Tools: Leigh alias Lee

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Leigh alias Lee, Essex

Editorial history

30/12/11: CSG created page
27/01/14: CSG pasted page to MarineLifes-Tools wiki

Suggested links

MarineLives-Tools Probate Records Index
London 1677 Directory probate record lookup

PROB 11/373/443 Will of Samuel Moyer of Saint Giles without Cripplegate 03 August 1683

To do

(1) Look at a broader range of PRC wills for mariners living at Leigh

- List mariner wills for Leigh, 1640-1690

(2) Do a search of the secondary literature for Leigh

(3) Look for seventeenth century sources on Leigh

Leigh, Essex

In the early seventeenth century a number of important mariner and merchant families lived in Leigh and neighbouring Eastwood, in the county of Essex. Also living in Leigh was the cleric and author of the Pilgrimage, Samuel Purchas.[1]

According to a genealogical study of the Purchas family, the families included "the Moyers, the Salmons, the Goodlads, the Haddocks, the Bonners, the Harrises, the Hares, the Cockes, Richard Hare, and many others..." The study cites Camden as stating that Leigh in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was "well stocked with lusty seamen."[2]

Lee is on the north shore of the Thames estuary, just to the east of Benfleet and Canvey island, and about fifteen miles downstream of Tilbury and Gravesend. A local website states that Leigh began as a fishing village, but that by the sixteenth century had become a fairly large and prosperous port with a deep water channel, known as the Leigh Road.[3] However, the channel silted up in the eighteenth century and the town’s importance decreased. The same site states that ships of up to 340 tons have been recorded as built at Lee.

The Moyer family at Leigh, Essex

Manorial records collected by the Heathcote family, who were descendants of Samuel Moyer, and which are now in the Cambridge County archives, Huntingdon, enable the family structure, land holdings, titles and occupations of the Moyer family to be reconstructed surprisingly well. They show that the Moyer family was in the Leigh area, on the Thames estuary, at least from the 1545, and that they held small amounts of land in several manors in the area as well as being mariners.[4] The manors they appear in from the mid-C16th are the manors of Prittlewell[5] and Mylton Hall. In the 1650s Samuel Moyer himself appears as lord of the manor of Hawkesbury and also of Pittsea, both in the same area of Essex.[6]

There was a close relationship between the Moyer family and maritime and merchant activities from the mid-sixteenth century and for the subsequent one hundred and fifty years. The earliest Moyer mariner reference is in 1550 to a James Moyer, who appears separately in related manorial records described as a "mariner" and a "yeoman."[7] Ninety years later, Lawrence Moyer, brother of our Samuel Moyer, is described as a mariner, the same occupation as his and Samuel’s father, Captain James Moyer.[8]

Both Lawrence and James commanded major ships. Lawrence commanded the Hercules in 1643, a 468 ton, 128 man, 28 gun ship, and James commanded the Royal Merchant in the late 1620-1636/37 period, a ship which is variously described as of 500 or 600 tons, which he part owned.[9] Lawrence Moyer commanded the Hercules as a parliamentary ship, and in late June 1643 was instrumental in preventing the surrender of the city of Hull to royalist forces by landing the crew of the Hercules in Hull, securing the city and arresting Captain Hotham.[10]


Possible primary sources

A2A search, Leigh & Essex

146 A2A hits for search term "Leigh" + "Essex" + "1600-1690"

Essex Record Office

Essex Record Office: ESSEX QUARTER SESSIONS (Q/SO 1 - Q/SO 67): COURT IN SESSION Q/S (n.d.): ORDER BOOKS Q/SO 1-67 1652-1971: ORDER BOOK EPIPHANY 1652 - MICHAELMAS 1661 Q/SO 1 (n.d.): 'Leigh' (f. 44v.) Q/SO 1/133 1653-
- Contents: 'Upon readinge the Petic[i]on of severall of the inh[ab]itants of Leigh in this Countie, settinge forth that [th]e chiefe inh[ab]it[ant]s of the said Towne manie of them beinge dead and others removed thence, the said Towne is much decayed in its ability, soe that the Strond Key in the said Towne, w[hi]ch is a usuall place for landinge of vessells, is fallen into greate ruine for want of reparac[i]ons, and prayinge the order of this Court for repayring the same, This Court doth thinke fitt and soe order that the said Inh[ab]itants or some of them doe forthwith estimate [th]e charge of repayringe [th]e said Key, w[hi]ch done, they are hereby required to make a rate equally assessinge the inh[ab]itants of the said Towne, wh[hi]ch [th]e Petty Constables are specially to Collect and leavy and to pay out accordinge to [th]e direction of [th]e said chiefe inh[ab]itants for defrayinge the charge thereof'.


