Devonshire and Massachusetts


In 1630 the Revd. John Maverick quitted the West of England, and adventured across the ocean to become one of the earliest founders of Massachusetts.

The Mavericks were of that yeoman stock which has always been the back-bone of England; those "plain Folk" of whom it has been said:—
"Though kings may boast and knights cavort
We broke the spears at Agincourt,
Never a field was starkly won
But ours the dead that faced the sun."
The name occurs in various forms as Mavericke, Mauerricke, Madericke, Mathericke, and Maverick. The last spelling, now adopted by the family, has been used throughout these pages except where it otherwise occurs in extracts or quotations.

Whence the name is derived can be merely a matter of conjecture. It has been suggested that it is a form of Maurice. No connection is, however, traceable between the Morrices of the West Country and the Mavericks.

Whatever may be its source the name, or term, of Maverick has found a permanent place in the English language, and that in a somewhat remarkable manner.

About the year 1840 Samuel Maverick, a descendant of the Mavericks of Devon and Massachusetts, then settled on a ranch in Texas, was notorious among his neighbours for not branding his cattle. A calf or yearling found without a brand was sure to be Maverick's, and such cattle are known as "mavericks" at the present day. By a further development a masterless man was called a maverick. The word has found its way into literature; Rudyard Kipling tells the story of "The Mutiny of the Mavericks," that Irish regiment "of loyal musketeers, commonly known as the Mavericks, because they were masterless and unbranded cattle." [See "Life's Handicap."]

During the sixteenth century the family was established in East Devon, but it is very possible that they drifted up from the more western parts of the county. There are traditions of a Maverick having got into trouble at Tavistock during the 14th or 15th century, when somebody's head got broken; not at all an unlikely incident, but no documentary evidence exists to prove it, and the name does not occur in any known records of the town.

Whatever may have been the circumstances which took them there, the Mavericks were settled early in the 16th century at Awliscombe, a village in East Devon, two or three miles from the old market town of Honiton.

The name of the village occurs as Aulescombe, Olescombe, Ewelscombe, with other variants. It lies in a valley north west of Honiton, on the other side of the river Otter, here crossed by a bridge at the end of the town.

Awliscombe still remains a typical English village, with clusters of low cottages, many of them thatched, and each fronted with a gay garden. The ancient grey church dominates them from a slight rise, so that the tower is the first point visible on approaching the village.

In pre-reformation times part of the manor, and the advowson of the church, belonged to Dunkeswell Abbey, situated not far off. These at the dissolution of the monasteries were granted to the Russells, Earls of Bedford. Another part of the manor was given the 15th century to the Mayor and Chamber of Exeter as the endowment of a charitable bequest made by Thomas Calwodley of the City of Exeter.

ROBERT MAVERICK of Awliscombe is the first member of the family of whom there are any definite records. [His parents were Alexander Maverick, born 27 September 1497, Awliscombe, Devonshire, and Judith Combe, born c1500, Awliscombe; married 1520, Awliscombe.] He was born in the early 16th century [14 February 1523], most likely in pre-reformation times; the entry of his burial on November 14, 1573, in the Parish Register at Awliscombe describes him as "Robert Maierwick clerk."

At that period a "clerk in orders" did not necessarily imply Holy Orders. There were minor orders which a man could take without the priestly vow of celibacy. Such minor orders entitled him to be styled a clerk in orders, and he could "plead his clergy" or clerkship, as an exemption from capital punishment, if he fell into the clutches of the law.

The name of Maverick does not occur among the tenants of Awliscombe on the property which belonged to the Mayor and Chamber of Exeter. Robert may have held some position under the Abbot and Convent of Dunkeswell for the management of their lands in the parish.

He never was Vicar of Awliscombe. In 1554 the benefice was vacant, and Robert Slade was admitted Vicar on the presentation of John Russell, Earl of Bedford. The next incumbent, whose name is given without date of institution, was Richard Bacon, on whose resignation Peter Maverick, Robert's eldest son was instituted in 1580.

The Parish Register of Awliscombe does not begin until 1559, thus no entry of the marriage of Robert nor the baptisms of his elder children are on record. These were Peter the eldest son, John, Edward, and Alice. Alexander Maverick, whose name occurs later in the register, was perhaps another son. The actual name of the family first occurs in 1560 when Radford Maverick, probably the fifth son and sixth child was baptised.

RADFORD MAVERICK. From the biographers point of view Radford, the fourth, or fifth son of Robert Maverick is one of the most important members of the family. Although not a direct ancestor of the Mavericks of Massachusetts their history owes much to his personality.

His baptism at Awliscombe is the first mention of the Mavericks in parish registers:—
1560, June 5. Radford Mauericke the son of Robert Mauericke baptized.
Radford, as already mentioned, was a sixth child, with four or five brothers his seniors.

There is nothing to show how Radford acquired his Christian name, no family of Radfords resided in the neighbourhood, but there were other "Radfords" among the Honiton children. There must have been a Radford of local importance who was godfather to them all. Radford Maverick himself had a godson Radford, the son of his brother John.

The family prosperity seems to have increased as the young Radford Maverick grew up. Neither his father nor his elder brother had been at College, but after Robert Maverick's death in 1573 (Radford being then aged thirteen), he matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, November 17th, 1581, when he was twenty years of age [Foster's Alumni Oxonienses]. He left College without a degree, and in 1583 took Holy Orders, being ordained by John Woolton, Bishop of Exeter, in the private chapel at the Bishop's Palace, receiving deacon's orders on June 1st, and was ordained priest on the 15th of the same month.

For three years there is no record of his career. Then he was instituted rector of Trusham, June 12th, 1586, on the presentation of Thomas Southcote.

The friendship with the Southcotes was close and intimate; Dowsabelle, or Dulcibella Southcote was his god-daughter. In his will he left her 10s. "to be put into a gold ring" and in the codicil he specially desired that this legacy should be paid even if other bequests were set aside for lack of money to settle them.

An elder sister, Mary Southcote, had married Thomas Ridgeway, bringing Radford Maverick into friendly relations with the Ridgeways of Torre-Mohun, better known nowadays as Torre and Torquay.

