundee Wharf. George Margetts took out a sublease on the northern part of the property around 1650 and developed it as a ropemaking yard with a wharf, ropehouse, storehouse, houses and a ropewalk. In 1662 Margetts acquired the freehold to John Graves' eight acres with and additional two and a half acres in the east.[3]

Resident in 1648 in Limehouse and in 1660 in Ratcliffe, both in the parish of Stepney.

Elected church warden for Limehouse in 1660. A fellow church warden was the shipwright Abraham Greaves (alt. Graves). Churchwarden of Shadwell in 1661 and 1662.

There is a will of Robert Hooker, ropemaker, of Saint Paul Shadwell, proved on September 17th 1689.[4]

Robert Hooker's wife, Anne, was buried in the parish church of Saint Paul Shadwell in 1689.[5]

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty


Twenty-eight year old Robert Hooker deposed on April 19th 1648 in the High Court of Admiralty.[6] He was examined in the cause of "Margetts con Sweete and others".[7]

The case concerned a ship named the Greene Dragon, whose master John Bowden was now deceased. During Bowden's lifetime goods and materials had been delivered to the Green Dragon, as per a schedule attached to the allegation. These were delivered on behalf of the producent George Margetts, partly by Joseph Stapeley, who was an apprentice of George Margetts, and partly by Robert Hooker. Margett's shop was located in Thames street "at the signe of the Rotterdam in the parish of Saint Dunstans in the East". The goods were collected from the shop by some of Bowden's men.[8]

Robert Hooker stated that in 1646 he had been a servant of George Margetts, and still was at the time of his deposition in 1648. He had also delivered goods to Bowden's men on behalf of George Margetts. These he delivered "at Margetts his ropeground in Limehouse on the 22th of April 1646" and also on May 7th 1646. Hooker itemised the goods together with their prices. The goods included Hamburg lines, ropes of various weights, ropes of fine Rhine hemp, and buoy ropes.[9]


Twenty-nine year old Robert Hooker deposed on May 28th 1649 in the High Court of Admiralty.[10] He was examined in the cause of "Margetts con Collet et Roberts".[11]

The case concerned the delivery of goods and materials by the ropemaker George Margett to the ship the Endeavour (Master: Walter Davies). Robert Hooker attested to his expertise in the rope business, "having used the said trade about 13 or 14 yeares together".[12]


Twenty-five year old Joseph Stapeley, servant of George Margetts, deposed on February 21st 1650 in the High Court of Admiralty. The case concerned the newly built ship the Merchant Frigot (Master: Nicholas Phillips), which was bound for Guinea and needed fitting and furnishing. Stapeley reports delivering provisions, materials, tackle and cordage partly in Margett's shop in Thames Street "known by the sign of the Rotterdam" and partly from Margett's "ropeground at Limehouse". Stapeley describes his master as a "ropeseller", and himself as book keeper to Margett, who entered details of deliveries in his master's shop book. The goods had been delivered between March 1646 and November 1647.[13] Margett's received payment from the ship's master for all but £50, for which he took a bond for payment.[14]


Thirty-eight year old Robert Hooker deposed on November 15th 1659. He described himself as a ropemaker of Ratcliff. He was deposed in the libell of "Daniel Adkins ropemaker against the ship the Orange Tree whereof Engle=ffrith was master and against the said Englefrith". Hooker was related to Adkins through the marriage of Daniel Adkins to Robert Hooker's niece.[15]

Hooker stated that he had been at the Red Cow, a victualling house in Ratcliff Highwayy in September 1659. He had seen Daniel Adkins, a rope maker, together with the master of the ship the Orange Tree, come into the victualling house and sit down with a Greek named Anthony Balsome. They had dscussed money owing to Daniel Adkins.[16] As an experienced ropemaker, Hooker stated that in the months of July to September 1659, new cordage was worth between 40 and 42 shillings per hundred, spunyarn 14 shillungs per hundred, Hamburg lines 18 shillings per dozen, Dipley line 8 shillings per [?dozen]. Marlin 9 or 10 pence per pound and Howsin 6 pence per pound.[17]


Forty year old Robert Hooker deposed on December 18th 1660 in the High Court of Admiralty. He was examined on an allegation in the cause of "Johannes ffreeman con the King of ffrance praed.".[18] Hooker gave details of the price of different types of hemp (Pashemp and Rhynhemp) in the month of April 1659.[19]

Richard Hussy, the sixty year old late master of the Saint Lucar Merchant, residing in Limehouse, deposed on May 4th 1657 in the High Court of Admiralty. He was examined on an allegation on behalf of George Margetts in the cause of "George Margetts and Company against three sixteenth parts of the shipp called the Saint Lucar Merchant lately belonging to Samuell Wilson the yonger and her tackle and furniture attached by authority of this Court and against the sayd Wilson in particular and all others in generall",[20] Hussy stated that George Margetts had an attachment on the three sixteenth parts of the Saint Lucar Merchant taken to freight by Samuell Wilson the younger for a voyage in 1655, and that Margetts sought to have Wilson's share condemned in payment of freight due. Hanniball Allen, a London merchant, also deposed in this cause and stated that George Margetts was one of the owners of the ship.[21]

