Tuesday

Fraser, Charles - Mary Branford Shubrick

I The Military Matriarch
Showing here is a miniature portrait of Mary Branford Shubrick (1759-Aug 1832), the wife of Colonel Thomas Shubrick (27 Dec 1756-4 Mar 1810).

It is believed to be by Charles Fraser (1782-1860) the pre-eminent miniature painter from Charleston, SC.

It may be the original or else a later copy of the original made by Charles Fraser himself. As mentioned below, Fraser himself did make copies of his own miniatures for family members on request, so that is a possibility. To confirm the attribution to Fraser, it would be necessary to compare the miniature with other works by him on a side-by-side basis.

Fraser painted many miniatures and was reportedly trained by a French artist, Belzons. No known examples of Belzons work are known. However, a recently purchased miniature included in this collection may be by Belzons, see Belzons (?) - portrait of a gentleman

A kind and expert visitor feels the face of Mary Branford Shubrick in the miniature looks like the work of Charles Fraser, but is not quite as confident about the background. Hence another possibility it may be a copy of a Fraser miniature painted by Henry Bounetheau (1797-1877) a fellow and well regarded miniature painter in Charleston, who made a number of copies of miniatures by Charles Fraser. However, for miniatures in the Gibbes Museum, Bounetheau did record on the miniatures that they were copies of Fraser's work. Thus it seems likely he would have done so again in this case if it were a copy by him.

II The Sitter
At the auction, the auction house concerned described the miniature as; "Mary Beauford (sic) Shriback? Wife of Col. Thomas Shriback? of North (sic) Carolina. Painted by Frazier?"

From this brief, but inaccurate transcription, it has been possible, in a manner typical of many items in this collection, to locate some initial facts, and then determine a great deal about the sitter and her family.

As it unfolds below, I hope you can agree Mary Branford Shubrick merits the kindly meant title of: "The Military Matriarch".

Her husband was a Colonel who died young and left her a widow for 24 years. Six of her sons served in the military, three of them predeceasing her while serving in the military, including one lost at sea. Two other sons died after her death, while serving in the military, with only one surviving to retirement age.

Later descendants have also served in the American Navy and four naval vessels have been named USS Shubrick. These vessels are all illustrated below.

Apart from this, two British Shubrick cousins of the American Navy Shubricks, became British Army Generals in India.

The "detective" work into this miniature commenced with a search of a listing of the miniatures in Charles Fraser's workbook. This quickly revealed the name Shubrick, thus the correct spelling was established, i.e. Shubrick, not Shriback and also "South" Carolina instead of "North" Carolina.

Then a search for the marriage of Colonel Thomas Shubrick, determined that he had married Mary Branford on 9 April 1778 and so the correct spelling of her name was also established, i.e. Branford, not Beauford.

Mary Branford was the daughter of Ezekiel Branford and Alice Bulline (aka Alice Bullein, both being variations of the name Boelyn), being the third daughter and with two brothers.

A kind descendant of Mary Branford Shubrick has located this description of Mary Branford Thomas Shubrick which was given by her grandson Paul Trapier.

"How far the character of my good grandmother Shubrick was moulded on this counsel of her father I was too young to be able to judge. But I always knew her as a professing member of the Circular (Independent, or Congregational) Church of Charleston; & used to attend worship with her there every now & then, when she always seemed to take a devout interest in its services, though going generally alone; for my grandfather, while respecting her attachment to it, & affording her every facility for attending there, had their children all baptized into the Protestant Episcopal Church & habituated from Childhood to its ways, thus rendering his wife's constancy to her own hereditary persuasion only the more remarkable. To me she was rendered dear chiefly by her unvarying kindness in supplying my juvenile wants with her ever-ready stores of "creature comforts" in my early childhood, by her liberal gifts of money as I grew older, & always by her inexhaustible stock of revolutionary lore in shape of anecdotes of stirring adventures, of gallant exploit of hairbreadth escapes, of patriotic sacrifice, stirring the spirit of my brother & myself, & of my sisters too, as we would sit by the hour at her feet, & drink in the love of country & the hatred of oppression. Some of the grotesque old songs with which she would amuse us linger still in my memory--with the tones of the voice which gave them such sweetness to our ears; & the vivacity wherewith to an advanced age she would sing them & recount her marvels of Whig Biography were proof to us that the "Spirit of '76" had not yet died out from even her failing frame. The only child of a deceased son, (my uncle Templer) deserted by an unnatural mother, was left to her care, & it was touching to witness the tenderness, not always tempered by sufficient firmness, with which she watched over her charge." - Paul Trapier, "Notices of Ancestors and Relatives, Paternal and Maternal" in Volume 58 of the Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina.

Research has revealed that Thomas and Mary Shubrick had many children and many descendants who may see this miniature. Mary seems to be an unsung heroine of the early years of the American republic. It is usually the men who make and feature in history, including her own sons, but they could not have done so without her.

III The Miniature
When the miniature arrived, it was found the packers had taken the portrait out of the frame to pack it separately and in the process, the backing paper had fallen to pieces, with several scraps just loose in the package. Some were missing, but the remaining pieces of paper were collected and glued to a fresh backing as shown.

The completed "puzzle" reads: "Mrs Margaret Branford Shubrick - wife of Colonel Thomas Shubrick of South Carolina - Painted by Fraser - For George Clymer her great-great-grandson."

The miniature was housed in the large gilt frame as can be seen in the top thumbnail image. The packing in the rear of the frame was part of a printer's proof or scrap, being part of an uncut sheet of several pages from a book about rail-roads.

One section of the paper includes the words; "Whitehall and Saratoga Rail-Road, now in progress. About 43 miles in length."

Then the power of an Internet search revealed that these exact words came from an 1840 book titled "A Description of the Canals and Rail Roads of the United States" by H S Tanner. See A Description of the Canals and Rail Roads of the United States, ... - Google Books Result

The use of this 1840 printer's scrap for packing, suggests that the miniature was framed, or reframed, in the early 1840's, which was during the active painting lifetime of Charles Fraser.

The close up images show the skill of the artist. Mary Shubrick is holding a fan in her hand and is sitting on a red chair which is characteristic of several works by Fraser.

Fraser's workbook, which he kept from 1818-1846, contains several references to miniatures of the Shubrick family and also to copies of those miniatures.

There are also references in the work book to Fraser painting copies in 1846 of miniatures of unnamed persons for Mr Horry, who was a son-in-law of Colonel Shubrick. It is probable these were of Shubrick family members.

More Shubrick copies may have been made by Fraser after the entries end in his work book in 1846, as the Gibbes Museum lists several miniatures by Fraser after this date, the latest recorded being 1852.

However, the key entry in the book is June 1827 when Fraser records: "Mrs Shubrick Senior ---$50".

In 1827 Mary Branford Shubrick would have been aged 68. It is a little hard to tell her age in the miniature shown here, so it is not really clear whether the 1827 miniature was from life, or copied from an earlier oil portrait. As she was still alive in 1827 and Fraser does not use the word copy in his work book, I tend to lean towards the miniature being painted from life, but perhaps with a little kindness by the artist.

Earlier in 1827 Fraser had recorded: "Copy of Col Shubrick's for Mr Horry ---$50". This may have been a copy based on the Trumbull miniature portrait of Colonel Shubrick referred to below.

In 1857 there was an exhibition of miniature portraits and other works by Charles Fraser in "The Fraser Gallery" at Charleston. This included the following list of miniatures of members of the Branford, Horry, and Shubrick families.

Item 26 refers to a miniature of Mrs Branford. This is most likely the one shown here of Mrs William Branford, traditionally identified as a Revolutionary era heroine, who must be the mother of Mary Branford Shubrick. This miniature is owned by the Gibbes Museum and appears on page 73 of the CAA catalogue.

Item 30 reads: "Mrs Shubrick, wife of (Col. Thomas Shubrick)".
19 1680 20 Col Elias Horry son of the above 21 Thomas Horry grandson of the Huguenot 22 Col Peter Horry distinguished officer in the revolutionary war grandson of the Huguenot and cousin of Thomas Horry 23 Elias Horry son of Thomas and great grandson of the Huguenot 24 Mrs Elias Horry daughter of Col Shubrick 25 William Branford maternal grandfather of the late Mr Elias Horry 26 Mrs Branford wife of the above a heroine of the revolution 27 Capt Shubrick "

If visitors know the location of any of the miniatures listed, it would be nice to hear of them.

IV The Shubrick Family
According to handed down family history, Colonel Thomas Shubrick (1756-1810) was the son and grandson of two other Thomas Shubrick's and some family history can be found at Thomas Shubrick However, as shown below, I am inclined to the view his grandfather was instead named Richard Shubrick.

