James E. (James Edmund) Scripps.

A genealogical history of the Scripps family and its various alliances online

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Glass C S 1 i _

Book S-A3A.








Genealogical History


Scripps Family

And its Various Alliances.



Printed for Private Circulation.



\°l '







Detroit, Michigan.


In 1891. the centennial year of the immigration of the Scripps
family to America, I published a volume of Memorials, which
was designed rather to preserve in enduring print a quantity of
historical matter which then existed only in scattered manu-
scripts than to formulate a complete genealogical history of the
family. This the present volume, a memorial of the one hun-
dredth anniversary of the birth of my revered father, is intended
more particularly to supply.

I believe the volume to contain a complete record of the
descendants of Robert Scripps, who died in Ely in 1729. While
the pedigree can be traced two generations further back, com-
pleteness in the record wa? only possible by beginning with this

Of the direct descendants of Robert Scripps this volume
contains the names of 418. Of these, 273 are living — an increase
of 47 within the past, twelve years. Of these 273 there are 162
living in the United States and 111 in England, South Africa,
South America, India and Japan. It is noteworthy that while
the representatives of the family in America have increased in
number only 19.1 per cent in the past twelve years, the increase
elsewhere has been 23.3 per cent.

In foot notes the pedigrees of all who have married into the
family have been given, so far as obtainable. In some cases


these will be found of exceedingly great interest. I must own
to considerable surprise at the large number of eminent men who
have borne relationship of some kind with one branch or another
of the Scripps family or its alliances.

The notable facts concerning every member of the family are
given where in their characters or achievements anything notable
is known. It cannot fail to be noticed how large a part the
family have borne, in a modest way, in the history of the past
century and a half, and particularly in the development of our
own western country.

A directory of the names, places of residence and occupation
of all living members of the family will be found in the later
pages of the book.

Blank pages are provided at the end of the volume for the
continuation of the record in manuscript. I trust they will be
used, and urgently request that transcripts of all such additional
records be sent to me for the perfecting from time to time of
my own copy.

Where so many members of the family have interested them-
selves to aid me with information, it would be invidious to single
out .any for special acknowledgments. My sincere thanks are
due to all who have in any way aided me in the work.

For the material for the genealogical tables of the Warren
and Jackson families I am mainly indebted to the admirable
history of those families compiled by Mrs. Betsey Warren Davis
of Philadelphia.


Detroit, September 9, 1903.


The Scripps family, at the earliest period of which we
have knowledge of it, was domiciled at Ely, in Cambridge-
shire, England. The earliest date at which the name is
found in the parish registers of the city is January 16,
1619-20, when Amy Crips, an infant, was buried. Then
there are no other registries until 1630, from which year
down to 1758 thej 7 are very numerous. In the nine
earliest registries the name is spelled Crips or Cripps, the
initial S being first found in 1634, when in the record of
a baptism the name is first written Crips and afterwards
altered to Scrips. The identity of the names is quite

The earliest clearly-made-out progenitor of the family
was one Thomas Scripps. Throughout the registers the
name is almost invariably spelled by the parish clerk with
a single p, though it is certain that the family themselves
spelled it as we still do. This Thomas Scripps was married
to Agnes or Anne Finch on January 21, 1630. Their
children were as follows :


William Scripps Oct. 31, 1630.

Thomas Scripps Oct. 21, 1632.

William Scripps Mar. 30, 1634.

John Scripps Feb. 21, 1636.

Joan Scripps Jan. 28, 1638.

Robert Scripps May 16, 1641.

On October 27, 1650, Anne Scripps, wife of Thomas,
was buried, and on December 16, 1651, Thomas Scripps
was married to Elizabeth Atkin. There seems to have
been no issue by this marriage. This Thomas Scripps
probably had a brother William, for a William Scripps


was married to Joan Fox on January 16, 1638. This
may explain Thomas's daughter born about the same
time being named Joan. It is probable that this was a
second marriage of William's, for there had been children
of a William Scripps baptised in 1631, 1634 and 1637.
But none of William's posterity seem to have survived.
He probably died before 1645, for on May 14 of that year
Joan Scripps was married to William Riches.


Of the children of Thomas Scripps, William was
married to Anne Say re on October 28, 1655, Thomas to
Jane Boston October 18. 1657, and Robert to Elizabeth
Sargison January 26, 1668. This was in Robert's case
probably a second marriage, for an Elizabeth Scripps,
wife of Robert, had been buried on September 30, 1664.
William and Anne Scripps had four children — three girls
and one boy. They probably all died in childhood. There
is no record of any children to Thomas and Jane Scripps,
though between 1657 and 1674 there are records of the
burial of live infant Scrippses, the parents of whom are
not specified on the parish registers.

