Sunday, June 30, 2019

Captain Cannon: Family Matters and the Ship Minerva

Death of Father, Hugh Cannon

Two and a half months after returning from the second voyage of the Iris, George’s father, Hugh Cannon, died. Following are writings from the parish register, Hugh’s gravestone, and the probate proceeding:

Parish Register of German (Burial)
Hugh Cannan                          Febry 6th 1801

Gravestone: “Here lieth the body of HUGH CANNON of this town who departed this life the 5th day of February Anno Domini 1801 in the 60th year of his age.”[1]

“Peeltown                   At an Ecclesiastical Court holden in the Parish of Kk Patrick on the 14th Day of September 1801.

            Hugh Cannon of Peeltown having departed this life in or about the Month of February last past Intestate and the Court having received Intelligence thereof hath Decreed his six Children, namely George, Hugh, William, Christian, Elinor and Helen Cannon [not naming John or Ann who must be deceased] as administrators of all and singular his Goods, Rights, Credits, Chattels and Effects movable and immovable whatever and the said Helen being under Age, and all the other Children excepting the said George being off the Island or absent from Court, and he the said George having surrendered his Right to the Administration to Elinor Cannon his Mother, the Court has thereupon, for the Preservation of the Rights of all Persons interested in the Estate of the said Intestate, committed the Administration thereof to the said Elinor Cannon Sen. in Trust for the Benefit of all Person’s interested therein as aforesaid and she is sworn well and truly to administer the same, to exhibit into the Episcopal Registry a full true and perfect Inventory thereof, to pay all the just debts of the said Intestate so far forth as his Goods and Effects will extend and the law bind her, to be guardian and supervisor of the said Helen, and to render a just Account of her said Administration when thereunto lawfully required, and to these Ends She hath given Pledges in form of Law, namely the said George Cannon her Son and Robert Christian of Kk Patrick.
                        Decrelum esh [?]
Ev. Christian

28th Sept. 1801            Claims entered agst. the Estate of Hugh Cannon decd. viz.
                                                                                                         L.  s.    __
                                  Hugh Shimin claims                           Brit. 30.. 0 .. 0’
Nov. 20                       Mrs. Elinor Moore claims                  Brit. 16.. 0 .. 0
Dec. 31st                      Robt. Farrant Esq. as one of the         Brit. 15.. 0 .. 0
                                    Exors in Trust of the Will of Mrs.
                                    Bissy Jorrect dec, claims
Febry  11                     Wm. Sayle claims                               Brit.  3.. 0 .. 0
           16                     John Callister                                      Do.   4 .. 5 .. 6
Apl. 17th                      Wm. Hugh Cluers                               Do.  30.. 0 .. 0
May 18th                      Dan Beddaugh                                    Do.    5.. 0 .. 0
June 5th                        John Crain                                           Do.    5.. 4 .. 9

