Despite many years of research since Michael and Vernon Cory published ‘The English Corys’ in 1995 we have been unable to trace descendants of any Bristol Corys who remained in England. The following is a brief summary of Michael and Vernon’s research at Bristol and taken from chapter 16.
It is known that a nucleus of Corys existed in Bristol over a long period, with the earliest record in the 14th century.
Bristol is some 140 miles by sea to the northeast of the main North Devon ports of Bideford and Barnstaple which were close to ‘Cory Country’.
The oldest references to Corys in Bristol are as follows:-
1312: John Cory, Bristol Exchequer Lay Subsidies paid tax of £3.0.0.
1462: Thomas and Joan Cory and their son John of Barton Regis, tenants of Little Horfylde, in connection with the Heath Home Estates at Stapleton. Barton and Horfield are now within central Bristol. The Corys gave up this land in 1507 when it passed to John and Alice Harrys as a 99 year lease.
1454-1589: The names of Maud Coe/Core, a widow, and Robert Core, notary and proctor appear in the Church Book of St Ewens, Bristol.
Early 16th Century References
1523: In the St James’ Court Roll Robert Corye acquired a freehold property. In the same year Agnes Cory, a widow, William and Isabell Cory and their son, Robert, mentioned in land transactions in St James’ Church.
1524-1525: Amongst the Manorial Court documents of St Augustine’s Abbey was Isabella Cory, who with 3 others, was fined two pence for overstocking the common pasture.
1491-1512: John Cory was a collector (presumably of rents) for Horsfield Bristol.
Bristol was deeply involved with the Slave Trade in the 18th century and Robert Cory of Bristol was a ship’s master who sailed on profitable triangular voyages between Bristol, West Africa and the West Indies. He was first mentioned as co-master with Henry Thomas on the ‘Royal George’ which was a new armed merchantman, of 115 tons with 10 guns. Built in 1712, it carried a crew of 15 although there is no mention of the number of the number of slaves it carried. The ‘Royal George’ left the Americas in August 1715 and arrived in Bristol with a cargo which included 29cwt of ivory in the October. In 1723 Robert Cory is recorded as master of the ‘ Chester’, a smaller ship of 60 tons, with a crew of 18. She left Bristol in January bound for Barbados. She arrived in the Americas in September with 168 slaves, presumably collected in Africa. The ship appears to have returned to Bristol in January 1724.
Labour of a different character was supplied to the New World at this time as indentured servants. Numerous servants, who included young farm workers and tradesmen, subject to indenture payments, were conveyed from Bristol to ‘foreign plantations’ meaning the American colonies or the West Indies. These included:
1657: John Cory, yeoman, to David Batten, mariner for 4 years, Barbados.
1658: Walter Cory, to Peter Rodhill of St George’s, for 4 years, (Bristol) to Virginia.
1685: Nicholas Cory of Hullavington, Wiltshire, tailor to Andrew Lack, for 4 years, to Jamaica, via the American ‘Marchant’.
William Cory of Bristol and Rhode Island
William Cory (1634-1681/2) was one of the four 17th century immigrant to New England. His baptism is recorded in the parish register of St James, Bristol on 21 May 1634. His parents were John Cory (1611-1638) and Agnis or Anne Wauker (1582-1669/70). John Cory’s occupation was not listed at William’s baptism. Following the death of her first husband, John Cory, whose burial was recorded as a sailor, Agnis married John Roome, a merchant and house carpenter and the emigrated to Rhode Island.
Trees English Corys:
Main Rhode Island: J1; J7; Tiverton, J8; Osceola, Winsconsin: J2; J3; J4; J5; J6