Noels – Financiers of London (origin Stafford)

Note; all this info is pulled from the internet. Do your own research.

It is possible some info may  relate to Martin Jr and not Sr.

The most notable of this family was probably Sir Martin Noel. 
He provided large investments in several of Cromwells schemes 
on the understanding that he would farm customs revenue that 
would accrue. In Parliament he was a "kinglet," and he sat 
throughout. He helped take Hispaniola for the crown.

Pepy’s Diary 1665

And one thing more, Sir Martin Noell’s lady is dead with griefe for

the death of her husband and nothing else, as they say, in the world;

but it seems nobody can make anything of his estate, whether he be

dead worth anything or no, he having dealt in so many things, publique

and private, as nobody can understand whereabouts his estate is, which is

the fate of these great dealers at everything.


George Nowell christening: 07 Apr 1570 parents:Martin Nowell, Ann
Edward Nowell christening: 20 Aug 1567 parents:Martin Nowell, Ann
Emma Nowell christening: 14 Jun 1562 parents:Martin Nowell, Ann
Robt. Nowell christening: 05 Jul 1572 parents:Martin Nowell
James Nowell christening: 10 Mar 1566 parents:Martin Nowell, Ann
Thos. Nowell christening: 04 Jul 1563 parents:Martin Nowell, Ann
Eliz. Nowell christening: 02 Jul 1564 parents:Martin Nowell, Ann
Henry Nowell christening: 25 Nov 1618 parents:Edward Nowell, Grace
Ann Nowell christening: 05 Jun 1616 parents:Edward Nowell, Grace
Matthew Nowell christening: 27 Dec 1612 parents:Edward Nowell, Grace
Martin Nowell christening: 11 Mar 1614 parents:Edward Nowell, Grace
Steven Nowell christening: 26 Dec 1610 parents:Edward Nowell, Grace
Thos. Nowell christening: 06 Sep 1620 parents:Edward Nowell, Grace
Isabel Nowell christening: 18 Sep 1627 parents:Robt. Nowell, Margt   Baggaley
His tomb says he is descended from the Lancashire Nowells.

Nowell Pedigree Lancaster

Born c. 1613 ; probably a son of Edward Noel of Stafford by 
Grace, daughter of James Noel of Peshale (who was a cousin 
of Walter Noel of Hilcote). (LDS has this Christening in 1614) 
later Sir Martin Noell, of Chancery Lane
Martin christened with his wife Elizabeth Ann, Jane, 
Theodosius,Grace, Decima, Nathaniel 1650-1660 
LDS batch# C024052

He was brother-in-law of Cromwell's Secretary of State, 
John Thurloe and they shared postal revenue. 
A report says Elizabeth was a rich widow.
Martin Noel started as a scrivener. 

Scrivener (or scribe) was a Middle English term 
for a person who could read and write. This usually 
indicated secretarial and administrative duties such as 
dictation and keeping business, judicial, and history records 
for kings, nobles, temples, and cities. Scriveners later 
developed into public servants, accountants, lawyers and 
petition writers. [ 

Later Martin Noel was 
a London merchant who advised Cromwell on colonial 
administration until complaints were made about him. Noel 
was a member of the East India Company with West Indian 
connections - he traded with Montserrat and Nevis and 
became Marshall of Barbados where he had a plantation. 
His brother Thomas Noel traded with Surinam and Barbados. 
(some question if this was his brother)He also owned land 
in Wexford, Ireland. Martin Noel appears to have been
married to a Miss Thurloe as Thurloe was his brother-in-law. 

Martin Noell was probably the most 
conspicuous London merchant of his time. Based on Committees 
he was part of he was probably in the top 4 most powerful 
merchants who supported the king.Of his early life nothing 
seems to be known. He first appears as a merchant in 1650 
trading with Nevis and Montserrat, and in the next few years 
he extended his operations to New England, Virginia, the 
other West India islands, and the Mediterranean. His ships 
trafficked in a great variety of commodities — iron, hemp, 
pitch, tar, flax, potashes, cables, fish, cocoa, tobacco, 
etc., and he became a power in London, his place of business 
in Old Jewry being the resort of merchants, ship captains, 
and persons desiring to cooperate in his ventures. 