An Inventory of the Goods or Effects of Hugh Cannon of P___ late Deceased being Valued and apprised by four Sworn Men Viz John Cottier Danl. Mylrea Thos. Cortion and Wm. Lace and Being Sworn by John Shimmin Sumner of German this the 22nd day of Decbr. 1804
                                                S. D.                                                    L. S. D.       
% a Teable                              3..6  the Deads part thereof                 0..1..9
% a Big Chair                         4..8  Do.                                              0..2..4
% Two Chairs                         2..4  Do.                                              0..1..2
% Two Rush Bottom Chairs   4..8  Do.                                              0..2..4
% Four Broken Chairs            2..0  The half Do.                                0..1..0
% 3 Stools                               0..6  Do.                                              0..0..3
% A Small Teable & firm      2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% A Pot                                   2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% A Griddle and Saucepan    2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% Two Kettles                                    2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% A Frying Pan                      1..0  Do.                                              0..0..6
% A Crock                              0..6  Do.                                              0..0..3
% Two Old Canes                   0..8  Do.                                              0..0..4
% A Knife Box                       0..6  Do.                                              0..0..3
% A Bowl and Bath stoon etc.1..2  Do.                                              0..0..7
% A Bellows & Lanshom       0..6  Do.                                              0..0..3
% A Wooden Thray                1..6  Do.                                              0..0..9
% A Spade and Cole Cralix    0..10 Do.                                             0..0..5
% A Cash                                0..6  Do.                                              0..0..3
% Two Barrels                        2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% Two Tubs                           0..10  Do.                                            0..0..5
% 5 Bottles and Small Crock 1..2  Do.                                              0..0..7
% A Fox Teable                     2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% A Round Teable                 2..0  Do.                                              0..1..0
% A Leaf Teable                    4..0  Do.                                              0..2..0
                                            2..4..10    The half                                   1..2..5
[beginning a new page]
                                                S. D.                                                    L. S. D.
% A Corner Cupboard            2..0      The Deads part therof             0..1..0
% A Looking Glass                3..6  Do.                                              0..1..9
% Three Blanketts                  6..0  Do.                                              0..3..0
% An Old Quilt and Blankett 1..6  Do.                                              0..0..9
% A Feather Bed an Bolster                                                               1..14..0
     Weight 68 pounds at 6__                                                  
% A Bedstead & Curtains      12..0                                                    0..6..0
% A Small Bedstead               4..0                                                      0..2..0
% A Small Round Teable       0..10  Do.                                            0..0..5
% Two Casks and Two Bags  1..6  Do.                                              0..0..9
% A Spinning Wheel              1..6  Do.                                              0..0..9
% Iron Sheets                          4..8  Do.                                              0..2..4
% A Chaff Bed                       4..0  Do.                                              0..2..0
% 3 shirts                                6..0  Do.                                              0..6..0
% Two Coats and Weanticks 4..0  Do.                                               0..4..0
                                                                                                        L. 3..4..9
Brought forward the Deads Part of the within Amount adds             1..2..5
            Total amount of the value of the Deads Part                      L. 4..7..2

The Within and aforesaid Goods are Valued and apprized by us as before Going and this we Return for our Answer or Verdict. This the 22nd day of December 1801
                                                                        Thomas Corkanney x mark
                                                Jurors…          Wm. Lace
                                                Names is         John Cottier
                                                                        Danl. Mylrea
Returned by Elinor Cannon the
Adminitratrix in Trust of the Estate of the
said Hugh Cannon.
                        Ev. Christian

To the Revd. Evan Christian Vicar General
the Humble Petition of Elinor Cannon wife of Hugh Cannon
decd. of the town of Peel
            That your Petnr. on or about the Month of August 1801 was Sworn Administrator and to Return an Inventory of the good & Effects of her Deceased husband and to Pay of all Just debts as set forth as the Goods will extend and the Law shall bear. Your Petr. accordingly hath Returned an Inventory of the goods and Effects of the Decd. to the Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Court wherein your Petr. apprehends that the Personal Estate of your Petitioner and the said Hugh Cannon is Greatly Deficient to Pay of the Amount of the Debts which is Already Proved in the aforsd. Court.
            That your Petitioner apprehends and is fully convinced that at the time of the death of sd. Husband he was Indebted to several Persons in Other Strange countries as well as in this Isle which has been Lately demanded & claims to be Entered for older.
            Therefore your Petr. is now fully Convinced that she is not able with saftey to Pay of and Discharge any Claim whatsoever so Provd. against the Aforsd. Estate in the Spiritual Court until the Expiration of Three years and a Day etc.
            Your Petitioner most humbly Prays that your Revd. will be Graciously Pleased to take this matter to your most Judicious consideration so that all Orders now Enforced against your Petitioner may be Stayed and suspended untill all Foreign claims and Proceeding may be Entered and Proved before the Space of Three years from the time of Administration hereof so that your Petr. may know the whole and full Debts and Incumberances of the Decd. Hugh Cannon therefore your Petitioner in Duty Bound Shall Pray etc.
            Ordered that the beforegoing Petition do come on to be heard at a Consistorial Court to be holden in the Court house in this Parish on the last Thursday in the Month of April next and that in the mean time the said orders and Judgments of the Ecclesiastical Court against the Petitioner be stayed and suspended whereof all proper Parties & Persons to have due Notice.
            Given at Kk Patrick 9th March 1803.
                        Ev. Christian

At a Consistorial Court holden in the Parish of Kk Patrick on the 28th Day of April 1803

