Berkeley Hundred and Capt William Tucker

Little did I expect to find such an informative page concerning Jamestown yet I happened to because of following my Tucker links which may (or may not–not certain yet!) go back to Captain William Tucker (b. January 7, 1589 in Egloshayle, a parish of Bodmin, Cornwall near the village of Truro which is often mentioned in the BBC series Poldark …tap or click for photos of the drama’s actual Cornwall locations.)

Now this particular Tucker is aka, William Tucker of Kiccowton, or as a “London merchant.” He is also known for the poisoning of about 200 Indians at a ‘peace parley’ in retaliation for the Jamestown Massacre of March 22, 1622 along with Dr. Potts who stirred up the fatal brew.

So if you have any interest in the history of Jamestown or in Tucker genealogy, see The Berkeley Hundred for more details.

For you see, the plantation was abandoned after the 1622 massacre (9 were killed at Berkeley Hundred–the website has a list of the dead along with a variety of information) but was taken over in 1636 by Capt. Tucker and others and became the property of John Bland, London merchant, whose son Giles subsequently inherited it. However, Giles took part in Bacon’s Rebellion and was hanged by Governor Sir William Berkeley so that was that for the Blands.

Then in 1691, the Colony’s Attorney General and Speaker of the House of Burgesses, Benjamin Harrison (a familiar name in US presidential lore), purchased the property but had the misfortune to die at age 37 (in 1710) and it was handed it down to his son, Benjamin Harrison. (This Harrison line turns up in my family research but more on that later.)

As for Capt. William Tucker, he died at sea off the Irish coast on February 16, 1644, age 55. But another note from the site, linked above, is a timely tidbit of history that until today was unknown to me: that our first Thanksgiving was celebrated at Berkeley Hundred on the day colonists aboard the ship Margaret of Bristol landed–December 4, 1619–which is 2 years 17 days before the Pilgrims landed in the Mayflower at Plymouth!

So apparently, theirs must have been an extremely harrowing voyage across the Atlantic from Bristol to Berkeley Hundred and it seems that, in a way, we Americans have been unknowingly passing the cranberry sauce while celebrating their arrival ever since.






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