Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kin to a Malignant Parson: Thomas Mallory the Devine

A sailing ship stood at anchor off the coast of Ireland. Perhaps it was the year 1644. “A small boy was playing on the shore with other lads. His mother, in the usual crowd of onlookers, was intent on getting news of her home in Cheshire, a short day's sail across the Irish Sea.” The child at play is to have been John Ford (1636-1699). The primary source for the tale arises from 'Ford of Virginia & Kentucky ...' in Mrs. John Bennet Boddie's 1980 Historical Southern Families, Volume 23.
The Ford family of Abbeyfield Park in Sandbach Parish, County Cheshire in England, had grown prominent during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547)*. In establishing a Church of England, Henry ‘dissolved’ property belonging to his opponents. Biographers like to think a Ford, by acquiring monastery lands near Sandbach, to have been among the King’s intimates. A 1585 account describes the market town thus: “Sandbach (commonly called Sandbetch) standeth on a high bank upon the small river of Wheelock, and is but a little town, with a fair church of stone …” Mankind had long considered the place sacred. A pair of stone crosses standing there were alleged to pre-date the Christian era. [See History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, by George Omerod, pg. 10.]
Says Boddie: “A family receiving benefits from the monarch would naturally adhere to the ruler's church-state policies. Even three generations later, the Fords of Cheshire continued in the Royalist party.” The English Civil War had broken out in 1642. Apparently the contest of arms, regarding the Divine Right of Kings, caused upheaval around the Ford holdings. Chester was a Royalist stronghold, while nearby market towns were in Parliamentarian hands. After initial skirmishes in 1642, Cheshire gentry attempted to keep the county neutral. The first Battle of Middlewich left Parliamentary forces largely in control of County Cheshire after March 1643.

King Charles I expected his Irish troops to land in the port of Chester. Biographers hint Fords exited England along a reverse route: “The war compelled hundreds of families to leave England to escape from the marauding bands that attacked country estates. Women and children were especially vulnerable, where neighbor rose against neighbor.” [Boddie]
John Ford, "about eight years old," was approached by a man who invited the boys to inspect the vessel. “They were hesitant, but he offered a knife to each boy if he would come on board to get it. Those who did go aboard were seized, gagged, and hidden, and the ship sailed off with them,” reports Boddie.

I’ve found no evidence that his mother ever saw her son again. 

1644 was a time of transition for Rev. Philip Mallory as well.

“The Mallorys were an ancient and distinguished family long seated at Studley Royal in Yorkshire.” [See The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 12, by the Virginia Historical Society; pp. 398-399.] Philip Mallory (1618-1661) was a son of the Cambridge-educated, Right Worshipful Thomas Mallory (1566-1644) and grandson of Sir William Mallory, Knight (1530-1603). Rev. Dr. Thomas Mallory, having married Elizabeth, a Bishop's daughter (of the Right Reverend Richard Vaughan, Bishop of Bangor, Chester, and London), had been Dean of Chester Cathedral when he died in 1644. In that same year, Parliamentary authorities ejected Rector Philip Mallory from his parish in DurhamEngland. A Royalist, he is said to have gone with Prince Rupert's fleet to the West Indies[See The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy, pg. 324.]

1644 was a difficult time for native people on their own shores.

English colonists first arrived in Kecoughtan, Virginia (called Kikotan, Kiccowtan, etc. by native Algonquians) in 1607. New arrivals coveted the original inhabitants’ corn fields after the "starving time" of the 1609/10 winter. The English - under Sir Thomas Gates - took armed possession of the fields while the men were away, hunting. “For some reason,” according to Wikipedia, the natives, who had been friendly from the outset, “never attacked the settlement [Jamestown] in response.” On 9 July 1610 colonists employed a tambourine player to lure the original inhabitants from their village. Colonists then attacked. Surviving Kecoughtans fled to merge with other Powhatan groups. The trading post established in the backwaters of Chesapeake Bay gives rise to a claim that the place (now Hampton, Virginia) is the oldest, continually occupied, English-speaking settlement in the United States.
On the very day these colonizers used music to lure native people to their death, they established a church on this tip of the Virginia Peninsula. St. John's Episcopal Church describes itself as the oldest English-speaking parish in continuous existence in the United States
Shortly after Chief Opechancanough's 1644 attacks on English settlers, in response to settlers' encroachment on Indian lands, he was captured and put to death at Jamestown. A roadside marker in King William County, Virginia states, "His successor, Necotowance, signed a treaty, ratified by the Grand Assembly in October 1646, acknowledging the Indians' subjection to the English Crown ... and agreeing to pay a yearly tribute. A provision of the treaty that allowed the Indians sole use of the land north of the York River was broken later in the same Assembly session, when another law was passed that opened the treaty land to English claims."

It was within this maelstrom that the kidnapped John Ford next appears. He was brought ashore at the mouth of the James River, taken to Kecoughtan, and there indentured.

A convergence.

