The Foxearth and District Local History Society

Captain Bennett Investigated

by Michael Wand

An account of a historical enquiry into Capt John Bennett 1670-1717

Captain Bennett, his memorial bust

This is an account of a fifteen year quest into the mystery of the contents of Captain Bennets trunk. It all started when Michael was talking to the Essex historian Herbert Hope Lockwood in front of the Bennett monument in St Margaret's church, Barking.
"It's strange" said Bert "but no-one really knows anything about him, apart from the hearsay that Bennett (or his father) was one of Admiral Sir Clowdisley Shovell's captains and that he survived the Great Scillies Disaster of 1707 through sheer navigational skill".
Fifteen years and more than a bit of research later, He doesn't believe the hearsay,and can still only guess why Bennett's parents and then he himself ended their days in Barking, Essex, far from their native Dorset.
The tale, as it unfurls, suggests adeventure on the high seas, smuggling, money-laundering, and other dubious branches of a multi-generation business conducted by a group of Poole businessmen.
A year before Bert died, Michael promised Bert Lockwood He'd put all the material on Captain Bennett onto one file and deposit a copy where others might find it and add to it. So here it is.

Captain Bennett's Family
Captain Bennett's Will
The Secrecy clause
The Newfoundland Trade and the 'Dorset Smugglers'
Barking, Essex
The Barking Fishing Smacks
Essex Owling
Bennett within the City Gates
Authors conclusions to date
The Great Scillies Disaster of 1707
Captain Jumpers' Log
Sea-captains in the Barking Church Registers
Poole and its harbour
Bennett's Castle Lane
Captain Benett's RN Career
Bennetts career gap
Captain Bennett's Royal Navy Ships
Captain Bennett's bank accounts
Captain Bennett's funeral, tomb, and monument
HM Hired Ship Coronation
Barking Vestry Minutes
Some mayors of Poole around Captain Bennett's time
Was owling worth the risk?
Owling in Captain Bennetts time
An index of the names in Captain Bennett's life
Poole Families with surnames from Captain Bennett's will
A list of Burgesses of Poole in 1690
The Great Forest in Essex
Some exents around Captain Bennett's time

John Bennett was made a Captain in England's Royal Navy on the First of May 1695 at the age of 25. He sailed to Virginia, Hamburg, Archangel in Russia, Cape Town and the West Indies eighty years before Nelson and he was an elected Burgess of Poole in Dorset. When he died in 1717 his will was long and generous to Cousins, to a Haberdasher in London and to the ancient Borough of Poole. But what was it in his iron trunk and scritoire that he wanted concealed from beyond the grave? Why, like his parents before him, did Captain Bennett decide to die in Barking, Essex and to have a splendid memorial in the parish church there, far from his native Poole? And, is the old Barking hearsay about him true?

Captain Bennett's family

There is still a short street in Poole, just off the town's waterfront, called Bennett's Alley and there are records of a Bennett family there as far back as the 1500s. The Poole Borough and Dorset County records show that John Bennett's father (son of Robert) married Mary Baker in Poole parish church on 27th July 1664. He was 28, she 27 - a fairly normal age for merchant class marriages then.

The Bennetts' first two children died in infancy. Their third was baptised John on 21 February 1670/1 and his brother Joseph on 20 November 1677. Their father was 'elected and sworne a Free Burgess of the Corporation of Poole on 23 December 1668' (paying a £5 fee) and his brothers Richard ('Mariner of Poole') on 2 April 1685 and Robert ('Merchant of Poole') on 25 January 1688.

However, John and Mary Bennett were living elsewhere by 1690. The Second Poll Rate list for the Borough of 1690 (Poole Doc.A17) contains the names of over 700 people living in Poole that year. Neither Captain Bennett nor his parents were listed anywhere on it, nor was Joseph, but it does show that their uncles, Robert Bennett & Richard Bennett were resident in Poole that year.

Captain Bennett himself was sworn an Out-Burgess of Poole on 17 July 1705 aged 35. Another John Bennett was sworn on 5 August 1719, two years after Captain John died - more than probably the youngest son of his late uncle Richard Bennett.

Despite the strong ties to Poole, John Bennett senior died on "8 May 1706 aged 70 years and 8 months" and his mother Mary on "9 January 1712" according to their floor-slab in St Margaret's Church, Barking, close to the north aisle altar. The Bennetts must have been well known there by then; but I have not yet found a trace of them in the ERO or Valence House Museum records, including Hearth Tax.

Captain Bennett was by 1716 a Royal Navy Captain with twenty one years' seniority. He had had a career of hard sailing rather than hard fighting and, four years after his last command, he knew he was dying. With no children who might inherit, he started to make a will and appears to have moved to Barking before he completed it - but where in Barking? He died on January 30th 1716/17 and was buried in Barking Churchyard on 6 February 1717. Abraham Edlin, City of London Haberdasher, was the appointed executor of his Will, which has one or two curious entries:

Captain Bennetts Will

Summary of Captain Bennett's Will (PROB 11 556) £
Robert, eldest Son of my late Uncle Rich'd Bennett: *Note1 Note1: 2 tenements, Strand St Poole, for life; then to Robert's heirs. 10
Richard, second Son of my late Uncle Rich'd Bennett 300
John, youngest Son of my late Uncle Rich'd Bennett 500
Cousin Mary Edwards late Mary Linton a guinea only 1
The Borough of Poole where I was borne 300
Cousin Tho's Masters: S'th Sea Stock (+ pay A. Baker £4pa) 500
Godson Tho's Masters Jr (not 21): *Note2 Note2: Part-estate 'Grange', Dorset + its 2 Poole ground-rents. and the sum of 200
Abr'm Edlin of St Botolphs: *Note3,

Note3: L/H properties Petticoat Lane, Aldgate; plus 4 Class Ticketts but Abraham Edlin to pay Aunt Anne Baker £8pa for life.
gold watch, furniture and
JB's Aunt Joane Baker, for mourning 10
Cousin Tho's Stevens + wife Hannah: half the 'Elizabeth Hoy' + 40
John Smith Son of Hn'h Stevens: best r'm furniture/Condition 100
John Thorp of Wapping, Apothecary, for mourning 10
Thomas Fleming of Loxford Gent (of Barking Vestry) mourning 10
Aunts Anne and Joane Baker: *Note4 Note4: JBs L/H messuage or tenement in Broad Street, Wapping -
Captain George Lewin = Lewen of Poole, for mourning 21
Cousin Ambrose Weston + his wife for mourning 20
Mr John Lester of Poole for mourning 10
Mr William Parrett of London, Merchant, for mourning 10
Madam Fewtrell and her daughter for mourning 20
George Fewtrell son of Madam Fewtrell, for mourning 10
Robert Whitfield of London, Taylor, for mourning 20
Giles Griffith (of Barking Vestry) for mourning 10
JBs servant Arden Buloan 'forgiven' + a suit of clothes + 2
The 'poore of the parish where I happen to depart this life' 50
The 'poore of the parish where I happen to be buried' 50
Charge for his funeral + monument + 'grave with iron railes' 500
Mr Bryan Wheelock Steward to Earl Shaftesbury the sum of 110
Abraham Edlin: furniture/iron chest/Condition/'chariot+horses'
Cousin Mary Masters (wife of Thos) Trunk/scritoire/Condition -
Mr Wheelock/Abraham Edlin: Note5, Note5: messuages, lands etc in/near Harbridge, Hants + residue of JBs South Sea shares, Bank of England shares, 'lottery ticketts called courses', all other lottery ticketts, my Annuity in the £40,000 surplus in the year 1708, all upon Trust to sell. to meet legacies/costs -
Captain Cripeny of Barking ('Chas Crepigny', witness of will) 10
Rev Mr Connett (= Conant, Rector of Poole 1705-20) mourning 10
John Fawler, Commissioner of the Navy, for mourning 10
Rev Mr Middleton, Minister of Lindhurst, for mourning 10
Mrs Frances Lewis, widow, for mourning 10
JB's servants at his decease: half year's wages/suit of mourning
JB's Goddaughter, daughter of John Butts of Gosport, Brewer 10
Mrs Martha Williams, widow, for mourning 10
Friend John Godsalve of London, Gent, (see Names Index) 10
Widow Pike, tenant of JB's Strand Street Poole property 5
Mrs Jane Edlin fifty gns for mourning (see Names Index) 52
Mr Isaac Edlin brother to Abraham Edlin, for mourning 10
'Cousin George Cload' for mourning (see Names Index) 10
Cousin John Martin and his wife five pounds each for mourning 10
Cousin Joseph Pittman, Wapping (in Names Index) mourning 10
The poor of the Parish of Barking, Essex a further 10
The poor of the parish of Harbridge, Hampshire 10
Aunt Anne Baker: £12pa in annuities from Masters/Edlin 10
Towards Executors' costs 20

1695 buying power was about 1/80th of today's ('Queens Treasures' TV Programme on 26 May 2002) so a £50 bequest for Mourning x 80 would have been worth some £4000 in 2002.

What was the £40,000 surplus in the year 1708?

I have not discovered (nor could Bert Lockwood or the National Maritime Museum guess) what "the £40,000 surplus in the year 1708" was. It was an enormous sum of money for those days. Could it have been the residue of the sum allocated by the Government to the widows and orphans of the Great Scillies Disaster of 1707? If so, why was Bennett entitled to an annuity in it? Was his brother Joseph Bennett lost in the disaster - or had their late uncle Robert advanced pay to sailors who were lost and he had written claims for a refund?

The Secrecy Clause

There is another mystery about the will. The trunks or items of furniture Captain Bennett left to his cousins John Bennett and Mary Masters, to John Smith son of Hannah Stevens and to Abraham Edlin, were all subject to secrecy clauses:

"I give and bequeath unto the said Abraham Edlin all the furniture in the Room called my Chamber together with the Chest of Drawers and the Iron Chest with all that is therein contained upon this Condition that he do not disclose or make known the Contents thereof or any part thereof to any person and in case he do make the same known contrary to this my desire my will and meaning is that he forfeits this my devise to him and in that case I give the same unto my Cousin Mary Masters"

What did this furniture contain that Bennett wanted to hide - or that one or more of his contemporaries wanted him to be seen to hide? Was it valuable, commercially sensitive or plain dangerous? Was it cash, valuables that had not yet been turned into cash that was not all his, or sensitive paperwork? And, why did he leave different items of furniture to different people but with the same odd condition? It can't all have been a red herring.

There is perhaps a first clue: the declaration in the will holding Abraham Edlin not liable for the many transactions that had passed between them in Bennett's lifetime. I think this was to enable Edlin to declare that he had always bought items from Captain Bennett in good faith as to their origins. Then one can see other clues.

The Newfoundland Trade and the 'Dorset Smugglers'

Customs men giving chase to a lugger

By Captain Bennett's time, Poole was the leading port in England for ships carrying essential supplies to the colony of Newfoundland. They took dried cod-meat from Newfoundland on to the plantations of Virginia and the West Indies and then sugar, rum and tobacco back to England on a third leg of this triangle. The Masters family of Poole were well into this 'Newfoundland Trade'. So were some Bennetts: The Wessex & Newfoundland Society Newsletter of May 1897 said that Bennetts of Poole were at Bennett's Island, Bennett's Brook and Grand Bennett Island in 1695 and 1745. Which Bennetts?

When the restored but cash-short Stuart kings put a heavy Customs Duty on tobacco (and similar sea-borne comforts) the risk-reward ratio of owling (which we now call smuggling) was transformed. The ship-owning Poole merchants and their wide network of retainers, contacts and customers readily turned their hands and ships to it.

In his book, 'Dorset Smugglers', published in 1983 and based on the Culliford Report of 1682, the Bournemouth heritage journalist Roger Guttridge showed how Poole was Dorset's biggest smuggling port in Captain Bennett's time and for decades afterwards. Wine, brandy, rum, tea, coffee, cocoa beans, rolls of cloth, spices, vinegar, whalebone, hats, playing cards, paper and even logwood were brought into Poole and run inland free of duty under the noses of corrupt customs officials.

Thomas Culliford was the customs official who named and shamed the merchants of Poole who were not paying duty. None of the surnames he recorded in other Dorset ports appeared in Bennett's will, but many of his legatees seem to have been the next generation of the men fingered by Thomas Culliford thirty four years earlier: notably Lewin, Bennett, Stevens, Martin, Lewis, Weston.

Culliford 1682 Captain Bennett's will 1716
George Lewin
Contraband owner
'Captain George Lewin of Poole'
Mayor of Poole 1706-1708, d.1718
Robert Bennett, Owned the Robert , Tobacco runner 'My late uncle Robert Bennett' Elected Mayor but died before sworn. Capt Bennett his Administrator in 1709
Richard Stevens Master of the Robert Richard Stevens not in Bennett's will but 'Cousin Thomas Stevens' was
Thomas Bennett Dragger boat owner Did Bennett have an Uncle Thomas, born when Poole records were lost?
John Martin, Owned the Mary Maria 'My cousin John Martin' in the will
William Lewis 'Mrs Francis Lewis, widow' in the will.
'Pike's ship from Virginia' Tobacco runner 'The Widow Pike' in the will William Pike was Mayor of Poole 1693
John Weston Dragger boat owner 'Ambrose Weston' had been apprentice to Mr John Weston London merchantA Mr John Weston died Poole 1719

Dragger boats were local oyster-bed dredgers that their owners used to carry contraband to and from offshore ships.

