Google+ Badge

Saturday, December 20, 2014

42.1.c Andrew Durnford's choice of Executor Thomas Hyde Durnford - a relative or a coincidence?

By the 19th Century there were Durnfords all over the globe.  

From Jemima Isaacson's lineage of Durnfords, they lived in London until Elias Durnford and his brother Andrew went to fight in the American Wars.  

They were very well represented within the Military, and their achievements are well documented. Their children followed their traditions, and served in most of the corridors of war, as England was involved in so many major battles during the Victorian era.  Many lives were lost, and sons buried in far flung parts of the world.  Medals were won, battles were lost, and these brave men took enormous risks.
Sydney 1821

In 1826 George Durnford, son of Clark Durnford was paymaster in Sydney, at the settlement.

During this period there was a George Durnford who fought in the Maori Wars. (lineage unknown)

The New Zealand Wars, which were long known as the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand from 1845 to 1872 between the New Zealand government and indigenous Māori. Though the wars were initially localised conflicts triggered by tensions over disputed land purchases, they escalated dramatically from 1860 as the government became convinced it was facing a united Māori resistance to further land sales and a refusal to acknowledge Crown sovereignty. 

The government summoned thousands of British troops to mount major campaigns to overpower the Māori King Movement and also acquire farming and residential land for English settlers.Later campaigns were aimed at quashing the so-called Hauhau movement, an extremist part of the Pai Marire religion, which was strongly opposed to the alienation of Māori land and eager to strengthen Māori identity.

At the peak of hostilities in the 1860s, 18,000 British troops, supported by artillery, cavalry and local militia, battled about 4000 Māori warriors in what became a gross imbalance of manpower and weaponry. Although outnumbered, the Māori were able to withstand their enemy with techniques that included anti-artillery bunkers and the use of carefully placed pa, or fortified villages, that allowed them to block their enemy advance and often inflict heavy losses, yet quickly abandon their positions without significant loss. 

Guerilla-style tactics were used by both sides in later campaigns, often fought in dense bush. Over the course of the Taranaki and Waikato campaigns the lives of about 1800 Māori and 800 Europeans were lost and total Māori losses over the course of all the wars may have exceeded 2100.

Violence over land ownership broke out first in the Wairau Valley in the South Island in June 1843, but rising tensions in Taranaki eventually led to the involvement of British military forces at Waitara in March 1860. The war between the government and Kīngitanga (King Movement) Māori spread to other areas of the North Island, with the biggest single campaign being the invasion of Waikato in 1863–64, before hostilities concluded with the pursuits of warlord Riwha Titokowaru in Taranaki (1868–69) and guerrilla fighter Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki on the east coast (1868–72).

Although Māori were initially fought by British forces, the New Zealand government developed its own military force, including local militia, rifle volunteer groups, the specialist Forest Rangers and pro-government Māori. The government also responded with legislation to imprison Māori opponents and confiscate expansive areas of the North Island for sale to settlers, with the funds used to cover war expenses—punitive measures that on the east and west coasts provoked an intensification of Māori resistance and aggression.

Memorial in the Auckland War Memorial Museum for those who died, both European and Māori, in the New Zealand Wars. "Kia mate toa" can be translated as "fight unto death" or "be strong in death", and is the motto of the Otago and Southland Regiment of the New Zealand Army. The flags are that of Gate Pā and the Union Flag.

Could you just imagine what these Englishmen thought when confronted by the Maoris and their Haka, a spectacle that we all rejoice at seeing in International sporting events.

Not all joined the military, take the son of Clark Durnford, brother to Elias and Andrew.

He lived in one of the top streets in London 11 Phillimore Gardens Kensington, where prices are extremely high, with neighbours like the Royals, is it any wonder why?

*This is 17 Phillimore, but is indicative of the houses in the street
 *London home crowned world’s most expensive at US$1.58 billion

While luxury real estate agents speculate about the potential US$525 million price tag for the illustrious Villa La Fiorentina overlooking the French Riviera – if and when it goes on sale this year – 17 Upper Phillimore Gardens in London’s millionaire-have Kensington, still tops the list for most expensive properties, according to

Elias' senior's nephew Thomas, went with him to New Orleans, again establishing himself in unknown places.  He had two sons, and one of them visited Joseph, visited Elias Walker Durnford, according to the papers and was never heard from again.

 His other son lived in Louisiana, and was the owner of sugar plantations, unusual in the days for a child of mixed race.  He possibly visited in respect of his father Thomas's will.

Andrew Durnford's second family moved from Bermuda in the West Indies after he died to the US.
It would indicate that Elizabeth may have relatives living in the same area.

Elias and Rebecca Durnford had children born in the US, and Rebecca must have been one outstanding lady to travel to the places she did, in war zones, all unfamiliar territory and still manage to deliver her children.

Their son Elias Walker Durnford had children born in the US and Canada.

So the Durnford name started to make it's way into other parts of the globe.

Other Durnford's were established in Newfoundland, and most probably these Durnfords were involved in the fishing industry that evolved from Poole in England.

To help with research, and as a follow up to our visit to Poole and the museum, the following research gives an indication of how the industry started, the same industry Andrew Durnford was writing to London about, with his concerns of smuggling.  

And the answer to the question.

A Background of the Fishing Industry developed by merchants, generally from Poole in UK and other European countries.

The fishing industry in Newfoundland was established in the 1570's as indicated in the Trinity Archives

Fishermen from the West Country of England began using Trinity as a summer station in the migratory fishery in the 1570s. Summer fishermen continued to be primarily from the Channel Islands, especially Jersey, and Weymouth in Dorset until a permanent settlement was established.
Trinity was settled by merchants from Poole, England during the 18th century, citing reasons such as the easily defensible harbour and abundance of shore space for fishing premises.  Trinity was the site that Sir Richard Whitbourne held the first court of Admiralty in 1615, establishing the first court of justice in North America.

The merchant trade in Trinity was significant and dominated the social and economic life from Baie Verte to White Bay (Newfoundland and Labrador). At times, merchants in Trinity exported upwards of 30-40% of cod, train oil, and seals produced in Newfoundland.

By the late 18th Century, the merchant firms in Trinity were operating 35 ocean-going ships, exporting 100,000 quintals of dried cod and supplying about 6,000 inhabitants.

A fort was established at Admiral's Point near Trinity in order to protect the assets of the merchants. Due to Trinity's prominence in the British-Newfoundland trade, it was attacked and twice captured by the French in the Anglo-French Wars of 1696-1713, first in 1696 and again in 1705.

 Both times, the properties of the residents were burnt. Trinity was again captured by the French during the Seven Years' War by Admiral de Ternay.

Trinity was the site of medical research, including the introduction of the smallpox vaccine to the new world in 1798 by John Clinch, a boyhood friend and medical colleague of Edward Jenner.