He was an alderman as early as 
1651, was placed a little later on the commission for 
securing the peace of the city, and held other offices by 
appointment of the city or of the Common- wealth. He was 
also a member of the East India Company and influential in 
its councils. In addition to his mercantile interests he 
became a farmer (took revenue receipts), first of the 
inland and foreign post-office, — one writer speaking of 
him as "the postmaster," — and later, on a large scale, 
of customs and excise. At one time or another he held 
the farm of the customs in general and of the excise of 
salt, linen, silk mercery, and wines in particular. In 
these capacities he acted as a banker of the government, 
paying salaries and expenses of official appointees, 
advancing loans, and issuing bills of exchange and 
letters of credit. His vessels carried letters of marque 
during the Dutch war and the war with 
Spain, and he himself traded in prizes and became one of 
the commissioners of prize goods. The Jamaican 
expeditions of 1654 and afterward gave him an 
opportunity to become a contractor and he organized a 
committee in London for the purpose of financiering the 
expedition, himself advancing 16,000 pounds , and in 
company with Capts. Alderne, Watts, and others 
contracted for the supplies of the ships and soldiers, 
furnishing utensils, clothing, bedding, and provisions 
for this and other expeditions, notably that to Flinders. 
He was Gen. Venables' personal agent in London and agent 
for the army in general in Jamaica. He also became a 
contractor for transporting vagrants, prisoners, and 
others to various American plantations. These 
accumulating ventures increased his interest in the 
colonies, and after the capture of Jamaica in 1655 he 
obtained a grant of 20,000 acres in that island, from 
which he created several plantations. In his new 
capacity as planter he was constantly engaged in shipping 
servants, supplies, and horses. 

The firm of Martin Noell & Company 
became exceedingly prosperous, and Noell himself one of 
the mainstays of the government. He became a member of 
the Trade Committee in 1655, of the committee for Jamaica 
in 1656, and was frequently called in by the Council of 
State to offer advice or to give information. He was 
on terms of intimacy with Cromwell, and because of the 
Protector's friendship for him and confidence in his 
judgment, his recommendations for office, both in England
and the colonies had great weight. Povey speaks of the 
"extraordinary favor allowed him (Noell) by his Highness." 
He had a brother, Thomas Noell, who was prominent in 
Barbados and Surinam and in charge of his interests there. 
He was also represented in other islands by agents and 
factors, of whom Edward Bradbourne was the most 
conspicuous, while Major Richard Povey in Jamaica, and 
William Povey in Barbados, brothers of Thomas Povey, had 
for a time charge of his plantations in those islands. 
Noell indirectly played no small part in politics, 
particularly of Barbados, where Governor Searle held 
office largely through his influence.

Besides his Jamaica holdings he had estates at Wexford 
in Ireland, and in April, 1658, wrote to Henry Cromwell 
that he had " transplanted much of his interest and 
affairs and relations " to that country, seeming to 
indicate thereby that his colonial ventures were not 
prospering satisfactorily. Noell was a politic man, 
shrewd and diplomatic, asserting his loyalty to the 
house of Cromwell, yet becoming a trusty subject of King 
Charles, from whom he afterward received knighthood.^ 
Noell was honored ; he became a member of the Royal 
Company of Merchants, the Royal African Company, the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, 
and was finally knighted in 1663 and died 
in 1665.^ As we shall see, both men became very active 
in the affairs of the plantations, and it is more than 
likely that the opinions of the King in Council were not 
infrequently shaped by their suggestions and 

Professor Osgood thinks that a part of Noell's fortune 
was made in the slave trade. Beyond the fact that he was 
a member of the Royal African Company, I cannot find any 
evidence whatever to prove this statement. Noell certainly 
was not a slave trader before 1660.


Martin Noel   was Assessment Commissioner for London and 
Staffordshire 1656 ; for Gloucestershire also 1657; 
elected Alderman of London 3 December 1657 ; discharged 
15 December 1657 on a fine of 520. He was knighted at 
Whitehall, 2 September 1662. Noel was on the Committee 
of East India Company 1657-9. He died about September 1665 
of the plague; his wife died shortly after him. Pepys 
describes him, September 1662, as "certainly a very useful 
man." His Will was proved in P.C.C. His eldest son Martin 
was also knighted in November 1665.* He seems to have 
begun as a shipowner, contractor and moneylender. Letters 
of Marque were granted to him in 1651 ; he appears as a 
shipowner in 1652 and 1653. As a merchant of London he had 
licence to import tar and hemp, iron, potash 
and cable in 1653. He contracted to carry the Posts 1653; 
and advanced 16,000 pounds to the State in 1654.* At his 
death he held (jointly) the sinecure of Secretary to the 

A writer, about 1720, says of him : 
" Martin Noel, who was born in this town (Stafford), was 
bred a scrivener in London, and being a person of Devotion, 
built a fair hospital in this his Native Place, and 
bountifully endowed it. This gentleman's charity is
the more to be remember 'd because 'tis said his 
Foundation was the first considerable Fabrick of that 
nature in this County ; but 'tis hoped his zeal may 
provoke many, not only here but in other Counties. He was 
living in 1660, and saw the Fruits of his Goodness with 
Comfort." A number of Noels in 
the Royal African Company 1663:

The appearance of Martin Noell:

Martin Noell headed a merchant grouping with fewer connections with

aristocrats, and became influential in West Indies business. He was also a

friend of William Courteen, the financier who had did much from 1625 to

create the original establishment on Barbados. (I assume this is the same

Sir Martin Noel referred to in Pares’ book, Merchants and Planters.)

