Samuel More was born circa 1585 in Shropshire, England to Richard More (c1555-) and NN Harris (c1555-) and died circa 1662 England of unspecified causes. He married Katherine More (1586-) 1610 in St. James' Church, Shipton, Shropshire, England. He married Elizabeth Worsley (c1595-) 11 June 1625 in Shropshire, England.


Samuel More played a prominent role in two notorious incidents.

The More Children on the Mayflower

Mayflower plaque in St. James Church in Shipton, Shropshire commemorating the More children baptism. courtesy of Phil Revell

Samuel More (c1585-) and Katherine More (1586-), were cousins in a wealthy Shropshire family matched in a prearranged marriage. They baptized four children at St. James Church in Shipton. But soon it became evident that all four were bastard children of an illicit affair between Katherine and her secret lover Jacob Blakeway (c1585-).

A bitter divorced erupted and Samuel signed over all four children to agents for the Mayflower company: John Carver (1565-1621), Robert Cushman (1577-1625), and Thomas Weston and thence assigned to senior Pilgrim families as indentured servants. In 1620 they traveled on the Mayflower to help settle Plymouth Colony in the New World.

Three of the four children died that first winter and are buried in an unmarked grave with other pilgrims that died on Cole's Hill and recognized on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb in Plymouth.

Servant of Lord Zouche

In 1616, Samuel went to his employer and a More family friend, Lord Zouche, Lord President of the Council of Wales, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Privy Counselor, to draw up a plan for the disposition of the children. Zouche had been an active member of the Virginia Company and in 1617 he invested £100 in an expedition to the Colony of Virginia, which is where the Mayflower was supposed to have landed.

It was his actions that were instrumental in putting the More children on the Mayflower. At that time, children were routinely rounded up from the streets of London or taken from poor families receiving church relief to be used as labourers in the colonies. Any legal objections to the involuntary transportation of the children were over-ridden by the Privy Council, namely, Lord Zouche. Most people thought it a death sentence and indeed, many did not survive either the voyage or the harsh climate, disease and scarcity of fresh food for which they were ill-prepared.

1644 Hopton Castle Massacre

In the English civil war Samuel More fought for Parliament and commanded a garrison at Hopton Castle in Shropshire. Hopton Castle was one of the few castles to be held for Parliament in that county. Samuel More was commandant of the castle when, in 1644, it was besieged by a force of Cavaliers led by Sir Michael Woodhouse, with a force of about 500. Samuel More’s garrison numbered around 30 men, and the end result of such an action was inevitable.

Samuel's garrison were slaughtered at the taking of the castle, yet his life was somehow spared and he was used for a prisoner exchange.

Marriage and Family

1st Marriage: Katherine More

Jasper More (1547-1613), a distant relative of Samuel, lost his sons and had no male heir. The estates were held in an entail whereby inheritance was restricted to male heirs but Samuel father, Richard, in the marriage settlement paid 600 pounds to Jasper More, so there must have been clear title. It was arranged that Katherine would marry her cousin and indeed, on 4 February 1610, (old date style) Katherine More (1586-), 25, the last unmarried daughter of Jasper, married 17-year-old cousin, Samuel More.

At some point during this time, Samuel began working in London as secretary to Lord Edward Zouche, privy councillor, diplomat and courtier. Over the next four years, Katherine bore four children. All were baptised at St. James parish church in Shipton, Shropshire. All were registered with Samuel More as their father.

In 1616, Samuel More accused his wife of adultery and, at the direction of his father, Richard, devised a plan to rid himself of Katherine and the children. Many court proceedings document the divorce and custody settlements.

Mayflower at Provincetown Harbor

2nd Marriage : Elizabeth Worsley

Samuel More continued to act as secretary to Edward la Zouche and on 11 June 1625, he married Elizabeth Worsley, daughter of Richard Worsley, Esq. of Deeping Gate (in Maxey) in Northamptonshire and cousin to Lord Zouche's second wife, although he was only separated not divorced from Katherine More. There was no divorce as it is known today and neither party was allowed to remarry during the lifetime of the other. On February of 1626, Samuel More obtained a royal pardon, possibly to protect himself against accusations of adultery. It is not known if Katherine was still alive at the time of his second marriage.

All children from 2nd marriage were born in Shropshire, England. Note here that he names his first son in this marriage also after his father, creating two Richard More of record who would cross paths in future years.


Offspring of Samuel More and Elizabeth Worsley (c1595-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Richard More (1627-) 18 October 1627 Shipton, Shropshire, England
Thomas More (1628-)
Mary More (1629-)
Elizabeth More (1634-)
Robert More (1635-)


Offspring of Richard More (c1555-) and NN Harris (c1555-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Samuel More (c1585-) 1585 Shropshire, England 1662 England Katherine More (1586-)
Elizabeth Worsley (c1595-)


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Footnotes (including sources)