Poole’s Maritime History, Timeline: 1565 to 1732


Important events that set the context for Poole’s development, especially in England, Europe and Newfoundland;

Key dates and events in the lives of the featured three mariners; Button, Bennett and Rogers; and

Periods of hostility and war in England and elsewhere; developments in Poole; and in the economic condition. (See banners across the page)

  • 1565
    Thomas Button is Born
  • 1568
    Elizabeth I grants charter to Poole
    Picture of extract of Elizabeth 1st Charter to Poole – courtesy of Poole History Online
    Town and County of Poole created (including Admiral and Admiral’s Court); one of only 16 such locations in the country.

  • 1574
    Just 1373 people lived in Poole.

  • 1577
    French and Spanish piracy troubling Elizabeth’s diplomacy
  • 1578
    Elizabeth I appoints Commissioners to deal with problems in Poole’s waters – Mayor, recorder and four others

    Francis Rogers of Poole implicated in piracy; brother Sir Richard Rogers protects him.
  • 1580
    Drake returns to Plymouth after circumnavigation of world
  • 1581
    43 pirate vessels seized by Royal Navy ships off Dorset

  • 1583
    Gilbert claims Newfoundland
    for Queen Elizabeth I
    Nine pirates hanged on Studland beach

  • 1584
    Sir Walter Raleigh founds Virginia

1585 – 1600
Poole’s Newfoundland interests grow
Poole’s herd of cows led out onto heath every day
Poole’s port imports exceed exports
  • 1585
    Button enters naval service

  • 1586
    Privy Council hands powers of country to Poole to defend its waters
  • 1588
    Poole cannot afford to donate to Armada fleet

    Drake defeats the Spanish Armada
  • 1596
    English fleet sacks Cadiz
1600 – 1612
Poole’s tobacco pipe trade begins
Seasonal fishing camps in Newfoundland
  • 1600
    French fur traders establish colony in Canada

  • 1603
    Elizabeth I dies, James I crowned

  • 1604
    England makes peace with Spain
  • 1605
    Gunpowder Plot

  • 1608
    Henry Hudson searches for the North West Passage

  • 1611
    Henry Hudson marooned by mutineers
  • 1612
    Button commands search for North West Passage
    Pirate Eston raids Newfoundland fishery
1612 – 1638
Newfoundland important to Poole but piracy a problem, convoys tried but some years no boats go out
  • 1613
    Button returns to England
  • 1614
    Mainwaring (English Barbary pirate) raids Newfoundland fishery

  • 1615
    Coal: a cheaper substitute for firewood

  • 1616
    Button knighted

1618 – 1648
Thirty Years’ war involving most European states
  • 1618
    Calvert attempts settlement in Avalon, Newfoundland

  • 1620
    Button sails in Algiers raid
    Pilgrim Fathers’ Mayflower arrives at Cape Cod
    Poole has four Inns, 18 alehouses
  • 1624
    Tobacco gains popularity
  • 1625
    James I dies; Charles I crowned
  • 1626
    Poole’s first pipe clay coastal shipping recorded

1628 – 1670
Growth in pipe clay movements by sea from Poole
Tension between early settlers (planters) and fishermen in Newfoundland

  • 1630
    England makes peace with France and Spain
  • 1632
    ‘Fame’ wrecked in Swash Channel
  • 1634
    Button dies (68)
    Charles I re-introduces Ship Money taxes to support the national defences
  • 1640
    Massachusetts Bay colonists grow rich on cod fishing

  • 1641
    First sugar factory built in Barbados

  • 1642
    Poole takes the side of Parliament in the civil wars

  • 1643
    Royalists attack Poole but are defeated

  • 1644
    Battle of Marston Moor; victory for Oliver Cromwell
  • 1645
    Henry Harding’s perambulation – The ‘Beating’ of the Bounds Ceremony in Poole
  • 1649
    Charles I beheaded
  • 1651
    English civil wars end
  • 1653
    Oliver Cromwell proclaimed Lord Protector
    George Fox founder of Quakers visits Poole, several merchants are Quakers
    Rum instituted aboard warships to replace beer
  • 1656
    War between England and Spain
  • 1660
    Poole’s Coastal shipping grows
    Charles II and the monarchy restored
1660 – 1685
Government policy for settlement to begin in Newfoundland
Poole’s Coastal shipping grows
Charles II and the monarchy restored.
  • 1665
    English fishery processing described by Yonge
    Black Death strikes and 60,000 Londoners die
  • 1666
    ‘The Great Fire of London’

  • 1670
    Settlement accepted in Newfoundland
    Growth in demand for Poole’s clay, from London by sea
    John Bennett born in Poole
  • 1672
    Royal Company founded by England to exploit African slave trade

  • 1676
    Slaves purchased in Africa, sold for 10 times as much in America

  • 1679
    Woodes Rogers is born
1680 – 1720
Europe enters 40 years period of economic difficulty.
  • 1684
    ‘The word America’ appears in writing for the first time
  • 1685
    Charles II dies
  • 1688
    The Glorious Revolution’ William of Orange sent for, to be king
    Elizabeth Hyde and her husband pass messages between Mary in the Hague and Prince William of Orange in north Dorset on his march to London
  • 1690
    Rogers family moves to Bristol

    Dramatic rise in New World Piracy
  • 1691
    Bennett family moves to Barking
1692 – 1700
Open hostility with French in Newfoundland.
Poole trade suffers.
Population of London said to be 550,000.
  • 1694
    Peter Jolliffe receives gold medal from King for capture of French privateer

    Bank of England chartered
  • 1695
    William Thompson also gets gold medal

    Bennett sails to Virginia

1696 – 1698
Sir William Whestsome provides protection to Newfoundland convoys and fishery.
4000 people on Newfoundland English shore.
  • 1698
    Sir Peter Thompson born (died 1770)
    Parliament opens the slave trade to British merchants

  • 1700
    Death of Carlos II, king of Spain, causes war of the Spanish Succession

  • 1701
    Pirate William Kidd hanged in London
  • 1702
    Death of William II; succeeded by Queen Anne, last monarch of the House of Stuart.
  • 1704
    British forces capture Gibraltar.

    87 High Street built.
  • 1707
    England and Scotland united to form Great Britain
  • 1708
    Bennett sails to Archangel, Russia. Rogers sets off around the world

  • 1711
    Rogers returns a national hero.

    British troops attack French in Canada
  • 1712
    Bennett sails in the Cape.

1713 – Onwards
Treaty of Utrecht declared , peace reigns in Europe, international trade flourishes, piracy falls away.
Purbeck stone shipped from Poole in increasing quantity.
  • 1713
    Treaty of Utrecht declared, Newfoundland becomes a British colony.
  • 1714
    Death of Queen Anne; King George I crowned
  • 1715
    Death of Louis XIV of France

  • 1717
    John Bennett dies at age 47

  • 1718
    Bank of England issues Bank notes.
    Rogers sets off for Nassau with 150 men at arms

  • 1719
    Edward Teach ‘Blackbeard’ killed in North Carolina
  • 1721
    Rogers returns penniless from the Bahamas
  • 1726
    The first school established in Newfoundland
  • 1727
    End of Piracy’s ‘Golden Age’

    Quakers object to slave trade
  • 1728
    Rogers goes out again to Bahamas as Royal Governor
  • 1732
    Rogers dies aged 53 in New Providence Nassau, Bahamas.