Lovelands and the Sea in the 1630's


Introduction

Evidence presented elsewhere at this site shows that Robert Loveland (1607-1668), the brother-in-law of Widow Loveland of Connecticut, was for most of his life a merchant who traded between England, Spain, New England and Virginia. There are frequent references to him in the records of the Courts of present-day Connecticut. Family tradition states that his brother-in-law John Loveland (1599-1639) - the Widow's late husband - was a supercargo at the time of his death on the voyage to the New World and is also known to have been the part-owner of at least one ship (in 1632).

In fact these were just two of four brothers, sons of John Loveland of Norwich (1556?-1648), who were connected with maritime trade during the first half of the 17C.

Their eldest brother William (1584/5-1623) described himself as a "Marchant of the parish of Allhallows on the Wall London" in his Will dated 1623 although he maintained connections with Norfolk, the county of his birth - buying and selling land in parishes near Norwich between 1618 and 1620. Details of his life and family can be found here.

But it is their brother Jeremy (1605-1650) whose brushes with the authorities give us the best insight into the life and times of these Lovelands in the early 1630's.

One valuable English source of this data is the proceedings of the High Court of Admiralty, London while additional information can be found in the Port Books of the Port of London. The following sections summarise what has been discovered about this facet of the lives of John and Jeremy Loveland from these sources. (We have discovered no references to their brothers William or Robert here.)

Note: The records of the High Court of Admiralty take the form of a series of questions (Interrogatories) and answers relating to certain cases brought before the Court. In some cases either the questions or the answers are missing, so the information can be somewhat sketchy. We have found no reference to the verdict in any case of interest. The referenced documents are held at the Public Records Office at Kew, near London (hereinafter "PRO".).

Click here for a timeline on the development of the tobacco trade which puts these events into context. (URL contributed by Doug Loveland)


Index


John Loveland (1599-1639) - husband of Widow Loveland of CT

John Loveland appears only once in the surviving records of the High Court of Admiralty:

[PRO. HCA.13/50, Folio 152]

1 November 1632

Richard Bonner of Redriffe, Surrey, mariner aged about 38 told the Court:

On the 11th August last past at Dunkirk this deponent did buy a Flemish-built ship then and now known as the Bonadventure, 180 tons, being about 75 feet long by the keel and about 22 feet broad, and brought her thence to London. He has now sold two one-eighth parts to Francis Langston and John Loveland of London, merchants, another one-eighth part to William Cooke of Wapping, merchant, one-sixteenth part to Richard Whitlock of London, merchant, another one-sixteenth part and a thirty-second part to Matthew Fulwood of London, fishmonger, another one-sixteenth part to Abraham Marke of Southwark, brewer, another one-sixteenth part to Jeremy Loveland of London, merchant, and the rest, viz, one-quarter, one-sixteenth and one-thirty-second part he has reserved for himself. All are subjects of His Majesty the King of England, and this deponent is master of the said ship.

Note that both John and his brother Jeremy had an interest in this particular vessel. This case was heard just five years before the supposed emigration of John and his family to America. No other evidence of John Loveland's business interests have been found to date.


Jeremy Loveland (1605-1650)

Mary Fortune

Earlier the same year, Jeremy Loveland is mentioned as the part owner of another ship, the Mary Fortune.

[PRO. HCA.13/50. Folio 85]

1 August 1632

William Rand of Whitechapel, mariner, aged 37 stated:

The ship Mary Fortune of London being a Dutch-built ship of about 140 tons now riding in the Thames near Wapping is 64 foot long by the keel and 21 foot broad and between 8 and 9 foot in the hold, and doth belong to the parties hereafter named:

one-eighth Jeremy Loveland

one-eighth James Pickeringe

one-eighth Joseph Day of London, plumber

one-eighth Mr.Richard Gray

one-quarter John Devorrice (?Devereux)

one-quarter William Rand, this examinant

all of whom are English subjects and freemen of London.

