French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French


French History
The Ship “Angel Gabriel”

in company of the James, Diligence, Mary and Bess

This page was updated by Mara French on 3/25/09. Numbers in brackets [ ] show sources and refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. Send any corrections or additions to this chart to Revisions: 1994, 1999, 2008, 2009.



Known Passengers and Crew

Edward French, FFA Chart #4










Angel Gabriel

Robert Andrews

May 23, 1635

Bristol, England

Aug 15, 1635

Pemaquid, Maine


John Taylor

May 23, 1635

Bristol, England

Aug 17, 1635




May 23, 1635

Bristol, England





May 23, 1635

Bristol, England

Aug 15, 1635


Elizabeth (Bess)


May 23, 1635

Bristol, England

Aug 15, 1635


The ship Angel Gabriel pulled into Pemaquid Bay (Pemaquid, Maine) on August 13, 1635 and laid at anchor. The next day there was a terrible rainstorm that ravaged the whole coast from Nova Scotia to New York starting at morning. The Angel was torn to pieces by the savage storm and cast away. Most of the cattle, 1 seaman and 3 or 4 passengers died. The others escaped to shore. The tides had been as high as 20 feet. Some passengers set up tents along the shore and John Cogswell went to Boston and sought the help of a Capt. Gallop who commanded a small bark, or barque as it was called then. He took some passengers to Ipswich and made another trip the end of October [1]. See entire ship list.

Known Passengers and Crew

The list is much larger than this, for example, the James ship had at least 100 passengers.

1.     Captain Andrews, probably Robert Andrews, not found

2.     John Burnham, nephew of Andrews, made his way to Ipswich

3.     Thomas Burnham (16), nephew of Andrews, made his way to Ipswich

4.     John Bailey, a weaver from Chippenham, left his wife Elizabeth and 3 smaller children in England

5.     John Bailey Jr. (son)

6.     Joanna Bailey (daughter)

7.     Ralph Blaesdell (42), tailor from Hawkshead, Lancashire, England

8.     Elizabeth Blaesdell (wife)

9.     Henry Blaesdell (3) (son)

10. John Cogswell, resided in Ipswich, MA

11. Elizabeth Cogswell (wife) and eight children

12. William Cogswell (16) (child)

13. John Cogswell Jr. (12) (child)

14. Edward Cogswell (6) (child)

15. Mary Cogswell (child)

16. Abigail Cogswell

17. Hannah Cogswell

18. Sarah Cogswell

19. Elizabeth Cogswell

20. William Furber (21)

21. Samuel Haines (33), was a servant to the Cogswell family

22. Henry Simpson

23. John Tuttle (17), cooper’s apprentice from Bristol, England

The James ship had at least 100 passenbers, including:

1.     Rev. Daniel  Maud

2.     Nathaniel Wale

3.     Barnabas Fower

4.     Thomas Armitage

5.     Richard Mather

6.     Humphrey Atherton

7.     John Smith

8.     Thomas Armitage

9.     Joseph Armitage

10. Godfrey Armitage

11. Barnabas Fawer

12. Dina Fawer

13. George Kendrick

14. Jane Kendrick

15. Ref. Richard Mather

16. Katherine Mather

17. Samuel Mather

18. Timothy Mather

19. Nathaniel Mather

20. Joseph Mather

21. Ref. Daniel Maude

22. Matthew Mitchell

23. Susan Mitchell

24. Jonathan Mitchell

25. John Smith

26. Mary Smith

27. Mary Smith

28. Nathaniel Wales

See ship list.



Ref [1] has been to Pemaquid, Maine for the reunion in 1986 of the Angel Gabriel. She has a copy of the thesis done by Warren Curtis Riess in 1980, "The History of the Seventeenth Century Bristol Merchantman Angel Gabriel". There is no mention of Edward French on this ship in 1635. Riess’ thesis was submitted to the Graduate College of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology, Dec 1980. See pdf file.

Ref [2] wrote “because I visited Pemmaquid Point last summer, there is NO plaque there listing passengers. I had suspected this because a friend of mine is a top-notch genealogist, with a specialty in New England stuff. She told me some time ago there is no existing list of Angel Gabriel passengers.