            Upon having the beforegoing Petition in the Presence of the Petitioner and of some of the principal Creditors of the Estate of the said Decedent and upon Consideration had thereof an also of what was otherwise pleaded argued and alledged by and on Behalf of the said Parties respectively it is hereby ordered adjudged and decreed that the Deputy  Episcopal Register do forthwith ascertain the Amount of the said Estate and after deducting therefrom the funeral Expenses of the said Decedent and Debts that have a Priority of Payment out of the said Estate that he do divide &. distribute the Remainder thereof pari ____ amongst the common Creditors of the said Decedent and that the Petitioner do afterwards pay all the Creditors of the said Estate their Claims against the same agreeably to the Order of Distribution so under by the said Register as aforesaid sub Paenas Giris with all _____.
                                                Ev. Christian
                                                John Crellin

Purchase of 7 Michael Street, Peel

Captain Cannon's house was located at 7 Michael Street in Peel (for photos of how it looks now, seehere). A property advertisement that appeared in the paper in 1816, after George had died, described the property as follows: “A large dwelling house, together with a stable, backyards &c. The above house is three-stories high, having four rooms on each with excellent cellar under the whole. Situated in one of the most convenient and pleasant streets in Peel.”[2]

The deed, dated October 6, 1801, is as follows:

Know all men by these Presents that I Thos. Gell of the Parish of Kk. Patrick with the consent of my wife Ann Gell Al[ia]s. Callow Divers Reasons and considerations as hereunto moving but more especially for and in considerations of the just sum of one Hundred and Twenty six pounds British by and from the hands of George Cannan of Peeltown to be paid unto us at the attestation hereof Have given Granted Bargained & sold and by these Presents do give grant Bargain passover alienate and absolutely for ever sell from us our Heirs Ex’ors Adm’ors and assigns all our right Tittle property and Interest that We now have or Hereafter might or could have a certain premises upon part whereof formerly was a House commonly known by the Name of Samuel Wattleworth house adjoining unto the Rent of Mathew Quirk on the West and unto Ceasar Corras on the North unto the Street on the East and South the Premisses being Abbey Lords Land and of such annual Lords rent as the selling Quest[?] shall proportion thereon to have and to hold unto him the said George Cannan the Premisses aforesd. together with all ways waters water courses Easements Liberties properties & appurtenance hereunto belonging in any wise appertaining from the date hereof without let stop or molestation of any person or persons whatsoever yielding and paying the Abbey Lords rent together with all other dues duties Boons writs and Services due & payable out of the same and We the afores Thomas Gell and Ann Gell do hereby bind and oblidge ourselves our Heirs Ex’ors Adm’ors and assigns to uphold maintain awarrant and Defend the aforesd. Premisses unto him the said George Cannan his Heirs Ex’ors Adm’ors and assigns against all manner of Person or Persons who shall sue to the contrary hereof or in any wise Also to obtain the Honourable Deemster attestation the Honourable courts confirmation hereof and to do or cause all other things to be done deemed further Necesssary in Law for the firmer Ratification of this Deed For true[?] and faith full performance hereof We the aforesd. Thomas Gell and wife aforesd. do hereby bind and oblidge ourselves our Heirs Ex’ors Adm’ors in and under the Penalty and forfeiture of Two Hundred and Fifty pounds to be Levied according to Law in Testimoney whereof We have Subscribed or added our marks the[se] our Names this 6th of Octre. 1801.

Signed and Delivered Thomas Gell my [mark] in Presence of Ann Gell

John Callow my [mark]

Philip Quirk

Peel 7th October 1801

Thomas Gell and Ann Gell the granting Parties to the before written Deed of sale acknowledged the same to be their proper Act and Deed and to be fully paid the consideration money therein mentioned ------------- Before me Geo. Savage
                                                                                                     High Bailiff

            At an Abbey Court holden at St. John’s 12th[?] Abt. Noon[?] The before written Deed of sale having been acknowledged before the High Bailiff and now openly published in court and no objection offered against it – The same is ordered to be recorded. -  John Sa…[?] 

12.    German Abbey
Thos. Gell
     to                Sale
Geo Cannon

The deed indicates it is Abbey Lords Land. In the manx notebook [], there is a page giving Abbey Land's Rents in Kirk German in 1796. It indicates that the Abbeyland properties in Peel were in the area bounded by Market Street, the Shore, Bridge Street and Michael Street.