These cases seem to have proceeded as and when the witnesses were avialable to give evidence since, on 29th July 1633 in the case of Loveland and others vs. Giles and others, William Hill of Newington, Surrey, surgeon, aged 22 stated (HCA.13/50, Folio 381):

The ship Mary Fortune of London, William Rand master departed from London and arrived at St. Martin near La Rochelle (France) on the 3rd September last past, where she stayed two nights, and then having taken in a pilot departed to Olleroon in France being six leagues distance, and arrived 6th September and there took in lading of salt and returned therewith to La Rochelle. She departed thence 2nd October and sailed to Kinsale in Ireland where she arrived on 9th October and there delivered the salt and other goods. But as there was not enough to lade her fully, Tristram Whitcombe the factor told the master to go to Cork where she took on goods, and then returned to Kinsale for more. She stayed in Ireland from 9th October to 1st December upon which day she departed from Baltimore in Ireland for St. Lucar in Spain, where she arrived on 2nd January. She stayed there till the 2nd April taking on goods, and arrived back in the Thames on the 28th April. She is reputed to be of the burthen of 120 tons, and she was not fully laden when she came from St. Lucar.


Flower de Luce

It appears that Jeremy Loveland had an interest in some tobacco brought home from Virginia in 1636 or 1637. He also adventured some goods which had been transported to Virginia on the outward journey.

Like the story of the Revenge which follows, the Flower de Luce could be considered less than 'fit for purpose'. Henry Hedley of Limehouse, sailor (40) told the Court [PRO. HCA.13/53, folio 323]:

The Flower de Luce about a month or five weeks after her departure from England proved to be very leaky about the bows insomuch that her master and company were forced to take down her spritsailyard and spritsailtopmast top and all to ease her bows which were old and rotten, and therefore she was not strong and staunch but insufficient and in no way fit to perform her voyage .... the passengers had to help the crew pump her during the outward voyage, otherwise she would have foundered.

There were 18 hogsheads of tobacco brought home in the said ship upon his own account, but Mr. Jeremy Loveland has an interest therein and he says he has not paid any freight for the same, but the Custom is paid by one Mr. Norwood that bought the tobacco of this respondent.

Thomas Mace of Wapping, sailor (48) said:

He bought home 18 hogsheads of tobacco which he bought with the proceeds of a cargo of goods that he carried out upon his own account in the ship, viz:

8 quarter casks, 6 of muscadine and 2 of sack, containing 2 butts, one of which butts Mr. Jeremy Loveland adventured. {About 18 other assorted items are mentioned as being part of this consignment - none of them apparently belonging to Jeremy Loveland.}


Revenge

But it is from the case of Edward Bennett and Jonas Hopkins vs Jeremy Loveland and others that we gain the best insight into the maritime life of the Lovelands (or of Jeremy Loveland at least) at that time. The Interrogatories and Answers are long and involved but we will let the witnesses tell the sorry tale in their own words: (Note that the voyage to which these proceeding refer occured just three or four years earlier than the fateful voyage to America of John and Widow Loveland. The case was probably still ongoing at the time of John's death in 1638-9.)

William Jarvis of St. Michael, Cornhill, Merchant, aged 29 told the Court

[PRO. HCA.C24/631 Pt.2/11]

13th May 1638

He knows that there was a contract made in about July 1634 between the plaintiffs (Bennett and Hopkins) and John Stoner since deceased on their part, and the defendants Samual Gott, Samual Dye, Jeremy Loveland, John Fletcher and George May since deceased for and on behalf of themselves and the other part owners of the ship Revenge of London touching the hire and taking to freight of the said ship for a voyage to be performed by her to Virginia. The agreement between them was set down in a written indented of charter made for that purpose and it was agreed and intended by all the said parties that as well the defendants or such of them as were named parties to the said charter party should on the behalf of themselves and the other part owners as the said plaintiffs and John Stoner on their behalf interchangeably seal and deliver as their deed each to other the said indentures of charter party so made and agreed upon.

