Thomas Earl Part II:
Who Was Thomas Earl?

Deborah M. Child

Editor’s Note

Soon after we asked Deborah Child to investigate the life and work of Thomas Earl, she reported that she had found more dead ends and questions than answers. Many of the basic biographical details presented by antiques dealers who offered pages of his work for sale proved to be based on hearsay and mistaken identity. The pieces just did not fit together. Then, Deborah discovered a second Thomas Earl, a man who actually was a documented New Jersey schoolmaster, and she followed the historical record to conclude that this man was not even born in the American colonies, but was instead an Englishman who came to America as an indentured servant and reinvented himself. It’s a fascinating story that we hope you will enjoy. I leave it to Deborah to tell you about her quest for the real Thomas Earl.


Identifying the schoolmaster and artist who created the Thomas Earl copybooks has proved challenging. Gravestones and newspapers have provided little help. The search has been further compounded by the dearth of early records for the colony of New Jersey. Named after the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel, it was not established as a Royal Province until 1664, when it was placed under the governorship of New York, which did not keep vital records prior to 1738. If not for church, probate, and land records, little could be gleaned about anyone residing in this colony in those early years.

In addition, the two public notices of Earl’s work proved to be full of statements that did not hold up to careful scrutiny of the historical record. A 1986 advertisement in The Magazine Antiques for Earl’s 1740/1741 copybook identified the artist as having been born in Little Compton, Rhode Island on January 17, 1704, and further notes that: “Family tradition maintained he was a descendant of Ralph Earle, one of the founders of Providence [actually Portsmouth], Rhode Island, and a relative of the New England portrait painters Ralph Earl and his son R.E.W. Earl. In the 1720s, he had moved to Western New Jersey and died in New Hanover, Burlington Township, on November 2, 1751” (Fig. 1) 1

Fig. 1 Thomas Earl, The Mariner’s Compass, from his 1740/41 copybook. Ink and watercolor on paper, 16 x 12 in. Private collection. Photograph by Gavin Ashworth.

In a 2010 advertisement for the “Thomas Earl Copy Book” in Antiques and Fine Art, the identification of the schoolmaster as Thomas Earl, born in Rhode Island, was further expanded. “Thomas Earl was listed in a register of freeholders as ‘School Master’ and was a highly specialized ‘writing master,’ traveling from place to place, conducting classes at the local elementary schools and classical academies. Although he found students scattered within New Jersey, by far the most profitable region for practicing his profession must have been over the border of Pennsylvania.”2 No sources were cited for any of this intriguing but largely speculative information.

While there is a Thomas Earl whose birth is recorded in the Rhode Island vital records in 1703/04, he was not the Thomas Earl who died in New Hanover in 1751. In his will, dated August 31, 1775 and proved on January 3, 1778, this Rhode-Island-born Thomas Earl is cited as a yeoman with a plantation in New Hanover. In addition to bequests to his children, he stated he was “heir-at-law to a valuable estate in New England, by my grandfather William Earl, which lies about fifteen miles from Rhoad [sic] Island.”3

Nor are there any references to this Thomas Earl serving as a schoolmaster. On November 6, 1727, he married Marcy Crispin (1705–1778) in a Quaker ceremony in Burlington, New Jersey.4 On the 1774 Tax List, this Thomas Earl is cited as owning 150 acres of land in New Hanover.5 The couple had six children including Tanton Earl (born c. 1731) and another son called Thomas Earl Jr. (1745/46–1811). In the 1779 Tax lists for New Hanover, son Tanton is cited as the owner of 40 acres of land given to him by his father, while Thomas Earl Jr. had inherited his father’s 150 acres.6

To further complicate matters, some descendants of the Rhode Island-born Thomas Earl erroneously claimed descent from the Thomas Earl who died in 1751. This idea was undoubtedly perpetuated by family historian Geneva Mattis Earl Schafer (d. 1994), who maintained that Thomas Earl, the schoolmaster, was the parent of the Thomas Earl who died in Cumberland County in 1811.7

