Thomas Sherwill

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Thomas Sherwill
Person Thomas Sherwill
First name Thomas
Middle name(s)
Last name Sherwill
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Merchant
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 Thomas Sherwill
Has signoff text Thomas Sherwill
Signoff image (Invalid transcription image)
Language skills English language, French language, Dutch 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 1616
Marriage year
Death year
Probate date
First deposition age 40
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/71 f.55v Annotate, HCA 13/71 f.434r 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) Feb 12 1656, Feb 9 1657
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 N/A
Silver Ship litigation in 1650s
Role in Silver Ship litigation None

Biographical synthesis

Thomas Sherwill (b. ca. 1615-1616; d. ??ca. 1675). Merchant.

Resident in the parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle in 1656.

Thomas Sherwill (b. ca. 1615-1616) of London may have been the son of Nicholas Sherwill (d.1639), merchant of Plymouth, and nephew of Thomas Sherwill (d.1631), merchant of Plymouth. See genealogical commentary on will of Thomas Sherwill (d. ca. 1675), merchant of Shadwell.[1]

Thomas Sherwill of Plymouth had his will proved in the prerogative court of Canterbury in 1631.[2] See extensive profile of 'SHERWILL, Thomas (c.1571-1631), of Plymouth, Devon' by John P. Ferris and Paul Hunneyball (2010).[3] Ferris and Hunneyball state that "The Sherwill family can be traced in Plymouth from at least the 1540s, one member holding a minor local office there during Elizabeth’s reign. However, they were initially of little note in the town, and Sherwill and his younger brother Nicholas were doubtless aided in their rise to prominence by their maternal grandfather, John Blythman, a wealthy merchant who served three times as Plymouth’s mayor. Blythman, who may well have brought them up after their father’s early death, bequeathed the brothers the bulk of his estate in 1617. By then Sherwill had built a successful career trading in cloth with France, though his interests extended as far afield as the Low Countries and Spain." In this context it is interesting that Thomas Sherwill (b. ca. 1616) stated that "hee can write and reade English and ffrench, and reade dutch."[4]

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty

Forty year old Thomas Sherwill deposed on February 12th 1656 in the High Court of Admiralty. He was examined on an allegation made on December 18th 1655 on behalf of Samuel Andrews concerning the case of "Piles and company against Andrewes".[5] The case concerned a ship trading between Bilboa in Spain and Portsmouth., and was a dispute between Myles Pyle and company of Dartmouth and Samuel Andrews regarding payment of six months freight.[6]

The same Thomas Sherwill deposed again in a different case on February 9th 1657, this time giving his age as forty-two. The case was "Cubit and company regardig the Palmtree". According to Sherwill's testimony, Joseph Cubit was one of the owners of the ship the Palmtree. The ship sailed from Dartmouth to Rochell in France, but was seized off Plymouth by a Dunkirk man of war whilst returning to England. Subsequently she was rescued by an English ship.[7]

Evidence was given in June 1657 by a number of witnesses in a further case in the High Court of Admiralty "On the behalfe of Thomas Sherwill of London and Henry Crew of Dartmouth touching a losse in the shipp the Suckley".[8]

Earlier, Thomas Sherwill, merchant, of the parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle, acted as surety in the High Court of Admiralty on March 23rd 1654 for George Griggs in the case of Francis Lenthall against George Griggs.[9]

Comment on sources

PROB 11/160/465 Will of Thomas Sherwill, Merchant of Plymouth, Devon 10 October 1631

PROB 11/349/72 Will of Thomas Sherwill, Merchant of Shadwell, Middlesex 01 November 1675
- Possibly the will of Thomas Sherwill (b. ca. 1616)

Plymouth and West Devon Record Office; ref: 74/310/2; Description: Grant of annuity 1 Thomas Sherwill, son of T; Date: 1636.homas Sherwill, merchant 2 Governors of the Orphans Aid, Plymouth£4 payable from lands and tenements at Houndiscombe and Plymouth

Plymouth and West Devon Record Office; Ref: 1/361/72; Description: Letter to Mr Olliver Ceely, merchant at Plymouth from Thomas Sherwill in London with regard to a lease and also says that it has been reported that there is 'a peece concluded on betwixt France and Spaine'. Mentions Widow Glanville; Date: 17 August 1652
  1. Genealogical comments on Thomas Sherwill, merchant of Shadwell. Middlesex, England (d. 1675) by Charles Shirrell, June 12, 2004, viewed 09/09/2016
  2. PROB 11/160/465 Will of Thomas Sherwill, Merchant of Plymouth, Devon 10 October 1631
  3. John. P. Ferris, Paul Hunneyball, 'SHERWILL, Thomas (c.1571-1631), of Plymouth, Devon' in online edition of The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
  4. HCA 13/71 f.56r
  5. HCA 13/71 f.55v
  6. HCA 13/71 f.56r
  7. HCA 13/71 f.434r
  8. HCA 13/72 f.59r
  9. HCA 3/46 f.17r