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  Shirleys of Islington
Middlesex, England
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Captain James Shirley of Islington, Middlesex

1. Captain James Shirley

1774 Will of James Shirley esq of Islington Middlesex. Captain in the Royal Navy. Tenament in Dark Town Plymouth Devon, two sons Thomas Shirley and James Shirley, good friend Henry Appleton, daughter Mary Fitzwarrin wife of John Fitzwarrin esq, granddaughter Ann Fitzwarrin. Dated 21 Jan 1774. Wit: Thomas Hindman, Joseph Pitt, John Armbridge. Proven by Thomas and James Shirley esqs, sons. 1774 [PROB 11/997 158]

Jas Shirley (1762) who died in command of the Dolphin 20 on the East India station in 1774.


2.i Mary Shirley,

married John Fitzwarren, esquire

3.i Ann Fitzwarrin

2.ii Thomas Shirley, Surgeon of Islington, esquire - born about 1729, died at Islington 1805

PCC Will of Thomas Shirley, Surgeon of Islington , Middlesex . I give and devise unto my nephew George James Shirley a captain in the Royal Navy who now resides at Lymington in the County of Southampton my messuages lands townlands and hereditaments situate and in parish of Saint Stephens and Saint Thomas near Lawn[ ] in the county of Cornwall. To my servants. To my son Alfred Shirley who now resides with us. Alfred sole executor. Wit: Edward Toller, doctors Commons, J. Birkwood, Richard Allumy.11/1434 Proven 07 November 1805 by Alfred Shirley, esquire.

Medic Apprentice Records -
1729 a1805 SSS Shirley, Thomas MRCS, Surgeon, Islington Middlesex, 777/Cur
18 March 1771 (M) Shirley, Thomas, Surgeon, Islington Middlesex, Joseph Pitt
12 July 1759 (M) Shirley, Thomas, Surgeon etc, Islington John Reynolds

married Martha Mary ________, married next Colbert

3.i Alfred Shirley

PCC Will of Alfred Shirley, Surgeon of Islington , Middlesex - Bequeath unto my dear mother Martha Mary Colbert now residing with me at Islington all leases and leasehold premises and all money. Wit: Harriett Isaack, Elenor Holden. 11/1943 Proven 04 March 1841 by Eliza Ann Shirley widow the relict of the said deceased [Martha Mary Colebert died in the lifetime of the testator and after the execution of the will intermarried with the said Eliza Ann Shirley with no issue of said marriage]

married Eliza Ann______

4. no children

2.iii Captain James Shirley - died 1777 off the coast of Newfoundland in command of the frigate, Vestal

3.i George James Shirley (Vice-Admiral of the Red, 1840)

George James Shirley died 2 Aug 1845 at Bath age 77. He was son of Capt Jas. Shirley (1772) who was lost when in command of the Vestal frigate with alll on board on the banks of Newfoundland in 1777; and grandson of Capt Jas Shirley (1762) who died in command of the Dolphin 20 on the East India station in 1774.

This officer entered the Navy 18 May 1779 as A.B. on board the Robust 74 Capts Alex Hood (afterwards Lord Bridport) and Philip cosby employed in the Channel and on the coast of North America. In March 1782 he removed as Midshipman (a rating he had attained in Oct 1780) to L'Espion, Capt Thos Revell Shivers stationed in teh West Indies; he next, in May 1783 joined the Scipio Capt John Nicholson Inglefield; guard-ship at Sheerness; and from May, 1785 until promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in Nov 1790 he was employed in North America and the Channel as masters mage in teh Weazle and Thisbe, both commanded by Capt. Sam Hood and London 98, Capt Wm Domett, flag-ship of Sir Alex Hood. His next appointments were on the Home station - 1 Paril and 27 Sept 1791, to the Thorn and Spitfire sloops, Capt. John Woodleya dn Philp Chas Durham - 15 June 1793 to the Hebe frigate, Capt Alex Hood and 18 Aug 1794 to the Royal George 100, bearing the flag of Lord Bridport. By the latter nobleman he was placed in acting command 11 Sept 1797 of the Megaera fire-ship, and 26 Apr 1798 of the Mars 74. He was confirmed to teh Megaera 11 Sept 1797 and to the Mars by a commission bearing the same date as his acting order. During the above period he was often in battle and was several times wounded. In the Royal George he was present in the aciton off the Ile de Groix 23 June 1795 and in the mutiny at Sptihead. An attack of rheumatic gout induced by frequent exposure to wet and cold compelled him in Aug 1798 to leave the Mars and prevented him from afterwards going afloat. From 26 March 1804 until the corps was disbanded in Feb 1810 he commanded the Poole district of Sea Fencibles. he became Rear-Admiral on retired half-pay 2 June 1825; and was placed on the active list of Vice-Admirals 12 Nov 1840. He was married and has left issue.