It was agreed and set down in the charter party as covenanted on behalf of the part owners that the ship Revenge was then and should be strong and staunch and well furnished and apparalled by them with sails (four lines missing due to damage) day of August then next following 1634 .....

The plaintiffs and John Stoner sealed their part of the charter party and left it in the scrivener's hands for the part owners and willed him to seal and deliver their part according to their agreement and not to deliver that part which they the plaintiffs and Stoner had sealed unto the part owners before the part owners sealed their part; whether the part owners refused to seal the same afterwards for any cause he does not know.

The part owners did agree to lend the plaintiffs and Stoner towards the victualling and setting forth of the ship 300 pounds in ready money and not in commodities upon bottomary to be paid with 20% interest upon the return of the ship, and the plaintiffs and Stoner upon promise of present payment to them of the said money did enter into a bond of 600 pounds to the part owners or some of them for payment of 360 pounds accordingly and left it in the scrivener's hands to be delivered to the part owners upon their payment of the 300 pounds or not otherwise.

No part of the 300 pounds so agreed to be lent was paid or delivered to the plaintiffs or Stoner or any of them on or before the sealing of the said bond or at any time since to this deponent's knowledge, but what damage the plaintiffs sustained through the disappointment thereof or what means they were thereby forced to use for the taking up of money to furnish their occasions for the setting forth of the ship or how they were hindered therby this deponent does not know nor can therefore depose.

On the 30th May 1638, another witness, Thomas Ashby of St. Boltoph Aldgate, London, Mariner, aged 44 told the Court:

After the charter party was said and sealed by the plaintiffs and John Stoner one Captain May for and on behalf of all the part owners of the Revenge did offer to sell the ship to the East India Company, upon which offer there were carpenters by the said East India Company sent aboard to view the ship for that purpose and this deponent says that in the meantime the plaintiffs' goods which they had provided to lade aboard the ship were kept in warehouses and partly in lighters for 4 or 5 days by the ship's side without being offered to be laden aboard until the said Company had given their answer concerning the same. This was a great hinderance to the intended voyage whereby the plaintiffs were greatly damnified.

It is true that the ship Revenge when she set forth on her voyage did want caulking, sails, ropes and all other furniture fit for such a voyage insomuch that the ship stayed against Redriffe and Gravesend 10 weeks or thereabouts to have her defects repaired .... and that ther stay in the places aforesaid was the overthrow of the voyage, for he said that the ship did not depart the Downs until about 30th October 1634 ... he believes that they were damnified near upon 2,000 pounds for he sayes that thereby he knows that the ship arrived so late in Virginia that the tobacco which was the only commodity the plaintiffs intended to freight the ship withal back again was almost gone and sold away before the ship's arrival there, whereby the plaintiffs could not freight her back with any vendable commodity ...

When the Revenge departed from the Downs {believed to be a place in SE England} she did not sail directly to Virginia as wind and weather would serve without stay by the way, otherwise than she was enforced to do by wind and weather for the amending of the defects of her or her furniture as by this interogatory is questioned, for he says that the beer lade into the ship for that voyage proved stinking and naught insomuch that the ship was forced to go to Nevis an island in the West Indies for fresh water for the preservation of the passengers' lives, where she stayed about 10 days for that purpose.

Ships usually sailed from the Port of London to Virginia in the place of two or three months. He says that the ship Revenge was 3 months in sailing from the Port of London to Virginia or thereabouts, for she set forth about the 20th October 1634 and arrived in Virginia about the 20th January then next following ...

Robert Haughton one of the part owners of the ship was a beer brewer and did furnish the ship with beer. When it came to be drunk at sea it was defective and stinking. There was a sickness and mortality amongst the menservants and passengers in the ship which he believes was occasioned by the unwholesome beer and by the long stay at sea. He says the plaintiffs and John Stoner did furnish and send in the ship to be disposed of for their benefit in Virginia and for their service and plantation there about 126 men and boys or more whereof about 17 or 18 died by the way and most of the rest of them died presently after landing in Virginia ...