Robert and Elizabeth Scripps had two sons, both of
whom died in childhood, and the mother herself was
buried on the same dav that her youngest child was
baptised, December 23, 1669. On May 2, 1671, Robert
married Mary Westfield. The Westfields were probably
a family of local consideration, for in 1673, when taxes
were assessed on hearths, Mark Westfield paid on three
hearths, while the bishop's palace only boasted seven.
There is reason to believe. that Robert Scripps followed the
honorable trade of house carpenter. He seems to have
been in comfortable circumstances, for he owned at least
six pieces of land in and about Ely, including four acres
in Padnall and six acres in Cawdle Fen. In 1679 he
bought a place in Ely, near the stone bridge, of Archdeacon


Palmer. By his wife Mary, Robert Scripps had children
as follows :

Baptised. Buried.

Anne Scripps May 27, 1672. Aug. 18, 1672.

Mary Scripps Aug. 30, 1673.

Anne Scripps Feb. 24, 1681.

Thomas Scripps April 6, 1684.

William Scripps Jan. 23, 1688.

Robert Scripps (baptism not recorded.)

It is probable that there were other children, between
Mary and the second Anne, who died in infancy. Robert,
the father, was buried January 31, 1700, and Mary, his
widow, on February 13, 1712.

The three sons above mentioned reached adult years.
Thomas married Mary Simpson on June 28, 1703, and
had a large family by her, all of whom died young. She
was buried May 4, 1736, and he on September 22, 1741.

William, the second son of Robert and Mary Scripps,
left Ely while still a young man, and was lost sight of by
his family. In 1892 a family bearing the name of Scripps
was discovered in Barkway, Herts., whither they had
removed from Braughing and Omead, in the same county.
It is probable that they are the descendants of this William
Scripps. The parish registers of Barkway show a William
Scrip to have been buried there on February 25, 1758.
If this was the William, son of Robert and Mary Scripps,
he would have been about 70 years old at the time of his


There is no record of the baptism of Robert Scripps in
the Ely registers, but in Mary Scripps's will, registered at
Peterborough, he is alluded to as her youngest son. He
was probably not of full age at the time of the making
of the will in 1710, for he could hardly have been born
earlier than 1690. He is made joint executor with his
absent brother William, and sole executor in case of
William's non-return. On April 13, 1718, Robert was


married to Sarah Plowright, daughter of John, and prob-
able granddaughter of Simon Plowright, John Plowright
died in 1722. She had two brothers, Thomas and John.
The Plowrights, father and sons, were all carpenters, as
was also Robert Scripps. They owned property in Ely,
and in 1673 Simon Plowright was taxed for two hearths,
implying comfortable circumstances.

Robert and Sarah Scripps's children were as follows: 3

Baptised. Buried.

2. Thomas Scripps . . . Nov. 6, 1720. May 22, 1722.

3. Sarah Scripps Jan. 14, 1722 Jan. 17, 1722.

4. William Scripps . . . Sept. 6, 1724.

5. Mary Scripps Jan. 4, 1726.

There were also five other children buried between
1723 and 1728 who were probably theirs, viz.: John,
April 15, 1723; Thomas, April 21, 1723 (probably twins);
Anne and Mary (probably also twins), February 9, 1728,
and James, September 3, 1727. The probability is that
of a family of nine children all but one, William, died in
infancy. From the fact of Robert Scripps losing two
pieces of property by mortgage foreclosure, as appears by
the manor rolls, it is to be inferred that he was not a suc-
cessful business man. Sarah Scripps was buried at Ely,
May 3, 1729, and her husband on the 20th of the same


4. William Scripps, son of Robert and Sarah, baptised
at Ely, September 6, 1724. He was but four and a half
years old at the time of his parents' death, and was probably
brought up by his uncle, Thomas Plowright, who appears
to have been childless. He inherited the property of both

1. I have begun the consecutive numbering of members of the family
with the second Robert Scripps, because, of his descendants it is
possible to make a complete record. It will be observed that I might
have begun two generations earlier, but it would have been at the
expense of completeness.


