2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Capt. Brian Harrison. Deputy-Master, Trinity House 1662-3. (L&M Companion)

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Brian Harrison was born at Sedgfields, County Durham, but from his associations in shipping he appears to have been related to the Harrisons, all mariners, from Leigh and Wapping.

On 18 Feb., 1620 Brian Harrison married Elizabeth Bourne, widow of William Harris, which made him a cousin of Nehemiah Bourne.

Elizabeth Bourne Harris Harrison is recorded in the Register of St. John’s, Wapping, as being buried on 9 Aug., 1625.

Capt. Harrison married again (don't know when or where) to Susanna, widow of James Carter of Wapping, late master of the ship Anne of London, with whom Harrison had been part owner in the Virginia trade.

In May, 1630, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty granted a warrant for issuing letters of marque to Capt. Harrison and others, owners of the Unicorn of London, the ship to be commanded by Capt. Brian Harrison.

In 1637 Adm. William Rainsborough was appointed to command the squadron sent to suppress the Algerian pirates, He petitioned the Admiralty for Capt. Brian Harrison to have command of one of his ships (Cal. State Papers. Dom. 15 January 1637).

The other appointments seem to have been Adm. Rainsborough’s choice, as two of the smaller ships were commanded by Wapping men, Capt. Thomas White and Capt. Edmund Seaman, who, years later, became Elder Brethren of the Trinity House, the former 1660 - 1675, and the latter 1665 - 1672.

Capt. Brian Harrison commanded the Hercules of London (a hired merchant ship and probably the one of that name which had taken settlers to New England) and was appointed rear admiral of the squadron.

Early in Sept. 1637 Rear Adm. Harrison arrived at Falmouth in advance of the rest of the squadron, bringing the first news of their success.

In 1650 Harrison commanded the Rainbow in the fleet under Adm. Richard Deane.

In June 1653 Capt. Brian Harrison still had a share in the Unicorn, as there is a reference in the State Papers to a petition by him to the Council of State about her, which was referred to the Committee for Foreign Affairs.

In 1640 - 1649, Capt. Brian Harrison was elected an Elder Brother of Trinity House, but evidently was one of the members proscribed by the Act of January, 1649,
His name does not appear again until 1659, when -- together with other former members of the Corporation -- he was prominent in the re-establishment under its former charter and was re-elected an Elder Brother at the Restoration.

This 1952 paper was presented by Captain William Robert Chaplin, of the Trinity House, London, and information about the growth of shipbuilding under James I and Charles I, the Civil War years, shipbuilding in Boston and Wapping, the history of the Seething Lane offices, and the characters "Major" Nehemiah Bourne was related to by marriage ... the entire Trinity House Brotherhood were his Puritan in-laws from Wapping during the Cromwell years.

And yes, Pepys and the Diary get some mentions.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Jun