Wm Eppes

Captain William Eppes
[1594-1640]

Captain William Eppes was from Ashford, County Kent, England, the same town where Customer Thomas Smythe, the father of Sir Thomas Smythe, Eppe's benefactor, retired. He was the older brother of the more famous Captain Francis Eppes, commander of what today is known as City Point, Virginia. William Eppes had first been sent to Virginia as the commander of Smythe's Hundred just above Jamestown in 1618. Smythe's Hundred was a plantation started by Sir Thomas Smythe, the Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer of the London Company of Virginia, a private organization of investors given the right to develop America by King James I. Ashford In Kent was only 3.5 miles from Brookland, the final home of "Customer Smythe", father of of Sir Thomas Smythe, Treasurer of the Virginia Company. Eppes had fought in the Low-Countries in 1616 and returned to Ashford in 1617, shortly before being assigned to Virginia.

Our first John Baker married, as at least his third wife, Dorothy Harris, first cousin to Sir Thomas Smythe, Treasurer of The Virginia Company. Dorothy's father was Sargant John Harris, a resident and investor in the Virginia Company. The map shows the intimate little area of kent where Eppes, the Bakers of Brookland, and the Bakers of Sissinghurst lived.

The younger brother of William Eppes, Captain Francis Epes, subsequently became the key military commander for the upper James River, and our John Baker settled immediately adjacent to his land at what we know today as City Point in Hopewell on the James River. By the time of his death, he sold his property which was located on a portion of Shirley plantation.

Captain William Eppes (Born March 7, 1594 - will 1640) was the tenth son of John Eppes (Bc 1550-1627); and Thomasine Banks Eppes, of Ashford, near Cheriton, in County Kent, England. His sister Mary Eppes had married a William Roper, a name we later found in Virginia. Captain Eppes' father was a wealthy landowner. His grandfather was Alan Eppes of Lydd, son of John Eppes (Died 1525) of St. Clements in Old Romney.

Captain William Eppes was the nephew of Thomas Eppes, the mayor of New Romney who had three children, Joanne, John, and William Eppes. Thomas Eppes, the mayor, had sons William Eppes and John Eppes. John Eppes (Circa 1560- 1603) of Brookland had a son named John Eppes (1602-1626) who left his land in 1626 to Katherine Baker, daughter of Robert Baker of Brookland. Witnesses were Robert Baker and <>Richard Baker of Brookland. John's daughter Catherine (Born 1582) married Edward Harwood, and we found a Nicholas Harwood, a cooper, adjacent to the Old plantation Creek fort in 1634. Another, Thomas Harwood, was mentioned adjacent to Baker's Point on Mulberry Island in 1624.

The other son of Thomas, the mayor, was William Eppes (1554-1595) died in Brookland and had his will witnessed by Lawrence Baker of Brookland. The daughter Joanne Eppes married John Baker of Brookland, and they had six children; Thomas Baker, Thomasine Baker, and Margaret Baker born before 1571, and three others unnamed after 1571. We even found in Halteds a note (Vol 3 - 528) that a Thomas Baker (W1728) devised for benefit of poor out of rents formerly belonging to Mr Eps, lands in Old Romney and Medley. Land described as belonging to the Widow Coats.

The Bakers and Eppes clearly were affiliated and the reason that we have often looked at a wedding in Ashford in 1628 between a John Baker and Eleanor Eppes. Click here to learn more about the Bakers of Sissinghurst and Mayfield.

The Eppes were an old and distinguished family. Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, married a descendant of the Eppes family. Records reveal that William Eppes was to look after the Virginia Plantation of Sir Nicholas Tufton of Kent which he did for several years which may indicate that he came to Virginia earlier than thought, or returned in 1618.

William Thompson Baker felt that it was the relationship between Sir Thomas Smythe, the Harris family, and the Bakers that accounted for such a large number of Bakers as the first settlers in this country. Cheriton became the name for the first settlement on the Eastern Shore, and it was near Smyte's Island, which was named after Sir Thomas Smythe.

Captain Eppes had served in France and the "Lowlands" for England in 1616 and 1617 with his cousins Thomas and Richard Godfrey. St Eanswith, Brenzett He returned to England with his cousins later in 1617 to reside with them at Selling in Kent. Eppes came to the colonies on the WILLIAM AND THOMAS arriving on August 26, 1618 where he was first assigned to Smith's Hundred near Jamestown sometime in 1619. On the same ship with Eppes was Lady Dale's brother, John Throckmorton. Click here to for Virginia bound passenger ship information

While serving there, he was involved in a fight with a Captain John Roecroft (alias Stalling). Stalling and perhaps Eppes were drunk when a ship sailing down the James River to James City ran aground in a storm. In a rage, Eppes hit Stalling on the head with his sword still in its sheave with a blow strong enough to cleave Stalling's head and kill him. Jamestown officials liked Eppes and felt he had potential as a good commander. Governor George Yeardley in 1619 sent a letter to the head of the Virginia Company: "On May 30th last, Captain William Eppes who commanded at Smythe Hundred ... Eppes is committed to the Provost Marshall and in his stead I have nitrated Captain Graves, an Ancient officer of this company to take charge of the people and of the works at Smythe Hundred". Yeardley did compliment young Eppes by calling him a fine officer with a good future.