The church and village of Trusham stand on a lofty eminence above the beautiful valley of the Teign, between Exeter and Chudléigh. The old rectory still exists. Some years ago it had degenerated into two cottages, but has recently been restored to its dignity as a dwelling house, and retains evidence of its antiquity. The church preserves some Norman features of the 11th century. Its most recent addition has been a carved oak screen set across the tower arch. On this are placed the names of the rectors of Trusham from 1260 to the present day, and among them appears Radford Maverick who was rector from 1586 to 1616.

After being rector of Trusham for ten years Radford was presented to the vicarage of Ilsington by Thomas Ford of Bagtor and Henry his son, who were patrons for that turn [pro hac vice] he was instituted July 1st, 1597.

The large parish of Ilsington covers an extent of 25 square miles. The old granite church, dedicated to St. Michael, displays the fine 15th century characteristics prevalent on the borders of Dartmoor.

The most famous feature of the place, Haytor Rock, dominates the moor above the village, a land mark for miles round every part of the county. This magnificent granite rock is perhaps the finest of those Tors which are the distinguishing character of the great moorland centre of Devon. Nowadays Haytor is one of the most popular playgrounds for holiday makers; in Radford Maverick's time it was like the rest of the moor worked for tin streaming. Radford evidently did a little mining speculation on his own account. He left in his will "to Mr. Warren, Vicar of Ilsington, my freeholde in a tynne work called the Sanctuary, and his successors for ever." The name of Sanctuary suggests that the "tynne work" may have been adjacent to the glebe. The present Vicar of Ilsington still has the glebe land known as Sanctuary, but no tin mine. The tin work must have been Radford's freehold as he would not have left the church lands to his successor.

He held these two livings of Trusham and Ilsington together until 1616, when he resigned Trusham, his successor being instituted August 17th that same year.

The date is significant for on September 15th, 1616, he was in London and preached at Paul's Cross a sermon on "The Practice of Repentance."

It is worth while briefly to consider some points in Radford Maverick's sermon, as throwing light on the religious opinions of the family, indicating the Puritanical tendencies which eventually induced his nephew John Maverick, to seek for freedom of conscience in the New World.

The sermon is strongly impregnated with the doctrine of pre-destination. The preacher exemplifies the preservation for Divine purposes not only of Scripture characters, but also Constantine the Great Luther, Queen Elizabeth spared through the reign of her sister Mary, and James the First escaping Gunpowder Plot. He wrote:
No man cometh into the world by chance, but for some end and purpose, God doth sett every one his task, alloting some special duty to every one of his servants, whereunto he ought specially to attend.
The Preacher shewed his erudition by quoting St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas in the original Latin. Here and there he introduced a Hebrew word, and a little Greek. As may be expected there are several allusions to "our enemies the papists."

Radford Maverick remained in "his poor house at Ilsington," the vicarage there, until 1621, when he resigned the living and came to Exeter. His name occurs as "Master Radford Maverick" as minister or curate of All Hallows, Goldsmith Street, Exeter, in 1622. William Sheers was then rector.

Radford must have been residing in Exeter for some little time before he resigned Ilsington; for his wife pre-deceased him and was buried in St. Mary Major's church there. In his will he describes himself as "minister and preacher in the cittie of Exeter." No record of his marriage, or of his wife's maiden name has been found; she probably was Audrey Rackley.

PETER MAVERICK. The direct ancestor of the Mavericks of Massachusetts was the eldest son of Robert Maverick, probably born at Awliscombe before the commencement of the earliest existing parish register of 1559. If, as is most likely, he was about two and twenty when he took Holy Orders, he would have been born about 1550.

The earliest record that we have of him is his ordination by Bishop Woolton in the private chapel of the Bishop's Palace at Exeter, where he was ordained deacon on January 15th, 1573-4, and priest on the 16th of March following.

In the Bishop's register his name occurs as "Petrus Bull als Maverick." [His mother was Willemotte Bull, born 26 May 1526, Awliscombe, married 1548, Awliscombe.]

He married at Awliscombe on November 7, 1577, the register recording that on this day the marriage of Peter Maverick Clerk and Dorothie Tucke [born 1559].

The Tuckes appear to have been amongst the most important parishioners of Awliscombe. They were tenants of that part of the parish which belonged to the Mayor and Chamber of Exeter.

From the Bailiffs' accounts, preserved in Exeter Guildhall, we find that in 1588 Robert Tucke paid rent for the Barton of Awliscombe. In 1600 John Tucke is recorded as holding one tenement there "being the capitull house." This Barton, or Capitull House, would have been the manor house. Dorothie Tucke was most likely the daughter of Robert Tucke, her father's name is not given in the register. She had a sister married to "one Jeffery Granow." This marriage is not in the Awliscombe register, but, as we shall presently see, Granow proved an unpleasant thorn in Peter Maverick's side.

As he was at the time of his marriage a clerk in holy orders, Peter may then have been serving as curate at Awliscombe. The vicar was Richard Bacon.

Ecclesiastical affairs were then in a very fluctuating condition. The older men, ordained in pre-reformation times, were dying out. Many of them had adjusted their consciences to new opinions, and retained their livings through all changes of ceremonial. Parishes like Awliscombe, which had belonged to the monasteries were now in lay patronage. The patrons frequently regarded the advowson as property which could be "farmed out"; or temporarily handed over for a money payment to some individual who had a relation or protege he wished to patronize. It was often difficult to find "fit persons to serve in the sacred ministry of the church" (as the Book of Common Prayer words it), sometimes the individual was so unfit that he was speedily deprived, and the Crown, in the person of Queen Elizabeth, intervened and presented someone else.

In 1580 Richard Bacon resigned the living of Awliscombe, and Peter Maverick als Bull was instituted on November 3rd of that year on the presentation of John Cole, clerk, patron "for this turn, by reason of an assignment made to him to John Woolton, Bishop of Exeter, who had a grant of the advowson from Francis, Earl of Bedford true patron of the living." This is a typical example of how ecclesiastical affairs were then managed. The Earls of Bedford, to whom the property belonging to Dunkeswell Abbey had been given, granted the advowson of Awliscombe to the Bishop of Exeter. He, in his turn, assigned the patronage of the vacant benefice to John Cole, who for some reason wished to present Peter Maverick to the living.