His gravestone, which Mary Branford Shubrick no doubt often visited, reads:
"In memory of Col Thomas Shubrick a distinguished patriot, soldier of the American Revolution. A gentleman eminent for his private virtue as a husband, a father, and a friend. He was born in Charleston, SC December 27, 1755 and died March 4, 1810."

A brief account of his military career reads: "Thomas Shubrick served as a First Lieutenant in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, Jan 1777; as Brigade Major to General Howe, 24 May 1777 to Sep 1778; Captain, 15 Jan 1778; Aide-de-Camp to General Greene in 1781. by the Act of 29 Oct 1781, it was "Resolved that Major General Greene be directed to present the thanks of Congress to Captain Shubrick, his Aide-de-Camp, in testimony of his particular activity and good conduct during the entire action at Eutaw Springs, S.C."

Also; "His valor at the Battle of Eutaw Springs (Sep 1781) earned for him a medal and a resolution from Congress. At one stage the medal was in the possession of the family of Mrs Geo. Clymer, of Washington, DC.

This is an interesting link back to this miniature, see the note on the reverse which is inscribed: "For George Clymer her great-great-grandson."

This suggests the note was added some years after the miniature was framed, as this George Clymer was born in 1882, being also a great-grandson of William Branford Shubrick and a grandson of George Shubrick Clymer (1858-?). George Clymer (1882-?) was also a descendant of George Clymer, the signer of the Declaration of Independence who is shown here.

There is a reference to a 1791 miniature of Colonel Thomas Shubrick by John Trumbull at: JSTOR: A Tentative "Short-Title" Check-List of the Works of Col ... and a further reference to its current location at Thomas Shubrick, Capt (1756-1810), (painting). where it is recorded as still owned by the Clymer family.

Thomas and Mary Shubrick were the owners of the Belvedere Plantation sited at Charleston Neck. The Belvedere house was demolished in 1925 by the Standard Oil Company, although some woodwork was reused in 98 Broad Street, Charleston.

The Shubricks had a large number of children, fourteen by some counts. Most of whom were christened at St Philip's Parish Church. (Some dates and names quoted vary between sources and so may need correction.)

The eldest was 1 Sarah Alicia Shubrick (2 Jan 1779->1824) who married Paul Trapier (1772-1824) on 7 Jan 1802. She is depicted here in a miniature by Edward Greene Malbone.

Paul Trapier was the son of Paul Trapier Jr and Elizabeth Foissin. Reared by his paternal grandfather, he attended Harvard and graduated in 1790. In South Carolina, he was a planter, residing at Windsor plantation (approximately 672 acres) on the Black River in Prince George Winyah Parish. He also owned a tract known as Gibbon's Neck on the Black River, a portion of North Island, several lots in Georgetown, and land on Charleston Neck.

According to the federal census for 1800, he possessed 189 slaves in Prince George Winyah. However, in 1812, Trapier found himself financially overextended (due to having been the security for his father-in-law's debts) and was forced to sell Windsor plantation and to convey most of his Georgetown District property to trustees for benefit of his creditors.

Consequently, he and his family moved to Belvedere plantation in St. Philip Parish, home of the Shubricks. There he operated rice and saw mills and was a factor in Charleston where he also maintained a residence. An inventory of his estate revealed he owned 95 slaves at death; an 1824 tax return taken 12 March 1825 listed 5,713 acres and town property under his name in Prince George Winyah.

He held a number of elected and appointed positions. Paul Trapier died of a bilious fever sometime before 28 December 1824. He was survived by his wife and several children.

2 Thomas Shubrick (12 Nov 1781-11 Nov 1782) who died very young.

3 Thomas Shubrick (31 Dec 1783-) who reportedly died while serving in the army.

4 Mary Eveleigh Shubrick (16 Apr 1785-Jun 1785) who died very young.

5 Richard Shubrick (14 Aug 1787-26 Jan 1818) who reportedly died while serving in the army.

6 John Templar Shubrick (28 Sep 1788-1815) who married Elizabeth Matilda Ludlow. He is shown in this engraving.

John Templar Shubrick was born on Bull's island, South Carolina and entered the navy as midshipman, 19 Aug 1806, being attached to the "Chesapeake" during the surrender to the British ship "Leopard," and remained in that vessel under Decatur until 1808. He was commissioned lieutenant, 28 May 1812, attached to the "Constitution" during her escape from the British fleet in July 1812 and participated in the capture of the "Guerriere" and "Java."

On 6 Jan 1813, he was transferred to the "Hornet," and was executive officer at the capture of the British brig "Peacock," 24 Feb 1813. He was next transferred to the "President," of which he acted as executive at its capture by a British fleet, 15 Jan 1815. He was carried a prisoner to Bermuda, but released at the end of the war. He received three silver medals and votes of thanks from congress for assisting in the capture of the "Guerridre", "Java", and "Peacock."

South Carolina gave him a vote of thanks and a sword. On 20 May 1815, he sailed as executive of the "Guerridre" to Algiers, where he assisted at the capture of an Algerine frigate and brig, and in the demonstration by which Decatur obtained the treaty with Algiers. He was assigned to command the brig "Epervier," and sailed from Algiers early in July, 1815, with a copy of the treaty for ratification. The brig was lost at sea with all on board.

7 Mary Rutledge Shubrick (23 Oct 1789-14 Jan 1852) married Elias Edward Horry (1773-1834) in 1817. Elias was a widower who inherited a fortune from his father in plantations and other properties. They had four children. In the 1850 census, Mary lived with her four children and disclosed assets of $130,000.

The following was recorded about Mary Rutledge Shubrick Horry:
"Of my mother's two sisters, the elder, Mary, did not marry till middle age, but spent her youth & early womanhood at home. She had a large share of the beauty, which distinguished the family & was quiet & amiable with less of vivacity & imagination than either of her sisters, but of a practical matter of fact disposition, & very attentive to her devotional duties.

She was addressed by Mr. Elias Horry, a widower with a son & two daughters. I remember his formal visits to Belvedere in his handsome coach with outriders, his stately walk upstairs with his gold headed cane, & his punctuality of arrival & departure. In due time, & after the completion of regular approaches, he carried his point, was accepted, & married, & took her to his home in the ancestral Mansion, the solid substantial rough cast house at the corner of Meeting & Tradd Sts, Charleston, where she spent the rest of her days, surviving him, & two of her children, a son & daughter, leaving a daughter & three sons.

She was a brave woman, & in the days of Nullification shewed her readiness to meet danger in the spirit of her forefathers. She mingled little in society , but lived for & among her children, to whose welfare she gave herself up with entire self sacrifice, &, though not always with the dearest perception of what would be for their highest good, yet with a sincere desire for the promotion of their best interests in this world & in the next. She died in the midst of them, justly lamented by the few who knew her intimately, & highly respected in the community at large."


8 William Branford Shubrick (31 Oct 1790-25 May 1874) who married Harriet Cordelia Wethered. He had a distinguished career in the Navy, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral. He served in the Navy from 1806-1861. Also, as mentioned in more detail below, he was Chairman of the Light House Board from 1852-1871. A total service of 65 years.

An unfortunate miss on eBay was a letter written by Colonel Thomas Shubrick to his son William dated Oct 31, 1804. (It was withdrawn by the seller, along with other Shubrick items, before the auction closed.)

However, the accompanying images are shown here, although I cannot read all of them.

As far as I can tell, the small part of the letter showing reads:
"Mr William B Shubrick, Rev Thatchers, Dedham, Massachusetts.
Belvedere, Oct 31, 1804.
My Dear Son, I was much disappointed after (the a)rrival of Capt Burdil(?) a few days ago at not .......... after as I had written to the former for them to accompany .... Wilson who came with him and who was very ......... should be of the party - I fancy my letter directing them ... must have miscarried, if that should have ..... they do not, in consequence of my letter to .......... and Hayward or some other person ......... (much missing)....... my dear son. Your ever affectionate father, Thos Shubrick".


Other records cover his career in much detail and so are not included here. However one example is that as Commander Shubrick of U.S. warship "Independence" he held a conference with King Kamehameha III of Hawaii on 11 Sep 1848.

Although born in the South William Branford Shubrick supported the Union and strongly disapproved of the secession. This was possibly because he had lived in Washington for some years and had close naval connections there. For example, one of his sisters-in-law had, as a brother, another high ranking naval officer, Admiral Dupont.

For the 1860 census William and Harriet Shubrick were living in Washington with their daughter Mary and her husband George Clymer (Jul 1804-Apr 1881), who was himself a surgeon in the navy, two grandchildren and four servants. William described himself as a Commodore in the Navy and disclosed assets of $20,000.

It seems likely the miniature of Mary Branford Shubrick was part of the household at this time.

