The Hardships of our Fathers
While researching my ancestors sometimes I am amazed at the hardships they bore or what happened to their good lives. Presently, there is a series of historical accounts of the monarchs of England on the television. It begins with Alfred the Great and goes through the current monarchy. Although it said nothing of my Holland ancestors, while watching, I realized that had John Holland, the Duke of Exeter, next-in-line for the throne after Richard I was defeated, then the Tudors would not have taken power and Henry VIII would not have ascended the throne and rid the country of the immensely political Catholic Church. The duke was the grandson of Joan Plantagenet who first married Sir Thomas de Holland, and later, the Black Prince. The Black Prince died early in life, and it was his son, Richard, who came to the throne. His two step-brothers, Thomas and John, were in the political arena. It was John Holland who supported the duke of Lancaster in his wars against the duke of York. He amassed great estates, Dartlington Manor in Essex, and was ultimately the Earl of Huntingdon and possessed the great Admiral Seal of England. When Richard met Edward IV on the battle field, John and Thomas Holland conspired to secure Richard's position. When Richard I was captured, however, John Holland was seized and beheaded. But Edward IV had one more heir to the throne to rid himself of. And that was Henry, son of John Holland, who inherited the Essex estate as the second and third duke of Exeter. Henry had married the ten-year old Ann Plantagenet at the behest of the Duke of York whose plan it was to make Ann the queen when Henry Holland ascended to the throne. But Henry disappointed the duke of York when he joined the duke of Lancaster. The couple had one child, a daughter. Ann hated Henry and sought to divorce Henry in 1462 and acquire possession of their grand mansion "Cold Harbour" in London. The divorce stripped Henry of his wealth and he spent the next ten or fifteen years fighting with Lancaster. Henry's dangerous esapades caused him to take refuge in the Tower of London. The tower was the castle owned by John Holland (now Henry). About the time that Edward IV seized the throne and declared himself king, Henry was found lying on a battle field in France. However, recognized as being alive by his servant, was saved. Bolingbroke, having heard, captured Henry and imprisoned him in the Tower of London. It was at this point that that castle went into the hands of Bolingbroke, and passed through the royal lineage. Meanwhile, Ann, had remarried, this time to St. Thomas de Leger. A scheme was concocted by de Leger to persuade Henry to join the Yorkists in battle. Upon returning from the adventure, they crossed the Thames river by boat and Henry Holland was drowned. The history books state that Henry was the only person who drowned, and that Thomas St. de Leger threw him overboard. With the beheading of John Holland and the drowning of Henry, Richard I was murdered, and the way was clear for Edward to be King of England. Thus, the descendants of Edward IV were Henry Tudor, including Henry VIII! From dukes and earls, riches and fame to beheadings and murder. We read about the misery of others down through history. The result of the terrible end to the lives of some of my ancestors was the ascension of Henry VIII to the throne of England, the works of Martin Luther, the Puritans, Separatists and others bore fruit and the American colonies became a haven for religious freedom and ultimately a Constitution guaranteeing inalienable rights. We do not always have the answers, yet, if we knew more details of the past, might we better understand the role that our families played in bringing about a better future?
The Black Plague 1346 A. D. to 1353 A. D.
During the 1300s Europe was swamped by the grim reaper. It was the era of one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. An estimaed 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and Europe died between 1346 and 1353. Despite the plague, the hundred years war between England and Normandy was ongoing. The Battle of Crecy under Edward III marked the first use of cannon when it defeated a French army under the command of Philip VI in 1340 A. D. It also signalled the beginning of a dastardly black plague. As the English king sent his knights to invade Normandy and to die on the battle field, who can say whether it be from wounds or the plague? Meanwhile, the Pope, whose home was in Avon, France at the time, secluded himself from exposure
by assigning important tasks to the cardinals. The plague is calculated to have ended by 1356 A. D. when the Prince of Wales defeated the French at the Battle of Poitiers and civil chaos broke out in France when the French king, John II, was captured and taken to England. Yet nothing was able to stop the reaper. The average age during the year was 30 years. It is said that the plague originated in the East when ships carrying rats infected with vermin. For centuries, ships dusted arsenic around its food barrels. Going forward, the first Supply
ship delivering settlers to the colony of Virginia, also used arsenic to poison its rats. The bones of an archaeological dig at Jamestown suggested deaths arose from arsenic poisoning!
1619 Immigrants from Newgate Prison to Kikotan
When the English colonists arrived in Jamestown in 1607, there was a tribe of Algonquian Indians residing in the vicinity of Hampton Roads. The natives were treacherous under Chief Powhatan, who had slain the weroance at Kikotan in 1597. He then appointed his young son Pochins as successor at Hampton Roads. Some of the tribe had escaped and resettled along the Plankatank River, but Powhatan found and annihilated them in 1608. Actually, the English explorers were welcomed in 1607 by friendly Indians. However, two years later, after John Smith sent Captain Martin to take over the island inhabited by the Nansemonds, while he was doing so, seventeen men mutinied and went to Kikotan to purchase corn, but were killed. Martin abandoned his cause to take Nansemond Island and returned to Jamestown. The colonists then built Fort Algernon at Old Point Comfort beside their main village in October 1609. Although unwelcome at Kikotan, the English continued to land at Hampton Roads. In 1619 the English ship Margaret
from Bristol landed at Kikotan on November 30th. A list of names is available to members of 8 Genealogy Websites under "Immigrants"
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What is a Magazine Ship?
