Monday, 21 December 2015

Samuel Codner

Picture of Samuel Codner

Taken from The Dictionary of Canadian Biography

CODNER, SAMUEL, ship’s captain, businessman, and philanthropist; baptized 16 Feb 1776 in Kingskerswell, England, son of Daniel Codner and Joan, d.5 Aug. 1858 in Dartmouth, England.

Although Samuel Codner was born in Weston-super-Mare on the west coast of England, his family came from Kingskerswell, Devon, in a region with a long-standing tradition of involvement in the Newfoundland cod fishery. Not surprisingly, at the age of either 12 or 13 he began a seafaring career by joining his father, uncle, and two brothers at St John’s. At this time his family owned three ships: a 92-ton brigantine and a 118-ton brig used in the fishery, and a 46-ton vessel employed in transporting passengers to Newfoundland as well as in fishing occasionally on the Grand Banks. Samuel rose quickly to the rank of ship’s captain and by 1794 he was acting as agent in St John’s for Daniel Codner and Company.

After his father’s death in 1799, the firm continued as Daniel Codner and Company until Samuel’s mother died in 1811. At that time the administration of the estate and the management of the firm fell to Samuel, who returned to England where he was to set up his permanent residence. His sea captains and various partners, including Robert Alsop of Newton Abbot, England, and William Bond, assumed direction of the company in Newfoundland. For the next eight years the firm was variously styled Samuel Codner and Company and Codner, Alsop and Company, with some of Samuel’s relatives and colleagues such as Alsop as principal shareholders. In 1819, however, Codner began to conduct trade on his own account, initially from Teignmouth and then, after 1828, from Dartmouth.

The early stages of Codner’s career had been marked by extreme fluctuations in trade. The price of cod, which had collapsed in 1790–92, recovered somewhat during the French revolutionary wars, a period when Codner made two significant adjustments in his Newfoundland ventures. First, he followed the lead of several other prominent firms, such as John Slade and Company and Noble and Pinson, by setting up a fishery on the Labrador coast and, secondly, he took advantage of the increasing resident population of Newfoundland by becoming a major importer of provisions, clothing, and fishing gear. Despite various set-backs, such as the loss of nine ocean-going vessels between 1806 and 1815, Codner sustained his interest in Newfoundland trade, including the cod and salmon fishery in Labrador, until 1844. From 1815 to 1844 his main commercial activities were centred in St John’s from whence his ships carried salt fish to Spain, Portugal, and the West Indies, and brought salt and coal from England and wheat, bread, and biscuits from Germany. From the 1820s, however, Codner specialized in importing “Bridport goods,” sailcloth, ropes, nets, and twines from west Dorset, and cloth goods from Devon. While building this lucrative business in St John’s, Codner retained his share of the Teignmouth coastal trade.

Even though Codner’s firm was one of St John’s leading mercantile establishments for more than three decades, he made his mark in Newfoundland history by founding the Newfoundland School Society, an institution which had a profound effect on the island’s educational and cultural development. Undoubtedly his experience as a resident of St John’s from 1801 to 1811 gave Codner a clear understanding of the need for schools and cultural institutions; in 1804 he had contributed to the support of the St John’s Charity School. Apart from the charity schools, and a few establishments supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in some of the larger out ports, the growing number of resident islanders had no opportunity to acquire the rudiments of a formal education. An explanation for Codner’s interest in promoting schools in Newfoundland comes from a story about an experience he had in crossing the Atlantic to England: his ship encountered a violent storm and Codner is said to have vowed to devote himself to humanitarian work if he were safely delivered. Certainly religious conviction played a part. He was a supporter of the evangelical movement within the Church of England and was a member of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Another explanation of his concern for schools has it that at a meeting of the bible society in London in 1822 he was inspired by an address by Lord Liverpool, the prime minister, who reminded his audience of its obligation to circulate the Scriptures among Britain’s “extensive colonies and foreign possessions.”

Codner immediately set about organizing support and collecting subscriptions for schools in Newfoundland and over the next few years exerted unflagging energy to establish and diffuse the school movement. He circulated a leaflet entitled Schools in Newfoundland, which asserted that a large proportion of the 70,000 inhabitants were without access to instruction. He gained the support of several prominent merchants in the England–Newfoundland trade, including Marmaduke Hart, as well as of evangelicals within the Church of England.

In 1823 Codner set up a provisional committee and issued a prospectus which stressed the strategic and commercial importance of Newfoundland to British interests and at the same time deplored the lack of moral culture among its inhabitants. Liverpool approved the objectives of the proposed Newfoundland Society for Educating the Poor at an inaugural meeting in London on 30 June and agreed to act as vice-patron. The colonial secretary, Lord Bathurst, became president, with Codner taking the office of secretary. Codner immediately petitioned the British government for land grants for buildings, free passage on naval ships for teachers, and assistance from the government in St John’s for the construction of schoolhouses. Despite the opposition of Newfoundland’s governor, Sir Charles Hamilton, who held that the level of education provided by the charity and SPG schools was adequate and also maintained that the low church evangelicals were sectarian enemies operating within the Church of England, the requests were granted. In 1824 the British government gave £500 for the construction of a central school in St John’s and £100 for the salary of a schoolmaster. Codner then made a second circuit of the most important towns and cities in England, Ireland, and Scotland, evidently at his own expense, to solicit both donations and the assistance of political and ecclesiastical leaders in founding branch societies. Through private subscription in 1825–26 he raised £1,871, and secured the patronage of such persons as Sir John Gladstone in Liverpool and the archbishop of Dublin.

