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Sunday, February 17, 2013

William Maule of Scotland: Eighteenth-Century Surveyor-General of "Mutinous" North Carolina

Title: "This Plane as here delineated and Layed Out represents the Island of Roan-Oak in North Carolina Containing Twelve Thousand Acres of Land and Marsh. As Surveyed Anno 1718 by Wm. Maule, Surye. Genl."

There were a number of Maules in both Scotland and England in the latter part of the seventeenth century; however, Patrick Maule, or "Dr. Patrick Maule," as he is styled in the North Carolina Colonial Records arrived in America in 1715This is a significant date for it may be associated with the First Jacobite Rebellion, a.k.a. "The Fifteen," because of its occurrence in 1715.  Many Jacobites left the country as a result... many were shipped to America unwillingly or fled there themselves.

Whether Patrick was an actual doctor and what kind of doctor is not revealed in the records, nor in his 1736 will in North Carolina.  What kind of doctor raises hogs and makes turpentine?  Well... a fugitive Jacobite doctor, maybe... [BCBNote 8 Sep 2020: As it turns out, most doctors in America had farms and raised chickens or were alternatively paid in eggs, chickens, and other farm produce up until the 20th century! My work at Laupus Library's medical collections at ECU made me greatly aware of this.]

A Maule family researcher in Pennsylvania believes that Patrick and his older brother William to be two of five sons of John Maule, born c1618, descended from Thomas Maule (1470-1513), the progenitor of Patrick Maule, the first Earl of Panmure in Forfarshire, on the east coast of Scotland, near Edinburgh.  Patrick Maule of Panmure was a Tory or royalist who served James VI, king of Scotland as Groom of the Bedchamber before and after he became James I of England, beginning the Stuart line of English royalty.  Fealty to the English line of kings was not a constant in the Maules of Scotland, many who lost their lands as a result of their support of the pretender in the Jacobite Rebellion of the early eighteenth century.  That occurred at about the time of Patrick's later arrival to join his brother William in North Carolina.  Ironically, many of these Maules reclaimed their family lands in Scotland and swore allegiance once again to the British Crown.  

Maule Estate of Panmure, before and after it was destroyed.
  Needless to say, Maules were strongly supportive of Stuart kings, Charles I, Charles II, and his bother James II.  Charles II, of course was the one who gave a charter to the eight Lords Proprietors of Carolina in 1663.  The protestant succession of William of Orange in 1689 prompted many Stuart supporters to seek refuge in America.  Still, Maules, even in America remained Tory and faithful to Stuart England.  

A Thomas Maule settled in Massachusetts in 1695 after spending some time in Barbadoes.  He was a devout Quaker who penned a letter to the well-known Cotton Mather in Massachusetts. 
Thomas, b. May 11, 1645 Berkswell Parish, Warwickshire, England, d. July 2, l724 prob. Salem, Mass.  His origins, in his own words, writing in the third person, Thomas Maule says this:

Thomas Maule, a Young Man about twelve years of Age, came from England to the Island of Barbadoes, and from thence (for his health sake) came to New-England, where hearing much preaching and loud praying; he began to think with himself, what manner of People are these? whole Streets ring with the noise of Preaching and Praying; and having lived amongst them about three years he did experience their words to be good, but by their works to have no good hearts; at the end of which time he removed himself to another of their Towns, called Salem, where he found the Church Members to be in all respects (as to Religion) one with them in the other Towns of their Jurisdiction; but in Salem he found a People of few words and good works, agreable thereunto, with which people he Joyned, by keeping to their Meetings...

In other words, he turned Quaker... :)

One early South Carolina Maule was Rev. Robert Maule, who served Charles Town as minister for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, an Anglican body of the state church that tried to reassert their authority in the lawless colonies through the vestry act in 1703.  One reason for this were Quakers, becoming quite numerous in the colonies and most especially in North Carolina. 

William Maule, the future surveyor-general of North Carolina first appears as a mariner or merchant delivering letters of Thomas Pollock to William Glover in April 1710, Thomas Pollock to John Lawson in May 1710 (Lawson was in London at the time, publishing his famous book), and Thomas Pollock to Edward Hyde in August 1710 during Pollock's flight to Virginia during Cary's Rebellion... as he said "a government I knew was altogether illegal."  This took Capt. Maule from Virginia to London to Charles Town to make this circuit.  