However, there is a second Thomas Earl cited on the 1739 election returns for Burlington County. More importantly, this Thomas Earl is cited twice as a schoolmaster in New Jersey records—in a 1745 listing of freeholders (landowners entitled to vote) for the Township of New Hanover and in his 1751 estate papers.8

This Thomas Earl was not a Quaker. “On the 30th Day of September 1736 a license of marriage was granted by the Honorable John Hamilton Esq. President unto Thomas Earl of New Hanover in County of Burlington Husbandman of one part and Judith Bostedo of Upper Freehold in County of Monmouth spinster of other part.”9 How the two met is not known. Perhaps Earl had earlier spent some time teaching in Freehold. Judith, whose surname is also spelled Bastedo and Bastido, was probably the daughter of tavern owner Joseph Bastedo, who was born on Staten Island, New York in 1657, and his wife Judith Ryke, also spelled Rycker, born in Port Richmond, Staten Island in 1680. He was a surveyor and had a license to retail strong liquor before relocating his family to Freehold sometime before 1722 (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Colonial Marriage Bond of Thomas Earl & Judith Bostedo, New Jersey State Archives, Volume 1727–1734, 14.
Why the couple chose to marry by license rather than banns is not known.10 Perhaps they had yet to establish a place of worship in New Hanover and did not want to wait. At the time of their marriage, Thomas Earl was described as a husbandman, suggesting he was either a free tenant farmer or a small landowner. Having his own plot of land, even a small one, meant he could provide sustenance for a family. With income from seasonal employment as a schoolteacher and other free-lance work, the couple probably lived comfortably (Fig. 3).11
Fig. 3 Thomas Earl, Addition of Money, from his 1740/41 copybook, page 125. Ink and watercolor on paper. Private collection. Photograph by Gavin Ashworth.
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any record of where he might have been employed as a schoolmaster. Before the establishment of public schools, schools in the province were either privately run or operated under the patronage of a religious denomination. As Quakers placed tremendous emphasis on education and literacy in particular, they may well have been the first to engage Thomas Earl’s services as a teacher. In order to meet the educational needs of their network, which reached across towns, counties, and colonies all along the Delaware River, Earl probably traveled far and wide (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4 Thomas Kitchin (d. 1784), A Map of Maryland with the Delaware Counties and the Southern Part of New Jersey, published by R. Baldwin, c. 1757. Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. New York Public Library Digital Collections.
In September of 1740, Earl began assembling his lessons to create a single copybook that he carefully numbered up to page 910. At the time, he was probably away teaching and, not being burdened with chores at home, felt inspired to perfect his lesson book for his students. Given the high-quality King George paper he used, his stipend for teaching may well have included paper that he often signed and dated (Fig. 5, Fig. 6).
Fig. 5 Thomas Earl, calligraphic page from his 1740/41 copybook, page 71. Inscribed “By Thomas Earl School Mr. / September 1740”. Ink on paper. Photograph courtesy Newberry Library, Chicago.
Fig. 6 Thomas Earl, alphabet page from his 1740/41 copybook, page 57. Inscribed “Thomas Earl / September 1740”. Ink and watercolor on paper. Private collection. Photograph by Gavin Ashworth.
That the pages of the copybook were not arranged in the order that he created them is confirmed by the fact that both page 565 and page 880 are inscribed “Thomas Earl April 1741.” After that year’s term ended, Earl probably returned home to plant crops and to wait for the arrival of his son John, who was born shortly thereafter (Fig. 7, Fig. 8).12
Fig. 7 Thomas Earl, Algebra, from his 1740/41 copybook, page 565. Inscribed “April / Tho. Earl 1741”. Ink and watercolor on paper. Photograph courtesy Newberry Library, Chicago.
Fig. 8 Thomas Earl, Currents, from his 1740/41 copybook, page 880. Inscribed “Thomas Earl / April 1741”. Ink and watercolor on paper. Photograph courtesy Newberry Library, Chicago.

