Father: Thomas BOROUGH (3 B. Borough of Gainsborough)

Mother: Agnes TYRWHITT (B. Borough of Gainsborough)

Married: ?


1. Stephen BORORUGH

2. William BOROUGH

I want to thanks to Michael C. Barris, Ph.D., for this work: 'JOHN BOROUGH, MASTER OF THE MICHAEL IN 1533' 22 Jul 2000

Rodger (1997, p. 305) notes that John Borough was the master of the Barnstaple ship Michael in 1533. In a footnote, Rodger (1997, n. 48, p. 561) suggests that "John may be the father of Stephen and William Borough, who certainly came from North Devon." In a table, Rodger (1997, p. 509) indicates that William Borough was Controller of the Navy from 1589 until 1598. Cummins (1995; 6, 66, 173, 165, 168-169, 171-172, 175-177, 209, 273, and 303-304) discusses Stephen and William in greater detail. Who were the forebears of this family? I argue (from secondary sources and reasoning from probable dates and locations) that John Borough was a younger son of Sir Thomas Borough, third Baron Borough of Gainsborough, whose will was proved in 1550 (Cole, 1897, descendancy table from Richard Burgh (("will proved 20 Jan 1408")), pp. 50-51). This table also shows that Sir John Burgh, "d. 15 Mar 1595, aet. 32", was a nephew of John Burgh, "living in 1550". This Sir John Burgh is discussed by Rodger (1997, p. 281).

Sir Thomas Borough, third Baron Borough of Gainsborough himself died in 1550, his will (Somerset House, Coode, 27) having been proved 28 Nov 1550. He leaves to his son John his manors in Northumberland" (Cole, 1897, p.43).

Taylor (1958, pp. 192-193) states: "The oldest surviving English maritime chart was drawn by a young gentleman, Richard Caundish of Suffolk, whose qualification was his skill in geometry, then a most unusual accomplishment in England. The chart was of the Thames Estuary with its complex sandbanks, and the gifted young man was employed in 1540 to supervise the harbour works at Dover, and make a scale plan of that port. Associated with him was a Thames pilot, who had not only brought the king's ships safely up the river but had found out a new and better channel through the Black Deeps. For this he was rewarded, and it may be presumed that he had searched out the channel with lead and line and subsequently either charted it, or supplied a description which other pilots could follow. The second man appointed to work with Richard Caundish was a ship-master in the service of Viscount Lisle, who could not brook the maritime supremacy of Spain. John a' Borough is first heard of in 1531 sailing to La Rochelle, and again writing to his patron from Venice,.."

Cole (1897, p. 30) states that the Burgh family "(variously spelt Borough, Boro, Borowe, Bourgh, Brough, Brughe, and not unfrequently appearing in the form of a' Burgh, or A-Borough),.claimed descent from a younger son of the celebrated Hubert De Burgh, Chief Justiciary of England, Constable of Dover Castle, and Earl of Kent, in the reigns of Richard I, John, and Henry III."

The Dictionary of National Biography (1921, p. 1228) has "Barrow or Barrough, Philip (fl. 1590), medical writer, son of John Barrow, of the county of Suffolk, obtained from the university of Cambridge, in 1559, a license to practise chirurgery..." Phillip Barrow was the great grandfather of Isaac Barrow (1630-1677) who was the Master of Trinity College Cambridge in 1677 (Feingold, 1990, pp. 1-2).

A Calendar of the Freeman of Great Yarmouth 1429-1800 (1910, p. 35) states: "1567. Hugh, son of John Burgh, shipwright (B.)." The key on page ii indicates that Hugh was granted admission to the status of Freeman on account of birth (B). Other categories for admission were A, apprenticeship; G, grant or gratis; and P, purchase. The unnamed editor remarks that purchase was the most common reason for admission before 1590.

The Register of St. Nicholas Parish, Great Yarmouth (1579) records the burial of John Burroughs in Aug 1579.

The International Genealogical Index (1990) registers the birth of Hugh Borrough (Borow) in 1544 in Great Yarmouth and the christening of his six children by Thomasyn Barryford; John Borow, Ralf Borow, Hugh Borough, Dyonis Borough, Jone Burrow, and Alyce Burrow in that city.

The information above awaits proof with primary documents.


Cole, R.E.G. History of the Manor and Township of Doddington, otherwise Doddington-Pigot, in the County of Lincoln, and its Successive Owners, with Pedigrees. Lincoln: J. Williamson, 1897.

Calendar of the Freeman of Great Yarmouth 1429-1800. Norwich: Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, 1910.

Cummins, J. Francis Drake. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.

Dictionary of National Biography. London: Oxford University Press, 1921.

Feingold, M. BEF Newton: The Life and Times of Isaac Barrow. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

International Genealogical Index. Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1990. Family Group Record 50 275 0048.

Register of St. Nicholas Parish. Great Yarmouth, 1579. Microfiche copy, Norfolk Record Office, Norwich.

Rodger, N.A.M. The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain 660-1649. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.

Taylor, E.G.R. The Haven-Finding Art. London: Hollis and Carter, 1958.

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