Roger Terrell in the 1624/5 Ossulstone hundred subsidy roll

by Conrad W. Terrill and Nancy Tyrrel Theodore, 27 July 2011

The puzzle of why Roger Terrill’s name cannot be found under “Copthall and Wappinge” on the 1621 Ossulstone hundred (Middlesex, England) lay subsidy assessment roll has at last been resolved. As DOR-Terrill suspected, Charles E. Banks referenced the wrong roll in his Genealogical Notes.1 It is actually the 1624/5 Ossulstone hundred lay subsidy roll on which Roger's name is listed. We first reported the missing name two years ago after one of us (CWT) while in England checked the roll which Banks had cited.2,3 We began to suspect then that Banks had erred, and that the correct roll was the 1624/5 roll.4 Last October, when we learned a lot more about Roger Tirrell b. 1592 in Petersfield, county Southampton (now Hampshire), we felt certain that he was the “Roger Terrill” who was listed on the roll, and that it was the later roll on which he had to be listed, since he was living within London wall in 1621 (and so was not in Ossulstone hundred), and moved to St Mary Whitechapel parish in Ossulstone hundred in 1623 or 1624, and may have died there in the summer of 1625.5,6 This Roger Tirrell was a haberdasher and a citizen of London, so there would have been no reason for him not to be listed.

We owe thanks to Alan H. Nelson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley, for checking the 1624/5 roll for us. Three months ago Nancy and I were again attacking the problem of pinpointing “Copthall,” and stumbled upon Alan’s web page containing a transcription of the 1600 Ossulstone hundred lay subsidy roll.7 Because “Copthall and Wappinge in Whitechappell” is a subheading on this list, we wrote to Alan and asked him if he happened to know exactly where Copthall might have been. Alan did not have an answer for that, but upon learning why we were interested he mentioned that he was planning to visit The National Archives at Kew in July or August and volunteered to look at the roll to see if the name “Roger Terrill” was there, under Copthall and Wapping. He has just now done that, found the name far down the membrane under “Wappinge and Copthall,” transcribed the line for us, and had a friend take pictures. The first part of “Roger” is pretty faded, but the entry is clear enough. Here’s Alan's transcription:

Roger Terrell vli xiijs iiijd

Alan explained that Roger is listed under “Goods,” which means that he was “taxed” on his personal wealth rather than on lands. His personal wealth was assessed at £5, which is among the higher assessments. The subsidy he had to pay on this was 13s 4d, which is 13.33% if you’re wondering what the tax rate was.

Click on a picture to see the original, in full resolution, as received from Alan. Here's a third (middle) shot (JPEG, 484 KB). (These were received and added 16 Aug. 2011.)

We’re quite certain that this Roger Terrill served a seven year apprenticeship to vintner Thomas Whicher of London, starting at age 17. And we think that Whicher’s wine tavern was somewhere near London Bridge. Upon being made free, in 1616, Roger automatically became a vintner and a citizen of London. He immediately became a master, taking on as apprentice Whicher’s son William. But sometime before 1618, when he married Ellen Layton, he forsook the retail wine business and became a haberdasher, a seller of all sorts of novelty items. His haberdashery may have been in London, both then and later, after he had moved to Smithfield, since it’s not a long walk from Smithfield through Aldgate to London proper. Because he possessed goods assessed at only £5 we do not think he was a wealthy haberdasher. He may have worked for someone else. He and Ellen had four children in St Magnus The Martyr parish, near the north end of London Bridge, between 1619 and 1623, and one more in St Mary Whitechapel parish (East End) in 1624. Two of these children and probably Roger himself (or else his son Roger) died of the plague in July/August of 1625, and the oldest child may have died in St Mary Whitechapel in 1627. We do not yet know what became of Ellen, Roger (Jr.?) and Mary (the youngest child) after 1627.  {Note (23 Apr. 2012): We have learned that it was Roger Jr. who died in 1625.}

