Richard More, baptized at Shipton Parish, Shropshire, 13 November 1614, is said to be the son of Katherine More and Samuel More, Esq., of More, Shropshire and London. The following is his baptismal record from the Shipton, Shropshire Parish records:
13 November 1614: Richardus Moore filius Samueli Moore de Larden et uxoris eius bap.
Richard's mother, Katherine, was the daughter and co-heiress of Jasper More, Esq. of Larden, Shropshire, and Elizabeth Smale. She was baptized 23 November 1586. She descended from Malcolm III and David I of Scotland and probably from Edward I of England and, at age 23, she was to become the heiress to Larden Hall. Larden Hall, first known as "The Morehouse", was held by Katherine's family for many generations, being part of the manor of Shipton. The family expanded, acquiring lands in Laverden (Larden) and purchasing the Lordship of Larden in 1434, with Larden eventually becoming the family seat.
Richard's father, Samuel More, was born about 1594, the son of Richard More of Linley, Shropshire, not far from the Welsh border, in the parish of More. Richard More married Sarah Harris in Shrewsbury in 1592 and Samuel was their eldest son.
Samuel's father, Richard, was set to inherit the More estate at Larden on Jasper's death, as none of Jasper More's three sons had survived him. A marriage was soon arranged between Jasper's daughter, Katherine, and Richard's son, Samuel. They were third cousins. Their marriage settlement dated 18 October 1610 outlined the terms of the Larden estate's transfer. On Jasper More's death, his wife, Elizabeth was to have use of Larden for her life and, afterward, the property was to be held "to the use of Samuel and Katherine More and the heirs of their bodies, in default of them to the heirs of the body of Samuel More." Samuel and Katherine were married 4 February 1611, she was aged about 25 and he was about 17.
Katherine and Samuel More had four children, Jasper, Ellen, Richard and Mary, each of whom was baptized as a child of Samuel More in Shipton, at the church of St. James, as follows: "Elinora Moore" on 24 May 1612, "Jasperus Moore" on 8 August 1613, "Richardus Moore" (above) and "Maria Moore" on 16 April 1616. The family resided at Larden with Katherine's parents, Jasper and Elizabeth More. Jasper died in January 1614.
Divorce and Aftermath
Katherine and Samuel's relationship was a tumultuous one that eventually led to divorce. It is widely believed that Jacob Blakeway, "a base fellow", is the biological father of some or all of Katherine's children; and Samuel himself believed the children to be the product of Katherine's and Blakeway's affair. Mayflower scholar Caleb Johnson writes:
"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."
In April 1616, after Samuel discovered his wife's adultery, he cut the entail on the Larden estate to prevent her children from inheriting and his father, Richard, did the same to protect the estates of Linley and Downton. At that time, Samuel boarded the children with his father's tenants, moving them from Larden to Lindley, and also consulted with Lord Edward Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche of Harringworth and member of the king's privy council, "about the problem posed by the children". During that era, the husband had total control of his wife's children, "and in this case all were to be cast out for their mother's transgressions".
Katherine filed for an annulment on the grounds of having a pre-contract with Jacob Blakeway, applying to the Chancellor of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Hereford in June 1616. She lost her case. Charges were brought against Jacob for adultery and he was fined, yet the adultery continued. In March 1619, Samuel sued him for trespassing and breaking and entering and won £400 in damages. As Jacob was unable to pay the damages, "Blakeway to prevent execucion fledd" (he would have been jailed for failing to pay the damages). No further record of Jacob Blakeway is found after this.
Samuel filed for a divorce on the grounds of adultery and Katherine fought against it. The divorce was granted in 1619 and Katherine unsuccessfully appealed the sentence to the High Court of Delegates, her appeal being dismissed on 8 July 1620. Their dispute ended with Katherine being barred from all "rights, titles, interests and demands" relating to Larden, and she renounced her claims to the estates on 24 June 1622. Nothing more is known of Katherine's life after she signed this document.
A document spelling out the dispute between Samuel and Katherine, the July 1620 terms of the children's "delivery" to Carver and Cushman, and the reasons behind it can be seen in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol 114 (July 1960), pages 165-166. The claims in this article are supported by court documents and other sources. It should be noted that this document, written on Samuel More's behalf, appears to have been drawn up after January 1622, as it is addressed to Sir James Ley, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, who had been appointed to that position on 29 January 1622.
Samuel More remarried on 11 June 1625 to Elizabeth Worsley in Hampshire. It is assumed that Katherine had died by that date as, although they were divorced, neither was allowed to remarry until one had died. Samuel had seven children with his second wife and his son, another Richard More, inherited his father's estates at Lindley, Larden and Downton, as he was their eldest son. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, Samuel More is said to have later been a "commander on the side of the Parliament in the Civil War".
