Tilney Coachman




Tilney Coachman

Tilney Coachman was born about 1660 in Barbados, West Indies, and died 13 February 1716 in Berkeley County, South Carolina.  He married Alice Moore 01 Jul 1689 in St Michael’s Parish, Barbados, West Indies. 

There is some dispute with regards to Tilney’s wife’s family name.  Some researchers show her as Alice Moore and others show her as Alice Yeamans.  It is my belief that she was Alice Moore, the sister of Governor James Moore, and that she was also, in some way, related to Sir John Yeamans.  The records in Barbados show that Tilney Coachman married Mrs. Alice Yeamans which would mean that Tilney was not her first husband and that the unknown first husband was a member of the Yeamans family who, apparently, died young.  Additionally, in his will, James Moore of Berkeley County, South Carolina made the following bequest: “for love and affection to my brother-in-law, Tilney Coachman of same county, gentleman, and Alice, his wife, or the survivor of them, a plantation of 500 acres of land, then in possession of said Tilney Coachman, being in Berkeley, lying near Moore's plantation called "Wassamissah" to go after the death of the survivor to James Coachman, eldest son, or in case of his not surviving to the next son, John Coachman."

Sir John Yeamans, one of 13 children of John Yeamans, a brewer, was born in 1610 in Bristol, England and was one of the early settlers to prosper on Barbados. He married his second wife in very despicable circumstances. He either poisoned or shot her husband, Col. Benjamin Berringer, and, by marrying the widow, acquired their estate in 1650.  Nineteen years later, in 1669, he established a Proprietorship colony at Charles Town, Carolina, where he imported 200 slaves and introduced slavery to North America. He imported the slaves to grab the largest plantation since an additional 100 acres was granted for each slave.  He became the third Governor of Carolina only because he did not arrive with the original settlers. He arrived several months later and established his plantation but died in 1674.   Sir John’s brother, Robert (right), was the Sheriff, Mayor (in 1669) and Chief Magistrate of Bristol, England as well as a ship owner and a merchant who also had early involvement in the Caribbean trade. 

James Moore, Alice Coachman’s brother, seems to have emigrated from England to Barbados and then appears in South Carolina by February 15, 1675, when he acted as attorney for Margaret, Lady Yeamans, the administrator of Sir John Yeamans’ estate.  At about this same time he married Margaret Berringer, the posthumous daughter of Colonel Benjamin Berringer, and step-daughter of Sir John Yeamans.  Moore used every opportunity to increase his fortune. Although a large planter by the standards of his day, he remained active in mercantile pursuits. Beside the fur trade, he dealt with pirates, engaged in the illegal Indian slave trade, and was the part-owner of two merchant vessels (pirate ships?).  On September 11, 1700 he was elected by the Grand Council to succeed Joseph Blake, deceased, as Governor.  At this time North and South Carolina were separated as colonies making James Moore the first Governor of South Carolina. He served until March of 1703.  James Moore had several land grants at Wassamassaw and Goose Creek and evidently resided there.   He died of “distemper” (believed to have been yellow fever) in 1706.

Additionally, James Moore's official seal bore the swan and arms of the Moore family of Devonshire, England.  Devonshire is in relatively close proximity to Bristol, the home of the Yeamans family which makes it quite possible that the two families may have known each other.  Although I have no proof, it would seem a logical scenario that Alice Moore may have married into the Yeamans family in England before leaving with her unknown first husband for Barbados. 

We don’t know exactly when Tilney and Alice Coachman arrived in South Carolina but they were there by 1704 when Tilney received warrants for 500 acres apiece for land at Moppopin Creek and at Savana Spring.  Additionally, James Moore mentions in his will of 1705 that Tilney and Alice were already living on the plantation that he bequest to them.  How involved Tilney was with the affairs of James Moore is unknown but it is reasonable to assume that they were close.

Tilney Coachman was dead by 13 Feb. 1717 when John Newton and Benjamin Schinking appeared in court as administrators of his estate.  The date of Alice’s death is unknown.

Children of Tilney Coachman and Alice Moore were:

1.  Willoughby Coachman was born in 1695 in Barbados, West Indies.

2.  Margaret Coachman was born about 1697 in Barbados, West Indies and died in South Carolina.  She married Abraham Sanders.

3.  James Coachman was born about 1699 in Barbados, West Indies.  He married Rebeckah Ann Goodbee in 1742 and inherited the land grant near Goose Creek mentioned in James Moore’s will.

4.  John Coachman was born in 1700 in Barbados, West Indies and died 19 Dec 1749 in Craven County, South Carolina.  He is the subject of the next generation.

5.  Benjamin Coachman was born before 1705 in Barbados, West Indies and died 04 May 1779 in St James Parish, Goose Creek, Berkeley County, South Carolina.  He married Sarah Smith, daughter of George Smith and Elizabeth Allen.  She died 29 August 1784.  They had at least three children, Benjamin, Jr., Nancy and Sarah.  He was a planter in the Parish of St. James, Goose Creek which elected him to the Twenty-second (1757-1760) and Thirty-second (1773) Royal Assemblies.  As one of the subscribers to the Ludlum Fund to establish a school for the poor of the parish, he contributed 100 pounds for each of three years (1745-1747). He was a captain in the militia during the Revolution and a wealthy man. In the months following his death, his estate lent the state of South Carolina 180,000 pounds.


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revised 17 May 2009

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