Tilbury, Webb & Sutton
in the Bahamas

Two marriages


The Colonial Office List for 1862

The Bahamas.
A chain of islands lying between 21 and 27 30' N. lat., and 70 30' and 79 5' W. long. The group is composed of about 20 inhabited islands and an immense number of islets and rocks. Tho principal islands are New Providence (containing the capital, Nassau), Harbour Island, Abaco, Eleuthera, Heneagua or Inagua, Mayaguana, St. Salvador, Ardros Island, Great Bahama, Bagged Island, Bum Cay, Exuma, Long Island, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Watling's Island, the Caicos, the Turks, and the Berry Islands.
St. Salvador, one of the islands composing this chain, was the first land discovered by Columbus on his voyage in 1492. New Providence was settled by the English in 1629 and held till 1641. when the Spaniards expelled them, but made no attempts to settle there themselves. It was again colonized by England in 1666, but fell into the hands of the French and Spaniards in 1703, after which it became a rendezvous for pirates, who were in 1718 extirpated, a regular colonial administration established, and the seat of Government fixed in this island. In 1781 the Bahamas were surrendered to the Spaniards, but at the conclusion of the war they were once more annexed and finally confirmed to Great Britain by tho Peace of Versailles, 1783.
In 1848 the Turks and Caicos Islands were separated from the other Bahamas, and formed into a distinct Government.
There are nine colonial custom-houses and ports of entry in the Government of the Bahamas, viz , Nassau, Abaco, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Little Exuma, Bum Cay, Long Island, Long Cay and Ragged Island, principally for the exportation of salt, the chief staple of these islands, except tho first three, from which a considerable quantity of fruit is exported to England and the United States.
Consists of a Governor, aided by an Executive Council of 8 members, a Legislative Council of 10 members, and a Representative Assembly of 28 members. All the members of the Executive Council have seats and votes in one or other of the branches of the Legislature.

Civil Establishment ...
Hon. William Webb was on the Executive Council (no definition of post or salary)
Landing-Waiter, Yorick Webb, 200l. p.a. [more than the Governor's Private Secretary]

Unable to ascertain whether or not these were of the same Webb family:
Joseph H. Webb in the House of Assembly
Nathaniel Webb, Superintendent of the New Providence Asylum, at 208l.6s.8d. p.a.

From Monumental Inscriptions, Bahamas

St. Mathew's, Nassau, New Providence - Mural Monuments.
Arms: On a bend three escallop shells; Motto: True to the End.
Honourable William Webb, Esq., died 17 May 1867, in his 76th year. He entered the Customs, Bahamas, in 1801, and continued in it until the Office of Collector was abolished in 1849, when he retired on an allowance.
Senior member of H.M. Executive Council of these Islands.
(Reprint: by Lena Boyd Brown, Vere Langford Oliver, pub. Wildside Press LLC, 2007; ISBN 0893704229, 9780893704223)

1868: "The Pall Mall Gazette" London, Tuesday, January 14
Marriages: Webb-Tilbury.
On the 7th inst., at St. Luke's, Chelsea, by the Rev. Francis Synge, Yorick, second son of the Hon. Wm. Webb, late collector of H.M.'s Customs in Nassau, Bahamas, to Sarah Ann, second daughter of W. H. Tilbury, Esq., of Walham Green, Fulham


The Colonial Office List, Colonial Dependencies of Great Britain, 1867

House of Assembly ... Members:
..... N. Webb ... J. H. Webb ...
Civil Establishment:
...... Registrar of Records, and of Courts of Ordinary and Chancery: J. H. Webb, 300l.
...... Landing-Waiter: Y. Webb, 250l. and fees
...... Superintendant of New Providence Asylum: Nathaniel Webb, 260l.
Judicial Establishment:
...... Inspector of Police, Nassau: Charles Sutton, 350/.
       The Police Force consists of an Inspector, 2 Sergeants, 9 Corporals, and 85 Constables.

Sutton, Charles
Entered the army, 1846; rose to be a lieutenant without purchase in December 1853; acting barrack-master from 1st September 1860, to 23d June, 1862, when he retired; present at the assaults on Sebastopol, on the 18th June and 8th September 1855. Has a Crimean medal and clasp, and Turkish medal; Inspector of Prisons, Mauritius, 1862; Inspector of Police, Bahamas, June 1864.

Webb, J. H.
Was appointed inspector of public schools in the Bahamas in 1847; is acting secretary to the board of education, and a justice of the peace for the colony; appointed, 1865, reistrar of records of Courts of Ordinary and Chancery in the Bahamas.