After his association with the school society during its formative years, Codner’s participation is difficult to assess. He held the office of honorary secretary until the 1830s, by which time the movement was well established. Apparently he did not visit Newfoundland in connection with the society but rather confined his efforts to the British Isles. Nevertheless, his business agent in St John’s, William Bond, acted on his behalf and Codner himself maintained a personal interest in the society until his death.

The first school opened in St John’s in September 1824 with an enrolment of 75. Two years later it had moved to a larger building to accommodate 450 students. By 1829 eight principal schools, located in the larger settlements, were in operation; they were staffed by society teachers, recruited and trained in England. There were also 15 branch schools in smaller communities. Following the principles of the Bell or Madras systems, the classes were conducted by monitors who were directed by teachers in the principal schools. By 1836 the society had expanded into most of the main settlements. Its 46 schools were located as far north as Twillingate, along the south coast, and up the west shore to St George’s Bay. The society claimed to have provided instruction for approximately 16,500 students, both children and adults, which equalled slightly less than 25 per cent of the total population.

Commonly known as the Newfoundland School Society, the organization underwent several official name changes through the years; when first established it was known as the Newfoundland Society for Educating the Poor (1823), then the Newfoundland and British North America Society for the Education of the Poor (1829), the Church of England Society of the Poor of Newfoundland and the Colonies (1846), the Colonial Church and School Society (1851), and the Colonial and Continental Society (1861). The latter name was retained until 1958 when the organization became known throughout the world as the Commonwealth and Continental Church Society.

Although originally interdenominational, the schools run by the Newfoundland School Society became increasingly identified with the Church of England, and in 1923 they were merged into a denominational school system known as the Church of England schools. The existence of the society, indeed, was one of the influences in the evolution of a denominational school system in Newfoundland. The teachers sent out in the society’s early years were well trained and highly regarded as leaders within the communities in which they lived, and they usually served as catechists or lay readers as well. A considerable number later elected to become ordained as Anglican priests and furnished the Newfoundland church with one of its main sources of clerics during the 19th century. Regarding themselves as missionaries as well as pedagogues, they strove to inculcate the virtues of hard work, regular habits, sobriety, and the observance of Sunday as a day of rest.

Codner certainly possessed some personal qualities which helped ensure the success of the movement. He was clearly a persuasive speaker and a good organizer, and he held strong convictions. He was also a highly respected member of both the mercantile community and the Church of England evangelicals, and thus was well placed to gain support from both groups. Codner was able to sway the merchants by arguing that a more literate population in Newfoundland would also be a more moral population. Merchants, like himself, who did not reside in Newfoundland but conducted trade through agents, would then have less need to fear for the safety of their property from “fraudulent and improper practices.”

The idea of social control through education was equally palatable to the evangelicals and the British government. To the evangelicals, Newfoundland was, or was about to become, one of the heathen areas needing conversion and redemption, and the British government was forced to face the fact that by the 1820s it could no longer be regarded as a transient station for British fishermen. Indeed, the government had already committed itself to some improvements, and the support of schools aimed at making the indigenous population “industrious” and “moral” complemented their policy of cautious reform [see Sir Richard Goodwin Keats. In this respect Codner’s school movement can be seen as one of a series of reforms which led to the granting of colonial status and representative government to Newfoundland in 1832.

On 6 Dec.1820 Codner had married Selina Cave Browne, daughter of John Cave Browne of Stretton, England. The social connections of his spouse probably aided the school mission project he would begin two years later. When he retired from the Newfoundland trade in 1844 at the age of nearly 70, he sold his St John’s premises to the firm of Wilson and Meynell. Codner died in Dartmouth and was interred in St Petrox Church. A memorial erected there in his honour bears the inscription: “Newfoundland Merchant who in 1823 founded the Society which became the Colonial and Continental Church Society.”

Was Codner a “self-sacrificing, humanitarian” as Frederick William Rowe describes him, or was he an agent of cultural imperialists, acting on behalf of the vested interests of the groups who promoted the school movement, as he has been portrayed by Phillip McCann? If the former, he stands in marked contrast to the mercantile community, which has been represented as the root of every evil afflicting Newfoundland’s development and the main obstacle to every cultural improvement. If he was indeed elected by fate and circumstances to instigate social reform, he must be regarded as a wise choice and as an individual who promoted positive change in Newfoundland’s social, cultural, and educational life.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Pike Ward of Devon