Rev. Phillip Mallory was not long in the West Indies, if at all. In 1644 the highly educated cleric "became curate at Elizabeth City Parish Church, in what is today the Independent City of Hampton, Virginia.” (Uncited, HERE.)
He was Rector of the above St. John’s when he discovered young Ford in the New World. Boddie says, “He recognized John at once, as he had known his family in Sandbach Parish in County Chester. The minister had been Pastor of Moberly Parish, only a short distance from Abbeyfield Park, the Ford home place.”
“The Rev. Phillip Mallory soon had the boy released, probably paying the cost of passage,” or buying out his contract for forced labor. “From then on," Boddie relates, "John's home was in the Mallory household, where he was fed, clothed, and given an education.” This latter attribute is in dispute, as Ford attested to his 1699 will with an ‘X.’ Perhaps he was too ill to sign his full name.
Philip Mallory and his wife, the former Catherine Batte, bore no children that survived. Into the Mallory’s Virginia household arrived children of his brother, Oxford-educated Rev. Thomas Mallory, Jr. (1605-1671) and first wife Jane. Rector of St. Wilfrid's Church in Northenden Parish, Cheshire when the civil war broke out, "Thomas Mallory kept a diary, and records being woken to the sound of smashing glass as a detachment of Parliamentary troops occupied the village prior to besieging Robert Tatton, the Royalist Squire, in his Hall of Withinshaw." [HERE]  “Thomas ... rode immediately to the home of Robert Tatton and joined a small band holding there against Cromwell's forces.” [Citing A History of the Mallory Family, by S.V. Mallory Smith, HERE.]

“In that stronghold Mallory met with another determined anti-Parliament parson …” “In giving evidence against this clergyman … one of the villagers swore that he had heard Mr. Pollitt confess … that he went to Withenshaw, then a garrison, to speak with Mr. Mallory, of Northenden, a malignant parson.” Withenshaw House was finally attacked and taken. "Mallory was one of those whose names were taken down as being then present.” [See The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 14, pg. 103]

St. Wilfrid's, seat of Northenden Parish, in Mobberly, County Cheshire,
is fifteen miles from the ancestral home
of the Ford family, in nearby Sandbach. 
“They were not well armed and were soon overtaken. Thomas seems to have been taken prisoner at this time.” In September 1643 Parliamentarians ejected the Royalist clergyman from his role in the church. Rev. Thomas Mallory’s property and income were sequestered, though his second wife was allowed to remain in the parsonage and draw a living from “a little glebe land thereto." [Smith]
Of Thomas Jr.’s children, Roger, Mary and Thomas Mallory III are known to have joined their Uncle Philip in the New World.

Later, with Charles II on the throne in 1660, Mallory repeatedly petitioned the king to be restored to a position in the state church. In one he declared "he hath lost 5 Brethren, of whom some dyed, others were slain in his late Majestyes service," which included older brother, Sir William Mallory (1606-1643). [See Virginia Magazine, Volume 14; pgs 102 & 105.] Charles acceeded to Mallory's third request: he made Thomas a Canon of Chester in July 1660. In December he was created a Doctor of Divinity and was afterward identified as 'Thomas Mallory the Devine.’ On 6 July 1661, “Thomas Mallory, D.D. and rector of Eccleston In ye county of Lancaster” made out a will, to dispose of the “smell parcell of goods and chettells which the providence of the Almighty hath bestowed upon me.”

Further convergence.

In his 1661 will, Rev. Dr. Thomas Mallory bequeathed twenty shillings to his daughter Mary Forde (a like sum left to her brothers John and Thomas, to buy themselves rings). In all likelihood Mary Mallory (1641-1706) had married the John Ford who’d been abducted, then raised by her uncle in Virginia
Uncle Philip had officiated as Virginia celebrated the restoration of Charles II in September 1660. The Virginia Assembly resolved, “Whereas Mr. Phillip Mallory hath been eminently faithfull in the ministry and very diligent in endeavoring the advancement of all those meanes that might conduce to the advancement of religion in this country it is ordered that he be desired to undertake the soliciting our church affaires in England & that there be paid him as a gratuity for the many paines he hath alreadie and hereafter is like to take about the countreys business the sume of eleaven thousand pounds of tobacco to be paid the next levy.” [See Stanard, p 399] Philip died within the year - in England - but his brother Thomas lived a further decade.
One researcher reports Thomas and Mary (Mallory) Ford bore their first child, John Ford (1661-1714) at her Uncle Philip’s former home in Virginia. It had been willed to her brother Roger Mallory. The Thomas Ford (1704-1776) depicted in last month's post ‘Good Luck if it Hits,’ was grandson to the above John Ford and his wife, Elizabeth Newton (1671-1718)
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 *Footnote: Fords of some standing remained in Cheshire. More than a century later, a J. Ford, Esq. of Abbeyfield near Sandbach, helped finance Omerod’s 1819 History of the County Palatine and City of Chester.