Spanish Armada - Sir William Harris
This page is part of an on-going research project on the history of Belchamp Walter and the manor of Belchamp Walter. If you have found it making a web search looking for geneological or other information on the village then please bookmark this page and return often as I am likely to make regular updates. If you delve deeper into this website you will find many other pages similar to this one.
There is no doubt that is a Spanish Armada connection with Belchamp Hall. However, there seems to be different accounts on who Sir William Harris was and what his involvement in the battle was. The Halls' website says that he was a Commander, Thomas Wright (1831/36) says Officer. While a Commander is an officer there is no account that I can find linking Sir William to the battle off the Scilly Islands in 1588.
The Belchamp Hall website says:
Family portraits by well-known artists hang on the walls. One by Cornelius Janssen depicts the first John Raymond who bought the house and estate from Sir John Wentworth in 1611. Elizabethan portraits of Sir William and Lady Harris, whose daughter Frances married Oliver Raymond, M.P. for Essex in the two Protectorate parliaments, hang each side of the door. Sir William commanded a ship in the battle against the Spanish Armada and relics which he captured then, including an iron Treasure Chest with its original huge key, are still in the house.
The history and topography of ... Essex – by Thomas Wright (1831/36) says:
A picture, with a large gun, some pistols, and powder-flasks, inlaid with gold and ivory, were presented to the Raymonds by Sir William Harris - a sea officer, who took them, with other property, in the action with the Spanish Armada, in 1588".
The BritishBattles website makes no mention of Sir William Harris as a Commander only Sir William Winter who commanded the Vangard. They do mention Sir William FitzWilliam in respect to an Irish battle which Sir William Harris of Shenfield and his cousin, another Sir William of Creaksea Essex, fought in the Nine Years War.
William Harris and the Spanish Armada