Edward Starbuck in England

Edward Starbuck was English. This small fact is all we know for certain about his life before migration, even after many years of exhaustive research.

However, there are enough clues in the data to build a reasonably probable family tree.

Most likely baptism : 27 February 1603/4 at Derby

The only baptism found in England for an Edward Starbuck at a suitable date is this one from the parish register of All Saints’ church in the town of Derby, Derbyshire, for 27 February 1603/4:

The bottom line of the image reads, in Latin: “Bap. Edwardus filius Edwardi Starbuck bap, 27.” In English: “Baptised: Edward son of Edward Starbuck (on the) 27th of February 1603/4.”[1]

In the same town and parish of Derby, also at All Saint’s church on 7 June 1607, a William Starbuck, son of Edward, was baptised so he was probably a brother to Edward. Sadly, their mother was not named.[2]

Although these baptisms both happened at Derby, no evidence has been found that the family were resident in the town, then or at any time, so it is possible that both Edward and William were born elsewhere or that their parents lived only a brief spell in Derby.

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Edward’s Silent Years 1603-40

We have no definite evidence for any of Edward Starbuck’s first 35 years of life,  between his (probable) baptism at Derby in 1603/4 and emigration to Dover, probably sometime between 1638 and 1640.

From his children’s calculated birth dates, we know Edward must have married at least by 1630 and had three children in England by 1636. We believe that his eldest child Sarah was baptised in Derby in 1630, so if that’s correct, Edward probably stayed in Starbucky Territory, rather than seeking his fortune elsewhere. What might these ‘silent years’ have been like?

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Edward Starbuck’s English Roots-Starbucky Territory

Edward Starbuck was English and if our suggested family tree for his parents and grandparents is correct, he probably spent his 35 years or so before migration in the part of England which we call Starbucky Territory.

English records dating from 1550 to 1640 prove that almost all the Starbucks of the time (and some variant Bucks and Starrs) were resident in this area or, if living further afield, had moved away from families here.[1]

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Starbucky Territory: Sawley, Derbyshire (anciently known as Sallow)

The earliest Starbucks found in our English research were in Sawley, Derbyshire, at the heart of Starbucky Territory.[1]

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Historically, Sawley presents a complicated picture. Speak its name and you could be referring to any or all of its identities, as a Parish, Prebend, Rectory, Soke, Peculiar or Manor.

Today it is a modest town in a rural setting, overshadowed by the neighbouring City of Nottingham. But in Medieval and early modern times, it was far more important, financially rich and strategically important, with an ancient Viking history under the Danelaw. Like the other locations in Starbucky Territory, it was especially watery.[2]

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Starbucky Territory: Churches of Sawley, Derbyshire

Typically of many Derbyshire parishes, Sawley was very large with four chapels-of-ease. The mother church of All Saints was in Sawley village, with the chapelries located for the ease of more distant flocks to attend worship. The four chapels were Breaston St Michael, Long Eaton St Lawrence, Risley All Saints and Wilne St Chad.[1]

Everyone throughout the parish would have had the choice of worshipping at Sawley All Saints or a chapel-of-ease. For their baptisms, marriages and burials, however, the choice was between Sawley All Saints and Wilne St Chad. The catchment area for All Saints encompassed Long Eaton, Wilsthorpe and Sawley village, while St Chad’s area included Little (or Church) Wilne, Draycott, Breaston and Risley (although this had its own chapel built by the Willoughby family).

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Starbucky Territory : Long Eaton, Derbyshire

Long Eaton, in the south-east corner of Derbyshire, and its neighbour Toton in south-west Nottinghamshire, separated only by the narrow river Erewash, were together the heart of Starbucky Territory in England.                                  

Both were small rural settlements in Edward Starbuck’s day, which grew and industrialised significantly in the 18th and 19th centuries and today are mostly residential suburbs to the major city of Nottingham.

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Most of the English Starbucks we have learned about in the 1550-1640 period were located in Long Eaton or Toton or appear to have moved from there. So these locations are vital to the quest for Edward’s roots.

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Starbucky Territory : Draycott, Derbyshire

Draycott in south-eastern Derbyshire, close to the River Erewash and the Nottinghamshire county border, is not a world-famous location. It was one of the smallest of Sawley parish’s nine settlements, with only a handful of households in the early 17th century when Edward Starbuck was born. So why does Draycott deserve the attention of every Starbuck researcher?

In 1937, Charles Edward Banks stated that Edward Starbuck migrated from Draycott in Derbyshire to Dover, New England – a singularly specific assertion. [1] Charles Edward Banks stated that Edward Starbuck migrated from Draycott in Derbyshire to Dover, New England – a singularly specific assertion. All other Great Migration historians say simply ‘Derbyshire’. Exhaustive research in the US has not unearthed a source or reason for Banks’ statement, but it clearly matters a lot to the Edward Starbuck story.

The nature of Draycott

Differing meanings have been suggested for place name, but one seems most likely considering its place in watery surroundings: it could mean ‘dry cottage’ matching its position on slightly higher and drier ground.[2] But it was still very close to the rivers and many streams where Edward Starbuck could have learned his skills of fishing and saw-milling.

It is an ancient place and a Liberty, mentioned as far back as the Domesday book of 1086 as a settlement in the manor of Sawley.[3] From then until the industrial revolution, it stayed small and rural without even a chapel of its own. Its residents attended the nearest church of Wilne St Chad, an easy walk of almost a mile to the south, past the curves of the River Derwent.

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Starbucky Territory: Breaston, Derbyshire

Breaston in south-eastern Derbyshire lies within the parish of Sawley, with Long Eaton one mile to the east, and Draycott close by on the west. It was a small but quite prosperous village in Edward Starbuck’s time, farmed on the medieval Open Fields system, along with a few enclosures. It had its own ancient chapel-of-ease dedicated to St Michael, built in the 13th century. Breaston was on the Golden Brook stream that ran through westwards from Long Eaton to Draycott.

Breaston has no great claim to fame but it is important to the Starbuck story, for two reasons: Elizabeth, the probable grandmother of migrant Edward Starbuck, was living there in 1588; and Leofnoth Sterre, a pre-Conquest manorial lord in Breaston is the potential source of the Starbuck surname.

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Starabucky Territory: Risley, Hopwell, Willsthorpe, and Woodhall Park in Sawley parish, Derbyshire

The large and complicated parish of Sawley encompassed nine settlements. We know for sure that Starbucks lived in three of them: Long Eaton, Draycott and Breaston. As residents of Long Eaton, they would have attended the parish church, Sawley All Saints in Sawley village, while Draycott and Breaston Starbucks walked the mile or so to their church of Wilne St Chad.

We do not know whether Starbucks lived or worked in the other four settlements of Sawley: Hopwell, and Risley with Wilsthorpe and Woodhall Park. However, they were part and parcel of Sawley life in the 1550-1640 period, known inevitably to Starbucks like the back of their hands. Some may have lived in these places over the many centuries, unknown to us now simply through lack of records.

Hopwell was a Liberty that came under Wilne St Chad’s chapelry within Sawley parish. It was also a manor separate from Sawley’s, held from the late 14th century until 1661 by the Sacheverell family. In the 16th century, they built a substantial seat  here – Hopwell Hall. This was demolished and replaced in 1720 by a larger version set in a 90 acre park by Henry Keys, who had inherited the old hall from Jacynth, the last Sacheverell at Hopwell.[1] We found no records directly connecting Starbucks to Hopwell.

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