English immigrant ship Little James. Voyage April 1623

Sailed from London, England for Boston in New England in April, 1635 with Master . One of many Immigrant Ships of New England.


In summer of 1623 about 90 passengers embarked in two small ships sailing from London to Plymouth Colony for the purpose of providing settlers and other colony support. These were the 140 ton supply ship Anne and the smaller, new 44 ton pinnace Little James which had been outfitted for military service. They were financed by Thomas Weston’s investment group, the Merchant Adventurers, also those who financed the Mayflower in 1620 and Fortune in 1621.

After a three-month voyage, the Anne arrived in Plymouth, per Bradford, on July 10, 1623 and the Little James a week or ten days later. After this voyage the Anne was to return to its regular cargo shipping work and the Little James was to remain in the colony for fishing, cargo and military service. The Anne’s Master was William Peirce and the Little James had two young men in charge – Master John Bridges, master mariner, and a novice Captain, Emmanuel Altham, a Merchant Adventurer.

List of Known Passengers[]

This table details the roll of passengers of the Hopewell, which sailed from London,April, 1623, bound for Plymouth Colony. The ship arrived safe, although some of the persons listed below may not have arrived. Some may have decided not to sail. Some servants may have run away. And there usually was some loss of life among the passengers from disease and malnutrition during the passage.

  1. William Bridges (c1610-) – Possible brother or kinsman of John Bridges, Master of Little James. He was a son-in-law of John Oldham (1592-1636), married to his daughter Mary Oldham. In later years he stated in a petition he came over with his father-in-law in 1623. In the 1623 land division, his name does not appear but he may have been represented by John Oldham’s 10 shares. Per Stratton he resided in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  2. Edward Burcher (1543-c1625) – Per Banks he was probably of Southwark St. Saviour parish, London. He was beyond middle life on this voyage as the Little James captain wrote about he and his wife: “Father Birrtcher and his wife wear as hartey as the youngest in the ship.” He received two shares in the 1623 land division for himself and his wife. He was not in the 1627 cattle division.
  3. Mother Burcher (1543-c1625) - unnamed wife of Edward.
  4. John Jenney (1596-1644) – He was a cooper (barrel maker) by occupation. Leiden records call him a “brewer’s man” of Norwich, Norfolk. He was ship’s cooper on Little James. Arrived on the Little James with wife Sarah and children Samuel, Abigail, and Sarah. Son Samuel was born on the ship. Captain Altham wrote on September 7, 1623 that “Good wife Jennings was brought abed of a son aboard our ship.” And: “was delivered of a child in the Ship a month before we cam [sic] a shore and both are well yet, God be praised.” In the 1623 land division he is “John Jenings” with 5 shares. He was a member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group as “Mr John Jenney”. In the 1627 cattle division he is “John Jene” with 5 members of his family and 6 members of the Hicks (Hickes) family listed with him in the 12th lot. Built the first grist mill in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  5. Sarah Jenney (1595-1660) (wife) – She was Sarah Carey of Monk Soham, Suffolk. Married 1613 in Leiden.
  6. Abigail Jenney (1621-1674) (daughter)
  7. Sarah Jenney (1622-1683) (daughter)
  8. Samuel Jenney (1623-1688) (son) – born on board Little James)
  9. George Morton (c1585-1624) – historically famous to Plymouth Colony by being revealed as the author (possibly with William Bradford and Edward Winslow) of Mourt’s Relations, a manuscript of life and times from the earliest colony days, published in England in 1622. Morton was of York or Nottinghamshire in the north of England. He married Juliann Carpenter, then about twenty-five, in Leiden on July 22, 1612. She was the eldest of the five daughters of Alexander Carpenter of Wrington, co. Somerset in England and of Leiden in Holland. Juliann’s sister Alice was on the ship accompanying the Anne, the little James. She came as a widow but soon married Governor Bradford. The Thomas Morton who came over on the Fortune in 1621 may have been his brother with the Thomas Morton Jr. who came on the Ann possibly being Thomas’s son and George’s nephew. Morton died in June 1624, about a year after arriving in Plymouth. In the 1627 Division of the Cattle, the Morton children are listed with his wife Juliann now listed under her second husband’s surname as “Julian Kempton” (Stratton).[83][84]
  10. Juliana Carpenter Morton – Per Banks she was baptized in March 1584 at St. James church in Bath, co. Somerset. After her husband’s death in 1624 she married “Manasseh” Kempton. In the 1627 Division of the Cattle she and her second husband are listed along with the five Morton children. Sister of Alice Carpenter (1583-1670) who arrived on the Anne and married Gov. Bradford.
  11. Nathaniel Morton (1613-1685) (age 10). He later became Secretary (Clerk) of the Plymouth General Court. He married Lydia Cooper, sister of John Cooper, husband of his aunt Priscilla (Carpenter) Wright Cooper.
  12. Patience Morton (1614-1691) (age 8). In the 1630s she married John Faunce, an Anne passenger.
  13. John Morton (son) aged 6.
  14. Sarah Morton (age 3). She married William Dennis on December 20, 1644.
  15. Ephraim Morton (1623-1693) (infant - born on the Little James). He married Ann Cooper, daughter of his aunt Priscilla (Carpenter) Wright Cooper. Future Plymouth Colony Constable, Representative, Magistrate, Selectmen, Lieutenant, Member of the Council of War, Deacon, Justice of the Court of the Common Pleas

Research Notes[]




He was a passenger on the English ship Little James, which sailed from London in April, 1623, bound for Plymouth Colony. The ship was one of two to arrive safely that year and would remain in local waters to help with fishing and other chores. The Little James had two young men in charge – Master John Bridges, master mariner, and a novice Captain, Emmanuel Altham, a Merchant Adventurer.