Author Topic: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's  (Read 4753 times)

Offline Jean Mayo

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John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« on: Tuesday 13 March 07 14:21 GMT (UK) »
I am searching for the parents and family origins in Sussex County, England of two brothers, John and Thomas Mayo. They were cannon makers of great importance in the mid-1500's, and are thought to have originated in Sussex County. Their cannons still exist in Plymouth, MA., U.S.A.; the Guernsey Islands; and in Fort Nelson and in Woolwich, London; all made in the 1550's.

On June 26, 1555, in recognition for their previous services, they were appointed gunners in the Tower of London, as cannon makers. Thomas Mayo, gunfounder unto her Majesty, died in London Oct. 9, 1573. I am not sure if that is the date of his death, the date his will was written, or the date his will was probated in London. In his will, he mentions his wife, Elizabeth Mayo, and his brother, John Mayo, but mentions no children.

It is believed that these Mayo brothers came from Sussex, England and possibly that their families worked in metals or that the Mayo brothers were apprenticed to the great gunfounders in Sussex, England, where this trade was prevalent in the 1500's.

I am searching for any information concerning John and Thomas Mayo and their family origins in Sussex County, England. I understand that few records exist for this time period I am researching; however, I am hoping that if their family was early iron workers or silversmiths or worked with metals, there may be information concerning them going further back in time in Sussex, England.

My own Mayo family fought at the Battle of Hastings under William the Conqueror and were rewarded with lands in Cornwall, where they lived many generations until my line moved to Marston St. Lawrence in the 1550's and went on to Farthinghoe and Thorpe Mandeville in Northamptonshire; and then to Leiden, Holland; then to North Newington, Oxfordshire; and then finally to America in 1638.

Any help in getting further information concerning these Mayo brothers, cannon makers, would be very much appreciated.
            Jean Mayo

Offline sillgen

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #1 on: Monday 19 March 07 18:16 GMT (UK) »
Sorry that we have not managed to reply to this one but it is a very specialised area of research and much earlier than most of us can do with ease.  I looked at the A2A site and found the will for Thomas Mayo but there is no indication of which part of Sussex he came from and it is a very big county.
I hope you find something.
Andrea

Offline Jean Mayo

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #2 on: Monday 19 March 07 18:25 GMT (UK) »
Hi Andrea,
    When I made the posting, I knew it was a real long shot. Thanks for checking though. I appreciate it.
         Jean.


Offline forester

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #3 on: Monday 19 March 07 20:30 GMT (UK) »
Hello Jean,

Have you tried contacting the Wealden Iron Research Group?

www.wealdeniron.org.uk

Regards,
Phil
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Offline Stovepipe

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #4 on: Monday 19 March 07 21:57 GMT (UK) »
There's an old volume of the Sussex Archaeological Collections that has an interesting article on a family of canon makers in East Sussex - Heathfield, I think (but I could be wrong).  I remember there being some letters and genealogical information recorded in the article.

Sorry to be so vague, but I don't have access to the book just now - I can't remember the name of family or the book's volume number.

But I will have access in a couple of weeks.  I'll post back if the family is Mayo.

Stovepipe
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Offline Jean Mayo

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #5 on: Monday 19 March 07 23:17 GMT (UK) »
Thank you everyone. I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject and there were several early families that were gunfounders and cannon makers in Sussex and Kent in the mid-1500's. If either of you find the names of John and Thomas Mayo in your travels, I would welcome any further help that you could give me. Phil, that iron research group site is fantastic. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I googled the subject to death, and that was one site that I missed. Have a great evening, and thanks again.
     Jean

Offline sillgen

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 20 March 07 08:59 GMT (UK) »
Glad I started a flurry of activity!   I have looked for Mayo in the index for the Sussex Archaeological books but did not see it.   I'll look again for cannon makers - I have them at work.
Andrea

Offline sillgen

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 21 March 07 19:26 GMT (UK) »
I have looked for cannon makers without success as far as Mayo is concerned.  I suspect they moved from Sussex very early on.    There were several references to Tower Office of Ordnance that may be worth following up.  A Margaret Mayo was marrying in Henfield - the vicar William Belcher - in the late 1500s so there must have been a family around there.  There is a big article on Ralph Hogges and his Ironworks accounts 1576-81 but no mention of Mayo.
Andrea

Offline Jean Mayo

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Re: John and Thomas Mayo, cannon makers, in the 1500's
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 21 March 07 21:29 GMT (UK) »
Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for keeping me in mind. I've pretty much learned about the things you mentioned in your posting. What I've spent the morning doing is e-mailing alot of links on that site ...Wealdon Iron research group. I'm hoping that one of them will be able to help me learn more about these Mayo brothers.
    I'm also having a strong hunch about the area around Battel, Sussex, England, close to where the Battle of Hastings happened that was renowned for its gunfoundry, gunpowder, iron works, etc. I have no proof...just a pure gut instinct. There were Mayo's living there in the 1700's, but that is a later time period, not in the 1500's. But something tells me.....
     Jean.