In the 1870 census William and Harriet were still in Washington with their daughter's family and a similar sized household. However, their assets had increased to $70,000.

A list at Congressional Gold Medal recipients states that William Shubrick was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.

However a different list at Recipients of Congressional Gold Medals does not include his name, nor that of his father.

A different reference again records "Pursuant to a resolution of Congress (February 22, 1816), (Shubrick) received a silver medal as one of Stewart’s officers. In 1834 the Legislature of South Carolina presented him with an elegant sword in testimony of their appreciation of his gallant services in the Constitution when she captured the Cyane and Levant." See Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter XXXI - War on the ...

Thus there is currently some uncertainty from my limited research, as to what medals were awarded to either, or both, Thomas and/or William Shubrick.

Subsequent to the death of Admiral William Branford Shubrick, he has had a steamer, a torpedo boat, and two destroyers named for him.

Harper's Magazine printed an article about his career written in Aug 1876 by Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894), the eldest daughter of James Fenimore Cooper and a distinguished writer and naturalist (she is shown here) and this article was later republished as a separate booklet, the cover also being shown.

Susan's father, James Fenimore Cooper, had also mentioned the career of John Templer Shubrick in his 1845 book titled: "Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers".

For more about the career of Admiral Shubrick see William Shubrick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The New York Times of 28 May 1874 reported the following General Order from the Secretary of the Navy: "On the day after the receipt of this order, the flags of the navy-yards and stations and of all ships of war in commission will be kept at half mast from sunrise to sunset, and thirteen guns will be fired at noon from all the navy-yards." See DEATH OF REAR ADMIRAL SHUBRICK.; THE TARIFF BILL. CLAIMS DERIVED ...

The New York Times of 28 May 1874 also carried his obituary. It reported that "in 1834 his native state had presented him with fine sword". In 1859 he received another sword from the Argentinian Confederation. See REAR ADMIRAL SHUBRICK.

9 Hannah Heyward Shubrick (17 Mar 1792-24 Aug 1806) who seems to have died quite young.

10 Edward Rutledge Shubrick (12 May 1793-12 Mar 1844) who married Esther Mary Bellin (14 Dec 1801-?) on 24 Sep 1817. They had three children.

Edward Rutledge Shubrick was born at his father's residence on Bull's Island, South Carolina 12 May, 1793. He was appointed Midshipman 16 Jan 1809 and ordered to New York to join USS Constitution. From 1812 to 1814, he served in USS President under Commodore John Rodgers, and participated in the taking of 23 prizes. Shubrick was commissioned Lieutenant 9 Oct 1813. He subsequently reported to USS Guerriere 23 Apr 1816 USS Independence 31 Jan 1817, under Commodore Bainbridge and the USS John Adams 26 Oct 1818 under Commander Evans, later under Captain Wadsworth.

On 12 Feb 1821, Edward Shubrick was assigned command of the Navy Yard at Charleston, South Carolina, where he served until transferred to Philadelphia 20 May 1822. On Apr 14 1823, he reported to the brig USS Spark at Norfolk, Virginia. On Dec 11, 1823 he transferred to the Philadelphia Yard, then to command of the Pensacola Yard 20 Nov 1825. On 1 November, 1827 Shubrick commenced unlimited leave, during which he was promoted to Master Commandant, 18 Apr 1828.

Shubrick took command of the Philadelphia Yard 29 Jan 1829, then was ordered to USS Vincennes 11 Nov 1830. On 9 Feb 1837 Shubrick was promoted to Captain. He took command of the Charleston Navy Yard 12 Mar 1840, and remained there until ordered to command USS Congress 16 Apr 1842. He transferred to USS Columbia 18 May, 1842 and died en route from Brazil to the Mediterranean on 12 Mar 1844.

11 Eliza Susannah Shubrick (Aug 1794-17 Apr 1802) who died young.

12 Decima Cecilia Shubrick (1 Feb 1796-Apr 1867) who married James Hamilton Heyward (17 Sep 1792-2 Jul 1828) on 12 Dec 1816. They are depicted here in a pair of miniatures by Edward Greene Malbone.

Decima does not seem to be in the 1850 census, but in the 1860 census, Decima Heyward was living in Wilmington as a widow, with Mariah Heyward, also a widow and a total of seven children and two servants. Decima dislcosed assets of $20,000.

13 Irvine Shubrick (15 Nov 1797-5 Apr 1849) who married Julia Sophia Angelica Du Pont de Nemours (3 Jun 1806-11 Feb 1882) on 12 May 1824. They had five children.

Irvine's wife, Julia Sophia Angelica Du Pont de Nemours, was the sister of Samuel Francis DuPont de Nemours (27 Sep 1803-23 Jun 1865) who was made an Admiral in the US Navy in 1861.

Julia and Samuel Du Pont were both grandchildren of the founder of the famous DuPont Chemical family, who had emigrated from France to the United States in 1800.

Admiral Dupont is shown in this engraving. See also Samuel Francis Du Pont and americanrevwar.homestead.com/.../dupont.html

Thus Irvine and Julia Du Pont Shubrick were part of an extended naval family.

Irvine Shubrick was appointed Midshipman on 12 May 1814 and assigned to USS Constellation in Boston. On 12 May 1814 Shubrick transferred to USS Guerriere, where he served until reassigned to USS President under Commodore Stephen Decatur. He was taken prisoner when HMS Endymion captured USS President and was taken to Bermuda with Decatur and others. When Decatur later commanded USS Guerriere in 1815, Shubrick participated in the capture of an Algerine frigate.

On 9 Jul 1816, Irvine Shubrick was ordered to USS Franklin under Captain Stewart, where he served until 17 Sep 1816, when he transferred to USS Alert. He served briefly in USS Hornet during her cruise to suppress piracy in the West Indies in 1823, then was assigned to USS Washington as Sailing Master 10 Oct of that year. After a brief leave period, Shubrick reported on board USS Brandywine 8 Jun 1825, having been commissioned Lieutenant 13 Jan 1825. On 14 Aug 1827, Shubrick transferred to USS Delaware, then took a year's leave commencing Jan 1830.

On 16 Feb 1831 Lieutenant Shubrick reported as Executive Officer of USS Potomac, Pacific Station. He commanded the landing party of Potomac during an attack on the Malay town of Quallah Battoo on Sumatra, which he destroyed to avenge the capture and plunder of the American ship Friendship the year before. He was highly commended for ability and gallantry in the conduct of this expedition.

In 1832 he was in Chile and reported back to the DuPont family about the prospects for exporting saltpeter, see the dupont dynasty - Google Books Result

Irvine Shubrick transferred to the command "receiving ship" at Philadelphia 27 May 1834 and remained "awaiting orders". Lieutenant Shubrick was promoted to Commander 8 Sep 1841.

During January to March 1843, Irvine Shubrick was one of the judges at the Mackenzie Court Martial. The alleged mutiny aboard Commander Alexander Slidell Mackenzie's ship, the U.S.S. Somers, was the first such incident in the history of the U.S. Navy.

It was also the inspiration behind Herman Melville's novel Billy Budd. See Mackenzie Court-Martial: 1843

On 13 Dec 1844, Irvine was assigned to command USS Saratoga on the Brazilian Station. He continued in command until transferred to Philadelphia as Inspector of Ordnance 8 Oct 1847. He died 5 Apr 1849 at Wilmington, Delaware.

14 Elizabeth Susannah Shubrick (27 Dec 1800-Apr 1896) who was christened on 2 Sep 1801 and seems not to have married.

V Origin of the Shubrick Family
The family seems to have originated in Devon, England where there are 16C and 17C names including: Angleess Shabbrooke, Christopher Sheobrooke, Grace Shebbrooke, James Shabrook, John Shibroke, and Robert Shaubrocke.

The name Shobrooke and its variations, such as; Shoobroke, Shoobrooke, and Shobrocke, is also relatively common in Devon with a Richard Shobrooke being found as early as 1575.

The most likely origin is that the various names all originated from the village of Shobrooke, in Devon which is only 5 miles north-west of the port of Exeter.

In 1872 it was described thus: "SHOBROOKE, a parish, with a village, in Crediton district, Devon; 2 miles NE of Crediton r. station. It has a post-office under Crediton, North Devon. Acres, 3835. Real property, £6,004. Pop. in 1851, 812; in 1861, 630. Houses, 133. The manor, with Fulford Park, belongs to J. H. Hippesley, Esq. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter. Value, not reported.* Patron, the bishop of E. The church is ancient. There are a slightly endowed school, and charities £17. T. Westcote, the antiquary, was a native; and the Bodleys, of whom was Sir T. Bodley the founder of the Bodleian library at Oxford, were at one time residents."

