Colony Research Group
Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology
the name Philip Amadas to an American and any recognition will surely be
of ‘the’ Philip Amadas who sailed with Arthur Barlowe in 1584 and set
in motion America’s greatest mystery, the ‘Lost’ colony of Roanoke.
Mention the name Philip Amadas to an Englishman however, and chances are,
most will respond with a blank look and a shrug of the shoulders, for the
story of Roanoke is barely known in England. Ask if they have heard of the
name Robert Amadas however, and there might just be a glimmer of
recognition among history enthusiasts; for Robert was the Court Goldsmith
to King Henry VIII and through his skill and connections, became the
richest Goldsmith in England.
Robert’s arrival at the Tudor Court though, announced the first
recognisable event in what little we know of the Amadas family, for their
arrival in England appears something of a mystery itself, and their reign
as a prominent westcountry family, like so many other names
from that area, lasted only briefly, dying out barely 200 years later.
Even the family seat has only ever been loosely described as Launceston or
Tavistock, with a branch of the family residing for a short while in
arrival of Robert Amadas at the court of Henry VIII though is more fondly
remembered by English historians for the antics of his wife Elizabeth,
whose Grandfather Court Goldsmith Hugh Brice, Robert Amadas had
1532, Robert’s wife, who described herself as a 'witch and prophetess',
alleged that she had once been King Henry VIII's mistress. She called Anne
Boleyn (Henry’s second wife) a harlot, and said that men should not be
able to set aside (divorce) their wives, as Henry VIII was trying to do to
his first wife, Katherine of Aragon; so that they could take a younger
wife. It transpired that Robert Amadas, perhaps realizing that his wife
was probably something of a lunatic (or possessing a certain death wish in
criticizing the King,) had already left her by this time. She was arrested
for her treasonous comments but later released. The Amadas family never
recovered their place in the Royal Court.
and Philip were not the only noted Amadas family members though. Joan
Amadas, a name few would be expected to know, married one John Hawkins of
Plymouth. It was her grandson that became the infamous Sir John Hawkins,
one of Elizabeth I’s famous Privateers. Alas, Sir John made much of his
fortune from Slave Trading. Indeed, such was his impact on this trade
that, four and a half centuries later in 2006, his ancestor Andrew Hawkins
made a public apology for his ancestor’s involvement in Slavery.
we should also record one more femme fatale in the Amadas family, Agnes
Amadas. She was married no less than four times; first to Thomas Mohun a
Sergeant-at-arms at the Court of Henry VIII; then Thomas Stafford (also
known as Thomas Kelloway) who was an associate of the Raleigh family, then
a John Charles, and finally William Abbot who owned Hartland Abbey, in
North Devon. Perhaps of note is that her son by this last marriage,
Justinian, married one Katherine Grenville, daughter of a certain Sir
It seems likely that it is through the marriages of Agnes that Philip
Amadas came into contact with Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Richard Grenville.
However he came to be embroiled with the Roanoke voyages though, it seems
certain that he captained ships to Roanoke on probably four occasions…
and that makes him the most experienced captain of the entire Lost Colony
saga, something he has probably never been recognized for.
Off While Researching your Family History
I’m researching my family history, I am as interested in what they did
as much as when they were born, married & died. Sometimes, I wander
off researching people I find interesting who are not really connected to
my family tree -- yet.
day I was researching the JEFFERIES families in the Bristol area. I came
across a Robert JEFFERIES who is shown as an Innkeeper in the village of
Bridge Yate [now Bridgeyate] Gloucester in the 1841 Census. An aerial view
of the village from Bing Maps shows it isn’t a very large place, so I
Googled ‘Inn+Bridgeyate’ and came up with pictures of the place as it
The Griffin Inn, Bridgeyate,
what the owner Joanna Wierzbicka-Matczak
to say about her Inn.
Griffin in Bridgeyate, Bristol is situated on a busy main road.
Traditional in style, it has one main bar area and three fireplaces
although no real fires. Our customers cover the complete age spectrum and
we have a good number of passers by, due to our location. Food is served
from an extensive main menu and can be enjoyed anywhere in the pub. The
food offer is a particular favourite, as is the choice of real ales to
accompany it. Entertainment is dominated by Sport with football being
shown on the four screens. A pool table and darts board give variety to
all. There is a relaxed, easy going, trouble free atmosphere here so come
along soon and meet the great staff and friendly clientele.
paternal grandmother’s sister married a JEFFERIES but I have not yet
been able to include Robert in his family tree. But that’s one more
entry for my places I’d like to visit on my next trip to the UK.