NL GenWeb

Historical Information

Conception Bay North ~ Carbonear


Hi All,
Here is my contribution for the moment. I thought that this N. C. Crewe transcription of the Claudius Watts letter, undated but probably written in the late 1800's, would be interesting for many. There are many different people and families mentioned in the letter. Claudius Watts was born 1811 in Carbonear and died 1908 in Harbour Grace. By the way, if anyone knows who "Mrs. Lilly" and "Mrs. Thomas Danson" were, I'd love to know! I'd also love to hear from anyone with connections to the families mentioned here (Francis Pike, Sr., was my gggg grandfather).

Georgia Schoelz
Auburn, WA

Typescript of the manuscript copy of the original letter, in the handwriting
of Claudius Watts, in the possession of his grandson, Mr. Theodore John Watts,
St. John's.

Note. The bracketed numbers, (1) to (7), appearing in this typescript denote
long spaces in the manuscript, indicating that Claudius did not know the names
to insert there.
							Typescript made today at
							Newfoundland Archives.
St. John's, Nfld.,						N. C. Crewe,
19 November 1964					Research Officer.

Mr. Nathaniel Pike,    Dear Sir

In your record of the Pike family I see no mention of Francis Pike Senr. Or of
his brothers of sisters, if any-or of his children. He had three sons Edward
Thistle, John and Francis, and five daughter, Julia, Mary, Jane or Ann (I am
not sure which) Catherine & Elizabeth. Julia became the wife of Francis Pike-
son of Madam Pike- (She owned the land at the north side of the Pond & on what
is now knows as Glory Lane- on both sides-south & north). This Francis Pike
was distinguished from others of that name as "Gentleman Franky". The next
daughter of Francis Pike Senr. Mary, became the second wife of John Gosse (of
the business firm of Gosse, Pack & Fryer of Carbonear & Poole, England) his
first wife was the daughter of Madam Pike and the sister of "Gentleman
Franky". The third daughter of Francis Pike Senr. Jane or Ann-became the wife
of Capt. Wm. Williams of Poole, England, where she died. The fourth daughter
Catherine, became the wife of Dr. Patrick Edward Molloy: She left no children-
as I think (but am not quite sure). The fifth & last daughter Elizabeth was
the wife of Capt. Francis Taylor, whose children you know. This man Francis
Taylor & his wife Elizabeth Pike were first cousins; his mother & her father
were brother & sister. You know the families of Edward Thistle Pike & of
Francis, they could give you more & better information respecting their family
trees than I can. John, the second son of the above named Francis Pike Senr.
died when about 30 years old leaving three sons Capt. Charles, Jabez & John.
His wife & the mother of the last named was a Moors of Blackhead. She became
the second wife of William Bennett an Irishman who did a mercantile business
for several years at Adams Cove & afterwards at Carbonear under the firm name
of Bennett & Bidley. (Bennett was Bidley's uncle). 

John Gosse's first wife was daughter of Madam Pike and sister of Gentleman
Franky - as before stated - she had two daughters, (but no son) Sarah &
Elizabeth (known as "Betsy Gosse.) One of them was married to a spanish
merchant named Ancell, of Bilboa. A son of theirs was Spanish Consul at St.
John's some years ago. The other daughter became the wife of a clergyman of
Poole named Strong. A son of theirs "The Right Honbl. Sir Henry Strong" is now
Chief Justice of the Dominion of Canada: he was Knighted at the Queen's
Jubilee. By the second marriage of John Gosse there was issue two sons born in
Carbonear John & William - and one child born in Poole - that died young. (I
think a daughter). John & William lived to be rather aged: both have been dead
several years. On the death of their father they took his place in the trade
of Gosse, Pack & Fryer. Stephen, son of Edward Thistle Pike of Carbonear
doubtless knows much of these two men John & Wm. Gosse - as they were first

I don't know what was the relationship between the first Mrs. John Gosse and
my mother-if any- but she & the second Mrs. Gosse were first cousins. My
mother's father's name was William, brother of Francis Pike Senr. before
named: there was another brother named     (1)  [Edward is hand-written in]
who settled at Mosquito - where he carried on a large fishery. He died when
about 35 years old leaving     (2)     sons Samuel, Edward, Moses     (3)
and two daughters, Patience & Mary. Patience became the wife of John Pike of
John of Carbonear (known as carpenter John), Mary was the wife of Joseph
Taylor of Rich., Senr. (north side of Carbonear). The widow of     (4)
Pike of Mosquito married a man named Simmons or Simmonds-who had been "Master
of Voyage" for her after the death of her husband. The elder Simmonds' of
Mosquito were the issue of the widow     (5)     Pike's second marriage. 