The British Connection
A Richard Shoobroke born at West Teignmouth on 18 Jun 1682, a small port about ten miles south of Exeter, seems to be the most likely candidate for the Richard Shubrick recorded as married in London in 1704, as his age fits and there is no record of his marriage in Devon.

Teignmouth contributed seven ships to the siege of Calais in 1347 and hence was noted as a port for many years prior to the 17C. Richard Shoobroke (18 Jun 1682-?) was the son of Richard and Mary Shoobroke. The earliest reference to a Richard Shoobroke in Teignmoth refers to a marriage between Richard Shoobroke and Thamasin Gibbs on 4 Sep 1634.

Successful merchants and sailors would naturally gravitate to London as the chief British port of the late 17C. Thus if Richard Shoobroke (1682-?) is the correct person, he may well have been sent to London in about 1700 by his father to establish a London branch for the family's trading endeavours.

His name quite likely became Richard Shubrick when he reached London. Standardised spelling of names did not emerge until the late 19C and prior to that spellings were often altered due to the effect of differing local accents, especially when people moved significant distances such as from Devon to London.

He may also have wanted to avoid the phonetic sound of his previous name as "shoe-broke", which would not sound a very auspicious name for a merchant setting up a new branch in London.

In fact, I have inclined towards the view that this Richard Shoobroke (1682-1756) became Richard Shubrick when he reached London and is the ancestor of everyone in the world with the name Shubrick, as so far I have not seen any earlier reference to the spelling Shubrick anywhere in Britain or elsewhere in the world.

Richard Shubrick then married Jane Oldfield on 5 Nov 1704 at St Dunstan, Stepney, London, England. Richard and Jane Shubrick had three children who were christened at the same church; a daughter Sarah on 5 Sep 1705, a son Richard Shubrick on 4 Jan 1707, and another son, Thomas Shubrick on 17 Aug 1710.

In the 18C the elder son of Richard Shubrick (1682-1756), a Richard Shubrick (1707-1786) was a prominent merchant and trader between London and South Carolina, About 1730, Henry Laurens knew this firm. The British National Archives holds documents dated 23 May 1751 described as; "Captain J. Reynolds, the Arundel, South Carolina. Has drawn a set of bills of exchange payable to Messrs. Richard and Thomas Shubrick for the payment of Boatswain's and Carpenter's stores, workmanship and necessaries. There are also references to the family's ships carrying slaves to South Carolina. For example, "in about 1755 the Shubricks put 220 Gambia and Windward Coast slaves to South Carolina".

In 1763 Richard Shubrick was recorded as a Carolina merchant and a director of the Royal Assurance Co. In 1769 the firm was Thos. and Richard Shubrick of 52 Watling St, by 1775 with another partner named Clemson at 19 Birchin Lane, Cornhill, near Carolina Coffee House.

At one stage, Richard Shubrick seems to have initiated a Court Case which created some contract law precedents, see Shubrick v Salmond (1765) 3 Burr 1637, 1639 per Lord Mansfield; Bunn v Guy (1803) 4 East 190, 200 per Le Blanc J; and Wallis v Day (1837) 2 M & W 274,277 per Parke B. "The Master (of a ship) is bound, likewise, to proceed to the port of delivery without delay, and without any unnecessary deviation from the direct and usual course. If he covenants to go to a loading port by a given time, he must do it, or abide the forfeiture: and if he be forced by perils out of his regular course, he must regain it with as little delay as possible." See James Kent's Commentaries: Of the Contract of Affreightment This is still an important principle with respect to ship chartering.

The eldest child of Richard and Jane Shubrick, Sarah Shubrick (5 Sep 1705-?) appears to have married John Neckleson (aka John Nickleson) in London, England on 2 Nov 1727. John Nickleson entered into partnership with his two younger brothers-in-law, Richard and Thomas Shubrick.

Richard and Thomas both emigrated to America, but with Richard later returning to live in London, while Thomas remained in America until his death.

Richard's return to London in 1746 was probably to take over the running of the London end of the business and thus allow his father to retire. The death of Captain Richard Shubrick is recorded on 25 Jan 1756, in the paper "British Spy" of 31 Jan 1756. This seems to be the first Richard Shubrick (1682-1756).

(Interestingly, in the same week "British Spy" reported; "On Thursday was held a General Court of the South Sea Company, when a Dividend of Two per Cent was declared on the Capital Stock for the Half-year ending at Christmas." This reference is to the infamous South Seas Bubble Company.)

There are references to marriages of a Richard Shubrick to Hannah Foster in London on 16 Aug 1755 and also of a Richard Shubrick to Sarah Hotchkis in London on 31 Oct 1767.

The former, 1755, marriage is probably the second marriage of the Richard Shubrick (4 Jan 1707-1786) who reportedly returned to London from America in 1746 with his son Richard (1741-?) on the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Ball.

Then the latter, 31 Oct 1767, marriage is likely to be that of the third Richard Shubrick (1741->1792) who was elected as a director of London Assurance on 3 July 1792, when he gave his address as the Carolina Coffee-house. This Richard and Sarah Shubrick had eight children, a daughter Mary Shubrick on 27 Dec 1768, a daughter Mary Ann Shubrick on 3 Mar 1771, a daughter Carolina Shubrick born 1 Feb 1773, another daughter Sarah Shubrick born 23 Feb 1770, a son Richard Shubrick born 3 Mar 1775, a son Henry born 15 Jun 1780, and another son Thomas Shubrick on 8 Sep 1781, and another daughter Emma Shubrick on 1 Jul 1786, all children being born in London, England.

The Bengal, India Connection
At at least one of these sons, Thomas Shubrick seems to have emigrated to India, as there are a number of 19C BMD references to Shubrick in India, including a reference to Lieutenant-General Thomas Shubrick (1781-1863) of the Bengal Cavalry who was appointed a full General on 6 Apr 1862, see P1426 and Bulletins and Other State Intelligence - Google Books Result Also to a General Richard Shubrick of the Indian Army (11 Jan 1820-26 Apr 1888), see Officers Died S.

The latter General was appointed a provincial commander in chief on 5 Mar 1871. He was most likely the son of the former General and he was the second husband of Flora Anne Gilbert (1818-1894), herself the daughter of Lieutenant-General Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert, GCB. General Richard Shubrick is buried at St Peter's Church, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Glos. England. Flora may have been related by marriage to Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Marquess of Hastings, Governor General of India.

The Shubrick connection with the Army in India continued, as there is a reference to Lieutenant-Colonel Abraham Bolton of the 5th Dragoon Guards who died 20 March 1857. He was the son of Lyndon Bolton and married Eliza Fanny Shubrick, daughter of Charles Shubrick (Bombay Civil Service). There is a memorial at Christ Church, Cheltenham - "Dedicated to the memory of Abraham Bolton Esq. Lieut Colonel, late of the 5th Dragoon Guards, who departed this life on the 20 Mar 1857 aged 52, as a testimony of affection and high appreciation of his merits and Christian virtues by his afflicted mother-in-law, Eliza Matilda, widow of Charles Shubrick Esq, of the Bombay Civil Service."

This Charles Shubrick must be related, but how is not exactly clear. It seems likely he went to India as the Charles Shubrick mentioned as fourth mate on the East India ship "Canton" which traded to Asia in 1794/95.

There are several references to him as a senior Civil Servant in India, including a reference to him being "writer in the 1794 season" and being appointed Collector of the Broach Collectorate region of Gujarat in 1818 where Charles Shubrick was described as follows: "Shubrick, however, was a man of independent mind and ungovernable spirit: whenever his principles or his policies were criticized, he was apt to be outspoken to the point of insubordination in their defence. "

There is also a note of Charles Shubrick's death at Belvidere, India at age 46 on 24 Mar 1822. Thus he must have been born in 1775 or 1776.

It seems more than a coincidence that the Lieutenant Governor's residence at Bengal, India shown here was named Belvidere, the exact same name and spelling as the Shubrick plantation in South Carolina.

Perhaps a son of Charles Shubrick, was the C J Shubrick MCS who was a member of the Ootacamund Club in India in 1842. Also a grandson was perhaps the Charles J Shubrick who was married at Madras in 1854 to Louisa M H Taylor.

There seems to be an Anglo-Indian branch of the Shubrick family even today.

The American Connection
The history connecting the ancestors of Colonel Thomas Shubrick (1756-1810) with Richard Shubrick (1682-?), seems to fit as a reasonable account of the family origin.

It does broadly fit with the orally handed down Shubrick family history, recorded over 100 years later, apart from an apparent mix-up between the forenames Richard and Thomas at one point in the early 18C, which is commented on below.

Most sources agree Colonel Thomas Shubrick (1756-1810) was the son of Thomas Shubrick (c1710-14 Aug1779) and Sarah Motte (11 Jun 1778-7 Jul 1760) who were married 8 May 1746 at Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina.