Capt. Maule had been along the border of Virginia at some point during the intended survey of that border in 1710 and was apparently a deputy surveyor under John Lawson, for the Virginia commissioners complained of his attempt to cheat the Nansemond Indians of their land:

At the Nansemond Town the Interpreter told us that when he went down to Wicocon Creek with a Nansemond Indian called Robin Tucker who was sent by the Indians to shew us the Creek on wch the Wyanoakes formerly lived, he called at one William Williams's house, where he met with one Mr Maul (who is ye same person appointed by Mr Lawson to supply his place at our taking the Latitude) and that being sometime in the House and the Indian left without, as soon as he (the Interpreter) came out, the Indian told him, That man (meaning Mr Maul) was not good for he had been (persuading) him to deny that the Weyanoakes had lived on Wicocon Creek, & promised him two bottles of powder and a thousand shott to do it. Upon wch we examined the Indian charging him not to tell a ly of the Gentleman, & he assured us it was very true. This Mr Maul is Mr Lawson's Deputy Surveyor.

Capt. Maule does not appear in the colony's records for two more years until he shows up, as a surveyor working in the Albemarle area. Despite his cheating the Indians, he was not very controversial to his superiors (who could have cared less about the Indians) and probably favored by Tories in the home government. 

As someone who has explored Edward Moseley's career intently, I'd like to believe that he, who had been a surveyor in the Albemarle since April 1704 and had made a map of the Albemarle in 1708 that was taken by Rev. William Gordon to London for the Bishop of London... which got quietly stuffed into Tenison's SPG records at Lambeth Palace and buried until 2010... probably resented this intrusion by another capable surveyor, especially one that did not favor his politics.  

As it turned out, Moseley's opponent in the Council, Thomas Pollock encouraged the favor of Maule over Moseley.  In Pollock's letter to John Lawson, then (May 1710) in London, Pollock writes:

Also, Sir, I have another favour to beg of you. There being a young gentleman (the bearer hereof) one Mr Wm Maule on whom fortune hath frowned, having been twice taken by the French [on the sea, no doubt] and lost very considerably, and being, I believe, very capable of surveying, (if you have not deputed any other in Albemarle county or at least in Chowan precinct) you will find him (if it lie within your conveniency to depute him) capable, diligent, and faithful, and it will be a very great obligation to...Yr St Sr.  

After all, the well-trained Moseley, with Lawson and his new deputy, William Maule, had been appointed by the Queen as commissioners to determine the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina in 1710.  The journal of Phillip Ludwell and Nathaniel Harrison, commissioners for Virginia, a document in which we learn of Maule's cheating the Nansemond Indians, however, demonstrates the inability of Moseley and Lawson to work together and their growing hatred for one another.  We also need to remember that Maule was now Lawson's deputy, who was now hated even more by Moseley (not because of the Indians - Moseley cared nothing for their welfare any more than Maule). 

This prompted historian Noeleen McIlveena to comment on their probable professional/personal distaste of each other in her book, A Very Mutinous People.  It may also have caused the Queen to have ignored the pretentious and arrogant Moseley in favor of the loyal and amenable Indian-cheating William Maule.  It probably made the map that he sent by Rev. William Gordon to the SPG a little less palatable to the Crown.  Gordon left after little more than a year (in a huff) because of Quaker opposition, specifically John Porter, at least a friend to the Quakers, and it would seem, to Edward Moseley.  Moseley's name at the bottom of the map seems to have been purposely removed... but, this is just my guess (see second figure below). 

1708 Moseley Map of the Albemarle, printed in
1708 Moseley map portion showing the bottom line of wording, which contains Moseley's name (beginning), significantly blotted out, yet the lined border around the wording nor any other wording appears largely unaffected.  His name was likely removed to possibly avoid embarrassment after the Cary Rebellion association became understood which immediately followed this map's arrival in London.

Once Moseley got wind of this, he may have lost his Anglican religion. Trust me... he seldom had need of it anyway!  lol 

Whatever the politics, Moseley was probably held in low esteem by her majesty, Queen Anne.  I can't be sure of this (find real documentation), for the Board of Trade seemed more interested in violations of the Navigation Acts in regard to "an illegal trade carried on between Carolina [Charleston] and Portugal." They mentioned little else but the boundary issue until after John Lawson was murdered in September 1711 and the Tuscarora War had begun.  In short, they could have cared less about some Indian matter or dispute in the colonies. 

Still, William Maule gained the most advantage (right away), especially after his service to the lackluster northern part of the colony as a "Colonel" in the Tuscarora War - something that we would never find Moseley doing (Edit 8 Sep 2020: probably bone-spurs or something) - and growing friendship with President of the Council (and Moseley's enemy) Thomas Pollock.  

During the war, Maule began patenting a lot of land along the Chowan-Roanoke River areas that later became Bertie Precinct (then, County) by 1722.  On 1 April 1713, he obtained four separate 640-acre tracts on the south side of the Moratock (Roanoke) River.  All four of these tracks together were known as "Callidonia," reflecting the old Roman name for Scotland, "Caledonia."  