Culliford said Robert Bennett's ship the Robert could carry 120 hogsheads (a cask of 54 gallons capacity) of Virginia tobacco comfortably. He left no formal will and in 1709 his Administrator was his eldest nephew Captain John Bennett. He would have kept Robert's property in the Bennett family, but what happened to Robert's business and the ocean-crossing Robert?

Then, surprise! The same family names from Culliford's Poole appeared in the Barking Parish registers (but not of Dagenham or East Ham) - Bennett, Baker, Martin, Masters, Furzer, Rogers, Pike, Stevens, Lewen, Durell, Cload, Lester, Weston and Pelly. This coincidence lasted from the 1550s until well into the 1700s. Why? There is something strange going on here.

Barking, Essex

Barking Fire-bell gate

Unlike Poole, Barking was not a Borough with a Royal Charter and elected Burgesses, but its parish was one of the largest in Stuart England. It ran east from the River Roding to Dagenham, north from the Thames tideway through Ilford to the Barking side of the Great Forest and on up to the Chigwell boundary.

Barking Town had a fine parish church and Fire Bell Gate (the sole survivors of its great abbey) a market hall, manor houses, gentry, farms, market gardens, grazing meadows, reed beds for basket making and thatching, leather tanners, supplies of wood and charcoal from the nearby Forest - and access to the tidal Thames across Barking Town Quay. The Barking Parish Vestry maintained and controlled this from its meeting room above the market hall. Coastal hoys and the biggest Thames barges could load and unload cargoes there with ease. Ocean-going sailing ships could anchor in the Thames only a short row down the River Roding. The King's Arsenal and Woolwich Dockyard were just up the Thames from Barking Creek and Deptford Royal Dockyard was another mile upstream past the brand new Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich.

But there was a further dimension to Barking. It was also London's biggest source of fish. Large fishing smacks from Barking spent long periods out in the North Sea fishing grounds, returning to Barking Creek to transfer their fish to smaller boats for the eight-mile journey upstream to London Bridge and Billingsgate fish-market.

Barking on the Chapman and Andre map of 1774.

Barking's Fishing Smacks

Daniel Defoe wrote: 'These fishing-smacks are very useful vessels to the public upon many occasions; as particularly, in time of war they are used as press-smacks, running to all the northern and western coasts to pick up seamen to man the navy, when any expedition is at hand that requires a sudden equipment; at other times, being excellent sailors, they are tenders to particular men of war; and on an expedition they have been made use of as machines for the blowing up of fortified ports and havens; as at Calais, St. Malo, and other places' (1722)

The Town Quay end of Barking was full of fishermen, shipwrights, sawyers, riggers, mast-makers, sail-makers, ships chandlers, water keg makers, pork cask makers, net-makers, knitters, waterproof clothing and boot makers, ships biscuits bakers, men with horses and carts, inns and more.

So, Barking was a productive location for a wide range of skills; and a convenient place from which gentlemen, sea captains, merchants and traders could go to London by pony and trap and be back with their families the same day.

And, in his will, Captain Bennett remembered three of the men from the Parish Vestry that ran Barking parish and Barking Town Quay.

Essex Owling

Thirty miles to the east of Barking were the small ports of the Essex coast. Trade to and from the Low Countries streamed through them. Fish from them went up to London by horse and cart. Illicit trade streamed into and out of the many Essex tidal creeks. Tiptree Common in mid-Essex was its major clearing-house. Was it a coincidence that John Godsalve of Baddow, a Bennett legatee, had lands at Tillingham, Dengie and Canvey? See Map of Owlers' Essex

Bennett within the City Walls

John Bennett's place of residence before he moved to Barking and when he was not on board ship is a big gap in this research; as is the date that his parents moved to Barking? Did his parents first live within the City of London walls - and later on at the leasehold properties in Petticoat Lane and Broad Street Wapping, before moving to Barking? For instance in 1693-4 an Abraham Edlin, a Thomas Masters and a Captain Bennett (i.e. before Bennett Junior's RN commission) were paying the four shillings in the pound City rate, as was a Jane Edling - possibly the Mrs Jane Edlin that Bennett left cash to for mourning.

Author's conclusions to date

I believe that the Bennett family were merchants with relatives and reliable friends ('Cousins') in both Barking and Poole who had for at least three generations run smuggled goods into Dorset and London from their own ships and coastal vessels. It needed a competent landside organisation and paperwork in Poole and the London area to do this profitably. Bennett mentions his counting house, his Petticoat Lane leasehold and the Broad Street Wapping property in his will, but his parents could equally have run their end of the family business from Barking. I believe Abraham Edlin was the Bennetts' principal London agent. Others probably ventured money with them. Indeed, well after Captain Bennett (and, I think, Mary Masters) had died, a Sir Thomas Masters took Abraham Edlin to court claiming he had not distributed full value to the legatees. The National Archive have Edlin's response that he had done so. But he did go on a bit!

As his father's generation died, Captain John Bennett RN became the family and business elder. When he himself was terminally ill, he split his counting-house paperwork geographically (local lists of sums due and owing, suppliers, valued customers and so on) put it in locked pieces of furniture and left this and some of his real estate to his blood-cousins and Edlin. His cash and other realisable assets went to Abraham Edlin to cover expenses, but I think (and so must have Thomas Masters) that he fixed it so his youngest cousin John could buy his Harbridge estate cheaply - but I may be wrong!

The Great Scillies Disaster of 1707

The story persists in Barking that Captain Bennett was one of Admiral Shovell's captains at the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 and that he was also in Shovell's squadron during their fateful return from the Mediterranean in October 1707. It is not clear if this meant Captain John Bennett or his father, Captain Bennett Senior. (The title 'Captain' did not mean he was Royal Navy. It was the proper title for a man who commanded a proper ship)

I have looked hard for but not yet found a Captain Bennett at the Capture of Gibraltar in 1704 or near the Great Scillies Disaster in 1707 (the records in both cases being quite good) let alone of a Captain Bennett 'warning that Shovell's squadron was about to run onto the Western Rocks off the Scillies'.

However, the ship Bennett commanded in 1712, HMS Lenox, did indeed take part in the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 and she was again in Admiral Shovell's squadron on the fateful 22nd October 1707. Perhaps the hearsay comes from this. In both cases Lenox was under the command of Sir William Jumper, the most successful cruiser captain of his generation.

Captain Jumper's log

I have seen Captain Jumper's log for 1.1.1706-22.1.1707/8 at the National Archive ref: ADM51/30. For 22/23 October 1707 he wrote:

"22. Small winds N'rly ye former part but at Noone hard gales at SWBS and thick weather. At 11: y morning parted w y Fleet and bent good sailes home near ye length of Scilly w the Valeur + Phoenix."

The three ships had detached to go to Falmouth by prior arrangement between Jumper and Shovell. There was no sign in the log for the three days that Jumper (or his ship's Sailing Master) had attended an Admiral's conference or foreseen disaster.

"23. Fresh gales from noon yesterday at SSW but Clear till 2 (a.m.) steering NEBN then hazy and wett and the Gale freshing we altered our Course to E-ward….lay up…to sound but no ground at 3 (a.m.)"

Then, seven hours of darkness after the unseen catastrophe to their east, the three ships ran into the shallows south and west of the Scillies island of Samson, north of Annet and St Agnes. Lenox and Valeur somehow got through into the deeper water of Broad Sound, but despite her crew's efforts, Phoenix struck the edge of a rock, sprang a leak, shipped more water from a breaker and ran onto sand between Sansom and Bryher at half tide. Captain Sansom did not manage to float her off into the pool of New Grimsby harbour until 25th October. You can see where if you visit Tresco gardens.

Two well-researched works analyse the disaster. Sir Clowdisley Shovell's Disaster by Richard Larn and Peter McBride (60 pages) was published by Historic Maritime Series. Simon Harris's 430 page biography Sir Cloudesley Shovell was published in 2001 by Spellmount.

The loss of Association, Eagle, Romney and Firebrand and nearly 2000 lives including that of Admiral Shovell, on the 22nd October 1707, hugely shocked England, led eventually to Harrison's ship-saving chronometer and, in 1996, to Dava Sobel's book Longitude.

Sea-captains in the Barking Church registers

Captains Banaster, Boys, Brooks, Collett, Field, Furzer, Hancock, Harward = Hayward, Hawk, Hubbard (3 generations), Pelly, Rogers and Shepherd are all mentioned in the Barking Church registers of Captain Bennett's time and are in the names index here.

Poole and its Harbour

Poole harbour is the biggest natural sea-haven in England. As a town, Poole is one of the oldest boroughs in England. It was part of the medieval Manor of Canford. Because English kings needed to count on the town's loyalty whenever French ships threatened (which was often) Poole enjoyed a number of ancient legal liberties - 'the Liberty of Allsister and the parish of St James'.

The adjoining hamlets of Parkstone, Longfleet, Hickford and North Haven were anciently called the out-parish of Poole. Parkstone was in the tithing of Kinson in the Parish of Canford, five miles away, but its tithes were payable to the rectors of Poole.

There is a Poole Port Book in the National Archive: not yet seen.

Bennett's Castle Lane

An old Barking area name, Bennett's Castle Lane is a northward turning off Longbridge Road, east of the 1930s Robin Hood Pub (demolished 2006), between Barking and Becontree Heath.

Bert Lockwood told me: 'The Lane got its name well before 1700 and I see no connection with Captain Bennett. The will of Thomas Haryett in 1472 mentioned "a Messuage called le Castell" and I agree with John O'Leary (the Dagenham historian) that it was probably a moated and fortified homestead. My card index has a Nicholas Bennett buying Castle Farm House at the junction of Longbridge Road and Castle Lane (as it then was) from Thomas Goodman & Henry Humfrey somewhere between 1609 and 1616. 41 acres of wood on the farm were felled in 1666. Nicholas Bennett and Susan Mason set up house there after they married in 1717. He then had the interior panelling painted. Photos of it taken in 1937 survive but, alas, Bennett's Castle Farm House does not.

Bennett's Castle Farm House had passed to William Bennett by 1669 and then to his widow Anne Bennett who was there in 1679-80. Thomas Bennett, a market gardener (who lived in Tanner Street Barking) held one of the farm's fields. In 1721 a John Bennett, Draper of London, was admitted to the copyhold of the farm, which his widow Elizabeth inherited in 1733 in trust for their son William.

Bennett's Castle House was built 700 yards to the north of the Farm House early in the 1880s. Photos of it show that the eaves of one wing were castellated. Its probable builder, William Temple, was a member of the Romford Board of Guardians and he died there in 1902. There is no evidence of an earlier house on its site and it was demolished in 1930 by the London County Council to make way for the huge Becontree Estate.'


I am grateful for the help and information I have had from the Borough of Poole Local Studies Centre, the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham's Valence House, the National Maritime Museum Library, the Family Records Centre, Mr Roger Guttridge, the Essex Record Office, the Dorset Records Office, the Hampshire Records Office, the National Archive, Mrs Dorothy Lockwood, the Courtauld Library, the Hoare & Company archivist, the Bank of England archivists and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. In particular, I value and miss the years of encouragement I had from the late Herbert Hope Lockwood, who prompted all this.

List of illustrations and photos - needs re-casting:
1.Photo of the Bennett memorial in Barking Church
2. Photo of Captain Bennett's tomb in Barking Churchyard
3. C19th photo of Barking Church from the Town Quay
4. Photo of St Margaret's Barking in November 2006
5. Summary notes on the memorial
6. Summary of Bennett's naval career and ships
7. Close-up of warship bows and stern on the monument
8. Old photo of Poole waterfront
9. Photo of a Poole merchant house from Bennett's time
10. Photo of the 'Bennett's Alley' street name today

Captain Bennett's RN career

Bennett was already the First Lieutenant of the Hired Ship HMS Coronation when he was made her Captain (and re-entered on the pay-book) on 1st May 1695. England was at war with France again and it was not unusual for the RN of the time to hire armed privateers from the merchants, high-risk investors and chancers who were licenced to operate them. But who owned it in the first place? Fifty gun ships and their crew didn't come cheap.

A Robert Bennett showed up the day before John Bennett became its Captain to collect the pay-ticket of his 'brother Thomas Bennett' and of one of another seaman. Such 'ticketts' were redeemable for cash at the Navy Pay Office. Was this the Captain's Uncle Robert? The Thomas in question had been Captain Bennett's First Lt.

Coronation paid off at the end of 1695 and her Pay Book was signed off by J. Bennett, Jno Lodge and J Smith the Purser. Was he John Smith's father?

Bennett's career gap

National Archive 2006 shows Bennett then served on another ship under another Captain - minimum details. To follow. Commissions did not usually run into the following year and Captain Bennett does not then appear to have been re-employed by the Navy until 1702 - a gap of over five years. What did he do in the interim? It was not unusual for Captains to serve as First Lieutenants on other RN ships if not fully in favour or until it was their turn for acommand again. Or, did he go private again and continue with Coronation?

King William's war with the French ended with the Treaty of Rijswijk in September 1697 and a great reduction in the strength of the Royal Navy. I have not yet checked to see if Captain Bennett was on the Half-Pay list. Nor have I yet looked closely enough to see if Bennett came up through the ranks on other ships before his time on Coronation. His next RN commission did not come until the start of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702 under Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch.

