The Search for Richard Newell (Factor ca 1623)

The quest for this man is based on the earliest Noel/Newell mentioned in Newfoundland. Thomas Cole records him as a factor for John Slaney the Treasurer of The Newfoundland Company.

Recently John Philip Newell published an article based on his Journals:

This is the abstract from my paper on Richard Newall’s voyage to Nfld. in 1623.
The full paper is copyrighted by publisher but you should be able to get a copy through the library.
Here is a summary:
No leads re his possible connections to Nfld. prior to this voyage and subsequent research indicates that there are no voyages to Nfld recorded in his journal for 1624 or 1625 (the years covered in his journal). Will keep you updated on future papers.
On his voyage in 1623 he went as an agent for Slaney and Cloberry to collect fish in Nfld for the return voyage while the ship was delivering colonists to Nova Scotia. He spent the summer in Conception Bay buying fish from other ships that were fishing in the bay. One possible lead is that the master of the ship (William Wills) was his cousin and was the person that hired him. Wills continue to work as a Master for Slaney in subsequent years.

Richard Newall’s voyage to Newfoundland in 1623:

New insights into Sir William Alexander’s attempts to establish a Scottish colony in Nova Scotia

In 1623, Sir William Alexander dispatched a ship from London to establish a Scottish colony in present day Nova Scotia. This was his second attempt after a ship dispatched in the previous year turned back before reaching Nova Scotia. The 1623 voyage stopped in St. John’s, Newfoundland to pick up the colonists from the earlier voyage, then sailed to Nova Scotia where it surveyed the coast then returned to St. John’s without establishing a colony. The only record of this voyage was in a pamphlet published by Sir William in 1624. Analysis of an unpublished handwritten journal kept by a Richard Newall on a voyage to Newfoundland in 1623 demonstrates that Richard was on the ship chartered by Sir William on its voyage from London to St. John’s. This journal provides new information on the ship, its crew, the colonists and the merchants involved in the voyage.

A broad list of those involved:

Coopers Cove 1610

Great info here including early letters:

Found by John Philip Newell:

Interested in a Richard Newell who was agent in Newfoundland c1623 f

or the London merchant John Slaney. Was he the same Richard Newell

married in 1608 at Lyme Regis to Margaret Coggan?

(he mentions Alexander Sanford of Lyme travelling to the colony)

Thomas R Cole


I started in London.

Richard Newell Of the East India Company

A Richard Newell was on the Sixth East India Voyage 
(1610-1615). He was still active there in 1619.

Captain Martin Pring, aboard the James Royal, in THE Straits of 
Sunda, to the Company, March 23, 1619 (a C, 784).  
Forwards a copy of his previous letter [see p. 29]. After the 
departure of the Bull, the rest of the fleet held on their 
course down the west coast of India. In lat. 11° 25' they 
descried the Portuguese fleet from Malacca making for Goa, 
and chased but could not overtake them. On April 2 [161 8] they 
anchored in the Bay of * Brenjan ' [see p. i], and spent three 
days taking in water, goats, hens, &c. The people are 
treacherous, and it would not be safe for a single ship to 
water there. On April 7 saw Cape Comorin. Nathaniel Salmon, 
master of the Gift, died on the loth ; he was replaced by John 
Hatch, while Richard Newell was made master of the Bee. On 
April 14 the latter ship was dispatched to Masulipatam. Next 
day the Gift parted company for Sumatra, leaving Pring in the 
James, with the Francis and a Portuguese prize, to sail 
direct for Bantam. On May 13 the Francis was cast off as 
unserviceable. They arrived at Bantam

The Bee sent to Persia and to Masulipatam and Bantam 

Earlier References:

Richard Newell East India Co

In an account of the voyage a Francis Slanny is killed fighting

the Turks. Humphrey Slaney had an older brother Francis.


One of the patentees of The Newfoundland Company, Ellis

Crispe, had a relative by marriage named Richard Newell, a

Clothworker. This Richard Newell born ca 1581 had a son

William in 1610. A series of wills led me to the family connection.

He became a Master Clothworker in 1602. He hired 5 Apprentices

from 1607 to 1614 and then his activity seems to stop. He provides

freedom to one of his apprentices in 1816. After that there are no

further records. He may have joined anotheer Livery company,

taken up other employ, or died. He had strong family connections

he would have had opportunities.

Richard Newell of Saint Michael Bassishaw


Another logical starting point is the London family of

Sir Martin Noel (see separate category).

This family’s business matches the Newfoundland connection. Our

Richard was born about 1786 though and Sir Martin and his siblings

were born after 1610. It is possible Richard was an uncle of this family

and  active before the successes of Martin Noel. Martin Noel lived in

the parish of St Olave Old Jewry which borders St Michael Bassishaw.

The family seemed to place representatives in the major centres of

trade while Martin handled the politics and deal-making in London.

Matthew in East India and Thomas in Barbados. They did business

with the Americas and perhaps had a representative there.

In 1637 and 1639 a Richard and William Newell were landed in Norfolk,

Virginia. Based on the transaction they may have been merchants:

There is a William Nowell arriving in 1639 in Warwick 
River County, Virginia and a Richard Nowell arriving in 1637 
in New Norfolk County, Virginia. Surry County, Virginia Records 
1652-1684 by Eliza Timberlake Davis:

"Page 204. 16 December 1662. Jno. Clements 380 lbs. of tobacco 
in settlementof a bill due from Clements to Thomas Shorte for 
517 lbs. tob. paid Mr. Jno. North & Richard Newell."

It looks like a Jonathan Newell of York County,Virginia, died 
ca 1675, left account books and was likely a merchant.

A fourth possibility I pursued is a Richard Newell, Draper. 
This man purchased land adjacent to the Slaney property in 
Linley, Shropshire and had dealings with other Merchant 
Taylors. I thought he was the same person as the Bassinshaw 
Richard but he may be a separate character.

His transactions of interest:

Richard Newell Draper

Just to confuse things, a Richard Newell, Draper also 
appears here at a later date:

Other Coopers Cove Info

The Daily News,  December 31, 1937 

The Dawe family of Ship Cove, Port de Grave, have a 
tradition that has been handed down through the 
centuries in their family. That tradition says that
when John Guy’s company arrived on their very first 
visit to Newfoundland, in 1610, they headed into 
Ship Cove to land, and found their first colony 
there. There were met outside by some of the Daws 
(then spelled Daw) who succeeded in persuading the 
newcomers that it would be foolish of them to go 
into Ship Cove – that it would be much better for 
them to go further up the Bay, to Cuper’s Cove, 
etc, etc. The Daws, as a matter of fact, were 
recorded as settled in Ship Cove 
from 1595 — fifteen years before Guy came.

From Prwose's History - A letter from Cupids 1613

coopers Colston's letter 1613

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 20, 1608, ed. M S Giuseppi and G Dyfnallt Owen (London, 1968)

Michell (Mychell), Gilbert, of Bodmin, co. Cornwall, J.P. 
-, signs joint report on provisioning of ships fishing off Newfoundland, 285

-, report on furnishing of ships bound for Newfoundland with corn, 284, 285
Collwell, Roger, a Cornish brewer 
-, purveys corn to ships sailing to Newfoundland, 284
 licence for David Rosse to pass into the Newfoundland to make provision of hawks for his Majesty, with a commandment to the masters of ships to suffer him to pass thither and return in any of their ships; and also that every ship carry one dog for the sustenance of the said hawks. Dated 19th. Subscribed and procured by Sir Thomas Lake.