His grandfather is not as clear. Some family history trees suggest he was also named Thomas Shubrick (1690-?).

Given the combination of similar names and dates, and the extreme rarity of the name Shubrick, it seems the grandfather of Col Thomas Shubrick was the Richard (not Thomas) Shubrick (1682-1756) mentioned above.

There is no reference to Thomas Shubrick (17 Aug 1710-1779) marrying, or fathering children in London, England. It is therefore clear he was the Thomas Shubrick who emigrated to America, remained there, and fathered Colonel Thomas Shubrick (1756-1810).

Apart from the miniature of Mary Branford Shubrick shown above, recently some other Shubrick relics were sold by Golden Memories Auctions of Mountain City, GA on May 24, 2008 and were advertised as having belonged to William Branford Shubrick.

They are shown here and were described by the auction house as.


Lot 207 Blanket Box with star decoration on inside reportedly belonging to W B Shubrick


Lot 278 Captain W B Shubrick US Military and Naval Magazine Dec 1835


Lot 283 Shoulder epaulettes, belt and whale tooth (ex Shubrick)


Lot 284 Four powder horns (ex Shubrick)


VI Origin of Mary Branford's Family
As the name Branford is more common than Shubrick, it is more difficult to trace. Additionally, the Branfords do not appear to have been members of the Church of England and hence parish records of BMD are not available.

Various family history sites record that Mary Branford (1759-Aug 1832) was the daughter of Ezekiel Branford (1725-1776) and Alice Bulline (?-1787) (aka Alice Bullein), both being variations of the name Boelyn) who were married around 1738, with Mary being the third daughter and having two brothers.

Available family trees provide little information about Ezekiel Branford and Alice Bulline. I tend to think the birth date of 1725 usually given for Ezekial is too late, as his eldest child was born in 1739. Thus a birth date for him of around 1715 seems more reasonable.

However there do appear to be one or two clues to the Branford family ancestors. The sources are shown below in full for any interested researchers, although the second quotation contains much unrelated information.

From my reading of the two sources below, it appears that the mother of Ezekiel Branford was Mary Cator (aka Mary Cater) (c1682-<1730)> daughter of Thomas Cator (c1652-1730) who came from Jamaica and was married there in c1677. Mary Cater (aka Mary Cator) seems to have been married several times, with the first being to Branford with whom she had a number of children including Ezekiel Branford.

Thus one grandfather of Ezekial was Thomas Cator (c1652-1730). Ezekial married Alice Bulline who was probably a granddaughter of Thomas Bulline (c1668-6 Jul 1733) and Susannah Stone (c1672-?) of Berkeley, SC who had seven children, including a daughter named Alice (c1700-?). Their two sons were John Bulline (c1694-?) and Thomas Bulline (c1696-?). Thus it is probable that the Alice Bulline who married Ezekial was the daughter of John or Thomas Bulline.

From source one below, Ezekial seems to have had an elder brother William Branford. This may well be the William Branford (1699-1751) born in Barbados, who married Annie Creighson in 1720 at Berkeley, SC and had a number of children. This William Branford is well documented.

Source one is the will of Thomas CATOR (see http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cato/cato1/sca.html) Will sg. 1 Feb. 1730 pr. 13 Apr 1731 in Charleston. No wife is listed...Ch. 3 named: Son, William CATOR Ex. with Paul JENNYS...Dtr. Susanna Bradwell...Dtr. Mary Lashley dead...Shares to grand children as follows: Elizabeth Bullin...William Branford...Benjamin Branford not yet 21...Ann Hamblin (and called sister to Benjamin Branford)...Mary Hamblin ...Mary Shepherd & called sister to Benjamin Branford...Paul CATOR not yet 21...Ezekiel Branford...Joseph Branford...in text of will Mary Shepherd will have the 100ac where my daughter, Mary Lashley lived...Rev. Thomas SIMMONS, my pastor to have 10...Trustees to be John BULL & Elizabeth JENNYS. Wit. Angle KOONE & William BURNLY.

Source two is a very long letter from the Society of First Families of South Carolina quoted at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/CATO/1998-01/0885605789

"1. ...The family of Thomas Cater who had 100 ac. grant 23 Mar 1681 on Ashley River, 300 ac. 12 May 1699, etc., will 1 Feb 1730 p. 26 Apr 1731, is complicated, to say the least. He had at least 4 ch: 1. Mary (c.1682-c.1750) apparently m. 4 times: Branford, Hamblin, Shephard & Lashley; 2. Thomas (c.1684-c.1725); *William* (c. 1688-1749); Susannah (c.1690- ) m. c.1708 Nathaniel Bradwell. (Many researchers never realized the existance of his son Thomas.)

2.Son *William* (c.1688-1749) m. Mary & had 7 known children: 1. Elizabeth m. Benjamin MARION; 2. Mary m. (1.) 1733 Thos. QUARTERMAN & (2)1738 Richard BAKER, Esq. of Archdale Hall; 3. Ann m. Joseph CHILD; 4. ~William~ (c.1723-c.1775), Executor of his father's 1744 will (possibly your anscestor); Benjamin (c.1725-1751) m. Mary BEDON, no children; 6. Joseph (c.1727 - ); 7. Thomas (1731-1753) m. Susannah BAKER (1731-1752) of Archdale HALL.

3. Son ~William~ (c.1721/3-c.1775) Ex. of his father's 20 Oct. 1744 will, had 500 ac. grant 29 Oct.1769 Combee Island, Granville Co.; two known ch: 1. Mary (1 June 1749-16 July 1770) m. 16 Mar. 1769 Charles DuPONT b. 1770); 2.^William^ Cater (c.1751-c.1829)

4. Son ^William^ (c.1751-d. Cater Hall Place, Barnwell Co. near where Lower Three Runs Creek empties into Savannah River (short distance from where Thomas Miles Cater lived after 1810) of burns & old age; served 290 days SC Militia Revolutionary War Service 12 May 1781-25 Feb. 1782 (SC Stub Entries Vol. R-T); granted 80 ac. west side of Lower Three Runs (then in) Orangeburg Dist. 28 Feb.1785, having had 100 ac. Tille's Branch, Lower Three Runs 1 Sept.1784; he bought 100 ac. adjoining 3 Aug.1786 from Lewis JOHNSTON, 50 ac. additional 20 Jan 1805; on Winton Co. tax list 1788; 1790 Census So. Part Orangeburg Dist. no slaves; 1800 Census Barnwell Dist. 26/45 yrs. old 6 slaves; 1810 Census with 12 slaves; 1820 Census 17 slaves. (note: this part of Orangeburg Dist. became Winton Co. 1785-98 after which it became Barnwell Dist. & in 1912 became Allendale Co.) On 17 May 1810 he had 1000 ac. grant on Boggy Gully, South Edisto River (not far away;) his wife's name unknown but she was living in 1820 census & reputedly died soon thereafter; he fell into fire in old age & was badly burned; 5 known ch: 1. James (c.1774-1807) m. Ann; no issue; 2 Benjamin (c.1777- ) had 340 acre grant on McTear's Creek, waters of South Edisto 17 May 1810 same day his father had the 1000 acre grant in same neighborhood; his name does not appear in Barnwell Co. records or censuses. My opinion is that he is the father of your Joseph Cater b. 1795 as well as the William Cater who came to Vanderburgh Co., Indiana; 3. Elizabeth born c.1780 m. Benjamin COKER who's will was proved 29 Sept 1818 naming children James, Mary, Lucy, Julia & Daniel B.; Elizabeth Cater COKER's will was executed in Barnwell 11 Sept 1849; 4. Edward, b. c.1784 (26 & up in 1810 census with wife & three young daughters; 5. Mary (1786-16 July 1855) m. 10 June 1806 James FURSE (b. Bristol, England 1774-died Barnwell Dist. 11 May 1850, son James FURSE who m. in Christ Church, Savannah, GA 24 May 1766 Herodias REDDING); James & Mary (Cater) had 11 children.

Since the 1810 date is the last known record of Benjamin Cater, it seems likely that he left SC. My files contain no reference to your Joseph born 7 Nov 1795, nor to a William who emigrated to Kentucky/Indiana.