The WARD Family of Teignmouth by Richard Smith

If you go down to the Old Quay at Teignmouth Harbour you will see a large building just before the Harbour Master's office on which is a sign board which announces the name of the owners Pike Ward LTD Shipbrokers.
The company was founded by George Perkins Ward, father of Pike Ward in 1876 and in 1878 he was described in White's Directory of the County of Devon as Shipping Agent and Broker, Ship Owner, Coal and Fish Merchant, Custom House Agent, Vice Consul Netherlands & Austrian Lloyd’s, Port Reeve, Steam Tug Owner & Plier 37 Northumberland Place. The longest job description in Teignmouth.
He was born in Teignmouth in 1817 and by the age of 24 was a Master Mariner and skipper of the Brig Rover sailing to Newfoundland. He was the son of another Master Mariner Richard Ward who had also been in the Newfoundland Trade.
The Ward family is descended from Joseph Ward of Highweek who was born at the end of the 17th Century. After two generations as Husbandman in Highweeks and the adjoining parish of Wolborough, Richard 111 moved his family down the Teign Estuary to Teignmouth as did his brother William Coase Ward.
Richard's sons Richard 1V and William and their cousin William all became Mariners.
Reading from various sources, cousin William never ventured beyond the Coasting Trade, for after all from 1802/3 when they all went to sea as cabin boy age 14, and for the next 13 years we were fighting the French all of the time and the Americans some of the time.
On the other hand brothers Richard and William are recorded as serving in several ships owned by Richard Ward of Shaldon and others as cabin boys, seaman, mate and finally Master, mostly in the Newfoundland Trade. The vessels they served in were either a square rigged Brig or the faster fore and aft rigged Schooner.
William served aboard Phillipa, Grace, Margaret, Hebe, Penguin, Success, Providence, Woodbine, and Eliza until 1832 when William ceased to be recorded.

There is a note against the last mention of Eliza in 1832 with the stark word Lost, whether William was lost as well I have yet to discover.
Richard became Trinity House Pilot in 1809 and navigated visiting vessels into and out of Teignmouth harbour for over 40 years, as he stated in evidence to the Admiralty Enquiry in 1850 regarding the Shifting Channel at mouth of the river Teignmouth.
Returning to Richard Ward's grandson Pike he was born in Teignmouth in 1856 and by the time he was 25 in 1881, he was partner in his fathers firm.
Over the next five years he gained an extensive knowledge of both the company and the workings of the harbour and in 1886 he became Founder Director of the Teignmouth Quay Company.
By the 1890's the Newfoundland Banks had become over fished so in 1895 he travelled to Iceland where the industry had become dominant in Salt Fish production.
Pike's Agent preceded his visit to show Icelandic Fisherman how to prepare the fish for the English market. This enabled them to get a good price for the fish and as a result Pike received a warm welcome on his arrival. The trade continued until the threat of German Submarine activity in 1914.
Like his father Pike Ward had a finger in most of the maritime pies and his skill as a Shipbroker enabled the company to flourish. His reputation extended throughout the West of England as a seafarer, adventurer and a trader in the High Latitudes. The coast of Newfoundland knew him and in Iceland he was a legend in the fishing industry.
In 1924 the King of Denmark conferred on Mr. Shipbroker Pike Ward the Order of the Icelandic Falcon. Later he received the Grand Cross of the Order.
He died in Teignmouth in 1937 at the age of 80, but the company lives on.

Stephen Rendel of Coffinswell

Taken from Dictionary of Canadian Biography
RENDELL, STEPHEN, merchant and politician; b. 24th May 1819 in Coffinswell, England, son of John Rendell; m. 30thSept. 1852 Catharine Norris in Blackhead, Conception Bay, Nfld, and they had six sons, one of whom died in infancy, and two daughters; d 4thApril1893 in Coffinswell.
Stephen Rendell was the younger of two sons of John Rendell, a Devon trader with Newfoundland interests dating from as early as 1793. In November 1834 John Rendell witnessed the indenture of his 15-year-old son as an apprentice to the firm of Bulley, Job and Company of St John’s, whose principals were Thomas Bulley, John Job, Robert Job, and Thomas Bulley Job. This important company, founded by Samuel and John Job towards the end of the previous century, was already emerging as one of the largest Newfoundland mercantile houses with the by now traditional English West Country base. (It would later move its headquarters to Liverpool.) In 1895 the historian Daniel Woodley Prowse recorded Rendell’s memories of this era. “The late Hon. Stephen Rendell has often told me that even when he first came to the Colony in 1834, hundreds of sturdy Devonshire lads came out every spring to Rowell’s, Boden’s, Bulley’s, Job’s, and many others on the South Side [of St John’s harbour] and Hoyle’s Town (Maggotty Cove), and to Torbay, Bay Bulls, Petty Harbour. All these ‘youngsters’ were shipped for two summers and a winter. The coming and going of the Newfoundland men was an event in Devonshire. The rurals reckoned the time by the old Church of England lectionary: Jan! the Parson be in Pruverbs, the Newfanlan men will soon be a coming home.
But not Stephen Rendell: his indenture was for a period of five years of service in return for “good and sufficient Board and Lodging,” £20 currency per annum for the first two years, £25 for the third, £35 for the fourth, and £50 for the last year. Bulley, Job and Company for its part undertook to instruct him “in the art and mystery of a Commission Merchant.” Quickly proving himself adept in the trade, Rendell at the end of his apprenticeship became an agent of the firm in various capacities in several Newfoundland out ports, principally on Trinity Bay. He managed the firm’s extensive business at Hant’s Harbour, and at some time, probably in the 1850s, he seems also to have operated businesses in Carbonear and Old Perlican, on his own or in partnership with other merchants. At Blackhead on Conception Bay he met and married Catharine Norris, the daughter of a Wesleyan minister. The Newfoundland Bulletin, possibly quoting a contemporary source, recorded that “as a merchant he was honourable, enterprising and at the same time cautious and very acute and every man, woman and child in Trinity Bay knew him and loved him.”
By the mid 1850s the older generation in the firm, now known as Job Brothers and Company, had retired and there were changes in its partners and management. In December 1859 Stephen Rendell joined Samuel Job, Thomas Bulley Job, and Thomas Raffles Job as a partner and also as general manager of the entire Newfoundland enterprise, with his residence in St John’s. Here he directed the firm’s business in supplying the cod and seal fisheries and in a large export trade with Europe and Brazil. In 1859 Rendell, a Conservative, also began his career in politics when he was elected to the House of Assembly as a member for Trinity Bay. He held his seat until 1873 in 1869 he was one of only a handful of supporters of confederation elected. In 1874 he was appointed to the Legislative Council and during the 1870s was a member of the Executive Council under the administrations of Carter and William Vallance Whiteway
Rendell participated fully in the life of the colony in other ways. He interested himself in the mining and sawmill industries. In 1841–42 he had been a founding member and president of the Agricultural Society of St John’s. An eager sportsman since his boyhood in Devon, he was responsible when president for the introduction of the snowshoe hare into Newfoundland to supplement the native arctic hare, whose numbers were dwindling. He imported the hares from Nova Scotia and released them in various locations throughout the island, where they soon became an important local food resource. Throughout his career Rendell devoted himself to the service of public institutions: the St John’s Wesleyan Academy, of which he was secretary from 1866 to 1869, George Street Wesleyan Church (opened in 1873), for which he provided the locally quarried stone, and the academy’s literary institute, which he helped to found in 1866 and in which generations of Newfoundland public figures down to recent times would receive their initiation and training in debate.
In 1881 the affliction of asthma, from which he had long suffered, forced Rendell to resign from business and leave the colony where he had lived for nearly half a century. He returned to his native Coffinswell, where he died 12 years later at the age of 73. His adult children, who remained in Newfoundland, in their turn were to become prominent in the professional, business, and social life of the island.