As the latest addition to his copybook is dated December 10, 1741 (page 781), he was probably by then teaching full-time in his own neighborhood. This would explain why he is cited as the schoolmaster on the 1745 listing of freeholders for New Hanover, while a third Thomas Earl is cited as a resident of Springfield.13

On October 4, 1751, Thomas Earl died intestate (without a will) in New Hanover. On November 2nd, an inventory of his “money, goods, and chattels (personal property)” was conducted by his neighbors John Steward and John Bullock. In addition to a horse and colt, three cows, two hogs, and a plow, rooms cited in his estate inventory were as follows: “the new room with bed, looking glass and table, desk, the parlor with bed furniture and other things, the chamber with bed, the study with books, kitchen with pots and pans and cellor [sic] with cider tubs.” As the inventory suggests, Earl was a man of extremely modest means; his estate was valued just over £181. His most valuable possessions were his purse and clothing, valued at £21, and the books and other items contained in his study, valued at £18.14

On January 2, 1752, local landowners Thomas Emley (who owned 270 acres), Joseph Steward (210 acres), Abraham Brown (170 acres), along with Samuel Woodward, Esquire of Crosswicks and the local magistrate, posted a bond of five hundred pounds so his widow “Judeth [sic] Earl” could settle his estate.15

Two years later, Judith married Quaker widower Joseph Norcross (1725–1766). He was a shopkeeper in Hampton, Hanover Township, in Burlington County. Judith served as executor for his estate in 1766.16 She reportedly died in New Hanover in 1793.

But where did her Thomas Earl hail from? The first clue to his origins is found in Pliny Earle’s The Earle family, Ralph Earle and his descendants, published in 1888. The book cites a second Thomas Earl, “who arrived from England and settled in Burlington, New Jersey or its vicinity sometime between 1720 and 1740. Earl had a son John and a grandson named Samuel W. Earl who was still living in Burlington in 1878 (he actually died in 1875) and had another son Gibtersharp (or Gibterthorpe) who died in Ohio in 1850 (or 1851).”17

In 1791, Thomas Earl’s son John moved from New Hanover to Burlington, where he kept a tavern, as had his maternal grandfather Joseph Bastedo before leaving Staten Island. In his will, which is dated Feb. 5, 1805, he cites his second wife Hannah, and sons Gilbertharp, William Norcross, who was probably named in honor of his stepfather Joseph Norcross, and Samuel Woodward, named for his father’s estate administrator.18 Someone from this family had clearly been in communication with Pliny Earle before his book’s 1888 publication to inform him of their circumstances and that their patriarch’s place of birth was England. However, they were too many generations removed to know exactly when he had arrived, other than to know it was before the birth of his son John Earl in 1741.

Assuming this lineage is true, this man may well have been the Thomas Earl born about 1712 in Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, twelve miles west from central London. He was the son of joiner John Earle and Elizabeth Hind and the grandson of Thomas Earl, a waterman licensed to navigate boats on the Thames.19 On July 30, 1713, Thomas was christened in the church of St. Saviour in Southwark, now known as Southwark Cathedral.20

Thomas Earl probably attended a parish or local school, where he may well have created the copybook now in the collection of the Winterthur Library. In contrast to the 1740 sheet inscribed “Thomas Earl, Schoolmaster” (Fig. 5), the cover of his earlier copybook is simply inscribed “TE’s book” on its cover, as befitting a student. One folio sheet, “The Fundamental Diagram for Astronomy,” is signed “TE and dated November 24, 1727 (Fig. 9). Other dates that appear in the book are March 19 1726, Feb. 1 1727, August 15 1727, and November 11-27 1727.

Thomas Earl, Numeration Tables
Fig. 9 Thomas Earl, The Fundamental Diagram for Astronomy, from his 1727 copybook. Inscribed “TE November 24, 1727”. Ink and watercolor on paper, 12 ⅜ x 7 ¾ in. Photograph courtesy Winterthur Library.
Thomas Earl, Numeration Tables detail
Fig. 10 Thomas Earl, Logbook for an Intended Voyage, page from his 1727 copybook. Ink on paper, 12 ⅜ x 7 ¾ in. Photograph courtesy Winterthur Library.

