June 25, 2024

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The Ship Angel Gabriel

11 min read

The ebook Angel Gabriel by Warren C. Riess incorporates details of desire to the descendants of the a few Burnham boys, John, Thomas, and Robert, who traveled from England to the New Globe on the ship Angel Gabriel.

On August 15, 1635 the Bristol Merchantman Angel Gabriel, conveying settlers and materials to the New Environment, wrecked in close proximity to the Pemaquid settlement in existing-day Bristol, Maine. Settlements like this a single were founded, supplied, and safeguarded with early seventeenth-century armed merchant ships. Most of the ships were being a few-masted, higher-sided vessels, currently referred to as ship-rigged English galleons. One particular this sort of ship was the Angel Gabriel that wrecked in the course of the devastating hurricane of 1635 at the Pemaquid settlement in Maine.

A few distinct ships named Angel Gabriel were pointed out in English data from the 1600s. The initially definite reference to the Angel Gabriel that wrecked at Pemaquid is identified in the Bristol Port Information of 1619. But evidence implies that she was at first named Starre, renamed Jason by Sir Walter Raleigh, and lastly acquired by two retailers from Bristol, England, who subsequently altered her identify to Angel Gabriel.

As the ship named Jason sailed with Raleigh’s next expedition to Guiana, in 1617 she was described as a ship of 240 tons. Sources describe the Angel Gabriel as a 240 ton ship which was specifically large in the early 1600s. In 1629 the age of Angel Gabriel was provided as fourteen several years, which leads to a building date of somewhere around 1615. Accumulation of circumstantial proof indicates that these 3 ships were just one and the very same. No found facts contradicts this idea.

In the early 1600s, Sir Ferdinando Gorges was certain by John Smith’s arguments, that colonization of New England would be a thriving undertaking. The settlements could be financed by a fishing and timber field that would fill returning emigrant and source ships with useful cargoes of dried cod and wonderful timbers. From the Council for New England, Gorges secured a patent from King James in 1620 for the land between the St. Lawrence River and current working day Philadelphia. In convert, Robert Aldworth and Giles Elbridge obtained a patent in 1632 from Gorges’s Council (which administered the New England Company) for 1,200 acres all over their investing settlement at Pemaquid, in what is now Bristol, Maine.

With the arrival in Massachusetts Bay of a lot more than 1,000 settlers, the Excellent Migration started in earnest. It was a decade of ship following ship of English families leaving overcrowded, socially rigid England for the land and relative freedoms of New England. Most of them emigrated to what is now Massachusetts, but others settled in cities farther south and north.

Throughout the summer months of 1635 Elbridge sent Angel Gabriel to Pemaquid with settlers and supplies. Sad to say, the merchants’ information and the Bristol port records can’t be situated for this time period of time, but Richard Mather’s journal and genealogical records of immigrants give quite a few particulars of the voyage and aftermath. Richard Mather, was a devout Puritan minister who endured spiritual persecution in Anglican England. In 1635 he prepared to emigrate from Bristol to Massachusetts on the more compact merchant ship James. Richard Mather turned the minister of Dorchester in the Colony of Massachusetts, his son the Reverend Boost Mather, D. D., the long run President of Harvard Higher education, and the grandfather of Rev. Dr. Cotton Mather, minister of Boston. On May 26, 1635, even though ready on board James at Kings Road, just down the Avon River from Bristol, he wrote, “The Tuesday morning… an additional ship, also sure for New-England, came unto us which other ship was termed the Angel Gabriel.”

Three other ships joined Angel Gabriel and James at Kings Highway for the Atlantic crossing. They established sail on June 4, but a opposite wind forced them to anchor in the lee of Lundy Island, at the entrance to the Bristol Channel, for 4 times. They then proceeded to Milford Haven, an outstanding harbor in Wales, to await favorable winds, which last but not least arrived on June 22. The 5 ships sailed alongside one another from Milford Haven on that Monday early morning in advance of a sturdy east wind, retaining shut with each other for the initially day in panic of “Turkish” pirates who were raiding Bristol shipping at the time.

Quoting from Richard Mather’s journal:

This working day, at night, we lost sight of the three ships bound for Newfoundland, which had been in enterprise with us from Kings Road: and our master believed it ideal for us to stay for the Angel Gabriel, staying bound for New England, as we were being, rather than go away her and go with the other 3. The Angel Gabriel is a powerful ship, and nicely furnished with fourteen and sixteen pieces of ordnance, and thus our seamen fairly sought after her business, but however she is sluggish in sailing, and hence we went at times with three sails significantly less than we could possibly have performed, so that we might not about go her.