The pretty rural village of Awliscombe has already been described. A few notes on the church where Peter Maverick ministered from 1550 to 1616 may not be amiss. Thirteen vicars had preceded him; the first known being Lawrence de Sanford admitted in 1287, "on the presentation of the Abbot and convent of Dunkeswell."

In common with other Devonshire churches few architectural features remain that are older than the 14th or 15th century.

Towards the end of the 15th or early in the 16th century the building received considerable additions. Thomas Chard, last Abbot of Ford, one of the most prominent ecclesiastics in Devon of his time, was born at Awliscombe, and wished to erect some memorial that would commemorate him in his native parish. With the consent, doubtless readily granted of the Abbot of Dunkeswell, he built, or re-decorated, the south transept adding near it a magnificent porch, rendering the church of St. Michael, Awliscombe, one of the finest churches in East Devon. Inside it has retained a good stone screen. In the north-east window some ancient glass is preserved where the figures of St. Helena, St. Katharine, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. Barbara may be recognized.

In the ancient font, a fine example of 15th century perpendicular style, John the eldest child of Peter Maverick, was baptized October 28th, 1578. The surviving children were John, Nathaniel and Elizabeth.

What the original cause of the dispute may have been is difficult to ascertain; it was probably a question of money, or a debt; but about 1586 Jeffery Granow (or Granowe) was detained in the Sheriffs ward of Devon "at the suit of one Maverick, his brother-in-law."

It is worth noting that at this period, except for debtors or political offenders, imprisonment was not a punishment, but merely a detention of the individual until he could be brought before the Justices for trial; the trial being often indefinitely postponed in spite of every effort made by the prisoner to obtain a hearing. Prison life at that time has been described as "nasty, brutish, and short," the last because the incarcerated wretch too often obtained "gaol delivery" by the hand of death before his case was tried. The Governor of the Gaol paid a sum of money to the Crown for his office, and maintained the prison as an expensive boarding house. The well-to-do could procure fire, light, bedding and food at an extortionate rate, every official from the Governor to the gaolers demanding exhorbitant fees.

The wards, or prisons, of Devon and Exeter were at that time notorious for their vile conditions, and it is not surprising that Granow availed himself of every possible means of release. Wherefore he:—"falsely accused Peter Maverick preacher of diverse fowle and lewd matters" which resulted in the Justices "sending for the said Granow out of the said ward," for examination. The affair dragged on till 1590-1591, Granow contriving that his information should reach Queen Elizabeth's Privy Council. Letters were then directed to "certaine Justices of the Peace in the County of Devon, who again examined the matter" and made report on the same and of their opinions of the good disposition of Mavericke, a Learned Preacher, and of the evell life and conversation of Granowe."

Further examinations followed before Gervase Babington, then Bishop of Exeter, but later mentioned in the report of the Privy Council as "now Bishop of Worcester." Babington was Bishop of Exeter 1595-1597, the dates shewing how this litigation dragged on. The Mayor of Exeter also took part in the enquiries, and declared "he could find no credit in the accusation and the accused was greatly wronged."

An order was then given for the discharge of Maverick; he seems to have been obliged to attend personally before the Privy Council and to have been detained in some sort of custody during the enquiry.

Granow, however, made another effort, "being still a prisoner in Exeter." He was sent before the Lord Chief Justice, "but was able to say nothing, whereupon his Lordship would have sent him back again, but by entreaty he was committed to the King's Bench. Any place of detention was better than Exeter.

The report concludes:—"Emongst the examinations taken there divers matters concerning the lewd behaviour of Granow, and the grounds of this mallice, Mavericke and he having married twoe sisters."

Apparently the examiners regarded the family connection as acountable for anything.

The final report is endorsed "concerning Jeffery Granow, 1597." So this quarrel, with the legal enquiries arising out of it, lasted ten years.

From the conditions of ecclesiastical affairs at that period it is possible that Granow's accusations dealt with the religious opinions and practises of Maverick. "Fowle and lewd matters" do not sound to modern ears like complaints of false doctrines, or neglect of religious ceremonials. In the 17th century, however, these were regarded as crimes of the "fowlest" character and the term lewd is applied to unlawfulness in clerical matters (Johnson gives lewd as wicked, lustful, unclerical.)

The probability that the accusations were of this character is strengthened by the examination before the Bishop, and the circumstance that Peter Maverick had to attend personally to answer for his conduct before the Privy Council.

In his charge before the Bishop and Mayor in 1591 Granow was associated with Andrew Holmer, "a verie lewd person." The reports of these bygone enquiries are very wordy and full of repetitions, yet so vague that it is difficult to determine what really passed between accuser and accused, or the actual doings of the legal courts. Nevertheless they are of value in throwing light on family history.

Andrew Holmer, for instance, "exhibited divers complaints against Peter Masvericke, Vicar of Olescombe." The identification of the name as Awliscombe is written on the document in a later hand, affording a clue for tracing the earliest records of the family. It is also gratifying to read the opinions of those important people the Mayor and Bishop of Exeter, who asserted that Peter Maverick was a man well accounted for in his profession and honest conversation.

From the documentary evidence at our disposal Peter seems to have been of a disputatious disposition, and prone to law-suits. This may have rendered him unpopular, however grateful the biographer may be for the information afforded in the history of the Mavericks.

He appears in 1612 as plaintiff in a suit against William Champeneys of Yarnscombe in North Devon, concerning the lease of a messuage and land in Awliscombe. These Mr. Champeney in 1609 was willing to lease as was then the custom, to Mr. Maverick for 99 years on three lives, Maverick undertaking to pay £40 as earnest money on the lease.

After this was paid William Champeneys demanded a larger sum, "having intelligence that more money might be gotten for the said messuage."

The dispute is not particularly interesting but the terms of the lease are of the greatest importance in the history of the family.

