The East Smithfield and St Katharine’s Company

Photo: John Beardsworth

Sergeant Phillip Shipton

Again there is no record of a baptism for Phillip Shipton in either parish. The first reference to him living in East Smithfield is the list of subscribers to the Collection for Distressed Protestants in Ireland, which noted his donation of one shilling. He may not have been a particularly wealthy man, however, for his name name does not appear in the 1642 Assessment Roll, for which the exemption limits were set at £1 in land, £3 in goods and £10 in wages. Nor is he named in the East Smithfield Tithe Roll, although he may have been living at the time in one of the scores of multi-occupancy tenements whose inhabitants were not named individually.

The parish registers of St Botolph Aldgate show that in 1645 and 1646 Phillip was a skinner, but by 1647, like Lawrence Harris, he had changed occupation and was now earning a living as a victualler. It is possible that his earlier business was badly affected by the disruption to both supplies and markets caused by the Civil War and that he was forced to apply his talents in another direction.

He was married in St Katharine’s in 1645 to Elizabeth Rugman and they had eleven children between 1645 and 1655, most of whom died in infancy. Elizabeth was related to Christopher Gore’s wife, Susan Rugman, through the latter’s first marriage. In Christopher Gore’s will, proved in August 1656, bequests of £10 each were made to the two surviving Shipton children in deference to the Rugman connection. Although the exact relationship is not clear, it would appear that Elizabeth was Susan’s daughter, and that therefore Sergeant Phillip Shipton was married to Captain Christopher Gore’s stepdaughter.

Sources for the Trayned Bandes in 1644:

  • SP28/121A, parts 3 and 4: Tower Hamlets Trayned Bandes muster rolls, April 1644
  • Parish registers of St Botolph without Aldgate and St Katharine by the Tower
  • St Botolph without Aldgate Vestry Accounts
  • St Katharine by the Tower Constables’ Accounts
  • Wills
  • 1634 Visitation of London
  • Collection for Distressed Protestants in Ireland 1642
  • 1642 Assessment Roll
  • Calendar of State Papers, Domestic
  • Victoria County History, Middlesex
  • T.C. Dale, The Inhabitants of London in 1638
  • Lien Bich Luu, Immigrants and the Industries of London, 1500-1700