THE CRIMES OF THOMAS FLORA
Thomas Flora, son of James and Penelope (Davis), St.
Giles Criplegate, London was transported to Maryland on the ship Gilbert,
Darby Lux, Captain.
There are four secondary sources making reference to
this. They are:
Original Lists of Emigrants in Bondage from London to the American Colonies 1719-1744; Marion and Jack Kaminkow; Magna Carta Book Co., Baltimore, MD 21215; 1967
A List of Emigrants from England to America 1718-1759; Marion and Jack Kaminkow; Magna Carta Book Co., Baltimore, MD 21215; 1981
Bonded Passengers to America, Volume III London 1656-1775; Peter Wilson Coldham; Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD; 1983
The King's Passengers to Maryland and Virginia; Peter Wilson
Coldham; Family Line Publications, Westminster, MD; 1997
The source of the
information in the 1981 Kaminkow book are records in the Guildhall in
London. These were agreements
to serve as an indentured servant in America.
These agreements were recorded on one of two printed forms,
apparently for those under or over age twenty-one.
The forms were numbered for each year starting with number one.
The record for Thomas was number 29 for the year 1719.
This form was dated 1 Feb 1719 (I seem to remember that before 1752
the old calendar was used where the new year started on March 25;
therefore the date on our calendar would be 1 Feb 1720).
This form was summarized Thomas Flora, from St. Giles Criplegate,
agent, James Lindsay, St. Martins in the Field, Middlesex, for 5 years to
Maryland, age 17, his mark, witnessed by Penelope Flora.
The other three books summarize records mainly from
the Corporation of London Record Office, Guildhall, London and the Public
Records Office, Chancery Lane, London.
They represent the records concerning the transportation of felons.
Basically, they all state that Thomas Flory (Florey, Florie) was
sentenced to be transported to Maryland from Newgate Prison in October
1720, that he was on board the ship Gilbert Oct 27 1720, that he arrived
and was issued a landing certificate at Annapolis May 1721, age 19, dark.
Felons thus transported generally served for a period of seven
years although some were for as long as 14 years.
Records indicate that Thomas didn't arrive in what is now
Washington County, MD until 1735. The
record in Anne Arundel County that he ran afoul of the authorities for not
burning tobacco seems to indicate he may have set himself up as a planter
there after his bondage. His
older children would have been born in eastern MD.
So what happened to young Thomas between the time he
voluntarily signed an agreement for 5 years and the time he was
transported as a felon for seven years?
The court records for October 1720 should tell.
These should be available in the Session Minute Books and the
Session Rolls for that time and would include the charges against him.