Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

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SarahND
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Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by SarahND » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:44 pm

I have a question for you people who are knowledgeable about seafaring history. There is also an exercise in deciphering for anyone who wants to give it a shot.

I have posted in the gallery the will of William Menchim, made on the 16 of August 1652. I think this link will take you to it: http://talkingscot.com/gallery/albums/u ... l_1652.pdf

After much thought and googling of legal terms I have adjusted the transcription I got from another researcher to something I feel is closer to what it actually says. I'm fairly happy with everything except the word [now] in square brackets towards the end. Can't think what else it could be that both makes sense and works with the handwriting. Note that in this hand 'c' often looks like 'r' and 'e' often looks like 'o'. There are also a number of other letters that come across in an unexpected shape, but those are the main troublemakers.

Here is what I have:

The sixteenth day~
day of August one thousand six hundred fifty two
Wee whose names are here under
subscribed were present and heard ~~~~ William Menchim
seaman aboard the good Shipp called the Ametie declare his
last will and testament unto Richard Darte of the same Shippe
seaman (videlicet) that if it shall please God to take my life away
in this service that then I will give unto you the said Richard
Darte all my Estate and you to pay all my debts, only my wages
I desire you to see it paid unto my Aunt and that she shall
dispose of the same equally unto my brother and sisters and also
the said Richard Darte, did in our hearing and presence bequeath
all his estate unto the said William Menchim if it had bin his fortune
to have dyed In testimonie of the truth hereof we have hereunto
sett our hands the day and yeare first above written. The signe of
Robert Bennett John Dale

The first day of October in the
in the year of our Lord God One thousand six hundred fiftie
and two A commission issued forth to Richard Dart principall
Legatarie named in the above written nuncupative will of the
said William Menchim deceased to administer the goods chattles
and debts of the said deceased according to the tenor and effect

of the said will ffor that the said deceased therein named [now?]
Executor the said Administr being first legally sworne truly and
faythfully to administer the same.


Now here comes the question for the seafarers:

In the threedecks.org website, there is an entry for the ship 'Amity' purchased by the Royal Navy in 1650. The ship is listed as present at the Battle of Plymouth on 16 Aug 1652, the exact day that the will above was made.
http://threedecks.org/index.php?display ... ip&id=3036

According to various sites I have found, there were no ships lost at that battle, but many casualties, including Michael Packe, the captain of the Amity.

Is this the same ship to which William Menchim and Richard Darte belonged? The coincidence of the date of the battle and the date of the will is very compelling. I would assume that it might be normal for the seamen to write their wills just before engaging in a battle. Is this a correct assumption?

I know this was a long time ago :roll: but does anyone have any idea if/where one could find existing ships lists for this time period? I'm interested in any of the Amity's voyages between 1650 and 1662 (by the later date I know the man I am interested in was elsewhere.) The website lists:

1650 Part of the Winter Guard - Supporting the Army in Scotland
1651 Part of Sir George Ayscue's squadron sent to Barbados
1652/08/16 Present at the Battle of Plymouth
1653/02/18 Present at the Battle of Portland
1653/06/02 Present at the Battle of the Gabbard
1654/09 Part of Robert Blake's squadron for the Sea
1655/04/04 Present at the Battle of Porto Farina
1659 Part of British Baltic Fleet under Lord Edward Montagu
1665/06/03 Present at the Battle of Lowestoft
1666 Re-classed as a 38 gunner
1666/06/01 Present at the Four Days Battle
1666/07/25 Present at the St James Day Battle

All suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks!
Sarah

Currie
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Re: Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by Currie » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:35 am

Hello Sarah,

There’s never a 17th Century Shipping Expert around when you need one. I’m not one but I’ll see if I can confuse the issue by rustling up some more paperwork.