Religious activities in Trinity date back to the early years. The first parochial church was built in 1729 and Rev. Robert Kilpatrick, the first missionary of the Society for Propagation of the Gospel, arrived.                                          Rev Robert Kilpatick was from Poole

 During a tumultuous time in Trinity's history, a visiting Methodist preacher, John Hoskins, was tarred by sailors in 1780 - a resident Methodist preacher did not arrive until 1816.

 Construction on a new parish church began in 1820 and housed the Rev. Aubrey Spencer who later became the first Church of England bishop of the diocese of Newfoundland and Bermuda

The interest of the east coast of England in the Iceland fishery was supplemented by the development of the English fishery from the west country (Cornwall, Devon, and Dorset) to Newfoundland. English fishermen were compelled to depend on Portuguese, and later, French supplies of salt, and English ships began to develop a trade to centres in Newfoundland, particularly in the Avalon peninsula , acquiring supplies of salt and fish from European fishermen.

After the defeat of the Spanish armada they acquired supplies of salt from France, went to Newfoundland and returned with dried fish for the domestic market, and in the last decade of the sixteenth century, a surplus of dried fish was exported to Europe .

As a result of the rise in prices following the import of treasure from the new world, the Spanish fishery declined, and the English fishery and trade emerged to take advantage of supplies of specie.
Prosecuting the fishery in Newfoundland and returning to the west country with dried fish for export to Europe was gradually displaced by the practice of carrying fish directly from Newfoundland to European markets, especially in the. Mediterranean area.

Fishing ships proceeding to Newfoundland early in the spring, carrying on the fishery during the summer months and taking the product to European markets, were faced with the problem of transporting large numbers of men to Newfoundland for the fishery, then to the European markets and back to the west country.

Colonisers, represented by the London and Bristol Company (1610), proposed to establish a settlement which would enable men to stay over the winter, to carry on a resident fishery, and to provide cargoes for sack ships for the Mediterranean markets. This proposal and others similar to it were ruthlessly defeated by west country fishermen who insisted on the rights of a free fishery which gave the first arrival each year the position of admiral for the season.
The difficulties of developing agriculture, to supply food for winter settlements, further restricted the growth of settlement in Newfoundland and favoured the migration of population to New England.
The rise of New England and its demand for European goods led to the growth of trade with Newfoundland . As a result of this increase in trade, settlement began to expand in spite of continued and more vigorous efforts of the west country to check it.

Partly as a result of restrictions on settlement imposed at the instigation of the west country, men known as bye boatmen began to dominate the industry. They were brought on the fishing ships as passengers each spring, operated a fishery in Newfoundland independently of the fishing ships, and sold their product before their return to England in the autumn. The fishing ships were in a sense compelled to serve as sack ships carrying passengers to Newfoundland and the finished product to European markets.

In 1610, John Guy led settlers to Newfoundland on behalf of the London and Bristol Company, which is now referred to as the Newfoundland Company. Guy attempted to colonize Cupid's Cove. Guy and his party explored the region and made contact with the Boethuck Indians in 1612.
Historians are very interested in Guy's contact with these Natives, as they are now extinct and not much is known of their traditions and culture. But that is another story, which I will cover at a later date.

The year before Guy and his party landed at Newfoundland harbour, private venturers established the first colony under royal chapter. Within twenty years, other settlements were founded between Trespassey and Bonavista.

But the fishermen, the ship's captains and merchants who sponsored the fishing expeditions wanted Newfoundland to remain a fish preserve. These groups banded together and convinced
King Charles I, who had by now ascended the English throne, to give all legal authority to the Fishing Admirals.

These were the first captains to land in Newfoundland harbor each spring. These were rough, tough men who were good fishermen and navigators but not the best to disperse the King's justice. They harassed and bullied the settlers and burned the forests to increase hardships. In spite of this, resident populations increased.

The settlers were helped from 1650 onwards by trade with New Englanders who came to Newfoundland with ships filled with woolens, rum, salted meat, molasses and sugar. These items were traded for salted cod and fish oil.

In 1662, King Charles I passed the Navigation Acts, which forbid trade with foreign countries as well as between the colonies. This did not stop the determined settlers. Soon, Newfoundland was the centre of a thriving contraband trade.

Britain set out to catch the smugglers. She sent ships to Newfoundland under the guise of bringing the fishing fleet back to England. These ships were actually sent to suppress smuggling

In 1713, Queen Anne's ministers, by the Treaty of Utrecht, made the French a factor in inhibiting the growth of Newfoundland for more than 200 years. The treaty gave the French concurrent fishing rights on most of the northeast coast and the entire West Coast of the island. This was the source of continuous conflicts.

Finally, a naval governor was sent to Newfoundland. Lord North did nothing to aid the settlers. He ordered that "what the settlers wanted raw, they were to get roasted - what they wanted roasted, they were to get raw."

In 1789, the naval commander in Newfoundland ordered his men to destroy every building that had a chimney. This was more than thirty years after Nova Scotia had been granted a representative assembly and become a colony that was assisted by governing officials.

But the settlers of Newfoundland were stout, hearty and determined people, who possessed a lot of grit. They persevered and prevailed.

The English West Country Fishery

At the start of the 17th century, the British cod-fishing industry was centred in the south-western "toe" of England known as the "West Country." In addition, the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey participated regularly. Between 1615 and 1640, 70% of the English vessels that sailed to fish at Newfoundland came from the West Country, a region which had the location, the capital, and the men to assume the leadership in the British fishery at Newfoundland.

Five counties made up the West Country: Dorset, Devonshire, Somerset, Hampshire, and Cornwall. Although the last two soon dropped out of direct involvement in the Newfoundland fishery, both continued to be a source of labour. Since the county of Somerset was involved in a variety of other activities, the fishery became strongly identified with Dorset and Devonshire.

The West Country had an important and flourishing wool and cloth trade in addition to the fishery. But in England as in the rest of Europe, the fishery was thought to be of great economic importance because of the supplementary employment it provided by stimulating dozens of auxiliary trades.

In his Discourse and Discovery of the Newfoundland (1620), Richard Whitbourne described some of the products consumed by the fishery: nets, hooks, leads, lines, rope, bread, and beer. Bakers, brewers, coopers, chandlers, net-makers, tackle-makers, smiths, hook-makers, carpenters, and rope-makers were among the many tradesmen who never left their West Country homes, yet were employed by the fishery just as surely as a splitter or a beach master in Renews.

The West Country Merchant-Venturers: Facing the Risks

The Newfoundland trade was controlled by a small number of West Country merchant-venturers, who often referred to themselves as the "Western Adventurers." They had common interests and concerns, were often related by marriage, and accumulated considerable wealth.

This power and cohesiveness made them very influential within the West Country. At the same time, because the Newfoundland trade was highly competitive rivalries between individual merchants, merchant families, or entire merchant communities could be fierce.

Religious and political differences further divided them. This happened frequently during the 17th century, and it is an indication of how troubled the Newfoundland trade was during that period.
The first 20 years after 1600 experienced rapid expansion in the fishery. By 1620, possibly as many as 300 English ships and vessels annually sailed to Newfoundland, with some West Country ports each sending as many as 80 vessels.