My gr-grandfather, Capt. Thomas Cater (17 Dec.1751-30 Apr.1803) married 18 Feb.1773 Rachel MILES (22 Dec.1755-30 Jan.1802), daughter of Captain Silas MILES of Poplar Springs Plantation, St. Paul's Parish, and Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. James McPHERSON of Buckfield Plantation. They lived at Cater Hall Plantation, St. Peter's Parish; he was Commanding Officer of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillary during the Revolutionary War, member of the Jacksonbororough Assembly 1782, member of SC House of Representatives 1786 from Lincoln Co.; they had 11 children: Rachel Miles, Mary Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Susannah Baker, Caroline, Ann Miles, Thomas Miles, Silas McPherson, Richard Bohun, William Main & McPherson. Mary Elizabeth (25 June 1776-25 Feb.1823) m. (1) Thomas RHODES (Bridgnorth, England 22 Apr 1775-Calliwassee Is., Beaufort Dist., SC 25 Apr.1809) and their eldest child: Hon.George RHODES (1802-1881) of The Hermitage Plantation, Lawtonville, St.Peter's Parish, SC, Signer of the 1860 Ordinance of Secession for St. Peter's Parish, was my gr-grandfather.

The late J.G.HUBBARD of Troy, AL, a descendant of William Cater (1751-1829) studied the family extensively early in this century & in 1963 just before his death at around age 100, allowed me to abstract his conclusions. He also examined the 1802 Bible of Thomas Miles Cater, younger brother of my Mary Elizabeth.

I cannot close without noting that in 1985 I recieved a letter from (ask Bonnie if you want name & address!) who claimed that my Thomas Cater was a grandson of Ernau Catoir being a variety of Cathari, part of the Waldensians of southern France. He thought my Thomas had settled among the French Hugenots but that was not the case at all. Thomas lived on Ashley River in the midst of the Original English settlers while the Huguenots lived east of the Cooper River and along Santee River. (I have quite a few Huguenot ancestors and am a life member of the Huguenot Society of SC.) While studying the background of some of my English ancestors I found a reference to Thomas Cator at Ormesby, Lincolnshire April 1472 and another to Richard Cater, gent, on of the sons of John Cater of Langston. Richard died in the fall of his horse 10 July 1631, buried at Welton Church, leaving 2 sons: Francis & John. Richard died seised of the reversion in fee simple of the grange of Whait & of the rectory of Welton, expectant after the end of a lease made to one Thomas MASSINGBERD. Francis Cater had a son John. The Rev. MASSINGBERD's History of the parish of Ormesby cum Ketsby contains quite a few references to Cater folks in Lincolnshire whom I have no reason to doubt are my Cater family.

Also, in 1982 I carried on an extensive correspondence with (once again, write Bonnie for name & addess), who claimed descent from a William Cater born c.1753 Edgefield Dist., SC, died 1835 Monroe Co., AL; my conclusion was he belonged to a Cater family of Sumpter District, SC which had probably come down from VA. (His wife Catherine COLLINS was recorded as having been born in VA). William's grandson, Douglas John Cater (27 Mar 1841 Sparta, AL-23 Nov. 1931 San Antonio) left an account of his activities during the Confederate War.

Although my Thomas Cater (d.1731) has many descendants qualified to join the Society of First Families of South Carolina 1670-1700, none of our 500 members has elected to enter on descent from him. The Society would welcome the establishment of his line & I shall be happy to sponsor any descendant who chooses to do so....Faithfully, Robert E.H.Peeples, President.
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Note from Bonnie! The above Thomas Cater was the nephew of Stephen Cater & inherited land in GA from him (according to a Cater researcher). This is not the same Stephen Cater who willed land to nephew to John Cater - land also in Georgia. Still looking for other Stephen Cater! We have another John & George ! See following off the Family Histories 2 page: (These are the notes on Wm.W.Cater m. Mary that were sent to me)
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7GGrandfather Thomas Cater held land warrants as early as 1681 in Berkely Co. SC.

6 GGrandfather William W. Cater m. Mary ? Held Land Grants in SC. over 21 in 1774

****5 GGrandfather."William Cater (Father of John and George) Son of William W. Cater, Executor of Fathers will in 1744. Moved to Queen Annes Parish, MD. Named in 1790 Prince George County, MD Cesus."

George Cater (What I know about George comes from the entry I have for his brother John. It reads as follows: From notes br Earl F. Cater Pastor on Baugo Church of the Bretheren. "John Cater b.1776 d. Sep 18, 1858 age 81 yrs, 6 months, 26 days took tract of 160 acres in 1806 land grant in Belmont County, OH
(still in the Cater family name){1980}, Settled with brother George and family. and father, William.
Wife Mary Tarman 1-23-1805 Prince George County, MD. Known Children." Both John and George were probably born in SC or definately MD. 4G-Grandfather John Cater (1777-1858) m. 1805 Mary Tarman (n Prince George Co. MD) John Cater Jr."

VII Literature
There are several interesting Shubrick literary references.

Firstly, an 1823 book, "The Pilot - A Tale of the Sea" and written by the famous author James Fenimore Cooper (shown here in a contemporary 1822 portrait by John Wesley Jarvis) was dedicated to William Branford Shubrick as follows:

"Dedication - To William Branford Shubrick Esq. U. S. NAVY.
MY DEAR SHUBRICK,
Each year brings some new and melancholy chasm in what is now the brief list of my naval friends and former associates. War, disease, and the casualties of a hazardous profession have made fearful inroads in the limited number; while the places of the dead are supplied by names that to me are those of strangers. With the consequences of these sad changes before me, I cherish the recollection of those with whom I once lived in close familiarity with peculiar interest, and feel a triumph in their growing reputations, that is but little short of their own honest pride. But neither time nor separation has shaken our intimacy: and I know that in dedicating to you this volume, I tell you nothing new, when I add that it is a tribute paid to an enduring friendship, by your old Messmate, THE AUTHOR."


Secondly, another book written by James Fenimore Cooper in 1827 and titled "The Red Rover", was also dedicated to W B Shubrick as follows:

"To W. B. Shubrick, Esquire, U. S. Navy.
In submitting this hastily-composed and imperfect picture of a few scenes, peculiar to the profession, to your notice, dear Shubrick, I trust much more to your kind feelings than to any merit in the execution. Such as it may be, however, the book is offered as another tribute to the constant esteem and friendship of The Author."


Anyone interested in learning more about these novels or the connection with James Fenimore Cooper should visit an excellent and comprehensive site about Cooper at journal.html There is also information there about a short biography of James Fenimore Cooper published by W.B. Shubrick Clymer published in 1900 (reprinted 1918). Cooper's known letters to William Branford Shubrick are included in his published letters and journals (6 volumes, Harvard, 1960-68), along with detailed notes.

Thirdly, a romantic novel which refers to Mary Branford Shubrick is set at Belvedere Planatation at the time it was owned by the Shubrick family.

It is titled "The Haunted Avenue" by Margaret Rhett Butler, 1963. A synopsis is:

This story takes place at the first Belvidere Plantation, which was built beside the Cooper River, three miles from Charleston, in March 1796. The beautiful plantation was owned by Colonel Thomas Shubrick. He had married Mary Branford in Charleston on April 09, 1778 and was proud to present to her a property of great wealth and importance.

The story is a tale of how a young slave girl, Clarissa, who served Mrs. Shubrick was convinced by the Shubricks' gardener, an immigrant from England, Timothy Wales, to steal jewels from her mistress with a promise they would run off together. After Clarissa gave him the jewels, he pushed her aside and fled alone promising to return for her. Frightened she returned to the house and set it afire. Suspicion pointed towards her and she broke down, confessed and was hanged. Although, Belvidere was rebuilt, it's no longer standing, but they say that the ghost of Clarissa still walks the lonely avenue awaiting her English gardener who never returned.


Fourthly, there is an interesting reference to a book titled "The Lost Light - The Mystery of the Missing Cape Hatteras Fresnel Lens" by Kevin P. Duffus, 2002. It is about the Civil War, Lighthouses, and William Branford Shubrick at Lighthouses@Lighthouse Digest ... The Lost Light

VIII The Light House Board
There have been four naval vessels named USS Shubrick.

The names reflected the service of Admiral W B Shubrick (seen again here) as Chairman of the Light House Board from 1852 to 1871.

The role of Chairman of the Light House Board may be thought to be a sinecure, but in times of both peace and war it was an important role, for example in 1861 North Carolina alone had two dozen light houses.

It should be remembered that during peace times, many more ships were wrecked in coastal waters, than were ever sunk by gunfire during war!

Some brief comments on the formation of the Board are interesting and indicate the amount of work. For many years prior to 1851 light houses were a civil responsibility and were poorly managed.

A congressional investigation which began in 1847 took more than four years to effect a change in the administration of aids to navigation in the United States. During those four years, Lieutenant Jenkins of the Coast Survey was appointed to conduct interviews with pilots and mariners, and engage in research both foreign and domestic. See A HISTORY OF BUOYS AND TENDERS IN U.S. COASTAL WATERS: Chapter I

As a result of the investigation on 3 Mar 1851, Congress approved an "Act Making Appropriations for Light House, Light Boats, Buoys, &c."