The Clapp Family of Devon and Newfoundland

The Clapp Family of Devon and Newfoundland

Gilbert Clapp Jr of St John's Will dated 14th May 1888 made in Teignmouth Devon
Gilbert married Mary Shea on 18th December 1847 in St John's they had seven children

Jessie Clapp b: 1843 in St Johns Newfoundland in the 1861 census she is living with John Squarey Clapp at 15 Teign Street, West Teignmouth she is listed as John Squarey Clapps Niece. She married Charles Edward Hocken b:1843 on 17th January 1867 bride was the daughter of Gilbert Clapp of St Johns. In the 1871 census Charles and Jessie are living in Limes, Wood Green, Middlesex. Charles occupation is Doctor, they have three children Emma F b:1869 Exeter, Georgina b:1868 Exeter, Chas A b:1870 Exeter.

Mary Bulley Clapp b: 13th March 1853 in St Johns Newfoundland. In the 1881 census Mary B Clapp occupation is Gentlewoman living at West Teignmouth. She is also listed in the 1871 census as living with John Squarey Clapp relationship Niece in Teign Street Teignmouth

John Squarey Clapp b: 26th April 1849 in St Johns Newfoundland. John S Clapp Deceased This is the last will & testament of me John S Clapp of St John's in the Island of Newfoundland.
I give devise and bequeath all that I may die possessed of both real and personal estate unto my brothers Robert Clapp and William M Clapp equally for and during their lives and upon the death of the survivor I devise and bequeath my said estate to my nephews Ray M Clapp and Cyril W Clapp to be divided equally between them and I appoint Robert Clapp and William M Clapp Executors of my last will and testament. I revoke all former wills by me made.
Dated at St John's this 16th day of November A.D. 1914

CORRECT, William F. Lloyde Registrar of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland (Listed in the margin next to this will the following) Fiat 18/23 Horwood CJ Probate granted to William M. Clapp Oct 19/23 Estate sworn at $9210.00.

Gilbert Thomas Clapp b: 7th March 1851 in St Johns Newfoundland. I Found a death in Ontario, Canada, Deaths 1869-1938 for Gilbert Thomas Clapp d:7th January 1880, occupation Law Clerk, born Newfoundland, died of Pneumonia on 1st January 1880 death place York, Ontario, Canada.

Robert Clapp b: 1st September 1852 in St Johns Newfoundland. Robert is listed in Canada Seafarers occupation Merchant Vessel Brigarns he has 21% share

William M Clapp b:1861 in St John's Newfoundland married Ida Frederica Carter on 25th September 1901.Ida b:1875 Ferryland Newfoundland, d:1935 St John's, this information was taken from an ancestry family tree.

Margaret Clapp b: 1865 in Newfoundland.

Mary Bulley Clapp, John, Gilbert Thomas, and Robert were all christened on the 22nd February 1853 in Newfoundland.

Gilbert Clapp and others listed in the following Newfoundland Directories:

Newfoundland Directory 1871 Gilbert Clapp.

McAlpine's Directory for St Johns 1870/71 Gilbert Clapp 72 Cochrane

Lovell's Directory St John's 1871 Gilbert Clapp Merchant 70 Cochrane

Sharp's Directory 1885/86 St John's Gilbert Clapp 72 Cochrane

Might & Co's Directory of St John's 1890 Gilbert, John s, William M 72 Cochrane

McAlpine Directory St John's 1894 Gilbert, John, William M. Clapp Cochrane

Devione & Omaras Directory St John's 1897 Gilbert, John, William Clapp 60 Cochrane

McAlpine's Directory 1898 Gilbert, John, W.M. Clapp 60 Cochrane

McAlpine Directory St John's 1904 William M. Clapp (MHA) Barrister, & Solicitor Law Chambers Duckworth in Circular Road

McAlpine's St John's City Directory 1908 Wm, M. Clapp

McAlpine's Directory St John's 1908 John Clapp

Family Traditions: Gilbert Clapp whose family originated from Devon England and settled in St John's changed the family name to Mainwaring by deed poll.