Travellers to the New Planet paid a hefty sum for the crossing, but most experienced no much better quarters than the crew. The voyage ordinarily charge five or 6 lbs for each grownup, which included quite standard food. This was a huge amount of money of revenue, probably symbolizing many years of saving for an typical Englishman. There had been no distinctive cabins created for them, so to slumber they would locate room in between decks exactly where they could between the guns, cargo, and other travellers. If there were only a number of passengers, they could possibly be berthed in the fantastic cabin or a person deck down below near the tiller (hence the phrase in steering).

In the 1630s many guides were being in print to suggest settlers what clothes, food stuff, equipment, and weapons to convey for their voyage and their farms in The united states. Writers instructed that emigrants provide added, better foodstuff for the voyage, together with are living animals when achievable (and provisions for the very same) to take in on the vacation and to commence their farms in The united states. For the latter, dwell animals had been obtainable in the proven American settlements, but at a steep price tag. They encouraged bringing a year’s supply of these types of staples as flour, peas, oil, vinegar, oatmeal, gun powder, and musket shot. All manner of farming tools and kitchen area utensils were necessary and higher overall body armor was prompt. Collectively, these could possibly price tag concerning ten and fifteen kilos, moreover delivery expenses of concerning just one and two pounds.

Soon after June 29, people on James made the decision that it was risk-free adequate to go away the slower Angel Gabriel behind and, using benefit of a solid wind, parted firm. Nevertheless, at the time they arrived at The usa, contrary winds alongside “the key” price them a 7 days of hard sailing to proceed a hundred miles. On Friday, August 14 James sailed into the harbor at the Isles of Shoals, a team of small islands off Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. Close to eighty miles to the northeast, on the very same day, Angel Gabriel sailed north into John’s Bay among Pemaquid Level on the east and Thrumcap Island on the west. The Passengers would have seen the Pemaquid Peninsula mostly protected with tall trees and lined by a steep, rocky shore for two miles. Then they would have seen a smaller Pemaquid Indian encampment close to a sandy seaside. Just outside of that, at the northeast corner of John’s Bay, was Pemaquid Harbor, safeguarded by modest islands and ledges. Elbridge’s compact settlement lay at the shores of the harbor. In 1635 Pemaquid was the northeastern-most English settlement in The usa.

Along the northern New England coast that night every thing appeared standard but as the crews of the two ships anchored for the night, to their southwest a lethal storm was shifting up the coast. This was not a normal summer months storm, but a potent early-season hurricane, quite possibly the most powerful hurricane to hit New England in recorded time. It struck southern New England in the evening, producing a storm surge in Narragansett Bay fourteen feet previously mentioned the usual superior tide line.

In Plymouth, William Bradford afterwards recorded:

This 12 months, the 14th or 15th of August was such a mighty storm of wind and rain as none living in these areas, possibly English or Indians, ever noticed. It started in the early morning a tiny prior to working day, and grew not by levels but came with violence in the beginning, to the good amazement of several. It blew down sundry residences and uncovered many others. Divers vessels have been dropped at sea and numerous extra in intense danger. It blew down a lot of hundred countless numbers of trees, turning up the more powerful by the roots and breaking the increased pine trees off in the middle.

The crew and terrified passengers on James ended up helpless in the confront of the storm, besides to go underneath deck and pray for deliverance, which they did. Soon after currently being tossed and overwhelmed by the storm for hrs, they survived and at some point designed it to shore with their more sails. Matters were worse at the subsequent settlement, Pemaquid. There the storm almost certainly hit just right after sunrise taking the inhabitants and new arrivals, as almost everywhere else, completely by shock. Mather wrote:

And the Angel Gabriel, staying then at anchor at Pemaquid, was burst in items and cast away in this storm, and most of the cattle and other items, with one seaman and a few or 4 passengers, did also perish therein.

Some area lore maintains that most of the travellers and crew came ashore around rocks in the eye of the storm, when Angel Gabriel wrecked on possibly Fish Position or on the rocks by the continues to be of Fort William Henry. Mather and Trelawny documented the ship at anchor at the Pemaquid settlement when the hurricane struck. Remaining Elbridge’s ship she was most probable bringing supplies to their trading settlement. This could necessarily mean at minimum a several times of unloading, and many travellers and most of the crew may well consequently have been ashore for the night time when the storm struck early in the morning of August 15, 1635.