Webb, Nathaniel
Entered the colonial service in 1838 as clerk of the inferior court, Bahamas; appointed assistant private secretary to Major-General Sir Francis Cockburn, governor of the Bahamas, in 1839, and continued to hold that office until 1843; promoted to be private secretary, 18''; apppointed junior clerk to Legislative Assembly, 1840; served in New Providence Militia till that corps was disbanded; appointed superintendent of New Providence Asylum, 1846; member of the legislative assembly, 1863.

Webb, Yarick
Landing waiter and searcher, Bahamas, July 20, 1849.

1865; The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Monday, August 21
Marriages: Sutton-Tilbury. At St. Luke's, Chelsea, C. Sutton to Harriet Tilbury, 17th inst.

Harriett Tilbury Chr. 22 July 1838 St Luke, Chelsea, London (4Q 1838 Kensington 3/194)
m. Charles Sutton (Civil Service [Bahamas Police]) (Father: Robert Sutton, deceased)
Witnesses: E. Tilbury, S. A. Tilbury) (Chelsea 1a/414)

Sutton, Arthur Bruce
Son of Charles Sutton (deceased) Inspector of Police. Formerly a Member of the Honourable House of Assembly for the Eastern District.
Clerk to many Lumber Firms in the Bahamas.

Sutton, Theodore
Son of Charles Sutton (deceased) and the grandson of Charles Sutton, Snr. (deceased) Inspector of Police.
Attached to the Staff of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Robert Sutton
- Charles Sutton (d. 1902) + Harriett Tilbury
- Harriet Ellen Tilbury Sutton 1866-1955
- Charles William Malcolm Webb Sutton 1867-1908
- Theodore Sutton
- Edward Yorick Villiers Sutton 1868-1941
- Arthur Bruce Sutton 1872-1951
- Harry Dunlop Sutton 1873-?

See also https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Tilbury-190

Bahamas Blue Book, New Providence, 1914
... Sutton, Harriet Ellen Tilbury: October 6, 1906; 55.0.0 [annual salary?]

Votes (Google Books)
Bahamas, Legislature - 1917
pg. 55
Whereas Harriet Ellen Tilbury Sutton had on the 1st day of December, 1916, served for a period of ten years in the permanent Civil Service of the Bahamas in the office of Operator in the Telephone Department. And Whereas pursuant to the ...
pg. 56
... day of December, 1916, there shall be payable to the said Harriet Ellen Tilbuty Sutton, an Annual Pension of Nine pounds three shillings and four pence.
Done in Council this 28th day of May, 1917.

Bahamas: Acts Passed in the Year 1955
8 of 1943: The Harriet Ellen Tilbury Sutton Pension Act, 1943.


A Question of Neutrality
The Steamship "Oreto" which became the "Florida"

"British" ships and cargoes went to Nassau, from where the cargo was transferred to blockade runners (confederates); and sometimes the ships were also "transferred".

Yorick Webb called as Witness

From the Newspapers:

"Boston Post", 21 April 1862
Rebel Agents in England - Active and Dangerous Preparations
New York, April 19. The following is an extract of a letter dated Liverpool, April 4:
The sailing of the ship Metropolis, the steamer Menlis, to run the blockade; the steamers Columbis, Julie, and Lapkin, laden with munitions of war for the southern confederacy; the arrival of the Adelaide and Mary Wright, laden with cotton from Charleston; and the building of a steam gunboat by Shira & Co., at Bucker Head, intended as a privateer for the Confederates, have all been reported. The gunboat Oreto, built here as a privateer for the rebels, sailed from here two weeks ago. There is the greatest activity manifested by the rebels and their agents.

"Harrisonburg Rockingham Register", 11 June 1862
A Confederate Gunboat Built in Europe
Our advices from Europe say a vessel has been built on the Mersey as a gunboat for the Confederate Government ... _erpool, nominally for a neutral harbor; but really, it was believed, for the Southern waters. The Liverpool "Advertiser" says of her:
Whatever may be her objects or destination, there can be no doubt that the Oreto is a very superior vessel of her class, and will prove a formidable enemy to any government she may be employed against. She was built by Messrs. Miller, and fitted with engines, &c., by Messrs. Fawcet, Preston & Co., of this town. Her burthen is nearly eight hundred tons, and she draws little more than twelve feet water. Her speed is considerable. Although there had been no secrecy with reference to the fact of her construction, the intentions of her owners have been carefully hidden, the only tangible __or being to the fact that she was built for the Confederate Government.