Many factors account for this growth: the end of the war with Spain in 1603, the elimination of the Spanish fishery at Newfoundland, bountiful fish stocks, and an availability of surplus capital. But a succession of hardships following 1620 caused the fishery to shrink and forced some West Country ports quit the fishery altogether.


Until about 1640 the fish trade was plagued by marauding Barbary pirates known as the Sallee rovers. They were renegade seamen from all nations who sailed out of bases in North Africa.
Piracy itself was nothing new to the Newfoundland fishery; the notorious Peter Easton and Henry Mainwaring were only two among the many who had raided Newfoundland harbours during the 1610s. Because it was dispersed and seasonal, the fishery could endure piracy of this sort. since while some harbours suffered, others were left untouched.

The trade was different. The value of the cargoes carried by fishing ships when they left in the spring, or by sack ships approaching market destinations in the fall, was enormous. If one of these was lost, the impact on the merchant-venturer was significant.

A sketch by Edward Barlow of the sack ship Real Friendship in 1668.

Barlow was a mariner aboard her on a voyage from London to Tenerife. The following year, while loading fish in Newfoundland, the vessel caught fire and was lost.

From Edward Barlow, Barlow's Journal of His Life at Sea in King's Ships, East & West Indiamen & Other Merchantmen from 1659 to 1703. (London, Hurst & Blackett, Ltd, 1934) I, 143.

It was the trade which was the usual target of the Sallee rovers, who cruised the coasts of Portugal and Spain while waiting to intercept merchantmen who converged in the market ports. They even sailed into the English Channel because neither France nor England possessed navies capable of effectively challenging them.

The losses in shipping and men were staggering. In the four years from 1624 to 1628, the town of Poole alone claimed to have lost 20 ships - a figure equal to the number of ships the town had once sent out annually. Thereafter, Poole was only able to send three ships to Newfoundland.


Adding to West Country difficulties were the frequent wars between England and various European countries after 1620. Fishermen were "pressed" into the navy, shipping became a target of enemy attacks, and markets in hostile countries were closed to English fish. Even the mere possibility of war could be disruptive. For example, in 1623 the threat of a war with Spain caused the English government to place an embargo on fish exports to that country.

The English civil war (after 1640) and conflicts with Spain and Holland during the 1650s disrupted the fishery and trade so deeply that the number of ships in the fishing fleet had decreased from 300 to barely one hundred by 1660. Only 43 ships sailed for Newfoundland by the year 1684.

Many West Country ports simply abandoned the fishery altogether: The Cornish ports of Falmouth and Fowey, as well as ports such as Lyme Regis, Weymouth, Southampton, even Plymouth (one of the most important participants at the beginning of the century) all gave up.

The worst years came after 1690 when yet another war, this time with France, caused the English government to prohibit all fishing ships from sailing to Newfoundland. This was a matter of necessity: fishermen were needed to man the navy and as a result, the migratory fishery did not resume until 1693.

Aside from the hazards of piracy and war were all the usual risks associated with a speculative and unpredictable industry and trade. Ships disasters, fraud, poor fish catches and congested markets were all possibilities.

 The life of a merchant-venturer was insecure because he might easily prosper in the fishery, only to lose his fortune in other activities. As a result, merchant-venturers, suspicious of new situations, often adopted a pessimistic outlook. Their frequent predictions of doom and collapse, cries of ruin, lamentations, and complaints of meager profits dwarfed by mountainous costs should all be viewed with some scepticism.

 Nevertheless, it is true that by the end of the 17th century the English migratory fishery had really been on the brink of collapse. One indication of this is the disappearance of the names of many merchant-venturers who had previously been active in the fishery and trade.

The beginnings of a significant fishery in Cornwall may be traced to the reign of King John and by the time of the Tudors had become of national importance. It was much regulated under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1582 nearly two thousand mariners are recorded for Cornwall and somewhat more for Devon. In 1602 Richard Carew describes the fisheries of Cornwall and Devon as much more important than those of eastern England. Two methods were in use at the time: seining and drifting. In the early years of the 17th century the fishermen of Cornwall and Devon were also heavily involved in the Newfoundland fisheries.

In the decade 1747–1756 the total number of pilchards dispatched from the four principal Cornish ports of Falmouth, Fowey, Penzance and St Ives averaged 30,000 hogsheads annually (making a total of 900 million fish). Much greater catches were achieved in 1790 and 1796. The majority of the pilchard catch was exported to Italy. Before the mid 18th century the season generally ran from July till November or December but during the 19th century usually from August to October.

There were many merchants in the 1700's who were based in Poole and who ran ships to Newfoundland, some stories of some of them.

LESTER, BENJAMIN, office holder, agent, and businessman; b. 13 July 1724 in Poole, England, fourth son of Francis Lester, merchant and cooper of Poole, and Rachel Taverner, daughter of William Taverner*; m. c. 1750 in Trinity, Nfld, his cousin Susannah Taverner, daughter of Jacob Taverner of Trinity; d. 25 Jan. 1802 in Poole, survived by one son and three daughters.

Benjamin Lester’s father, mayor of Poole in 1716, owned at least one ship in the Newfoundland trade in the 1730s and apparently concentrated on dealing in oil. Benjamin himself went to Newfoundland about 1737, evidently in the employ of John Masters, an eminent Poole-Newfoundland merchant who had married another daughter of William Taverner, and his Irish partner, Michael Ballard.

 The death of Benjamin’s father in 1737 presumably had made it necessary for him to pursue his own career, and his youth and probable lack of capital meant that he was unable to set up on his own in the fishery. In 1749 he was appointed a magistrate at Trinity, and in 1750 was acting as Ballard’s agent as victualler to the Trinity garrison.

Masters and Ballard died in 1755 and 1756 respectively, and Lester subsequently emerged as a merchant on his own account, eventually acquiring a substantial share of the Newfoundland fishery in partnership with his elder brother Isaac.

Isaac, who had apparently inherited his father’s coopering business, remained in Poole, where he was well placed to supervise the British end, recruiting men and handling ships and supplies for the fishery. Benjamin’s interests centred on Trinity, where he normally spent the fishing seasons until he left Newfoundland in 1776 and where he built a large brick house, but they extended over Trinity and Bonavista bays and up to Fogo, as well as to the banks fisheries.

His outstations included Scilly Cove (Winterton), Tickle Harbour (Bellevue), and Bonavista. Lester exploited the coast of Labrador as well from 1767, and in 1778 he pioneered the use of shallops there for seal fishing by water  so that full advantage could be taken of the spring fishing season.

By the 1770s he owned at least 12 ships, and by 1793 his fleet had grown to nearly 30, probably the largest then owned by a Poole merchant. He built many of his vessels in Trinity and had two sixth rates for the Royal Navy constructed there in 1790.