his mother's brothers at their death. He followed the
carpenter's trade, and appears to have been foreman or
superintendent for all the work required by the cathedral
authorities at Ely. "When the dome and lantern of the
cathedral were restored, between the years 1757 and 1762,
he had charge of the work. There is a family tradition
that, having* a dispute with the Dean and Chapter regard-
ing some payments, he refused to take down the scaffolding
employed in the work until his claims were adjusted, and
so ingeniously was it constructed that they were unable
to find anyone else who could remove it, and so were
compelled to yield to his demands. This does not, however,
seem to have made any difference with his relations with
the cathedral authorities, for as late as 1769 we find, by
bills rendered to the Dean and Chapter, that he was still
engaged upon work for them. He is said to have been a
very superior mechanic, but given to jollity and perhaps
dissipation. On the south wall of Bishop Alcock's chapel,
at the eastern extremity of the north aisle of Ely Cathe-
dral, the name "W. Scripps, Anno Dom. 1763"' may be
read, scratched with a sharp instrument. He removed to
London, and died there, some time between 1773 and 1780.
He married, February 24, 1746, Susannah Chapman,
whom I take to have been a daughter of Giles Chapman
and granddaughter of Robert Chapman. The registers
show the baptism of six children of William and Susannah
Scripps, as follows :

Baptised. Buried.

6. Sarah Scripps Feb. 12, 1747.

7. William Scripps April 6, 1749.

8. Mary Scripps Feb. 16, 1751. Feb. 23, 1751.

9. Mary Scripps May 13, 1753

10. John Plowright Scripps.. Sept. 1, 1755. Sept. 7, 175"=:.

11. Anne Scripps May 15, 1757.

Then in 1758 Susannah Scripps died, and was buried
on June 25. Of their six children, only William and one
of the sisters, Mary, seem to have reached maturity, though
there is no record of the burial of the others, except as


given above. This sister subsequently married John Pear,
a master shoemaker of London. Mary Pear died in
Westminster June 26, 1828, at the age of 75, and is buried
in St. Margaret's churchyard. She appears to have left
no children.


7. William Scripps, son of William and Susannah
Scripps, Avas born in Ely, March 20, 1749, O. S., and wts
baptised in Trinity Church in that city on April 6 of the
same year. He was nine years old when his mother died.
He was taught his father's trade, but was injured, probably
in some street brawl, and spent several years on crutches.
In search of a cure he Avent to London, Avhere in 1771 he
married Grace, daughter of Joseph and Mary Locke, a
great-great-granddaughter of Anthony Pearson, 2 a Quaker
of prominence during the period of the CommonAvealth.
William Scripps embarked in the shoemaking business, and
employed a large number of men, but he was unsuccessful,
and on May 1, 1701, sailed Avith his family, except his

2. Anthony Pearson was born in the county of Durham, according
to the Dictionary of National Biography, in 162S, but there is reason to
believe at an earlier date. He was trained to the law, and was clerk
and registrar to the parliamentary committee for compounding from
its first appointment in 1649. In February, 1651-2, he was appointed
sequestration commissioner for Durham. Upon the sale of the bishops'
lands, he became a large purchaser of estates in Cumberland and Nor-
thumberland. Appointed a justice of the peace for three counties, he
sat at the trial of the Quaker James Naylor, at Appleby, in Westmore-
land, in 1652, and soon after became himself a convert to Quakerism.
In October, 1653, he memorialized parliament in behalf of the Quakers,
who were unjustly persecuted. In May, 1655, he delivered to Oliver
Cromwell, in a personal interview, a memorial setting forth the con-
dition of the Quakers confined in the various prisons of England,
which, in connection with Thomas Aldam, he had personally collected.
He is said to have been the first of this sect to preach in London. In
1657 he published his masterly work entitled The Great Case of Tithes,
of which editions were reprinted in 1658, 1659, 1730, 1754, 1762, and finally
as recently as 1862. At the restoration Pearson was arrested and nar-
rowly escaped prosecution for treason. Probably to save himself, he
renounced Quakerism and surrendered the confiscated estates he had


eldest son, for America. He came over in the brig
Minerva, commanded by Capt. Porter, father of Commo-
dore David Porter, and grandfather of Admiral David D.
Porter, U. S. N., and landed in Baltimore early in July.
In October he settled in Alexandria, Va., where he
resumed the shoemaking business and opened a general
store. A year later he bought a large tract of land near
Morgantown, West Va., without seeing it, and as it turned
out was badly swindled. In the autumn of 1792 he
removed to this property, his effects being conveyed in
three wagons, each drawn by four or six horses, and his
wife riding a horse, named Chevalier, which had carried
Gen. Washington through the War of the Revolution, but
which was now superannuated and suited only to a woman's
riding. Besides his own family, William Scripps took
with him a number of mechanics and others, intending to
found a colony on his estate. Three weeks were required
for the journey of 250 miles through the wilderness, and

