Hounsells and
the East India Company

Ruth and Ian Hounsell
Site editor's note

Information on this page has been kindly provided by an external contributor. However, no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of this information.


The National Achives catalogue references for  two wills which we have transcribed which belong to East India Company captains are as follows:

Thomas Hounsell, Master of the Attendant - (TNA) PROB/11/130.
Made 1614     Proved 1617

Richard Hounsell, chief commander of the Unicorn - (TNA) PROB/11/138.
Made 1617     Proved 1621

According to the relevant Parish Register Thomas was born in Symondsbury, near Bridport in Dorset in 1575, the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Hounsell.

Richard,who was his brother, was baptised on 30 October 1581, also in Symondsbury.

Thomas left the bulk of his estate to Margery Boyd to whom he was betrothed, but he also left £20 each to his father and mother. His nephew Thomas Trincoll, son of Thomas's sister Agnes, was left £10. His"loving friend" John Elary wrote the will and it was witnessed by Francis Braye.

Richard's will is longer and more detailed. He left "£40 of current English money" to Andrew and Elizabeth Hounsell, (his parents); his brother, John, was to receive "£15 sterling" and each of John's children were to have "£5 apeece".

Each of his 4 sisters and each of their children were to have "£5 apeece". £10 was to be given to "the poore of the parish where I was borne, by name Symondeburough . Amongst the other bequests  were payments of "10 Rialls of Eight to Thomas Darby, preacher":  the curate of Stepney Church was to be given a bond for £5 sterling:  George Watford a Mariner of Limehouse was left "£5 current English money" and his wife Jane Watford was left "£100 current
English money."

He then goes on to list bequests to various members of his crew:
Richard Wood, Chirugien - 10 Rialls of Eight
John Carter and each of his Mates (Thomas Hartnell, Richard Allnutt
and Peter Walker) - 5 Rialls 'apeece'.

The residue of his estate was left to relations apart from the money
accrued from some undisclosed "small adventures for private friends".
This was to be returned to the investors by the Executors of the will, his kinsman Andrew Hounsell and his nephew Andrew Coggens (son of Richard's sister Mary). The will was witnessed by John Carter, Thomas Hartnell, John Walter and Richard Allnutt.