If you go into the Deal Maritime Museum (pictured above) you will be met by a massive photograph of Thomas William Cory who was a Master Mariner, renowned in Deal for his rescuing exploits on the Goodwin Sands. In those days sailing luggers were all along the beach at Deal. They would race out to ships in distress on the Goodwins to rescue people and also do a little salvaging. The prizes for salvaging were enormous – awards of £130 and £212 were typical of those made, which in the 1850s and 1860s were enormous sums. Thomas who was baptised on 25th May 1832 married Elizabeth Ann May on 19th October 1857 and had 9 children of his own. On the left is a photograph of Thomas with his family.
In his book “THE LAST OF OUR LUGGERS”( by H.W. Pain and T.A.N. Bent, 1929) the author describes an impromptu race between Thomas William’s lugger “England’s Glory” and the “Early Morn” in sailing to a vessel in distress:
“Of the half dozen boats which got away from the beach almost as soon as England’s Glory, two were not long in giving up the race; the other two held on for a while, then one after the other dipped their lugs and hove about for the land. Now it was come to a match between the Early Morn and ourselves. The two remaining luggers were overtaken by one of those black frosty squalls which are characteristic of the easterly winds in these parts. When the squall had passed the Early Morn was rising and falling upon the seas under her mizzen only, with a mere stump of naked foremast sticking up forward and her big lug trailing in the water alongside. Thus England’s Glory with Old Corry [yes they spelt it wrongly] at the tiller, out-distances all the rest and is the only lugger of the six left in the running”.
But times were often hard for the Deal Boatmen and many chose to emigrate in the hopes of a better life. One of Thomas’s elder brothers was Morris Clayson Cory who emigrated to New Zealand in 1858 (see New Zealand page).
Thomas William Cory died on the 3rd March 1914. According to the East Kent Mercury he was buried with full military honours in acknowledgement of his service in the Crimean War. (Kent Trees: English Corys B1 B2)
The photograph on the left was taken at Deal and is Thomas Wm Cory with his 4th son,William Henry Worthington Cory.
It has been proved by DNA testing that the ancestors of the above family originated from Northamptonshire! Kent Co-ordinator, Bill Cory, traced his line back as far as Richard Cory who died in 1871, aged 87, at Deal, and then hit the proverbial “brick wall”. In 1832 at the baptism of his son, Thomas William Cory, Richard was recorded as a gardener and cordwainer living at Lower Street, Deal, but according to census documents, he had been born in 1784, at Buckinghamshire. This led Bill to Arthur Cory, father of Richard. Arthur who had been born in Harpole, Northamptonshire in 1755, died in Buckinghamshire in 1802! Bill was convinced that he had found the correct family, but wondered what had led them to Kent? Read more about Northamptonshire Corys here.
Bill Cory was one of the first participants of the Cory DNA Project and his sample matched one from a Harpole participant. Finally, DNA proved Bill’s leap of faith was right, taking his line back to Samuel Cory (1697-1754 Harpole). Study the DNA Project here.
George Stroud Cory (1829-1911) went to work for Cory & Sons Engineers of Greenwich and Deptford and so his children were born in Kent, his mother, Martha Pierrepoint’s home county. Yet his father, Edward Cory came from from Norfolk! Tree: Norfolk Bramerton: Kent Branch 1 (A8) & 2 (A9) Search Norfolk page
Newsletter articles featuring Kent Corys appear in Nos: 24; 25; 26; 30; 45; 46; 56
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