purchased. He then became a friend and protege of John Cosin, Bishop
of Durham. In 1663-4 he was employed in Scotland by the government,
and at the time of his death was Under Sheriff for Durham. He was
married before his conversion to Quakerism. He died in January, 1665,
himself and children being reconciled to the Church of England, but
his wife remaining a member of the Society of Friends.
The descent from Anthony Pearson I deduce as follows:

Anthony Pearson,
d. 1665. I

Joanna Pearson==John Major,

of Bridlington, Yorkshire,
d. about 1690, aged 65.
Joanna Major==William Topcliffe.
m. 1674. I

Mary Topcliffe==Joseph Locke.

Grace Locke==William Scripps,
b. 1750, b. 1749,

d. 1811. d. 1823.

It is not improbable that another generation should intervene
between William and Joanna Topcliffe and Joseph and Mary Locke. It
is known that William and Joanna had a son, William Topcliffe, born
in 1683, and it is probable that he was the father of the Mary Topcliffe
who married Joseph Locke.

The John Major who married Joanna Pearson was grandfather to


Morgantown was reached early in December. 3 Here, dis-
appointed, he resided in poor circumstances until May,
1809, when at the instance of his sons he removed to Cape
Girardeau, Mo. There his wife, Grace, died on July 17,
1811, and he on November 8, 1823, both being buried in
the little cemetery of Cape Girardeau, on the bluffs over-
looking the Mississippi.

"William Scripps was a man of intelligence, information
and refinement, and an extensive reader. He was short in
stature, of active, bustling manner, and greatly given to
jocularity. His later years were spent as cutter in a shoe
shop carried on by one of his sons. His wife, Grace, was
a lady of culture and refinement and considerable pride.
That they must have possessed sterling qualities is proven
by the characters and successful careers of their three sons.
In the great religious revivals which characterized the
opening years of the nineteenth century the whole family
became zealous Methodists.

Sir John Major, of Worlingworth Hall, Suffolk. The latter was an
Elder Brother of Trinity House from 1741 till his death in 1781. He was
High Sheriff of Sussex in 1755, sat in Parliament for Scarborough in
1761, and was made a Baronet in 17C5. He was a director of the South
Sea House and a governor of Greenwich Hospital. His two daughters
married respectively Sir John Henniker and Henry Bridges, Duke of
Chandos, both daughters being first cousins to Mary Topcliffe.

There is a monumental brass to a Topclyffe in Topcliffe parish
church in Yorkshire. The brass is of the 14th century and is cut on
the reverse of an older Flemish brass, as was the custom of those
times. The figure is life size, and is of a man in armor. A fac-simile
appears in Waller's Series of Monumental Brasses in England (1863).

Joseph Locke held himself to be of the same ancestry with John
Locke, the author of the Essay on Human Understanding, but the
relationship cannot be traced. In early life Joseph Locke followed the
sea, probably commanding a Bridlington, Yorkshire, vessel, that place
being the home of the Topcliffes.

3. Hon. John Marshall Hagans, circuit judge for Monongalia county,
West Va., writes me from Morgantown:

"Our record books show that William Scripps was given letters of
attorney by one John McGuire, who designates the said William as his
'trusty friend,' to convey half of 770 acres of land on Wickware's creek
to one Dr. Thomas Bond. This is dated 1793. From the language of
this instrument it would seem that McGuire had fallen into the toils of


William and Grace Scripps were parents of about 19
children, as follows :

12. William Armigor Scripps, born July 21, 1772.

13. Joseph Locke Scripps, date of birth lost; died at 4% years.

14. Benjamin Scripps, born May 15, 1779.

15-22. Eight other children between 1773 and 1784, who died
in infancy.