The chief season of the year for getting tobacco in Virginia and for emplying and putting of men there and for doing good by their voyage lasts only two months, viz. October and November, and a little into the beginning of September sometimes. He says that the season and opportunity was past before the Revenge came thither, which was not until the month of January, whereby the whole voyage for the commodity intended was lost, but what damages the plaintiffs sustained therby he cannot depost, but thinks that they could have been damnified for 2,000 pounds or thereabouts.

The ship Revenge for want of repair and freight was forced to stay in Virginia for 4 months or thereabouts, to be freighted, caulked, dressed and amended to have the defects thereof repaired before she could put to sea again and bring home the passengers or goods which were by that time provided for her, but how much the plaintiffs were damnified in mariners' wages, victuals or otherwise by that stay he cannot say. Howbeit, he says that the ship was in his opinion improved by the value of about 100 pounds at least by her amending and repairing in Virginia.

The Revenge brought home from Virginia for the plaintiffs' account 52 hogsheads and no more of tobacco and 9 or 10 passengers. All the rest of the goods wherewith she was loaded for the plaintiffs' account was logs of wood and he says that the ship did not bring home any goods at all for other men save only some chests or trunks or such like for the passengers. He estimates the value of all the plaintiffs' goods so returned together with the freight of the passengers and their goods to be 200 pounds or thereabouts, but he has not seen any account thereof and cannot therefore depose

The goods which were sent home for the plaintiffs were seized by the defendants by order of the Court of Admiralty and were afterwards sold. viz. the tobacco was sold to one Johns and the wood to one Robins, by which being all the goods that were sent home to the plaintiffs were sold to the best value as he believes. He said that the defendants had one half of the value of the goods and one half of the freight of the passengers, and the mariners had the other half for the wages. He said the whole price of the goods and freight did not amount to above 200 pounds whereof the defendants had 100 pounds and the mariners the other 100 pounds and the plaintiffs nothing.

The mariners' wages employed in that voyage amounted to 300 pounds and the defendants compounded the same at a noble in the pound and paied 100 pounds in satisfaction thereof and this depondent himself had 4 pound 4 shillings for part of his wages and there is still due to him for the remainder of his wages 8 pound 8 shillings, but when the said 4 pounds 4 shillings was so paid to him he cannot now remember with certainty.

The Revenge was in the plaintiffs' service 12 months and as touching how much time there was spent after her first setting forth in caulking, fitting, repairing and furnishing her as well in Virginia as at Gravesend or in the Downs he can say no more thereunto than he has formerly said.

Other witnesses told a similar story. On 30th May 1638, Thomas Harwood of St. Dunstan in the West, London, Cordwainer, aged 40 added:

He does not know whether at the sealing of the bond or at any time before the 300 pounds agreed to be lent or any part thereof was paid or that the said part owners or any of them after the sealing of the said bond did fail to pay in their money as agreed upon but he says that he being a passenger in the ship Revenge to Virginia has several times heard Stoner and others much complain of the part owners in that they did not furnish the merchants and the ship with such things and provisions as were requested for such a voyage. He knows that the plaintiff Hopkins was in respect the ship was not furnished with victuals forced to provide and furnish it at Gravesend with a great quantity of beef and pork for the said voyage. He says that the plaintiffs by reason of their being so disappointed did receive great damage partly in paying the mariners' wages and in their expense of victuals, for he says he well remembers that he by reason of the stay of the ship for want of provisions and repairs at Gravesend, Margate and in the Downs, had spent in victuals for himself, his wife and two children the sum of 7 pounds above, and there was in the ship 200 passengers besides mariners and seamen which were at all time upon the plaintiffs' charge which must needs be great damage to the plaintiffs ....

