John Davis, the Navigator, and Fulford 

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913. pp. 116-117.


A.J.P. Skinner

Prepared by Michael Steer

John Davis or Davys (c. 1550 - 29 December 1605) (b. 1543?) was one of the chief English navigators of Elizabeth I. He led several voyages to discover the Northwest Passage and served as pilot and captain on both Dutch and English voyages to the East Indies. He discovered the Falkland Islands (today a British Overseas Territory) in August 1592It is important that Captain John Davis of Sandridge should not be confused with a contemporary, Captain John Davis of Limehouse. Both served in the fleet of Captain James Lancaster during the first voyage of the East India Company to the East Indies. Davis was born in the parish of Stoke Gabriel, circa 1550, and spent his childhood in Sandridge Barton nearby The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 92. JOHN DAVIS, THE NAVIGATOR, AND FULFORD. - To the Fulford pedigree given in Westcote there is a note by the editors stating that "as the Fulford pedigree has been incorrectly given by Westcote, we have supplied one, compiled on better authority."

This pedigree states that "Sir John Fulford, Knight, Sheriff of Devon 26 and 32 Henry VIII., married Dorothy, daughter of John, Lord Bouchier, first Earl of Bath, and had issue: - Sir John, Andrew (who had a son called James, sans issue), Faith (wife of Captain John Davies, of Sandridge), --- (married to English, of Totnes), --- (to Cary, of Cary-Barton), --- (to Adams, of Waddon, in Stoke Gabriell, Esq.)"

This is copied by Prince and Vivian and by Markham in his Life of John Davis.

These notes tend to show, from the entries given below - taken from the Stoke Gabriel Register - that the above is not altogether correct, and that more probably John Davis and Walter English married daughters of Andrew Fulford, of Stoke Gabriel, and not his sisters.

Vivian states that Sir John Fulford died 14th Nov., 1544; John Davis married Faith, 28th Sept., 1582, so that were she a daughter of Sir John, dating from his death, she was not a very young woman at the time of her marriage, and was some years older than Davis, who was born in 1550. It appears that Faith Davis left her husband and children in 1593, during his absence at sea, "for a scoundrel named Milburne," and died soon after.

1561, xxix Maye, Mr. Andrewe ffullford had tow children chrisned named John and ffaithe.

1561, xv June, John ffullford buried.

1567, vi June, Andrew ffulford, esq., a child baptized named Cicell.

1572, xxiii Nov., Andrewe ffullford, esq., was buried.

1573, v Dec, Dorythe ffulford, Gent., was buried.

1573, xxviii Maye, Mr. Adrian Gilbert marred to Mrs.

Elnore ffulford. (1) 1576, xii Maye, Mrs. Cicell Adams, gent, woman, was buried.

1581, i June, James ffulford, gent., was buried. (2)

1582, xxviii September, John Davys maried to Mrs. fayth ffulford.

1583, xxvii March, John Davis a child baptized named Gylbert.

1584, xii Dec, Mr. John Davis a child baptized named Elizabeth.

I551 ii Jan., Mr. John Davis a child buried named Elizabeth.

1586, xvi ffeb., Mr. John Davis a child baptized named Arthur.

1587, xix July, Mr. John Davis a child baptized named John.

1588, ix ffeb., Mr. John Davis a child baptized named Phillipp.

1587, xi March, John Daves, gent., was buried.

1588, xxiii October, Water Englishe maried to Cycell ffullford, gent.

1590, xii Jan., Water Englishe a child baptized named Richard.

1598, vi Aug., Mrs. Elnore Gilbert, gent., was buried.

                                                                      A. J. P. SKINNER.

(1)    The widow of Andrew ("Markham.") Is her parentage known?

(2) The only issue of Andrew mentioned by Westcote.