23. John Scripps, born August 26, 1785.

24. Anne Scripps, born Jan. 10, 1787.

25. Sarah Scripps, born Feb. 12, 1788.

26. Sarah Scripps, born March, 1789; died in Morgantown,
Sept., 1793.

27. George Henry Scripps, born May 16, 1790.

28. Mary Scripps, born May, 1792, at Alexandria; died there
in August.

29. Camilla Scripps, born near Morgantown, June, 1791;
died July, 1794.

30. A still-born infant, born 1796.

A Milly Scripps, reported in one record to have been
born in 1793, is (probably identical with Camilla.

the land pirate, as your ancestor seems to have done, for it sets forth
that Dr. Bond agreed to pay McGuire back his money if the land were
reconveyed, for which purpose these letters of attorney were executed.
Dr. Bond is buried here, having died in 1794. He was a land agent for
large tracts of land and came out here to dispose of them for the
owners, but fell into the ways of dissipation common to a pioneer
country life, where rye was the principal crop. I cannot find title to
any other lands in the name of any Scripps, except that he obtained a
patent from the commonwealth in 1796, as assignee of John Plumley,
for 70 acres of land lying on the road from Morgantown to Clarksburg.
He conveyed that by deed, his wife Grace joining, to one Henry Ham-
ilton, April 27, 1809, for 300 dollars. It appears that he acknowledged it
in open court at the August term 1809, so that it was probably the fall
of 1809 when he left this country. This land is about three miles from
town and is a fine farm now. It does not necessarily mean, because
our records here do not show it, that William Scripps did not buy other
tracts, as it was very common for persons, as the law then authorized,
to record at Richmond titles to land in distant counties.

"Morgantown has been the point from which whole colonies have
emigrated to the west. At the time your ancestor lived here the father
(grandfather?) of Mrs. President Hayes lived here also, and carried on
a pottery and merchandizing. Many of his family connections married
here and their descendants are still here. The record of titles would
be more complete and satisfactory if the clerk's office containing them
had not been burned in 1796."



12. William Armiger Scripps, eldest son of AVilliam
and Grace (Locke) Scripps, was born in London, July 21,
1772. His name Armiger was derived from one William
Armiger of Ely, who in 1746 married his great-aunt
Elizabeth Plowright. At an early age he entered the office
of the London Daily Sun as a clerk, and in February, 1801,
became publisher of that paper. This position he resigned
in 1820 to become the publisher of The Literary Gazette,
a connection he retained till his death. About 1802 he
added to his other business a general newspaper agency in
South Molton street, which is still continued in the hands
of a great-grandson. In August, 1797, he married Mary
Dixie, who was born in St. Neots, Huntingdonshire, on
March 30, 1771. She died at Earl's Court, near London,
October 6, 1838. 4 He twice visited America, once in 1833
and agaiu in 1843. In his later years he bought St. Cath-
erine's Hall, Niton, Isle of Wight, where he ended his
long life, dying suddenly, August 26, 1851. He was buried
beside his wife in Ivensall Green Cemetery, London. Lie
is remembeied as short of stature, bald, fond of a joke, a
good story teller, an extensive reader, a close observer,
possessed of considerable literary ability and powers of

4. From the parish registers at St. Neots and Eynsbury I deduce

the following pedigree of Mary Dixie:

Edward Dixie^= Elizabeth Goodman
m. 1710

John Dixie=Elizabeth Harrison
b. 1711, m. 1731 I

John Dixie = Margaret

ironmonger at I

St. Neots,

b. 1736

John Dixie =Hannah Howard Mary Dixiei=Wm. A. Scripps
ironmonger of I b. 1771

London, b. 1767 I m. 1797

m. 1822, d. 1824 I d. 1838

Mary Dixie= Pearce

d. 1900


caricature, a man of sound judgment and superior business
capacity. His children were as follows:

31. Mary Heriot Scripps, b. Aug. 1, 1798.

32. William Washington Scripps, b. Feb. 26, 1800.

33. Virginia Grace Scripps, b. Feb. 6, 1802.

34. James Mogg Scripps, b. Sept. 9, 1803.

35. John Dixie Scripps, b. March 14, 1806.

36. Thomas Scripps, b. Aug. 16, 1809.

37. Anne Elizabeth Scripps, b. Dec. 1, 1816.

14. Benjamin Scripps, son of William and Grace
(Locke) Scripps, born in London, May 26, 1779; came
with his parents to America in 1791, and upon reaching
his majority entered upon a roving life. He lived for
some time at Cape Girardeau, Mo., then under Spanish
dominion, and served in a Spanish battalion against the
Indians in 1802. In 1804 he traveled through. Texas, and
then engaged in business in New Orleans. Next he
embarked in trading with a boat on Red river. In 1809
he was in possession of a farm in Catahola parish, Louisi-

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Online LibraryJames E. (James Edmund) ScrippsA genealogical history of the Scripps family and its various alliances → online text (page 1 of 7)