Lester was responsible for surrendering Trinity to the French during the attack on Newfoundland in 1762 commanded by Charles-Henri-Louis d’Arsac* de Ternay. Criticized by some of the inhabitants, who had at least talked of resistance, he was made to give up his magistrate’s commission by Governor Thomas Graves, but was shortly afterwards exonerated from charges of collaboration. In his defence it must be said that his conduct during the occupation undoubtedly minimized not only his own losses but those of the community in general.

Lester’s trade does not appear to have suffered greatly during the War of American Independence, in spite of difficulties in supplying provisions to Newfoundland and the depredations of American privateers off the coast.

 During the boom years of the 1780s he prospered greatly. In 1787 his eight bankers, manned by 87 men, caught 9,000 quintals of cod, and in the 1789 season he shipped to Europe 50,087 quintals of new fish and 2,469 of old fish, nearly seven per cent of the total taken in Newfoundland that year, together with 1,183 tierces of salmon.

 In addition, nearly 4,000 quintals of old fish were sold to the West Indies. The French revolutionary wars were a more serious threat to his interests. He lost seven of his ships between 1795 and 1798 and was affected by the closing of the Italian market and the depression in the Spanish and Portuguese markets, but his business was able to survive these difficulties.

In 1800 he was assessed in Poole at £3,000 value in export and import rates, by far the greatest amount for a Poole merchant, and in 1801 his stations on Venison Island and elsewhere caught 2,900 of the total of 8,084 seals taken in Labrador that year.

Lester’s relations with other Poole merchants established in the Trinity area and trading in the same regions varied. Those with Samuel and Joseph White and Peter Jolliffe appear to have been initially friendly, but he quarrelled over business with Richard Waterman of Trinity and Jeremiah Coghlan* of Fogo during the late 1760s.

About a decade later he became an opponent of John Jeffrey of Poole, who inherited the Whites’ business, but his relations with Jeffrey’s sometime partner Thomas Street were generally good. In 1776 he quarrelled with John Slade* of Twillingate when Slade engaged some men who had already taken service with Lester.

Lester had emerged as a spokesman of the Newfoundland merchants in Poole in their dealings with government by 1773, when he represented their opposition to the establishment of the custom-house in St John’s.

In 1775, despite opposition in Poole, he secured the dispatch of a petition supporting the barring of the Americans from the Newfoundland trade, and gave evidence before the House of Lords in support of a bill to exclude them. After his final return to England in 1776 he used the political influence his brother had built up in Poole to have himself elected mayor of the town in 1779 and from 1781 to 1783, and he also served as member of parliament for the borough between 1790 and 1796.

 In the attempt to obtain better terms in the peace settlement of 1783 he attacked the concessions made over the French Shore and the French retention of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Lester supported Lord Sheffield, a leading authority on commerce, in opposing American trading rights with British colonies, and as one of the Poole representatives at the Privy Council committee for trade’s inquiry into this issue in 1785 he urged limitations on American trade with Newfoundland.

But Lester and the other Poole merchants were persuaded by the government to accept the need for imports of foodstuffs from the United States into Newfoundland, and by 1788 they had come to realize that American supplies were essential, to the extent that they protested when the government sought to stop American supplies in favour of those from Quebec.

Lester entered a further protest in 1791 when the government again attempted to restrict imports of American supplies. In 1793 Lester was a member of the House of Commons inquiry into the Newfoundland trade. Active too in securing posts in the Newfoundland government for his acquaintances, he assisted Richard Routh to become the customs collector in 1782, and D’Ewes Coke to obtain the customs controllership in 1783.

Since Lester’s only son, John, did not take much interest in the family firm, on Lester’s death his Newfoundland business passed effectively to his son-in-law George Garland, who had formerly assisted him in managing his trade, and then to the latter’s sons George* and John Bingley.

 Starting his career with apparently few advantages, Benjamin Lester had demonstrated great energy and enterprise in exploiting the Newfoundland fisheries and trade. Although he came to change his mind on such matters as the custom-house and American trade with Newfoundland, his attitude to the commerce and government of the island was fundamentally conservative, and typical of the view of the West Country merchants, who felt that they knew better than government or missionaries how to manage the island’s affairs, and who wished to be as free as possible from interference with the conduct of their business in Newfoundland.

 Characteristically, in 1764 Lester promised that the newly appointed Anglican clergyman in Trinity, James Balfour, would not “want for my assistance while he behaves as a Gentleman of his Cloth.” In his last years he opposed the extension of civil government in Newfoundland, telling Prime Minister William Pitt in 1792 that the establishment of a supreme court at St John’s [see John Reeves*] would make Newfoundland “a colony filled with lawyers; all harmony will subside, and the ruin of that valuable branch of trade of fishery will be fatal to this country   

  General Bibliography  © 1983–2014 University of Toronto/Université Laval

John Masters (1691 - 1754) - Fisticuffs in the Council chamber.

Masters was the only Mayor ever to come from Newfoundland. He was born about 1691 at Silly Cove (now Winterton) in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.

His father, John, came from Langton in Dorset and was an early planter in Newfoundland. John Masters Sr. suffered greatly from French attacks and on one occasion was taken prisoner in a French raid.

He escaped from the French and in 1697 carried his wife, son and four daughters to Poole, where he bought a "low old house at the upper end of High Street" and left his family to return to Trinity Bay to continue fishing.

Shortly after he was captured and murdered by Indians the French had brought to Newfoundland to assist in their raids on English settlers.

His widow set up an Ale house known as the Old Cow in Poole and young John Masters was sent to school in Wimborne Minster, When he was 13 his mother apprenticed him to William Taverner, captain of a Newfoundland ship.

Masters rose to be a ship's mate, spent a few years as a planter in Newfoundland and by 1715 was in command of a small ship, the Frome, fishing mainly in St. John's.

Sir Peter Thompson of Poole, who as a young man was in St. John's in 1716, recalls meeting Masters there and noted that "he was very industrious, split all his shore fish and I thought worked rather too much".

Hard work and drive brought him prosperity. He acquired valuable salmon fishing rights and by the 1730s he was exporting large amounts of fish, mainly from St. John's. He also began importing provisions from New England and sugar, rum and molasses from the West Indies.

About 1740 he formed a partnership with an Irishman, Michael Ballard, who became the Newfoundland agent for the firm. Masters retired to England, married Sarah Taverner, daughter of his former master, and tried his hand at English politics.

Masters first settled in Greenwich and in 1741 tried to become an MP. Unfortunately, however, he did not muster the support within Government then needed for an individual to get elected to Parliament. He had fallen into disfavour with the British Government by opposing the increase of formal authority in Newfoundland.

In Poole Masters is remembered mainly for his turbulent political career. Failing to get elected in London he returned to Poole to try his luck.

He rebuilt the "Old Red Cow" alehouse in Fish Street into a mansion at the cost of £1,500 and took up residence there. He took up the cause of Poole merchants in the Newfoundland trade and tried to get support as candidate for the 1747 General Election.