Leases were then, and for long afterwards granted on "lives." That is to say three individuals, seldom more, rarely fewer, were named during whose lifetime the property was to be held by the lessee and his successors. Our ancestors were stay-at-home folk; a man took it for granted that he, his sons, and grandsons would be willing to reside on the lease-hold property for the entire period of 99 years, while the man who thus leased the estate did not really alienate it from his family possessions by an actual sale. If one of the lives fell in by decease, it was usually replaced by another but there was always an endeavour, when the lease was taken out to insert the names of children, or very young people, who were likely to survive, if not 99 years, at least for a considerable part of them, and who would later on renew the agreement with other young lives to succeed them. Estates in England have sometimes been held by the same families for extensive periods through this custom of lease on lives.

Peter Maverick named as the three lives on his lease his second son Nathaniel, not then thirty years old, and his two grandsons Samuel and Elias, particularly described as "two of the sons of John Maverick, son, of the said Peter."

John Maverick had been married at Ilsington in 1600, when his uncle Radford was vicar, so these two boys, who had an elder brother, could not have been more than ten years old when their names were put on the lease.

In 1601 Peter Maverick drew up a return of the "Vicarage of Awliscombe," detailing the name of the patron, and the extent of the glebe lands. He mentions that there was a "house and curtilages (courtyards), two herb gardens, and little orchards," and adds that when he came there he found "no implements in the house but the screens," these being the removable partitions that divided one room from another.

A new Terrier, or parochial record, was written by him in 1613 in which he mentions that he had built a new vicarage at his "own proper costs and charges."

This old vicarage stood in the hollow below the church, particulars of the house are given in a later Terrier of 1728.

"The vicarage house is built of mud with earthen walls covered with thatch; containing four chambers kitchen, parlour and hall, and four small ground rooms floored with earth but not ceiled, consisting of two bays of building, built with mud walls and covered with thatch. The barn and stable adjoining consist of about two bays of building of mud walls covered with thatch."

This vicarage was surrounded by about half an acre of walled garden, with an orchard bounded by a hedge. The site of the old house can be traced at the bottom of the present garden. Only the well remains, deprived of all picturesquesness by being supplied with a modern pump.

Here Peter Maverick would have passed his days in the busy life of the country clergyman of the 17th century. Interested in farming his glebe, enjoying his garden, and sharing in the village pastimes, the Revel, Christmas games, and Harvest Home. At that period the parish priest was the link in local government that united church and state; friend alike to squire and cottager, to whom all appealed for the settlement of disputes or redress of grievances, and the parish church was the centre not only of the spiritual, but the parochial life of the little commmunity.

Home life in the new vicarage would have been very simple. Baking, brewing, and all domestic work was done at home, and Mrs. Maverick was, we may be sure, fully occupied in providing comfort for the family, besides little luxuries distributed to the sick and poor of the parish. Those gardens and orchards so carefully detailed in the Terriers, helped to render the family self supporting. Charis were a luxury for old people, young folk sat on stools, or benches. The tables were boards set on tressells, removable when not required. Books were few. Among the most valuable household goods were the brass pans and crocks, so frequently mentioned in wills of that time.

On February 3rd, 1616, John Hassarde was instituted into the vicarage of Awliscombe, the benefice being void "per necem Petri Mavericke."

This ominous term "per necem" "by violent death" [Nex-necem, a "violent death" as distinct from natural mortality "per mortem" the term that usually occurs in the Registers of the Bishops of Exeter. It has been suggested that the scrivener on this occasion used an unusual term from mere pedantry, but the word is rare and seems to have been deliberately written.] shadows the close of Peter Maverick's life with mystery. So far nothing has come to light to reveal what occasioned the violent death of this Vicar whose Bishop declared that he was of virtuous life and honest conversation [behaviour]. No record of his death occurs in the parish register of Awliscombe.

Had he, in spite of the Bishop's commendation, fallen under the harshness of the ecclesiastical laws, as did so many of the Puritan clergy of the time, the circumstance would have been fully recorded among the many accounts of the 17th century persecutions of the non-conformists.

Did the exasperated Granow contrive the violent death of his brother-in-law?

Peter Maverick's name is conspicuously missing from the will of Radford Maverick. He left legacies to "John, son of my eldest brother" but does not mention that brother's name, though there were two, if not three brothers his seniors, sons of Robert Maverick. Peter left no will, for that ommission the circumstances of his death would be accountable. Wills were then usually made during the last few months of the testator's life, if not on his death-bed. A sudden violent death left a man intestate.

Nor does there seem to have been any grant for an administration of his goods applied for by his heirs.

Only in the Register of Bishop Valentine Cary, by the use of an unusual Latin term, is there any hint given how the honest life and conversation of Peter Maverick met with its tragic end.

NATHANIEL MAVERICK. Before proceeding to record the more important members of the family, it will be worth while to set down such brief facts as are known about Nathaniel, the second son of Peter Maverick, whose baptism is entered in the parish registers of Awliscombe on June 24, 1583, "Nathaniel, son of Peter Maverick clearke."

His was the first of the three lives set upon the lease of land at Awliscombe between William Champeneys and Peter Maverick. He was then, in 1609, aged 23. We next meet with him in his 39th year when he was mentioned in Radford Maverick's will [1622] in which he left "to my cosen Nathaniel Maverick my eldest brother's son tenn shillings to be put into a gold ring."

Nathaniel appears to have followed the legal profession, and left Devon for London, where eventually he had a good appointment as head clerk to the town clerk of the City of London.

In the spring of 1630, John, Nathaniel's elder brother, had sailed for New England. Doubtless Nathaniel felt no inclination to resign his excellent appointment in London for precarious adventures across the ocean. It was however destined that neither through the church nor the law should the Mavericks acquire distinction in the land of their birth.

He must have impressed some kindly recollections on the memory of his nephew, Samuel Maverick of Massachusetts, for he named his eldest son, born about 1629, or 1630, Nathaniel. This Nathaniel went to the Barbadoes, where he died in 1670. His father Samuel was still living, and is mentioned in his will. He left three sons, minors, one of these was also Nathaniel, later recorded as Nathaniel Maverick of St. Michael's Parish, Barbadoes. He died in 1700, leaving a young son, another Nathaniel. The will of yet another Nathaniel Maverick of St. Peter's parish is dated 1710. Thus did the Mavericks of the western continent preserve the name of their distant kinsman Nathaniel Mavericke of [St. Lawrence] Old Jewry, London, born in 1583 at Awliscombe, Devon.