PCC Will of George James Shirley, Vice Admiral in Her Majesty's Navy of Bath , Somerset - a funeral as my daughter Georgiana wishes. To my daughter [Aicteica] the wife of Mr William Hale. Legacies to Mrs Elizabeth Baggs. Friends Mr. Frederick Doroding and Mr Henry Hill executors. To my daughters in law Mrs Henry Counce and Mrs Henry Hayter a mourning ring [ long will with codicil] Wit: Jos Wyat , gent, Hig' Baggs grocer - 11/2023

Memorial location: Bath Abbey, Bath, England : Transcript: 'Sacred to the memory of George James Shirley Esqr Vice Admiral of the Red who died in this city August 2nd 1845. This tablet is erected by his bereaved daughter as a small token of her affection and regard'

note: Admiral George James Shirley was the son of Captain James Shirley, who in turn was the son of Dr. Shirley.

married ________

4.i Aicteica Shirley

married Mr. William Hale

4.ii Georgiana Shirley


Other Shirleys of Islington Middlesex

The Environs of London Vol 3

Islington Parish Records – John Shurley buried Dec 30 1679. John Shirley, who died at Islington on the 28th Dec of that year and was buried in the churchyard published the Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, and some chirurgical tracts [note: this commentary may be in error. Several of the books attributed to this John Shirley appear many years after 1679. One source, identifying 3 John Shirleys as comtemporary writers still attributed the Raleigh book to the above, but assigned the other books to other John Shirleys]

Dictionary of National Biography

Shirley, John (1648 - 1679), author son of John Shirley, bookseller of London was born in the parish of St Botolph Aldersgate on 7 Aug 1648. He matriculated from Trinity Col Oxford on 17 Mar 1665 became a scholar in 1667 graduated BA on 18 Feb 1668 and MA on 28 Nov 1671. and in 1673 acted as terrae filius. Soon after he was elected a probationary fellow, but was expelled for immoral conduct before his term of probation had expired. He returned to London and having married the daughter of an innkeeper of Islington, made a livelihood by correcting for the press. He died at Islington on 28 Dec 1679. He was the author of ‘The Life of the Valiant and Learned Sir Walt. Raleigh Kt with his Trial at Winchester’ London 1677, Svo.


1. John Shirley, bookseller - PCC Will 1666

Smyths Obituaries
Mr. John Shirley bookseller in Little Brittain Jan 23 1665

1666 Shirley, John of St Botolphs Aldersgate London citizen and habedasher
2 Jan 1665, 17 Charles II. John Sherley of St Buttolph without Aldergsgate citizen and haberdasher of London. After debts paid all good to be divided 1/4 to daughter Rebecca, 1/4 to son John Shirley, 1/4 to son Benjamin Shirley, 1/4 to daughter Ann Shirley, to the poor of St Buttolphs Aldersgate London. Son John Shirley and daughter Rebecca Shirley executors. Appoint friends Richard Smith gent, Robert Marshall Thomas Hinton and Richard Arnold to be overseers. Presence of Marmaduke Thompson William Bower Sr and Thomas Woodward. Proven by John Shirley and Rebecca Shirley Feb 1666. PCC 11/319 p 256.

Married Anne _______

2. Rebecca Shirley - b. 1 Sept 1641 St Botolphs Aldersgate P.R.

2. Rebecca Shrley - b. 17 Oct 1645 St Botolphs Aldersgate P.R. - named in father's 1666 Will

2. John Shirley - b. 18 Aug 1648 St Botolphs Aldersgate P.R., died at Islington Dec 28, 1679 - named in father's 1666 Will

Oxford University Matriculation
John Shirley, son of John of London, pleb. Trinity College, matric. March 17, 1664-5, aged 16; B.A. Feb 18, 1668-9, M.A. 1671, probationary fellow, expelled when the year expired; born in parish of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, Aug 7, 1648 (his father a bookseller), died at Islington Dec 28, 1679. See Foster's Inns of Court Reg.

(RALEIGH) (SHIRLEY, John) THE LIFE OF THE VALIANT & LEARNED SIR WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT. WITH HIS TRYAL AT WINCHESTER. $450.00 London: Benj. Shirley and Richard Tonson, 1677. 12mo. 19th-century calf. 243, (1) pages. First edition. A biography of Raleigh by John Shirley (1648-1679), a son of the bookseller, who graduated from Oxford in 1667, not the John Shirley who wrote The Triumph of Wit. Bookplates, some minor water stains.

2. Benjamin Shirley - 18 Dec 1650 St Botolphs Aldersgate P.R.

2. Benjamin Shirley - 16 Mar 1652 St Botolphs Aldersgate P.R. - named in father's 1666 Will

The Life of the Valient and Learned Sir Walter Ralegh, Knight, with his Tryal at Winchester, London: printed by J. D. for Benj. Shirley and Richard Tonsin, 1677.

[book title] London: printed for Benjamin Shirley, at his shop under St. Dunstan's Dial, 1680

[not sure if the following are referring to same]

A sermon preach'd at the assizes holden at Abingdon, in the County of Berks, July 14. 1713. ... By William Reeves. Reeves, W. (1713). Oxford, printed by Leonard Lichfield for Benjamin Shirley in Reading: and are to be sold by John Morphew London.

[book title] later it was in the possession of the Rev. Robert Whitehall, Vice-Principal of New Hall, Oxford. His library was sold by Benjamin Shirley ‘at Mrs Weaver’s Dancing-School in Holywell,’ Oxford, on March 11, 1700, when this volume was bought by ‘J. Urry’, probably John Urry (1666-1715), B.A., Oxford, and editor of Chaucer.

Oxford Historical Society - Dec 22 (mon). "On Sunday Dec 7 this month anno 1729 died at Reading in Berks, where he hath lived with his wife many years, Mr. Benjamin Shirley, bookseller, who lived formerly in Oxford and was a great Auctioneer there, and much noted on that account, tho' nothing near so eminent that way as Mr. Edmund Millington, a London bookseller, whom he imitated, and who was certainly the most eminent auctioneer that ever was or ever will be in England. He, the said Shirley, died in an advanced age, being near fourscore."

2. Ann Shirley - named in father's 1666 Will


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