I have recently been searching for the certificates of character that the passengers on the ship "Planter" which sailed for the new world from London on 5th April 1635 had to produce. I was doing this for John Wilcox who is based in the USA and believes he is descended from William Wilcoxson, aged 34 and Margaret his wife aged 24. I will paste my letter to him below. In doing this research I went back to the original port of London registers in the UK National Archives from which Hotton compiled his book. You may be interested in copies of these as the spellings and one of the ages differ from those you have in your posting. Let me know your e-mail address if you would like copies of my photographic images of these pages. If you want to publish them anywhere you should ask the National Archive Office in the UK for permission first which they will give.
My second reason of interest is that William Wilcockson on rather flimsy evidence is suggested to have come from Biggin in the parish of Wirksworth in Derbyshire, England which is only 6 miles from where my family originated from in the parish of Crich in Derbyshire. I have now spent some considerable time transcribing the wills of the Wilcocksons/Wylcoksons of Crich and Wirksworth from 1557 to 1675 and their parish records and have found nothing recording a marriage between a William Wilcockson and a Margaret Birdseye/Beardslie or Beardsley. Would you advise me where and when you think William and Margaret were married or where I could find such information.
The information I sent John Wilcox is pasted below:
I visited the UK National Archives Office (NAO) at Kew, near London recently and as I had sometime to spare I decided to have a look at the book by Hotten, mentioned in your article, which records all the people who emigrated from the UK to what is now America including your people on the ship the Planter in April 1635. The forward to the book stated that Hotten got his information from two series of records at the NAO. These were the CO1 and E157 series, the former was too general for me to look at but the latter was a series of books titled "Licences to Pass beyond the Seas" into which the officials at the various ports of embarkation had copied the details of the certificates provided by the clergy of the established church. In book E157/20 pages 13 and 14 I found the hand written document for the ship the Planter dated 2nd April 1635, which included William Wilcockson and his wife Margaret and son John, see attached files. Unfortunately they do not contain any new information and are difficult to read but I thought you would like to have the images any way. I confirmed with the NRO that I could pass these images to you for your personal use however if you ever wanted to publish them on the internet or in paper form I would suggest you drop the NRO an e-mail and confirm their permission to publish so you do not run into any copyright problems.
This encouraged me to delve further so I e-mailed all the likely repositories who might hold copies or originals of the certificate provided by the church minister in St Albans to the passengers on the Planter. Unfortunately without success, their suggestions were that the original certificate was kept by the people emigrating so that if it survived it should be in America and that no copies were taken or survived in the UK. For your record the places I contacted were:
UK National Archives, Kew
Hertfordshire Record Office (St Albans is in Hertfordshire)
London Guildhall and London Metropolitan Archives which also keep some St Albans clerical records and port of London records and
Lambeth Palace Library, which is the main library of the Church of England
One additional point, I was recently browsing the internet and put in "Ship Planter 1635" and one of the reference that came up was the history of the TUTTLE family in America. Part of their family, John and Joan Tuttell and their children were on the Planter with your Wilcocksons, see attached file page 13. The below extract from the Tuttle article claims that John Tuttle and Joan Antrobus married in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England in about 1628. If this statement is correct it could explain why the certificate from the minister of the established church came from St Albans. Perhaps the Tuttells organised the emigration group of which your Wilcocksons were part. However the use of the words "about 1628" worry me as it suggets that they do not have definite proof of the fact.
Judy, look forward to hearing back from you
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