LEONARD-L ArchivesArchiver > LEONARD > 1999-05 > 0927402699
From: William W Barton <>
Subject: [LEONARD-L] "James Leonard of Taunton, MA, Ironmaster"
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 15:51:39 EDT
Thank you for bringing to the <> readers' attention
the thought-provoking excerpt from "James Leonard of Taunton, MA,
Ironmaster" by Elisha Clark Leonard & G. Marston Leonard (henceforth
referred to as ECL/GML). Some of my thoughts follow.
I'm not sure when this paper was completed but it was before 1960 when
Mrs. G. Marston Leonard presented it to the Old Colony Historical
Society, Taunton, MA. In 1977 Mrs. Alice Allen Everett, 1302 NW 21st
St., Oklahoma, OK 73106, authored "Leonards of Monmoouthshire &
Somersetshire, England" (TAG, 1977), 53:101-104, in which she reported
that Sarah, daughter of Thomas Leonard, was baptized 23 Feb. 1633/4 in
Publow Parish, Somersetshire. It seems that Pensford was attached to
Publow and that what should have been written in the Salem, NJ, Quaker
was Pensford (not Spenceford or Sparkford as reported by ECL/GML). I
have been advised by the Somerset Record Office, Taunton, England, that
they had correspondence with Mrs. Everett in 1975 and 1976 but none since
then. I wonder if she did further research and, if so, can it be found?
Mrs. Everett also reported that a Thomas, son of Thomas & Elizabeth
Leonard, was baptized 20 Apr. 1636 in Publow Parish. If this Thomas
Leonard was in fact a brother of the subject James (and of the above
Sarah), it brings up two problems:
- Was Thomas, the father of our gang, married to Elizabeth (not Lydia)
White or did Thomas have two wives, Lydia White and Elizabeth [-?-]?
- Was son Thomas born in 1636 or much earlier? ECL/GML suggest that
Thomas was born ca. 1617 since a Thomas Leonard aged 18 years was
transported 24 July 1635 on the "Assurance de Lo" from Gravesend to
Virginia. For some reason he removed to NJ, where he drowned in the
Piscataway River in 1682. O. B. Leonard in "The Leonard Family of New
Jersey," on the other hand, wrote that "Thomas Leonard may be the one
whose name is found at Southampton, where he was admitted to the
Connecticut colony as a freeman in 1658 and subsequently moved to
Woodbridge, New Jersey, in which Township he was living when he took the
oath of allegiance to King Charles II, at Elizabethtown in 1665, Feb.
19." Did Thomas go to NJ from VA or CT (or neither)? Where in CT is
Southampton? Did O. B. Leonard mean Southampton, Long Island, NY?
ECL/GML also found a James Leonard who was transported to VA in 1635
along with an Edward Mayo. They suggest that James might have been
involved in a second effort to develop an iron industry in Jamestown but
when that failed he returned to England. Thus the chronology of the
early life of our James Leonard might be as involved as the following:
- Born ca. 1620 (per Mr. Baylies, Historian of Town of Taunton, MA).
- To VA in 1635 and then back to England (ECL/GML, 3 & 8).
- Married Mary Martin ca. 1640.
- Son Thomas born 3 Aug. 1640 in Pontypool, Monmouthshire (ECL/GML, 16).
- In Bilston, Staffordshire (in 1640s?) (William R. Deane, "Genealogical
Memoir of the Leonard Family" [NEH&GR, 1851], 5:404.
- In Providence, R. I., 10 Jan. 1644/5 (Howard W. Chapin, "Documentary
History of Rhode Island").
- At Saugus Ironworks, Lynn, MA, in 1651 when he was paid 2 pounds "for
bringing his goods from Providence." ("Lynn Iron Works, vols. 1 & 2,
1650-1685," mss:301, Baker Library, Harvard University).
So by age 21 James was a well-traveled young man!
To further complicate his history, ECL/GML suggest James might have been
living in 1632 in Merrifielde, Cattistock Parish. According to Rev. John
Mayo of the Cattistock church, a James Leonard and John Tizzer had paid 4
shillings for 4 seats in the church (ECL/GML, 6). ECL/GML indicated that
Cattistock Parish was in Somersetshire or Devonshire but I find a
Cattistock church in Dorset (i.e., south of Somerset) 1 mile N of Maiden
Newton and about 8 miles NW of Dorchester. Was Rev. John Mayo related to
the Edward Mayo who was transported with James Leonard to VA in 1635?
Also in Somerset, ECL/GML found a William Leonard (a brother?) who
married Mary Coxe 22 Jan. 1654 in Crewcorne Parish. I find a Crewkerne
Parish in southernmost Somerset (i.e., near Dorset). Parish registers
start in 1542. Crewkerne is about 11 miles NW of Callistock Parish.
Moving now north to the English Midlands, ECL/GML found a Henry Leonard
in the city of Chester in Cheshire in 1618 and 1619. Apparently this
Henry Leonard was involved in fustian (cotton fabric) making, knitting &
clothing making and in dealing with a company of Mersers (Merchants?) &
Ironmongers. Obviously this Henry Leonard was well off. Could he be the
grandfather of our gang?
Finally, ECL/GML comment that the Chartly and Whitting(t)on ironworks
erected by the Leonards at Norton and Taunton, MA, may be named after
Chartley and Whittington in Stafforshire. I can't as yet find
Whittington but I do find a Chartley NE of Stafford on the road to
Uttoxeter. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Chartley Hall in 1586.
Enough for now.
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