“Loyalist Trails” 2019-19: May 12, 2019
In this issue:
– UELAC Conference 2019 Deadline, Auction Items, Special Church Service
– A Loyalist’s Diary of the Final Years: Part Two, by Stephen Davidson
– Why Scholarship Matters & A Virtual Introduction to Jonathan A. Bayer, 2019 UE Scholar
– Atlantic Loyalist Connections: Edward Coats and his Journal of the Siege of Quebec
– Borealia: Fighting Fungus with Fungus: Mushroom Ketchup as Food and Medicine
– JAR: Misadventures in the Countryside: Escape from a British Prison Ship
– JAR: “My Dear Nell”: The Love Letters of [Loyalist] John Moultrie
– Ben Franklin’s World: Motherhood in Early America
– Digby, NS: Trinity Anglican Parish Cemetery
– Restoration of Old Hay Bay Church: Fundraising Concert on June 9
– Where in the World?
– Region and Branch Bits
+ Waterdown Museum of History open to the public May 13
+ Genealogy Workshop at Old Hay Bay Church, July 27
+ Van Valkenburgh Families (NAVVF) Meeting Sept. 15-19, Niagara Falls
– From the Twittersphere and Beyond
Join fellow Loyalists and friends at UELAC Conference 2019 “The Capital Calls” – May 30 – June 2, 2019, at DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa, 1170 chemin Aylmer, Gatineau, Quebec, hosted by Sir Guy Carleton Branch.
The meal reservation deadline for Conference 2019 — The Capital Calls — is getting near. The deadline to register for one or more of the meals being offered during the conference from May 30 to June 2, is Friday, May 17.
The block of special-rate rooms available at the conference hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton in Gatineau, have been booked. However, as of Friday, May 10, the hotel reservation desk indicated there are a few rooms left at regular rates on Thursday, May 30; Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1. Contact information for the DoubleTree by Hilton is listed at the uelac.org conference website. Other nearby hotels are also listed under the heading ‘additional accommodations.’
Delegates attending the conference are requested to register when they arrive at the hotel. The conference registration desk will be in the lobby near the hotel’s room registration desk. Those registering will receive their conference name tags which they are advised to wear throughout the conference and even afterwards to attend either conference activities or to received reduced admission charges to selected attractions in the National Capital Region.
Conference 2019 will conclude with a Loyalist-themed service at Christ Church in nearby Aylmer, Quebec, on Sunday, June 2. Buses will leave the conference hotel at 9:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. service to be led by Reverend Canon Mary Ellen Berry. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, some parishioners plan to wear period costumes and attending members of the UELAC are welcomed to do the same. The church is also assembling a brief, history booklet on Christ Church which will include some prominent Loyalists.
Along with the wearing of period costumes at the church service, those at the conference may also wear costumes at other events including Saturday night’s Gala Banquet.
A special feature at the conference will be the Silent Auction with an impressive array of more than two dozen items including books, Loyalist-related material, coins, prints and passes to leading Ottawa museums. Each item or groups of items in the auction have opening bids which will be displayed on the accompanying bid sheets:
• Books (individual and in collections) – Butler’s Rangers by E. Cruikshank; Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry: A History 1784-1945, John Graham Harkness; Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by Mark M. Boatner; The American Heritage Book of the Revolution, Ed. Richard Ketchum; Victorious in Defeat: The American Loyalists in Exile, Wallace Brown & Hereward Senior; Kingston and the Loyalists of the Spring Fleet 1783 by Walter Bates; The Price of Loyalty by George Laidlaw; Early Loyalist Saint John: The Origin of New Brunswick Politics 1783-1786 by D.G. Bell ; New Brunswick Loyalists by Sharon Dubeau; The Loyalists of New Brunswick by Esther Clark Wright; Early New Brunswick Probate Records 1785-1835 by R. Wallace Hale; The Natural History of Canadian Mammals by Donna Naughton; 2 books by Gavin K. Watt, For Want of His Silver Plate: Sir John Johnson’s raid of May 1780; Loyalist Refugees : Non-Military Refugees in Quebec 1776-1784; A set of 3 books by Jennifer DeBruin, Shadows in the Trees; A Walk with Mary and Daughter of Conflict; A series of 5 books by Jean Rae Baxter, The Way Lies North; Broken Trail; Freedom Bound; The White Oneida; Hope’s Journey