Mary Frances Bulley Clapp Sister of Gilbert Clapp of Newfoundland

In the 1851 census Mary Frances Bully Clapp b:1800 St Nicholas was living at Shaldon Green St Nicholas with the following: Maria Ceclia Clapp b:1803 relationship sister to head of household, John Squary Clapp b:1805 St Nicholas brother to head of household, Caroline Clapp b:1810 sister to head of household.

The will of Mary Frances Bulley Clapp late of Shaldon in the parish of St Nicholas in the County of Devon Spinster deceased who died 17th May 1886 at Shaldon was proved at Exeter by oath of John Squarey Clapp of West Teignmouth in the County aforesaid Gentleman the brother the sole Executor

Effects under £2,0000.

John Squarey Clapp Brother of Gilbert Clapp of Newfoundland b:1805 West Teignmouth d:1880 West Teignmouth.

In the 1851 census John Squarey Clapp is living with his sister Mary Francis Bulley Clapp, also living in the same house is Maria Cecilla Clapp, and Caroline Clapp, they are living at Shaldon Green, St Nicholas. John's occupation is Ship Owner, Mary Frances Bulley Clapp, Maria Cecilla Clapp and Caroline Clapp's occupation is Fund Holder.

In 1871 census John Squarey Clapp b:1805 was living at Teign Street, West Teignmouth, with his Niece Mary Bulley Clapp.

The Will of John Squary Clapp late of Teignmouth in the County of Devon Gentleman who died 13th November 1880 at Teignmouth was proved at Exeter by Mary Bulley Clapp of Teignmouth Spinster the Niece the sole Executive. Probate date 3rd December 1880 Estate at death under £3,000.

John Squary Clapp is listed in Canada Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces 1789-1935 on Brig Hope, occupation Merchant year 1825. Again on Brigatine 1841 he is now the owner.

Other Gilbert Clapp family members

Gilbert Clapp b:1732 West Teignmouth

Gilbert Clapp b:1764

John Clapp b:1805 Shaldon Ship owner living at 15 Teign Street West Teignmouth in the 1861 census

? Clapp Merchant Shaldon taken from Pigot's Directory for Teignmouth 1822

Thomas Clapp Merchant Shaldon 1822 taken from Pigot's Directory for Teignmouth

Gilbert Clapp is listed in the following directories

Pigots Directory 1830 as a Merchant & Ship owner

Robsons Directory 1839 as a Newfoundland Merchant and Ship owner

Shaldon and Ringmore Pigots Directory for 1822, 1830,1839 as Newfoundland Merchant & ship owner

Gilbert Clapps found in St Nicolas Census 1841

Gilbert age 72 in 1841

Gilbert age 30 in 1841


Gilbert Clapp June 1850

Other Clapp members

Gilbert and Amy married 17th September 1723

Birth Gilbert Clapp baptised March 20th 1727 of West Teignmouth to Gilbert and Amy Manwaring

John b: 19th July 1724 to Gilbert and Amy

Gilbert b: 17th March 1755 to Gilbert and Sarah

Gilbert Clapp baptised 17th March 1755 of West Teignmouth parents Oliver and Sarah.

Gilbert Clapp and Ann Manwaring married 17th September 1723

Gilbert Clapp

Gilbert Clapp married Sisley Squarey on 23rd October 1764 they has three children

John Squarey Clapp christened 2nd September 1765 West Teignmouth farther was Gilbert Clapp mother Cicely.

Gilbert Clapp baptised ? July 1769 of West Teignmouth West Teignmouth, b: June 17th 1769.

Thomas Clapp b: 1775 West Teignmouth in the 1851 census occupation for Thomas is listed as Retired Ship owner, living at Old Market Street, West Teignmouth

In the 1841 census

Gilbert Clapp b:1769

Mary wife b:1771

Mary daughter b:1801

Maria daughter b:1803 West Teignmouth. Maria is the head of the family in the 1861 census, her sister Caroline is also living with her, occupation for both is Fund Holder. Address is The Green St Nicholas. They are also living together in the 1881 census at The Green St Nicholas, occupation Income derived from Funded & Landed Property.

Will for Maria Cecilia Clapp Personal Estate £1,870. 17s. 10D

The will of Maria Cecilia Clapp late of Shaldon in the County of Devon spinster who died 5th October 1881 at Shaldon was proved at Exeter by William Clapp of the City Surgeon Brother and the Reverend William John Clapp of Lustleigh and George Tucker Clapp of the City of Exeter Surgeon the Nephews the Executers.

Gilbert son b:1811 Merchant St Nicholas

Caroline daughter B;1812 Shaldon, see census for Maria Cecilla Clapp. In the 1891 census Caroline is living with George T Clapp b:1857 Exeter occupation General Medical Practitioner. she is listed as his Aunt and living off her own means at 14 Southernhay Exeter.


Gilbert Clapp 1793 burial date 13th May 1793 West Teignmouth 4062A/PR/1/1

Gilbert Clapp 1807 burial date 21st August 1807 West Teignmouth 4062A/PR/1/2

Scicilly Squary 1743 9th November 1743 Shaldon and Ringmore.