This same witness told the Court that the Revenge stayed in a place called Accomacke in Virginia.

Another, Nicholas Wilmott of St. Margaret, Westmister, Citizen and Blacksmith of London (31) told the Court on 12 October 1638 about life on board the Revenge during the passage to Virginia:

Robert Haughton one of the part owners of the ship is a beer brewer and dwelleth near the Pickled Herring {probably a public house} in Southwark and he was the man that furnished the ship with beer but when the beer came to be drunk at sea it was stinking unwholesome and defective. That was the cause of the death of 67 passengers in the space of a forthnight and most of the rest of the passengers of the ship by reason thereof died in Virginia almost as soon as they came on shore .... Howbeit, he says that there was a great store of excellent strong beer laid and stored in the "ground teare" of the Revenge, but says that the same was laid by and at the charge of Robert Haughton and the rest of the part owners on purpose to sell and dispose of for money, tobacco or other gain and benefit to themselves. This deponent and some of the other passengers knowing of the good beer to be therein and seeing that aforesaid sickness and mortality in the ship by reason of the stinking beer went to the master of the ship and the merchant thereof, Mr. Stoner before named (who after died by means of the stinking beer, and was indeed the first that died thereby) and demanded of them the aforesaid good beer, which being denied unto this deponent and the other passengers upon their fair and reasonable demand by the master and Mr. Stoner, this deponent and the other passengers did like to make mutiny in the ship and did swear to the master and Mr. Stoner that if they might not have the good beer, they then would set the ship on fire, or words to like purpose. Then the master and Mr. Stoner caused the "ground teare" of the ship to be rummaged and let the deponent and such of the other passengers as were then alive and had wherewith to pay for the same, to have some of the good beer. But this deponent and such as had any thereof were forced to pay 12 pence a gallon for all that they had thereof, and were forced to acknowledge it a great favour that they might have it so. This deponent himself was fain to pay and did pay 16 shillings for such part of the good beer as he had drunk and given to others before he could be suffered to go off the ship to the shore. He further says that the plaintiffs and Mr. Stoner had furnished the ship when she set out for her voyage with near about 140 servants menkind and womenkind, together to be disposed of for their benefit in Virginia for their service and plantations, and almost all of them except some 6 or 8 persons or thereabouts died at sea, and presently after they were landed in Virginia.

As we read on through the many pages of evidence, we learn that the defendants to the case actually had the plaintiffs thrown in jail upon their return from Virginia for non-repayment of their 'debts' and were apparently ruined financially by the whole enterprise. Unfortunately, the Court's final judgement has not survived so we can only guess at the truth of the matter. Did it find for the plaintiffs who we might feel were ill-advised to say the least to press on with such a doomed adventure when it was clear that they would not get to Virginia in time for the tobacco harvest. Or were the defendants successful in pursuading the Court that they had done no wrong. In either case, the surviving records of the action give us a very interesting insight into the life of seafarers and merchant adventurers at the time when John & Widow Loveland were preparing to travel to the New World.


Other References to Jeremy Loveland

From the Will of Giles de Butt of Hackney, Middx, gent, 8 February 1631, proved 14 March 1632 we learn that Jeremy Loveland lived at the Three Tuns Inn in Thames Street, London in 1631. This suggests that he was not married at that time. (Indeed we have no record that he ever married.)

Entries in the Port Books of the Port of London show:

6-Feb-1632/3: Jeremy Loveland paid duty on 1600 pounds (weight) of Tobacco imported from Virginia aboard the Margret. [List of Exchequer, Queen's Rememberancer, Port Books. Part 1, 1565 to 1700, f.16. PRO ref W190/38/1.1]

14-Dec-1638: Jeremy Loveland paid duty on 4900 pounds (weight) of Tobacco imported aboard a ship (unnamed), master Wm Wilkinson. [List of Exchequer, Queen's Rememberancer, Port Books. Part 1, 1565 to 1700, f.18. PRO ref W190/41/5]