The deed indicates it was formerly the property of Samuel Wattleworth. I don't see a Samuel Wattleworth listed, but there are many Wattleworths listed in that area. The deed lists Mathew Quirk living to the west. A "Mat. Quirk" is listed on property 23. The deed lists Ceasar Corras to the north and a "Caesar Corris" is also listed on property 23. The sellers were Thomas and Ann Gell. An "Ann Gell with Phil Kelly her husband" are listed on property 32. Also of interest, "Hu: Cannon and Ellen his wife" are listed on property 20. George Cannon's parents were Hugh and Eleanor Addy Cannon. It appears George was purchasing a property near the home of his mother and father. This would be consistent with the 1814 census which lists two Mrs. Cannons [the only Cannons in Peel] living very close to each other (both George and Hugh had died by that time). Further, Cesar Wattleworth and Thomas Garrett both gave pledges for George Cannon's estate when he died. "Casar Wattleworth Junr" is listed on property 34 and "Thomas Garret & Abigail his wife" are listed on property 26.

            In the October 1814 Mortgages Index No. 2, “Leonora CANNON of Peeltown Widow of the late Capt. George CANNON borrowed 103 pounds 15s. from Patrick Carran of Peeltown at 6% interest. The security was her undivided part of her dwelling house where she dwells.[3]

From this, it seems pretty clear that the Michael Street property was purchased by George in 1801, after obtaining the substantial sum from his slave trading voyages on the Iris, and that the property, with the large basements, was built well before George obtained it and likely was not used by George Cannon for smuggling purposes, as Frances Wilkins surmised. My guess is that it may have been used for smuggling or warehousing earlier in the 18th century before George purchased it.

Hugh and Eleanor Cannon House

            Liber Mon, Peeltown, May 1787, Cottage No. 20.  Christian Quirk married John Addy and had three children: Thomas Addy, George Addy and Elinor Addy. When John Addy died, his will “revested her moiety” in the rent. When she died intestate, her interest went four ways to her three children and her later husband, John Cain. Hugh Cannon, who married Ellinor Addy, became entitled to one-fourth (likely because she couldn’t hold title as a woman). John Cain transferred his one-fourth to Hugh Cannon by deed dated April 1, 1771. Thomas Addy transferred his one-fourth to Hugh Cannon by his will dated August 18, 1763. Daniel Clark (another marriage to Christian?) stands for his moiety and had to pay a fine for his mortgage on the one-fourth part from John Cain which was allowed to be cancelled without entry. So apparently, Hugh and Elinor Cannon have three-fourths and George Addy has the remaining one-fourth of the moiety of Christian Quirk, which is 1 1/2d rent, part of 4 1/2d. It is unclear how Dan Clark fits into the picture. [When did Hugh and Eleanor start living here – was George Cannon born and raised here?] In October 1795, Cottage No. 20 shows Hugh Cannon & Ellr his wife for 1d + a qtr of a hen and George Addy for ¼ of a d + qtr of a hen. It appears Hugh and Ellinor may have purchased George Addy’s interest by a deed of sale on April 23, 1783 from John Gell, Coroner of Glanfaba. In April 1807, Cottage No. 20, shows Hugh Cannon and Elinor as 1 1/2d + part of a hen and John Morrison as part of the 4 1/2d. On April 5, 1800, Hugh and Ellinor mortgaged the premises to James Crawford, who by deed, dated May 22, 1800, assigned it to John Morrison. In April 1810, Cottage No. 20, Wm Garrett is shown as 1 1/2d and John Cannon is part of 4 1/2d rent. Wm. Garrett’s mortgage was discharged and John Cannon was entered as heir at law of John Cannon [Hugh’s brother?]. In 1858, Cottage No. 20, Charles Cannon is listed as 1 1/2d part of 4 1/2d rent.[4]

            In the Abbey Rental Books for 1786 to 1874, a 1796 entry for No. 20, shows a rental of 1 1/2d. (1 ½ pennies), part of 4 1/2d. + 1 hen. It is for Hugh CANNON & Ellr. His wife to Robt. Boodle. In the 1858 entry, No. 20 shows Charles Cannon paying a rental of 1 1/2d part of 4 1/2d + 1 hen.[5]

            In the 1851 Census in Peel, Charles Cannon (brother of John Cannon) was living at 18 Michael Street. He was 70 years old, born in Peel [about 1781] and a Tailor. Elizabeth Cannon (sister of John and Charles Cannon) was living at 19 Michael Street, next door, age 62, born in Peel [about 1789] and a Knitter. These two cottages probably make up Abbey Rentals No. 20.[6]

Birth of John Cannon – 4th child

            On April 21, 1802, Captain Cannon’s fourth child was born, the first while he was at home. He was named John, a name also held by Captain Cannon’s grandfather, an uncle who was also a ship captain, and a brother, as well as the name of one of Leonora’s brothers.