Death notice taken from the Western Times 22 May 1866

May 17 at Shaldon of Mary Frances Bulley eldest daughter of the late Gilbert Clapp Esq.

Sept 19 at Shaldon, most deeply regretted, Mary, beloved wife of Gilbert Clapp Esq. Age 76

Death notice taken from Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 29 June 1850

June 17, at Shaldon, deeply regretted Gilbert Clapp, Esq, age 81 years

Marriage notice taken from the Western Times 18 Jan 1867

Hockin Clapp Jan 17 at West Teignmouth by Rev Joseph Burch, Charles Edward Hockin, Esq, Mr. of the Limes, Woodgreen near London, only son of late Edwd Octavius Hockin, to Jessie daughter of Gilbert Clapp, Esq, St John's Newfoundland. No cards

Galatea in Teignmouth in 1861

Researched by Maggie Hammett

Although this is not the Galatea it's self but this is a picture of a similar ship. The Galatea was a sailing ship, her official number was 32,473, date 5th June 1857, one deck, three masts, length 116ft, weight of ship 314, port of Register was Teignmouth, her owner was Arthur Owen the younger, she was a rigged Barque, it's unknown whether she was an English or Foreign built and where she was built. (Taken from Exeter Ships Register).
There were twelve crew members which was docked in Teignmouth harbour in the 1861 census. We Know the BULLEY family were very prominent in the trade.

There were twelve crew members as follows William Northway Bulley b: 1813 Teignmouth he was the master, Henry Dollan Northway b:1817 Stokeinteignhead, Thomas Elliott b:1829 Teignmouth, William Symonds b:1832 Starcross cook, George Herne b:1833 Teignmouth, William Saunders b:1842 Stokeinteignhead, John Shears b:1843 Stokeinteignhead, Edward Mills b:1838 Teignmouth, William Wood b:1832 Tiverton, John Davey b:1838 Bradnitch, John C Neil b:1824 Teignmouth, and John Crocker Bulley b:1847 Teignmouth.

William Northway Bulley was born in Shaldon in 1813, the son of William Bulley and maria Northway. William married Mary Ann Jones in 1837, at St Nicholas Church Shaldon, they lived at 152 Shaldon Green. They had eight children. Mary Ann Jones died in 1864. In 1861 William as we know was on board the Galatea as Master. In 1869 he remarried Maria Payne, she had one daughter, but William and Maria had no children. In 1870 he was still listed as Master mariner. William died in 1880 and was buried in St Nicholas Church yard, when he died his personal estate was worth under £20.

John Crocker Bulley wad born in the village of Shaldon in 1847 the youngest son of William Northway Bulley and Mary Ann Jones. He was baptised in St Nicholas Church. In 1861 he was serving aboard the ship the Galatea he was 13 years of age. In 1871 he married Mary Jane Middlewick from Ipplepen. They had one son William Theodore Bulley. In the 1881 census his occupation was still listed as Mariner, he was by then a widower and lodging in Ipplepen with the Middlewick family. In the year of 1891 he was living in Bishopsteignton he died in Shaldon age 44.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Devon Fisherman and Boat owners fishing the Grand Banks in Newfoundland

Devon fishermen and boat owners fishing the Grand Banks in Newfoundland
Mary Armitage, Torbay U3A Shared Learning Group with Teignmouth Museum
  1. How it started – 1500 to 1700

