Who was Bugsby?? He was Bugby

The following information has been sent to us by Dale Bugby – he has also included an Xcell spread sheet of many Bugbys who lived in Britain – available on request.

The Bugby name dates as far back as 1401 from records I have found.  Bugby Hole was a popular anchorage on the Thames River for larger ships needing protection from storms and tides.  The oxbow of the river at Bugby Marsh (Greenwich Peninsula) created this deep hole just outside of London where ships were required to fly their colors prior to entering the city.  Numerous references to “Bugby Hole” or “Bugby Marsh”  or “Bugby Reach” exist in shipping maps and Parliamentary records prior to the 1800s when some maps started to misspell the name as “Bugsby.”  This is a common mispronunciation of our family name.   “Bugby Marsh” was slow to be developed because it was a marsh and needed to be drained.  The Dutch evidently helped to do that.  Early artwork and maps shows it as a vacant stretch of ground, where the pirates were hung in gibbets away from businesses and homes but in plain view before starting an overseas journey.  During the time of the East and West India Companies, Captain John Bugby was active in overseas shipping.  There were other Captain Bugbys including Timothy and William around 1625.  Popular use by the Bugbys being anchored in this location is what likely landed the name.  They were evidently proud of having their family name being placed on “Bugby Hole” for river maps of the Thames in the early 1600s.  The Bugby family of London had the money to invest in plantations at Montserrat, St. Croix, and South Carolina during that time.  “Bugby Hole” was used as the name for these plantations in the West Indies, (Caribbean).  Books by Daniel Defoe, the author of Moll Flanders, and his official British coastal guide, referenced “Bugby Hole.” By 1665 naval maps and even a ship diary referenced “Bugby Hole” during the London plague.  “Bugby Reach” appeared on some maps on this stretch of the river.  “Bugby Marsh” was named for the stretch of the river but no Bugby was ever a landowner there.  Later maps continued to use the misspelling of Bugsby on the marsh and on the river after 1850.  “Bugsby’s Way” in Greenwich at the O2 arena is a great tribute to the early history of the area.  Unfortunately, it should have been named Bugby’s Way.  There are hundreds of people named Bugby still living in Great Britain.  I’m sure they will appreciate the recognition.  I’ll be happy to show up for the renaming of the street!

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2 thoughts on “Who was Bugsby?? He was Bugby”

  1. My dad always called the small opening opposite the Anchor in hope pub,in Achour and hope lane Charlton as ‘Bugbys’ hole.we would go and collect clay pipes there.Sorry about my spelling

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