Despite the support of the White family and considerable expenditure on his campaign, others resented his bullying manner and he failed.

Red Cow 
However, in 1748 Masters managed to get himself elected Mayor of Poole but in a most unorthodox manner. According to tradition one could only become Mayor by serving junior offices in the Corporation and because Masters had not qualified himself in this way, his opponents tried to dislodge him by starting a lawsuit but were unsuccessful.

Until his death Masters exercised considerable control over local politics
 in Poole. He held office again in 1752 and the following year tried to nominate as his successor Aaron Durell a shipbuilder. His opponents supported
George Hyde, who had been nominated by the Aldermen.

There followed one of the most scandalous events in Poole's civic history with fighting in the chamber as both candidates struggled to take the Mayoral chair. In the end Masters' candidate prevailed and Durell served his term in 1753.

Masters himself again failed to get the nomination for Parliament in 1754. He died the next year on a visit to London but was returned to Poole for burial.

TAVERNER, WILLIAM, planter, trader, and surveyor; b. possibly in Bay de Verde, Nfld., about 1680, perhaps the son of William Taverner, a planter; d. probably at Poole, Dorset, England, 7 July 1768.

Information about William Taverner’s early life is difficult to find and substantiate.
Apparently he was a member of the Taverner family of Poole and Bay de Verde, Nfld. – a moderately well-off group which divided its time between Poole and Newfoundland. From at least 1698 he was owner of a plantation in St John’s.

A document found in Dorset mentions that another planter’s son, John Masters, was apprenticed to William about 1700–1. In 1702 William is mentioned as a planter of Trinity and a trader from Poole to Trinity.

 It appears that he captained Newfoundland fishing vessels and led a privateering raid on the French fisheries. About 1705 he was able to move his wife Rachel and his family to Poole and to live there himself during the winters. By that time he owned one small vessel, the William.

William Taverner and his brother, Abraham, emerge in 1708 as opponents of Major Thomas Lloyd*, commander of the Newfoundland garrison. Abraham, an obscure figure, was Newfoundland agent for the London merchant, James Campbell, who had extensive plantations at Bay de Verde. Campbell was financial agent in London for Captain John Moody* who had been commander of the Newfoundland garrison during Lloyd’s absence in 1704–5 and who was an avowed adversary of Lloyd.

Although many of the Newfoundland planters tried to keep away from both Lloyd and Moody, William Taverner led a group which, early in 1708, complained about Lloyd’s exploitation of the colonists.

By 1712 he began to present memoranda to the Board of Trade on the French possessions in Newfoundland and elsewhere on the Gulf of St Lawrence. Some of his London associates regarded him, by 1713, as an expert on the location, character, and potentialities of the fishery based at Placentia (formerly Plaisance) and extending to southwest Newfoundland, an area ceded to Great Britain by the treaty of Utrecht.

 Taverner had also been involved in a plan to develop cod fisheries in the Newfoundland manner on the northwest coast of Scotland, a venture by the London fish merchants who found the war interfered with the Newfoundland fishery.

On 21 July 1713 Taverner was commissioned as “Surveyor of such part of the coast of Newfoundland and the Islands adjacent as the French have usually fished upon and wherewith our subjects are at present unacquainted.” Frequently consulted by the Board of Trade during the next eight months, he was able to pass on useful information as well as advice about the situation in the newly acquired territories.

When Taverner arrived at Placentia on 27 June 1714, Lieutenant-Colonel Moody, who had been designated deputy governor of Placentia, put a ship at his disposal to begin the survey.

On 23 July Taverner set out to discover the nature and extent of the outlying French settlements on the island of Saint-Pierre and elsewhere, to report what French ships were fishing, and to carry through a charting operation designed to provide sailing information for English fishermen.

The transition from French to British control was difficult; the French under the supervision of Philippe Pastour* de Costebelle were evacuating the population to Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) and threatening those who remained and took the oath of allegiance that they would be treated as traitors.

At Saint-Pierre Taverner had a lively summer trying to impose the oath of allegiance on the French. He had some trouble too with one William Cleeves of Poole over the sale of salt, and was accused by him of charging the French for surveying their plantations, of compounding with French ships which came to trade, and of engaging in trade on his own account, sending home, for example, ten hogsheads of oil to Poole.

 On 22 Sept. 1714 Taverner returned to Placentia and made a full and interesting report. He thought the possibilities of exploiting the salmon fishery were good and was most optimistic about building up a fur trade, having engaged a Canadian with a knowledge of Indian languages to make contacts for him.

Meantime, back in England, there was some discussion about whether Taverner’s appointment should be continued: the fishing ports wished the survey completed, though only the Londoners named Taverner as surveyor, so it may be the accusation made in 1715 that he was appointed to serve sectional interests (those of the Londoners against the Westerners) had some foundation.

Many Western merchants protested that Taverner was unqualified for the surveying work. William Cleeves’ complaints caused Taverner’s wife some anxiety but she put up a spirited defence of her husband and pointed out that his salary of 20 shillings a day had not been paid, so that she was in grave financial difficulties.

 The arrival in February 1715 of his report together with his “new chart of the islands and harbor of St. Peter’s [Saint-Pierre], with the island of Columba and the adjacent rocks,” stifled criticism and led to his getting his salary, expenses, and – most important – reappointment. Taverner continued his work in 1715. With his second report was a “new chart or map of Newfoundland from Cape St. Mary’s to Cape Lahun [Cape La Hune],” which it was suggested should be published at public expense.

In the winter of 1715–16 Taverner was again in England explaining to the Board of Trade the complex position of the former French coasts. At Placentia Moody had bought foreshore rights from departing French settlers, and Taverner had made similar purchases on Saint-Pierre despite the fact that this action was in direct defiance of the policy of the Committee for Trade and Plantations. 

Consequently Taverner and Moody deprived the English fishing captains of the free “fishing rooms” – spaces for handling and drying the fish – to which they claimed they were entitled. Taverner maintained that he had protected the handful of French who remained at Saint-Pierre from intimidation by William Cleeves and others, and had left adequate “fishing rooms” free for such vessels as appeared. Taverner seems to have convinced the Board of Trade that the charges against him were exaggerated, it being understood that he might have to make some money to supplement his irregularly paid salary but that he ought not to oppress his countrymen in the process.

He returned to Newfoundland on 8 March 1716. In 1718 the Board of Trade reported his services were satisfactory and it seems that in this year he wound up his survey of the former French possessions in Newfoundland and was paid off.

From 1718 to 1725 it seems probable that he fished and traded annually from Poole with the Placentia–Saint-Pierre region. In March 1726 he was involved with other Poole merchants (having apparently cut his links with the Londoners) in a plan to develop the salmon fisheries of southern Newfoundland.

He offered to combine a reconnaissance of the fishery, which he was about to make, with a survey of the west and northwest coasts of Newfoundland. He had earlier drawn attention to the continued French and Basque presence on the south coast near Cape Ray, but the west coast was still unknown to the English.