Peace was signed in 1712/13 and lasted until after Bennett's death. His last RN ship was HMS Lenox in 1712. The slab on top of his altar tomb in Barking churchyard says so. See photo.

I have done little detailed research on each commission but, generally, the records I've seen suggest that Bennett was given a commission every other year from 1702. How did he earn a living in the gap years - was he perhaps on other RN ships as a First Lieutenant below a more senior Captain (by no means uncommon) or was he serving on a merchant vessel belonging to Coronation's owners, or was he otherwise engaged?

Captain Bennett's Royal Navy ships

HMS Coronation, 52 guns 1695 Virginia & North Sea
Coronation hired 1689-1695. Then where did she and perhaps Bennett go? National Archive Ref: ADM 33/178 Pay Book, Coronation 1694-1696
HMS Dispatch, 2 guns (Brigantine) 1702 Channel
In 1699 Dispatch (Captain J Smith) was in the Irish Sea looking for owlers!
HMS Sun Prize, 22 guns 1704 Channel
HMS Oxford, 54 guns 1706 To St Helena
HMS Tilbury, 54 guns 1708 To Archangel
HMS Dreadnought, 60 guns 1709 To Hamburg
HMS Firme, 70 guns 1711 Medway guardship
HMS Lenox, 70 guns 1712 To The Cape
Lenox was 151'6" long, 40' beam and 1089 tons; major refit in 1701 Sailing Master in 1712 was George Hill, Master's Mate Thomas Stevens.
National Archive Ref: ADM 51/4238 Captain's log, includes Lenox 1707
ADM 52/206 Masters' Logs, Lenox 1707 and 1712
ADM 33/270 Pay Book, Lenox 1705-1710
ADM 33/287 Pay Book, Lenox 1711-1712

I also wonder if these were almost two separate careers, with Bennett rediscovered or remembered at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession and getting a larger ship every two years, with Lenox the last and the most famous.

I have not read through the Captain's logs for all these commissions. Seen so far and the notes Bennett made himself were minimal. One will need to visit the National Archive and find the Master's log for each ship and perhaps the log of the Admiral in command in the hope of finding exactly what they were doing in each case. Books by W L Clowes, N A M Rodger and the Byng Journals are silent on him.

When Bennett took Lenox to St Helena and The Cape in 1712 he was 42 and the ten years war with France was coming to an end. He does not appear to have been a scarred fighting captain from the battle fleet but a seasoned escort commander and navigator. To be given Lenox was either a compliment to these latter skills, or a personal favour from someone above, for Lenox was a famous name. For 6 years she had been commanded by the most successful cruiser captain of his generation, William Jumper. See Names Index.

Captain Bennett's Bank Accounts

Capt Bennett did not stay in the shadows. He opened a Bank of England account (Ref C98/2512) on 6 November 1694, depositing £300 - closing it the next day! He then opened an account there (Ref C98/2514) on 9 March 1695 with £108.1.6d, closing it on 21.1.1696 when it held only 4 shillings. He held a shareholder account there from 1713 (£500 purchased) until closed by his executor (£500 sale) in 1718. He also held a current account at Hoare and Company in the Strand. Coutts Bank confirmed he did not have one with them.

Captain Bennett's funeral, tomb and monument

As required by the will, Captain Bennet's executor, Abraham Edlin, spent between £250 and £500 on the funeral, an altar tomb ("with iron railes") in Barking churchyard and on a monument inside St Margaret's church - a very large sum for those days! It would have bought a couple of decent houses at least.

The Bennett monument is on the north aisle wall, near his parents floor-slab, but used to be just to the right of the main porch door. As Bennett faces right from this, he would have made an impression on each congregation leaving the church.

His altar tomb is in a direct line and directly aligned with the Curfew Tower (Listed Grade One*) entrance to the churchyard. As the tomb is in white stone, arrivals still can't miss it.

My edited correspondence with the Courtauld Library about the two monuments and their probable mason, Thomas Stayner, follows.

Bennett's parents' floor-slab is near the north aisle altar. Were they well known or generous to the Vestry to have ended up there?

Extract from a 1938 paper to the Barking Historical Society

by Mr H H Dawson FRIBA

'Few parish churches are fortunate in possessing so many and beautiful Monuments as are to be found in Barking Church. Of these, a few are Elizabethan and the majority are of the Queen Anne and Georgian periods and show Renaissance Monuments at their best'

The Bennet Monument is in memory of Captain John Bennet Senior, Mary his wife and Captain John Bennet their son. This fine Monument is the work of the sculptor Thomas Green of Camberwell and is most typical of his work. (but see later - MW) It is noteworthy for beauty of design, refinement of architectural detail and fine sculpture.

At the bottom left side is a Sideral Globe of the Stars. Right side - Mercator's Globe Projection. Centre - Quadrant and Projector, Gun, Scabbard and Winged Scull.

The central feature is a bust of Captain John Bennet wearing a wig of the period. It will be noticed (that) in his right hand is the hilt of a sword but the blade is missing as also a finger of his left hand. He did not lose them in the wars - he lost them in Church. I do not wish you to think there is any danger in going to Church, but rather that those who do go should not be careless.

On either side is a beautifully sculptured bas-relief of a two decker three masted square rigged Ship with all sails set and close hauled on the starboard tack. The Captains pennant on the foremast means she is under commission of the Captain to carry out some orders independently of a fleet or Admiral. He has direct orders from the Crown to do something with his ship.

White Ensign at the stern. Union Jack on the bow. Stern Galleries and Captain's and Officers Quarters - probably the last of such.

The figurehead is a lion rampant. The Spritsail shewn is probably one of the last. Bowsprit at an angle of 45* - probably the last. Top gallant sail, topsail and foresail. Stern portion - Topsail on the yard and on the spinnacker boom a spinnacker.

According to the Admiralty records, and his own logs, this ship is the Coronation, a frigate of 56 guns - presumably a Privateer.

HM Hired Ship Coronation

She was commissioned by the Government 4 times (first in 1689) and joined a British Fleet of 7 Men of War and engaged the French Fleet of 17 ships and 3 fireships off the Island of Dominica (one of the Windward Islands N W of Barbadoes in the Carribean. After fighting an engagement lasting six hours, the British ran for it back to Barbadoes after sinking 3 but losing no ships themselves. Coronation was discharged in 1689.

She was hired again in 1691-2 with orders to destroy a Fort in the Island of Dominica. She was ordered to impress galleys - to use them for landing parties- she made a swift trip there, reduced the Fort and brought back the French garrison as prisoners.

She was under 3 other Captains. In 1694 she was home in the Thames, and again hired by the Navy and John Bennet given commission as Captain. She was fully refitted and commissioned to convoy ships to Barbadoes and joined the West Indian Fleet under Sir Ralph Delavall Vice Admiral of the Blue.

Coronation carried a crew of 197 men in 1695 of which there is a record, the most interesting being -

John Bennet Commander
John Lodge Master
John Smith Surgeon
John Codlin Boatswain
James Beddam Cook
Amos Tennant Carpenter
John Tennant Carpenters Mate

The Inscription on the Bennett Monument

"To the Pious Memory of Captain John Bennet Senior late of Poole in the County of Dorset who died 8th May 1706 Aged 70 And of Mary his Wife who deceased 9th January 1711 Aged 74 Both lying hereunder interred - Captain John Bennet their only Son who died 30th January 1716 aged 46 and lyeth in a Vault under an Altar Tomb in the Church Yard Ordered by his Will this Monument to be erected which was accordingly performed (by Abraham Edlin Gent his acting Executor) - He bequeathed to the Poor of this Parish £100 distributed among them by his aforesaid Executor As also £10 more to be disposed of in like manner by the hands of the Church Wardens - To the Corporation of Poole the place of his Nativity £100 for the use of the Poor there And £10 to the Poor of Harbridge in Hantshire - All paid by his said Executor"

The monument is surmounted by a trophy of Arms and the Family Arms. It will be noticed that the Executor put his own name on the Monument and states he has discharged his financial trust.

Mr Dawson noticed the curious condition about non-disclosure of what his legatees might find in the Scritoire, chest of drawers, iron chest and great trunk upon pain of forfeiture and, later on, that "they shall not be liable for anything they shall find in the several rooms by me given to them" but he made no further comment on this.

The Monument in the Church was to be placed on the North side as near to the place where his Father and Mother were buried at a cost of not less than £150 and not more than £250. The Tomb in the Churchyard which was to be encompassed with iron rails was not to exceed £500 including the whole cost of his funeral.

(Mr Dawson's firm, Dawson & Allardyce architects, designed many of the schools built in south Essex in the 1930s)

National Maritime Museum opinion on the ship carving in 1997 From Mr Iain MacKenzie ref H96 5696

'The ship carving on John Bennett's memorial appears to show a Fourth Rate of 50-54 guns, a two-decker, of the period around the turn of the 17th/18th Centuries. As such it could be the hired 50-gun ship Coronation. However, Bennett also commanded Oxford, Tilbury and Dreadnought, all two-decked Fourth Rates, and equally good candidates to be the model for the memorial carving.

The fact that the Ensign shows a Union flag in the upper canton signifies a date post-1707 and thus rather rules out the Coronation. HMS Lenox was a 70-gun ship, rather larger than the ship depicted, and carried a roundhouse and two full tiers of stern and quarter windows.

I would take slight issue with Mr H H Dawson's statements about the carving. The matter of the commissioning pendant is a bit out; the pendant is merely an indication that the vessel is a warship in commission. I'm not sure how he can know the ensign must be a White Ensign - it could with equal legitimacy be Red or Blue - but the Union Jack at the bowsprit end is another confirmation of a post-1707 dating. The lion figurehead was standard for warships of the rate and period.

I'm not quite sure what Mr Dawson can have meant by his statement that the spritsail and bowsprit were nearly the last of their type. The spritsail topsail, set on a vertical spritsail topmast at the end of the bowsprit, was disappearing from use about the date of the carving; indeed it is not evident in the carving. The spritsail is furled and the yard triced up, as was the practice on this point of sail. The fore and aft sail on the mizzen is properly a lateen mizzen, not a spinnaker.

These quibbles aside, Mr Dawson obviously did some good research on the career of the Coronation, evidently in Admiralty records at the Public Record Office, and he gathered some useful information about this hired ship which is not listed in J J Colledge's Ships of the Royal Navy (London: Greenhill, 1987) or David Lyon's Sailing Navy List (London: Conway Maritime Press, 1994), our two mainstays. She is, however, included in R C Anderson's Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700 (London: Society for Nautical Research, 1966) and I enclose the relevant page - the information contained therein is pretty minimal.

In the absence of anything of a documentary nature to confirm the identity of the ship in the carving - what a handsome monument, by the way - we can only repeat that it shows a Fourth Rate of circa.1700. By association with John Bennett, it may represent Coronation, Oxford, Tilbury or Dreadnought.

Admiralty Records at the Public Record Office at Kew may give the information about the ownership of the Coronation, whether this information could show a connection of patronage is doubtful.

I have passed your photographs on to our Antiquities Section, for inclusion with their file on maritime memorials".

More observations on the Bennett memorial

For reasons of the historical novel I'm trying to finish, I took another (but this time very close) look at the Bennett memorial and particularly its ship carving in November 2006. I had not previously realised how extraordinarily detailed it was - there are even the tiny hatted figures of the ship's commander and the sailing master on the poop deck, with one of them using a big speaking trumpet to holler at a man up in the rigging. The rigging is truly detailed, the sail details are fine and accurate, the lee shrouds are slack, the weather gun-ports open. You won't find all that in any painting or ship model.

Barking Vestry Minutes

There was no reference to Bennett's memorial in the Barking Vestry minutes of 1717, but there were some names (Churchwardens) from Bennett's will who signed the Vestry Minutes. Not all years are covered by the surviving Minutes: there are gaps. All are as spelt.

1699 Thomas Bennett
21.10.1700 Thomas Bennett and Wm Salsbury.
1702 /1703 Thomas Fleming, Wm Salsbury, John Stevens (Barking ward) + Thomas Bennett
00.11.1705 James Stevens
00.00.1715 Thomas Fleming, (also the Parish Constable)
00.00.1716 Thos Bennett, C Crepigny, Thos Pittman
00.00.1718 Minuted: T Pittman to pay T Bennett £40 for 1715
1718/ 1721 Thos Pittman, Thos Bennett and Thos Fleming
00.00.1721 A workhouse agreed to by the Justices

Some Mayors of Poole around Captain Bennett's time

1690 Henry Jubber 1707 George Lewen
1691 Shadrach Beall 1708 George Lewen
1692 Moses Durell 1709 William Skutt**
1693 William Pike 1710 Samuel Weston
1694 Thomas Smith 1711 Samuel Weston
1696 Thomas Hide 1713 John Jennings
1695 Peter Hiley 1712 William Cock
1696 Thomas Hide 1713 John Jennings
1697 William Phippard 1714 James Wise
1698 Joseph Wadham 1715 William Skinner
1699 John Carter 1716 John Lester
1700 William Williams 1717 Benjamin Skutt
1701 Dennis Smith 1718 Benjamin Skutt
1702 William Bremble 1719 William Weston
1703 William Phippard 1720 Frances Lester
1704 William Phippard 1721 William Cleeves
1705 John Carter 1722 Timothy Spurrier
1706 George Lewen 1723 Richard Weston

then no Bennett Will surnames until a generation later:

1744 John Lester
1748 John Masters
1749 John Masters
1760 George Weston
1761 George Weston
1762 George Weston

Was owling worth the risk?