Newfoundland is the largest island on the Atlantic coast of Canada. It is said to have been first discovered by Britons in the 15th century and its chief attraction was the copious amounts of fish on the Grand Banks, an area just off the southern coast of Newfoundland. Ships from Bristol were the first to travel there but Bristol had no history of fishing and did not pursue the development of the fishing industry, preferring to focus on trade and exploration. At that time in Europe populations were growing with their need for food and an improvement in the capability to build ships which could manage cross Atlantic voyages requiring greater navigational skill. 
The island itself was barren, rugged and unwelcoming, particularly in the winter. It’s only raw materials were water, fish and wood. Its soil was thin and its growing season was short. So fishing fleets would arrive in Newfoundland in the late spring for fishing and preserving of large amounts of fish. The boats and fishermen would then return home before the severe winters began. One of the earliest products brought back to England was cod oil. Most of the fish was taken direct from Newfoundland to clients in Spain and Portugal.
Until 1575 English fishermen from the West Country had fished mainly in Icelandic waters but they were ousted from Iceland by the Danish and then moved to fish around Newfoundland in greater numbers.
In 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert of Compton Castle, Devon, formally claimed Newfoundland on behalf of Elizabeth I with a ceremony in St John’s harbour, St John’s being the Capital of Newfoundland.
By 1600 around 150 vessels fished on the Grand Banks annually and this number continued to increase.
The English system of fishing there at that time was to fish from near shore and process the fish on shore. A harbour or suitable landing place was selected, the ship in which the team had crossed the Atlantic was beached for the summer and the fishing was carried out in smaller boats holding a crew of about 5 men, some of whom fished while others processed the catch. Timber would be cut to build a shore facility for processing, boat repair and construction.
A side benefit from this system of seasonal working was that men were trained in seamanship which could be used later in defence of the country. Downsides which interfered with a successful season included catch fluctuations, market conditions, wars, shipwrecks and piracy. Wars were frequent during the 17th and 18th centuries and piracy was more rife during those wars.
By the mid 17th century a new group, the byeboatkeepers were also fishing. These were men who travelled to Newfoundland as passengers on the fishing boats and then set up their own businesses in Newfoundland operating on a seasonal basis. As some fishermen opted to settle in Newfoundland they became a third group fishing on their own account. The fishery gave poor men a chance to earn, the possibility of adventure and gave miscreants a refuge from the law.
By 1657 80% of the British population living on Newfoundland came from the West Country.
By 1684 it was stated that about half of the fishermen returned to England with the other half remaining on the Island and becoming known as Planters.
Additionally people described as servants would be taken to Newfoundland at the beginning of the season but due to the cost of bringing them home they were often abandoned in Newfoundland and had to make their own arrangements to stay there, travel further into Canada or the USA. Those classed as servants would include carpenters, sail makers, surgeons and those undertaking manual labour in connection with processing the fish. Many moved on to New England leading to shortages of skilled men in some seasons. Destitute children were sent, many of whom opted to stay there.
As servants became scarce so employers began recruiting from southern Ireland. Irish merchants carried to Newfoundland linen, clothing, meat, cheese, butter etc. plus women to become servants. These women often married the Planters and fishermen who remained in Newfoundland.
As styles of fishing changed over the years and as the fishermen and merchants acquired the knowledge and experience necessary to survive the winters in Newfoundland, migration and permanent settlement then became more popular.
The fishery was mainly financed and controlled by West Country merchants who recruited their workforce mainly from Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Hampshire.
Buyers from Spain Portugal and Italy wanted a lightly salted fish and this became the main style of cure for imports from Newfoundland. The fish was also popular for sailing ships on their voyages,
  1. Life in Newfoundland 1700-1850
While English and Irish were settling the south and East of Newfoundland the French were settling the northern shores. The government eventually decided it would have to support English settlements to prevent French takeover of the whole island.
However war with the French 1696-1708 resulted in many Planters being deported from the island. By 1713, through the Treaty of Utrecht, Britain had exclusive sovereignty over the whole of Newfoundland. Many French islanders were then deported to Cape Breton Nova Scotia.
As settler numbers increased and included more families rather than just groups of men, goods had to be imported and came mainly from England, Ireland and New England. Traders then set up business in Newfoundland although Planters also bargained direct with ships arriving each spring.
During the 1700s the volume of fish caught increased rapidly. During the American War of Independence privateers patrolled the seas and fishermen stopped crossing the Atlantic for nearly 10 years. Newfoundland experienced a near famine and settlers were press-ganged into the army and navy.
In the 1780s record fish production glutted the market and forced prices down and many merchants, ship-owners and boatmen were forced into bankruptcy. The Napoleonic Wars led to difficulty in byeboatfishermen getting to and from Newfoundland and this style of fishing never recovered. Some bye boatmen stayed in Newfoundland and became Planters. After 1805 the inhabitants produced more than 90% of cod caught and the population grew to deliver these amounts.
During the 18th century salmon and seal industries were set up as well as fur trapping and ship building. Herring were also found to add to the fish caught. This encouraged an increase in year round habitation of Newfoundland and some settlers who live on the coast during the fishing season moved inland in the winter for fur trapping and hunting. The introduction of new crops such as potatoes also enabled winter subsistence. However imported food was still vital for survival, coming initially from England and later from Ireland and from other parts of North America.
Profits from the fishery mostly returned to England and were not invested in Newfoundland which slowed the growth of a local economy and a system of government. Early settlers relied on “Fishing Admirals” who were those first arrived in each port who assumed responsibility for settling disputes between sailors. Chief Justices were appointed from the late 18th century.
Planters would however, often retire back to England even if they left children and grandchildren in Newfoundland. This led to distinct branches of families living on opposite sides of the Atlantic even if they visited each other from time to time. Other planters might return to England and lease their home and business to new arrivals. Merchants found it preferable to have their own family acting as their agents and employers in Newfoundland rather than risk having unreliable people to protect their interests.