Earl would have been at least fifteen-years-old when the book was created and living in a place where navigational and astronomical instruction would have been emphasized. As described earlier, this copybook consists of 176 pages on paper watermarked King George II and draws heavily on published English teaching manuals of its time. It is executed in a limited palette. Thomas’s relative youth would also be consistent with the simpler lessons and more restrained embellishments contained within its pages (Fig. 10).

On June 21, 1731, at the age of 19, this Thomas Earl signed indenture papers committing to four years of service as a gardener in the colonies probably in exchange for his passage to Philadelphia. This may have been prompted by worsening economic conditions in Britain.21 As his 1727 map of the English Empire (Fig. 11) is based on Nathaniel Crouch’s 1685 map (Fig. 12), one wonders how much knowledge he actually had of his destination.

Thomas Earl, English Empire, from his 1727 copybook
Fig. 11 Thomas Earl, English Empire, from his 1727 copybook. Ink and watercolor on paper, 12 3⁄8 by 7 ¾ in. Courtesy, Winterthur Library.
Thomas Earl, Numeration Tables detail
Fig. 12 The English Empire in America, published by Nathanial Crouch, 1685. Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The agent who had arranged for his contract was named Peter Simpson. He was a London victualler who was probably supplying provisions for the ship on which Earl was to sail.22 As the agent responsible for at least seventeen indentures, he was no doubt making a healthy profit by helping to fill the boat to full capacity prior to its departure.23

Indentured servitude played a central role in the peopling of the American colonies. Between one-half and two-thirds of all persons who went to the colonies south of New England were servants.24 Like many British immigrants who arrived as indentured servants, Earl may have signed on with a vision of earning better wages and buying his own plot of land. However, for many of the indentured, the reality was quite different. Sadly, more than a few found the only way to escape from those who purchased their indenture was to run away, as Earl’s fellow passenger Daniel Mills did.25

Why Earl, who was educated, listed his occupation as gardener is not hard to understand. As early American families worked to establish their homes and plantations, gardeners were much more in demand than teachers. Philadelphia was the largest and most rapidly growing city in the colonies. Fortunes were made from the iron furnaces and forges along the upper Schuylkill River, and increasingly well-to-do families were able to employ retinues of servants.26

Unlike teaching, which provided notoriously poor pay and low social status, gardening was considered a worthy occupation, replete with intellectual challenges.27 Propagating plants and maximizing crop yields required concentration and attention to detail. Gardening manuals and journals were being written by professionals within the trade, who included market gardeners, nursery men, botanists, and florists.28 Knowledge gleaned in its practice would be useful for anyone immigrating to Pennsylvania with ambitions to become a landowner.

Many gardeners had knowledge of herbs and their medicinal applications and also knew how to select botanical pigments and wash, grind, and mix them for watercolor painting. That Earl was working as a gardener would certainly explain how he came to have access to choice organic materials when making his own colors and why he could apply them so richly.29 As gardening was also a largely seasonal trade, this line of work would have allowed time for him to pursue further studies and experiment more as an artist (Fig. 13).

Fig. 13 Thomas Earl, Warning to Husbands, from his 1740/41 copybook, page 88. Inscribed “Earl / 1740”. Ink and watercolor on paper. Private collection. Photograph by Gavin Ashworth.
Earl would have sailed the London-Hope, the same ship that Benjamin Franklin had sailed to London on in 1724. Captained by John Howell, it departed from London on July 26, 1731, and arrived in Philadelphia on September 30th.30 On arrival, Earl would have been claimed by the person who had requested his services or taken up to the deck and sold to the highest bidder, much like a slave auction. This latter course was not necessarily a timely business; auctioneer Solomon Goard was still advertising “a parcel of very likely young Men and Women servants” right up until the London-Hope’s departure on November 4th (Fig. 14, Fig. 15).31
Fig. 14 Thomas Earl, Sailing in a Current, from his 1740/41 copybook page 873. Ink on paper. Photograph courtesy Newberry Library, Chicago.
Fig. 15 Advertisement for servants. American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia, PA) Oct. 28, 1731. Library of Congress.

