The Haworth Association of America

Alice Haworth Kenworthy

Previously "Unknown Sister: of George Haworth, the Emigrant

A paper by Don Hayworth

What George Haworth wrote about his voyage to America and the death of his unnamed sister and her family!

On 26 October 1699 (ye 26th of ye 8th Mo. 1699), George wrote to his family in England. An excerpt from that letter is repeated below:

We were about 14 weeks at Sea after we left Liverpool a long and tedious Journey we had, for we being over many throng'd in the Ship, I believe hurt many, for we had many distempers among us, as Fevers, Flux, and Jaundice, and many died at Sea about 56 and at Shore there died about 20. Henry Mitchell died about midway, his son John is dead also and one Ellis Scholfield and Robert Brewer is dead and hath left his goods to be returned to his kinsfolks at Liverpool. My Brother in law is dead and child died also about 3 days before my Sister, She was indifferently well most of the way but about 100 Leagues of sight of land she bore a child and it died and then she died and left her Household goods to my Sister and one half of the clothes, and the other half she hath left me, Thomas Musgrove is dead also at Sea and Henry Mitchells' wife died at shore.

What was the name of the ship George and his sister sailed on?

Although George Haworth did not name the ship on which he sailed, it has been determined that the ship was the “Britannia”; often referred to as “that sick ship from Liverpool”, due to the many deaths during the crossing and immediately after reaching land. The Britannia was chartered on behalf of the Lancaster Quaker Meetings and sailed out of Liverpool for Philadelphia. The Britannia was a large, sluggish, sailing ship with a capacity for 140 passengers. From George’s letter there may have been more than 140 passengers crowded on board for this crossing. The date of the Britannia’s arrival in America was 24 August 1699. The date of departure from Liverpool would have been sometime around mid-May 1699, since they

What was the name of George’s sister, husband and children, who died aboard the Britannia?

We now know that George Haworth’s “unknown sister” was Alice Haworth, born about 1675 in Lancashire. About 1694, Alice married John Kenworthy “of Saddleworth on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border”, who was born about 1670. On 25 August 1696, a set of twins, a boy named James and a girl named Isabel, were born to John Kenworthy and Alice Haworth. Isabel died about 1697 of unknown causes.

There is some controversy regarding the surname of Alice’s husband. Some records show his name as Kennerly and some as Kenworthy. According to George Redmonds in his book “Christian Names in Local and Family History”, Kennerly/Kennerley is a colloquial variant of Kenworthy “that appears to have no obvious linguistic explanation”. This explains the controversy of whether Alice’s husband was “John Kennerly” or “John Kenworthy”. He was both and both names were often recorded in the old records for the same person, including the birth of “John Kenerlley or Kenworthey” on 06 Apr 1673 in Saddleworth, Yorkshire, England.

In addition to George’s letter there is another record of his sister’s death. The term "Public Friend" refers to Friends who spoke in Meetings. Those acceptable to the Meeting were recorded by the ministers and elders, and formally named ministers. At a Yearly Meeting of English Friends held at London in 1709, a manuscript was presented listing 87 Public Friends that had died in Pennsylvania since the first settlement there. Three were stated to have died on the Britannia.

THOMAS MUSGRAVE "of Warley near Halifax in Yorkshire took ship at Liverpool and was bound for Philada. He died on shipboard ye 14: 6mo[Aug]: 1699. ... ye vessel arrived ye same month 4th [sic] 6mo: 1699."

HENRY MITCHELL "belon[g]ed to Marston [Marsden] Meeting in Lancashire. He died on board ye said ship ye 5mo[Jul]: 1699."

ALlCE, "wife of JNO. KENCERLY, came from Wolldall [Wooldale] or near it in Yorkshire. Her maiden name was HEYWORTH [HAWORTH] of Rosendall [Rossendal], Lancashire. She died also on board ye said ship in ye 5th[Jul] or 6th[Aug] mo: 1699."

Note that both Musgrave and Mitchell are named in George’s letter.   Alice, wife of John Kencerly, is undoubtedly George Haworth's sister, who along with her husband and baby, died at sea on the Britannia.  Kencerly, however, is obviously an erroneous transcription of Kennerly (also spelled Kennerley and Kenerlley).


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