• Museum passes – Canadian War Museum 5 1-day passes; 5 passes Canadian Museum of History; 4 passes Canadian Museum of Nature; National Gallery of Canada — 2 admissions to the permanent collection
• Loyalist related material – 2 cups UELAC Armorial Bearings; 1 cup GEIII cipher; 10 envelopes with armorial bearing with the United Empire Loyalists’ Bicentennial 1783-84 1983-84 and 32 cent stamps; 10 cards with Armorial Bearings; Plate & stand “United Empire Loyalists 1784-1984 Bi-centennial; Plate & stand “For the Unity of the Empire — UEL Monument at Hamilton”; Plate “Loyal Then Loyal Now”; — Map of the Province of New York in North America 1779; Ladies red medium-sized Loyalist short sleeved shirt in its original packaging; Men’s large beige long-sleeved Loyalist shirt
• Coins – one-ounce pure silver coin (face value $20.00) showing Queen Elizabeth II’s Maple Leaf Brooch; The War of 1812 Coin Collection consisting of 1 – $2.00 piece and 8 – $0.25 pieces depicting the HMS Shannon, Sir Isaac Brock, Tecumseh, Charles-Michel de Salaberry & Laura Secord
• Prints – Ben Babelowsky Tall Ships, a collection of 4 prints from 1984 unframed, (The Eagle, The Margues, Blackjack, Gorch Fork II) including a description of each ship; Ben Babelowsky, Ottawa River, a collection of 6 prints unframed, each print gives the location in the lower corner
• Other items – Ancestry DNA Kit & 6-month subscription to Ancestry World Deluxe; Scottish & Irish Store — gift card; 4 Open-Close Lift tickets (valid season 2019-2020) Mount Pakenham; Woman’s Leather Briefcase by Canetti
Additional material which may be of interest to those attending the conference will be offered for sale by our vendors including Ontario Ancestors — genealogical materials; Jennifer DeBruin — books; Global Genealogy — genealogical materials; McGregor Books and The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.
In recent days, news agencies have been reporting about extensive flooding in Eastern Canada including the Ottawa region. While the Ottawa River is swollen from runoff of heavy rainstorms, the Conference 2019 hotel remains high and dry and under no threat from the flooding experienced this spring in the area.
See more details, including a flyer, the schedule, speakers, venue, directions, and the registration form. Registration is now open!
© Stephen Davidson, UE
Ever since May of 1775. Samuel Curwen, a loyalist from Salem, Massachusetts, had been a refugee in England. The diary that he maintained throughout his self-imposed banishment provides the modern reader with an insight into the last two years of the American Revolution, following the British defeat at the Battle of Yorktown in late 1781.
Curwen’s diary reveals the conflicting news that he encountered as he read London’s newspapers and those from America. Would the rebellious colonies be granted their independence? Would the country follow King George III’s desire to restore the American colonies?
In early October, all sorts of stories were being circulated within the refugee community in London. “It is the opinion of some refugees that New York is by this time evacuated, and … I think it is not improbable; for there never was a time when government had so fair a prospect of overturning that mighty colossus of independency as now … but the die is cast, and … government has formally offered America unconditional independency … Gen. Carleton writes that the colonies are so determined against all governmental connections with Great Britain, that if they cannot maintain their independency, they will declare themselves colonies of France, and if they must be slaves they will take a new yoke, however galling, rather than put on the old one.”
What a different world it would be if this arrangement had come to pass!
Curwen also had concerns on his own doorstep. A government commission had been struck to examine the claims of American refugees and the allowances that they had been receiving since their arrival in England. Curwen, who had received such support for the past seven years, was one of hundreds who received a card informing him that he would be “questioned as to my claims as a refugee for support”. He had to come prepared with a statement of his property in Massachusetts and a certificate of his “steady uniform attachment to principles of loyalty.”