The war had opened up huge areas of Indian land southwest of Albemarle.  Tuscarora, Chowan, and Meherrin were largely grouped along the border (to defend against other Indians in Virginia) just west of the Chowan River. Especially after the war, English colonists here no longer felt the need to respect their sovereignty.  Maule was no better than Moseley and was never much concerned with their rights anyway.    

Two more 640-acre tracts came 5 May 1714 on the north side of the Meherrin River near the Virginia border (and in disputed territory until the boundary was settled) and including the mouth of a "mill creek." Later, in October of 1722, he increased his "Callidonia" lands by 3,000 acres in one grant, perhaps the traditional large grant allowed a surveyor-general.  

His brother Patrick received about 5,000 acres of land in five grants, issued between 1719 and 1726 on the north side of Pamlico Sound in "Bath County" or the part that later became Hyde County.  Many more land transactions are listed in the patent books, abstracted in the Province of North Carolina by Margaret Hofmann.

In May 1714, Maule obtained his commission as surveyor-general of North Carolina, just before Queen Anne passed away that August.  Maule was mentioned in 1713 as "Captn Maul our present Surveyor," but most likely that was due to succession after Lawson's untimely death by "severe lightwood splinter torture" in 1711... stirred up I believe by Moseley and his confederates, as also Thomas Pollock believed at the time.  

Yes, Pollock certainly believed Moseley and his confederates capable of this...

The phrases "three restless Incendiaries Colo Cary, Mr Porter, and Mr Moseley from having any share in the Government, which is all the punishment we pray may be inflicted for many crimes and misdemeanours they are justly chargeable with" and "incite rebellions, Conspiracys Riotts or any manner of unlawfull Feuds or differences thereby to stir up against or malitiously to contrive the Ruin and Disturbance of the Queen's peace" and "carry on their rebellious purposes have endeavoured by promises of reward to draw into their conspiracy the neighbouring Indians by them to cut off all such of her majesty's subjects as should oppose their lawless proceedings" generally tell the tale... all surveyors stood to make a bundle by getting rid of the Indians.  Personally, Moseley stood to have revenge (and more money) by getting rid of John Lawson.  It only took a simple whisper in Chief Hancock's ear about who carved up tens of thousands of acres of their lands for the New Bern settlement... " Pssst!  "Lawson's on the Neuse now with Gov. Edward Hyde [actually, Christopher von Graffenried, founder of New Bern]!" 

Oh, but no politician would ever do this!!!  [Sarcasm alert!] Especially when there's no media around to catch you... especially when the maximum population in that WHOLE God-foresaken wilderness colony was at most 3,000!!  We could certainly trust a pretentious rich kid in that environment.  Right?  lol  That's what I thought... :)

After Lawson's nasty slow torturous murder (you get the idea that it sucked to be him in 1711, right?), Maule merely succeeded to the post until an official appointment could be made.  Shortly afterward, in 1715, William's brother Dr. Patrick Maule arrived and helped his brother as a deputy surveyor and the colony as deputy receiver, under Lords Proprietor's receiver-general Daniel Richardson.  

Again, this must ROYALLY have stewed the highly educated and presumptuous Edward Moseley, a proper gentleman who should be shown deference! Oh, well!  :)

Where William Maule may have received his education as a navigator/surveyor is not known, although Scots and Dutch share similar early maritime interests and a Thomas Maule has been found in the late seventeenth century (1663) graduating from Leiden University, popular with the Dutch royal family that was founded by William of Orange, later king of England.  Two other Maules graduated from there in 1718 and 1725.  It is known that Scots have been great mariners and merchants even before England became known for their prowess on the sea.  In The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, N. A. M. Rodger states:

Up to the 1550s at least, Scottish seamen were well in advance of the English.  They regularly made long open sea passages while the English remained tied to coastal waters.  There were close Scottish links with Dieppe and Le Havre, where in the 1530s and 1540s a brilliant school of Huguenot navigators, explorers and pirates flourished.  Many Scots were among them, and Scottish ships and seamen participated in their raids to the Caribbean.

From 1718 map, showing William Maule's signature. 

Despite his probable education and ability, Maule made few maps - the one of Roanoke Island in 1718 is the only known map attributed to him, and he probably made that one because he owned a large part of it at the time (see second portion).  It appears somewhat crude by comparison to Edward Moseley's works, especially the 1733 map for which he later becomes famous... it seems that, by this time, Moseley, graduate of the Royal Mathematical Academy in London who studied lessons provided by Isaac Newton, warranted further attention from the new monarch, George II.  

"Mr. Maules Part" or property on the 1718 Roanoke Island map.

Maule laid out a 53,000-acre tract for the Tuscarora Indian remnants and Chowan Indians in 1717 in Bertie County, at the behest of the government and Indian agent, William Charleton.  This became known as the Indian Woods Reservation.  The Bertie County Rootsweb site states: "Bounded by the Roanoke River and Roquist Creek, the reservation contained some of the more fertile land of the county, and it was not long before whites began to encroach upon this territory. As early as 1721 interlopers threatened to "create Feuds and disturbances" among the Indians." 