In accordance with Section 8 of the act, "The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and required to cause a board to be convened at as early a day as may be practical after the passage of that act to be comprised of two officers of the Navy of high rank, two officers of Engineers of the Army, and such civil officers of scientific attainments as may be under the orders or at the disposition of the Treasury Department, and a junior officer of the Navy to act as Secretary to said board, whose duty it shall be under instructions from the Treasury Department to inquire into the condition of the Light House Establishment of the United States, and make a general detailed report and programme to guide legislation in extending and improving our present system of construction, illumination, inspection, and superintendence."

The creation of the Light House Board was the result of this mandate. Its original members were Cdr. William B. Shubrick, US Navy; Cdr. Samuel F. Du Pont US Navy (as noted above he was a relation of W B Shubrick) U.S. Navy; Lt. Col. James Kearney, US Topographical Engineers; Professor Alexander Dallas Bache, Superintendent US Coast Survey; Professor Joseph Henry; and Lt. Thornton Jenkins, US Navy, who acted as Secretary.

The creation of the Light House Board essentially and effectively removed the jurisdiction of aids to navigation from civilian control and placed it with a quasi-military organization. The convening of the Board on April 28, 1851, marked a new beginning for aids to navigation, but members of the Board faced a significant up-hill battle. Their first task was to address the inadequacies of the existing aids, a task that consumed the Board for its first few years of existence.

In Dec 1852 the New York Times reported; "The new Light House Board, W B Shubrick, Chairman, at Washington City, has issued a circular requesting mariners and others interested in commerce, and the preservation of life and property from loss by shipwreck, to give prompt information of cases in which lights are not lighted punctually at sunset. and extinguished at sunrise, or in which they are not properly attended to during the night."

An example of the great effort required can be seen by reading W B Shubrick's annual report of the Light House Board for the year ended 30 June 1857. It runs from page 229- 256 of the Treasury Report and records that the number of light stations had risen from 371 in 1852, to 627 in 1857. See Annual report of the Secretary of the treasury ... - Google Books Result

As the board made improvements in personnel, quality of structures and materials, lighthouse equipment, and supply, it became evident that a central base of operations was needed.

In 1863, Admiral William B. Shubrick, as Chairman of the Lighthouse Board, and Professor Joseph Henry, head of the board's experimental department, set out to find the land on which to build a 'super depot' for the Lighthouse Establishment. Because of its convenient location in a major U.S. Port, the good anchorages nearby, and the availability of room for expansion, the Staten Island site was chosen.

Work began immediately to build the lighthouse depot. In 1864 the warehouse building (called the barracks today) was completed, and work soon began on the old Lamp Shop, which would be completed in 1868. The Administration Building was completed the following year in 1869. The French Second Empire style office building shown here was completed in 1871,

The Civil War caused a number of coastal lighthouses to be dismantled to avoid assisting the enemy and others fell into disrepair, which then became a major task to remedy and relied on the availability of sufficient lighthouse tenders.

The Lighthouse Service tenders provided supplies and work parties to the scattered and isolated lighthouses, in addition to maintaining other lesser aids to navigation. The work was dangerous, as lighthouses were located in hazardous areas. The tenders and their crew were expected to go where no other vessel could get to and work through storm, darkness and sunshine. The first tender along the Southwest coast was also the first steam powered tender, Shubrick.

This is a picture of South Farralone Island, Point Shubrick, Light-house, Parrot Rock and Gull Peak, from Abaloni Trail. Presumably named for W B Shubrick, but not confirmed. It gives a good idea of the type terrain and seas often met with, in establishing light houses.

In Harper's Monthly in 1869 there was a report on the state of light houses which included the following statistics:

"Commodore W.B. Shubrick, as Chairman of the United States Board, reports the number of light stations existing on 31 Mar 1868, to be 486, with 695 keepers and assistants, directed and controlled by 12 inspectors, as many engineers, and 10 members and clerks of the Board in the office at Washington. The whole force is maintained, according to the report of Controller Brodhead of the Treasury Department, at the annual cost of about $2,194,651.18, or about $4500 per light. Three hundred and sixty-six of these lights are along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Coasts; but 45 of them were extinguished during the rebellion, and have never been relighted. The remainder are along the Hudson River, the only inland stream in the country which is lighted along its entire course. The highest light is visible at sea for only the distance of twenty-eight miles, and that one is on the Pacific, the least frequented of our coasts." See RootsWeb: LOWER-DELMARVA-ROOTS-L [LDR] Harpers Monthly, 1869 -1 ...

IX USS Shubrick
Shubrick 1
The first Shubrick was a lighthouse-tending ship for use on the Pacific Coast, but built in Philadelphia at a cost of $60,000. It was the first steam-powered and purpose built Lighthouse Tender. It is shown here, with another image further below which appears to be subsequent to some modifications, for example to the funnel.

From the incidents below, it can be seen it set an impressive example for its later, and larger, Shubrick namesakes!

A side-wheeler with a harp and steeple single-expansion steam engine, the Shubrick was 140 feet long with a 22-foot beam and drew only nine feet, a draft which enabled it to relieve buoys in relatively shallow water. The 284-horsepower engine propelled it at a top speed of eight knots. The hull was constructed of Florida live oak and white oak, and she displaced 350 tons fully loaded. To better withstand buoys scraping her side, the Shubrick's hull was painted black, topped with a white ribbon and waist.

US Coast Guard vessel Shubrick was dispatched to the Pacific Northwest as a lighthouse tender. It was a harrowing 150-day adventure commencing on 22 Dec 1857. The vessel steamed around Cape Horn and through the Magellan Straits. It ran out of coal to fuel the steamship, and the crew was forced to cut up pieces of the ship for fuel, before putting ashore to accumulate wood, and arriving on 27 May 1858 at San Francisco

In a full and interesting reference to the maiden voyage Henry George, a crew member, wrote: "She looked as sharp and trim as a yacht, but, as in addition to her regular duties of supplying light-houses and maintaining the buoyage along the west coast, she was intended to give protection to government property along the sea shore of Oregon and Washington from the depredations of Indian tribes, she was armed with six brass guns and a novel contrivance for squirting scalding water on the redskins when at close quarters."

The voyage was dangerous. As early as "Christmas day, while the Shubrick was steaming along over a sun-kissed sea some distance off the Hatteras coast, the wind, which had been fair, subsided, and then without warning rose into a white squall, blowing from the north-east. The boat's head was swung around and she was brought to under low-steam. At night the wind blew a hurricane, the sea breaking over her fore and aft with great violence. The after part of the wheelhouse, engineer's storeroom and starboard bulwarks were stove in, and everything movable on deck washed overboard, including port shutters, harness-casks, deck engine, and spare spars and lumber. At ten that night, deeming that she was in danger of foundering, thirty tons of sacked coal and some other things were thrown overboard.

Many times during his life Henry George spoke of the terrors of this storm, on one occasion saying: "A negro deckhand and I worked together throwing over bags of coal to lighten her. The sailing master hung on the bridge shouting to us through the speaking trumpet and barely able to make himself heard, as he told us the work we were doing was for life or death."" The account also describes an incident when a crew member died at sea, but his coffin later floated into the harbour and bumped up against the Shubrick.
See THE LIFE OF HENRY GEORGE I

There is a further reference to the initial voyage of the Shubrick to the West Coast where James Monroe Frazer (1830-1891) was its second officer, see Descendant of ship's top surviving officer - 04/09/01

The cargo on the first voyage included a bell cast in 1855 by Bernard & Co of Philadelphia which was used as a fog warning device. The bell served at the New Dungeness and Point No Point Stations before being installed at Browns Point in 1903, see www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM17F2

An early master of the Shubrick was Captain Charles Stuart Boggs who had been at Panama during the massacre of 1856 with his wife and daughter, and narrowly escaped falling victim to it. He then served as commander of the Illinois for three years, before being transferred to the coast of California. The light house system needed extension, and in 1859 and 1860 he was appointed Inspector of Lights. The Shubrick was placed under his command, and he was required to make two annual trips along the coast from Vancouver's Island to Lower California, inspecting old lights, and carrying supplies to them, and surveying sites for new ones. In performing this duty, he was enabled, at the same time, to complete an exploration of the western coast of the continent, which he had partially carried out many years before.

This is a stereoscopic view titled; "The Golden Gate - from U.S. Steamer "Shubrick" off North Point."

The Shubrick was transferred to the Navy Department on 23 August 1861 and saw service on the West Coast. For example in 1863 in connection with the wreck of the Novick.

The steam corvette Novick (also known as Norvick) of the Imperial Russian Navy may have conformed to particulars cited for other Russian men-of-war that served with her. If so, Novick was between 800 and 1000 tons, carried a 300-horsepower marine steam engine, was screw-propelled, and mounted 6 to 12 guns.