Owling played a major part in everyday life in Captain Bennett's England. At times, it accounted for a quarter of England's overseas trade (in and out) and it employed tens of thousands.

The effect of Customs duty on imported goods was often to double their retail price. The higher the tax, the greater was the incentive to buy from an owler - and the greater the value of owlers' trade.

It was not just English imports that were affected. Between 1662 and 1698 the dead of any parish had to be 'in wool' and it was a capital offence to export it, other than from designated ports. But English wool was much in demand abroad, especially in Royalist France and, as its scarcity grew, so did owlers' rewards.

It is reckoned that at the beginning of the eighteenth century owlers were taking well over 100,000 bales of wool a year to France from Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset. Much of this trade was arranged between Huguenot merchants in England with relatives on the other side of the Channel - Huguenots who had not yet been forced abroad by King Louis XIV's measures against Protestants.

Owling in Captain Bennett's time

By the time of Captain Bennett's death, the burden of import duties had shifted and a broad range of buyers in England wanted (and got) affordable tea, coffee, tobacco, spirits and other items. This spread owling earnings around too - skilled boat-handlers were needed to get hundreds of waterproofed barrels or packets ashore from a waiting ship. Horses and carts were needed to move it all inland and their part-time handlers could earn a week's money in one night's run, if their luck held. Nearly all were illiterate.

Full-time owlers were much fewer in number and kept themselves at arms length from these runs. They included the organizing merchants and specialist buyers who went out and bought to order the quality wines, French fashions, best glass, Dutch china, woven silk and fine paper - even jewellery - demanded.

Hidden behind the organizers' networks were the men who financed the whole enterprise. These were the hard-nosed people who had to lay out the modern equivalent of over £1m to launch a run.

Inevitably, middlemen wholesalers entered the scene: their offshore ships and storehouses on the Channel Islands and Scillies reduced English merchants' exposure and owlers' time at sea. They bought contraband from other nationals and sold it on at a profit. A Hovering Act was passed by Parliament to try and stop this trade.

To further cut their losses, the Customs men appointed a hundred Riding Officers to try and catch owlers on the easiest shorelines. They also brought in twenty fast Revenue Cutters to patrol the shoreline facing the Continent. They captured contraband and burnt shoreboats and sawed dragger boats in half: but the tide of contraband kept flowing.

As the eighteenth century progressed, the English took to drinking tea in majestic volumes and smoking more Virginia tobacco and the owlers were hard put to keep up with demand. Indeed, the French authorities encouraged tea drinking in France to add to owlers' incentives and keep French produce flowing into England; and keep the English government starved of revenue.

Poole Harbour and Christchurch Bay were important in this trade. And so were the tidal creeks and reed-lined marshes of Essex.

Circa 1690, Gregory King devised a rule of thumb for assessing England's imports and exports. He was England's first statistician and has an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.

The boats the owlers used

Pilot cutters were very conveniently placed to unload small quantities of contraband from incoming ships and perhaps Trinity House pilots did well out of the trade. But, larger boats were needed to keep pace with the volume of supply and demand.

An index of the names in Captain Bennett's life

Baker, Mary
Captain Bennet's mother was baptised in St James's, Poole in 1637, the daughter of Rogyer Baker and Anne his wife.
Mary Baker married John Bennett Sr in Poole on 27 July 1664.
Their first two children, John and Mary, died in infancy there.
She and her husband were not living in Poole in 1690
Mary buried St Margaret's Barking, 29.01.1712
Less reliably:
Roger Baker, Poole 'was bosun of Flying Harry in seafight 1585'
Bryan Baker, was a sea captain of Poole.
Mary Baker
Mary Masters, nee Baker was baptised in Poole in 1671 daughter of Captain Bennett's uncle William Baker and his wife Mellicent, who had married in Poole on 5.10.1658 - her maiden name not clear.
Mary prob. married TM in Stepney on 1700, so the following Poole doc. could be her: "By Indenture made 10 November (9th William III) 1697 between Mary Beale of the Town and County of Poole widow, Mary Spurrier (ditto), Susanna Beale of the T&C of Poole spinster and d. of Mary Beale, Mellacent Baker/Mary Baker/Rebecca Baker spinsters and co-heirs of Mellacent Baker of Poole widow deceased, these of the first part; of the other part John ROGERS of Poole mariner.
Baker, Anne
Captain Bennett left his Aunt Anne Baker £12 p.a. in annuities
Barking registers: Mrs Ann Baker bur. 14.02.1717 - could be her.
Baker, Joan
Captain Bennett left his Aunt Joane Baker £10 plus an income
Surviving sister of Mary Baker, or widow of a Baker uncle.
Her burial not yet found.
Baker, John
Sir John Baker was an Admiral in Bennett's time. He was born Deal and appears to have been quite unrelated to Captain Bennett.
Banaster, Joshua
Captain Joshua Banaster's memorial in Barking Parish Church says he had been Captain of the Royal Yacht the Charlott. 'Charlock' at the NMM lists him as Joseph Banaster.
Joshua Banaster was baptised in Barking on 2 November 1675, the son of Bernard and Sarah Banaster. He entered the Royal Navy and after a number of appointments as First Lieutenant was made Captain of the Royal Yacht Charlotte in 1715 - his last command.
His will is 1738 May Essex W PROB 11/689 sig 109 was witnessed by (among others) Roger Vaughan. His legatees included his sister-in-law Katherine, wife of Thomas Smith of Limehouse, their sons John and Thomas Smith and her daughter the wife of Captain Abraham Harris. They also included Hester, wife of Captain Richard Lemmon, Nurse Ann Humphreys and Mr William Hawksworth of Barking Town. Also Banaster's loving Nephews, sons of my Sister Priscilla Vere Widow to the late Mr William Vere of Barking Town.
Bennett, Henry
Henry Bennett, Earl of Arlington was the second son of Sir John Bennet LLD and Dorothy Crfots. He was bap Little Saxham, Suffolk in 1618 and ultimately retired to his nearby seat at Euston, Suffolk. His coat of arms surmounts the Bennett memorial in St Margaret's Barking, but when the College of Heralds looked at it they said the Barking and Poole Bennetts were probably not entitled to use it.
Bennett, Joseph
Captain Bennett's brother. Baptised 1677. Not mentioned in will.
His burial and a will not yet found
A Colonel Joseph Bennett was a key figure in the successful defence of Gibraltar against the French/Spanish army in the early 1700s.
The National Archive has letters by him.
Could he have been Captain Bennett's brother?
Bennett, John Sr.
Capt Bennett's father, born 1636, son of Robert and Mary Bennett
Their marriage date and place not yet found.
John's sister Mary bap.1638, his brother Peter bap 1653 A John Bennett was a Churchwarden of Poole in 1641.
Poole registers for the period 1639-52 were damaged or scarcely legible and baptisms for Robert and Richard Bennett not yet found.
John Bennett married Mary Baker 27.07.1664, Poole
John Bennett died 8 May 1707 aged 70, buried Barking, Essex
A Captain Bennett was in command of HMS Defence 30 guns, one of a list of ships employed for convoys and reported to Parliament by the Committee of the Navy, dated 13 October 1650. Who he?
Bennett, John
- cousin
Captain Bennett left his Cousin John Bennett, youngest son of JB's late uncle Richard Bennett, the sum of £500
A John Bennett baptised Poole 1690
A John Bennett elected a Burgess of Poole on 5 August 1719
A John Bennett m Amy Wills both of Poole 8 Sept 1720
Amey da of John Bennett and Amey his wife bap 18.03.1722/3
James son of John Bennett and Amey his wife bap 30.08.1727
The National Archive have 1733 Nov Dorset A PROB 6/109 for a Dorset John Bennett. He was the master of the Mary Hoy and his widow and daughter were both called Amey. He was probably the Captain's Cousin John, but he does not appear to have been buried in Poole or Barking. One would have to hope his own son John Bennett left a proper will to see if the property he left was similar to that left by Capt Bennett.
Captain Bennett's wife?
I've included this here, because I've no idea if Captain Bennett ever married. I looked for marriages after he was made Captain. For instance, a John Bennet m. Elizabeth Davis on 26 Sep 1695 at St Dunstan, Stepney - but does the entry say Captain?
Bennett, Mary
The Durell deeds collection, Poole (not seen) details a Mary Bennett leasing a house on Poole High St to Richard Bennett, 1780
Bennett, Richard Sr
of Poole
Richard Bennett was Capt Bennett's late uncle, brother of John Bennett Sr. He was elected a Burgess of Poole 2 Apr 1685.
Richard assumed born when Poole registers damaged
A Richard Bennett m Elizabeth Wiat 13.12.1676, Poole
Peter son of Richard Bennett & Elizabeth his Wife bap 23.11.1677
Richard son of Richard Bennett & Elizabeth his Wife bap 15.09.1680
John son of Richard Bennett & Elizabeth his Wife bap 17.02.1681/2
A John Bennett bur 01.02.1683/4
A Peter Bennett bur 16.05.1684
Myles son of Richard Bennett & Elesa his Wife bap 11.07.1684
Peeter Bennett a child bur 22.08.1684
Robert son of Richard Bennett & Elizabeth his Wife bap 16.10.1687
John son of Richard Bennett & Elizabeth his Wife bap 0?.03.1693
Three Miles Bennetts bur in 1730s
A Richard Bennet was buried Barking 15.3.1708 - no will found to date. Was this Captain Bennett's uncle Richard?
Bennett, Richard Jr
Captain Bennett left his Cousin Richard Bennett, second son of JB's late uncle Richard Bennett, the sum of £300.
Bennett, Robert
Captain Bennett left his Cousin Robert Bennett, eldest son of JB's late uncle Richard Bennett £10 plus two tenements in Strand Street, Poole for life; then to
Robert's heirs. Odd - was Robert unreliable?
Said to have been Sherriff of Poole 1701.
No other record of him found so far.
Bennett, Robert Sr
Captain Bennett's uncle
A Robert Bennett m. Mary Prestland in Poole in 1681.
'Dorset Smugglers' says he living at the George Inn, Poole in 1682
Robert elected a Burgess of Poole 25 Jan 1688/9.
He owned the Robert which ran Virginia tobacco into Poole (stored in his own property) circa 1685 - see Dorset Smugglers, by Guttridge.
Elected Mayor of Poole 1708 but died before he could be sworn.
FRC: 1710 Jan Dorset A PROB6/86 says Robert Bennett of Poole/his nephew John Bennett his Administrator
So, Robert did not leave a will.
It appears he had no children.
Bennett, Thomas
of Poole
It appears that Captain Bennett had a Thomas Bennett uncle. I have not found a baptism record for this Thomas, but a Thomas Bennett of Poole had m. Elizabeth Weston in 1681. In 1682 his hoy was 'burned in the face of the whole town' of Poole for smuggling.
The Pay Book of HMS Coronation (in National Archive ref: ADM 178) was from 1 October 1694 to 18 April 1696: Hired Shipp, Comp. 197. Paid at Broadstreete 16 November 1696. Jno. Bennett Commandr. This was from 1 October 1694, when he was 24. He was paid on 30 April 1695 with the 1:Lt, Thomas Bennett, whose brother Robert Bennett att. to collect the pay of Thomas and that of one of the Ord. seamen. The paybook was signed off by Jno Bennett, Jno Lodge and J Smith.
I suspect that this John Smith was the first husband of 'my Lady Hannah Stevens' and father of the John Smith in Bennet's will. In 1695 this Robert Bennett was most probably John Bennett's uncle, in which case Thomas was his also uncle. Did uncle Robert have a stake in Coronation? Why did Thomas Bennett not collect his pay himself - was he elsewhere, or had he died at sea?
In 1609, an earlier Thomas Bennett, mariner, had bought a house on Poole High Street from Henry Harward (Poole Museum Service).
Bennett, Thomas
of Barking
Thomas Bennett was Barking Churchwarden of Captain Bennett's time. I've found no sign that Thomas was a relative of Captain Bennett. However, I did once note down a wills entry for Thomas Bennett, Gardner, of Loxford, Barking; but I can't find it now. I even persuaded the man on the Family Records Centre enquiries desk to go to the basement and retrieve their original 1722 Wills volume. But he was not in it.
The only Thomas Bennett entry (Administration entries are usually in rather illegible Latin) was the one in the latest 1700-1749 index: 1722 - Thomas Bennett - Pts July - Adm.6/98 (= A PROB 6/98) so this one died in foreign parts.
There are no corresponding Essex Thomas Bennetts in the National Archive's new computerised Wills list for 1700-1740, though a very wealthy Sir Thomas Bennett died in 1710.
Benet, Walter
A Walter Benet was Constable of Poole in 1534
Buloan, Arden
Captain Bennett 'forgave and discharged' his servant Arden Buloan and left him a suit of clothes plus £2 for mourning.
Bert Lockwood said it was fashionable for the London gentry of that time to have a black servant or footman (or boy) as a retainer. If they had been bought as a slave, the 'forgive and discharge' wording made them 'free', whatever that meant in reality. I have found no other record of him. It would be interesting to ask a University School of African Studies if this name says anything about Arden's origins.
Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to his goddaughter, the daughter of John Butts of Gosport, Brewer. A Mary Butts, daughter of John Butts was buried Barking 17 Aug 1718. Was she Bennett's God-daughter?
Cload, George
Captain Bennett left £10 to his Cousin George Cload for mourning.
Guttridge lists a Dorset smuggling family called Croad.
Cload family had property in Lower Parkestone opposite to where Carter and Durell "built a pair of steps where abundance of goods are run". It is shown as the cultivated area to the right of the windmill in the plate at the top of page 10 in Roger Guttridge's book.
Conant, Rev
Captain Bennett left the "Rev Mr Connett, Minister of Poole for mourning £10". John Conant was Rector of Poole from 1705 until his death there in 1720.
Crepigny, Captain
Charles Crepigny was a witness of Captain Bennett's will. The will called him Captain Cripeny of Barking, but he signed himself Crepigny. At the time, he appears to have been a St Margarets Barking churchwarden - but did he die in Ireland?
FRC has: Chas. Crepigny 1733 Oct Ireland A PROB 6/109
Edlin, Abraham
Captain Bennett left Abraham Edlin £500 in his will, of which Edlin was the principal executor. He also left him his gold watch, gold shoe buckles, 'my chariot and horses' and a room full of furniture and his iron chest on condition that he did not reveal its contents.
There was a line of Abraham Edlins in London from the early 1500s onwards. The Archivist to the Haberdashers Company (letter, 7 July 1994) found the following entries in their records:
1. Abraham Edlin, son of Abraham Edlin citizen and Loriner of London bound to John Brooks for 7 years in October 1697.
2. Abraham Edlin free of John Brooks 30 April 1708
The Worshipful company of Loriners website says that Loriners' Hall stood on the east corner of Aldermanbury Postern and London Wall, facing Basinghall Street. Loriners made bridles, bits, spurs and stirrups.
Abraham Edlin's will says his wife was Martha, so was Mrs Jane Edlin below his mother or another relative?
Edlin, Mrs Jane
Bennett left £52 to Mrs Jane Edlin, for mourning. Who she?
There are records of a Jane Edling and Captain Bennett being City ratepayers in the middle 1690s
Edlin, Isaac
Captain Bennett left £10 to Isaac Edlin, brother to Abraham Edlin.
No other record
In the 1990s, Mr Crolian Edelen in America suggested that these Edlins were originally from Bermondsey and they may be in the church registers there. I had a detailed correspondence with him, but neither he nor I could connect his line with Abraham Edlin.
Edwards, Mary
In his will, Captain Bennett left his Cousin Mary Edwards, late Linton, a guinea only. She must have upset him quite a bit to have been left a guinea only.
Clearly a mark of disapproval. Possibly JB did not approve of her choice of second husband.
Francis Edwards m Mary Linthorn in Poole 6 Jan 1712.
Fawler, John
In his will, Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to John Fawler, Commissioner of the Navy. Fawler had already had over 20 years career with the Navy Board, but still had another 27 years to go!
He was:
Chief Clerk 1694
Deputy Judge Advocate of the Fleet 21 Oct 1697 - 6 May 1703
Deputy Secretary to Navy Board 15 Nov 1705 - 11 Nov 1714
Extra Commissioner of the Navy 16 Nov 1714 - 23 Dec 1717
Controller of Victualling Accounts 23 Dec 1717 - 4 June 1744
d. 4 June 1744 (Adm7/812.f.3)

