Thomas Corker (1669-1670 - 10 September 1700, Falmouth, Cornwall) was known as an English agent for the Royal African Company on York Island (now Sherbro, Sierra Leone). He married a Sherbro woman and had two sons with her before his early death.
Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,797.
The Royal African Company (RAC) was an English mercantile (trading) company set up by the royal Stuart family and City of London merchants to trade along the west coast of Africa. It was led by the Duke of York, who was the brother of Charles II and later took the throne as James II.
York Island is an island in Sierra Leone. It is a small island located 2 km (1.2 mi) to the east of Bonthe, Sherbro Island. It is part of the Bonthe Island Municipality.
The sons also became merchant traders and developed a family dynasty that became prominent among the Sherbro people and British colonists, in the area now known as the Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone. As paramount chiefs, they dominated the Bumpe and Kagboro chiefdoms into the 20th century.Descendants live primarily in Bonthe and Shenge of that District.
The Sherbro people are a native people of Sierra Leone, who speak the Sherbro language; they make up 3% of Sierra Leone's population or about 201,000. The Sherbro are found primarily in their homeland in Bonthe District, where they make up 45% of the population, in coastal areas of Moyamba District, and in the Western Area of Sierra Leone, particularly in Freetown. During pre-colonial days, the Sherbro were one of the most dominant ethnic group in Sierra Leone, but in the early 21st century, the Sherbro comprise a small minority in the nation. The Sherbro speak their own language, called Sherbro language. The vast majority of Sherbro people are Christian.
Moyamba District is the largest district in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone, with a population of 318,064 in the 2015 census.
Bonthe is a coastal town located on Sherbro Island in Bonthe District in the southern Province of Sierra Leone. The town lies on the eastern shore of Sherbro Island, on the Sherbro River estuary. Bonthe is about 60 miles south-west of Bo and 187 miles south-east of Freetown.
Born at Falmouth, Cornwall, Thomas Corker was the younger of two sons of Thomas Corker, a ship's doctor from County Meath, Ireland. His father had settled in Ireland from Manchester, England. Corker married Jane Newman, a local woman of Falmouth. Thomas was baptized on 4 February 1669. His older brother was Robert Corker. They had two younger sisters, Jane and Anne.
After their father died young, their maternal uncle John Newman, Jr. acted as guardian. The boys were expected to earn their own way.
At the age of 14, Thomas entered the Royal African Company as an apprentice. He was assigned to the Guinea Coast, where he served traders on the rivers. He eventually became a chief agent on York Island, Sherbro. This was a slave trading center on the Sherbro River.
While working in the Sherbro region, he married a daughter of a Sherbro chief.By Sherbro family accounts, she was known to the English as Seniora Doll or Senora Doll, and was of the house of Ya Kumba. Her father ruled on the shore of the Yawry Bay (according to Bulom oral tradition). The couple had two sons, Robin and Stephen.
Seniora Doll or Senora Doll was a Sherbro princess or 'Duchess' of the Ya Kumba ruling house of the Yawri Bay Area between the Sierra Leone peninsula and the Sherbro estuary. In the late 17th century she married an English trader and Royal African Company agent, Thomas Corker, and their two sons Stephen and Robin ruled as the first Caulker chiefs through her royal lineage. She died in 1722, twenty two years after Thomas Corker died in 1700 in England.
Thomas Corker was transferred by the Royal African Company to The Gambia in April 1699and left his Sherbro family behind. On a business trip to England, he died at his birthplace of Falmouth in 1700 and was buried there.
His sons, Robin and Stephen Corker, inherited their mother's chiefdom; they used their English ancestry to build influence with other early traders in the region. The Crown opened up the slave trade beyond the RAC, and the family became influential in and wealthy from it well into the nineteenth century.
The family may have intermarried in the eighteenth century and later with descendants of Skinner Caulker, an English man known to have settled in the region in the mid-eighteenth century, as did James Cleveland. Both also married local women and had descendants who competed for power in the region.
By the nineteenth century, the family was known as the Caulkers. They dominated the Bumpe Chiefdom in the colony of Sierra Leone and were a major slave trading Afro-European clan in West Africa.
Today most of the Caulker descendants live in the towns of Bonthe and Shenge in the Moyamba District, where the Sherbro are concentrated. The clan still maintains its oral and written testimony about its English ancestor, Thomas Corker.