 He undertook at his former rate of pay to complete a survey in two and half years. This time his plans were supported by both London and Westerners, showing that the value of his earlier work was appreciated by the fishing interests; his plans were also endorsed by the Board of Trade.

This second survey, carried out between 1726 and 1728, has not left much in the way of documentation, but as a result he was able to disturb the virtual monopoly held by the Basques on the west coast fishery. He also had begun to engage experimentally in fishing and trade in the area.
By 1729 Taverner was operating on his own account also in the Strait of Belle Isle and met some resistance from Breton fishermen at Cap de Grat (Cape Bauld). At this time he evidently resided in St. John’s for part of the summer and his attempt to collect rents from some properties he had earlier held caused trouble.

He proposed to sail right round Newfoundland in 1730, hoping for some financial assistance from the government. It is unlikely that he obtained further subsidies, though he continued his trade with the outlying parts of Newfoundland. Taverner made an important report early in 1734, showing that the French sent Indian hunting parties in winter from Île Royale to western Newfoundland, thus prejudicing the English market for furs, and that a settlement of French runaways had grown up at Port aux Basques, which was becoming a centre for illegal trade by the French in fish, oil, and furs.

 He was anxious that this should be stopped, and suggested he be appointed to do it. His offer was not taken up, but Lord Muskerry, who was going out as governor, was told to instruct the French to leave and to expel them if necessary. It was perhaps thought that Taverner was getting rather old for further services, and indeed he is found in 1739 asking for a gratuity for what he had done.

The outbreak of war with Spain and the growth of friction with France led the fishing interests early in 1740 to raise the question of further fortifications in Newfoundland, and Taverner appeared for the last time before the Board on 14 Feb. 1740 to give his advice. He presented an elaborate review of the fishery 1736–39, showing that it represented a turnover of £227,000 per annum, and employed 8,000 men and 21,500 tons of shipping so that it deserved full protection.

William Taverner was a remarkably regular and persistent trader in the fishery and his ships can be traced back and forward across the Atlantic to the mid-1750s. By this time his son William was also a ship’s captain and an agent for some of the Poole merchants trading to Trinity.

 In 1762 the son was a signatory to a petition concerning the French capture of part of Newfoundland. The father’s signature does not appear and one presumes that he was no longer active.
William Taverner did good work in opening up the former French shore in southern Newfoundland to the knowledge of Englishmen, though his surveys were, after 1714, verbal reports rather than sailing charts, and it is not known how efficient a cartographer he was.

He also pioneered English trade and fishery in the French areas and was the first to make effective use of the west coast, which Englishmen had avoided.
David B. Quinn

Other families included the Spurriers.

The Spurriers

Our story starts with Nicholas Carey of Fish Street, Poole and Upton Farm, and one of his descendants Mary Beale who was the first wife of William Spurrier.

The Spurrier family were engaged in the Newfoundland trade operating in the southern peninsula of the Avalon at Burin. William’s grandfather founded the business in 1672. Pride of the Spurrier fleet was a three-masted barquentine named “Upton” built in Newfoundland in 1787.

When William Spurrier bought the land, farm buildings occupied a site on a prominent knoll. William went on to be elected Mayor of Poole on four separate occasions between 1784 and 1802, and had always dreamt of building a mansion.

Mary died in 1782, and William then married Ann Jolliffe, from another merchant family in Poole. Their son, Christopher Spurrier (1783 - 1876) inherited the Upton Estate from his father and married Amy Garland in 1814.

The Estate at Upton is one of the oldest sites in Poole which includes a Roman Road between Hamworthy (Moriconium) and Corfe Mullen (Alavna), and a pottery.
We know from records that in 1592 the Earl of Huntingdon owned the land; he sold Upton Farm and the Island, then known as Rookhey, to Edward Rogers, who in turn leased them to Henry Alye and Garwan Mallett, and later to Thomas Frampton and Thomas Young.
In 1652, Haviland Heely (later Hiley) and George Phillips, who were Poole merchants, purchased the farm and island.

And others including Garland, Jollife, Pike, Slade and Street

STREET, THOMAS, ship’s captain, shipowner, merchant, and office holder; baptized 1724 in Poole, England, son of John and Mary Street; d. 1805 in Charlton Marshall, England.
Throughout most of the 18th century the Street family of Poole had a strong association with the Newfoundland fishery. Both Thomas Street and his elder brother Peter commanded ships and served as Newfoundland agents for Poole’s opulent Quaker family, the Whites, which had its headquarters at Trinity.

 Thomas Street first appears in 1764 as captain of Joseph White’s Mermaid, and from 1766 to 1771 he had charge of White’s brig Speedwell. When Joseph White, the head of the firm, died in 1771, he divided an estate valued at £150,000 among his kinsfolk and Newfoundland agents.

The Newfoundland component of his estate, consisting of his “plantations, houses, stages, and other buildings . . . with all . . . ships and vessels . . . boats and fishing craft, goods, effects and stores,” was left to his nephew John Jeffrey and his five “Newfoundland servants or agents,” Peter and Thomas Street, James and Joseph Randall, and William Munday.

Jeffrey and Street had proved to be formidable competition for other Poole firms. Jeffrey possessed considerable assets apart from his inheritance from White, and was energetic and ambitious for both wealth and power. He managed the Poole end of the trade and actively pursued a political career there.

The more practical and sea-experienced Street became manager of the Newfoundland end and resided mainly in Trinity. Jeffrey and Street owned and operated several mercantile establishments in Trinity harbour, and had branches at Bay de Verde, Heart’s Content, Old Perlican, Scilly Cove (Winterton), Catalina, Bonavista, Barrow Harbour, and Greenspond. Northward of Cape Freels, the firm was involved from its beginning in the salmon fishery on the Gander River and in 1783 took over the premises and trade formerly belonging to Jeremiah Coghlan* at Fogo.

At the height of their trade, about 1786, Jeffrey and Street were exporting annually about 50,000 quintals of salt codfish, an amount only slightly less than ten per cent of the total exported from the whole of Newfoundland that year, and exceeded only by the 60,000 quintals marketed by the firm of Benjamin Lester.

They were heavily involved in the supply trade with Newfoundland planters, the offshore or bank fishery, the seal fishery, and shipbuilding. Between 1773 and 1787 the firm built 26 vessels at Trinity and Heart’s Content, but normally operated between 10 and 15 ships at a given time.

At the outbreak of the American revolution Jeffrey and Street had a fleet of ten vessels ranging from 30 to 250 tons, eight of which had been built in Newfoundland. In 1778 their brig Dispatch was captured by privateers while going into San Sebastián, Spain, with a cargo of fish

 In 1779 the brig Triton was taken while fishing on the Grand Banks, and the next year an American privateer captured their 200-ton Adventure, bound from Poole to Greenspond. Despite these losses, the firm actually increased its shipping, and in 1783 had 12 vessels totalling 1,800 tons.