Ship Minerva

About 22 months after his last long voyage, Captain Cannon was out to sea again. This time as captain of the slaving ship Minerva,[7] owned by James Ackers, with 24 crew. The Minerva left Liverpool on September 29, 1802, authorized to obtain 216 slaves.[8] It was headed to Bonny for slaves. One of Captain George’s men drowned on the outward passage.


The Minerva arrived in Bonny about the same time as the ship Thomas under Captain Robert Pince, the ship Thomas under Captain Thomas Tobin and the ship Otway under Captain Luke Mann, all from Liverpool.[9]

            Nassau, Bahamas

The Minerva then delivered 212 slaves to Nassau, in the Bahamas, on April 19, 1803, arriving the same date as the 500 ton Kingsmill, with 395 slaves. Seven British slave ships imported 2,200 slaves to the Bahamas in 1803. Of these, the Minerva was the second smallest and imported the second smallest number of slaves. Interestingly, 2,182 of the 2,200 slaves imported into the Bahamas were exported: 2,059 to St. Augustine, Florida; 72 to Havana, Cuba; 40 to East Florida; 6 to Principe; 2 to Holqum; and 3 to Honduras.[10]


Captain Cannon arrived back in Liverpool on August 16, 1803 after less than nine months at sea.[11] This is the last voyage of Captain Cannon that we can pinpoint with any confidence.

[1] Letter from Priscilla Lewthwaite to Robert Cannon, dated April 17, 2008.
[2] Manx Annals. Eighty Years Ago. 1901/2, Chapter XVIII. Property Advertisements, showing the listing as being in 1816. In 2001 the house was refurbished by Jonathan Irving and split into three residential apartments, each one occupying its own floor, and two ground floor retail premises, which include the cellars. The first and second floor have three bedrooms and the third floor was actually attic space among the eaves of the building which was converted to a penthouse apartment with two bedrooms. It was marketed as “Captain Cannon’s”. The developer’s website indicates the house was built in 1794. (E-mail from Michael Rickard, the owner of the first floor apartment, to Robert Cannon, on February 13, 2006).
[3] Lewthwaite 4/17/08 Letter
[4] Lewthwaite 4/17/08 Letter
[5] Lewthwaite 4/17/08 Letter
[6] Letter from Priscilla Lewthwaite to Robert Cannon, dated April 17, 2008 (“Lewthwaite 4/17/08 Letter”).
[7] The Minerva was a 186 ton brig with a single deck and was built in Lancaster in 1795. It is listed in Lloyd’s Register 1804 under Captain William Brown, who was the captain in 1803 and 1804. Check to see if it is listed in Lloyd’s Register for 1802.
[8] The Minerva was cleared to leave on September 28. “Geo. Cannan” is listed as captain. (Parliamentary Papers 1806)
[9] Lloyd’s List, dated March 13, 1803. The ship Thomas, under Captain Pince, left Liverpool on September 8, 1802 and ultimately delivered 296 slaves in Kingston, Jamaica. The ship Otway, under Captain Mann, left Liverpool on October 11, 1802 and delivered 302 slaves in Kingston, Jamaica. The ship Thomas, under Captain Tobin, left Liverpool on October 11, 1802, the same date as the ship Otway, and delivered 280 slaves in Trinidad. (Slave Trade CD).
[10]  Parliamentary Papers, 1806 (265), XIII (Parliamentary Papers 1806)
[11] Lloyd’s List, dated May 17, 1803 and August 19, 1803; Behrendt Letter (PRO, BT 98/63, No. 354, Liverpool muster roll 1803; Family History Library, Film 870319 (“Second Iris Voyage”); Lloyd’s Register of Shipping 1804; Parliamentary Papers, 1806 (265), XIII, no. 1 (and no. 2?).