Although it is not known who procured Thomas Earl’s services, given the scope of lessons in his later copybook, it would appear that he stayed in the vicinity of Philadelphia, where there was a huge emphasis on self-betterment. In 1731, publisher Benjamin Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia, which was America’s first lending library. From the 1730s onwards, a number of teachers in Philadelphia were giving lessons in the advanced subject matter that Earl chose to include in his copybook.32

Lessons could also be had at the Free School in Strawberry Lane, established by the Quakers as early as 1728.33 As his copybook compares so well to the quality of penmanship, calligraphy, art work, and mathematics demonstrated by pupils at Royal Mathematical School within Christ’s Hospital in London, Earl may well have begun his later copybook after being inspired by seeing a manuscript by someone who had attended that esteemed school.34

That Earl came here as an indentured servant would also explain why the family’s knowledge of his time of arrival—sometime between 1720 and 1740—was so vague. Having to stand on the deck of a boat as bids were placed for one’s labor may not have been an experience Thomas chose to share with his wife and child.

Although it cannot be proved definitively that it was the Thomas Earl who arrived from London in 1731 who created the two copybooks, the modest holdings of Thomas Earl the schoolmaster’s 1751 estate are consistent with someone who first arrived in this country as an indentured servant and who had a wife who simply signed his estate papers with her mark. Given his premature death and his widow’s subsequent remarriage, it is not surprising that details concerning who created these two copybooks may have been garbled and their history of ownership remains unknown.

Regardless of Thomas Earl the schoolmaster’s origins, he was clearly an outsider who lived a somewhat marginal and unremarkable existence. Despite his incredible talents, there is not even a record of where he is buried.



The author would like to thank Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, Fellow American Society of Genealogists, RI Genealogical Society; Christopher C. Child, Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press, Editor of Mayflower Descendant, American Ancestors & New England Historic Genealogical Society; and Jane Fletcher Fiske, Fellow American Society of Genealogists, for lending their expertise during the preparation of this essay.

About the Author

Deborah M. Child is an independent scholar and lecturer who has written widely on aspects of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and early nineteenth-century American art and material culture. This is the second of three essays on Thomas Earl that she has written for Americana Insights.

1 The term “Rhode Island” at that time meant the Island of Aquidneck on which Portsmouth and Newport are located, and did not include Providence. Email correspondence to author from Jane Fiske, March 26, 2021.

2 Antiques and Fine Art (Spring 2010), 68-69.

3 Many of the Earles settled in Dartmouth, just across the Sekonnet River in Massachusetts, which fits the “15 miles from RI” description. Email correspondence to author from Jane Fiske, March 26, 2021. Pliny Earle, The Earle family, Ralph Earle and his descendants (Worcester, MA: Charles Hamilton, 1888) 24.

Calendar of Wills, 1771–1780, Vol. XXXIV, 15-157. Image 158 of 749. New Jersey, U.S. Abstracts of Wills, 1670–1817, Thomas Earl’s parents are cited as William Earl (1672–1715) and Hebzebath Butts (1673–1722) and his grandfather as William Earl (1634–1715). RI US Vital Extracts, 1638–1899, Thomas’s grandfather “William Earle was a freeman in 1658 who lived on or near Bridge’s Hill in Portsmouth, maintaining a windmill with William Corey. About 1670 he moved to Dartmouth where he owned 2000 acres of land. His will was dated 13 Nov. 1713.” Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, Little Compton Families (Little Compton Historical Society, 1967) 262-263. The author has not been able to find any documentation that grandson Thomas was his heir-at-law. The only legacy cited in William’s will dated November 13, 1713 was a brass milk pan for Thomas’s father William. Will and estate inventory kindly located for author by Mandy Lawson, Portsmouth Town Clerk, RI. The author also thanks Letty Champion, Anne Northrup Burns and Michael P. Dwyer for responding to her earlier queries.