C 6/99/58 Short title: Hare v Terrick. Plaintiffs: Samuel Hare, Mary Pulley widow, Clement Hobson and John Butler. Defendants: Mary Terrick widow. Subject: property in Leigh, Essex. Document type: answer only. 1684
C 6/109/18 Short title: Barfoot v Salmon. Plaintiffs: John Barfoot, Benedict Barfoot, Thomas Beard and Sarah Beard his wife. Defendants: Thomas Salmon and Elizabeth Salmon his wife. Subject: property in Leigh, Essex. Document type: bill, answer. 1650

C 135/3/10 John Haddok, of Leigh: Essex 1 Edward III

15 mariner PRC wills, 1640-1689, Leigh, Essex (excluding 1 fisherman will) [no PRC wills for Lee, Essex, 1640-1689]

PROB 4/8698 Flower, Mary, of Leigh, Essex, widow 1674 28 Nov.
PROB 4/10594 Bateman, Henry, of [Leigh], Essex [fisherman] 1700 21 Nov. [illeg.]
PROB 4/17034 Goodladd, Joseph, of Leigh, Essex, marriner 1662 10 Apr. (1661)

PROB 5/670 PITCHES, Lambert, of Leigh, Essex [Administration act: PROB 6/74] 1698
PROB 5/4009 PITCHES, Anne, of Leigh, Essex, died in Hackney, Middx 1684

PROB 11/182 Coventry 1-53 Will of William Goodlad, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 13 March 1640
PROB 11/187 Evelyn 105-155 Will of John Flower, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 01 September 1641
PROB 11/193 Rivers 57-110 Will of William Dryver alias Newport or Driver, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 16 May 1645
PROB 11/193 Rivers 57-110 Will of Thomas Bredrake, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 30 May 1645
PROB 11/207 Fairfax 1-57 Will of Tobias Lawrence, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 15 February 1649
PROB 11/221 Bowyer 52-106 Will of John Bundocke, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 20 April 1652
PROB 11/236 Alchin 152-201 Will of William Bradshaw, Mariner upon going to Sea of Leigh, Essex 17 February 1654
PROB 11/298 Nabbs 52-105 Will of John Mandry, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 17 April 1660
PROB 11/299 Nabbs 106-160 Will of Richard Haddock, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 09 July 1660
PROB 11/307 Laud 1-52 Will of Richard Beaumont, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 09 April 1662
PROB 11/309 Laud 108-162 Will of Thomas Pinson, Mariner now bound forth on a voyage to Cales and Malligo in Spain in the Good Ship Jonathan of London of Leigh, Essex 13 August 1662
PROB 11/315 Bruce 97-143 Will of John Steevens, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 22 December 1664
PROB 11/344 Bunce 1-53 Will of Thomas Clifte or Clift, aboard His Majesty's Ship of War Augustine of Leigh, Essex 03 April 1674
PROB 11/361 King 125-176 Will of Benjamine Gostlin, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 16 October 1679

PROB 11/375 Hare 1-47 Will of John Rogers, Mariner of Leigh, Essex 15 February 1684
  1. Samuel Purchas, Purchase his Pilgrimage or Relations of the world and the Religions observed in all Ages and Places discovered from the Creation to this present, vol. 1, and Hakluytus Poshumus; or Puchas his Pilgrimes, containing the History of the World in Sea-Voyages, and Land Travels by Englishmen and others, vols. 2-5 (5 vols, London, 1613-1625)
  2. H.W.King, 'A sketch of the genealogy of the Purchas family', in Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society, vol. 4 (Colchester, 1869), p. 169. The accompanying footnotes refer to Lawrence Moyer, mariner, whose grandson was Samuel Moyer, and whose family was subsequently connected to the Heathcotes; Robert Salman "a wealthy Merchant and Mariner, afterwards Master of the Trinity House", who died in 1641 and was buried in Leigh; William Goodlad of Leigh "Chief Commander of the Greenland Fleet" for twenty years, who was also Master of the Trinity House, and who died in 1639 and was buried in Leigh. "Ten or twelve of his family [Goodlad], all mariners, were contemporary with Purchas"; Captain Richard Haddock, a Master Mariner, who was a contemporary of Purchas; the maritime family of the Bonners at Leigh in the time of Purchas; Richard Harris of Leigh, an Elder Brother of Trinity House, who was buried at Leigh in 1628; the Hare family of Leigh, several of whom were mariners; Abraham Cocke of Limehouse, who had a disasterous expedition to the River Plate in the reign of Elizabeth; and Richard Chester, Esq., of Leigh, mariner, Elder Brother of the Trinity House, and Master of the Society in 1615, who was buried in 1632 in Leigh (Ibid, p.169)
  3., viewed 10/09/10
  4. Cambridge County Archives, CON 3/5/11 [n.d.]: XXXX: referring to “Laurence Magott & John Mower, quer.” conceeding to another party “3 messuages, 3 gardens, 9a. land & 4a. pasture with apps. in Pryttelwell & Legh.” DATE?
  5. Prittlewell is XXX miles from Leigh, now part of Southend
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  9. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, vol. 42 (XXXX, 1964), p. 46; John Rowland Powell, The navy in the civil war (XXXX, 1962), p. 200
  10. K.J.Allison (ed.), ‘Hull in the 16th and 17th centuries’, in History of the County of York East Riding, vol. 1: 'The city of Kingston upon Hull' (London, 1969), pp. 90-171, viewed at BHOL, 09/09/10