Ref [3] wrote: Several persons have emailed concerning the ship Angel Gabriel and the passenger list. I have a pamphlet that 'Friends of the Angel Gabriel' printed. Since 1978 a group of historians and archaeologists led by Warren Riess have searched for the remains of the Angel Gabriel and its cargo. The group MAHRI (Maritime Archaeological and Historical Institute) will be dissolving as its principal researchers have moved to various parts of the country during the past few years. At present, the University of Maine Dept. of History is planning to continue the Penobscot Expedition and Angel Gabriel research projects. Dr. Warren Riess wrote me that the passengers were from various places, including Chippenham and Hawkshead. The ship was heading for, and reached the settlement of Pemaquid. We think she was going to head for the northern part of Massachusetts after that, but the hurricane caught her at anchor at Pemaquid. Some of the passengers included families of Andrews, Bailey, Blaisdell, Burnham, Cogswell, Furber, Haines, Simpson and Tuttle. The name French was not mentioned, nor did any of these passengers have dealings with the French family. Much of the information about the last journey comes from the journal of Richard Mather, father of Increase Mather and grandfather of Cotton Mather, who was emigrating on the ship 'James', which accompanied Angel Gabriel across the Atlantic. Mather visited on board Angel Gabriel twice during the voyage. According to this information, Angel Gabriel sailed from Bristol on June 4, 1635 with four other ships. The convoy was attacked by Mediterranean pirates, who captured one of the ships. After trying unsuccessfully to recapture the ship from the pirates, the Angel Gabriel and James sailed on for New England and the other two for Newfoundland. Angel Gabriel dropped anchor at Pemaquid on August 14,1635. Most of the passengers and crew went ashore, taking tents, bedding, carpets and cooking gear as it would take two days to unload supplies. The hurricane hit them by surprise at 6:30 AM August 15, 1635.  The ship and 3-4 persons were lost along with cattle. The passengers eventually made their way to the coast of northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and southern Maine. I was also sent a copy of a page from the newspaper Coastal Life (5/20/96) which tells about the Angel Gabriel and a reunion that was held in 1985. More than 150 people from across the country attended the 350th reunion of descendants of the passengers who came to Pemaquid on the last voyage of Angel Gabriel.