 In 1788, just before the partnership was dissolved, it owned 15 vessels, one of which was the Hudson, commanded by Jeffrey’s nephew Joseph W. Jeffrey, and another the Swift, captained by Street’s son Peter.

The success of the firm of Jeffrey and Street in Trinity between 1775 and 1789 may be attributed to the fact that the firm was well capitalized from the beginning, and to the aggressive and effective management by the two chief partners on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the late 1780s, however, when the Newfoundland trade began to decline, Jeffrey became impatient with it and anxious to withdraw his capital. The partners may have had personal differences as well, and in 1789 they decided to terminate their association. Relationships evidently soured considerably after the separation.

To prepare for his retirement, Street bought a country estate at Charlton Marshall, ten miles northwest of Poole, and purchased other properties in Poole itself, among them the High Street mansion and five Hill Street tenements of Thomas Hyde, a Newfoundland trader and oil dealer who had gone bankrupt

Samuel White
As the most eye-catching and iconic building in High Street, Beech Hurst has cropped up quite a few times on this blog but surprisingly never as the main feature. For over 200 years it has presented its imposing façade to shoppers and passers-by as a testimony in bricks and mortar to Poole’s age of trading wealth.

It was built in 1798 by Samuel Rolls, Newfoundland merchant who was one of the main heirs of the White family, Quaker merchants and astute businessmen involved in the Newfoundland salt cod trade. Joseph White died in 1771, leaving a reputed fortune of £150,000, the equivalent of millions today.

The ultimate beneficiary of the bulk of his estate was his nephew, Samuel White who died in 1797, leaving his money, business, ships and property in Poole, Newfoundland and elsewhere to his nephews, Samuel Rolls, John Rolls and Samuel Vallis and his great nephew, Samuel White junior. It was on the strength of this legacy, plus his own wealth that Samuel Rolls built his grand mansion.

Beech Hurst house of Samuel Rolls

The initial link between the Lester and Garland families was the marriage in 1779 of George Garland, the son of a yeoman farmer of East Lulworth, Dorset, to Amy Lester. Shortly after the marriage Garland, who had already embarked upon business with his brother and uncle in Poole and Southampton, became a salaried manager in Lester's Poole counting- house.

 This event turned his career in a new direction. He was soon managing most of the practical aspects of Lester's Newfoundland trade, on which account he travelled extensively both in England and on the continent, buying supplies for transatlantic shipment and selling the incoming staples of salt cod, train oil, salmon, and other products.

To prepare for his retirement, Street bought a country estate at Charlton Marshall, ten miles northwest of Poole, and purchased other properties in Poole itself, among them the High Street mansion and five Hill Street tenements of THOMAS HYDE, a Newfoundland trader and oil dealer who had gone Bankrupt. In directing his trade, managed in Newfoundland after 1789 by his sons, Street spent most of the winter in Poole and the summers at Charlton Marshall.

 The manor of Arne was originally   in the possession of Shaftesbury Abbey  from 948 AD. In Tudor times it passed   to George Pitt.            The main value of the area came from  the saltings originally and later the  deposits of ball clay, apart from  farming and some smuggling.   

 Thomas Hyde, an important Poole   merchant, obtained ball clay mining  rights in the 18th century built a  manor house and then went bankrupt in  1792.                                    

Jolliffe's house in West Street Poole


From the records of the Street family above, he purchased the estates of among them the High Street mansion and five Hill Street tenements of THOMAS HYDE, a Newfoundland trader and oil dealer who had gone bankrupt.

One of High Street’s notable residents in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was the merchant George Garland who owned the house formerly belonging to John Masters (now Nos. 109-113). Born in 1753, he was the son of a successful yeoman farmer in East Chaldon and came to Poole to set up as a corn factor with his elder brother, Joseph. 

The thriving trade between Poole and Newfoundland meant that there was a great demand for bread to supply the ships and the settlements. In 1779, George married Amy Lester, daughter of Benjamin Lester, the leading Newfoundland merchant trading out of Poole at the time. Lester owned a fleet of ships, and extensive property on both sides of the Atlantic. His only surviving son, John Lester, had poor health and did not play a very active part in the business. George became an employee of the Lester company, travelling widely on the continent to purchase supplies and arrange the sale of cargoes. He was also Mayor of Poole in 1788.

I am not sure when the Garlands acquired their High Street house. After John Masters’ death in 1755, it was occupied by his widow, Sarah who died in 1762. The house was then inherited by John’s niece and her husband, George Olive who were living there at least as late as 1777. By 1800 it was owned and occupied by George and Amy Garland. 

The couple had eleven children. Perhaps because of his large and growing family, George never travelled to Newfoundland himself but he made sure that all his sons had a thorough grounding in the trade. His eldest son, Benjamin Lester Garland went out to Trinity (the headquarters of the Lester/Garland business in Newfoundland) to learn all about the trade. In 1799, he was captured at sea by the French and spent some time in captivity in Bordeaux. Of George’s other sons, Joseph Gulston Garland entered the navy and rose to become a rear-admiral. Joseph’s twin Francis Penton Garland managed a Poole based iron and timber business which was part of the Lester empire. Another son, Lester died at the age of fifteen while learning the trade out in Leghorn.

Benjamin Lester Lester
In 1801, George followed his father-in-law in becoming Poole’s Member of Parliament, keeping the seat until 1807. In Parliament he took an independent line and was a cautious supporter of Parliamentary reform. He also sought promotion for his son in the navy.  Benjamin Lester died in 1802 and George Garland inherited half of the business. Shortly after, John Lester was knighted by George III for delivering a loyal address on the occasion of peace with France, but he did not enjoy his new status for long.

In 1805, Sir John died in Bath and the whole of the Lester Newfoundland estate plus most of their property in England came to the Garland family.

 In accordance with his grandfather’s will, George’s eldest son, Benjamin changed his last name to Lester, becoming Benjamin Lester Lester. He was not a natural businessman and to his father’s disappointment, refused a partnership in the company. In 1809, George secured his election as M.P. for Poole a role which probably suited him better.

The war with France, which had resumed in 1803, provided both risks and opportunities to the merchants. George Garland was an excellent businessman and made high profits, particularly between 1809 and 1815, adding to the family wealth.

After the Battle of Waterloo brought the war to an end, conditions in the trade changed abruptly. Foreign competition entered the market once more, fish prices plummeted and Poole merchants who were supporting large establishments in Newfoundland found themselves struggling to compete.

 By clever management George Garland continued to make a profit but began to reduce his involvement in the trade by selling ships and giving up fishing rooms in Newfoundland. As an investment and to provide for his family, he bought country estates, Stone Cottage near Wimborne and Leeson House at Langton Matravers. A taxation list of 1811 shows that the Garland   High Street house was then occupied by Isaac Steel, the son-in-law of Samuel Rolles (the builder of nearby Beech Hurst). George’s brother, Joseph Garland still lived in High Street, probably at No 125.