Eppes retained his commission and was sent to the Eastern Shore in April of 1621. In Virginia Company records dated November 21, 1623, Eppes was instructed to have every plantation of the Eastern Shore pay Rev. Bolton for his services. Eppes seemed never to stay too far from trouble because in 1624, William Eppes "did lay the said Ensign Savage neck and heels".

1624

In 1624, there were registered only 19 buildings in the "Eastern Shore" colony, and Eppes had one fort, two dwelling houses, 3 store houses, 2 shallops, and one boat with oars for his own muster of 25 people. Wife Margaret had transported to Virginia in 1621 aboard the GEORGE. In the census of 1624, wife Margaret Eppes and brother Peter Eppes were both living with Captain Eppes in that census. Margaret remarried Dr. Henry Bradshaw and died in England in 1673 when we learned from her will that her sister was Mrs. Hathmane.

On February 3, 1626, Captain William Eppes made claim to Sir George Yeardley for 450 acres on the "Easterne Shoare of the Bay of Chesepeiacke, nere unto the plantation of Accomacke on the mouth of Kings Creek" for the transport of nine men: including John Baker, Edward Rogers, and Thomas Warden who all arrived on the ANNE in 1623. [In some reproductions of the census, it is recorded John BARKER.] Captain Francis Eppes simultaneously reclaimed all Baker, Rogers, and Warden for headrights in 1632. We subsequently found John Baker claiming land adjacent to Captain Francis Eppes in City Point on the James River.

Captain Eppes was replaced as commander in 1628 again by Captain Thomas Graves, and Eppes went to Saint Christopher's Island, where in 1630 he sat upon the governing council. Pirates were a problem in the Carribean at that time. He returned that same year to Ashford in Kent. On July 18, 1633, Captain William Eppes wrote to "Lovinge friend William Stone now by ... bound in the goos ship "Loyalte" of London to the Eastern Shor of Chisapond Bay to seize and re-enter all my said land" and witnessed by Ra. Acams and Henry Ouldham. Captain William Eppes was involved in another legal problem in England in 1639 and was planning to leave England but died by 1640. William Stone, a Puritan, spent twenty years in Northampton, Virginia before going to Maryland to become the Governor of what had been a Catholic colony.

The Eppes Family

A Roger Epps is the earliest Epps recorded in 1273 at Fourhowe, Norfolk at "Dephan". The first confirmed for ancestry is Alan Eps located near the Cinque Ports: The name is spelled Epps, Eppes, Ips.

Alan Eps (W1471) = Benedicte. During the reign of Edward IV, he was a resident of the Parish of Brenzett in County Kent. He requested to buried in the yard of St. Enswithe de Brenzett. He mentioned William Bennett of Brenzete.


Captain William Eppes

Captain William Epps (B 7 Mar 1594 - W1640)>Margaret Epes 1621. The tenth son. He served in the low countries in 1616 and 1617 with his cousins Thomas and Richard Godfrey and returned late in 1617 to his cousins at Selling in Kent. Epes came over to the colonies in the WILLIAM " THOMAS arriving on August 29, 1618. His wife Margaret came over in the GEORGE in 1621. Epes first was assigned as commander of Smith's Hundred Company in 1619 where he and Cap Edward Roecroft alias Stallenge were involved in a fight in which Eps "cleft" the skull of Stallenge with his sword still in the scabard. Sir George Yeardley in 1619 in a letter to the head of the Virginia Co, "On May 30th last, Captian William Epes who commanded at Smythe Hundred fell out with a Captain Stallings, who coming to Smythe Hundred and with drunkeness which of late hath been too commonm stirring them farther to malice, Epes let drive at Stallins with his sworde scabbard and all, yett the blow was for forciable that he cleft him to the skull and the next day he died thereon. Epes is committed to the Provost Marshall and in his stead I have intreated Captain Graves, an Ancient officer of this company to take charge of the people and of the works at Smythe Hundred" Yeardley did compliment young Eppes by calling him a fine officer with a good future.

Epes was assigned to Eastern Shore in April of 1621 with men to clear land. In 1624, William Eps "did lay the said Ensign Savage neck and heels". In the census of 1625, John BAKER was #7 of those assigned to Cap Epes. Apparently, he was indentured to Epes. His brother Peter Epes was also in America with him. There were only 19 buildings in the "Eastern Shore" colony, and Epes had one fort, two dwelling houses, 3 store houses, 2 shallops, and one boat with oars. Margaret came to America in 1621 aboard the GEORGE. William received 450 acres for transporting 9 people to the colonies, and was a friend of Sir George Yardly (Jamestown).

