Edward Moseley


Edward Moseley's parents were John Moseley, citizen of London and merchant taylor, and Mary Beaman, married at All Hallows, London Wall on 5 February 1681/2.

Edward Moseley was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate on 16 February 1682/3.

His father, son of John Moseley, late of the town of Leicester, merchant, deceased, had been bound apprentice to Francis Vincent of Bishopsgate, silk stocking trimmer, for 7 years from 23 May 1677 and was freed from his apprenticeship on 6 June 1684 by Francis Vincent.

Christ's Hospital
Photographs of Register entries by kind permission of Christ's Hospital

Christ's Hospital is a charity founded in 1552 as a free school, on the site of the former Franciscan Monastery known as Greyfriars in the City of London, for both boys and girls: the earliest extant record of admissions (9 December 1554) includes "a poor young maiden child".  The primary requirement was and is "that no child will be admitted whose parents or next friends are not, in the opinion of the Council of Almoners, in need of assistance towards his education and maintenance".  By 1676 candidates for admission must be children of freemen, living within the City, not under seven years of age, orphans wanting either father or mother or both; none to be taken in that are foundlings, that have any probable means of being provided for in other ways.

Edward Moseley was admitted from St Giles Cripplegate parish in April 1690, two months after his seventh birthday. The entry states that his father was deceased. A search of the monthly lists of burials in the parish register has failed to find his father's burial.

Children educated here are known as Blues, from the color of the school uniform. The first Blue in America was supposedly Thomas Sexton who arrived at James Citty, Virginia [Jamestown] in September 1623 aboard either the Ann on the 5th or the Bonny Bess on the 12th: the entry made in the list of new arrivals to whom the oathes of Supremacy and allegiance were administered notes against his name "one of Christs Hospitall age about 17" to distinguish him from the Thomas Sexton who died at James Cittie some time between April 1622 and 16 February 1622/23, probably during the Native American uprising in 1622. A custom of sending "back to the Hospital for a boy who can read well, write clearly and cast accounts" developed. However a search of Christ's Hospital' Admission Register from 1600 to 1624 failed to find Thomas Sexton. This. together with the vagueness about his age, suggests that he was a literate youth passing himself off as something he was not.

Samuel Pepys, after a decade serving on the Navy Board, was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty Commission in 1673. Immediately, with the backing of fellow Governors John Flamsteed, Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren, he established the Royal Mathematical School within the Hospital to provide competent navigators for the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine. The School had 40 students, known as Mathemats, chosen for its two year course when aged upwards of 11½ and under 13, after which they would be apprenticed for seven years to a ship captain. Edward Moseley became a Mathemat.

Edward Moseley was discharged from Christ's Hospital on 18 December 1697, shortly before his fifteenth birthday. He was ordered to be bound to Jacob Foreland, commander of the ship Joseph, 150 tons burden, bound for Bilbao but Edward's friends would not permit him to be bound and otherwise provided for him.

Christ's Hospital account book for the week of Edward Moseley's discharge. His is the second name beneath "This Week Gon[e ]out". Had he been bound to Jacob Foreland, the right hand page would have included a payment to Foreland.

Empty entry against his name in Christ's Hospital Register of Apprentice Bindings for boys who had completed 2 years study in the Royal Mathematical School.

Samuel Pepys conducted an investigation into the administration of Christ's Hospital, writing a report which he signed on 23 March 1697/98. This report led to the resignation of the Treasurer, Nathaniel Hawes, who had to be ejected from his official residence by the Sheriff. One wonders if Moseley took this Treasurer as an exemplar...

In South Carolina

The President of Christ's Hospital during Edward Moseley's time there was Sir John Moore. James Moore became Governor of Carolina shortly after Moseley's arrival there. One wonders if these Moores were related...

Edward Moseley had arrived in Charles Town, South Carolina before 10 May 1700, when he witnessed a bond executed by Edmund Bellinger, James Moore and Joseph Morton to Governor Blake for the proper administration of the estate of Richard Bellinger.

On 8 January 1701/02 his name first appears in the Minutes of the Governor's Council as Clerk [Secretary] to the Governor's Council.

