Notes for Richard Ashcraft


Notes for Richard Ashcraft bC1590-1600

Richard Ashcraft. Born before 1600 in England (possibly born c1572). Married Alice Towers, daughter of Thomas Towers and Alice Hawley. [Neal, Ashcraft Family.]

The East India Company organized a new joint stock in 1617. The Primary purpose of this company was to compete with the Dutch in developing trade and industries in the East Indies. The ships found lucrative trade between the west coast of Africa (for slaves), the island of Barbados (for sugar and rum), and the east coast of America.

The list of the East India Company included the name of Ashcrofte, Merchant. The entry for Richard Ashcrofte, Merchant, indicates that he joined in 1614, when the company already had 24 ships at sea. In 1629, after Richards's death, his daughter, Dorothy, became a member.

Richards's brother, Edward, was a Mariner.

Richard Ashcrofte, Merchant, was married to Alice Hawley Towers of Hinton Hall, Haddenham, Isle of Ely. Alice was the niece of Sir John Jolles, Lord Mayor of London in 1615 who left her some 500 pounds in his will dated 1621. The administrator of her estate in 1703 was granted to her grandson, John, son of Richard Ashcrofte Jr.

Richard died leaving at least two sons, Richard Jr. and John, as well as four daughters, Dorothy, Elizabeth, Mary, and Ann. Dorothy was christened 13 Jan 1613 in St Mary's, Stockport, Cheshire County. Although Richard must have moved the family to London, he maintained ties with Stockport. His son, Richard Jr. apparently moved back there as an adult as a number of his children were christened there.

The remaining daughters were mentioned in Richard will probated 7 May 1628. All other children of Richard and Alice were christened at the St James Church in London. Edward was apparently the firstborn son born on 11 Feb 1615. John was next on 12 July 1618.

Richard Jr. was four years old when his father died placing his birth about 1624. He married twice first to his first cousin, Mary Towers, daughter of John Towers and secondly to Elizabeth Reading on 13 Dec 1668 in Southoe. She was the daughter of William Reading, Vicar of Southoe, Hants. Richard Jr. was buried 10 March 1670 at Little Paxton.

Dorothy, most likely the first child, probably married twice also. A record exists of a marriage between a Dorothy Ashcrofte and Agmundesham Muschanp on 21 Dec 1634 at St Vedost Church, Foster Lane and St Michael, London. She remarried Joseph Howe on 20 Nov 1651 in St Margaret Pattens in London. Although Dorothy was under legal age, it seems she inherited her father's interests in the East India Company since his death occurred in 1628 and she appeared as a member in his place in 1629.

Also included in the list of members was Richard Pierce (Peers) 1600, who settled in Barbados and was deputy Governor of Barbados in 1633-38 as well as a commissioner for Lord Willoughby in 1652. He was the brother in law of Gov Henry Hawley, also a member with James Hawley.

His will was probated (in England) 7 May 1628.

Main Source:
Neal, Martha Ashcraft. The Ashcraft Family - Descendants of Daniel. Baltimore: Gateway Press (1994).