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Eldred, Thomas (1561–1624), mariner and merchant, was born in Brook Street, St Mary Quay, Ipswich, Suffolk, on 24 October 1561 and was baptized at St Mary Quay Church on 8 November following. He was the second, and eldest surviving, of the six sons of ...

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Fenner, George (c. 1540–1618), merchant and privateer, is of unknown parentage. However, the name Fenner was common in west Sussex, and the family into which he was born has been described variously as a mercantile clan in Chichester itself, or as a minor but armigerous gentry family based at ...

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Goldsborough, Sir John (d. 1693), mariner and East India Company servant, is of obscure antecedents. A branch of the Goldsborough family was domiciled at Hadleigh near Ipswich in the seventeenth century and Goldsborough bequeathed a life interest in an estate in Suffolk to his wife; otherwise there are no indications of links with the county. He also left her house property in ...

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Hawkins, William (c. 1519–1589), merchant and sea captain, was the elder of two sons of William Hawkins (b. before 1490, d. 1554/5), merchant and MP, and his wife, Joan, only child of Roger Trelawny, of Brightor, Cornwall. Little is known of his youth, but he probably served on some of his father's voyages to ...

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Holditch, Abraham (bap. 1639, d. 1678), naval officer and merchant adventurer, was baptized on 12 May 1639 at Totnes, Devon. He was probably the son of William Holditch (d. 1646?) and his wife, Agnes (bap. 1617), formerly Jakes. He married at ...

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Hortop, Job (fl. 1550–1591), powder maker and seaman, was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire. From the age of twelve he served the queen's powder maker in Rotherhithe, London, until pressed as a gunner in the Jesus of Lubeck on John Hawkins's third slaving voyage (October 1567). After the disaster at ...

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Leigh, Charles (bap. 1572, d. 1605), merchant and sea captain, was baptized on 12 March 1572 at Addington, Surrey, the seventh of eight children of John Leigh (d. 1576) and his wife, Joan (d. 1593), daughter and heir of Sir John Oliph...

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Lok, Michael (c. 1532–1620x22), mercer, merchant adventurer, and traveller, was born in Cheapside, London, the youngest of five surviving sons of Sir William Lok (1480–1550) and his second wife, Catherine, née Cooke (d. 1537), and the brother of Rose Throckmorton. By his own account ...

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Parker, William (d. 1618), privateer and merchant, appears to have been born into the minor ranks of the Elizabethan gentry, although his parentage has yet to be traced. His brother John was a man of property in Southampton. On 18 June 1590 William Parker...

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Watts, Sir John (c. 1550–1616), merchant and privateer, was the son of Thomas Watts of Buntingford in Hertfordshire, where he was born. He married Margaret Hawes, daughter of Sir James Hawes, who was lord mayor of London from 1574 to 1575. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters....

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Wright, Fortunatus (d. 1757), merchant and privateer, was the second son of John Wright (d. 1717), a Liverpool shipowner and merchant. It is highly likely that Fortunatus served his apprenticeship with his father. Some confirmation of this early seafaring background may be taken from ...