On 19 August 1702 he is named in the Minutes of the Lower House as Deputy Secretary of the Upper House [the Governor's Council]. On 10 September 1702 he is recorded as Clerk to the Governor's Council. The Governor at this time was James Moore, with whose sons Moseley was later closely associated in North Carolina.

The last bond to Governor Moore witnessed by Moseley is dated 3 February 1702/03. Ten days later is the first bond witnessed by John Barnwell, his successor as Deputy Secretary.

The Journal of the South Carolina Commons on 17 June 1703 records the arrival of books sent by Dr. Bray as a further addition to the "Public Library", "together with additional books for a layman's library".  On 7 May 1704 the Public Treasurer was ordered to pay Edward Moseley for transcribing the catalogue of the library books the sum of £5 15s.  Founded in 1698, this is believed to have been the first public library in America.

Arrival in North Carolina

Edward Moseley moved north to Chowan Precinct, NC between April 1705 and 9 September 1705. On the latter date St. Paul's Vestry Minutes record his having undertaken to contribute £5.0.0 p.a. towards the salary of Mr. Henry Gerrard as priest at St. Paul's. In Chowan he married Ann Lillington Walker, the widow of Henderson Walker who had been "president of his majesties council of North Carolina" from 1699 to 1703 and had died on 14 April 1704.

It appears probable that his move north was connected with Thomas Cary being appointed Deputy Governor of Carolina in place of Robert Daniell. Although no record has been found, it is likely that one of the Lords Proprietors appointed Edward Moseley as his Deputy in the Albemarle area. Under the Fundamental Constitutions and Rules of Government "each of ye Lords Proprietrs shall Name a Deputy to be his Representative in ye generall Assembly and Councell of Carolina". This appears to have been modified in practice so that a Deputy was appointed for a specific area: thus Robert Daniell was appointed by Lord Craven on 14 January 1697/98 as "my Deputy in that Part of our Province of Carolina wch llLyes South and West of Cape ffear, wth. full Power and Authority to Act and Exercise all such Powers & Things as to a Proprietrs Depty do's Belong". A Beaufort County deed dated 7 March 1705/06 which states that "By virtue of a commission and instructions to me ... from the Right Honorable Sir Nathaniel Johnson, Gentleman, Governor of South and North Carolina ... hath given power unto me Thomas Cary, Esquire, Deputy governor of North carolina, with advise of three or more of the Lords Proprietors Deputies to grant or sell lands ..." is signed by Thomas Cary, Samuel Swann, Edward Moseley and Francis Foster as Lords Proprietors Deputies.

By December 3, 1705 he was a member of the Governor's Council of NC, which met at his house on that day. This would previously have been Henderson Walker's home. The manuscript map of the Albemarle that he drew in 1708 labels this as Sedes Auth, Latin for Seat of the Author. This plantation at the south-east tip of Edenton Bay became known as Moseley's Point, later as Skinner's Point, and finally as Montpelier. His son, Edward Moseley, Jr., allowed the Moseleys' distant relative, Granville agent Francis Corbin, to live there, and it is where Corbin was kidnapped from on the night of January 28, 1759.

Thomas Cary as Deputy Governor

Following the establishment of Charles Towne the Governor of Carolina was based there, with a Deputy Governor responsible for the northern part of what was then a single Colony. In 1705 Thomas Cary, stepson of the former Governor of Carolina (and Quaker) John Archdale, was appointed Deputy Governor. Cary had been Collector of Quitrents for the Proprietors, based in Charles Towne, where there had recently been dissension between Anglicans and dissenters in the government. In the Albemarle Anglicans sought to control the government by imposing an oath requirement: Quakers' religious beliefs prevented them from taking oaths. Upon his 1705 arrival in the Albemarle Cary not only tendered the oaths, but caused an act to be passed which provided that any one who should promote his own election, or sit and act as a member of the assembly, without duly qualifying himself by taking the oath, should be fined £65. So offended were the Quakers at this that in 1706 they sent John Porter to England who, with the aid of Archdale, induced the proprietors to suspend Governor Johnson's authority in North Carolina, remove Cary, and empower the council of the province to choose a president.