In the early 1800s Governor William Waldegrave described St John’s, the Island’s capital, as a shantytown and noted the wretchedness and misery of the inhabitants. Major fires in 1816 and 1817 reduced many of the occupants to penury.
However as income from sealing was established, more wealthy families raised the appearance of the town with new churches and homes.
In 1823 Merchant Samuel Codner, noting the lack of educational opportunities for children set up the Newfoundland School Society, the first school being in St John’s. These schools taught basic skills to all children regardless of nationality or religious denomination.
In 1825 Newfoundland was given official status as a colony. By this time its settler population was 36000.
The seasonal fishery began to close down around 1820. Those wishing to migrate to the New World went to areas where land was readily available and the climate was less inhospitable apart from a pre-famine increase of people from Ireland in 1835/6.
Around this time independent newspapers were circulating encouraging debate. Schools were opened. Medical Services became more widespread, playhouses opened on the island, libraries opened, sporting events expanded and the island’s interior was explored
  1. Teignmouth and Shaldon in the Newfoundland fishery.
Between 1570 and 1670 Teignmouth was one of the most active areas to send boats to fish on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Many of the fishermen or sailors came from villages in the area inland as far as Newton Abbot.
Average annual numbers from Teignmouth were 244, 6% of all men involved. Teignmouth was one of the ports with a deep estuary and, as ships were built larger, was one of the ports which could cope with the larger ships
A census of byeboatkeepers for St John’s in 1680 showed that of 440 servants 50% were employed by masters from Teignmouth with many others coming from other nearby towns in Devon.
During the Napoleonic wars it became difficult for byeboatfishermen to get across the Atlantic and many of those from Teignmouth retired or invested in the larger ships
Until the development of the china clay industry in the mid 1700s the Newfoundland Fishery had been Teignmouth’s principal maritime trade and dominated the local economy until the development of the town as a seaside resort in the 1800s. Teignmouth had a poor and underdeveloped hinterland and produced no outstanding articles of trade or manufacture to encourage an export trade which fishery merchants from Dartmouth and Poole did. However Teignmouth maintained a strong interest in the bank fishery until the mid 19th century.
Teignmouth merchants were therefore among the small or middle sized businesses in Newfoundland in the 1800s apart from their roles in emigration from South Devon and Ireland.
Of the owners who registered ships in Teignmouth 1786-1837 177 resided in Teignmouth and 111 in Shaldon.
Names of families participating consistently in the Newfoundland Fishing Trade were, from Teignmouth, Bartlett, Bibberns. Brine, Butler, Hayman. Clapp, Goss, Penson and Warren. From Shaldon the families were Bulley, Boden, Fox, Harvey, Mortimer, Row, Squarey and Stigings. The two most important families from Combeinteignhead were the Bulleys and the Jobs.
In 1788 the owners of a 115 ton brig Sally were named as John Job, Samuel Bulley, Elias Rendell and John Stephens. John Job was the grandson of Robert Poole (cod oil importer 1748-9) and married a daughter of Samuel Bulley in 1790
In 1793 the owners of a 70 ton brig Nymph were named as John Job, Samuel Bulley and Elias Rendell.
Between 1796 and 1906 Samuel Bulley and John Job were registered as “Merchant of West Teignmouth” in the registries of 8 further ships.
The winter census of St John’s Newfoundland in 1794/5 listed John Job as owner occupier of a waterfront property on the south side of the harbour among ten other Teign estuary merchants – Abraham Hingston, Stephen Harvey, William Whiteway, George Squarey, William Codner, and Jos. Baker of Shaldon as well as Thomas Gotham, John Duniam and George Bulley of Teignmouth.
John Job, William Underhay, Abraham Hingstone, Stephen Harvey, Robert Boden, John Codner and Elias Rowe were all appointed to a Grand Jury in St John’s Newfoundland in 1794. John Job was also 1 of 12 St John’s merchants petitioning for convoy protection for ships in 1800. Job and Bulley are listed as Merchant Ship-owners in Teignmouth and later in Liverpool.
In the 19th century Bulley and Job became one of St John’s Newfoundland’s leading mercantile houses and their successor Job Brothers and Co were still in business well into the 20th century,
The village of Shaldon was created to support the Newfoundland fishing industry during the 18th century with names such as Baker, Bowden, Card, Champion, Collins, Drew, Fox, Howard, Mardon, Row, Rug and Stigings. In 1801 100 mariners on Teign estuary ships claimed to be residents of Shaldon – which had a total population of 585 although only 38 had been baptised there. Of 30 master mariners were included names such as Bulley, Harvey, Fox, Mortimer and Squarey
Ship-owners who had been married at St Nicholas Shaldon include Blackallers, Bodens, Dunleys, Ashford, Bennett, Codner, Clapp and Drew. The larger merchants/ship owners were Bulley, Codner, Harvey and Rowe.
These families intermarried and couples moved to Newfoundland and had families there although they often returned later to Teignmouth and Shaldon
Teignmouth and Shaldon ship-owners were also involved in the speculative emigration of irish men and women. A general practice by ship-owners was to take security on relatives or property in Ireland against the cost of passenger fares from Ireland. If passengers did not pay their fares then agents in Ireland would be instructed to enforce payment from the securities obtained. Firms operating this system included John and Robert Brine, Thomas Row, Thomas Bulley and co, Samuel Codner and co and Stephen Harvey and Co. 3450 people were shipped on these terms to St John’s between 1810 and 1812.
The Newfoundland trade began to decline during the Napoleonic Wars and the fishery by bye boatmen generally declined from that time. Many servants remained in Newfoundland throughout the war rather than face the risks of the journey home. Some of these individuals became leading social, political and commercial leaders in St John’s
From time to time a particular demand led to further emigration such as when St John’s suffered a disastrous fire in 1847 and craftsmen from Devon went out to help rebuild the town.
Nowadays the fishing industry on the Grand Banks no longer exists after being over fished for years. But many of the Teignmouth Shaldon and districts names remain in the population of Newfoundland.

Teignmouth to Newfoundland

The purpose of this blog is to record a research project undertaken by Torquay U3A Shared Learning group and one member from Teign U3A. We did the research for Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum, looking at the Trade between Teignmouth and Newfoundland. The project took 18 months to complete at the end we did a presentation to the Museum members on 14th March 2015.

The blog will record the Social History of the trade, individual people who were involved e.g. Bye boat keepers, Fish Merchants, Manufactures, Planters or Boat Keepers who resided in Newfoundland, Ship-owners, Exporters of good, and Farmers.

We have received quite a lot of interest following the publication of two articles in two magazines. And we hope to hear from more people who have a connection with the trade.

Please contact us either via this blog or through the One Place Study home page for Teignmouth.