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Early Drake records - Bristol Registers extractions
These early records have been compiled over a period of time from the Drake-L, English databases and other sources. No attempt is being made by me to take credit for material that has been sent in by other people. My apologies for not crediting all sources of this material -
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Date: Sunday, February 14, 1999 1:33 PM
Coldham, Peter Wilson. _The Bristol Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations 1654 - 1686_. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988. Abstraction of Coldham's history of the Bristol Registers. Pages v to vii.
As early as 1619, the State officials of England was taking vagrant children from the streets and selling them to the colony of Virginia for indentured labor. This continued for many years, but when the citzenry adopted this practice, the scandal forced the government to act against it. An Order of Parliment, 9 May, 1645, ordered that all those to be transported must be recorded in the council books. This was done to stop the kidnapping of children, rounding up of vagrant children and young adults, trickery employed by the courts (telling a person accused of a petty crime it was a hanging offense and only transporting would save his life), false charges brought by citizens, parents and guardians selling their children and charges to the colonies. The Council of the City of Bristol on 29 Sep., 1654 passed an ordinance that the names of indentured servants embarking from Bristol should be recorded. In the beginning the records were scrupulously kept, but as time passed, sloppy records permitted the abuses to grow. Judge Jeffrey's "Bloody Assizes" at Bristol, 1685, allowed him to ship to Barbados many hundreds of those involved in Monmouth's Rebellion. At the same time, he saw the abuses and condemed the entire establishment of Bristol that allowed even merchants to traffic in shipping convicts to the colonies for a profit. The "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 granted amnesty and those convicted of these abuses were released. Over 10,000 names are in Coldham's book. All but a few ere labourers, husbandmen, or tradesmen. Most were from the West County, Wales, and the West Midlands. He states some were from London, Cambridge, Lancashire, Scotland, Ireland, France and the American colonies themselves. Many of the 10,000 listed in his book were not convicts but had indentured themselves in exchange for the "house, an axe, a year's provisions and double apparel, and sometimes a few acres of land" that was given at the end of the indenture period. And of course, the free passage. Some of the entries are more complete than others, giving origin and occupations of the indentured servant. This did not continue and at times there is an overlapping of dates, sometimes only names and length of servitude mentioned. Today's abbreviations are used for Virginia and Maryland. Nevis is an island in the Leeward Islands, British West Indies. Coldham used  square brackets to add information that was not in the original but of which he was familiar. He also used brackets to show misspellings of areas. The first brackets will not be used here, but the second will be. Ships' names are between quotation marks. " " Captain's names are lsited after the ship's name. The first page number is the where the entry was found in Coldham's book. The final date is the sentence date. Masters are those who purchased the bonds. Servants
The following items were on page 77, date 5 Sep., 1658.
Richard Drake of Bristol, serge maker, to Andrew Ball, mariner, 3 yrs.
Thomas Drake to Andrew Ball, mariner, 4 yrs.
Mary Drake to Andrew Ball, mariner, 4 years.
John Drake to Andrew Ball, mariner, 10 years.
Thomas Drake to Andrew Ball, mariner, 12 years.
Page 73. Jonathan Drake, yeoman, to John Kingford, 6 years. VA 4 Aug., 1658.
Page 298, Richard Drake to John Covill Esq., 4 years to VA. 12 Feb., 1674.
Page 337. Thomas Carline to John Drake, 4 years to VA by "Stephen," Mr. John Read, captain. 4 Sep, 1677/ This concludes the Drake extractions from Coldham's book, Bristol Registers.