4 Burlington monthly meeting 2nd day 8th month 1727 “Thomas Earl and Marcy Crispin appeared at this meeting and declared their intention for marriage.” Image 479/570. “Their intention of marriage it being ye second time and nothing appeared to obstruct their proceeding, they were at liberty to solemnize their intention.” Image 252/296. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA; Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes. U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1681–1935. Retrieved from

5 County Tax Ratables, September 1774 [New Jersey State Library] film 411290, 1, family number 27. Retrieved from

6 County Tax Ratables, March 1779 [New Jersey State Library] film 411290, 3, family 1. New Jersey, U.S. Abstract of Wills, 1670–1817, 13. Retrieved from

7 When Bonnie Hicks discovered her Earl was the son of Thomas Earl (1703–1778) and not the schoolmaster, she deleted much of her information on Ancestry. As she duly noted, “Poor research is perpetually copied and written as fact in tree after tree.” Email correspondence to the author October 4, 2020.

8 New Jersey, U.S. Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1643–1890, 189. “A List of the Freeholders for the City and County of Burlington and in Each Respective Township taken this 15th Day of April 1745,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1895 (vol. 28), 426. In 1743, Thomas Lambert’s 1459 acres of West Jersey land were surveyed and sold. Amongst the listings of sales are eight purchases of land by Thomas Earl. With three Thomas Earls’ residing in West New Jersey at that time it is not clear which Thomas Earl acquired what. WJ Loose Records 1743-Thomas Lambert, (Legatees of) August 4 1743. 60123, NJ State Archives “Judith Earl, widow. Thomas Earl of New Hanover, aforementioned Schoolmaster,” January 2, 1752. Administration Bond, 81. New Jersey Archives. Retrieved from

9 New Jersey Marriage Bond, Volume 1727-1734, 14. NJ Archives, Newark, NJ. Retrieved from

10 Banns of marriage, introduced by the Catholic church in medieval Europe, were compulsory public legal notices made in a church proclaiming an intention of impending marriage and thereby giving notice that anyone aware of an impediment should make their objection known. The practice was common but not statutory in colonial America.

11 “David Evans in addition to offering his services as a country school-master, offered to copy charts and maps.” Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, PA) June 8, 1738, 3.

12 John Earl family tree posted by maryevhill cites son John Earl’s birth as April 6, 1740. Retrieved from No documentation cited. On other sites, his birthdate is cited as May 8, 1741.

13 Another Thomas Earl is cited on the 1745 freeholder’s list as a resident of Springfield. He had inherited his land in Springfield from his father Thomas Earl. On the tax records for Springfield for 1770 he is cited as owning about 280 acres, 30 cattle, 2 slaves/servants. County Tax Ratables, September 1774 [New Jersey State Library] film 411291, 1, family number 20. In his last will and testament dated 1807 he is cited as a resident of Springfield and named a deceased wife Rebecca, sons Michael, Thomas (who received his father’s desk, clock, and other household goods along with the plantation on which Thomas Earl Sr. lived), John, Clayton and daughters Susanna and Martha. Aside from bequest to his family, he left a bequest to William Newbold, treasurer of the School called Friend’s School in Upper Springfield. New Jersey. Surrogate’s Court (Burling County) Probate Place: Burlington, NJ. New Jersey, U.S. Wills and Probate Records, 1739–1991. Retrieved from

14 “An inventory of the Money Goods and Chattles [sic] of Thomas Earl of New Hannover [sic] in the County of Burlington. Late Deceased.” Made this second day of November in the year one thousand and seven hundred and fifty one,” Burlington Wills, 4813 C, NJ State Archives. No land is cited in the inventory.