By the way, Nancy and I did manage to make some headway on pinpointing Copthall. There’s not much mention of it in the ancient literature, but there's enough to ascertain that it was a tenement on the south side of Hogg Lane (now called Royal Mint Street), very near the Tower of London, on part of the property occupied by the Royal Mint from 1810 to 1975. It was a very old tenement even when Roger lived there (or in the environs). In 1414 “Copped-hall,” in the parish of St Botolph without Aldgate, was bequeathed by John atte Lee Sr., chandler, to his kinsman, also John atte Lee, chandler.8 It formed one of the boundaries of the site of the Abbey of Graces (St Mary of Graces), a Cistercian abbey founded in 1349 by King Edward II in fulfillment of a vow made to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Grace, and endowed in “the new graveyard of the Holy Trinity by the Tower of London.” In 1539 the abbey was suppressed, as were all Catholic properties in England, by King Henry VIII. The site was granted in 1542 to Sir Arthur Darcy, who pulled the abbey down and erected a store-house for victuals there. The Victualling House on Rocque’s 1746 map is presumably this same store-house, probably extensively enlarged over the years.10 “Wappinge and Copthall” could not have been a tax district which extended far from Copthall.

And incidently, Stepney (Wapping), given by Banks as a parish of reference in his Topographical Dictionary as a direct result of this 1624/5 (and not 1621) subsidy roll record, was of course not the parish of origin for this Roger Terrell, since we know that his parish of origin was Petersfield.11


Notes and references

1. A set of five scrapbooks labeled “Genealogical Notes” (not the similar set of four scrapbooks also labeled “Genealogical Notes”) in the Banks genealogical collection, Charles Edward Banks (1854-1931), at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. The manuscript collection is available in the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room. A microfilm copy (11 reels) is available as Microfilm 51304.

2. Banks cited “P.R.O. Subsidy 142/279, Co. Middlesex, 18 Jae. I.” This is now E 179/142/279, lay subsidy assessments for Ossulstone hundred, Middlesex, 1621, at The National Archives (of England), Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

3. “Research Report: The Banks reference to Roger Terrill of Wapping and Copthall, 1621,” by CWT & NTT, 29 Apr. 2009, (for DOR-Terrill members).

4. E 179/142/284, subsidy assessment for Ossulstone hundred, 1624 or 1625. The National Archives. The assessment for "Wappinge & Copthall" is found on rotulet 5.

5. “Roger Tirrell, born 19 Nov. 1592, Petersfield, county Southampton (now Hampshire), son of Roger,” by CWT & NTT, 22 Apr. 2010, (for DOR-Terrill members).

6. “Roger Tirrell, baptized 9 Nov. 1620, St Magnus The Martyr, London,” by CWT & NTT, 9 Nov. 2010, (for DOR-Terrill members).

7. Lay Subsidy Returns for London and Environs: 1593-1600 (also 1576 and 1582), leading to various web pages by Alan H. Nelson, one of which is his transcription of a 1600 lay subsidy roll which mentions Copthall and Wappinge in Whitechappell.

8. Calendar of Wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London, A.D. 1258—A.D. 1688, Part II, edited by Reginald R. Sharpe (London: 1890), p. 404. Available online at Internet Archive.

9. A Dictionary of London ..., by Henry A. Harben, 1918. Available online at British History Online:see “Copped Hall,” “Mary (St.) of Graces (Abbey),” “Hog Lane, Whitechapel.”

10. John Rocque’s map of London, Westminster and Southwark (First edition) 1746. A high resolution version is available online at MOTCO, but it is difficult to use. Click on “Map and Page Grid,” and then click on the northeast corner of the Tower of London (which is on the left side of the 6th block from the left, 2nd block from the top).

11. Topographical Dictionary of English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650, by Charles E. Banks, c. 1935, published posthumously and completed by Elijah Ellsworth Brownell, reprinted in 1963 by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD. The original manuscript, in the Banks genealogical collection at the Library of Congress, has “Wapping” as the parish of reference, whereas the reprint has “Stepney (Wapping)” for some reason.