Comment on sources


"Mr. Robert Hooker was tenant of the Mercers' land in Ratcliffe. —Court Roll of April 15, 1656."[22] p.236


C 6/142/35 Short title: Canham v Margetts. Plaintiffs: Thomas Canham . Defendants: George Margetts . Subject: money matters, Middlesex. Document type: bill, answer. 1659


"May the 7th 1661

[Signatures to nomination of a lecturer in the Stepney parish church]

... Robert Hooker (churchwarden)...[23]

"May the 7th 1661

[List of vestrymen]

In Shadwell
Mr Edward Arlabeare
Mr John Moore
Mr John Burchett
Mr John Wright
Mr John Winterbourne
Mr Henry Gleade
Mr William Weston
Mr Arthur Baylie
Mr Jesper Sketcher
Mr Robert Hooker"[24]

"January the 15th 1661 [modern 1662]
"In Shadwell

Mr Robert Hooker" p.240


Chosen as churchwarden on April 1st 1552 "for Shadwell Mr Robert Hooker"[25]


C 5/600/78 Cranmer v. Hooker: Surrey 1668


C 8/206/65 Short title: Pettey v Hooker. Plaintiffs: William Pettey. Defendants: Robert Hooker, Daniel Adkins, Mary Grant, George [Berkeley] Lord Berkeley and William [Brereton] Lord Brereton and others. Subject: money, Middlesex. Document type: bill, two answers and schedule

C 10/177/4 Bence v. Hooker, Robinson, Bell: Middx 1674


PROB 11/365/85 Will of George Margetts, Merchant of Stepney, Middlesex 18 January 1681


PROB 32/65/1 Deceased: Adkins, Daniel, St. Paul, Shadwell, Middx. Inventory. (Sworn 1685 Nov. 14)


PROB 4/5453 Adkins, Daniel, of St Paul, Shadwell, Midd., ropemaker 1687 25 Nov.

PROB 5/2493 ADKINS, Daniel, of St Paul, Shadwell, Middx, ropemaker 1687

PROB 32/26/87 Deceased: Adkins, Daniel, St. Paul, Shadwell, Middx. Inventory. (Sworn 1687 Oct. 25)


PROB 11/396/342 Will of Robert Hooker, Ropemaker of Saint Paul Shadwell, Middlesex 17 September 1689

"SAINT PAUL'S SHADWELL...In the Church-Yard are diverse Tombs: At the West End:

Anne Hooker, late Wife of Robert Hooker, rope-maker, 1689"[26]


PROB 11/398/472 Will of Anne Hooker, Widow of Saint Paul Shadwell, Middlesex 27 March 1690

PROB 11/401/361 Will of John Margetts, Rope Seller of Stepney, Middlesex 24 October 1690
  1. HCA 13/73 f.408v
  2. HCA 13/74 f.65r
  3. 'The Riverside area: The Margett's Ropeyard Site in 'Ch. 14 - Limehouse Hole, in Survey of London: Volumes 43 and 44, Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs, ed. Hermione Hobhouse (London, 1994), pp. 388-397. British History Online, viewed 04/11/2016
  4. PROB 11/396/342 Will of Robert Hooker, Ropemaker of Saint Paul Shadwell, Middlesex 17 September 1689
  5. John Stow, a survey of the cities of London and Westminster (London, 1735), p.778
  6. HCA 13/61 f.39v
  7. HCA 13/61 f.39r
  8. HCA 13/61 f.39r
  9. HCA 13/61 f.40r
  10. HCA 13/61 f.491r
  11. HCA 13/61 f.490v
  12. HCA 13/61 f.491r
  13. HCA 13/62 unfol. 130D3300 DSC_0777
  14. HCA 13/62 unfol. 130D3300 DSC_0778
  15. HCA 13/73 f.408v
  16. HCA 13/73 f.408r
  17. HCA 13/73 f.408v
  18. HCA 13/73 f.671r
  19. HCA 13/73 f.671r
  20. HCA 13/72 f.6v
  21. HCA 13/72 f.7v
  22. [XX]
  23. G.W. Hill, W.H.Frere (eds), Memorials of Stepney parish (Guildford, 1890-91), p.237
  24. G.W. Hill, W.H.Frere (eds), Memorials of Stepney parish (Guildford, 1890-91), p.239
  25. G.W. Hill, W.H.Frere (eds), Memorials of Stepney parish (Guildford, 1890-91), p.239
  26. John Stow, a survey of the cities of London and Westminster (London, 1735), p.778