15 “Judith Earl, widow. Thomas Earl of New Hanover, aforementioned Schoolmaster,” January 2, 1752. Administration Bond, 81. New Jersey Archives.

16 NJ, U.S. Abstract of Wills, 1670–1817, 309-310. Image 310-311 of 612. Their marriage is recorded as 1753.

17 Pliny Earle, The Earle family, Ralph Earle and his descendants (Worcester, MA: Charles Hamilton, 1888) XIII-XV. Samuel Woodward Earl’s will is dated July 1, 1875. He died 17 days later. New Jersey. Surrogates Court, (Burlington County); Probate Place, Burlington, NJ.

18 Given the unusual name choice of Gilberthorp, it seems plausible the family may have had contact with Edmund Beakes and his wife Ann Gilberthorp. Edmund and his brother Stacy were both cabinetmakers in Burlington County. John Earl, Probate, 5 Feb. 1805. Burlington, NJ; see also John Earl, 1806, 6 pages. New Jersey. Surrogate’s Court (Burlington County); Probate Place: Burlington, NJ. Retrieved from

19 Upon completion of his apprenticeship in 1712, Earl’s father became a member of the Joiner’s Company.

20 His parent’s marriage is recorded in that same church on January 13, 1711. London Metropolitan Archives, London, England. Reference Number P92/SAV/3005. Joiner’s Company Records, 1640-1783, Guildhall Library, MS 8052/5, f. 76. Grandfather Thomas was still active as a waterman as late as 1725 as an apprentice of his was drowned on the Thames. Daily Post (London, England) Friday, Feb. 12, 1725, issue 1680.



23 A List of Emigrants from England to America, 1682–1692, 1718–1759. Retrieved from Indentured servants coming from Kingston Upon the Thames, Surrey, UK are rare, Out of 3112 records only two others were found: William Howard, age 20, no occupation, destined Maryland marked his 4 year 1722 indenture; John Windon, age 20, destined MD marked his 5 year 1750 indenture.

Fellow passengers enlisted on the same ship by Peter Simpson (the same agent for Thomas Earl) include Mary Broom St. Andrews, Holburn, London, age 19, no occupation, who marked her indenture dated June 19 1731; Elizabeth Browning, Biglesworth, Beds., age 20, no occupation who marked her June 17, 1731 indenture; William Bun, Carlton, Norfolk, age 17, brickmaker, marked his 4-year indenture dated June 9, 1731; Peter Alexander Delamar, Stepney, Middlesex, age 20, weaver, marked his 4-year indenture June 16, 1731; Ann Dexter, St. James, Westminster, Middlesex, age 17, spinster, signed her 4-year indenture June 11, 1731; John Dowling, St. Andrews, London, age 16 signed his 5-year indenture on June 16, 1731; Mary Fulker, St. James, Westminister, Mddx, age 25 widow, marked her 4 year indenture on June 11, 1731; Henry Mann, Wilsden, Mddx, age 16, marked his 6-year indenture; James McLeland, Stepney, Mddx, age 18, no occupation signed his 5-year indenture on June 19, 1731; Daniel Mills, St. Botolphs, Aldersgate, London, age 18, weaver, marked his 5-year indenture on June 17, 1731; John Norton, Ashby, Norfolk, age 19, no occupation marked his 5-year indenture on June 11, 1731; Alexander Muirhead, NewCastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, cork cutter, age 19, signed his 4-year indenture on May 30, 1731; John Pain, Portsmouth, Hans, 18, no occupation signed his 4 indenture May 29, 1731; George Parler, Low Layton, Essex, age 19, no occupation, marked his 4-year indenture on June 11, 1731; Edward Pattison, St. Peter Pancraft, Norwich, age 15. no occupation marked in his 5-year indenture on June 16, 1731. Thomas Pix, St. Martin’s Field, Mddx, age 19, cordwainer signed his 5-year indenture on July 22, 1731