A checklist of crew or travellers aboard Angel Gabriel has not been situated, but a mix of archival documents and recorded spouse and children lore point out 20-6 of those aboard – 20-5 passengers and the captain. While Mather mentions a hundred passengers aboard the James, the assumption should really not be manufactured that the 240 ton Angel Gabriel had a equivalent amount of travellers. Elbridge had a developing trade settlement to supply at Pemaquid, and may have observed transporting his own merchandise much more successful than shipping and delivery settlers’ possessions and supplies. In addition, the area demanded for fourteen or sixteen guns and their devices would have been a major consideration on the most important deck, in which passengers normally have been berthed. Elbridge may well have transported only a number of travellers with their belongings as area permitted. Nowadays, primary archival records guidance only the existence of the Cogswell family members, William Furber, and Samuel Haines.

Other folks mentioned are derived from material in family genealogies.

Andrews, probably Robert Andrews

John Bailey

John Jr.


Ralph Blaesdell (42)

Elizabeth (spouse)

Henry (3)

Thomas Bradbury

John Burnham

Thomas Burnham (16)

Robert Burnham (11)

John Cogswell

Elizabeth Cogswell (spouse)

William (16)

John Jr. (12)

Edward (6)

Mary (16)





William Furber (21)

Samuel Haines (33)

Henry Simpson

John Tuttle (17)

Temporary Details about Some of the Passengers


I could not obtain archival product about the ship’s master (captain), but a secondary resource claims that Robert Andrews, uncle of John and Thomas Burnham was master of the ship when she was missing. Robert Andrews was born in Norwich, England and was married to an Elizabeth. However, the exact same Robert Andrews currently was residing at Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1635, was granted freeman status (a single who could vote and hold workplace) in May 1635, and was specified a license to run an inn on his farm in September 1635. It is probable, that this Andrews was Angel Gabriel’s master. He may have been dwelling in Ipswich and built a spherical trip to England, returning as the ship’s master.


Family genealogies, but no primary archival data, relate that John Bailey, a weaver from Chippenham, still left his wife Elizabeth and three small children in England and took passage aboard Angel Gabriel with his son John Jr. and daughter Joanna. They lived in what became Newbury, Massachusetts for two a long time soon after the wreck. In 1637 they settled on a fifty-acre plot on the banking companies of the Merrimac River in Salisbury the place John fished and farmed. John Jr. And Joanna at some point still left Salisbury and moved back throughout the river to Newbury. John Jr. married Eleanor Emery and Joanna married William Harrington or Huntington. Elizabeth, John Sr.’s spouse who experienced stayed in England, by no means came to The united states. Household lore relates that the household was so terrified by the hurricane experience that neither team would cross the Atlantic to be with the other. Patricia Bailey, a present-working day member of the relatives and singer, has composed a touching ballad of the family’s horrible ordeal.


Details from the Cogswell’s account of their journey gives some intriguing insights. Mr. Cogswell took with him apart from his spouse and 8 sons and daughters, various farm and home servants, an sum of valuable furnishings, farming implements, housekeeping utensils, and a appreciable sum of dollars. He mentioned in his writings, “the Angel Gabriel became a total wreck, travellers, cattle, and merchandise have been all solid on the angry waves.” Mr. Cogswell and his relatives arrived at the shore with their lives, but properly drenched by the sea and despoiled of valuables to the amount of money of 5 thousand pounds sterling. They had been additional lucky than some who sailed with them, whom the indignant waves collected to a watery grave. On leaving England Mr. Cogswell had taken along with him a big tent, which now came into superior assistance. This they pitched, and into it they gathered them selves and such suppliers as they could rescue from the waves. The darkness of that initially night time of the Cogswells in The united states uncovered them housed beneath a tent on the seashore. The next working day they picked up what much more of their items they could, which experienced come ashore all through the night time or lay floating about on the h2o. As quickly as attainable Mr. Cogswell, leaving his spouse and children, took passage for Boston. He there designed a deal with a selected Capt. Gallup, who commanded a modest barque, to sail for Pemaquid and transportation his spouse and children to Ipswich, Massachusetts.

It is difficult for us to visualize the scene of the storm. It was not abnormal for men and women on the shore to view a ship break into quite a few items and crew and travellers thrown into the wild sea as they ended up helpless to give any kind of rescue. Traces of this storm remained for decades. In asking yourself how Robert Andrews and his three nephews attained Ipswich, one particular descendant residing presently in Essex stated that they walked all the way. What an introduction to The us and their new journey for these three English boys!

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