Elias Watson

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Elias Watson
Person Elias Watson
First name Elias
Middle name(s)
Last name Watson
Spouse of
Widow of
Occupation Merchant
Secondary shorebased occupation
Mariner occupation
Associated with ship(s)
Training Not apprentice
Is apprentice of
Was apprentice of
Had apprentice(s)
Citizen Unknown
Literacy Signature
Has opening text Elias Watson
Has signoff text Elias Watson
Signoff image (Invalid transcription image)
Language skills English language
Has interpreter
Birth street
Birth parish
Birth town
Birth county
Birth province
Birth country
Res street
Res parish Saint Mary Woolchurch
Res town London
Res county
Res province
Res country England
Birth year 1632
Marriage year
Death year
Probate date
First deposition age 25
Primary sources
Act book start page(s)
Personal answer start page(s)
Allegation start page(s)
Interrogatories page(s)
Deposition start page(s) HCA 13/71 f.507v Annotate
Chancery start page(s)
Letter start page(s)
Miscellaneous start page(s)
Act book date(s)
Personal answer date(s)
Allegation date(s)
Interrogatories date(s)
Deposition date(s) Mar 10 1657
How complete is this biography?
Has infobox completed Yes
Has synthesis completed No
Has HCA evidence completed No
Has source comment completed No
Ship classification
Type of ship N/A
Silver Ship litigation in 1650s
Role in Silver Ship litigation None

Biographical synthesis

Elias Watson (b. ca. 1630; d. ?1658 or ?1665). Merchant.

A factor on the island of Palma in the Canaries for six years prior to his return to London. He was definitely in Palma in 1654, and returned to London sometime between 1654 and 1657.

His father, also named Elias Watson, was a London grocer, who maintained a commercial relationship with his son out in the Canaries. Elias Watson senior exported English cloth to the Canaries and received Canary wines in return, as did Elias Watson junior's other correspondent Mr James Cowse.

Resident in 1657 in the parish of Saint Mary Woolchurch.

Possibly buried in Saint Mary Woolchurch, October 27th 1656, though this may be his father, who was also named Elias Watson relative.[1]

A further "Mr. Elias Watson" was buried in the same parish on August 12th 1665.[2]

Evidence from High Court of Admiralty

Twenty-five year old Elias Watson deposed on March 10th 1657 in the High Court of Admiralty. He was examined on an allegation dated May 31st 1655 on behalf of Cowse in the case of "Cowse against Keene".[3]

The case concerned trade with the Canaries.

Elias Watson stated that he had been a factor resident at Palma in the Canary Islands in 1654. Indeed, he had been living on the island as a factor for over six years. He identified his father as the eponymous Mr Elias Watson, a London grocer, with whom he had commercial correspondence.[4]

At Palma Elias Watson had been factor and correspondent to the London merchant James Cowse. Watson refers to having seen commercial correspondence regarding goods laden at London bt James Cowse on the ship the John and Elizabeth for transport to Santa Cruze on the island of Palma. He had also received letters from the English merchants Mr Edward Watts and Mr Peter Probie from San Lucar telling him that goods schedulated in the allegation had arrived at San Lucar and been delivered to Watts and Probie (alt. Proby).[5]

Elias Watson commented on the prices prevalent in 1654 at Palma for London sourced goods, and also provided information on the Palma Royal Customs. He reckoned "that the custome commission and other charges of the like goods as are schedulate there sold, doe usually, and did at the tyme arlate amount to ten per cent videlicet the Royall Custome to sixe pounds sterling per Cent, Commission and factorage to three pounds per cent of like money, and warehouse and other pettie charges to one pound per cent of like money".[6]

Elias Watson states that he had taken a third part of the tonnage on the John and Elizabeth for his father, Elias Watson, on the same voyage for which James Cowse had taken tonnage. Watson Junior received a letter from James Cowse telling him that he was to lade 120 pipes of wine onto the John and Elizabeth, of which 80 were for Cowse and 20 were for Elias Watson senior. Watson Junior had the wine ready "the sayd shipp not comming thither this deponent was forced after hee had kept the sayd wines five moneths and upwards by reason of the sayd Keenes not coming to take them in and lade them and noe other oportunitie of sending them thence in any other shipp offereing [?XXX] selfe, to cause them to bee racked the heate of the weather and longe lyeing there forceing him thereunto, by meanes whereof and by reason that their long stay caused much leakage in them and caused the sayd wines to decay in their goodnesse the sayd Cowse and Watson senior in [?XXX] wynes suffered much dammage thereby, as alsoe in losse of markett price at London by not being brought from Palma in tyme according as the sayd Keene was obliged to doe".[7]

Comment on sources


PROB 11/144/367 Will of William Watson, Grocer of London 03 November 1624



...Elizabeth, daughter of Elias Watson
...Anne, wife of Elias Watson"[8]


Inhabitants of London in 1638: St. Mary Woolchurch

...Mr. Watson Rent: £25..."[9]



Sep. 7. Mary, daughter of Mr. Elias Watson"[10]



1658 Oct 27. Elias Watson"[11]

C 9/21/103 Short title: Wetherill v Drury. Plaintiffs: Henry Wetherill. Defendants: Thomas Drury, Sir John Lenthall and Elias Watson. Subject: money, Middlesex. Document type: bill and answer. 1658.



1665. Aug. 12. Mr Elias Watson"[12]
  1. [XX The transcript of the registers of the united parishes of S. Mary Woolnoth and S. Mary Woolchurch Haw (XXXX, XXXX), p.404]
  2. [XX The transcript of the registers of the united parishes of S. Mary Woolnoth and S. Mary Woolchurch Haw (XXXX, XXXX), p.407]
  3. HCA 13/71 f.506v
  4. HCA 13/71 f.507v
  5. HCA 13/71 f.507v
  6. HCA 13/71 f.507v
  7. HCA 13/71 f.508r; HCA 13/71 f.508v
  8. [XX The transcript of the registers of the united parishes of S. Mary Woolnoth and S. Mary Woolchurch Haw (XXXX, XXXX), p.394]
  9. T C Dale, 'Inhabitants of London in 1638: St. Mary Woolchurch', in The Inhabitants of London in 1638 (London, 1931), pp. 121-122. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/london-inhabitants/1638/pp121-122, viewed 02/11/2016
  10. [XX The transcript of the registers of the united parishes of S. Mary Woolnoth and S. Mary Woolchurch Haw (XXXX, XXXX), p.396]
  11. [XX The transcript of the registers of the united parishes of S. Mary Woolnoth and S. Mary Woolchurch Haw (XXXX, XXXX), p.404]
  12. [XX The transcript of the registers of the united parishes of S. Mary Woolnoth and S. Mary Woolchurch Haw (XXXX, XXXX), p.407]</ref