"Janesville, Wisconsin, Daily Gazette", Monday, 16 June 1862
Saturday Night's Report - New York, June 14
The following is an extract from a private letter dated, Nassau, June 9th.
There are now here eleven fast iron steamers, and others are arriving daily at the private rendezvous at Cochran's anchorage. A large steamer from England hove off the bar, yesterday, and landed her passengers, when she also proceeded to the anchorage. Among her passengers are the notorious pirate Semmes, and his officers, of the Sumter. I presume he has come here to take charge of the Oreto, or else he is on his way to Charleston, where we hear the rebels have two formidable steel plated rams nearly ready for launching.

"Sandusky Daily Commercial Register", 30 August 1862
New York, August 29
... the steamer Oreto has been discharged by the Admiralty Court for want of sufficient positive evidence; each party to pay its own costs in the suit.


Documents quoted from "The Executive Documents printed by order of the House of Representatives during the Second session of the forty-Second Congress, 1871-72, in 18 volumes."

Affidavit of Mr. Yorick Webb - Bahamas Islands

I, Yorick Webb, of the island of New Providence, esquire, make oath and say as follows:
1. I now bold the office of second clerk in the receiver general and treasurer's department at Nassau; and in the years 1862 and 1863 I held the office of landing waiter and searcher for the port of Nassau.
2 I remember the steamship Oreto arriving at Nassau in the year 1862, and her subsequent seizure for alleged violation of the foreign-enlistment act; but I have no knowledge of her departure from Nassau after her release from such seizure, as I was absent from the colony on leave, from the 16th day of June to the 16th day of December, 1862.
3. I remember the arrival at the port of Nassau, in the early part of 1863, of a vessel of war carrying the flag of the then so-styled Confederated States of America. I boarded that vessel as a custom-house officer on her entering the harbor of Nassau, and was met there by the fort adjutant, a Lieutenant Williams, of Her Majesty's Second West India Regiment, who had also boarded the vessel apparently in his official capacity.
4. On boarding the vessel, Lieutenant Williams and myself were conducted to the cabin, where we were received by the commander, whose name was Maffit, who informed us that the vessel was the Confederate States vessel of war Florida, and that she had been the British steamship Oreto; and he further informed us that he had a register, and other official documents, proving the vessel to be of the character as stated, and a Confederated States register for the vessel was shown me while on board.
5. To tho best of my recollection the Florida coaled at Nassau on that occasion, and remained in port for that purpose until the following day, when she left.
6. I have no further knowledge of anything relating to the said vessel.
Sworn to at Nassau, this 1st day of September, A. D. 1871, before me,
(Signed) W. H. DOYLE.

Report of the examination of the British screw-steamer Oreto.
[H.M.S.] Greyhound, Nassau, June 13, 1862.

Sir: On going on board the Oreto this morning the captain informed ine that the crew had refused to get the anchor up until they could be certain as to where the ship was going, as they did not know what might become of them after leaving this port, and that she was a suspicious vessel.
I then proceeded round her decks to note her fittings, and to ascertain that she had no warlike stores onboard for her own equipment, and I have the honor to make the following report, viz:
That the Oreto is iu every respect fitted as a man-of-war, on the principle of dispatch gun-vessels in Her Majesty's service, but that she has no munitions of war on board.
That she has a crew of fifty men, and is capable of carrying two pivot-guns amidships, and four broadside-guns, both forward and aft, the ports being made to ship and unship, port-bars, breeching, and side-tackle bolts.
That she has shell-rooms, a magazine, and light-rooms, and handing scuttles for handing powder from the magazine, as fitted in the royal naval service, and shot-boxes for Armstrong shot, or shot similar to them, round the upper-deck. She has five boats. I should say, a 10-oared cutter, and 8-oared cutter, two gigs, and a jolly-boat, and davits for hoisting them up; her accommodation being in no respect different from her similar class in the naval service.
And ou my asking the captain of the Oreto, before my own officers and three of his own, whether she had left Liverpool fitted in all respects as she then was, his answer was, 'Yes, iu all respects, aud no alteration or addition had been made whatever.'
In witness of this report, and ready to testify to its correctness, we, the undersigned, affix our names.
(Signed) "H. D. Hickley, Commander.
Jno. Gilby, Lieutenant. Chas. Cardale, Lieutenant. B. B. Stuart, Master. P. O. M. Presgrave, Assistant Paymaster. E. B. Gidley, Gunner. E. Edwards, Carpenter. Wm. Roskelly, Gunner's Mate. Jno. Seward, Seaman Gunner. His Excellency C. Baylby, Esq.