JOHN MAVERICK. When, on October 28th, 1578, Peter Maverick baptized his first-born child, a son, in the fine old 15th century font at Awliscombe, and named him John, he must have felt some of those aspirations and hopes concerning the boy's future which would occur to any serious minded parent at such a time.

The Mavericks were prosperous. The Tuckes, John's grandparents, were amongst some of the most important people in the parish of Awliscombe. Hopes of further social advancement for his son must have passed through Peter's thoughts if he ventured to look forward.

But never we may feel sure, when he dedicated that little swaddled infant, in the old words of the Second Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth, to be "Christ's faythfull souldier and seruant unto his lyves end," did he think of that life attaining its ripe fullness in the New World, not long discovered by West Country adventurers; vaguely described in Devon's seaports by weather-beaten mariners, whose tales were only half credited, or told as marvels on winter evenings round the fire on the open hearth.

Peter Maverick had no University degree. That omission was rectified in the education of his son. There are indications that the Mavericks were in better circumstances after the death of Robert Maverick in 1573. Peter married, and married well, in 1577. Radford matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1581. He was Rector of Trusham in 1586, and may have given some assistance to his nephew when John followed his uncle's footsteps to the same College in 1595. [Mavericke, John, of Devon, cler., fil. Exeter College, Matriculated 24 Oct., 1595, aged 18; B.A. 8 July, 1599; M.A. 7 July, 1603, then in orders. Rector of Beaworthy, Devon, 1615.—Foster's Alumni Oxonienses.] Two years later he took Holy Orders, being ordained in the private chapel of the Bishop's Palace in Exeter by Bishop Babington, receiving deacon's and priest's orders on the same day, July 29, 1597. He is entered in the Bishop's register as a "literate" as he did not take his degree until 1599. In 1599 he took his B.A. and his Masters degree in 1603, when he is recorded as being then in orders.

Not only was he an ordained minister, but he was also a married man. On October 28th, 1600 (the anniversary of his baptism twenty years previously), he was married at Ilsington to Mary Gye of that parish. It may be inferred that Radford Maverick performed the ceremony. The marriage is entered in the parish registers of Ilsington, and it is there, or at Trusham, that we should have expected to find entries of the baptism of his sons.

John was probably serving as his uncle's curate, having taken orders soon after his matriculation on purpose to assist him; for nothing is recorded of his clerical work until 1615, when on the death of John Norreys he was instituted to the rectory of Beaworthy in North Devon, on the presentation of Arthur Arscott of Ashwater.

Radford resigned Trusham in 1616, most likely he found two parishes, some distance apart, too much for ministration without his nephew's help.

Neither at Ilsington, nor at Trusham is there any entry in the parish register of the baptism of John Maverick's sons. At Ilsington the name of Maverick only occurs in the one record of John's marriage; at Trusham it does not occur at all. It is just between the years 1601-1609, that we should expect to find it.

A conjectural explanation can be given to account for the omission of their baptism in the registers. It is only offered as a plausible suggestion, liable to be contradicted by the discovery of the entries elsewhere. John may have baptized his sons privately at home, and never completed the office by the ceremony of receiving the children into Church, as appointed in the Prayer Book service. This latter part of the rite of baptism entailed using the sign of the Cross. The church insisted on it, the Puritans objected, it was Popish, superstitious, superfluous, and was one of the fiercest points of controversy between the Bishops and the Non-conformists.

Thus it would appear that John Maverick had conscientious objections—to use a modern formula. Also John did not want to get into difficulties over ritual at a period when conscientious objectors were apt to be treated with short shrift and a long rope; so he christened his babies at home, and omitted, possibly through forgetfulness, to enter their names in the parish register. At that period the names of those baptized, married or buried were jotted down on loose bits of paper, and later on entered into the registers, when the parson, or parish clerk had leisure to do it, with the result that omissions were not infrequent.

Beaworthy where John Maverick was instituted Rector, August 30th, 1615, lies on the north west of Devon, a little distance from the borders of Dartmoor. It is remote and little known at the present day, its conditions in the early years of the 17th century are past imagining. As a residence for a man of scholarly tastes, such as John Maverick seems to have possessed, it must have been exile indeed. All that can be said is that a minister who resided there fourteen years would have been able to adapt himself far more easily to life in the recently founded settlements of New England, than many of his clerical brethren.

The church is very small, and, though it exhibits a few features of Norman work, it is neither dignified nor interesting. The dedication is to St. Alban, which is rather remarkable, for there is little to associate the proto-martyr of England with Devon. The one local event was an annual fair on July 25th, of which the principal feature was a race of old women for a greased pig. This fair, with or without the pig, survived until recent years; early in the 17th century, when John Maverick was rector, we may feel sure it was celebrated with all the merriment characteristic of the good old times.

John Maverick's life is so definitely divided into two parts, that it is worth while to pause here, and briefly explain the ecclesiastical conditions of the period, which drove him, and so many more of the clergy out of the land of their birth to the new world across the sea.

All through the reign of Elizabeth there had been a party in the reformed church, who did not consider that church sufficiently reformed. They demanded a more complete rejection of rites and ceremonies, a "purifying" as they expressed it, from certain doctrines, superstitions, ceremonials, and formal expressions of reverence. It is difficult to see, had their demands been complied with, what would have been left. The Elizabethan bishops made a firm stand. Possibly they over-did their firmness, for drastic pains and penalties, in the form of fines, excommunication (then a really weighty punishment) and imprisonments, were imposed upon these "Puritans" nor were spies and informers lacking who reported the behaviour of their ministers especially if the minister happened to be unpopular in his parish.

In 1603 Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, drew up a number of canons, or rules for the church, and required them to be read aloud in every church in the kingdom, the clergy also signing assent to them. Many ministers throughout the country refused to sign. The number of these "dissenters" in Devon and Cornwall was fifty-one. Not a large percentage in the extensive Diocese of Exeter, where Devon alone had some five hundred parishes. But in 1607 the ministers of the Exeter Diocese further emphasized their position by publishing a treatise defending their opinions, and concluding with the statement that:—"the weight of episcopal power may oppress us, but cannot convince us."