On 8 July 1620, the date Katherine's divorce appeal was dismissed, Samuel and his father quickly dispensed with Katherine's children. In order to spare Katherine's children from the "great blotts and blemishes [that] may fall upon them", Samuel put them in the care of Thomas Weston, Robert Cushman and John Carver, "honest and religious people", to be sent to the New World. Samuel gave the men payment for the children's travel, food, clothing and arranged for each to eventually receive 50 acres of land. It is likely that Lord Zouche played a pivotal role in facilitating the childrens' removal to Virginia, as he had been a member of the Virginia Company and was one of the first members of the Council for New England.
Katherine's children were taken to London by one of Samuel's father's servants and given to Philemon Powell with instruction to deliver them to John Carver and Robert Cushman, who would transport them to Virginia. Before the journey, the children were housed with Thomas Weston. The 27 September 1684 deposition of Richard Moore "aged seaventy yeares or there-abouts", sworn saith "that being in London att the House of Mr. Thomas Weston Ironmonger in the year 1620 He was from thence transported to new Plymouth in New England..."
Richard and his siblings were assigned to the care of three families: Jasper to John Carver, Ellen to Edward Winslow and Richard and Mary (who Bradford called one of Richard's brothers) to William Brewster. At the time, Jasper was almost seven years old, Richard was almost six, Ellen was a little over eight and Mary was 4 years, 4 months of age. The group traveled aboard the Mayflower, arriving in New England in 1620, and first resided in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Sadly, Richard was the only one of the More children to survive the first winter, and he is found still living with the Brewsters in the 1627 cattle division, as the fourth person in the fifth company headed by William Brewster.
Richard may have returned to England at some point after 1627, returning to New England in June or July of 1635, as a "Richd. More" age 20 is found on a list of passengers departing from London for Boston aboard the ship Blessing. Also traveling aboard the Blessing was Christian Hunter, age 20, who was traveling as a member of Richard Hollingsworth's large family. In depositions dated 1 April 1690 and again, later in 1690, Richard deposed naming "my ffather in Law Richard Hollingsworth Senr".
Shortly after his first marriage in 1636, Richard removed to Salem, Massachusetts. He sold his house and land in Duxbury on 1 November 1637 and was granted land in Salem, where he settled. Richard More became a seaman and ship captain, and made trips to England and the West Indies, Port Royal (in Nova Scotia), and Virginia.
On 28 February 1642/3, Richard was made freeman, just one day after he joined the First Church at Salem. His two sons were baptized there on 6 March. The rest of his children would be baptized there as well, through his last child Christian, baptized in 1652.
Richard was also a tavern keeper, as there is a record for "Capt. Richard More" obtaining a one year license in September 1674 to keep an ordinary, sell beer and cider, but not wine or liquors.
Richard More is recorded in many Salem deeds, buying and selling many properties between 1649 and 1690 (see GMB pages 1284-1285 and image 1 and image 2 attached to this profile). Richard was listed as one of the Ancient Freemen of Plymouth who received grants of land in Sepecan (Rochester) and Falls River in 1660 and he purchased a Freeman's lot in Swansea. He sold the lots at Sepecan and Swansea on 30 August 1673, and had previously sold land at Mattapoisett on 1 March 1667/8.
On 5 May 1675, Richard transferred his "dwelling house where I now live" in Salem to his sons Caleb and Richard and his daughters Susanna and Christian More.
Marriages and Children
Richard married first to Christian Hunter at Plymouth, Massachusetts, on 20 October 1636. Christian was the daughter of Thomas and Susan (Gentleman) Hunter. Her father died before 1627, and her mother remarried to Richard Hollingsworth. Christian traveled to New England with the Hollingsworth family aboard the Blessing in 1635.
Richard and Christian More had five sons and two daughters. All were baptized in Salem, Massachusetts:
Samuel, baptized 6 March 1642, living in 1650[/1], no further record.
Thomas, baptized 6 March 1642, living in 1650[/1], no further record.
Caleb, baptized 31 March 1644, died unmarried, aged 34, on 4 January 1678/9 at Salem.
Joshua, baptized 3 May 1646, living in 1650[/1], no further record.
Susanna, baptized 12 May 1650, married first, by 1675, to Samuel Dutch; second, by 1696, to Richard Hutton (his 2nd wife); and third, in Wenham 11 April 1714, to John Knowlton.
Christian, baptized 5 September 1652, married in Salem, 31 August 1676, to Joshua Conant (his first wife). Christian died 30 May 1680, aged 28.
Christian died at Salem, Massachusetts on 18 March 1676, at the age of 60.
Richard married second before 23 May 1678 to Jane (----) Crumpton, widow of Samuel Crumpton, who had died 18 September 1675 in King Philip's War, killed at the Muddy Brook Bridge in the company of Thomas Lothrop. They had no issue. Jane died, aged 55, at Salem, Massachusetts on 5 (or 8) October 1686, aged 55. For a time, Jane was thought to be a daughter of Richard Hollingsworth, but that theory was later disproved.