Fawler could have been the reason that Captain Bennett was remembered with a commission every other year, but it was not uncommon for Captains' wills to leave such bequests for mourning
Fewtrell, George
Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to George Fewtrell, son of Madame Fewtrell.
Will of a George Fewtrell: 1713 Jun London A PROB 6/89
Fewtrell, Madame
Captain Bennett left £20 to a Madame Fewtrell and her daughter for mourning. Neither first name given. Fewtrell seems to be a Shropshire surname.
Will of Esther Fewtrell, spinster: 1724 Mar London W PROB 11/596
Father was Benjamin, mother Elizabeth, but brother John Fewtrell
Yeoman Warder Fewtrell:
The Discovery TV Channel mentioned that, at the time of the American revolution, Yeoman Warder Fewtrell at the Tower of London was probably smuggling pencilled messages from prisoner Henry Laurens to his sympathisers outside. Henry Laurens was effectively the leader of the American Revolution. At the same time, Charles Cornwallis was imprisoned in America. Eventually Laurens was traded for Cornwallis. On his return to America, Laurens had lost his prominence and retired to his plantation. He was born 24 Feb 1725 and died 1792.
Fleming, Thomas
Capt Bennett left Thomas Fleming of Loxford, Gent, £10 for mourning. Loxford is the area to the north of today's Barking Park. Bert Lockwood said Fleming was tenant of Loxford in 1692. He was a Churchwarden of Barking parish for some years (thus influential at the Town Quay) and Chief Constable of the parish in 1715. His wife died 1716 and Captain Bennett in January 1717. It is believed by the Courtauld Library that her monument behind the Lectern in St Margaret's Barking is (like Bennett's) by Thomas Stayner.
Thomas Fleming's will is dated 1723 ref W PROB 11/589 sig 26. Fleming left land at Walthamstow to his daughter Elizabeth Perry and other Walthamstow property to his daughter Sarah Price and other itmes to his grandchildren Phillip Perry, John Perry, Elizabeth Perry, Susanna Perry, Fleming Perry and Sarah Price. He also left £20 to his sister Elizabeth Benton and rings to his sons in law Phillip Perry and John Price.
Furzer, Daniel
Daniel, the son of Daniel Furzer was bap. Barking 9.9.1682
Daniel Furzer was a Barking Churchwarden in 1707 and a Daniel Furzer was appointed Surveyor of the Navy 25.9.1699; a post he held jointly with William Lee from 9 Sept 1706 to 1713.
Jane Harrett, widow of Barking left to her Son-in-Law Daniel Furzer and his wife/her daughter Roberta freeholds near Turnedown plus her house in Heath Street in Barking.
A John Furzer was made Captain of Shoreham on 16 March 1710
Godsalve, John
Bennett left £10 for mourning to John Godsalve of London, Gent.
A John Godsalve had married Mrs Elizabeth Haddock, widow of Captain Richard Haddock RN, at St Olave, Old Jewry, London, on 8 October 1709.
Joseph Godsalve, son of John and Elizabeth Godsalve was baptised at St Dunstan Stepney on 13 April 1715.
John Godsalve of Baddow (Will: 1722 Aug Essex W PROB 11/586 sig.156) left land at Baddow, Tillingham, Dengie and Canvey to his widow Elizabeth plus a small item to Captain William Haddock of Stepney.
The 1738 Admin of an Elizabeth Godsalve (FRC A PROB 6/114) is in the Essex Record Office as is the 1698 will of a John Godsalve of Broomfield. The National Archive also have Piece details 'Re Reynolds: Leases mortgages, wills (Godsalve family) with packet of foreign letters (Messrs Nightingale): Great Baddow, Essex 1714-1790'. (Not yet seen)
I am told there are two Godsalve branches in Essex today.
Griffith, Giles
Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to Giles Griffith, a Barking Churchwarden. He, too would have been influential at the Town Quay but I can find no other record of him - where was he born, what did he do, who did he marry, where was he buried?
A Sir John Griffith was military Governor of Gravesend Fort in 1665.
A Captain Richard Griffith had Swiftsure in 1708
Henry Harbin of London, Merchant, on being elected a free Burgess of Poole in 1701 gave £10 to the Corporation of Poole. In his Will of 19 July 1703 (FRC 1703 Oct London W PROB 11/473 sig.204) he left cash for founding a school at Poole. Captain Bennett's own bequest to Poole was later combined with the Harbin bequest, but the school is called the Henry Harbin school. Bennett's contribution seems to have been ignored, but the piece of land at Corfe bought with his cash is still one of the Borough of Poole's charitable landholdings.
Hollman, Mary
Mary Hollman was the only female witness of Captain Bennett's will. The others were Cha. Crepigny, Richard Parum and Hugh Jones.
Hubbard, John
- three generations
John Hubbard and his sons John and Nathaniel are buried in St Margaret's Church Barking and are in this index because they were fighting captains of England's Royal Navy.
Grandfather John Hubbard was the son of (John?) and Frances Hubbard. He married Rebecca Gravitt in St Thomas Portsmouth on 10 Jan 1653 and their children were John, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Nathaniel and Sarah. He was made a Captain RN in 1662, served on seven other warships and is said to have died aged 44 aboard Alive after fighting Algerian pirates in 1669. He and Rebecca are buried in Barking. W PROB 11/333 was dated 27 October 1669. Bert Lockwood said that the Hubbard descent owned the Tiled House, Barkingside (house and 24 acres) and Mrs Hubbard was living there in 1680. See ERO D/DDaT33 and D/DB/T392.
John Hubbard (no bap record yet) son of John was made Captain of HMS Bonaventure on 16 June 1690 and was her commander at the Battle of Barfleur in 1692 and of HMS Essex 70 at Vigo Bay in 1702 and at Velez Malaga in 1704. John & Sarah Hubbard's (wed 1673?) children were Sarah (born 1677?) John (bap 1685)
Mrs Sarah Hubbard and her (unmarried) daughter Mrs Sarah Hubbard were living at West Ham in 1708 when they took three yeomen of West Ham to court for 'assaulting and speaking very opprobrious words and scandalous language against them' See ERO Q/SR535/39.
Captain Hubbard retired from the Navy in 1709 to become Superintendent, Plymouth on a £250 p.a. pension. He died in 1738: his wife, children and brother Nathaniel predeceased him.
'Charlock' at the National Maritime Museum appears to have John's date of death wrong, for he was buried in the nave of St Margaret's Barking on 6 Sept 1738 and the Burials register clearly says 'Captain John Hubbard'. He must have been in his early eighties.
His Will was dated 19 January 1736/7 ref W PROB 11/691 sig.216 and he left most of his estate (including his house and property at West Ham) to his grand-daughter Elizabeth, da. of Capt Robert Harward RN and wife of Colonel John Scott; the latter probably related to the Scott family of Woolston Hall, Chigwell. Elizabeth & John had wed at St John Outwich, London on 18 Feb 1719.
Grandson John Hubbard, son of John Hubbard, appears to have been made the Commander of HMS Garland on 5 December 1718, Captain of Windsor 60 in 1721 and next Captain of Rippon 60. He was sent to the West Indies and (like so many others) died of disease there on 12 September 1728.
Hubbard, Nathaniel
Nathaniel Hubbard married Elenor Hill at St Margaret Lothbury on 26 December 1695. He was appointed Captain of HMS Fortune, fireship on 27.5.1709. He died on 30.12.1731 and was buried Barking 5.1.1732.
More to follow on him and his sons.
Peter Joliffe was a Poole Hero, born 1659 died 1730 aged 71. Bennett would have known him. He was awarded a King's medal in gold for pursuing a French vessel off Dorset.
Jumper, William
Captain William Jumper is in this index because he was in command of HMS Lenox at the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 and on the day of the Great Scillies Disaster of 1707. Captain Bennett did not command Lenox until 1712. Jumper's name is deservedly in the new Dictionary of National Biography, with his entry written by Dr Peter le Fevre. Will of Capt Sir Wm Jumper is W PROB
Jumper m Elizabeth Willis at Hoo, Kent in 1690, but she drowned at Torbay in 1695 and he remarried. One son found to date.
Lester, John
In his will, Captain Bennett left Mr John Lester of Poole £10 for mourning.
A John Lester, Alderman of Poole and son of Francis Lester d.28 Aug 1775 aged 74.
Lewin, George
Captain Bennett left £21 to Captain George Lewin = Lewen of Poole for mourning. George Lewen Esq, three years the mayor of Poole, d.15 November 1718 aged 71, so he was born circa 1741. His will was dated 3 May 1717: perhaps Captain Bennett's departure reminded him to make one. George Lewen Merchant of Shad Thames, London, late of Poole 1718 Dec Dorset W PROB 11/566 sig.242. He left money to his sons George, Charles and Robert and his married Daughter Sarah Bartlett, but the main property in Poole went to his son George Lewen.
The National Archive also have what may be George Lewen Jr's will: 1743 Apr Middx W PROB 11/1725 sig.122
Mrs Sarah Bartlett (she d.19 May 1729 aged 51) paid for her father's memorial in Poole Parish Church.
Sir William Lewen, a Poole investor (brother of George Lewen) was MP for Poole 1711 and 1712, then Lord Mayor of London 1717. He died 1721 aged 65. Will not yet seen.
NB. Barking registers: Mary da of Mr Lewen of London bap 23.06.1656. Was this George Lewin's wife and daughter?
Lewis, Frances
Captain Bennett left £10 to a Mrs Frances Lewis for mourning.
Lodge, Jno
Jno Lodge was the Sailing Master of Captain Bennett's first command, HMS Coronation. I overlooked any Lodge entries in my trawls of parish registers.
Martin, John
Captain Bennett left £5 each to his Cousin John Martin and his wife for mourning. Guttridge reported that John Martin of Poole owned the Mary Maria, a smuggling ship.
A John Martin m Eleanor Bennett in Poole 24.12.1713 and
A Thomas Martin m Elizabeth Pike 22.12.1713 and
A William Martin m. Mary Bennett 17 April 1715
Masters, Mary
Bennett left to his Cousin Mary Masters (nee Baker, wife of Thomas) his china, Great trunk and scritoire upon that interesting condition that she died not reveal their contents. See Mary Baker entry above.
Masters, Thomas
Captain Bennett left his Cousin Thomas Masters £500 in South Sea Company stock, provided he paid Aunt Anne Baker £4p.a. He also left £200 to his godson, Thomas Masters Junior who was not yet 21 in 1717. This would fit the printed transcript and index for St Dunstans Stepney: 'Thomas Masters of St Olave's Southwark Marriner and Mary Baker of St Martin's Ludgate Spinster married 3 September 1700'. These are probably the cousins in Bennett's will, but the IGI has a Sussex Masters/Baker marriage at this time.
Masters v Edlin 1739: 22 years after Captain Bennett's death, a Sir Thomas Masters issued Abraham Edlin with a writ requiring him to show that he had been even-handed in handling the Captain's estate. Edlin's response to this survives in the National Archive, Kew.
It is clear that Sir Thomas Masters (was he then an MP?) suspected that (with Edlin as executor) the Captain 's nephew John Bennett had been sold the Captain's lands in Harbridge, Hants and the Grange in Dorset for less than their true value and so bequeathed more wealth to the Bennett side of the family than they were entitled to.
(Just to confuse, the National Archive have the will of a Sir Thomas Masters: 1730 Aug Middx W PROB 11/639 sig 242. He lived Whitechapel and left his estate to his wife Jane - who he?)
There is a Poole Parish church memorial which says John Masters, merchant of this town, died in London 20 June 1755 aged 63 (so he born 1692), buried nearby. (Mayor of Poole 1753)
FRC have an Admin of a Thomas Baker Masters Jan 1726 Middlesex A PROB 6/102 - not yet seen
Masters, William
William Masters of Poole was listed by Guttridge as a Smuggler in 1682. His will is 1702 May Dorset W PROB 11/465 sig 131
Middleton, Rev'd
Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to Rev Mr Middleton, Minister for Lyndhurst (in the New Forest).
Napier, Sir Nathaniel
On 10th August 1698, the Poole Burgesses voting for Sir Nathaniel Napier were: Robert Bennett, George Lewen, William Pike, Abraham Smith, John Lester, Dennis Smith, Shadrach Lester, Thomas Smith, Moses Durill, Shadrach Beale, Henry Jubber, …Barfoot. Were the Bennetts part of a much wider merchant group?
Parrett, William
Captain Bennett left Mr William Parrett of London, Merchant, £10 for mourning. A Thomas Parett, son of William Parett was baptised at Barking 30 Sept 1705. William Parrett's will was 1716 W PROB 11/555 sig 212
Perry, John
According to the DNB, Captain John Perry RN was born in Rodbough, Glos in 1670 and died in Spalding Lincs in 1732 or 1734. He was the man who repaired the great Breach in the Thames riverbank at Dagenham, Essex. He was Captain Bennett's own age and Bennett would have known him.
In 1690, Perry lost the use of his right arm in an engagement with a French privateer. In 1692 he was court-martialled for an engagement with two French privateers when he lost the fireship Cygnet and (very likely an unsafe verdict) was fined and jailed in the Marshalsea. But by 1698 he was out of prison for he was introduced by Rear Admiral the Marquis of Carmarthen to Tsar Peter the Great when he was in London in the first half of 1698. Perry went to Russia straight after this and in 1701 became Comptroller of Russian Maritime Works and was there until at least 1710. He returned to England in 1712 having received only one years pay out of twelve.
He could not have failed to become aware of the Dagenham Breach. In 1715 he took over the works there from the second of two unsuccessful contractors and had plugged the great Breach by 1720 - but gaining little profit because of cost and time over-runs.
Daniel Defoe said of the Breach in 1724:
'We saw, passing from Barking to Dagenham, the famous breach, made by an inundation of the Thames, which was so great that it laid near 5,000 acres of land under water, but which after near ten years lying under water, and being several times blown up, has been at last effectually stopped by the application of Captain Perry, the gentleman who, for several years, had been employed in the Czar of Muscovy's works, at Veronitza, on the River Don. This breach appeared now effectually made up, and they assured us that the new work, where the breach was, is by much esteemed the strongest of all the sea walls in that level.' In 1724, Perry moved to Rye to be the engineer of new harbour works there and then settled in Spalding, Lincs, where he died 1732.
Pike, Widow
Captain Bennett left £5 to the Widow Pike, if she still be living. She was the tenant of JB's property in Strand Street, Poole. William Pike was Mayor of Poole in 1693.
Pittman, Joseph
Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to his Cousin Joseph Pittman of Wapping.
Poole registers: A Joseph Pittman was bap. 1672, the son of John Pittman and Mary (nee Baker) his wife, who were married there on 2nd October 1665. Whose daughter was this Mary Baker?
Barking registers: a Mary Pitman bur 17.12.1679
Pittman, Colonel