By this time both Queen Elizabeth and Archbishop Whitgift had died. Ecclesiastical matters had been allowed to drift in the last years of the old Queen. James the First now ascended the throne, Bancroft was Archbishop, and they laid heavy hands on all who would not conform to their regulations. At a conference held at Hampton Court James declared: "I will make them conform or I will harry them out of the land." Little did he realize the effect of this declaration on the history of the whole modern world.

The first flights were made to Holland, the old refuge of those who suffered religious persecution in England; but Holland soon discovered that friendship with King James was not compatible with sheltering his rebellious subjects. Political considerations had the mastery; without being exactly refused protection the Puritans were no longer welcomed; they saw they must look elsewhere for a refuge, and they turned their eyes towards the New World.

They were checked even in this direction. Several families went to Virginia, but when it was discovered that many more were preparing to embark, so far from "harrying them out of the country" they were forbidden to leave without special license from the King.

Persecution is a course that cuts its own throat. The Puritans were determined to migrate, so they provided themselves with what ultimately proved the most magnificent and powerful credentials that ever founded a People. They royal licenses for which the ever impoverished James was quite willing to be paid, were those Charters for Permission to Trade, which, by what has been termed a daring breach of the law, were treated by those to whom they were issued as grants for founding the political self governing Settlement of Massachusetts.

English affairs strengthened their powers, and assisted their independence. In the earlier years of their enterprise they looked back to England for help, depending a great deal on food supplies sent out to them, while, with more diffidence than might have been expected, they humbly asked for advice concerning the management of their colony, from a Government at that time incapable of managing itself, though not unwilling to try and manage other people. Finally affairs at home "did so take up the King and Council that they had neither the heart nor leisure to take up the affairs of New England." [Winthrop's Journal]

New England was all the better for it; the settlers managed their own affairs and prospered exceedingly.

It is difficult to determine how far the Mavericks were influenced by the Puritanical opinions of their contemporaries. A disctinctly calvinistic tone pervades Radford Maverick's sermon, but he managed to retain his two Devonshire livings unmolested from 1586 to 1621. It may be taken for granted that he was not among the fifty-one ministers who refused to assent to the Canons of Archbishop Whitgift.

John was rector of Beaworthy for fourteen years, at the end of which time he resigned the living on his own initiation, apparently because he wished to settle elsewhere. It is worth noting that when Radford Maverick in 1622 left:—"to my cosen John Maverick, preacher, one of Zanchees works on the nature of God in Lattyn," he does not mention him as rector of Beaworthy, though John then had the benefice. This gives the impression that John had then left Beaworthy to the ministrations of some local curate, and was preaching to more enlightened congregations in East Devon or Dorset.

The majority of the Mavericks were now settled in Honiton, a fairly numerous group of cousins, all John's connections, descendants of Robert of Awliscombe. From Honiton it is not far into Dorsetshire, and it is in Dorsetshire that we must look for the influence which led the Mavericks to New England.

The then rector of St. Peter's Church, Dorchester, was the Rev. John White, who has been described as "a masterful old Puritan." He held the living from 1606 until his death in 1648, but his place in history is connected with New England, and he is justly regarded as one of the founders of Massachusetts, though he never went there.

It has been said of Sir Walter Ralegh that he "understood that the road to England's greatness, which was more to him than all other good things, lay across the sea." The Rev. John White seems to have held the same opinion, and applied his wealth and influence to affording practical assistance to those willing to take that road.

He despatched a party from Dorsetshire in 1624. Some years later he procured the "Charter of Corporation for the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England"; this was dated March 4, 1628-9.

We in England think of the great American Continents in connection with those daring spirits who first discovered them. Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci to whom they owe their name; Sir Francis Drake with his splendid talent for navigation; Ralegh dreaming ever of El Dorado; Sebastian Cabot, the Bristol Merchant adventurer; Henry Burrows of Northam near Bideford, the prototype of Amyas Leigh.

Yet the actual founders of these settlements, who dared not only the hazards of the voyage, but the experiences of new climate and conditions of which they were wholly ignorant, were the homely determined pastors, harried out of their country by the obstinancy of their rulers. Men who abandoned all prospects of dignity and affluence at home, faced the rigours of winters such as they had never imagined, defended themselves from some of the cruelest savages ever known, and applied the determination which had defied king and bishops, to establishing civilization and prosperity in the wild but splendid regions others had discovered. It was as if rocks descried by eagles, were used as nesting places for flocks of sea swallows:—"The opportunity of the moment lay in those happy hands which the Holy Ghost had guided, the fortunate adventurers." [Edmund Gosse: Some Diversions of a man of letters.]

The vessels came over in little convoys of six or eight, for mutual assistance and protection. They were armed for defence against Spanish warships or possible pirates. On board, besides the colonists with their wives and children, were horses, cattle, goats and sheep. A prosperous voyage took about six weeks, and it is not surprising to hear that the condition of the vessels could become very unpleasant.

No wonder they rejoiced when at last land appeared. Even John Winthrop's somewhat prosaic pen ceases for a moment from dry details to record the green islands, the flat shores with blue hills rising in the distance:—"Fair sunshine weather and so sweet a smell as did much refresh us, for there came a smell of the shore like the smell of a garden."

John Maverick formally resigned Beaworthy rectory in 1629-30. His successor was instituted on March 24th. The dates are perplexing, complicated by the year being then reckoned to begin on March 25th. March 24th would still be 1629. Whenever possible I have followed John Winthrop's Journal as being contemporary evidence. That same month of March he was chosen at Plymouth [Devon] as one of the teachers of the Puritan church, and soon afterwards he sailed for New England in the "Mary and John" whose Master was Captain Squib.

Winthrop wrote in his journal on June 17th, 1630, "Captain Squib brought out the West Country people, Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Rossitur, and Mr. Maverick, who were set down at Mattapan." These were the founders of Dorchester, Mass., named in honour of the Rev. John White, and recalling to many of the settlers the old county town of their native shire.