Noel was a merchant, MP for Bossiney (1658), Trevena and Tintagel;

(a rotten borough) and married a rich widow

Fraser, in her book, Cromwell, p. 534, suggests Noell was knighted

by Charles II, but died bankrupt.

Kx., dated 23 September 1665 ; 
proved in P.C.C. 6 October 1665 by Thomas Noel and George 
He was living in the mansion house of St. Botolph's, 

To his children Nathaniell, Theodorus, Grace and Elizabeth he 
leaves his half of the plantation of Hornehall in the Barbadoes 
with the slaves. To his son James he leaves his half of the 
office of Secretary to the Governor and Council *of Barbadoes 
with the disposal of the clerkship to the same. To his son 
Thomas his half of the farm of the Additional duties under the 
English Land Tax. To his widow Elizabeth he leaves 100 pounds 
per ann. out of his farm of the duties on timber, glass, stone 
and stoneware. He mentions his brother Thomas Noel of Surrannam 
(Surinam), and the reversions bought from the Hon. Edward 
Noell, son and heir to Lord Cambden. To his son and heir Martin 
all his lands in Staffordshire, in Tipperary and elsewhere in 
Ireland, the Barony of Gary in Ireland, and his half 
of the farm (receipts) of the Irish -Customs and Excise.  
Residue to wife, to the 5 younger children, & to brothers 
Matthew Noel and Thomas Noel, sisters Jane Blake and Atherton, 
Martha wife of his son Thomas, cousin Mary Harries, widow, 
sister Anne Egginton, friends Sir George Smith and Capt. Buckner  
Exors. : Sons Martin and Thomas, and Mr. George Robinson. 
Overseers : Brother Mr. George Blake and Mr. Maswin.(120 Hyde.)  
4 Shaw, Knights. 6 Cal. Pap. Dom.

The Noel Brothers in the Caribbean:

Noel Brothers Barbados

Martin Noell Caribbean

Noel Martin & Bros

East India co Matthew Nowell and Martin Noel pgs.  36,41,42,340,373

East India Co – Matthew Nowell and James Noell a Factor of the Madras Agency died October 30, 1662.

Martin Noel’s holdings in Ireland

Martin Noel Ireland

1656 – 1661 Royalists Exiles to Barbados.

20 December 1661 – John COLE of Stepney, Middlesex, mariner, age 39, and late

Commander of the “John” of London, deposed in the Mayor’s Court of London at the

request of Colonel MARSELLIS rivers and others, that in March 1656/6 Captain Henry

HATSILL, merchant, transported prisoners to Barbados for his account and that of

Captain thomas ALDERNE and Mr. Martin NOEL. Enclosed with the deposition is a

copy of the original bill of lading listing the prisoners [named below] to which is

appended the following note:

Signed by Capt. Thomas ALDERNE, M[ast]r. Marten NOELL & Capt. Henry HATSELL

on board the good shipp called the “John” of London, John COLE Commander, & now

rideing at Anchor in the Sound of Plymouth bound to the Island of Barbados, to say

eighty one servants above mentioned which are to be delivered at the afore said porte of

Barbados, the danger of the seas & Mortality Excepted, unto the said John COLE, the

fraight for the said servants being already paid by us, & so God send the ships to har

disired porte. Dated at Plymouth 17th March 1655.
per me John COLE

Author’s note: “A marginal note states that 80 men and one youth are to be disposed

of in Barbados at the best rate in exchange for commodities. Captain John COLE is to

have factorage at the rate of six percent.”

Martin Noel miscellaneous


Thomas Noel

Christened as a son of Edward and Grace of Stafford

Thomas Norvell/Noell, large sugar plantation owner and slave owner

in Barbados (where he was Secretary),

brother of Sir Martin Noel) married Thomasine Hillard in the mid 1600

1674 Circa: Names of interest on roads out from Barbados Bridgetown by Carlisle Bay,

Newell and Guy,(a business?)


Matthew Noel

Christened on 27 Dec 1612 a son of Edward and Grace of Stafford.

Mathew  was called a Factor in his PCC will.

Matthew Nowell married Maria Leadbeater on 9 October 1642

DUBLIN (COI) , Parish/Church/Congregation – ST. JOHN


An account is presented of the estate of the late Matthew Nowell,
a factor deceased at Bantam, showing that there is due to him 1,085 pounds .
whereof 350 pounds has been paid to his mother as executrix ; the Court,
conceiving that Nowell must have been a great private trader to
have amassed so large an estate in so short a time, and many-
calicoes having been found in his possession at his death, resolves to
impose a fine, and orders 400/. to be paid to his mother, in addition
to what she has already received, in full of all demands. This she
willingly consents to.


James Noel

Participated in the Barbados land purchases with his brothers and later was a factor in India until his death in 1662.


Stephen Noel

It seems he was in Barbados with Thomas but died young:

Martin Noel brothers Thomas Steve