Ellen, Jasper, and Mary More


ELLEN MORE:  Baptized 24 May 1612 at Shipton, Shropshire, England.  Died the first winter at Plymouth.
JASPER MORE:  Baptized 8 August 1613 at Shipton, Shropshire, England.  Died 6 December 1620 onboard the Mayflower anchored in Provincetown Harbor.
MARY MORE:  Baptized 16 April 1616 at Shipton, Shropshire, England.  Died sometime the first winter at Plymouth.


Richard More


BAPTIZED:  13 November 1614 at Shipton, Shropshire, England.
FIRST MARRIAGE:  Christian Hunter, 20 October 1636, at Plymouth.
SECOND MARRIAGE: Jane Crumpton, widow, after 1675, at Salem.
CHILDREN (all by Christian): Samuel, Thomas, Caleb, Joshua, Richard, Susanna, and Christian.
DEATH: Sometime between 19 March 1693/4 and 20 April 1696 at Salem.


The story of the four More children, Ellen, Jasper, Richard, and Mary, is a tragic one.  They were all baptized in the parish of Shipton, Shropshire, England to Samuel and Katherine (More) More, cousins from a wealthy and prominent family that had had their marriage prearranged.  It was not a happy marriage, and Katherine had a longstanding but secret extramarital affair with a neighbor by the name of Jacob Blakeway.  At some point, husband Samuel More began to notice a resemblance between "his" children, and Jacob Blakeway whom he had come to suspect was with his wife.  When he realized his four children were not actually "his", but were bastards, he and his wife engaged in a bitter divorce and Samuel ended up getting custody of the children he claimed were not his.  He promptly paid for them to be shipped off to America with a band of "honest and religious" Separatists.

The four children, aged 4 to 8 years old, were placed into the households of some of the most prominent Pilgrims.  Richard and Mary More were placed with Elder William Brewster.  Jasper was placed with Governor John Carver.  And Ellen was placed with Edward Winslow.

"Pilgrims Ellen and Mary More," a painting courtesy of Ruth DeWilde Major.

The voyage was rough on the young and presumably quite traumatized children.  Only Richard survived the first winter at Plymouth.  Jasper More died in December while the Pilgrims were still exploring Cape Cod trying to find a place to settle, and Ellen and Mary More died sometime likely between January and March 1621.  

Richard More was still living with the Brewsters in 1627.  He married Christian Hunter in 1636 in Plymouth, and moved very shortly thereafter to Salem.  Richard More became a seaman and ship captain, and made trips to England, Nova Scotia, West Indies, Manhattan, and Virginia.  In February and March 1642/3, he joined the church at Salem and baptized his children there.

His wife Christian died on 18 March 1676, at the age of 60.  Richard More then married to Mrs. Jane Crumpton; she died in October 1686 at Salem, aged 55.  In 1688, the Salem Church recorded: "Old Captain More having been for many years under suspicion and common fame of lasciviousness, and some degree at least of inconstancy ... but for want of proof we could go no further.  He was at last left to himself so far as that he was convicted before justices of peace by three witnesses of gross unchastity with another man's wife and was censured by them."

Richard More died sometime between 1693 and 1696 at Salem, living just long enough to have witnessed the Salem Witchcraft paranoia of 1692.