Armed with the new Charter, John Winthrop began establishing the settlement. As his license was nominally for a Trading Company the usual terms of the English Gilds, or Trading Companies were offered to the settlers; they had to become "Freemen of the Company" to secure permission to trade. On October 6th, 1630, among "the names of such as wish to become Freemen" are—
Mr. Samuel Mavracke.
Mr. John Mavracke.
Mr. John Maverick took the oath of Freeman, May 18th, 1631; his son Samuel did not, however, take the oath till Oct. 2nd, 1632.

An incident of John Maverick's life in Dorchester [Mass.] is recorded by Winthrop:—

"1632, March 19. Mr. Maverick, one of the ministers of Dorchester, in drying a little powder, which took fire by the heat of the fire pan, fired a small barell of two or three pounds, yet did no other harm but singed his clothes. It was in the New Meeting House, which was thatched, and the thatch only blackened a little."

The New Meeting House evidently served both for congregational worship and the minister's residence. Such explosions were not infrequent; gunpowder was a necessity, and it seems to have been made at home, and dried over the domestic hearth. Accidents often occurred. If the disaster was slight, the hand of Providence was perceived protecting the godly; if severe, the individual suffered for his sins. The Puritan settlers missed no opportunity of improving the occasion.

John Maverick was highly esteemed by all in the Colony. He is called the "godly Mr. John Maverick" by Roger Clapp, another Devonshire man, born at Salcombe Regis near Sidmouth. The Clapps came out to New England from Dorchester [Dorset] and were among the founders of Dorchester [Mass.]. It is quite possible that Roger Clapp knew the Mavericks in England; Honiton and Awliscombe being easily reached from Salcombe or Sidmouth.

In 1633 Samuel Maverick received a grand of Noddles Island [East Boston] where he built a new house. Either John Maverick went to live with his son, or was staying there at the time of his death; a record of the "decease of the Fathers of New England" includes "3 February, 1636. The Rev. John Maverick of Dorchester, died at Boston aged 60."

A tribute to him was penned by John Winthrop:—

"1636, Feb. 3. Mr. John Maverick, teacher of the church of Dorchester, died being nearly sixty years of age. He was a man of very humble spirit, and faithful in furthering the work of the Lord both in the churches and civil state."

John Maverick's widow (Mary Gye) survived her husband many years. She made her home with her son Samuel in the house he had built shortly before his father's death on Noddles Island, Boston. The locality is now known as East Boston, but there still exists "Maverick Square." In 1665 mention is made that Mr. Maverick had his mother, wife, children, and brother living with him. They then were on Rhode Island. Samuel Maverick in a letter written Oct. 9, 1668, to Sir William Morice, Secretary of State in England, says that his mother "presents her humble service."

Mrs. Maverick may have known some of Sir William Morice's family in England. His father Dr. Evan Morice was Chancellor of the Diocese of Exeter, and his mother Mary, daughter of John Castle of Ashbury, Devon. William Morice was born in Exeter in 1602, his father died in 1605, and in 1611 his mother married again, her second husband being Sir Nicholas Prideaux of Solden in the parish of Sutcombe, Devon. Ashbury is near Beaworthy, and Sutcombe, though farther off, is in the same part of the county; where William Morice passed much of his early life. He did not purchase the property at Werrington with which his name is usually associated, until 1651, but that is also in the neighbourhood of Beaworthy. His religious convictions were decidedly Puritanical, but he was one of the Devonshire gentlemen who supported General Monk in restoring Charles II to the throne, and was knighted on the king's landing in 1660, and immediately made Secretary of State. Samuel Maverick would have been a few years his junior, and the two may have known each other in boyhood.

Mrs. Maverick would have been at least 80 years of age at her death [after 9 Oct 1666].

SAMUEL MAVERICK. Among these eager settlers Samuel Maverick presents a most delightful character. Dry and meagre as are the details afforded us, we can read between the lines suggestions of romance and kindliness which endear him to the reader even after the lapse of three centuries.

It must be confessed that most of the Fathers of Massachusetts wore a grim and forbidding aspect. Samuel Maverick in strong contrast was full of geneality and friendship towards all he met.

He came out in 1624, possibly with the first contingent of Dorsetshire men, despatched by the Rev. John White of Dorchester. Arriving at Massachusetts he settled at Winissimet on the Mystic River.

How lovely must that land of broad waters and forest primeval have appeared when seen by the first settlers.

The Mystic river really bears an Indian name; Winthrop sometimes spells it Mistick, or Mistich; but when first seen flowing from regions unknown, the designation must have sounded singularly appropriate, and has happily been retained to the present day. Winissimet has exchanged its old name for Chelsea, which is a loss.
"Here it was that Samuel Maverick:—

". . . broke the land and sowed the crop,
Build the barns and strung the fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foot hills where the trails run out and stop."
He had a neighbour David Thompson, also a west-countryman, sent out about 1623 by Sir Ferdinando Gorges from Plymouth, Devon. Thomposon had his wife with him; the entry of their marriage is still to be seen in the parish registers of St. Andrew's Church, Plymouth [Devon].
"1613, July 13, David Thompson and Amyes Colles were married."
Together Samuel Maverick and David Thompson built a fort as a defence against the Indians. It was later described as:—"a house with a pillizado [palisade] and flankers, and gunnes both above and below in them." It was standing in 1660, "the antientist house in the Massachusetts Government."

Here Samuel practised "large hearted hospitality" and shewed special kindness in welcoming all new arrivals as soon as they landed. John Winthrop mentions that when he and his companions reached New England in 1630 "we went to Mattachusetts to find a place for our sitting down [settling]. Wee went up the Mistick river about six miles and lay at Mr. Maverick's and returned home on saturday."

Winthrop's arrival must have been especially welcome to Samuel Maverick, for his father and mother came over at the same time.

About 1634 Samuel had the grant of Noddles Island, where he built another house. John Josselyn, who came in 1638, writes:—"July 10th I went ashore to Noddles Island to Mr. Samuel Maverick, the only hospitable man in all the country, giving entertainment to all comers gratis." He was again Samuel's guest the following year.