On February 3, 1626, Captain William Epps made claim to Sir George Yeardly for 450 acres on the "Easterne Shoare of the Bay of Chesepeiacke, nere unto the plantation of Accomacke on the mouth of Kings Creek" for the transport of nine men: William Jones, William Gallaway, John BARKER, Edward Rogers, " Thomas Warden who all arrived on the Anne in 1623. Also Nicholas Raybeare (the Swan) and Henry Carter (the James) who arrived in 1624, finally Richard Reeve and John Robbins in 1625 who arrived in the Return.

Captain Epps was replaced as commander in 1628 to serve on the governing council in 1628 on Saint Christopher's Island under Governor Thomas Warner, but by 1630 had returned to Ashford in Kent. On July 18, 1633, Captain William Epes of St. Christophers to "Lovinge friend William Stone now by ... bound in the goos ship "Loyalte" of London to the astern Shor of Chisapond Bay to seize and re-enter all my said land" and witnessed by Ra. Acams and Henry Ouldham. Margaret's sister was a Mrs Harthmane who was with her in Virginia. Margaret remarried Dr. Henry Bradshaw.

Indentured Servants

Indentured Servants to Cap William Epes (1624): Nicholas Raynberd (B1603) SWAN-1624, William Burdett (B1600) Burdett wnt on to become a major landowner and represented Northampton in Burgess, Thomas Cornish (B1600), Peter Porter (B1606), John BAKER (B1604) ANNE-1623, Edward Rodgers (B1599) ANNE-1623, Thomas Warden (B1601) ANNE-1623 * Francis Epps given 50A, Benjamin Knight (B1597), Nick Granger (B1610), William Mumms (B1600), Henry Wilson (B1601), James Blackbow (B1605), and Nick Sumerfelt (B1610)

  • Allen Eps (1598 - died before 1625)
  • Mary Eps (B1599) = William Roper† of Stoke "Malmaine" (S/O Christopher Roper (1561-1622)
  • Peter Eps (B1601) was on the Eastern Shore with Eps in 1623, mentioned in 1626, but seems to have returned to England.
  • Captain Francis Epes (B 15 May 1597) >Marie. Francis was christened at thje St Mary's Anglican Church in Ashford Kent on 14 May 1597. Francis Epes came to Virginia in 1622 or 1624 on the Hopewell in which year he represented Charles City County in the General Assembly. He was appointed Commisioner of the upper parts of the colony in 1626. He was in the House of Burgess for Shirley 100 in 1631. On Aug 26, 1635 he was granted 1700A in Charles City on Appotamatox River for transportation of himself, three sons, and thirty persons including two of whom were Thomas WARDEN and John BAKER who were listed in the muster of brother William Epps on the Eastern Shore.

    He was first an Ensign, then a Captain, and finally Lieutenant Colonel of the Militia. Francis Epes patented land (1700 acres) adjoining Nathaniel Tatum in 1635 next to land owned by John BAKER on the Appomatox River and Charles City at the confluence of the Appomatox and James Rivers.

    The Epes plantation is a National Park located in present day Hopewell. Thomas Cocke and his wife, the daughter of Abraham Wood were also neighbors. The 1700 acres was granted on August 26, 1635 by Captain John West for Epps own personal adventure and headrights for a large number of people including three sons and 30 indentured servants including a Jonathon BAKER. The names for the headrights of Francis Eppes: His three sons Jonathon, Francis, and Thomas Eppes, and thirty servants; Jonathon Long, Jonathon Baker, Thomas Warden, Jonathon Joyce, Thomas Foanes, Thomas Cropp, Richard Stayle, Richard Huett, George Addams, Sarah Hickmore, Thomas Pattison, Anthony Box, Jonathon Ellison, Barth, Swinborne, Silvester Atkins, Robert Fosset, James Rowland, Ann Turner, George Archer, Hugh James, Jonathon Nowells, Richard Litchfield, Edward Ames, Susan Mills, James Long Bashaw, and Juliana, Andrea, Maydelina, Cessent, Negroes.

  • 1-6-6. Thomas Epps Sr. (1522-1580) = Ellen Browne (D1567)(M1544) = (2) Joan ___ (D1573). Mentioned "My old kinsman Mr John Epps of Ashford". His mother Margaret Claryche (W1571) was the sister of Thomas Crencham (Witness John Stringer, Neighbor) Witnesses to his will: Thomas Symthe, Kenelme Digby, John May, Stephin Bechinge. In his mother's will mentioed Joane Stringer, former servant and poor folks John Andrew† and John Wheeler†. His mother Margaret's will mentioned and Thomasyn. Her witness was John Stringer†. Others mentioned were Thomas Sharpe, William Dister, John Hilles, carpenter, Thomas Ffrowde, godson, Thomas Lowes, godson, Wm Bennett, godson, and servant Abraham Breach