John Bingley Garland
In 1817, two more of George Garland’s sons, John Bingley and George junior were made partners in the company. They had both served an apprenticeship in branches of the trade in London, Lisbon and Trinity and shown aptitude for business. John Bingley Garland was to be elected to the Newfoundland House of Assembly in 1832 and served as its first Speaker.

In 1822, George Garland was nearly 70 and decided to give up control of the company to his younger partners, although he still remained involved. He also continued to take part in public affairs and served as High Sheriff of Dorset. His charities included the Garland Almshouses at Hunger Hill which he had donated to the town in 1814.

George Garland died in 1825 as a result of a coach accident near Wimborne, having dominated business and public life in Poole for decades. Many of his sons also served on the Corporation and as Mayor. The Garlands gradually withdrew from the Newfoundland trade although they kept a connection through the London company of Robinson, Brooking and Garland. Benjamin Lester Lester inherited the High Street house from his father and continued as an M.P. until 1835. He died in Paris in 1838.

In 1703, a Thomas Pike, mariner of Poole, left a will in advance of making a .... Edward Pike, mariner of Poole; Thomas Hyde, merchant of Poole; wife Olive Pike ..... It appears that Pike and Green had operated independently in the 1780s 

Thomas Hyde, merchant of Poole wife Olive Pike  mentioned in will 1773 of John Pike merchant of Poole

He also had an apprentice William Barfoot to Thomas Hyde, merchant, in the seafaring business PE/PL/OV 3/75 7

Mansion House

It is said that the merchant princes - men like Kemp, Jolliffe, Pike and Green, Slade, Lester, Garland and Spurrier - each tried to build a house in Poole which outshone the others.

 This was home to Benjamin and Issac Lester, and is currently a hotel and select dining club. The interior contains a room with a remarkable fireplace in marble which carved in it a split cod

Their wealth can be seem by their properties, including the magnificent Upton House

Poole High Street Project     About Poole High Street Project
The project is run jointly by Poole Museum and Poole Libraries. Contacts: Katie Heaton, Poole History Centre Jenny Oliver, Poole Central library

The merchants of Poole prospered through their connections to Newfoundland.

Researching records apprentices of the day reveals links to each of these families and example:

Isaac and Benjamin Lester merchants in fishing industry

Ellis Jervis to Peter Jolliff to serve in Newfoundland 1764

Rev Robert Killpatrick minister Trinity Harbour Newfoundland 1737

John Masters Newfoundland 1698 

Henry Thresher to George Kemp merchant to serve Newfounland 1785

John Mc Donald  Isle of St Johns America 1794,  Elizabeth Bazely

According to the records of Trinity, there is a reference to a Samuel Durnford regarding a Deed.

PANL Call no. GN 5/1/B/1 Trinity
12 Sep 1805, John CLINCH purchase of Fishing Room from Charles BRAXTON and wife Ann (nee BOWLES) - also mentions Dewes COKE Esquire, George GARLAND, Samuel DURNFORD; also quotes another Deed of 8 Oct 1738 for Phillip SWEET of Limehouse London, William SWEET of English Harbour,

Also within the list of apprentices is the following:

Samuel Durnford gentleman employed William Counter as an apprentice in 21 Mar 1794

Why would Samuel Durnford be employing an apprentice?

This Samuel Durnford was a solitor in Poole.  And he was the attorney for George Garland and probably his brother Isaac Garland, the merchants involved with the Newfoundland fishing ventures.

Samuel commenced his training in Poole when he was 16 and continued in London when he was 20

Some searches reveal some tasks he undertook on behalf of his clients

In 1786 and 1791, he was personal representative for a couple of bankrupted people
Thomas Hooper 1786
Joseph Neave bankrupt  1791
In 1788 he was arranging the sale of a property in Church Street Poole

In 1811 he was arranging another sale

To be Sold by Auction, on Wednesday the 8th day of December next, (unless disposed of in the mean time by Private Contract), at the Public House in Urchfont, in the county of Wilts, at three o'clock in the afternoon,

- All that desirable Close and Arable Land, called Nopsey's, with the hanging to the same belonging, planted with apple trees; containing the whole about 7 1/2 acres, for the natural lives of Mr.Humphrey Giddings, and Mr.Mark Giddings, his son, without impeachment of waste.
 For further particulars apply to Mr.Durnford, Pensbury House, near Shaftesbury, Dorset

 This is Pensbury House
It might have been his office according to census records of 1813

by T McDonald - ‎2000 - ‎Cited by 2 - ‎Related articles

the Poole merchant George Garland between 1806 and 1817 that, it will be argued, .... Isaac's diary dated for August 1770 reveals something of the relationship ...   Worth reading for more information

Samuel Durnford married Elizabeth Hyde in 1794 and they had 6 children.

Samuel Durnford                                      1796
Elizabeth Hyde Durnford                         1799  d  1875  did not marry
John Durnford                                           1800
George Durnford                                      1801
Thomas Hyde Durnford                           1801    1871   m  Ann Minet  1801.  Born in Jamacia
Frances Howard Wooten Durnford          1806

Thomas Hyde Durnford, born in Poole, married Ann, lived in London worked as a Solicitor and was the executor and trustee  of Andrew Montague Isaacson Durnford's estate in 1858.

Relative or a co-incidence?  A bit of both. One wonders how they explained their relationship at the time of making the will, my instincts tell me he had a professional legal relationship with Andrew's son, as he was the witness to his father's signature!

There are several Hyde families, two boys were killed in Newfoundland from attacks.  These may be cousins of Elizabeth.  There is also a relationship between one Thomas Hyde and Olivia Pike from another merchant family.

Ann Minet's family were merchants and lived in West Indies, and the  US with lots of records available

Last name
Marriage year
Marriage date
21 Jul 1794
Marriage place
Arne (BTs)
Spouse's first name(s)
Spouse's last name
Groom's parish
St James, Poole
Record set
Dorset Marriages
Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
Record collection
Marriages & divorces
Collections from
Great Britain

Samuel's father was also a businessman in Poole, he was a surveyor, and is recorded within the Dorset records.  Prior to him, the family seem to be well connected, using the name Gent, which usually infers they have landholdings.

Going backwards the line can be traced back to James Durnford in Suton 1697

This branch of the Durnfords, originates from the Cornwall family.

Hopefully this bit of information might assist someone else in their research!



  1. Thanks, this was quite useful in looking up links to Thomas Hyde, and in providing interesting background to the Poole/Newfoundland fishing industry.


  2. Love spells that work fast by spells for lost love, spells on love for love, marriage relationship problems. Feel what it means to be loved & to truly love someone with love spells by Magic love spells, voodoo love spells, black magic love spells, white magic love spells and powerful love spells that work fast Love spells to find love, love spells to solve marriage problems and love spells to for relationship problems. No need for marriage counselling, all you need is a love spell that works fast and love spells that are effective

    Love spells +234(815) 54254-81,