Archiver > HARRIS-HUNTERS > 2007-07 > 1185444760

From: "Nigel Harris" <>
Subject: [HARRIS-HUNTERS] Youngest son of William of Southminster
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 11:12:40 +0100

I believe that most researchers into the William Harris of Southminster, Essex, UK line agree that William's youngest son was John Harris from the marriage with his 3rd wife Agnes Rutter (see for example the excellent work by Noel Jean Robertson). It is estimate that John would have been born during the mid to late 1540's.
As far as I have been able to determine Noel and other researchs have not given any details about John's life. William of Southminster's will of 1556 dosn't mention John so I guess it was assumed that he hadn't survived. If he had survived, John would have around 10 years old at his father's death.

My own research has revealled 4 references to a John Harris who I suspect could possibly be the same John. See below:
1.. This is an extract from "Travels in Essex Long Ago" by J.K. Payne, whic appeared in the magazine"The Essex Countryside" Vol. 4 No. 14 - winter 1955-56 page 67. "Ferries and ferrymen were another of the trials of the travellers of old. In 1604/5 John Harris of Canewdon, who held 'Crixey Ferry' was one of the difficult ferrymen; he busied himself dredging oysters and doing other business instead of attending to passengers over the ferry".
2.. Similarly, from "A History of Prittlewell" by William Pollitt & pub. by Southend-on-Sea Public Library & Museum in 1951. Page 33. states "In January, 1605, it was reported to the Grand Jury 'That John Harris, of Canewdon, who holdeth in farm a certain ferry called 'Crixey Ferry' is very slacke and necligent in the performance of his endevour in the carriage of his Magistes subjects over the said Ferry that have urgent occasion to passe that way, and busieth himselfe about dredging of Oisters and such other like business, and doth not diligently attend to carry passengers over the said Ferry, whereby many of the King's subjects are much hindered and letted in their business to their great hurt and danger".
3.. Another reference to John was found in a booklet entitled "The Histoty of Rochford Hundred-Canewdon" by P. Benton. Pub 1867. "At an early period there are records of whipping both men and women for vagrancy. In 1599 this punishment was inflicted in the presence of Thomas Newman the vicar, John Taylor, John Harris, and others. The delinquents were Henry Crowche, Alexander Mascall, and Joane Cockril".
4.. John Harris is mentioned in the will of a William Allin (May 1599). William asks to be buried in Canewdon churchyard and appointed his daughters as executrices. He appointed Thomas Newman the vicar and John Harris as overseers to the will. Ref; "Essex Wills, The Archdeaconry Courts 1597 to 1603" by F.G. Emmison & pub by Essex Records Office. Page 25.
Observations: (1) John's brother Arthur is credited with building Creeksea Place which is on the banks of the River Crouch. (2) Inland on the opposite side of the river is located the village of Canewdon. (3) The ferry from Creeksea landed near Canewdon. (4) There are references to the rights of ferriage across the Crouch belonging exclusively to 'Creeksea Ferry House and Farm'. The house would have been something like a public inn for travellers. (5) It is thought that the ferry owner also had the rights to the valuable oyster beds in the river. (6) The infliction of punishment being witness by John Harris would indicate that he was someone of some standing in the community. (7) As did the fact that he was an overseer of the will. An overseer was someone appointed to ensure that the executors fully performed their task. A very responsible task.

Perhaps readers can expand on my theory that this John was the son of William of Southminster?
Nigel Harris

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