The Novick was wrecked at Point Reyes on 26 Sep 1863. Novick was the vanguard of the Russian Pacific fleet commanded by Admiral A. A. Popoff. The fleet was en route to San Francisco as part of a Russian goodwill visit to the United States during the American Civil War. In the winter of 1863-1864, Russian fleets visited New York and San Francisco, where they were warmly welcomed by the beleaguered American government at a time when many foreign governments, notably England and France, were openly sympathetic to the Confederacy.

Novick had departed Hokkaiddo, Japan, on 1 Sep 1863, for San Francisco. On the morning of 26 Sep, the corvette was off Point Reyes when she ran aground on Ten-Mile Beach. Her officers thought the ship was 25 miles offshore when she struck. "The weather was very foggy at the time. She tried to back off, but the very heavy sea running turned her broadside on to the beach, heaving her into from five to ten feet of water."

A boat was sent ashore and an officer walked inland to San Quentin on San Francisco Bay, where he caught a boat to San Francisco. With news of the wreck of Novick at hand, the United States revenue cutter Shubrick was sent with the Russian Vice-Consul Klinkestrom to Point Reyes. Arriving there, Shubrick found Novick broken up in the surf: "only a small piece of the stern was all that remained of her." The 160-man crew managed to reach shore with the loss of only one man and were transported with their dunnage to San Francisco.

The salvage of materials from the wreck began almost immediately and by November 1863 San Franciscans were able to view "Relics from a Wreck" as follows. "Some five or six guns have been recovered from the wreck, amongst which is one brass rifled cannon. This is a twenty-four pounder; the others being thirty-two pounders. There are also to be seen a number of substantial and handsome copper chests, used as powder magazines. Of these the Novick had on board no fewer than three hundred and forty. The engines were saved also, but not the boilers. The sails, made of simon pure "Russian duck," were also recovered, besides a variety of other articles, which will repay the inspection of the curious."

Two weeks after the wreck, Admiral Popoff arrived at San Francisco in his flagship Bogatvre. A court-martial was held that ultimately absolved the officers of Novick of any blame in the loss of their ship. See Full text of "Submerged cultural resources assessment : Golden ...

The Shubrick again featured in 1865 when the US Customs Collector, Victor Smith threatened to bombard Port Townsend , WA using the guns of the Shubrick in a dispute about the relative commercial merits of two competing ports, Port Angles and Port Townsend. He then churned the water to a frenzy with the Shubrick's paddle wheels when a marshal tried, but failed to deliver an indictment using a row boat! See Exploring Washington's Past: A Road Guide to ... - Google Books Result and also Victor Smith, Port Townsend and the Customs House

The Shubrick also featured in 1865 when the US Coast Guard services began in Alaska. The Shubrick led a six vessel expedition along the coast to Bering Straits.

On 17 Oct 1866 the Daily Hawaiian Herald reported a Mark Twain despatch of 24 Sep 1866 when the Shubrick had given a 21 gun salute in San Francisco to mark the arrival of Queen Emma of Hawaii, Mark Twain on Queen Emma of Hawaii

Partly resulting from the earlier Shubrick voyage to Alaska, in Mar 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. On 30 Mar US Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia’s Baron Stoeckl to purchase the territory of Alaska, amounting to 591,000 square miles (more than 375 million acres) for $7.2 million in gold, or two cents an acre.

It was a deal roundly ridiculed as "Seward's Folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." The treaty was signed the next day and on 9 Apr 1867 the treaty authorizing the purchase was ratified. On 20 Jun 1867 President Andrew Johnson announced the purchase of Alaska.

On 12 Aug 1867 the first US official, a coast guardsmen, arrived in Sitka, Alaska and on 9 Oct 1867 the Russians formally transferred Alaska to the US which formally took possession on 18 Oct 1867. Alaska became a state in 1959.

The Shubrick was then returned by the Revenue Cutter Service to the Lighthouse Board in 1866. But on 8 Sep 1867, while under the command of Captain J.W. Patterson the Shubrick went aground near Cape Mendocino, the most westerly point in California, see Cape Mendocino Lighthouse and PACIFIC COAST.; Accident to United States Steamer Shubrick ...

It seems Shubrick must have been recovered as there are reports of it still working in 1879 on the construction of the Point No Point light house in Puget Sound, see Captain's Log

The last record seems to be on 20 Mar 1886 in Astoria, when a man from San Francisco purchased the Shubrick for $3,200.29. After twenty-nine years of government service, the first steam lighthouse tender retired from the fleet. See PACIFIC COAST.; Accident to United States Steamer Shubrick ...

Shubrick 2

The second USS Shubrick was a torpedo boat, USS Shubrick (TB-31) built at Richmond, VA by William R Trigg.

The two larger photographs are from Janes Fighting Ships of 1914 and 1919.

Unusually, it was a side launching. Although side launching on the Great Lakes was not an uncommon practice, the side launching of torpedo-boat Shubrick and others were different in some respects.

These vessels were not launched sideways from choice; on the contrary, the limited extent of land and water available at the time these vessels were laid down left the Trigg Company no alternative. The land at their disposal was a wedge-shaped piece of ground, bounded on two sides by the old James river and Kanawha canal and by the dock at the head of the same, and on the third side by the tracks of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and of the Southern Railway.

The canal is about 100 feet wide, and is normally about 15 feet deep, although this was increased by flooding during the launches to about 18 feet. The Shubrick's building slip occupied the apex of the wedge, and the Stockton and Thornton, and Dale and Decatur, were built in pairs in the order named. The Shubrick, Stockton, and Thornton were sister vessels, as were the Dale and Decatur.

As a torpedo boat, Shubrick was thus side launched on 31 Oct 1899 by "little Miss Carrie Shubrick" a great-grand-niece of WB Shubrick, in the presence of President McKinley and in a heavy rainstorm.

The weather was so bad that a paddle-wheeler in the harbour sank with 100 people on board. See M'KINLEY AT RICHMOND; President Attends Christening of Torpedo ...

The Shubrick was commissioned in 1901, renamed Coast Torpedo Boat No. 15 in 1901 and decommissioned in 1919. On its trials, it reached a speed of 26.7 knots.

For more about it see USS Shubrick (TB-31) and www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s12/shubrick-ii.htm
and Waving US Flag NavSource Naval History Photographic History of the ... -

Shubrick 3
The third USS Shubrick was one of the "FAMOUS FIFTY" lend-lease destroyers later loaned to Britain to assist in World War II. It had been laid down on 3 Jun 1918 as a Clemson Class destroyer and was launched on 31 Dec 1918.

It can be seen here in as the centre of three destroyers on this first day cover. It was decommissioned in Jun 1922 and remained laid up until Dec 1939. See also USS Shubrick (DD-268)

As USS Shubrick it arrived at Halifax on 21 Nov 1940, was decommissioned on 26 Nov 1940 and simultaneously commissioned in the British Navy as HMS Ripley [G-79.].

It served throughout World War II and its service record can be seen at HMS Ripley, destroyer It spent most of the war as an Atlantic convoy escort and later as a coastal convoy escort.

Shubrick 4
The fourth USS Shubrick (DD-639) was laid down in 1942 and decommissioned in Nov 1945.

Details about it have not been included here, as there is a great deal about the ship and its crew at an award winning website at USS Shubrick Home Page

Also see USS Shubrick (DD-639)

X Navy and Other Links
Consequent upon the gradual additions to this collection, and the associated research, it is increasingly found that links appear connecting miniatures in the collection, with people in other miniatures which form part of the collection.


Thus there are miniature portraits of Naval officers who would likely have known members of the Shubrick family.

They include these three miniature portraits of:
Commodore Edward Preble (1761-1807) who may have known John Templar Shubrick, see Colby, Clara - portrait of Commodore Edward Preble

Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) who was of a similar age to John, William, Edward, and Irvine - see Gelee, Isabelle - portrait of Commodore Perry

Admiral Charles Stanhope Cotton (1843-1909) who, although younger, may well have met Admiral Shubrick, see Unknown - portrait of Admiral and Mrs Cotton

There are also names which connect through marriages. 1330

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful information - I am a direct descendant of Mary Branford Shubrick via Mary Rutledge Shubrick. I was researching the family on the internet when I came across your page. Your blog has been an absolute delight.

Eleanor Lanford
ehl5b@virginia.edu

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this extensive amount of family history. I am a lighthouse historian doing research on the early members of the U.S. Light-House Board, and your site is a treasure trove of information on William Shubrick and his family.

James said...

Great work on the Shubricks.I too am a descendant of Mary thru John T. and recently came into his son`s,Edmund T.,miniature.This is the lad,abandoned by his mother,that Mary coddled.It must have been painted c.1850.Thanks for your sedulous efforts.J.Shubrick Kothe