Saturday, August 6, 2016

Kittery and Kittery Quay

The name Kittery goes way back to the early 1600s. The "oldest town in Maine" was settled sometime in the 1620s and was incorporated in 1647. Like almost all towns along the Piscataqua, Kittery was named by English settlers in honor of their homeland. But this town was named, not for another town, but for a manor house.
Manor of  Kittery Court in Devon, England
The honor of naming the town is sometimes given to Alexander Shapleigh who was reportedly born around 1574 at the Manor of Kittery Court in Devon, England. Kittery Court is located in the village of Kingsweare, across the river Dart from the city of Dartmouth. Dartmouth, New Hampshire, of course, and Exeter and Appledore are also local place names borrowed from this region in the county of Devon.
In England the Shapleighs were merchants and a major importer of salt from France. It was a natural step to become involved in the fishing industry in which salted fish were imported from the Atlantic coast of America.
Alexander arrived in the New World in 1635 aboard his ship BENEDICTION that he co-owned with business partner Captain Francis Champernowne, a relative of Sir Walter Scott. Like the Pepperells of Kittery, they also set up a salt fish operation at the Isles of Shoals and exported the popular product to Europe.

Kittery Court (also called Kittery Quay) still survives and is on the list of sites to visit in Kingsweare. That also boasts a medieval castle. Today a car ferry runs from Kingsware to Dartmouth and the sleepy village is a popular tourist spot. Visitors can also take a steam railroad train along the scenic winding coast.

Courtesy of the Portsmouth Herald


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  2. Dear friends,
    The Candlemas RAID was not a "massacre" by definition, with 3 times the casualties in prisoners..(140 POW and 48 killed)..some even released quickly. Although it has been suggested that Abbe THURY accompanied the large Wabanaki war party, there is ZERO archival evidence of this. Redeemed York residents never even noted the presence of any French personnel whatsoever, and would have surely noted the presence of a DREDDED Jesuit "Black Robe" they vehemently recalled the sadistic taunting of one of the warriors wearing the bloody vestments of the slain Minister Shubael Dummer, but nothing mentioned of a "black robe". The raid was not incited by any priest, but Native declared to Governor Frontenac on Jan 6th, 1691 by Two Penobscot chiefs (certainly one was Modackawando) as well as to Governor Villebon of Acadia (at Ft. St. Joseph in NB then under construction) in October 1692.

    BTW.....possible refitted French musket ("Dominicus Jordan Gun") in The Collections of the Maine Hist Soc. in Portland, which may be the work of captured York resident and FRENCH TRAINED GUNSMITH (trained as an "armourer" while a POW in Quebec) Charles Trafton, who had returned to York by 1710.

    Ken Hamilton

  3. What the Candlemas Massacre has to do with naming the town of Kittery? However, without sources, information is only opinion.