A BBC Radio4 Open Country programme said that a Colonel Pittman was in charge of Corfe Castle's defence against Parliamentary forces during the two sieges of Corfe during the English Civil War. During the second siege, he went to Wareham to recruit more defenders, but his recruits there turned out to be Parliament men and they took over the central tower and magazine of the castle and the rest of the castle had to surrender. An Act of Parliament followed to require the demolition of Corfe Castle. They did it by undermining principal points in its walls, working-in timber props then blowing these up so the walls above fell into the holes. One tower later fell down in the 1860s - the Banks family still owning the ruins.
Rogers, Woods
Poole merchant family. Woods Rogers was the most famous of them. The Rogers family had a branch in London (freeman and liveryman; beneficiaries to Poole) and were connected by marriage with the Baker and other Poole families. Robert Rogers, Leatherseller, built almshouses near London Wall in 1601.
Shovell, Sir Clowdisley
The foremost Royal Navy admiral of Bennett's time. I have looked for but not found anything to support the Barking hearsay that Bennett was in Shovell's squadron at the capture of Gibraltar in 1704.
Smith, John
The Purser of Captain Bennett's first command, Coronation, was Jno. Smith - a financially important figure. He was probably the first husband of Hannah Stevens ('my Lady Stevens') and father of her son John Smith, both of whom did quite well in Bennett's will. Hannah's second husband Thomas Stevens inherited Bennett's half of the Hoy Elizabeth, of which Stevens was then Master.
In the Poole Poll Book of 1698, Burgesses voting for Sir Nathaniel Napier included Abraham Smith, Dennis Smith, Thomas Smith, William Smith. Was John Smith related to these?
A John Smith, Bosun of Shovell's flagship HMS Association, was drowned with the rest of his ship's company on 22nd October 1707.
Smith, John Jr
Bennett left £100 to John Smith, Son of Hannah Stevens, plus his best room furniture and its contents subject to that intriguing Condition. This was more than just a bit of generosity to the son of a 'Cousin'. Furniture with that Condition attached only went to someone who was close-in to the Bennett transactions, or perhaps to someone whose father had been close-in to the transactions.
This suggests John Smith was the son of the John Smith who was the Purser of Coronation (a financially important figure on a ship with nearly 200 crew), although he could have been Bennett's illegitimate son. I've assumed that Hannah Smith was a widow when she married Thomas Stevens - was she that John Smith's widow? But, there were and are lots of John Smiths around. See Stevens entries.
Looking for this John Smith's eventual will would be like looking for a needle in a large haystack - so I've not done it.
Stayner, Thomas
In his will, Captain Bennett asked his executors to spend between £250 and £500 on his funeral, monument and altar tomb in Barking churchyard - a large sum in those days!
The Courtauld Library believe that Thomas Stayner produced the rather fine memorial in St Margaret's Church, Barking, to Captain Bennett.
The Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Masons (letter, 12th May 1998) said they have a reference to Thomas Stayner who was Master of the Company in 1709 and remained on the list of Court Assistants certainly until 1731. There is no record here of any other member of the Stainer family being a member of the (Masons) Livery.
Thomas Stayner of West Ham, Essex described himself as "Citizen and Mason of London" in his Last Will and Testament of 28 August 1732. He died in 1733, leaving his estate to his widow Dorothy and to their children Thomas, William, Anthony, Susannah, Mary and Elizabeth - but with Mary Stayner appearing to get very much the lion's share, including a statue of the late King William on horseback.
Would Thomas Stayner have both designed and made the memorial and tomb? I have looked for but found no Barking parish record of either of these being approved or authorised in any way.
Stevens, Hannah
Captain Bennett left his Cousin Thomas Stevens + his wife Hannah Stevens Bennett's half of the Elizabeth Hoy + £40. This was a large bequest, because hoys were maids of all work of a size between smaller sailing barges and ocean-going ships. 90 ton hoys were not uncommon. They could go to sea and accept part-cargoes from offshore ships or they could take cargo up and down tidal rivers. Dockyards had water hoys, powder hoys, even bread hoys.
If Bennett owned half of the Elizabeth Hoy there is the likelihood that he and Thomas Stevens sailed it commercially; but carrying what? Could they have been honest carriers of stone from Portland to St Paul's Wharf in the City, or engaged in transactions for which Abraham Edlin was not to be held responsible? Or both.
And, who was Elizabeth? Hoys in a family were normally named after someone.
Bennett also left plus £100 to John Smith, Son of Hannah Stevens, his best room furniture and its contents subject to that intriguing Condition. This was more than just a bit of generosity to the son of a 'Cousin'. Furniture with that Condition attached only went to someone who was close-in to the Bennett transactions, or perhaps to someone whose father had been close-in to the transactions.
This suggests that John Smith was the son of the John Smith who was the Purser of Coronation (a financially important figure on a ship with nearly 200 crew), unless he was Bennett's illegitimate son. I've assumed that Hannah was a widow when she married Thomas Stevens - was she that John Smith's widow? But, there were and are lots of John Smiths around. And, was Thomas Stevens a widower?
Stevens, John
Just to confuse, on March 30 1703 Mr John Stevens became the Barking Vestry member for Barking Ward. A James Stevens was a Churchwarden of Barking in November 1705.
Stevens, Thomas
Captain Bennett left his cousin Thomas Stevens and his wife Hannah half of the Hoy Elizabeth (freight-carrying coastal ship) and £10 for mourningI have not yet worked out why Bennett should call Thomas Stevens his cousin. However, a Thomas Stevens was an officer on Coronation in 1695 and First Lt. on Lenox in 1712.
I've been to the London Metropolitan Archive to see what the St Olave's Southwark register said about the wedding of Thomas Stevens and Hannah Smith on 8 May 1692, listed by the IGI. That's all it said. As the most probable John Smith was on Coronation in 1695, I assume this was not his widow and the entry did not say Hannah Smith, widow.
A Thomas Stevens, son of Thomas Stevens was bap. Barking 30.1.1696. Was Thomas Stevens a widower when he married?
Thorp, John
Captain Bennett left John Thorp, Apothecary of Wapping, £10 for mourning in his will.
The Honorary Archivist to the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London (letter, 24 February 1998) said 'I have checked through the Society records and other papers and am able to give you quite a lot about the (Thorp) family, but am unable to say which of the John Thorps is the one (you seek). On 5th March 1657/8 a John Thorp was bound apprentice to William Rutland after being examined and approved by the Royal College of Physicians. He progressed through the Society and in due course was elected to the Livery sometime between 1693 and 1702…. His age at apprenticeship would probably have been 13 so that he could have been made free on or very soon after his 21st birthday…He could thus be expected to have been born in 1644 or so.
Once in the Livery, John Thorp progressed up the List and was obviously reasonably prosperous as his annual quarterage fee was regularly paid and he contributed to the setting up of a laboratory at Apothecaries Hall when an appeal was made in 1712. The spelling of his name in printed papers was usually John Thorpe. On the 8th August 1716 he was promoted to the Court of Assistants, the governing body of the Society. He was elected Under (or Renter) Warden in Autumn 1719 but died in 1720, possibly still in office.
His son John Thorp of Wapping was admitted to the Society on 1st August 1718 and must then have been about 21 years old. .. He died after September 1767 and before August 1768.
A book published by PHIBB at Newcastle on Tyne University has two references which seem to be relevant. A John Thorpe, Apothecary of Wapping, was a buyer of medical books who was known to be alive before 1665 and to have survived to at least 1713.
From all this it would seem that the senior John Thorpe, being roughly a contemporary of John Bennett, should have received the mourning bequest. However, I have no evidence to show this. I have no idea of their dealings or their shops but suspect that they worked together. An Apothecary was a man of considerable skill who had to be well educated and able to read, write and be mathematically trained and to understand Latin'.
Vaughan, Roger
Included because there is a reference to a Roger Vaughan, brandy agent of Barking in the will of his neighbour, John Woodland.
A year later Francis Harding's will refers to Roger Vaughan of Barking as Barber Surgeon.
Weston, Ambrose
In his will, Captain Bennett left £20 to his Cousin Ambrose Weston and his wife, for mourning.

