The Corbin family of Middlesex, England
There were Corbins living in the Thameside port district of Ratcliff (in the parish of St Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex) for almost a century before Francis Corbin was christened at that church on 24 September 1710. Ratcliff is on the north bank of the River Thames, a little east from the City of London.
It has not yet proved possible to establish a full family tree, so what follows here is somewhat patchy.
On 15 January 1622 Richard Corbyn "of Wappingwall Mariner" married Francis Childe "M." (maiden) at St Dunstan.
The most interesting of the early records is the marriage of Teage Corbin "of ye windmill labourer" and Bridget Moseley "M." at St Dunstan on 22 November 1631, as this is one of several events - the earliest in 1392 - suggestive of a relationship between the Corbin and Moseley families.
This couple had two children christened at the neighboring parish church of St Mary, Whitechapel: Mary on 9 June 1633, and John on 20 September 1635.
On 29 June 1646 Dennis Corbin "of Allhallous Barking Waterman" (a parish on the eastern edge of the City of London, not at Barking in Essex) married Mary Disling "of Mileend, W." [widow] at St Dunstan. The previous year Dennis Corbin had been in Virginia. No record has been found of any children of this couple.
Roger & Anna Corbin, the record of whose marriage has not been found, had three children christened at St Dunstan: Robert on 1 April 1651, Grace on 13 April 1654, and Roger on 26 June 1656.
Symon Corbin married Jone Stout somewhere in Stepney on 17 September 1654. This was most likely at St Dunstan, but that church's register was not being fully maintained during the Commonwealth.
Symon Corbin, probably the above man (in which case Jone must have died) but possibly another of the same name, must have married Frances (last name unknown) since they are recorded as the parents of Francis Corbin, born 15 December 1667, christened at St Dunstan 29 December 1667: "Frauncis sonne of Symon Corbin of Ratcliff waterman & Frances (...) | 14".
Three further children of this couple were christened at St Dunstan: Sarah on 20 July 1673; Simon on 20 January 1675/76; and Phillip on 22 January 1677/78.
No further record has yet been found of Sarah or Phillip. Simon Corbin married Jane Bendall at St Dionis Backchurch, Middlesex: "16 Sep 1700 Simon Corbin, of St Dunstan, Stepny, co. Midd:, bach:, and Jane Bendall, of the same par:, spr". No record has been found of any children from this marriage.
12 Feb 1675: Symon Corbin, grandfather of Francis Corbin (agent for Earl Granville in NC, 1749-59), was Master of ship Mayflower of London, to Newcastle, carrying 8 hhds. qt. 3,200 lbs. Virginian tobacco for William Hooker.
William Hooker's son, also William Hooker (died 1717), settled in Chowan county, and his son Godfrey (died 1729) was in newly created Bertie county.
Symon Corbin made his will on 20 June 1691, beginning it "I Symon Corbin Commander of the good Ship called the Elizabeth and Katherine now riding at Anchor in Carlile Bay before the Towne of St Michaells in the Island of Barbados". He bequeathed the bulk of his estate "unto my welbeloved wife ffrances Corbin", whom he appointed sole Executrix.
Their eldest son, Francis Corbin "of Ratcliff Mariner", married Mary Peak "S." (spinster) at St Dunstan on 24 April 1697.
This couple were the parents of a daughter, Sarah, christened at St Dunstan on 20 August 1699 - no further record of her yet found - it is likely that she died in early childhood, as she is not mentioned in her father's will of 1710; and of future Granville agent Francis Corbin, christened at St Dunstan on 24 September 1710.
Francis Corbin entered the Royal Navy at age 25 as a Master on 8 February 1692/93, and occurs in the half pay books as being in the Merchant Service during 1701.
The Master was the officer with technical knowledge of sailing and navigation who served under an inexperienced Captain, usually an aristocrat appointed because of his social position.
Francis doubtless gained his experience from serving on his father's ship, Elizabeth and Katherine.
He made his will on 1 March 1710/11, bequeathing "all my silver plate that is marked with my Coat-of-Arms" to his infant son; and was buried at St Dunstan on 11 March 1710/11.
This silver plate has not been traced but, in North Carolina, the adult Francis Corbin used a bookplate with his coat-of-arms - which was that of the Corbyn family, originally from Corbyn's Hall, Staffordshire, and later of Hall End, Warwickshire.
The family lived in a modern terrace house on Stepney Causeway, then the home of prosperous merchants and ship captains on the edge of the countryside. Nothing from the 18th century survives on this street. It was originally named Church Street, since it was intended to run north from Ratcliff up to St Dunstan, but the northern half of the street was never constructed, and the name of the southern half was changed to Stepney Causeway, except in the Tax Books of the parish!
On 22 May 1705 John Corbin "of Limehouse Shipwt" (Shipwright) married Mildred Smith "S." (spinster) at St Dunstan.
A different Francis Corbin "of Ratcliff Marinr" married Margaret Turner "S." at St Dunstan on 2 February 1709/10.
He is the only person so far found who could be the Francis Corbin who settled in Charles Town, SC before 1738; married a native of that place, which would mean that Margaret must have died; and became the father of Granville agent Francis Corbin's heir Edmund Corbin - described by Corbin to Joseph Hewes as "his nearest relation in the world".