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Warrent and Order Detaining Henry and William Phelps' Ships

Before a ship could depart England in the mid-1600s with passengers for "foreign plantations," it was customary to require the ships' masters to provide a bond of "one hundred ponds a piece." The bond was a surety that the ships' masters would cause to be observed and execute the following requirements:

Each and every person aboard their ships—

"...that shall blaspheme or profane the Holy name of God be severely punish't."

"That they cause the Prayers contained in the Book of Common Prayers establisht in the Church of England to be said daily at the usual hours for Morning & Evening Prayers & that they shall cause all Persons aboard their said Ships to be present at the same."

"That they do not receive aboard or transport any Person that hath not Certificate from the Officers of the Port where he is to imbarke that he hath taken both the Oathes of Alleigeance & Supremacy."

"That upon their return into this Kingdom they Certify to the Board the names of all such Persons as they shall transport together with their Proceedings in the Execuc'on (execution) of the aforesaid Articles ...."

The Masters of the ships named below were called before the Board (Council), notified of the requirements for their voyages, and were each required to provide a bond of "One Hundred Pounds a piece". The bond was surety for them to observe, cause to be observed, and put into execution these requirements.

A Warrant was issued on February 22, 1633/4, to hold the departures of the following ships(1), which were in the Thames with the intended destination of New England:

  • Clement & Job
  • Elizabeth & Dorcas
  • Elizabeth Bonadventure
  • Hercules (carrying Henry Phelps)
  • Mary & John (carrying William Phelps)
  • Neptune
  • Planter
  • Reformation
  • Sea Flower
  • True Love

The Masters of the named ships were called before the Board in late February, 1633/4, and notified of thse requirements. Each agreed to observe the requiements himself, to cause those aboard to do the same, and to execute them. Having paid the required bond, an Order in Council was issued to Gabriel Marsh, Esquire, Marshal of the Admiralty, and to all of His Majesty's officers to whom the Warrant had been directed. On receipt of the Order, they were to allow these ships to depart for New England.


(1) "New England--At Whitehall the Last of February 1633"