Meanwhile, news from the colonies contained reports of the evacuation of Charleston (which were true) and the abandonment of New York City (which would not occur for another entire year). The government, Curwen wrote, was “determined to take away every difficulty respecting American independence to bring on a treaty for a general peace.”
By early December of 1782, the peace treaty’s provisional articles had been signed by commissioners representing Great Britain and the United States. George III was so discouraged that he seriously considered leaving the country and returning to his estates in Hanover. (Queen Charlotte was able to change his mind.) When the king later read the speech from the throne containing developments in the peace process, he appeared “obliging” but “nothing was farther from his heart had not the necessity of his affairs impelled him thereto”.
1783 began with England’s loyal refugees coming to grips with the fact that very soon their homes and properties would become part of the new nation of the United States of America. Gathering at their favourite coffee houses, New England loyalists read the preliminaries of peace, which, Curwen confessed to his diary, “astonish me — a tract equal to half of Europe is surrendered”.
In February, Curwen wrote that “the die is cast, the ratification completed here”. Meanwhile, loyalists (seen in some quarters as “burdensome aliens”) had their allowances altered, with some receiving less support from the government.
Things were no better on the other side of the Atlantic. Virginia announced that it would not give back any land to its loyalists. Curwen wrote “it is likely the rest of the states will copy so laudable an example, and exhibit thereby to the world a specimen of their power, want of virtue, moderation and disregard to the principles of humanity.” It was not a good time to be a loyalist on either side of the ocean.
But Curwen’s fellow refugees weren’t willing to give up without a fight. “The loyalists have been for these two months very deeply engaged in forming plans to counterbalance the dreadful evils consequent on ministerial neglect in the late treaty.” Curwen was afraid that such attempts to alter the terms of the peace treaty would only cause more problems, and he decided not to attend any of their meetings.
Curwen held out little hope for American refugees. Were his spirits lifted in May? That was when he encountered a man who quoted Bible passages while “reading” the loyalist’s palm.
After studying Curwen’s right hand, the man quoted Deuteronomy 30: 3-5 which said “That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.”
Throughout the years of the revolution, the diary writer never lost his love for “the land which thy fathers possessed”, and so Curwen began to consider whether he should risk returning to Massachusetts. Letters from home were confusing, containing both invitations as well as warnings of violence. In late July, he confided to a friend in New England that “the political frenzy of your country and the peculiarly critical situation of American refugees here put it out of my power to be decided respecting my future destination.”
Within a week’s time, newspapers from New England arrived at Curwen’s favourite coffee house. They were filled with stories of “the rising spirit of Americans against refugees … they give an unrestrained loose to their angry, malevolent passions.”
Strangely, Curwen’s diary makes no special note of September 3, 1783, the day that the Treaty of Paris –the treaty that ended the American Revolution– came into effect. He concludes his diary entries for 1783 saying “This concludes a most unpleasing, unprofitable year, meaning in such a sense as dignifies the rational nature of mortal men. May the following year be productive of better moral effects than the last.”
Almost a year later, in the fall of 1784, Samuel Curwen finally returned to Salem, Massachusetts “much to the satisfaction of his friends, and was never molested for his political course.” His nine years as a refugee had come to an end, leaving posterity with an amazing first hand account of the American Revolution as viewed from the sanctuary of Great Britain.
[Editor’s Note: from twitter’s @REV250BOS: On This Day – May 9, 1775 – Salem Loyalist Samuel Curwen spent an evening in Philadelphia at Joseph Reed’s “with Col. Washington, (a fine figure, and of a most easy and agreeable address,) Richard Henry Lee, and Col. Harrison,—three of the Virginia delegates.”]
To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.
“Scholars are an endangered species these days, but what a poorer place the world would be without their dedication to detail and passion for accuracy. They’re our invaluable guides to the monuments of the life of the mind.” – A. D. Nuttall, English literary critic and academic
A Virtual Introduction to Jonathan A. Bayer, 2019 UE Scholar
This week we extend a warm welcome to Jonathan Bayer. Jonathan is a second-year PhD student in History at the University of Western Ontario. In 2018, he successfully completed his PhD comprehensive exams and won the Ivie Cornish Memorial Fellowship in recognition of outstanding performance. Jonathan also currently holds an OGS scholarship. We look forward with interest to Jonathan’s contribution to the growing collection of UELAC Loyalist research.