Ambrose Weston bap. Poole 1666, son of John and Dorothy Weston. Ambrose Weston m. Elizabeth Jubber of Poole, 1691. Were they the parents of the Ambrose Weston, who was indentured Apprentice to John Weston of Shad Thames, Mariner 12 May 1704?
But an Ambrose Weston m. Judith Baker in Poole 1703.
George Weston was MP for Poole 1706
William Weston was Mayor of Poole 1719
Richard Weston was Mayor of Poole 1723-4.
(From Poole Borough Archive and Dorset Records)
The 1742 will of an Ambrose Weston left property in Strand Street and Hill Street Poole
Weston, John
Mentioned in Dorset Smugglers as a smuggling boat-owner.
Will of a John Weston: 1719 Dorset W PROB 11/571 sig 223
Wheelock, Bryan
Captain Bennett left £110 to Mr Bryan Wheelock, Steward to the Earl of Shaftesbury and appointed him an executor. It is possible that JB meant a different Mr Wheelock, though and it seems Abraham Edlin did all the executors' work. Or, perhaps Bryan Wheelock was complicit in movements of contraband past the Shaftesbury estate.
Whitfield, Robert
Captain Bennett left £20 to Robert Whitfield of London, Taylor, for mourning.
The Merchant Taylor's Company has a record of him.
Will of a Robert Whitfield 1730 Dec London W PROB 11/642 sig 347
Williams, Martha
Captain Bennett left £10 for mourning to Mrs Martha Williams, widow.

Poole Families with surnames from Captain Bennett's will

I've tried to assemble the Poole cousin families in Captain Bennett's will, using the St James's Poole parish registers at the Dorset Record Office. I've also included some captains' surnames common to Poole and Barking. However, I skipped over quite a few Bakers early on. Another visit needed.

DRO Docs: PE/PL: RE/1B + Microfilm: MIC/R/632
Period beginning 1538 original docs damaged badly
Period 1600-1631 handwriting almost illegible on film

Marriage date
Not foundEdmund Baker and Mary his Wife
Parents of Mary-1622
Not found William Baker and -- his Wife
Parents of John-1623
Not found Ambrose Bennett and Ann his Wife
Parents of Elizabeth-1625, Ambrose-1628, Edward-1630, Thomas-1633
Not found Thomas Baker and Mary his Wife
Parents of Roger-1629
Not found James Baker and Tara his Wife
Parents of Tara-1634
Not found John Weston and Dorothie his Wife
Parents of John-1634
Not found Robert Bennett and Mary his Wife (JB's grandparents)
Parents of John-1635, Mary-1638, Peter-1653
Not found Royer Martin and Mary his Wife
Parents of Deberah-1636
Not found Rogyer Baker and Anne his Wife (JB's grandparents?)
Parents of Mary-1637 - right date. Joan and Anne Baker not found
Not found James Benett and Eloner his Wife
Parents of James-1637, John-1640
Not found Richard Bennett and Eleanor his Wife
Parents of Mary-1638
Then illegibles or Baptism registers damaged up to 1653
Edward Pelly and Eleanor his Wife
Parents of Edward, Joane, Susannah - all 1653
29.01.1640/1 Peter Bennett & Mary Bearchfield
27.04.1641 Thomas Pelly & Susan Carthridge
Andrew Cload & Phillippa -
James Cload & Frances -
12.04.1643/4 Christopher Lester & Alice Lawes
Not found Richard Stevens and Magdalen (d1654) his Wife
09.07.1654 Richard Stevens & Mary Clench
07.09.1654 Sidrach Lester & Sarah Baker
Not found Peter Bennett and Elizabeth his Wife
Parents of Richard, Susanna both 1654
Not found Thomas Rogers and Anna his Wife
Parents of Anna-1654
Not found Simon Stevens and Frances his Wife
Parents of Mary-1654
A number of Cload and Pelly baps not logged 1655-1660 - sorry!
05.10.1658 William Baker and Mellicent _______(She d.1697)
Parents of Mellison-1664, Mary-1668, Mary-1671 (=Mary Masters?)
03.1658/9 Walter Baker & Maudlin Wild
Parents of Mellison-1664, Elizabeth-1665, Susanna-1668, Elizabeth-1671, John-1674
Not Found Henry Martin and Mary his Wife
Not found Edward Martin and Elizabeth his wife
Parents of Anna-1661
14.11.1660 John Baker & Katherine Dibbs
14.01.1660/1 William Baker & Argent Didham
Parents of Eleanor-1667, Joseph-1668, Benjamin-1670, Elizabeth-1672,
19.05.1662 George Cartridge & Mary Bennet
11.11.1662 Anthony Smith & ?Agnes Bennet/Dennet
02.02.1663/? Henry Jubber & Rebekah Baker
19.04.1663 Christopher Bennet & Amy Larry
Parents of John-1664, Christopher-1669, Ann-1674, Mary-1677, Robert-1680
09.05.1663 George Corbidge & Mary Bennet
27.07.1664 John Bennett & Mary Baker
Parents of John-1666-68, Mary-1667-68,
John-1.1.1671, Joseph-1677
23.02.1664/ John Christian & Mary Bennett
Not found Henry Weston and Margaret his Wife
Parents of Margaret-1665
02.10.1665 John Pittman & Mary Baker
Parents of Joseph-1672
Not found Edward Pelly and Elenor his Wife
Parents of Peter, Edward, Josias- all baptised 1666
Not found John Weston and Dorothy his Wife
Parents of Ambrose-1666
27.08.1666 Christopher Bennett & Warberah Christian
Parents of John-1668
Not found Thomas Cloade and Edite his Wife
Parents of Thomas-1668
(Few marriages listed 1668-73, curate scarcely literate. Did more go un-registered?)
Not found John Lester and Mary his Wife
Parents of Mary-1674, William-1682
Not found Mr George Lewin and Elizabeth his wife
Parents of George-1674-5,
22.09.1673 John Rogis/Rogers & Alese Baker (wid?)
02.10.1673 John Rogers & Alese Baker
02.03.1673/4 Alexander Bennett/Dennett & Elizabeth ?
Not found Philip Smith and Elizabeth his Wife
Parents of Hannah-1676
17.01.1675/6 Richard Lemington & Honer Baker
06.02.1676/7 Anthony Bennett & Elizabeth Lininton
Parents of Elizabeth-1677, Anthony-1680
13.12.1676 Richard Bennett & Elizabeth Wiat (She d1706)
Parents of Peter-1677, Richard-1680-83, John-1682-84, Miles-1684, Elizabeth-, Robert-1687, Richard-1690, Elizabeth-1692, ?John-1693
Not found Peter Bennett and Ann his Wife
Parents of Sarah-1677-77
15.09.1677 Alexander Martin of Kingswood parish & Hester ?Myles
Parents of Mary-1680
23.04.1678 John Martin & Eadith Cload
Parents of Edith-1681, Roger-1687
13.01.1678/9 Thomas Bennet & Anne Carter
Not found John Edwards and Rebeccah his Wife
Parents of Mary Edwards-1679
10.06.1679 Edward King & Margery Bennet
Not found George Lewen (d1718) and Katharine his Wife (d1710)
Parents of George 1681, William-1692
21.06.1680 Robert Wills & Elizabeth Bennett
25.07.1681 Robert Wills & Jean Baker
28.07.1681 Thomas Bennet & Elizabeth Weston
Parents of Elinor-1681, Thomas 1687
22.09.1681 Robert Bennet & Mary Prestland
No baptisms found
07.08.1683 John Rithead & Warbery Bennett
29.11.1683 Thomas Burges/Burgess & Susanna Baker
Not found Shadrack Lester and Mary his Wife
Parents of William-1688
Not found Woods Rogers and his Wife Frances
Parents of John-1688
Not found George Clode and his Wife Anne (she bap.6.12.1714)
Thomas-1690, Edith-1692-99, Thomas-1695,
Mary-1704, George-1706
17.02.1690/1 John Bennett (d1718?) & Elizabeth Newland (By licence)
Parents of Elizabeth-1693, Newland-1697, John-1700, Katharine-1702-04, John-d, John 1706,
Catharine-1710, Richard-1713
(This John was not the young Captain Bennett)
.01.1690/1 Ambrose Weston & Elizabeth Jubber (d1694)
Not found Christopher Bennett and his Wife Jane
Parents of Richard Benett-1690
Not found Robert Pelly and Sarah his Wife
Parents of Thomas-1692
Not found Francis Harbin and Elizabeth his Wife
Parents of Francis-1692
Not found Henry Weston and Mary his Wife
Parents of Ambrose-1692
Not found William Weston and Philes his Wife
Parents of Richard-1692
Not found Peter Bennett and Elinor his Wife
Parents of John-1692, Peter-1696, Hannah-1699
Not found Ambrose Weston (d.1729?) + Joan his Wife (d1731)
Parents of Joshua-1695, Ambrose-1697,
George-1699, Ambrose-1705, Benjamin-1712
Not found Peter Weston and Sarah his Wife
Parents of Hannah-1696
20.04.1695 John Martin & Susanna Strood
Not found John Masters and Dorothy his Wife
Parents of Mary-1697bap99,
03.04.1698 Robert Pelly & Millecent Baker
There are Pellys buried Barking
22.12.1698 James Seager & Joan Baker after Banns
02.02.1698/9 Christopher Bennett & Joan Fiander after Banns
Parents of Christopher-1699
09.04.1699 John Rogers & Ann Bennett after Banns
Parents of Henry-1701
09.09.1700 Elias Masters of Gosport & Hannah Grous
Parents of Elias-1701
07.09.1701 Moses Jumper of Ringwood & Mary Andrews
07.09.1701 Robert Lester & Elizabeth Leason of Hamworthy
Not found William Martin and Sarah his Wife
Parents of Matthew-1701
Not found William Masters and Mary his Wife
Parents of John-1702
31.01.1702/3 Ambrose Weston & Judith Baker
Parents of Mary-1704, Benjamin-1707
12.09.1703 Richard Williams Sr & Elizabeth Bennett after Banns
21.01.1704/5 Joseph Baker & Mary Wild
Parents of Susannah-1706
20.11.1707 John Weston & Mary Dean of Shadwell, Middlesex
Robert Cload of Hamworthy
Hamworthy is now a suburb of Poole
21.12.1712 John ?Bennett & ?Uriah Burd
06.01.1712/3 Francis Edwards & Mary Linthom (= Linton?)
'To Mary Edwards late Linton a guinea only'
Not found William Martin and Martha his Wife
Parents of Henry-1713
22.12.1713 Thomas Martin & Elizabeth Pike
24.12.1713 John Martin & Elianor Bennett
Parents of John-1715, Thomas-1718, Robert-1720, Elianor-1723
17.04.1715 William Martin & Mary Bennett
Parents of William-1722
04.08.1715 Mr Richard Weston of Plymouth & Mrs Elizabeth -
Mayor of Poole 1723-4. His family included at least one knight, one MP
Not found Thomas Bennett and Susannah his wife
Parents of Mary-1717, Mellicent-1719, Mellissa-1722
Not found John Bennett and Unah his wife
Parents of John-1717
Not found Miles Bennett and ?Susan his Wife
Parents of Betty-1717, Susannah-1723
Not found Robert Bennett and Catherine his Wife
Parents of Catherine-1718, Catherine-1722
Not found Thomas Martin and Elinor his Wife
Parents of Thomas-1718
Not found John Bennett and Mary his Wife
Parents of ?Billing-1722, John-1723
06.06.1720 John Bennett of Sarum & Elizabeth Sen-? of Poole
Not found John Weston and Sussannah his Wife
Parents of Mary-1722
08.09.1720 John Bennett & Amy Wills both of Poole
Parents of Amy-1723, James-1727
Not found Thomas Martin and Mary his Wife
Parents of Nicholas-1723
Not found Abraham Stevens and Elizabeth his wife
Parents of William-1729

NB There did not appear to be a Thomas Masters, Mary Masters or Thomas Stevens, Hannah Stevens in Poole up to 1733.

A List of the Burgesses of Poole in 1690

Inn Burgesses in 1690 from MS in Poole Reference Library.

The list is in apparent order of seniority, but with the titles of Mr and Esq left out by me:

Wm Phipard
William Seager
Thomas Hide
John Carter
Moses Durell
Wm Pike
Thomas Smith
Wm Street
Henry Jubber
Benjn Skut
Shadrach Beall
Peter Hiley
Samll Hookey
? Williams
Wm Minty
George Lewen
Joseph Wadham
John Pitt
Dennis Smith
John Jigger
George Ollife
Woods Rogers
John Carter Jr
John Edwards
Wm Hooper
John Cristin
Wm Lacy
Robert Bennett
Wm Pike
Richmond Smith
John Rogers
Stephen Barfoot
Edward Jubber
Tymo Bird
George Bayly
James Wise
Thomas Younge
Roger Wadham
Jon Linthonne Jr
Wm Skutt
Wm Thompson
Isaac Carter
Peter Jollife
Joseph Bond
Wm Cleeves
John Lester
Wm Skinner
Wm Phipard
Thomas Gentle
Wm Bremble
Thos Nicholson
Thomas Hade Jr
Pannell Phipard
Abraham Smith
John Skott
Thomas Wadham
Ambros Weston
Henry Weston
Peter Weston.