Part IV (page 51):
"Considerations proper to be kept in view by the Arbitators in reference to the cases of the Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Shenandoah"
[Florida = Oreto of Liverpool]
Part V: (page 53)
"Statement of facts relative to the Florida"

The Background

Ou the 19th of February, 1862, Earl Russell received from Mr. Adams the following note and inclosure:

Legation Of The United States - London, February 18, 1862.
My Lord: I have the honor to submit to your consideration the copy of an extract of a letter addressed to me by the consul of the United States at Liverpool, going to show the preparation at that port of an armed steamer evidently intended for hostile operations ou the ocean. From the evidence furnished in the names of the persons stated to be concerned in her construction and outfit, I entertain little doubt that the intention is precisely that indicated in the letter of the consul, the carrying on war against the United States. The parties are the same which dispatched the Bermuda, laden with contraband of war at the time, in August last, when I had the honor of calling your lordship's attention to her position, which vessel then succeeded iu running the blockade, and which now appears to be about again to depart ou a like errand.
Should further evidence to sustain the allegations respecting the Oreto be held necessary to effect the object of securing the interposition of Her Majesty's government, I will make an effort to procure it in a more formal manner. I have, &c, (Signed) Charles Francis Adams.


Mr. Dudley to Mr. Adams - United States Consulate, Liverpool February 17, 1862.
Sir: The gun-boat Oreto is still at this port. She is making a trial trip in the river to-day. No armament as yet on board. She has put up a second smoke-stack since I wrote you. She therefore has two funnels, three masts, and is bark-rigged. I am now informed that she is to carry eight rifled cannon, and two long swivel-guns on pivots so arranged to rake both fore and aft. No pains or expense has been spared iu her construction, and when fully armed she will be a formidable and dangerous craft. In strength and armament quite equal to the Tuscarora; so I should judge from what I learn.
Mr. Miller, who built the hull, says he was employed by Fawcett, Preston & Co., and that they own the vessel. I have obtained information from many different sources, all of which goes to show that she is intended for the southern confederacy. I am satisfied that this is the case. She is ready to take her arms on board. I cannot learn whether they are to be shipped here or at some other port. Of course she is intended as a privateer. When she sails, it will be to burn and destroy whatever she meets with bearing the American flag. ...
I have, &c. - (Signed) H. Dudley.
P.S. - The gun-carriages for the Oreto, I have just learned, were taken on board on Friday night last, in a rough state, and taken down into the hold. Fraser, Trenholin & Co. have made advances to Fawcett, Preston & Co., and Miller, the builder. - H.D.

A fortnight before the date of Mr. Adams's letter, Mr. Dudley, in writing to Mr. Seward, had mentioned the Oreto. He then said,

In my last two dispatches I called attention to the iron-screw steam gunboat Oreto or Oretis, being built at Liverpool, and fitted out by Fawcett, Preston & Co. She is now taking in her coal, and appearances indicate that she will leave here the latter part of this week with her armament. The probabilities are she will run into some small port and take it and ammunition on board. This of itself is somewhat suspicious. They pretend she is built for the Italian government, but the Italian consul here informs me that he knows nothing about it, and has no knowledge whatever of any vessel being built for his government. There is much secrecy observed about her, and I have been unable to get anything definite, but my impressions are strong that she is intended for the southern confederacy. I have communicated my impressions and all the facts to Mr. Adams, our minister in London. She has one funnel, three masts, bark-rigged, eight port-holes for guns on each side, and is to carry sixteen guns.

Mr. Adams had not, previously to his note of the 18th, made any communication respecting this vessel to Her Majesty's government.

Immediately on the receipt of Mr. Adams's note and inclosure, copies of both were sent to the secretary to the treasury, accompanied by the following letter signed by Mr. Hammond, one of the under secretaries of state for foreign affairs:

Foreign Office, February 19, 1862.
Sir: I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you a copy of a letter from Mr. Adams, inclosing an extract of a letter from the United States consul at Liverpool, in which he calls attention to a steam-vessel called the Oreto, reported to be fitting out at Liverpool as a southern privateer; and I am to request that you will move the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury to cause immediate inquiries to he made respecting this vessel, and to take such steps in the matter as may be right and proper.
I am, &c., - (Signed) E. Hammond.


Between 1862 and the end of the affair, a great deal of ink and paper was used.
To read the entire account via Google Books:


Yorrick WEBB m. Sarah Ann TILBURY 1Q 1868 (Chelsea 1a/300)

Yorrick Jack WEBB b. 4Q 1900 (Hendon 3a/185)

Yorrick J. WEBB m. Mabel BRADLEY 2Q 1927 (Westbury S. 6a/698)

Yorick J. WEBB d. 4Q 1965 age 65

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