In this history of the First Dutch War, there’s a brief mention of Capt Packe pages 19, 29, 117, 121, 123, and 174. The Plymouth Battle is from p 105. http://archive.org/stream/firstdutchwar ... 4/mode/2up

They set sail on the morning of the 15th, met the Hollanders fleet about 1 o’clock on the 16th, and fighting continued till nightfall. The date of the will is compelling, and it might seem reasonable to assume that a soldier etc would write a will before a battle, but would one like that have been written on a relatively small ship by an ordinary seaman during a battle, or immediately before or after a battle, when things would have been pretty tense, and presumably there were more important things to be ready for. I’ve no idea really.

Here’s some stuff from old newspapers. It looks like there was more than one Amity. There’s the Amity of Hull in May 1651 captained by Thomas Cockerill, and in May 1653 there’s George Acklam requesting protection.

Severall Proceedings in Parliament (1649) (London, England), March 20, 1651 - March 27, 1651
Sandwitch ……………….. March 10. The Rainebow, the Increafe, the Amity, the Malego Merchant, and two other fhips in the Service fet fale from the Downes to go their Voyage.

Severall Proceedings in Parliament (1649) (London), May 1, 1651 - May 8, 1651
Captain Pack with the Amity Frigot captured a small vessel and brought her into Falmouth. http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad28 ... edings.jpg

Severall Proceedings in Parliament (1649) (London), May 22, 1651 - May 29, 1651
[This is from the Journal of Henry Toope of the ship Giles]
And on the 6 of April I came into the River of Humber, and there came to anchor fix miles below the Town of hull, and the four fhips which I did convoy, went up to the Town of Hull. The 15 of April, Richard Robinfon, Mafter of the Henry and John, and Thomas Cockerill, Mafter of the Amity of Hull, came down from Hull, and anchored by me, which fhips I did convoy for Hamburgh. [Set sail for Hamburgh on 19th]

Severall Proceedings in Parliament (1649) (London), January 15, 1652 - January 22, 1652
A Lift of fuch fhips and veffels as already are, and may in convenient time be fitted out to fea, as a Guard for the Summer enfuing, for the coafts of England, Ireland and Scotland …………….. [also referred to therein as “next Summers Navy” the list is of about 80 masters and ships and includes Michael Pack commander of the Amity.]

Mercurius Politicus Comprising the Summ of All Intelligence (London), February 19, 1652 - February 26, 1652
[The Barbados thing] http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1wv ... 22&f=false

Moderate Occurrences (London, England), May 17, 1653 - May 24, 1653
Amity, George Acklam or Acklim, Master, and 17 other ships loaded with valuable merchandise seeking protection. http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad28 ... rances.jpg

Mercurius Politicus Comprising the Summ of All Intelligence (London), August 18, 1653 - August 25, 1653
A lift of thofe Ships which are upon the coaft of Holland, under the command of Rere-Admirall Lawfon. [The list of about 50 ships includes Amity, the fleet left England? on or about the 20th]

Perfect Diurnall of Some Passages and Proceedings (London), February 20, 1654 - February 27, 1654
[On about the 11th Captain Fofter aboard the Phenix Frigot and the Amity set sail from the Humber and intercepted two suspicious vessels. After a battle the Amity’s target surrendered to Captain Pack. Later, from Grinsby, on the 16th, Captain Pack captured a Dutchman of War]


Probably nothing to do with anything but here’s an interesting book.
http://archive.org/stream/cu31924096785 ... 7/mode/2up

All the best,
Alan

SarahND
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Re: Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by SarahND » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:26 am

Hi Alan and thanks for the interesting trip into 17th century sailing! I've been moving around myself for the last week and have only just had time to look at all the links you posted. You may be right that there were a number of ships of that name.

I had originally thought that the Amity with William Menchim and Richard Darte aboard was a merchant ship heading to America, having seen this: http://www.combs-families.org/combs/rec ... d/bristol/
25 Sep 1652 Bristol EN Depositions. William COMBE, Notary Public. Deposition on a bond to be paid after the return of the AMTY [nb: Amity?] of Bristol to EN. (VSLA SR 06578, p. 3)

Then the date of the will and the date of the battle jumped out at me and I began wondering if the Amity referred to was perhaps a navy vessel. I suppose it's possible that ships were used for both functions and that it was the same ship after all. The battle would have taken place practically within view of the home of the Richard Darte I'm interested in and he would have been about 18 years old. So the right place and the right time. Someone of that name "appears" in the town of New London, Connecticut in 1662 with some friends and they hang about there for a couple of years until told by the local council to either settle down or go somewhere else. He settled down. I'm just trying to find all the possible pieces and hope they fit together into one man and not half a dozen different ones.

