Facts and Events
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Samuel Vassall, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
Vassall became a merchant in London, and traded to New England, the West Indies, and Guinea. He was one of the incorporators of the first Massachusetts company in March 1628, and in 1630 advanced £50 for the enterprise. He and his brother William Vassall purchased as original proprietors, two-twentieths of all Massachusetts in New England. In September 1628 Vassall refused to pay to the custom-house the tonnage and poundage on a large quantity of currants which he was importing. The attorney-general exhibited an information in the exchequer against him, and Vassall pleaded his own cause and the illegality of the imposition. The barons of exchequer refused to hear Vassall's counsel in the case, asserting that it would fall under the same rule as the Bate case already adjudged. Vassall was imprisoned and his goods retained. In April 1630 he joined George, Lord Berkeley and others in an agreement to form a settlement in Virginia. In June 1630 he was again contending against the tonnage and poundage, having brought from Virginia to Tilbury a vessel laden ‘with that drug called tobacco’. In 1634 he was sued for breach of contract,after he had undertaken to carry some settlers to the new colony of Carolina, but through some mismanagement they had been deposited in October 1633 in Virginia, where they remained without further transport till the following May. Vassall was still imprisoned in the Fleet prison in 1636 while proceedings continued against him. He appears to have been released at the end of the year.
In April 1640, Vassall was elected Member of Parliament for City of London in the Short Parliament. In June of the same year he was summoned together with Richard Chambers by the council in order to be ‘committed to some prisons in remote parts for seducing the King's people'. In November 1640 he was re-elected MP for the City of London in the Long Parliament and sat until he was excluded in 1648 under Pride's Purge. At this time he was styled clothier or clothworker. On 2 December Vassall "delivered his grievances by word of mouth" to the commons, and a committee was appointed to consider them. On 2 February 1641 the House of Commons ordered the farmers of the customs and imports to restitute to him the tobacco which had been seized. In July the committee meeting in the Star-chamber was still considering "of some fit way for reparation."
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Griffin, Paula Porter, and Thomas Stephen Neel. The Ancestors of Daniel White, 1777-1836, and his wife, Sarah Ford, 1778-1847, and Their Descendants. (Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphic, 1979), page 127.
- ↑ King's Chapel, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
Within King's Chapel is a monument to Samuel Vassall, brother of the colonist William Vassall, a patentee of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and an early deputy of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Samuel Vassall of London was also named a member of the Company in its 1629 Royal Charter but never sailed for New England, instead remaining in London to tend to business affairs; his brother William frequently clashed with John Winthrop, and eventually removed himself to Scituate, Massachusetts.
The monument to Samuel Vassall, London merchant, mentions his resistance to King Charles's taxes imposed on Tonnage and Poundage, especially as Parliament had refused the King's request for a lifetime extension. Samuel Vassall subsequently represented London as a Member of Parliament (1640–1641), which restored some of Vassall's estate thought destroyed by the Crown. Ironically, later Vassalls in Massachusetts, including William Vassall for whom Vassalboro, Maine was named, turned Loyalist and fled to England during the American Revolutionary War.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Calder, Charles Maclear. John Vassall and his Descendants: By One of Them. (Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons, LTD., Printers, 1921), pages 6-7.
SAMUEL VASSALL, of St. George's, Southwark, co. Surrey, and of Bedale, co. York, citizen and clothworker, bapt. at Stepney June 5, 1586, an incorporator of the Massachusetts Company in 1628 and a patentee of lands in Massachusetts. He was M.P. of London in 1639-41, Commissioner of the Plantations in 1642, took the Covenant in 1643, in 1646 was appointed a Commissioner for the conservation of peace with Scotland. In Sept., 1628, he was imprisoned for refusing to pay the tax of tonnage and poundage; he was excluded from the Commons Dec. 6, 1648; d. in England. Administration on his estate was granted Sept. 24, 1667 (P.C.C.) (see Dictionary of National Biography, vol. lviii, p. 157). In 1766 his great grandnephew, Florentius Vassall (54), erected a monument in his memory in King's Chapel, Boston, Mass., on which is inscribed the following:
Sacred to the Memory of
SAMUEL VASSALL Esq. of London Merchant
one of the original proprietors of the lands
of this Country
a steady and undaunted
assertor of the Liberties of ENGLAND
he was the first who boldly refused to submit to the Tax
of Tonnage and Poundage
an unconstitutional claim of the Crown
For which (to the ruin of his family)
his goods were seized and his person imprisoned by the
Star Chamber Court
He was chosen to represent the City of
in two successive Parliaments, which met Apr. 13 & Nov. 3
The Parliament in July 1641 voted him
£10,445 12S. 2d.
for his Damages,
and resolved that he should be further considered
for his personal Sufferings;
But the rage of the times & neglect of
proper applications since,
have left to his family only the honour of that
Vote and Resolution.
He was one of the largest Subscribers
to raise money
against the Rebels in IRELAND:
all these facts may be seen in the Journals
of the House of Commons.
He was the Son of
the gallant JOHN VASSALL
who in 1588
at his own expense, fitted out & commanded two Ships of War
with which he joined the Royal Navy
The SPANISH ARMADA.
Failing to recover the amount of his damages, he petitioned Parliament Jan. 23, 1657, showing that he had endured imprisonment for about sixteen years, and had been stripped of his goods; that, despite the Vote of Parliament, "he had not received one penny," that ^2,591 17S. 6d. had been lent to the Parliament by him in Ireland " in their great straights", that 3,328 2S. 7d. were due for the service of one of his ships, and, besides all this, another vessel, the Mayflower, had, when laden and manned, been taken and made use of against the enemy" to the overthrow of his voyage and his great loss". His name headed the subscription list to raise money against the rebels in Ireland, and his whole life was indicative of the energy and liberality which characterized so many of his family. He m. Frances, the dau. of Abraham Cartwright, of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, citizen and draper, by Joan his wife, dau. of William Wade, of Bilderson, co. Suffolk, clothier; she is mentioned in the will of her husband's stepsister, Rachael Vassall, Aug. 29, 1650, and had issue: Samuel, d. young sine prole ; John, born 1619, m. Mary , and on his death sine prole : she m. John Harvey, of Finningley Hall; Abraham, died young; Francis, living in 1667, m. Alice , and had issue Samuel, Francis, Henry, and Elizabeth, all living in 1664: Henry, d. sine prole in 1667, probably in Carolina, administration on his estate was granted to his brothers, Francis and Samuel Vassall, executors of deceased, pending a suit Oct. 3, 1667; Samuel, of St. George's, Southwark, living in 1667, m. April 24, 1660, to Margaret Wray, of St. Andrew's Undershaft, had one son, Samuel, living in 1664; Frances, d. young sine prole, and Mary, of St. George's, Southwark, m. first Robert Arnold, of St. Mary, Aldermary, in Oct.,1661, and on his death she m. secondly Charles Cliffe, who was living in 1667, and by whom she had a son living in 1664.