The magazine is the name of a place where ammunition is stored on board a vessel and included explosive materials. The London Company was quite strict in the weapons sent to the colony and the affairs of the magazine were administered by a director who was assisted by a committee of five counselors. One the cargo was received into the colony, the accounts thereof were required to be passed upon by a team of auditors specially nominated in a Quarter Court. Thus, the weapons received into the colony for defensive maneuvers were carefully guarded as they were sorely needed by the colonists as a defense against a huge population of marauding Indian tribes in the region. This means that the adventurers held separate meetings to conduct all routine business affairs. During the settlement of Jamestown, no outside trader was permitted to ship supplies into the Colony. The first vessels were referred to as Supply ships because they transported supplies into the Colony as well as a those passengers proposing to reside in Virginia. Fevers, dysentery and Indian attacks were a way of life and restricted the settlers to reside within the confines of a palisade fence. The first ten years or so, a number of Supply ships arrived in the colony and it was not uncommon for the settlers to assume the return voyage to England in search of a new wife to replace the one which had died. After the year of 1619, the vessel which conveyed articles and supplies into the Jamestown settlement were called a magazine ships. The articles purchased by the adventurers who entered into a joint stock (known as the magazine) were conveyed by the magazine ship to the New World. Also, its cargo was confined to necessities. Several immigrants were appointed to take charge of the goods both before and after the vessel arrived in Jamestown. The first magazine vessel was called the Susan, a small vessel whose cargo was restricted only to that clothing which the Colonists needed the most. The goods of the Susan were placed in the care of Abraham Piersey as the Cape Merchant, both during the voyage and after Virginia was reached. As the struggling colonists commenced their chores, the only commodities produced were those which assured a profit when sold in England, such as tobacco and sassafras. The exported cargo was then exchanged for the contents of the arriving magazine ship.
Anyone who is familiar with Virginia wills, estates and deed records has seen the name of George Menefie in many documents. He appears to have been the wealthiest colonist in the early days, owning a 1200-acre plantation near Jamestown. He received the land grant when he transported 24 immigrants into the colony and later patented another 3000 acres for paying the passage of 60 individuals. In March 1633, Dutch trader David DeVies observed that the two-acre garden of Menefie was "full of Provence roses, apple, pear and cherry trees, with different kinds of sweet-smelling herbs, such as rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme." Richard Kemp later acquired the tract and called it Rich Neck
. Rich Neck was located in the Middle Plantation between the York and James Rivers. According to the Digital Arcaelogical Archive of Comparative Slavery, the plantation was located in Williamsburg. Kemp owned the land until 1650 when he died and left the estate to his wife. However, the wife remarried Sir Thomas Lunsford who gained the property three years later upon her death.
Causey's Care (pronounced Cleare)
Because of the lost records of James City County, genealogists are constantly researching around that country endeavering to learn more about its first settlers. Nathaniel Causey was an old soldier who came to Virginia in the first Supply
vessel early in 1608. It was on December 10, 1620 that he obtained a land grant which he started developing as a private plantation. From all indications, that plantation was located to the east of West and Shirley Hundred on the north side of the James River. During the year of 1624 Causey sat on the Assembly, presumably represeing Jordan's Journey
where his residence was listed. He was among the 31 who signed the Assembly's reply to the declaration of charges against the Smith administration of the Colony made by Alderman Johnson and others. His plantation, Causey's Care
was across the river from Jordan's Journey and for years served as a landmark of the vicinity. Causey appears occasionally in the court records as when on May 23, 1625, he assumed a debt and obligation to "Doctor Pott" which required the delivery of "one barrel of Indian corne" to "James Cittie at the first cominge downe of the next boate." Another land entry appears on May of 1625 for 200 acres of land. At the time, his wife was Thomasine who had also come to the in 1609 where she resided without about five servants. However, the Indian massacre of 1622 changed the lives of the early settlers rather dramatically. Causey was reported as being " cruelly wounded, and the salvages about him, with an axe did cleave one of their heads, whereby the rest fled and he escaped."
"Green Spring" Plantation
The home of Governor William Berkeley was known as Green Spring and the manor house was divided into six apartments. As Royal Governor, Sir William was granted 984 acres of land designated "by name of Green Spring" in June 1643. in Jamestown, Virginia. By the 1660's, the total property's size had increased to 2,090 acres. The house and estate were named for a mossy spring which a visitor in the 1680's described as "so very cold that 'twas dangerous drinking the water thereof in Summer-time." An additional 3,000-acre tract bordering the western boundary of Green Spring was set aside as "Governor's land" and was for the use of Berkeley while he remained in office. Source: Records of York County, vol. 1638-1648, p. 218.