On 20 Jun 1632, Charles I of England granted to Caecilius (Cecil) Calvert, Baron of Baltimore, the charter for the Province of Maryland. Calvert (and his father, George Calvert before him) had long been recruiting "gentlemen investors" and, once certain that the King's charter would not be withdrawn (due to complaints by both Virginians and anti-Catholics on the Privy Council), he began notifying them of departure dates:
Oldham, September 1st, 1633
Dr. John Briscoe,
Brikshough, New Biggin, Cumberland Co., England.
Dr. John Briscoe, Greeting:
As the privy council have decided that I shall not be disturbed of the charter granted by his Majesty, "The Ark" and pinnace "Dove" will sail from Gravesend about the 1st of October and if you are of the same mind as when I conversed with you I would be glad to have you join the colony.
With high esteem your most ob't servant,
(Signed) Cecilius Baltimore.
The time first intended for the embarkation was as early as September, 1633, but it was delayed for two months--perhaps for the purpose of arriving at their destination in a more favorable season of the year, at the beginning of spring rather than in the autumn or witner. In any case, on St. Cecilia's Day--November 22, 1633--the two vessels set sail, into an east wind, from Cowes in the Isle of Wight, carrying nearly 200 gentlemen adventurers and their servants--among them Dr. John Briscoe.
Among the Calvert papers in possession of the Maryland Historical Society there is a letter from the priest, Father Andrew White, to Lord Baltimore dated from Maryland, February 20, 1638, in which reference is made to fevers among the colonis and to the "advice of our chirurgian."
From Sarah Browder:
regarding proof of marriage of John Briscoe to Eliz. Dubois has always been accepted but for the period there are NO marriage records, of that you can be sure.
I will quote from Historian of Missouri Briscoe Ass. and other sources:
"Dr. John Briscoe, Ark and Dove, 1634-born 1612 Crofton, england, son of Leonard Briscoe, married in England Elizaeth duBois. Died in St. Mary's Co. Md 1699"
This is only place a definite date of birth ever found and well accepted. These records refer to a certain Hall of Records of Md and found accurate by all who have examined. and this is deemed accurate based on various authority. It also refer's to Hutchinson's History of Cumberland; Forester's Visitation of Cumberland and Westmoreland; Metcalf's Visitation of Northamptonshire; Nicholson & Burns' westmoreland & cumberland; John Watson's History of Halifax; Plantagenet's Harrisons of Yourkshire and Bethane's Baronetage. all of which are English records and unavailble as far as I know in this country but researched in England.
Another person inspected "The Genealogy of the Ancient and Knightly Family of Briscoe, by John Charles Brooke, Esq. and pub. England 1783. and states this book shows Leonard Briscoe had 4 sons, but that no dates are given. However he says e is in said book mention of a John Briscoe b. 1590, was not the John Briscoe 4th son of Leonard.
Also about 1698/9 there were 3 known living John Briscoes, other than Dr. John- his son John who died 1718; his grandson John who was living as late as 1718;and grandson John, son of Dr. John's son Phillip who died 1733/34. All involved with te immigrant Dr. John.. Phillip in 1719 depostion was 72 yrs old making him born in 1647 and proves Dr. John was in Md in 1648.
I have a copy of a letter in Md Gen. Soc. files once in possession of Louise Briscoe owner of "Piedmont"-old Briscoe home built in 1784 from Cecilius Baltimore to Dr. John Briscoe, inviting him to join Ark and Dove Expedition., dated Odiham, Sept 1st, 1633.
Another ref. was Mathew's Armory and Glue Book, pub in London in 1908 says ".... son of Dr. John Briscoe who came to Maryland in Ark and Dove 1634, settled in St. Mary's Co-son of Leonard, son of richard of Crofton, Cumberland Co, Engl"
There are several other references found in London.
There are other references but too numberous to list. All of this comes from my resarch and that of Adm.
Social Studies Field Trips
The Story of the Ark and the Dove
By the time two small wooden sailing ships lifted anchor, on the 22nd day of November, 1633, and set sail from Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, much planning already had been done. Cecil Calvert, the organizer of the venture, was sending people to establish the English colony of Maryland on the North American coast. He did not want to repeat any of the mistakes made by earlier groups, such as the colonists at Jamestown and Plymouth, and so he made sure his travelers were well prepared.
He carefully chose people who were important to the success of the colony: farmers to grow food, carpenters and brick layers to build houses, shipbuilders, blacksmiths, even soldiers for protection. Among the colonists were two Jesuits priests. It is from the writings of Father Andrew White that we have learned so much about the voyage of the Ark and Dove, as well as the early years of settlement in Maryland.
As part of the planning, the Calverts carefully selected and stored barrels of flour, meat, dried vegetables, water, beer, sugar, salt, vinegar, and other food stuff. The colonists had to take enough food, not only for the long voyage, but to keep the settlement alive in case no other food was found when they arrived.
Clothing for everyone, for both summer and winter, was packed. Seeds, roots, and plant cuttings were stored for planting fields and gardens. Many kinds of tools were taken for home and furniture construction, farming, building fortifications, and even making small boats. The ships were armed with cannon for protection at sea from pirates. Guns, knives, and swords were brought for protection and hunting when they reached land. Even trade goods were packed for trading with Native Americans.
All of these provisions were stored on board so they took up as little space as possible and in such a way that food-related items would not spoil. Between space for supplies and living accommodations for approximately 200 men and women, the little ships were quite full.
One lesson the Calvert family had learned from earlier ventures was correct timing. The voyage left England in the fall so that the band of colonists would arrive in North America in the spring. This way they would have time to grow food before the following winter and would not need warm houses for several months.
Finally, the two ships set sail. They would not travel directly westward toward Maryland. Instead, a southwesterly course was set, with planned stops at the Canary Islands and then the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa, then west across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados Island in the Caribbean. These would be stepping stones across the vast Atlantic, and the route should give them favorable winds. From the calmer waters of the Caribbean, the ships planned to sail northward up the coast of North America, with a stop in Virginia before proceeding to Maryland.
Not long after going to sea, the Ark and Dove were swept by a terrible storm. At midnight, the Dove signaled that it was in distress. So fierce were the wind and waves, however, that the Ark could not help. When dawn came, the Dove had disappeared.
The Ark sailed on alone. The ship reached Barbados on January 3, 1634. As the passengers and crew rested and gathered fresh water and food supplies, the Dove appeared on the horizon. The smaller vessel had turned back to the English harbor and waited out the storm before continuing on. All were united again.
On February 27, both ships arrived off of Point Comfort, Virginia and visited the colonists at Jamestown. They bought pigs, cows, and other needed supplies. Soon they set sail up the Chesapeake Bay, bound for the Potomac River and Maryland. People crowded the decks anxious to get their first glimpse of Maryland and its forests, birds, and Indians.
At a small island then called St. Clement's (today called Blakistone) they went ashore, set up a large cross, and gave thanks for their safe arrival. The date was March 25, 1634 which we celebrate today as Maryland Day.
The settlers were not yet able to set up their homes but their long four month sea voyage was ended. Their next new venture was to begin.
Written by Dawn Thomas, Coordinator, Elementary Social Studies
© Montgomery County Public Schools, 1996.
QUESTION: have a record from a book called Wright-Briscoe Pioneers, by John C Wright. states another generation between Philip Briscoe and John and Elizabeth Dubois, another John and wife thought to be Cuthbirth (..). However, most other researchers discredit this extra generation.