On his return in 1707 Porter called together the Quakers, for a number of whom he had procured deputations from the proprietors, and, in the absence of Cary and the rest of the councillors, chose William Glover president. Glover was another churchman and, declining to be used as a tool by those who placed him in office, insisted as his predecessors had done that the oath should be taken. Porter now called all the members of the council together, both those who had recently been superseded and those who had not yet been sworn, declared Glover's election illegal, and chose Cary in his place. Against this Glover and Colonel Pollock protested, and in consequence of it the province at once became divided into hostile factions.

Both Glover and his rival now issued writs of election, and it was agreed that the assembly to be chosen should decide which was the rightful president. Of the seven precincts, four in Albemarle county and three in Bath county, five chose Cary members. All the members from Bath, and those from Pasquotank and Perquimans precincts in Albemarle, were his adherents. Edward Moseley, a supporter of Thomas Cary, was chosen speaker.

St. Paul's Vestry

On April 18, 1708 Moseley was appointed a member of the Vestry at St. Paul's, in place of Capt. Thomas Blount deceased.

On May 5, 1708 the Vestry appointed Rev. Mr. William Gordon "to officiate in this precinct as a minister of the gospel". On May 11, 1708 the Vestry instructed Edward Moseley, who was about to travel up to Virginia on business, while there to negotiate with Mr Frederick Jones for the purchase "for the better encouragement of a Minister (for this precinct only) which is the most proper place to purchase for a Glebe" of "the tract of Land in Quantity containing five hundred acres" being "the plantation now belonging to Mr Frederick Jones whereon the church now stands". [A glebe was land which provided income for a priest: in America it was usually worked or managed by the priest; in England it was usually let out to a tenant farmer.] It appears that Frederick Jones did not sell the land, presumably considering the offer of "an Hundred pounds in Country Commodities" insufficient.

The Vestry minutes of July 25, 1708 state that "the Reverend Mr William Gordon is speedily designed for England" and "agree that a church of forty feet long and twenty four wide fourteen feet from Tenant to Tenant for hight. the remaining part of the work to be proportionable: the roof to be first plankt and then shingled with good Cypress Shingles, and the whole to be ceiled with plank, and floored with plank, for the speedy accomplishment of which said work its the Earnest Request of the present members of the Vestry that Edward Mosely Esqr and Capt Thomas Leuten will undertake to see the same performed, they living convenient and to agree with Workmen at as easy Rates as may be."

Gordon left Carolina without permission from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), sailing at the beginning of September 1708 from Virginia back to England. He carried with him drawings of the proposed new St. Paul's church and a manuscript map of the Albemarle, drawn by Edward Moseley, with the number of tythables [sic] in each Precinct listed on it. The following Summer the Secretary of the SPG sent all the papers relating to Rev. Gordon to Lambeth Palace for consideration by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and this is where they still are (held separately from the main collection of SPG papers, now also there). Moseley's 1708 map was one of 60 Treasures from Lambeth Palace Library in the 2010 exhibition celebrating that Library's 400th anniversary.

The Cary Rebellion

At a meeting of the Proprietors held in Craven House on 7 December 1710 it was agreed that "that a Governour be made for North Carolina Independent of the Governour of South Carolina" and "that Edward Hyde Esqre be made Governour of North Carolina".  John Archdale was not present at this meeting.