You can read more about Jonathan and his work on the UELAC Scholars page.
Join Us in Giving
Great things are happening in the field of Loyalist research and UELAC is front and center. The 2018 Scholarship Challenge raised $7,528.00. At $2500.00 per year this covers one PhD graduate award. Currently we have three UE Scholars receiving the benefit of UE scholarship. Your donation to the Scholarship Endowment Fund ensures the continued success of our program. Please let us add your name to the growing list of UELAC Branches and individuals who support our mission to encourage research through scholarship. Donations may be made either online or by cheque. Donate now!
In the words of Kelly Grant, Loyalist Scholar 2018, “Thank you so much for your continued support.”
By Oriana Visser, 8 May 2019
An eyewitness to the Siege of Quebec in 1759, Edward Coats accompanied the British on their journey up the St. Lawrence River to Quebec and eventually Montreal. Though his official position or title is not known, the fact that he was able to read and write and do so at a time of war, shows that he was not a common soldier, more likely a naval officer under the Command of Vice Admiral Saunders. Coats was not necessarily even involved in the conflict in any way, as a read through his journal gives an impression that much of what he wrote had been relayed to him by other men or commanders.
This journal is an excellent and interesting resource for those intrigued by this dynamic time in Canadian history. In his writing, Coats discusses the daily notable happenings on the ship, the troop and ship movements, British strategy, and various interactions the British troops had with the French and Indigenous peoples. The journal is much more descriptive than it is personal; we do not really get to see Coat’s personal musings or feelings at this time. Instead we must read between the lines, using the language and way in which he wrote about particular groups to understand his attitude. Given the high stakes at this time and the general French-English disdain for one another, it is unsurprising that this rhetoric would appear in his journal. It is also unsurprising that Coats would have a particular attitude towards Indigenous peoples, purely based on the time period and the fact that he was British.
By Lyn Bennett, 25 April 2019
A widely used ingredient in meat-based dishes, mushroom catsup (or ketchup) was inspired by a fermented Chinese fish sauce and bears little resemblance to the ubiquitous tomato version. Neither sweet nor fruity, mushroom catsup was a highly seasoned brown sauce used primarily in fish and meat dishes and, according to the Smithsonian, first appeared as a recipe for “katchup” in Eliza Smith’s 1727 The Compleat Housewife. Recipes specifying mushroom catsup as an ingredient can be found in Richard Bradley’s 1732 The Country Housewife, where it is mixed with onion, white wine, horseradish, anchovy, and herbs in a “Sauce for boil’d Fish” and combined with butter, white wine, beef gravy, and anchovy in directions for serving fish during the month of March. A recipe for mushroom ketchup appeared also in Sarah Harrison’s 1733 The House-Keeper’s Pocket-Book, a volume offering the subtitular claim of “above three hundred curious and uncommon receipts” that included a sauce to be served as an accompaniment to “Beef Steaks with Oysters.” Specifying that the “Oyster Liquor” poured off pre-cooked oysters be mixed with “a little Mace or Nutmeg, some whole Pepper, a Clove or two” and finished with “a little white Wine, and a piece of Butter roll’d in Flour to thicken it,” Harrison notes that adding “an Anchovy or Mushroom-ketchup” to the sauce is optional but “will make it very rich.”
By Katie Turner Getty, 7 May 2019
Thomas Painter inhaled sea water. As he struggled to recover from the “draft of Salt Water” that flooded his mouth and throat, he was inundated by another wave. Unable to catch his breath, he floundered in the darkness as waves crashed around him. As he fought to keep his head above the “heavy tide ripple”, his legs hung straight down below him, his feet pointed downward into the depths that threatened to swallow him.
Painter, of West Haven, Connecticut, had just embarked on a daring nighttime escape from the British prison ship Good Hope, moored between New York City and Paulus Hook at the mouth of the North (Hudson) River. Painter had been serving on a whaleboat commanded by Capt. Elisha Elderkin in Long Island sound. Captured by the Royal Navy while trying to take a sloop, both men had been confined on the Good Hope. Realizing he risked contracting smallpox while on board—as the deadly disease was notoriously rife on prison ships—Painter immediately conjured an escape plan and enlisted Captain Elderkin to help execute it.