Ref [4] states: In further reference to Angel Gabriel here is some of what Mather said: note nothing said about pirates boarding the ship. As I mentioned in an earlier message, they were afraid of pirates. "In the afternoon, June 29, Captayne Taylor went on board ye Angel, and took Mathew Michel & me along with him" They found there had been much seasickness and two cases of "small pockes" well recovered. "We were entreated to stay supp, there with their Master &c. and had good cheese, mutton boyled & rosted, rosted turkey, good sacke &c. "Saturday July 4, 1635. This day ye sea was very rough, and we saw ye truth of y t Scripture, Ps. cvii. Some were very seasicke, but none could stand or go upon ye decke because of the tossing & tumbling of the ship. This day we lost sight of the Angel sayling slowly behind us, and we never saw her again any more. "August 14th. But ys evening by moone light about 10 of ye clocke wee came to ancre at ye Iles of Shoales which are 7 or 8 Ilands, and other great rockes, and slept there sweetely y y night till breake of day. "August 15. But yet ye Lord hath not done with us, nor yet had let us see all his power, and goodness which he would have us take knowledge of; and therefore of Saturday morning about breake of day, ye Lord sent forth a most terrible storm of raine and easterly wind, whereby wee were in as much danger as I think ever people were; for wee lost y t three great ancres & cables, of wch cables, one having cost 50L never had beene in any water before, two were broken by ye violence of ye waves and ye third cut by ye seamen in extremity and distress to save ye ship and their & our, and lives and w n o r cables and ancres were all lost, wee had no outward means of deliverance but by loosing sayle, if so bee we might go to ye  sea from among ye Ilands and rockes where we ancred; but ye Lord let us see y t o r  sayles could not save us neither, no more y n o r cables & ancres, for by ye force of ye wind & raine ye sayles were rent in sunder & split in pieces, as if they had beene but rotten ragges, so y t of ye fore sayle and sprissle sayle there were scarce left so much as an hand breadth, y t was not rent in pieces, and blown away into ye sea. So that at ye  yime all hope y t wee should be saved in regard to any outward appearancea was utterly taken away, and ye rather because wee seemed to drive with full force of wind and rayne directly upon a might rocke ssstanding out of sight above ye water, so y t wee did but continually wayte, when wee should heave an feele ye  doleful rushing and crushing of ye ship upon ye rocke. In ye extremity and appearance of death, as distress distraction would suffer us us wee cryed unto ye Lord and he was pleased to have compassiion and pity upon us; for by his overruling providence & his own immediate good hand he guided ye ship past ye rocke, asswaged ye violence of ye sea and ye wind and raine & gave us a little respite to fit ye ship with other sayles, and sent us a fresh gale of wch wee went on y t  day in our course south west & west towards Cape Anne. It was a day much to be remembered, because y t day ye Lord granted us as wonderful a deliverance as I thinke ever people had, out of as apparent danger as I thinke ever people felt...The Lord so imprint y  e memory of it on o r hearts y t wee may bee ye better for it & bee more careful to please him and to walk uprightly before him as long as wee live; and I hope wee shall not forget ye passages of yt morning until or dying day. " When newes was brought unto is in ye gunne roome yt ye danger was past, oh how or hearts did then relent and melt within us ! And how we burst into tears of joy amongst or selves, in love unto or gracious God, and admiration of his kindnesses in granting to his poore servants such an extraordinary and miraculous deliverance. His holy name be blessed forever." In his diary, Mather notes that there were 100 passengers, 23 seamen, 23 cows and heifers, 3 suckling calves and eight mares-- and not one perished. One woman and her child took sick, which he attributed to the fact they sat between decks on her bed rather than walk about in the open air. He praised the food, saying they had no want of variety : beere and bread, salt fish and salt beef, bacon and buttered pease, sometimes buttered bag-pudding made with currants and raisins, sometimes pottage of beer and oatmeal and sometimes water pottage, well buttered. He says of Angel Gabriel: "And ye Angel Gabriel being yn at ancre at Pemmaquid, was burst into pieces and cast away in ye storme, and most of ye cattel and other goodes, with one seaman & 3 or 4 passengers did also perish therein, besides two of ye passengers yt dyed by ye way...But ye James and wee yt were therein, with or cattel & goods, were all preserved alive. The Lord's name be blessed forever." The Cogswells, aboard Angel, managed to reach shore alive and set up a large tent of theirs which they salvaged.It has been estimated by some (and doubted by others) that their property loss was L5,000.0.0, an incredible sum of money. John1 took passage to Boston and arranged for a ship to come and remove his family and such possessions as had been salvaged to Ipswich, where they settled. He received an eight acre lot on Bridge Street and a further three hundred acres "at the furthese Cheokoe, having the River on the South east" This is about five miles east of the original Ipswich, and became Essex. John1 Cogswell was the third original settler of Ipswich, and was made a freeman the next spring, at the same time as ancestor Nicholas Danforth. Cogswell sold a six acre lot in Ipswich to John Perkins and acquired from him a forty five acre tract "beyon the great Chebacco River" and the weir built there with the seven year monopoly of catching alewives therein for sale as fertilizer.

Ref [4] further states: The Tuttles sailed from London on the ship "Planter of London" in 1635---in other words they were not on "ye Angel". The Cogswells were certainly aboard the Angel Gabriel which set sail May 23d from Bristol in company of the James, Diligence, Mary and Bess. All these ships tried to keep close to Angel because it was armed and they were afraid of Spanish privateers from Dunkirk and Barbary pirates. The Angel was a slow ship of 240 tons compared with the James 220 and the three small ships headed for Newfoundland. These ships could not keep the slow pace of the Angel and lost sight of her. Rev. Richard Mather was aboard the James and wrote an account of the storm. The Cogswell were reputed by some to have lost 5,000 pounds in money and property. Of course that was an enormous amount and the account is doubted by many. Cogswell did salvage a tent though, and John took passage to Boston where he engaged a ship to come remove his family to Ipswich.


[1] Carolyn Burnham Chamberlin, 9 Foxwell Dr., Scarborough, ME 04074. 207-883-3197. Email: Website:

[2] Sandra in NH, descendant of John Bailey/Bayley, Email:

[3] Arline Larson,

[4] Robert E. Bowman,

[5] Doris J. Woodward, 2121 South Lincoln, Spokane, WA 99203, (509) 456-7553