Josselyn wrote an account of "Two voyages to New England," printed in 1674, and records the arrival of Winthrop with the other settlers, among whom he mentions "Mr. Maverick the father of Mr. Samuel Maverick."

David Thompson died about 1628, and in course of time his widow married her husband's friend Samuel Maverick. She was considerably his senior, as she married her first husband in 1613, and Samuel was born about 1602, possibly later. He described himself as "aged 63 or thereabouts" in 1665. Where or when his marriage with Amyes (or Amias) Thompson took place is not known. David Thompson left a son John, and perhaps other children. Amias wrote in 1635 to Mr. Trelawney, Merchant, Plymouth, Devon, mentioning her "fatherless children." As she wrote from Noddles Island she most likely had then bestowed a step-father on them in the person of Samuel Maverick.

Her son, John Thompson, in 1643 assigned a bill to "my father Samuel Maverick." His mother Amias was living in 1672. By her Samuel had three children, Nathaniel, Samuel, and Mary.

Samuel did not limit his kindness to his own people. In 1633, Small-pox, "the white man's scourge" attacked the native Indians. The wild men were much impressed to find that though their own people forsook them, the English came daily and attended to their needs. "Among others (writes Winthrop) Mr. Maverick of Winnissimet is worthy of perpetual remembrance; himself, his wife and servants went daily to them, ministered to their necessities, and buried their children."

On another occasion Samuel managed to smooth matters when some sailors and traders of the bark Maryland got into difficulties with the Puritan colonists. He came all the way from Winnissimet to settle the affair to everyone's satisfaction. In 1645 he protected La Tour, governor of one of the French settlements, and kept him for twelve months in his house at Noddles Island; the French having quarrelled among themselves, and La Tour's fort being totally destroyed.

At the time of his father's death Samuel was in Virginia, where he remained for a year. Winthrop records his return on August 3rd, 1636—"Samuel Maverick, who had been in Virginia near twelve months, now returned with two pinnaces, and brought some 14 heiffers, and about 80 goats." He also brought "ten niggers" some of the first negroes imported into New England, where Samuel Maverick was one of the earliest employers of slave labour. One of the two pinnaces was a vessel of about 40 tons built of cedar wood at the Barbadoes. Owing to the death of the owner, it was sold cheaply in Virginia, and there bought by Samuel, who had only takne one pinnace from Boston and evidently required a second vesel for all the merchandize he brought home.

In spite of his good qualities Samuel's religious opinions did not satisfy the Puritans of New England. The Mavericks were loyal to the English crown, and their religious tenants inclined to be episcopalian. It is impossible to discover, either from Neale's History of the Puritans, or Winthrop's Journal, what was required by the non-conformist founders of Massachusetts. Their government became a sort of theocracy, and it is well known that so far from having "freedom of conscience" the settlers endured sharp persecution unless they shared the narrow opinions of their superiors.

The Editor of Winthrop's Journal, J. K. Hosmer, notes:—"This estimable man Samuel Maverick was looked upon askance in the community, where, though recognised as a man of substance and worth, he was given no public place."

Noddles Island appears to have been entailed on his heir, Nathaniel Maverick, who in 1649 occurs as "Nathaniel Maverick of New England, Gentleman," when "with the consent of his father and by the advice of his friends," he sold to "Captain Briggs of ye Barbadoes one Island known as Noddles Island." For this Captain Briggs paid with 40,000lbs of white sugar "to be lodged in some convenient place."

So frequently was Samuel embroiled with the Governors of the settlement, that he eventually decided to return to England and lay before the Government there the case of those who, like himself, did not consider they were fairly treated.

England was still too much engrossed in home difficulties to take great interest in Colonial grievances. Samuel displayed a dogged persistance which extended over several years. His "Brief description of New England" was probably then written, for it bears internal evidence of being about the date of 1660. This printed pamphlet can be found in the British Museum Library. The original MSS. of his letters then written are at the Bodleian, Oxford; many of them are printed in the New Eng. Hist. & Gen. Reg.

Charles the Second was restored and the royal government re-established, and finally Maverick's pertinacity met with its reward. He returned to Massachusetts bearing instructions in which he was included with other Commissioners "To visit our Colony of Massachusetts in our Plantacion of New England"—dated April 23, 1664.

Under the same date were also instructions "For the visitacion of our Colony of Connecticot."

The Commissioners were to settle the affairs of New England, and reduce the Dutch in New Netherland. Samuel and his fellow Commissioners failed in their first undertaking, the Puritan Fathers of New England had no intention of submitting to any management but their own. Their dealings with the Dutch were far more successful, and, though they scarcely realised it at the time, far more important. England was then, most unwisely, at war with Holland, but this furnished an excuse for demanding the evacuation of the New Netherlands, and thus that part of the New World passed into the possession of the English settlers, and became the important State of New York.

Never could Samuel Maverick then have foreseen that he was planting the English Tongue and English People where they would, after three hundred years, have their share in the international destinies of the whole civilized world.

It has been said of Sir Walter Ralegh "that it was his undying glory to have made the great continent of North America an English speaking country, labouring in full faith and confidence that the great continent was by God's providence reserved for England." But:—
"God took care to hide that country till he found His people ready."
And other men, many of them, like Ralegh, west-countrymen, built on the foundations Ralegh had laid.

Samuel Maverick, in reward for his loyalty and exertions, was given "a house on the Broad Way," which was granted to him in October, 1669. The site has been identified as corresponding with the present No. 50 Broadway, New York City.

He lived another ten years, or more. His name appears on a deed dated 1676. Probably he died in New York, but the actual place of his death has not yet been ascertained nor his will discovered.

Both his sons predeceased him, Samuel, the second, at Boston in 1663, leaving two infant daughters. Nathaniel, the elder, who has already been mentioned, died at Barbadoes in 1673, leaving a son Nathaniel, and other children, from whom are descended the Mavericks of Texas.

Although her brother had heirs, Samuel's daughter Mary, described herself in 1687 as "wife of Francis Hooke (her second husband) and heiress of Samuel Maverick, deceased."

Beatrix Cresswell

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