Bridewell Boy (reposted)

Thomas Rowlandson, The Passroom at Bridewell, from The Microcosm of London (1808). © London Lives.

I had to repost this blog. Evidently, when you downgrade your package in WordPress, they delete everything from the time you upgraded. Luckily, it was only a few, as I had not posted in some time. And I had copied them to my Google Drive. However, I doubt I’ll upgrade with them at any point in the future because of that policy.

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November 2021 has made me yearn to dig back into my family history and writing.  The yard in the fall needs less attention, and I have more time off from work.  I always find stepping away from family history awhile gives me more to work with…. more hints, records that have become available, and it gives me more clarity and motivation.  So, here I am!  I hope you missed me.

Over the weekend, I jumped back into my family tree and stumbled upon my 10th Great-Grandfather, Nicholas Granger.

I exist today because of this brave boy.  He is estimated to have been about 9 years old when he was shipped over.  Not all immigrants are adults, nor do all come with their families.

(All wording is how it was spelled in colonial records.)

In 1618, the Virginia Company formerly presented a petition before the London Common Council asking that one-hundred poor and vagrant children, who “lie in the streets… having no place of abode nor friends to relieve them” be shipped to the fledgling colony of Jamestown at the city’s expense. (See: Theodore K. Rabb, “Sandys, Sir Edwin (1561–1629″).

Seventy-five boys and twenty-five girls were accordingly transported for “running wild in the streets”, for being vagrant, on 27 February 1618; though it should be said that none of those apprehended and sent over were formally convicted in the London court system. (See “Records of Individuals ordered to be sent to Virginia, ca. 1618-37 from Bridewell Royal Hospital”).

“The Prospect of Bridewell” from John Strype’s An Accurate Edition of Stow’s
“A Survey of London” (1720)

Only a small number of these children survived in the harsh realities of early Virginian life, including two “Bridewell boys” called Nathaniel Tatum and Nicholas Granger who appear to have found some success in their new world. (For records of the two boys, See: Accession 26237, Library of Virginia: “Records of Individuals ordered to be sent to Virginia, ca. 1618-37.)

Nicholas married Elizabeth (—–) circa 1627. His wife was probably the Elizabeth Gringer, aged 33 who made a deposition in Mar 1634/5 in N’hamp County..4

On 13 Aug 1638, Alice Robins was reported as saying that if Nicholas Granger had not come to Virginia, he would have been hanged; but 9 year olds were not hanged, even in 1619.2

Side note: Alice was in the courts a lot according to my research.  It seems she and her husband liked to cause trouble.

Virginia Colonial Abstracts Transcript pg. 154

(Original Mutilated. Pg. 204. The fragments show:) “The deposition of R…this deponent aged…that he goeinge to…Nicholas Granger…the said p…Robins…her one…Robins…wise…Upon…Allice…the wife…whore…also at one…and Crabbing…therefore ordered that said woman for her misdemenoes shal be towed over the Creeke tomorrow at ten of the clock”

Goodwiffe Robbins’ wife was brought into court for slandering Richard’s wife Mary.  Goodwife Robins’ wife Alice received twenty lashes for this offense. It appears that Alice Robbins was a disagreeable person evidenced by the fact that she was quite often in court. For her slanderous offense she was “…lashed to the end of a canoe and towed over the creek”.

In another deposition, she is quoted as saying that Mary Hudson “was as badd as anie salte Bitch.”

Nicholas witnessed a will on 1 April 1639 at Northampton Co, VA. It was on this date that John Stringer and Nicholas Granger witnessed the will of Nicholas Harwood, who named a godson Nicholas Granger and gave him 500 lbs tobacco.1

Nicholas was mentioned in a will on 1 April 1639 at Northampton Co, VA. He was shown as Goodman Grainger in the will of Nicholas Harwood and was to be paid for “my dyett and attendance”.1

In his will of 1 Apr 1639, Nicholas Harwood remembered goodman Grainger for taking care of him and left funds to buy a “cowcalfe for Nicholas Grander, my godson”. A certificate for 200 acres, naming his wife Elizabeth as one of the headrights, was given by court to Nicholas Grainger on 3 Aug 1640.

On 1 Oct 1647 in N’hamp Co, Nicholas Granger deeded a heifer to his daughter Christian Granger. This was witnessed by Henry Armitradinge, who was involved in a similar deed the same day. Those deeds were in contemplation of marriage.2  Christian married Henry Armitradinge in 1647.

Nicholas patented land on 20 September 1647 at Northampton Co, VA. It was on this date that Nicholas Grander patented 350 acres in N’hamp Co near the head of Nassawattocks Creek, adjacent to the land of Stephen Horsey, but this land apparently was already included in a patent to Col. Francis Yeardley and was lost. He also had another patent for 350 acres on Pungoteague River and Pocomeck Creek, which he assigned to Nicholas Waddilow, which is mentioned in a new patent to Waddilow on 2 Apr 1655..2

He took the oath of allegiance to hereby engage and promise to be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now established without King or House of Lords on 25 March 1651 at Northampton Co, VA. He was shown as Nicholas Granger.4,5

Nicholas died after 25 March 1651 at Northampton Co, VA.4

What a brave man to have come from the streets of London to Colonial Virginia.

My line stems from Nicholas’ son, Nicholas (abt. 1627).

Citations

  1. [S497] James Handley Marshall, Northampton Co, VA, Abstracts of Wills & Administrations, 1632-1802, p. 4 (will of Nicholas Harwood).
  2. [S888] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, p. 119 (Granger Family).
  3. [S887] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, p. 68 (Muster of the Eastern Shore).
  4. [S888] John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, p. 120 (Granger Family).
  5. [S497] James Handley Marshall, Northampton Co, VA, Abstracts of Wills & Administrations, 1632-1802, p. 34 (Oath to be faithful to the Commonwealth of England).

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