On the same ship destined for Pennsylvania, a second agent Neale MacKneale, London, chapman signed on Richard Cawwood, London age 19, no occupation who signed his 6-year indenture on June 22, 1731; Robert Mayes, Allhallows, Barking, London, age 20, groom signed his 4-year indenture on June 22, 1731; Abednego Price, St. Margaret’s, Hereforshire, age 21, husbandmen, signed his 4-year indenture on June 26, 1731; John Richards, Wem. Salop, age 26, no occupation, marked his 4-year indenture on June 26, 1731; Samuel Willet, Taunton Dean, Somerset, 24, husbandman, signed his 4-year indenture June 26, 1731; William Witty, Lafton La Morthen, Yorkshire, 22, coachman signed his 4-year indenture on June 26, 1731; William Wright, St. Botolphs, London, 22, farrier, signed his 4-year indenture on June 26, 1731; John Lewis, Rowll, Glos. age 19, gardener, destined PA. signed his 5-year July 20 1731 indenture.

No agent is cited for James Dobson, St. Edmunds, Bury, Suffolk, age 19, joyner, who signed his 4-year indenture June 16, 1731

Retrieved from

See also Marion Kaminkow, A List of Emigrants from England to America, 1718–1759 (Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989).

24 John Wareing. Emigrants to America. Indentured Servants recruited in London 1718–1733 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985), 8.

25 “Run away from George Aston,” Pennsylvania Gazette, Sept. 18, 1746, 8.

26 A brief review of 3112 indentured servants from London arriving in Pennsylvania prior to 1750 has yielded four other individuals who signed their indentures as gardeners and one who made his mark: Daniel Brown, age 20, gardener, destined Pennsylvania signed his 4-year indenture 1728; John Lewis, Rowll, Glos. age 19, destined PA. signed his 5-year July 20 1731 John Samson, St. Giles, Cambridge age 20, destined PA, marked his 1730 indenture; James Spencer, Isleworth, Mddx, age 20, destined PA signed his 4-year indenture 1727. Retrieved from

27 For one day making hay and carting on July 25 1745, George Eyre was owed £3.6. For instructing the sons of physician and Burlington resident Thomas Shaw, in the Theory of the Art of Navigation from 1749 to 1750, George Eyre was paid a meager £6. Thomas Shaw vs. George Eyre, Supreme Court Case No. 35017, NJ State Archives. In an advertisement from Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, PA Sept. 11, 1746) page 3: Quaker John Emley was seeking to fill vacancies for two to three teachers for £18 to £20 a year with accommodations.

28 Ellen Butoescu, “Eighteenth-century Garden Manuals: Old Practice, New Professions,” Romanian Journal of English Studies (Dec. 2016), 69-77. Retrieved from


30 This was the first voyage captained by Howell. Daily Advertiser (London, England), July 28, 1731, issue 151, 2. The London-Hope regularly sailed between London and Philadelphia with occasional stops in the Caribbean: Daily Courant (London, England) Dec. 4, 1725, issue 7531, 2. In 1716, the new governor of Pennsylvania Patrick Gordon sailed on London-Hope which was then under the command of Captain Annis. Crossing times varied. In 1727, the ship left London on May 10th and arrived in Philadelphia on August 27. In 1728 the ship crossed in 57 days.

31 “And to be sold by Solomon Goard” American Weekly Mercury, September 30, 1731, 4.

32 “This is to give notice, Andrew Lamb, school-master in Philadelphia, American Weekly Mercury, Sept. 27, 1733, 4. Lamb in a later advertisement stated he had over thirty years’ experience teaching. Pennsylvania Journal March 21, 1749, 2. “Reading, Writing, Vulgar...Theophilus Grew,” American Weekly Mercury March 9, 1736, 4.

33 “At the Free School…John Walby” American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia) Nov. 28, 1728, 4.

34 Nerida F. Ellerton, and M. A. Clements. “From the Royal Mathematical School: Charles Page, 1825,” Abraham Lincoln’s Cyphering Book and Ten other Extraordinary Cyphering Books. (London: Springer Science and Business Media, 2014).

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