By George Kotlik, 6 May 2019
Dr. John Moultrie was born in 1729 in South Carolina to a father of the same name, one of five brothers. Educated in Edinburgh, he graduated in 1749 before returning to the United States where he took up residence in Charleston. In subsequent years, he held numerous prominent positions within the colony. In 1763, when East Florida was annexed by the British, he purchased land grants upon which he later built plantations. From 1771 into 1774, John Moultrie served as an interim governor of East Florida, following Gov. James Grant’s term, until Gen. Patrick Tonyn replaced him.
When the War for American Independence began, John remained loyal to Britain and continued to serve as a government official. Three of his four brothers, on the other hand, all supported the rebellion (the fourth had died in 1765); his brother William Moultrie became one of South Carolina’s most senior, and most famous, military officers.
Nora Doyle, an Assistant Professor of History at Salem College in North Carolina, helps us investigate the lived and imagined experiences of mothers and motherhood between the 1750s and 1850s.
Using details from her book Maternal Bodies: Redefining Motherhood in Early America, Nora reveals how early Americans thought about mothers and motherhood between the 1750s and 1850s; How early American women experienced pregnancy and childbirth; And the legacies and impact early American views of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood have had on our own present-day views of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.
On a bright sunny and warm Spring day I visited the historic Digby Parish Cemetery established in 1785.
While at the cemetery I visited the oldest gravestone of Mary Getsheus who was buried there on November 17, 1785 along with others of James Wilmot, Dr. Jacob Tobias, and Jane Hill. All were Loyalists who arrived from New York to settle Digby in 1783.
James Wilmot became the first Customs Officer of Digby, Vestry Clerk of Trinity Church, and the first schoolmaster. Dr. Jacob Tobias, local medical practitioner, and Jane Hill who was married to Captain Richard Hill, who formerly served with the New Jersey Volunteers, were also leading members of the community who contributed to the development of the Town and local area.
Watch the short video I produced while visiting the cemetery.
…Brian McConnell, UE, President, Nova Scotia Branch
Old Hay Bay Church is a A National Historic Site. It was built in 1792 by several loyalists including William Ketcheson UE, Elizabeth Roblin (wife of Philip Roblin UE), Andrew Embury UE, Peter Fredrick UE, Paul Huff UE, Henry Hover UE, Peter Ruttan UE, William Ruttan UE, William Casey UE, Joseph Allison UE, Daniel Dafoe UE, Arra Ferguson UE, Christopher German UE, Casper VanDusen UE & Conrad VanDusen UE.
The church was built on land owned by Paul Huff UE.
Enjoy a fundraising concert with a variety of ’50s and ’60s music by the Happy Harmony Women’s Choir on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at the South Fredericksburgh Communit Centre, 2456 County Rd. 8, in Napanee ON. Tickets $10.00 at the door. Proceeds to the Restoration Project. For information, email Angela Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org or Elaine Farley email@example.com.
Read the flyer.
Where is New Brunswick Branch member Malcolm Newman?
To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is (if you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well). Send your submission to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.
The museum curated by students in Waterdown District High School’s genocide history class, will feature a new slate of exhibits — including D-Day and a model of a train car used to transport Jewish prisoners to concentration camps. The museum will also feature the school’s first War of 1812 installation, which highlights Titus Geer Simons; the exhibit was compiled by WDHS student, and Simons’ seventh-great-grandson Ryan Johnson. Johnson, who recently received his United Empire Loyalist certificate, has one of Simons’ spoons inscribed with his initials.
Do you love researching your loyalist family history? Come get help with your research. Come and hear about the history and the loyalist families who founded the Old Hay Bay Church.
Presentations by Elaine Farley UE Restoration Chair, Old Hay Bay Church “The History of Old Hay Bay Church” and Peter & Angela Johnson UE – “How to document your Loyalist Ancestor”. Please Register in advance by email to email@example.com. In Lieu of a Registration Fee, any donations to the Restoration Fund of $20.00 or more will receive a tax receipt. (Bring your own lunch). Old Hay Bay Church is located at 2365 South Shore Road in Napanee, Ontario. The program begins at 10:00 am.
