3 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Per L&M: "Ackworth was naval storekeeper at Woolwich; his wife was a sister of Commissioner Peter Pett." Wheatley places him at the Deptford Yard.

John Acworth  •  Link

The original village name is Acworth, as on Speed's map of West Yorkshire, but the lords of the manor were wiped out at battle of Towton in 1461, just up the road. Fortunately some sons had come south and were merchant taylors in London, like George Acworth who moved down to Plymouth. John Acworth, 2nd son of George Acworth, came back to London from Plymouth and resided with his aunt and uncle, Thomas & Elizabeth Baker in 1601. Elizabeth was the daughter of Richard Hichens, one of the set of Plymouth sea adventurers of the Drake era. It is possibly through these family connections that John Acworth was given the post of Under-Storekeeper at Deptford Dockyard in 1603.
In 1608 he married Suzan Haman and they had 3 sons, John 1608, Allyn 1613 & William 1615, more of these later.
In 1613 John Acworth was "erected" to the post of Storekeeper at Woolwich on £20 per year & 20d a day for diet.
Suzan Acworth died January 1631/2.
John Acworth married Constance in 1632 and John "the Younger" was born 1633/4.
During the 1630s, King Charles I wanted new designs of warships and one, "Sovereign of the Seas" was built at Woolwich by Master Shipwright Phineas Pett and launched in 1637, the largest ship built at that time, carrying 100 guns and decorated in gold leaf. One assumes that Storekeeper John Acworth was in charge of obtaining and storing her fittings.
His son, John Acworth, had gone back to Plymouth and Allyn Acworth had entered the church, became vicar of St Nicholas, Rochester, then Vicar of Wandsworth. The 3rd son, William started at Deptford Dockyard in his late teens and was requested by the Lords of the Admiralty in June 1637 to "repair to Woolwich where by his place as Storekeeper he ought to reside". It is known that his post was Acting-Storekeeper, so John Acworth may have been ill. He died of the plague in 1638, and William's appointment as Storekeeper was made permanent.
Woolwich Storekeeper William Acworth was married 3 times, first in 1638 to Avice Cole, whose elder sister married Peter Pett, son of Phineas Pett. There were 4 sons of his marriage to Avice Acworth who died in 1643. married second to Elizabeth Munday who died in 1646 childless, and third to Elizabeth Smith in 1647 by which she had two children. William Acworth is the Mr Ackworth of Woolwich in Pepys' Diary and Elizabeth, 3rd wife, the Mrs Ackworth whom Pepys was always mentioning........
William Acworth died in late 1671.
All lines of the Acworth name outside of this family grouping died out in the 19th Century. Of the sons of John, Storekeeper Woolwich 1613-1638, only the family of John "the younger" carried the name through Chatham Dockyard as shipwrights through to the 19th Century from whence they dispersed all over the world. Sadly Woolwich Dockyard is no more but their records live on in the archives of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

John R M Acworth, Blackheath, London SE3 29.10.2006

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