The book in your last link is fascinating and contains information about a few other people I'm interested in, so thanks for that also!

All the best,
Sarah

Currie
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Re: Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by Currie » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:02 pm

Hello Sarah,

I was also thinking that it wouldn’t be a very safe place to have your will, on a ship going into battle, where there was a chance that whatever caused your death could easily have meant the death of the ship and all its contents as well.

I tried a search for Amty in the old newspapers and brought up another in Briefe Relation of Some Affaires and Transactions (London, England), June 18, 1650 - June 25, 1650. This item was headed Paris the 11/12 June, 1650, and mentioned a John Heffelgrow [long s's], Captain of the Amity, who had his ship and its cargo of wine and silk seized by the ‘Chevalier de Boulemount’ and taken to the Isles of Saint Margaret.

And, if you don’t mind Sarah, I’ll sneak this one in as I found it quite interesting from an Australian point of view. I’ll skip the long s’s here, it never was a good idea. It’s from the Post Man and the Historical Account (London, England), June 16, 1698.

“Amsterdam, June 20. The Governous of our East India Company have received Letters from the Governour of the Cape of Goodhope, with advice that he had an account by some Seamen that were arrived there, that the Ships which were fitted here about two years ago, under the command of Captain Fleming [looks like], to make some discoveries in the South Country, were arrived at Battavia, and report that they had discovered an unknown Country, where they went ashore, and saw a great many black Indians, but that they ran away from them, and they could not by any means entice them to make a stand, to the end, that they might discourse them. They also said that they found a Tin Plate nailed to a Tree, with the name of a certain Dutch Skipper engraved thereon in the year 1616. They also saw the wreck of a ship, but could not discover what Country Ship she had been." [It goes on to say that the English slave ship Amity had been at the Cape etc.]

This was Primary School history for me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartog_Plate

All the best,
Alan

SarahND
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Re: Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by SarahND » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:19 pm

Hello Alan,
Currie wrote:I was also thinking that it wouldn’t be a very safe place to have your will, on a ship going into battle, where there was a chance that whatever caused your death could easily have meant the death of the ship and all its contents as well.
Except that this was a nuncupative (i.e. oral) will and thus would not need to have been written down until later. Wikipedia says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_will Under the law in England and Wales oral wills are permitted to military personnel and merchant seamen on duty (see law report below) and it is common practice for in Commonwealth countries. So I still think it can't be ruled out for that reason.
Currie wrote:And, if you don’t mind Sarah, I’ll sneak this one in as I found it quite interesting from an Australian point of view. I’ll skip the long s’s here, it never was a good idea. It’s from the Post Man and the Historical Account (London, England), June 16, 1698.
Don't mind at all! An interesting tale that oddly enough I was not taught in primary school in the U.S.!

Cheers,
Sarah

Currie
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Re: Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by Currie » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:06 am

Hello Sarah,

Now if I had paused for more than a moment to properly read the will instead of rushing off after the Amity I would have seen it was an oral will and wouldn’t hopefully have brought up all the negatives. Possibly it was a wounded, gasping, last breath, deathbed type of thing.

The format of these things often goes “were present and heard and saw”, and that may be the squiggle. I can’t figure out the other bit.

All the best,
Alan

SarahND
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Re: Shippe Amitie/Amity 1650-62

Post by SarahND » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:55 am

Hi Alan,
Glad you went running after the Amity anyway! It was a long-winded post and I don't blame you for skimming it... Everyone else probably had one look and quickly clicked over to something easier to read! I appreciate your perseverance...

All the best,
Sarah

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