The National Association of Van Valkenburgh Families (NAVVF) annual family meeting will be at the Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview 6455 Fallsview Boulevard Niagara Falls, ON, L2G 3V9, the first such meeting in Canada.
Van Valkenburgh (VV) descendants live in many parts of Ontario and in the Montreal area, having immigrated as UEL. Van Valkenburghs families are also Vollick, Follick, Falcon, Flack, Fraelick, etc.
See the announcement as presented on the first 5 pages in the Spring 2019 News Notes of the NAVVF; registration and other details on pages 10 & 11.
…Priscilla Newman, UE
- Eyewitness to the British Retreat from Lexington: The Timothy Pickering Letter, by Samuel K. Fore. A newly appointed colonel in the Essex County militia, Timothy Pickering led some 700 men of the Salem and Essex militia toward Boston, Massachusetts, to intercept the British as they retreated from Lexington on April 19, 1775. Pickering had his chance late that day to attack the British troops near Medford, Massachusetts, but, with the advice of General Heath, chose not to do so. Read more…
- 8 May 1756 – Mi’kmaq and Maliseet warriors raid two islands near the fortified Township of Lunenburg, [John] Rous Island and Payzant Island (present day Covey Island). Reports tell of twenty settlers being killed and five taken prisoners. It was the first of nine attacks. Read more…
- Presidential legend corrected: George Washington never had wooden teeth, but he did have a denture made of hippopotamus ivory, and it lives in our library
- Today in History: Lars D.H. Hedbor @LarsDHHedbor (see his page for associated photos):
- 11 May 1776 Washington suggests raising companies of Germans to sow discontent among England’s Hessian troops.
- 10 May 1775 Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold take Ft Ticonderoga in New-York, securing cannon for patriot forces.
- 9 May 1775 Benedict Arnold unsuccessfully challenges Ethan Allen’s right to lead the expedition to Fort Ticonderoga.
- 8 May 1776 Patriots attack British warships Roebuck & Liverpool on the Delaware River; minimal damage to both sides.
- 7 May 1776 Congress takes measures to protect Philadelphia from threat of two British warships on Delaware River.
- 6 May 1776 Governor of Rhode-Island sends Washington proclamation discharging inhabitants’ allegiance to the Crown.
- 5 May 1776 British Gen. Clinton offers broad amnesty to North-Carolina patriots for their “wicked rebellion.”
- 4 May 1776 Rhode-Island renounces allegiance to the English King, but continues to call itself an “English Colony.”
- King’s Orange Ranger at rest in Nova Scotia – aka Brian McConnell
- An elegant pair of brocaded silk buckle shoes, with leather sole & carved wood heel, London-made by John Hose & Son, c. 1760 and likely worn by an American bride, Elizabeth Lord
- 18th Century stomacher detail of the Fanshawe Dress, made from Spitalfields silk, London, 1752
- 18th Century dress, Scottish, cream silk painted with sprays of flowers & butterflies, 1780-1785
- 18th Century wedding dress and accessories, c.1780
- 18th Century men’s Court suit, embroidered silk frock coat and waistcoat, 1785-1790 via Fashion & Lace Museum, Brussels
- 18th Century men’s waistcoat, 1780’s
- Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful, intricate embroidery shown in this close-up shot of a late eighteenth century waistcoat. Dates to c.1780-85.
- Midshipman Henry William Baynton in his new uniform, about to go to sea aged 13 in 1779. He will go on to command the Leviathan at Trafalgar, and die an admiral in 1840. Portrait by Thomas Hickey.
- Britain’s equivalent to Tutankhamun found in Southend-on-Sea. Burial chamber of a wealthy nobleman in Prittlewell shows Anglo-Saxon Essex in new light. When it was first discovered in 2003, jaws dropped at how intact the chamber was. The favourite suggestion was a king of the East Saxons, Saebert, son of Sledd. But he died about 616 and scientific dating now suggests the burial was in the late-6th century, about 580. That means it could be Saebert’s younger brother Seaxa. Read more…