1803 Plan of Indian Woods

The Tuscaroras packed up and left for New York the next year, after numerous Englishmen had cheated them of these lands.  Maule spent 21 days away from home to perform this work, as he stated later.

Col. William Maule spent more than 23 years as a surveyor for North Carolina; his official term as surveyor-general ended in June 1723, when the even more controversial Edward Moseley finally received royal recognition of his talents and became surveyor-general of the colony upon the appointment of George Burrington as governor.  This appointment was, of course, due to politics as well. Burrington politically allied himself with the "Family," a group of wealthy gentlemen (many from South Carolina) who intended to open up the Lower Cape Fear for settlement - something that the Lords Proprietors rejected at the time. Moseley was a leading member of that elite cabal. Also, there just weren't that many choices in North Carolina of this time... lol

William Maule patented his own lands in Bertie County and lived there on the "Mount Golland" tract with his wife, Penelope Eden, the daughter of governor Charles Eden.  He kept a ferry over the Chowan River as well.  An aging 58-year-old Maule had received some flack for trying again to cheat Indians... this time, the Meherrin in 1726.  The Maules had one daughter together, Penelope, before he passed away that same year of the Meherrin troubles.  His wife later married John Lovick and then Gabriel Johnston, another governor of North Carolina in 1734.  His brother, Patrick passed away two years later, in 1736, leaving only one son, John, to carry the name of Maule in North Carolina, formerly of the Earldom of Panmure in Forfarshire, Scotland. 

Edward Moseley was finally pleased. 


Hopefully, at the end of 2017, I will be finished with my newest book: Dictionary of Pyrate Biography, 1713-1720 which will attempt for the first time ever to re-discover pirate history without using A General History. I guarantee a lot of surprises!

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Unknown said...

I'm drooling over your 1708 Mosely map of Albermarle Sound and Chowan River... can you perhaps post a higher resolution that I can zoom in?
Or post a link?

You toy with the idea that Maule is possibly descended from the Earl of Panmure... just some playful filler for your post?

I've devoted considerable time trying to debunk the myth that the widow of Thomas Browne d.1718/19 married William Maule (Christian Browne)... perhaps you can add a credible opinion as a credentialed historian and put this myth to rest.

Marc Anderson aka 'Anderson1951'

Baylus C. Brooks said...

Marc... send me an email to and I'll send the largest file I have of the 1708 Moseley map


Apparently Col William Maule & Penelope Eden had another daughter , Christian Maule, who married 1. Thomas Browne,& 2 John Nairn of Tyrrell Co NC .He died abt Jan 1739 & has a will 1740.
Christian Nairne was in open Court in Tyrell Co NC in late 1739 with a plea to sell two Slaves from the estate of her deceased husband, John Nairn.
John Nairn also acquired a 640 Acre block of land on the Murrattock river in 1732.
The Nairnes & Maules of Scotland were related, & both had strong Jacobite loyalties.
John Nairne also first appears in NC records abt 1715 !! The Lords Nairne took part in the 1715 rebellion & the 2nd Lord Nairne was tried for High Treason & condemned to death, but reprieved.The same Family took part in the 1745 Rebellion & as a consequence were Forfeited & banished from Britain.
Marjory Maule (Father - Andrew Maule of Guildie), Scotland married William Nairne (.Nairne House of Sandford - Fifeshire, Scotland) abt 1600.
Col William Maules Father was a a John Maule , who appears to have had quite a number of Children born in , & near Dover , Co Kent, & Greenwhich England.
I can trace my Nairn/e branch to Co Kent - 1600 onwards.
Col Wm Maule was a Surveyor in North Carolina.Captain Thomas Nairne (My Ancestor, but as yet unproven)(see Nairnes Muskhogean Journals - The 1708 Expedition to the Mississippi river, by Capt Thomas Nairne , edited by Alexander Moore) was an Indian Agent, Soldier, Politician & ''Surveyor'' In South Carolina.He first appeared there abt 1695.He Travelled to the Mississippi river in 1708, & left one of the earliest accounts of the Indian Tribes & culture in Colonial America. He was also charged with ''being a Jacobite''& Charged with High Treason by the then Crooked Governor Johnson/Johnston of South Carolina He managed to escape & returned to report to the Governors in London.
He also came of the same fate as this Lawson & was Burnt to death by the Yamasee Indians in 1715/16. I cant prove it yet !, but Thomas Nairne may well have been related to John Nairne of NC.He was an acquaintance of John Barnwell ''Tuscarora Jack'' & helped organise the expedition into North Carolina to put down the ''Tuscarora War''.

Baylus C. Brooks said...

Kerry, thanks for that wealth of information!