My grandfather Wm. Pike, was drowned near Cape St. Francis (with one or two of
his sons) leaving three sons - Francis, Samuel & Edward, (who lived to be old
men) and two daughters - Mary, my mother, and Patience, who was the wife of
Wm. Heighington Taylor - they were first cousins. Francis Pike, Senr., William
Pike, my grandfather, and      (6)     Pike of Mosquito were brothers - they
had one sister, Catherine (perhaps more), who was the wife of Wm. Taylor,
Senr. (south side Carbonear and was known as Aunt Kitty). They had seven sons,
Wm. Heighington, Richard, John, Joseph, Nathaniel, Edward & Francis - and one
daughter Julia, who became the wife of Thomas Chancey - the second.

As regards Madam Pike I have no knowledge of her, of her husband or of her
maiden name. There was a business - both mercantile and fishing at Carbonear
many years ago known as that of Pike & Green. I have no knowledge of them save
by tradition. The Madam Pike here referred to had three sons - Francis, known
as "Gentleman Franky" before named, a Doctor of Medicine and a Shipmaster -
christian names not known by me. The Shipmaster went to the United States, as
I have heard, & obtained command of a United States Privateer and captured
many of our large fishing boats & a few merchant vessels with some bankers on
our South Coast during the War of 1812. This was reported to me as fact many
years ago - but I have serious doubt of it truthfulness!

Besides the members of the Pike family in Carbonear, &c herein & by your
record alluded to, there was an old man Thomas Pike who lived at the south
side of Carbonear and who attained to a great age: a most remarkable man. I
once made a point of paying him a visit. I found him sitting outside his door
facing south - the sun was shining brightly - he was getting the full benefit
of it and highly enjoyed it as he been confined to his bed for several months
from severe sickness. His bodily frame was fine - his head was superb like a
piece of polished marble - not a hair on it. His memory was good. He told me a
good deal about his early adventures and exploits: and about many of the first
settlers in Carbonear, the adjacent coves, and of his going with others to
live on Carbonear Island - their guns & fortifications to resist the attacks
of the French & their Indian allies, &c which they much dreaded. He had made
several voyages to Spain & Portugal in fish laden vessels in his early years,
&c. &c. I have an idea that this very aged man - Thomas Pike was the brother
of the father of Francis Pike, Senr. of my grandfather, Wm. Pike of     (7)
Pike of Mosquito and of Catherine Pike - the wife of Wm. Taylor, Senr. - south
side Carbonear: and if so - that branch of the Pike family resided in
Carbonear many years anterior to the advent of the John Pike there - that you
start with as the progenitor of the Pike family in Carbonear. Be that as it
may - they were all originally from Poole, England. 

There was another Thomas Pike - south side of Carbonear who lived to great age
- his wife had the sobricat [sobriquet typed in above] of "Jersey Kitty" - she
was rather clever - taught school for several years - but was quite eccentric
at intervals-  They were the parents of Moses, John & Henry-perhaps of one or
more daughters - but I know of none. Who were the parents of this last named
Thomas Pike I do not know. Mr. Woodbine Pike could - as I think - give you a
good deal of information respecting his grandmother, Madam Pike - of her
husband, & of Pike & Green - if there was any business relationship or kinship
between them, &c. If the record of the Pike family & their various
ramifications is to be published it should be amplified as much as possible. 

Who was Mrs. Lilly?			         Yours very truly,
and who was Mrs. Thomas			         Sgd. Claudius Watts - the only
Danson?						 surviving one of the children of  
						 Henry Watts & Mary Pike who were
						 married in 1804.


Georgia Schoelz, N.C. Crewe & NL GenWeb