Out-burgesses for 1690 in order of seniority were:

William Haley
Sir John Morton
H'ry Constantine
Thomas ffrink
Sir Henry Buttler
Anthony Effrick
Cap Jn Lawrence
John Bennett
Col T Strangwase
Wm White
Wm Culliford
Sr Nathanl Nappir
Nathan Nappier
James Gould
Wm Jollife
Major Genll Earle
Richard ffownds
Shadrach Lister
Samll Weston
Thos Trenchard
Wm ffitch
Ld Ashley
Charles Hiley
? Prichard

In-Burgesses were Poole residents and property holders, mainly merchants. Out-Burgesses were usually former residents who still owned property in Poole and had merchant links with it. A good number of these gentlemen were into owling and smuggled goods, according to Culliford.

The Great Forest in Essex

The Norman Kings, princes and nobles loved hunting. Stealth, speed, stamina and tactics were needed to hunt and kill fast-moving boar and deer. It helped develop the horsemanship, leadership and tactics needed for war, too. Royal Forests were the theatre for this pursuit.

'Forest' originally meant the area of land in which 'the Beasts of the Chase' were reserved for the sole pleasure of the King. Smaller areas with close-planted trees were called 'woods'.

English Kings put Forest Laws into place to protect four forest beasts and everything that nourished and sheltered them: red deer, fallow deer, roe deer and wild pig; collectively called "the venison". The vert (Latin for green), which provided the venison with their food and shelter, was divided into trees and other vegetation.

There were a number of Royal Forests in England: Nottingham Forest, the New Forest and the Forest of Waltham to name a few.

King Henry II set down a wide range of Forest Laws in 1184 to protect (and keep a check on) his vert and venison. It was illegal to trespass against the vert - to cut down a tree (even on private land), to allow livestock to graze in an area without permission, to protect your own crops by fencing, to attempt to turn forest waste (rough land) and woods into farmland (assarting) and even to take firewood.

The Forest was a kingdom within a kingdom; a land of woods, commons, long open rides, coppice, yeoman farms, modest retirement houses for gentlemen, rural inns, horse-dealers and crop traders and rogues living off all sorts of pickings.

The Forest Laws operated through patrols of forest officials, headed by a Forester and by elected verderers at special Forest Courts. All infringements of the Forest Law were originally punishable by imprisonment, but Kings were always short of money and they soon found it much more profitable to impose fines and collect the cash.

Henry II raised more money by extending the Forests' original legal boundaries. This increased the population living within each Forest and raised the opportunities for handing out fines and taking cash.

Every so often, the forest boundaries were ridden round by the King's officials and checked in an official perambulation. The last Essex perambulation was carried out in 1641 and covered some 60,000 acres. It started at Bow Bridge at Stratford. Its southern boundary was the line of the Roman Road from Stratford through Ilford, past the Whalebone in Dagenham parish and nearly to Romford. The western boundary ran up the River Lea as far up Nazeing.

The boundary then ran north of Epping and wound east and south towards Theydon Bois and Abridge. From Passingford Bridge the eastern boundary through Navestock and Curtismill Green was marked only by a series of stones. It then followed the Bourne Brook south to Park Corner, Collier Row, the Warren and then to a Marks stone and a Havering stone and the Roman Road, just west of Romford village.

The River Roding was the natural boundary dividing this great Forest into Waltham Forest and Hainault Forest. Immediately to the east of the Forest of Hainault, the Royal Liberty of Havering added more territory ruled by the King's private laws and privileges.

The Essex Forest was economically essential to England. Forest oaks were hauled to Barking and then floated down the tidal Roding to the Royal dockyards on the Thames; charcoal went by cart to the Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey and the cannon foundries, oak bark went to the leather tanners and a stream of carts took firewood to the hearths and bread ovens of London, seven miles to the west.

Today's map shows all the Essex names within its boundaries.

As today, a swelling population put pressure on the unused land around London and an Act was passed in 1851 for the clearance of the old Hainault Forest. In six weeks 3000 acres of its woods were cleared of timber, and the only bits of it left are today's woodlands at Hainault, Lambourne and Claybury Woods.

Some events from around Captain Bennett's time

1670 Colonies of North and South Carolina founded
Wren starts work rebuilding 51 of the 87 churches lost in the Great Fire of London 1666
1671 J Evelyn discovers Grinling Gibbons
1672 Peter the Great born in Moscow, son of Tsar Alexei
Newton's theory of light & colour read to The Royal Society in London
English v Dutch fleets' battle off Southwold, Suffolk
1673 Test Act debars Catholics from public office
1674 End of Third Dutch War
19 Feb. New Amsterdam becomes British New York
1675 Louis XlV bribe of 500,000 crowns to Charles ll
21st Jun. Foundation stone of the new St Pauls
Wren starts on the Greenwich Royal Observatory
1676 Robert Hooke devises the universal joint
Influenza epidemic
1677 William lll marries his cousin Princess Mary
1678 Alliance with the Dutch against the French
1679 Robert Hooke's law of elasticity
Pepys committed to the Tower on a charge of treason
27 May Habeas Corpus Act
1680 Colony of New Hampshire founded in America
Penny Post starts in London.
Pepys released from the Tower
Purcell becomes organist at Westminster Abbey
Lord Shaftesbury organises nation-wide petitions to exclude James Duke of York from being King. His followers called Whigs, opposed by the Tories.
1681 Colony of Pennsylvania founded
Shaftesbury prosecuted for treason; flees to Holland after grand jury acquit him.
1682 Halley observes a bright comet - realises it returns every 76yrs
Louis XlV revokes the Edict of Nantes - French Protestants excluded from Public and Royal offices
Wren starts building Chelsea Hospital
1683 Newton explains link between tides & gravitation
Plot to assassinate Charles ll discovered.
Elias Ashmole opens the first UK museum, in Oxford
Princess Anne marries Prince George of Denmark
1684 Robert Hooke invents the heliograph
Duke of Monmouth banished
James Duke of York restored to former offices.
1685 Charles ll dies. Duke of York is King James ll
Duke of Monmouth lands, claiming the throne.
6th July. Battle of Sedgmoor, Somerset. Duke Monmouth def'd. Bloody Assizes follow - 320 executions/840 sold into slavery
15th July. Duke of Monmouth beheaded.
Catholics re-admitted to the Army
1687 Nell Gwyn (2 sons by Chas.ll) dies aged 37
Newton - laws of gravitation and motion
1688 James Stuart born son of King James ll.
King James falls out of favour.
England's Glorious Revolution - Whig and Tory leaders invite the King's son-in-law, William of Orange to save Britain from Catholicism. William accepts. Dutch fleet lands William and troops at Torbay
The Queen and Prince James are sent to France.
James ll eventually 'escapes' to France.
1689 William and Mary become joint sovereigns.
Judge Jeffreys dies in the Tower of London
Protestant Derry besieged by James's Catholic army
War with France.
1690 Fears of a French invasion
Sea battle off Beachy Head - French victorious
Battle of the Boyne near Drogheda, Ireland - William's army defeats James ll's army. Schomberg killed.
1691 New East India Company formed.
Lloyds coffee house is London's insurance centre.
Limerick besieged and taken by William
1692 Glencoe massacre of MacDonalds by Campbells. Royal Hospital Chelsea, built by Wren, opens
Louis XlV of France and exiled James ll assemble a fleet at Brest and an army of 30,000 in Normandie.
Battle of Cap de la Hogue - large French fleet destroyed by Royal Navy under Admiral Russell
1693 William borrows £1m @10% to pay for the war and there has been a National Debt ever since
William of Orange's forces defeated at Loudon.
1694 Royal Navy bombards France's le Havre, Dieppe & Dunkirk but is repulsed off Brest
Tax on salt is doubled
Bank of England founded by Chancellor Montagu.
Queen Mary dies of Smallpox. William reigns alone
Purcell writes Music for Queen Mary's Funeral
1695 John Bennett gains his Captain's commission
British troops capture Namur
Bank of Scotland founded
Henry Purcell dies: his 1694 Music played at funeral
1696 Henry Winstanley starts first Eddystone lighthouse
Plot to assassinate Willliam lll near Turnham Green.
Board of Trade founded.
Window Tax introduced.
1697 Sir George Rooke commands the fleet.
Peter the Great arrives Holland, meets William III
Palace of Whitehall burnt: Westminster Hall survives
Treaty of Rijswijk. Wm lll acknowledged by Louis XlV.
Choir of new St Pauls Cathedral opened.
1698 Tsar Peter the Great arrives in London
London has pop. of 750,000: dirty, dangerous, vital.
Captain John Perry introduced to Tsar
Newton calculates the speed of sound.
Africa-America slave trade sanctioned by Parliament
London Stock Exchange founded
1699 Dampier explores west coast of Australia in Roebuck
Billingsgate fish market opens
William's land grants to Dutch favourites unpopular
British army is reduced to only 70,000 men
1700 Dampier explores New Guinea
Queen Anne's only child and successor dies
1701 Britain/Holland/Savoy form The Grand Alliance
Start of the War of the Spanish Succession
Captain Kidd, pirate is hanged in London
James ll dies in France.
1702 The colony of Delaware founded in America
William lll dies after fall from horse at Hampton Court
Queen Anne succeeds to the throne
John Churchill and Godolphin lead the Government.
First edition of the Daily Courant published
Coronation of Queen Anne
Lord Cornbery, dressed as Queen Anne, opens the New York assembly for the Crown: outrage there
John Churchill made Duke of Marlborough after capture of Kaiserworth, Venloo and Liege from French
Rooke capture treasure fleet in Vigo Bay
1703 Marlborough captures Bonn, Huy, Limoges, Guelders.
England devastated by a Hurricane-force storm (the Navy alone loses 1500 men, 12 ships + 12 captains; the Eddystone lighthouse and Mr Winstanley are lost)
Samuel Pepys dies at his retirement home in Clapham
Daniel Defoe pilloried
Port Wine treaty signed by England and Portugal
1704 Beau Nash made Master of Ceremonies at Bath Spa
Capture of Gibraltar by Admirals Rooke and Shovell
Battle of Blenheim - major Anglo-Austrian victory
1705 Lord Peterborough captures Barcelona
Blenheim Palace started by Marlborough
1706 John Evelyn dies at Wotton near Dorking.
Thomas Twining starts tea import business, London
Earl of Galway and the Allies enter Madrid
Battle of Ramillies nr Louvain British, Dutch & Danish under Marlborough (aged 56) defeat Spanish/French
Spanish empire in Europe dismantled.
Violent earthquake in Abruzzi, Italy, killing 15000.
1707 Act of Union + the updated Union Jack
The Siege of Toulon
Shovell and five Navy ships lost on Scilly rocks
17 Dec 1707: terrible collapse of sluice and overflow of the Thames banks at Dagenham. Repair attempt.
1708 Transvestite Governor-General of America recalled
Newcomen patents a steam-pump engine for mines
United East India Company formed
Old Pretender lands in Scotland
French fleet sent to him is beaten
Battle of Oudenaarde: Marlborough beats Vendome
1709 Low-cost iron founding starts at Coalbrookdale
The Tatler, magazine first published
Battle of Malplaquet near Mons, France.
Costly victory by Marlborough and Prinz Eugene
1710 Georg Friederick Handel comes to Britain aged 25
1711 South Sea Company incorporated by Parliament
First edition of The Spectator succeeding the Tatler
First Ascot horse race, attended by Queen Anne
1712 Newcomen's first piston-steam engine at Tipton
1713 Treaty of Utrecht: peace with Louis XlV's France
Gibraltar and Minorca formally ceded to Britain.
1714 Board of Longitude offers £20,000 prize
Queen Anne dies, George l of Hanover succeeds
15 Feb great storm sweeps away Thames wall repairs at Dagenham. Biggest ships cannot reach London
Board of Trustees & fixers meets at the Guildhall.
Act to stop-up Dagenham Breach hurried through
1715 Death of Louis XlV at Versailles - reigned 72 yrs.
James Stuart, Old Pretender lands at Peterhead
1716 Capt Perry sent for by Dagenham Breach trustees
Perry has £24k, 5 year remedy. Given go-ahead
1717 Captain John Bennett dies in Barking
First ballet at Th'tre Royal - Loves of Mars & Venus
First Freemasons Lodge incorporated, London.
1718 Death of William Penn, aged 73
Blackbeard the Pirate killed off North Carolina.
1720 South Sea bubble bursts: financial panic
Peace with Spain
Bonnie Prince Charlie born in Rome.
1721 Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister
South Sea Company directors prosecuted
The carver Grinling Gibbons dies.
Act of Parliament in relief of Captain Perry
1722 Duke of Marlborough dies at Windsor
1723 Sir Christopher Wren dies in London aged 91
1724 Jack Sheppard, highwayman, hanged.
1725 Tsar Peter the Great dies in St Petersburg
1726 Lloyds List is published
1727 Sir Isaac Newton dies, buried Westminster Abbey

For Family History Researchers

There were 34 family names in Capt Bennett's will: Baker, Bennett, Buloan, Butts, Cload or Croad, Conant, Crepigny, Edlin, Edwards, Fawler, Fewtrell, Fleming, Godsalve, Griffith, Hollman, Jones, Lester, Lewen or Lewin, Lewis, Linton, Martin, Masters, Middleton, Parham, Parrett, Pike, Pittman, Smith, Stephens or Stevens, Thorp, Weston, Wheelock, Whitfield and Williams: see the detailed Index of Names.