1603 – 1625 James I of England and VI of Scotland

1603 The burial of George Wood ‘dwelling at the sign of the White Horse in the Market Place the xxiv day of February 1603’ is recorded.

1605 The Gunpowder Plot was discovered which had aimed to blow up the King and Parliament.

1605 The Earl of Northumberland of Syon was suspected of being involved in the Gunpowder Treason and was imprisoned in the Tower for many years. He was released after paying a fine of £30,000. During his imprisonment he became known as The Wizard Earl because of the scientific experiments he conducted with Sir Walter Raleigh and Thomas Harriot.

1607 The settlement of Jamestown was established in America. The leader of the settlers was Captain John Smith who was captured by Indians. He was rescued by the Chief’s daughter, Pocahontas who later married another settler, John Rolfe. Tobacco was grown there and exported to England.

1610 Brentford Market was abolished by James I as the rent had not been paid by the Hawley family. A new license was granted by the King after representation by local people.

1611 King James’ Authorised version of the Bible was published

1612 The County Justices held their court at the Doves Inn in the Market Place

1616 William Shakespeare died

1616 The Indian Princess, Pocahontas, stayed with her husband, John Rolfe, in a house on the site of the Royal Mail sorting office before they set off on their journey to return to America. She died before the ship had left the Thames and was buried at Gravesend.

1621-3 Lady Mary Reade built the first section of the present Boston Manor House. On its completion she married Sir Edward Spencer of Althorp, Northamptonshire.

In the same year she and the Earl of Northumberland were summonsed, as Lords of the Manors of Boston and Syon, for not keeping Brentford bridge repaired.

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Next: 1625-1659

One thought on “1603-1623

  1. People in early 17th century Brentford often organised various public sports in aid of charitable causes, which now would seem rather bizarre…

    One of these sports was “hocking”. On Hock Day, held soon after Easter, the highways of Brentford would be barred with ropes. The idea was to catch and tie up unsuspecting passersby with the ropes, and demand cash from them – the profits going to charitable and pious purposes. In 1624 the local sports authorities “clear’d £7.3s 7d by Hocking” – apparently the women hockers being the most successful.

    One of the most popular games was “chasing the ox”. The maiden ladies of Brentford were required to chase a fat ox with their thumbs tied behind them. “The lady who succeeded in capturing the beast with her teeth was distinguished as lady of the ox. The animal was afterwards killed and cleaned and carried on a long pole to the Butts Common, where music and morrice dancing followed”.

    Source: Fred Turner, History & Antiquities of Brentford, 1922, p.48-49

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