Richard More's date of death is not recorded. He was living 19 March 1693/4, when he witnessed his daughter Susannah's bond. He died before 20 April 1696, when he was mentioned in a deed as "lately deceased". His headstone was originally inscribed "Here Lyeth Buried ye Body of Capt Richard More aged 84 Years" and later the phrase "died 1692 a Mayflower Pilgrim" was added in error. The stone is located in the old Charter Street Cemetery in Salem. Richard is believed to be last male Mayflower passenger (besides Peregrine White, who was born onboard) to die, surviving all the others.
Mayflower Families notes that there was no Essex County probate for Richard More.
Please also refer to the discussion with respect to the origins of Katherine More.
Daughter, Elizabeth More, and wife Elizabeth (Woolnough) More, are not named in Mayflower Families, Magna Carta Ancestry or in Great Migration Begins and have been detached until a reliable source is found.
Previously included in the above biography was the following information, with its likely source being Mayflower Bastard by David Lindsay (although no citation was attached):
"His daughter, born from a bigamous union in London with Elizabeth Woolnough, married 23 October 1645 was Elizabeth More, b. abt 1638. Her birth was about seven years prior to her parents marriage."
Anderson states that "A Richard More of Salem in New England married 23 October 1645 at St Dunstans, Stepney, Middlesex, at a time when Richard More of Salem was certainly married. Unless we are prepared to accept Richard More of Salem as a bigamist, there must have been, at least for a brief time, two Richard Mores in Salem."
AmericanAncestors.org "Mayflower 2020" states: "In 2002 David Lindsay published Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger Among the Pilgrims (New York 2002), a biography of Richard More, which takes great liberties with the available evidence." Also see Robert Charles Anderson's review of Lindsay's book in The American Genealogist, in which he states that the author "uses a style of argumentation much beloved of conspiracy theorists", and that "it is much closer to fiction than history and does not provide any new insights".
Richard's descent from Malcolm III of Scotland and Edward I of England are outlined in the April 1970 edition of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.
A source for the following information is needed:
This is about the time  his name appears, at age 14, in a census as a member of the Brewster family in what was then called "New Plimouth." By 1628 he was in the employ of Pilgrim Isaac Allerton, who was engaged in trans-Atlantic trading.
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.
Alton Rogers has researched the ancestors of Richard More and William Skepper for many years. Some of that research can be seen HERE. Also see this page (Skepper lines) for other links to More/Skepper research.
↑ 6.06.16.26.18.104.22.168 Wagner, Anthony R. "The Origin of the Mayflower Children: Jasper, Richard and Ellen More" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-). Online at AmericanAncestors.org, vol. 114 (July 1960), pages 163-168 (with subscription).
↑ 9.09.19.29.22.214.171.124 Harris, Donald F. "The More Children of the Mayflower" in 3 parts, published in The Mayflower Descendant. Online at American Ancestors.org, Part III "Samuel Came to London": vol. 44 no. 2 (July, 1994), pages 109-118 (with subscription): Lord Zouche, removal of children, Richard More of Linley - Puritan.
↑ 12.012.112.212.3 Anderson, Robert Charles. The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004), pages 330-335. Not available online.
↑ "Book Reviews: 'Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger Among the Pilgrims' by David Lindsay" in The American Genealogist. Online at American Ancestors.org, vol. 77 (October 2002), pages 318-19 (with subscription).
↑ "The Royal Descent of a Mayflower Passenger" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-). Online at AmericanAncestors.org, vol. 124 (Apr 1970), pages 86-87 (with subscription).
Sherman, Robert Moody et. al. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations. Volume Fifteen Family of James Chilton and Family of Richard More. General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1997.
Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, 3 vols., Boston, MA: NEHGS (1995).
Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition. (Salt Lake City, UT: the author, 2011). See also WikiTree's source page for Magna Carta Ancestry.
Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham. (Salt Lake City, UT: the author, 2013). See also WikiTree's source page for Royal Ancestry.
Find A Grave, database and images (accessed 07 February 2020), memorial page for Capt Richard More (1608–1692), Find A Grave: Memorial #3543, citing Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA; Maintained by Find A Grave: headstone photo.
Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation (Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856) p. 447 (6) M. William Brewster; Mary, his wife; with 2, sons, whose names were Love & Wrasling; and a boy was put 6. to him called Richard More; and another of his brothers. The rest of his childeren were left behind, & came over afterwards." p. 451 "(4) M. Brewster lived to very old age; about 80 years he was when he dyed, having lived some 23, or 24 years here in y” countrie; & though his wife dyed long before, yet she dyed aged. His sone Wrastle dyed a yonge man unmaried; his sone Love lived till this year 1650. and dyed, & left 4. children, now living. His doughters which came over after him are dead, but have left sundry children alive; his eldst sone is still liveing, and hath 9. or 10, children; one maried, who hath a child or 2."
Bradford, William, 1590-1657. Of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630-1650. State Library of Massachusetts "List of Mayflower Passengers." In Bradford's Hand.