Following the establishment of Charles Towne the Governor of Carolina was based there, with a Deputy Governor responsible for the northern part of what was then a single Colony. Chowan Precinct resident Thomas Cary, stepson of the former Governor of Carolina (and Quaker) John Archdale, usurped the government of the northern part of Carolina on 24 July 1708, forcing the flight to Virginia of Deputy Governor William Glover. This was fundamentally an argument between Quakers who favored religious freedom and Anglicans who sought to control the government by imposing an oath requirement: Quakers' religious beliefs prevented them from taking oaths. After the arrival in January 1710/11 of Edward Hyde as Deputy Governor his Council passed a law which referred to the recent activities of Edward Moseley:
III. And whereas grievous complaint have been made that Mr. Edward Mosley hath taken upon him to set out and survey the Lords Proprietors Lands without due entry made or lawfull authority for the same, and therein have not proceeded according to the Rules and Instructions in that case provided, so that many illegal imperfect and irregular Surveys have been made and several sums of money have been unlawfully extorted, from several of the Inhabitants upon pretence of fees and assignment of rights to the great wrong of the Lords proprietors and loss and damage of the people for remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that the said Edward Moseley shall within forty days after publication of this Act give Bond with good security in the sum of five hundred pounds to the Honble Edward Hyde esq. who is hereby appointed Trustee on behalf of the people with condition that the said Edward Mosely shall pay back and refund unto the respective persons all such sum or sums of money and deliver up all such Bills or specialtys as he hath received for security upon pretence of fees, or composition for assignment of rights where it shall appear that his survey or retume hath been imperfect, irregular, deficient or not warrantable by the rules in that case provided, or where rights had been assigned to him without due authority for the same which shall be adjudged of by the Governor or President and Council, which money so received back on account of fees shall go to the surveyor General for the time being who shall hereby be obliged, to make due and regular returns of the same and all such money so recovered as aforesaid upon the account of composition for rights shall go to the Governor deputy Governor or President for the time being.



Moseley's wife Anne Lillington Walker "departed this life November the 18th Anno. Dom. 1732 Aged 55 years and 5 months" (grave marker moved from Montpelier Plantation to St. Paul's, Edenton in 1888).

North Carolina - New Hanover

Moseley is last recorded as being in Chowan county in the Minutes of a St. Paul's vestry meeting on X April, 1735. After this he is first recorded as being in New Hanover county on 9 October 1735 as a witness to the will of former Charleston resident Thomas Clifford: the other witnesses were Maurice Moore and Elizabeth Swann (sister of Moseley's deceased first wife).

He was bequeathed land on the northwest branch of the Cape Fear in the 1632 will of John Baptista Ashe: "Item. I give, devise and bequeath unto my honoured friend, Edward Mosley, Esqr., the one half or moiety of my Lands, lying near Rock Fish Creek, on the North West branch of Cape fair River, being twenty five hundred and Sixty Acres, to be equally divided between him and my heir, to him, his heirs & Assigns forever." Ashe died between 16 October 1734 and 15 November 1734. On 30 November 1734 "Personally appeared before me [W. Smith, C.J.] Edward Moseley, Roger Moore, Samuel & John Swann, Esqrs., & took ye oath appointed by law to be taken by Executors."





with thanks to Baylus Brooks of East Carolina, who asked the right questions, and Wendy Hawke, Senior Archivist at London Metropolitan Archives, who found the answers.
Register of Baptisms at St. Giles Cripplegate 1680-88 (LMA Ms 6419/10).
Marriage Register of All Hallows London Wall (LMA Ms 5086).
Register of Apprentice Bindings in the Merchant Taylors' Company 1669-80 (Guildhall Library Ms 34038/16).
Court Minutes of Merchant Taylors' Company 1675-98 (Guildhall Library Ms 34018/6).
Pearce, E.H., 1901. Annals of Christ's Hospital. London: Methuen & Co.
Allan, G.A.T., revised Morpurgo, J.E., 1984. Christ's Hospital. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN: 0863640052.
Christ's Hospital Admission Records 1687-1704/5 (Guildhall Library Ms 12818/6).
McIlwaine, H.R., ed, 1924. Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632. Richmond, VA: . pg 6.
Christ's Hospital Discharge Records (Guildhall Library Ms 12859/5).
Marine Apprentice Bindings and Payments to Ship's Captains 1675-1711 (Guildhall Library Ms 12875).
Salley, A.S. Jr., ed, 1916. Commissions and Instructions from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Public Officials of South Carolina 1685-1715. Columbia, SC: .
Journal of the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina, 1702.
McCrady, Edward. The History of South Carolina under the Proprietary Government 1670-1719. pg 701.
Salley, pg 108.
Beaufort County Deed Book 1, pg 90.
Lambeth Palace Library.
The Church of England in North Carolina: Documents, 1699-1741. Colonial Records of North Carolina [2nd series]; Volume X.
Grimes, J. Bryan, 1912. North Carolina Wills and Inventories. Raleigh, NC: Edwards & Broughton.