Corker was memorialized by a Baroque marble and freestone monument at the Church of King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth, where he had been baptized as a child.His brother Robert Corker had made his life in the town and was five times elected as mayor.
MONUMENTS: include Baroque marble and freestone monument to Thomas Corker, d.1709 aged 31;
Sherbro Island is in the Atlantic Ocean, and is included within Bonthe District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone. The island is separated from the African mainland by the Sherbro River in the north and Sherbro Strait in the east. It is 32 miles (51 km) long and up to 15 miles (24 km) wide, covering an area of approximately 230 square miles (600 km2). The western extremity is Cape St. Ann. Bonthe, on the eastern end, is the chief port and commercial centre.
Bonthe District is a district comprises several islands and mainland of the Atlantic Ocean in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. Bonthe is one of the sixteen districts of Sierra Leone. Its capital is the town of Mattru Jong and its largest city is Bonthe, on Sherbro Island. As of the 2015 census, the district had a population of 200,730. Bonthe District is one of the sixteen districts of Sierra Leone. Bonthe District is subdivided into eleven chiefdoms.
Thomas Canry Caulker (1846–1859), (Sherbro) was born into a prominent African family, and his father ruled as King of Bompey, an African polity established in 1820 in what is now Sierra Leone. Caulker is among an early generation of West Africans sent to England for their education. His father wanted him prepared for demands for government and commerce in his homeland, before the Sierra Leone Protectorate was established by Great Britain. His father's ambition for him was influenced by the evangelical Christianity in the region, introduced largely by British abolitionists.
The Tuckers of Sherbro are an Afro-European clan from the Southern region of Sierra Leone. The clan's progenitors were an English trader and agent, John Tucker, and a Sherbro princess. Starting in the 17th Century, the Tuckers ruled over one of the most powerful chiefdoms in the Sherbro country of Southern Sierra Leone, centered on the village of Gbap.
Gbap is a small rural fishing town in Nongoba Bullom Chiefdom, Bonthe District in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. The town is mainly inhabited by the Sherbro people. Gbap is the traditional home of the Sherbro Tuckers Family, descendants of an English slave trader and a Sherbro princess. It is also the birthplace of Patricia Kabbah, former First Lady of Sierra Leone and wife of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, Sierra Leone's 3rd President.
John Tucker was an English slave trader for the Royal African Company from London, England.
Shenge is a coastal fishing town along the Atlantic ocean in Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone. Shenge is the seat of the Kagboro Chiefdom, part of the third level of administration. The dense coastal jungle has prevented development of a good road network, and the Shenge is still most easily reached by boat. The local small fishing and passenger boats that travel among the coastal towns are known as pampas in Sierra Leone.
Caulker is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Stephen Caulker was a king of the Banana Islands off the coast of present-day Sierra Leone. He had some distant Anglo-Irish ancestry and was mostly Sherbro in ancestry. Caulker was part of a hereditary dynasty that ruled as chiefs of the states of Bumpe and Shenge (Kagboro) in Sierra Leone from 1820 into the late 20th century.
Sierra Leone is home to about sixteen ethnic groups, each with its own language. In Sierra Leone, membership of an ethnic group often overlaps with a shared religious identity.
Richard Canreba Caulker (18??–1901), also known as Canrah Bah Caulker, was ruler of the Bumpe Chiefdom, 1864–1888 and 1894–1901. This area became incorporated into the Sierra Leone Protectorate in 1888, and is now part of the Moyamba District of the independent Sierra Leone nation.
The Bumpe Chiefdom is a Chiefdom of Sierra Leone located in Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone. It is centred on Rotifunk. The chiefdom comprises 208 villages.
Charles B. Caulker is Paramount Chief of Bumpe Chiefdom, Moyamba District, Southern Province, Sierra Leone.
Thomas Neale-Caulker was chief of Kagboro in Sierra Leone (1888–1898). He was killed during the Hut Tax War of 1898, in which he sided with the government and was reproached for his brutality.
Thomas Stephen Caulker (????–1871), also known as Bar Tham, was the chief of Kagboro in Sierra Leone Protectorate (1888–1898).
The Caulker family of Sierra Leone is an influential family which was established by the English slave trader Thomas Corker.